What is missing?

What is missing?


I am reading, hearing and seeing more and more topical sermons, studies and programs on why so many are not attending church. They all have lists, numbers, statistical findings on…. excuses.

  • There are long time church members staying home.
  • Families bouncing from church to church.
  • Young people discouraged and looking elsewhere, even the world.
  • Visitors that don’t return. All searching, hungry, looking.

Why? I have not found the answer in any list I have seen. That is because the lists are based on excuses. The writers all focus on excuses, not the reason. The reason hits too close to home. Many of them are the cause. There is only One reason. He is missing.

This is not new. John wrote of churches in His day that were found lacking, where He was missing. Only two were positive, Smyrna and Philadelphia…. 28-1/2% of the churches in his day were found faithful.

Sadly, too many of our churches in America today are becoming more like the other 71-1/2% written about in Revelation. This is the message John needed churches to hear and why God had it recorded. It is how churches are held to accountability. Many churches are a combination of more than one of the ones John wrote to; how tragic.

  1. Rev 2:1-7 Ephesus churches that have forsaken God as their first love
  2. Rev 2:12-17 Pergamum churches that need to repent
  3. Rev 2:18-29 Thyatira churches with false teachers/teachings
  4. Rev 3:1-6 Sardis churches have fallen asleep, simply exist, there is no visible life
  5. Rev 3:14-22 Laodicea churches that are luke warm, fence straddlers, tolerate sin to keep peace

If only the flocks had shepherds (pastors, teachers, leaders) that pointed to The Great Shepherd and led in Worship.

People are looking for worship. Only worship fills that nagging empty void. It was a place in us created by God for communion with Him, and Him alone. And the void that was created by the fall of man can ONLY be filled by restoration of communion with God. Consecrated, sanctified and humbled by the great I AM, we can approach with our hearts now humble and reverent in worship of Him. That is the hunger everyone is yearning to be sated.

There is a time and place for praise and rejoicing for all He has done. But, only after we have worshiped who He IS, the Great I AM, can we know how to praise Him fully. How can you adequately praise someOne you don’t know who He is? You must truly, reverently and in all humbleness, bow your heart before Him. El Shaddai, El Elyon…. Lord God Almighty, The Most High God.

We have a generation that feels they have worshipped God because they have “praised” Him. Through all the good feelings and emotional highs, the theatrics, lightings, gesturing and posturing they leave service fulfilled. It lasts until they get to the restaurant and everyone starts grumbling. Diluted by the world being brought in to God’s house, most have never been in a House of Worship. They will try and recharge themselves throughout the week by putting on praise songs, motivational speakers, and try to shout, clap and dance. Yet they feel empty shortly there after. They do not know how to worship the Great I AM, so their praise is as unfulfilling. They put the proverbial cart before the horse and find no success in moving towards God. Time and place, Ecclesiastes 3.

Families move from church to church searching trying different programs. Youth become delusion and leave. The elderly become more and more hungry for real worship they once knew. There is one reason – no place to Worship, no reverence, no humbling, no teaching of El Shaddai, El Elyon. All the praising of what He has done can never replace who He is, the Great I Am.

Who’s your idol?


TheyWorshipMoneyWe all shy away from the image of bowing down before an idol.  We do not worship images, statues, people, right?  I mean we obey the First and Second Commandments don’t we?  There are no golden idols in the house, no fetishes; so we have these commandments covered.  In 2nd Chronicles 15:8, Asa took courage and went throughout the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and even the cities he had captured,  removing the DETESTABLE idols.

I wonder what would happen if we took this commandment to heart and went through our home, our lives, and removed the “detestable idols”.  What is an idol according to the word of God?

In his book, Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller says: An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, “If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.  It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”

I would also say it is ANYTHING that takes away from the time you have for God.  What comes before God, before time in His word, time to pray and intercede for others?  Sleep? TV? Food? Computer time? Games? Pet?  Maybe they are not golden images that you face and bow down to  but they’re  idols just the same if you do not take the time first for God.  We will spend an hour on FB but say we do not have time to do something at the church, or time to read His Word.  We have time to get a cup of coffee with a friend, go to a movie, or workout at the gym, yet we do not have time for Him.  None of those things are bad in and of themselves, but their priority placement makes them idols.  Sometimes it is not removing something so much as it is prioritizing them.  My family is my priority, but God is first in that I spend time in the Word and prayer, even praying for them.

When you do not have time to read His word, but you have time to text, FB, play a game, do a crossword, you are placing an idol before Him.  When will you have the courage to remove your idols?

Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

Where Did the Gray Come From?


Notice there is nothing in between?

Where did the gray come from?  Are there gray areas in the Bible?  In today’s society we are taught to be politically correct and tolerant, there is no black and white, all is gray.  Raising kids in these times is a struggle.  The world is far more vocal in their life view than the church.  While the world agrees on some black/white issues like murder and stealing, the majority of the 10 commandments are so blurred in the eyes of the world that our children must be guarded with truth at home, church and everywhere in between.

Do you remember learning the 10 commandments at church and getting an award?  Again, we need to get back to teaching our children the basics.  Yes, the 10 commandments are Old Testament, and we are not saved by laws but, by His grace.  But, Jesus taught the Ten Commandments in the way He lived and talked.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18,  ” 17Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” We live our lives under adherence to these laws by God’s  grace.  We should teach our children the 10 commandments by the way we live.

Learning and teaching the Ten Commandments is too broad a concept for a single post.  I have written a much more expanded section on the Ten Commandments and added it as a ‘tab’ on my menu.  Even this is not a full understanding of all the Commandments encompass.

Can you name them?

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
1. Do not worship other gods – what do your children see as your gods?

2. Do not worship idols – what are you teaching your children about worship?

3. Do not misuse God’s name – do your children see your CHRISTian walk, and does it misuse His name?

4. Keep the Sabbath holy – what do your children know about the Sabbath from your life?

5. Honor your father & mother – are your children learning to honor God by your honoring your parents?  Do they honor you?

6. Do not murder – are you teaching your children anger and murderous thoughts?

7. Do not commit adultery – will your children understand the sanctity of marriage from what they see in your life today?

8. Do not steal – are you teaching your children to be good stewards of the blessings God has given you?

9. Do not lie – has your child learned about truth and purity from your actions?

10. Do not covet – does your lifestyle and mindset show your children the difference between needs and wants?

The commandments must be taught to your children as patterns for their life and guidance for their attitudes towards others.  Do not wait for someone at church to teach them God’s truths.  You are their stewards.

Again, I encourage you when you have time to click on the tab above for the Ten Commandments and read further about teaching your children what God says about the Commandments.

*satan – I know people capitalize the “S” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.