Adversity & Faith

by William J. Stewart

James 1:17 reads,

Every good gift and every perfect  gift Is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

The Lord showers all kinds of blessings on us. When we begin to count our blessings, we see how truly blessed we are. But what about the not so good things, or the bad things that happen in life? Where do they come from? Continue reading

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Laodiceanitis

by Dee Bowman | via southsideonline.org

If that ain’t a word, it oughta to be!

In the letters to the seven churches of Asia, Jesus said to the Laodiceans, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).

It is undoubtedly so that every cause has an effect. I also affirm it to be so that the effect of indifference among the Lord’s people is one of the most effective and devastating of the devil’s devices. Continue reading

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Make A Joyful Noise

by William J. Stewart

Music has been labeled the international language. Rhythm and rhyme are so tangled within the fabric of humanity that George Jellinek, host of the syndicated radio series The Vocal Scene, has commented, “The history of a people is found in its songs.”1 As this is true of nations and tribes throughout the ages, it is equally true of God’s people. After crossing the Red Sea, Moses and Miriam led the Israelites in song (Exodus 15). The unfaithfulness of Israel was revealed generations before it would happen in a song of Moses, and served as a witness against the people (Deuteronomy 31:19-32:44).  Deborah and Barak’s victory in battle gave occasion for  a song (Judges 5:1-31). David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, wrote many songs, addressing a variety of topics. Songs have always been of great importance to God’s people. Continue reading

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The Difference Between Emotion & Emotionalism

by William J. Stewart

Perhaps you’ve heard about it. Maybe you’ve seen it. Possibly you have even experienced it. Cunningly orchestrated music is used to stir the emotions of the crowd; an emotionally charged evangelist spurs them on with repetitive chants; hands and bodies sway to and fro; the atmosphere has been established. As the crowd is further worked into a frenzy, often times, folks will end up rolling about in the aisles, bursting out in uncontrollable laughter, shaking, jumping, and shouting out unintelligible speech. Is this worship that gives glory to God, or merely a display of unbridled emotions? Continue reading

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Is There A Standard For Our Worship?

by William J. Stewart

How shall we decided what should and what should not be a part of our worship? A quick look at the religious world reveals a number of distinct worship practices and customs. Some hold that the activity of worship is not as important as the attitude of worship. Others maintain that activity and attitude are of equal importance. Is there a standard for worship, and if so, what is the standard? Continue reading

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A Difference Between Service and Worship

by William J. Stewart

A growing movement exists in the religious world to broaden the common conception of what worship is. Rather than worship being limited to specific activities, many are embracing the idea that worship is a lifestyle; that every moment of our existence is to be an occasion of worship. Are Christian service and worship synonymous, or is there a distinction to be made? Continue reading

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What Does The Term “Worship” Really Mean?

by William J. Stewart

A myriad of writers through the years have penned much literature on the topic of worship. If one were to compile all the “worship is” statements obtainable, an exhaustive volume would no doubt be the result. And so we might inquire, “Why, after all the effort put forth by men and women through the years do we yet again embark on a discussion about the meaning of worship?” Quite simply, it is good to be reminded of the things which we already know, and perhaps to be made aware of some things we have not known.. The more we study and learn about the worship which our God is due, the greater our appreciation and more devoted our service will be. Continue reading

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Are You Ashamed of the Gospel?

by Sean P. Cavender

One of the greatest statements in all of the Bible is found in Romans 1:16 where Paul stated, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” When you pause to consider what Paul was saying, it is very impressive. He was stating he was not afraid of the gospel. He was not afraid of being associated as a preacher and apostle of the gospel. He was not afraid of being associated with Christ. He was not ashamed of the salvation that is availed to everyone. He was not afraid to tell others about his confidence in the gospel. This is an impressive list because too many times we find ourselves acting ashamed of many of these things. I know many of us will quote this verse and say that we are not ashamed of the gospel. However, do we show this by our actions? That is an entirely different question. Continue reading

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Worshiping with a Renewed Spirit

by William J. Stewart

A midday break while walking from Judea to Galilee resulted in a significant conversation. So weighty were the matters discussed, that the Holy Spirit had John record it for all future would-be worshipers. “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24) Continue reading

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Are Things In This World Inherently Sinful?

by William J. Stewart

It is important for us to walk in God’s way, to be in the world and not of the world. We do not want to practice or accept what is contrary to God’s will. Some, in their zeal for such, have subscribed to asceticism, defined by m-w.com as “practicing strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline.” The extreme forms of asceticism often involve flagellation and other forms of harm to the body. Less severe, but still strict, are those who refuse the use of modern technology (cars, electricity, telephones, etc.). Still on the asceticism spectrum, some oppose reading, watching or listening to any entertainment of this world and consider it a sin for a Christian to do so. Continue reading

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