Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why We Practice Religion

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
Psalm 51:17 NASB

What God truly wants from us, more than external ritual, is for our hearts and our spirits to be broken over our sin, for us to be truly sorrowful because we understand that our sin is an affront to, a rebellion against, an attack on God Himself. He won’t turn away from someone who is truly sorrowful over their sin.

Outward religious ritual, while commanded by God, is not the point. He wants us to understand why we practice the religion, why the sacrifices were necessary. He desires hearts that recognize Him for who He is and sin for what it is. He desires authentic recognition and true contrition.

Christ-followers are sinners saved by grace. When we sin, we break His heart, so our hearts should be broken. Perhaps you regret your sin, but you are still far from being sorrowful, contrite, broken-hearted over it.

God desires true contrition over our sin because a broken spirit and a contrite heart lead to true repentance.

We treat sin lightly, glibly. This, in turn, means that we don’t give Christ’s sacrifice on the cross the respect, the seriousness that it deserves. We don’t give God Himself the respect He deserves.

I need a broken spirits, hearts that are broken and contrite over our sin.

But this is not within our human nature. Christ must change not only our understanding of sin but our very nature, so that we see sin as the rebellion against God that it truly is. God wants to change us into the image of Christ. To be so, we need to be sorrowful and contrite over the things that make us unlike Him.

Pray simply this: “God, please break my heart over my sin.”

Advertisements

My Favorite Christmas Albums – 2016

I was planning on updating this post today, but I realized nothing had really changed. So here, for your reading and listening pleasure, are my favorite Christmas albums.

Worship = Life

Back in 2010, I wrote about my favorite Christmas songs and albums. (You can check it out here.)

Six years is long enough! So, today, I’m updating you on some of my favorite Christmas albums. I’d love to hear what your favorites are, so leave some comments! And even better, I put together a Spotify playlist so you can enjoy them too.

  1. Christmas… From the Realms of Glory by Bebo Norman – Bebo Norman may be retired, but he remains one of the absolute best songwriters in CCM (just give a listen to the cut “Deeper Still” from his album Ten Thousand Days). If you listened to Bebo back in his indie days, you may understand this: Christmas… From the Realms of Glory sounds like it came from his heart more than anything else I’ve heard from him.  With simple instrumentation – acoustic guitar, piano, melodica, hammer dulcimer – the record…

View original post 309 more words

God Protects His Children

I have become estranged from my brothers
And an alien to my mother’s sons.
For zeal for Your house has consumed me,
And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
When I wept in my soul with fasting,
It became my reproach.
When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became a byword to them.
Those who sit in the gate talk about me,
And I am the song of the drunkards.
But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, at an acceptable time;
O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness,
Answer me with Your saving truth.
(‭Psalm 69‬:‭8-13‬ NASB)

God protects His children. The obedience He expects is enough to make us the objects of ridicule, reproach, and persecution. If we are His children, if we obey Him, we are under the protection of His great lovingkindness. But we must we willing to trust Him enough to truly be obedient.

Have you ever trusted God enough or been obedient enough to Him to be the object of ridicule, reproach, or persecution. Or have you always been disobedient?

He protects us. We can trust Him.

When we forget this, we become afraid and hopeless when facing ridicule, reproach, or persecution. Or perhaps, if we are not obedient, we feel falsely confident and comfortable. We are called to obedience. We are called to zeal. We are called to faith.

The grace of Jesus is the source of faith, and His lovingkindness is the source of our protection.

10 Pounds Down!

As of today, I’ve lost 10 pounds! Didn’t know I was trying to lose weight? Check out my weight loss blog at http://judsaloser.wordpress.com

Jud's a Loser

It’s been a great week, and it’s not over yet!  Today, I weighed in at 249.6 pounds – 10.4 pounds below my starting weight!  That puts me at 1/8 or about 13% of the way to my goal weight of 180 pounds.

Just to give you a refresher, on Feb. 11, I weighed in at 260 pounds – the most I’ve ever weighed. And that’s the second time in my life I’ve been that heavy. After losing 52 pounds a couple of years ago, I regained it all.

This time around, I’m running, walking, and working out at home using Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 for Xbox 360, which I’ll review later. This week is the most active I’ve had in the last few years, possibly in my life. I’ve gone 14 miles running and walking. I’m working hard. I feel energetic. I’m excited about exercise and losing weight.

The…

View original post 155 more words

Entrenched

“Entrenched”, my first blog from 2008, is still relevant for us today. What do the attitudes and values of the Church in America spell for future generations?

Worship = Life

Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father.”
Genesis 19:30-32

Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, burned and smashed to rubble by the wrath of God. The inhabitants of those two cities had become so warped by sin that He apparently felt they needed a fresh start.

Lot and his daughters had escaped the firestorm by mere moments. They were the only ones. And they, in fact, hadn’t wanted to leave. The angels who came to destroy the…

View original post 779 more words

Osama bin Laden | Celebrating Death?

Osama bin Laden is dead. That’s the big news this morning.

I believe justice has been done. I believe he deserved what he got. I believe this creates closure for a lot of people whose loved ones were murdered by this man.

I also believe that this is not something to celebrate. As a friend of mine pointed out this morning, God says, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live.” (Ezekiel 33:11) This morning another wicked man is in hell. His death does nothing to reverse the horrible fate of the 3,000 people he murdered on September 11, 2001.

Only once in history has the death of one man reversed the horrible fate of others. That man was Jesus Christ. He – the Son of God – died on the cross because God loves all the world. Jesus died for you, for me, and for Osama bin Laden.

Let’s be thankful that justice has been served today but be mindful of the fact that, without faith in Christ, we deserve no better fate than bin Laden.