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Day 168 - 2 Thessalonians 2

Thursday, August 24, 2017

5 minutes a day 5 days a week - a year of Bible Wisdom

Instrumental To Worship

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Why do some churches not allow musical instruments?  Ephesians 5:19 says to speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.  “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord...”  The Greek definition of psalms says “from a set piece of music or a sacred ode accompanied with the voice, harp, or other instrument”.

Sincerely,
Don’t Mean To Harp

Dear Don’t Mean To Harp,

The reasons some churches don’t use musical instruments (ours included) is because of the very verse you mentioned.  In the New Testament, we are commanded to “speak to one another” and “make melody in our hearts” (Eph. 5:19).  Col 3:16 says that we should “sing with grace in our hearts”, and 1 Cor 14:15 says that we should “sing with our spirit” and “sing with understanding”.  All of these verses clearly tell us what to be offering God in worship – heartfelt singing.

It is true that a psalm means “a piece of music or sacred ode accompanied with the voice, harp, or other instrument”, and if God hadn’t specified what accompaniment we should use, we could use any instrument we wanted… but God did specify what instrument He wanted us to use.  He wanted us to use our voices and heartstrings.  Incidentally, the word ‘acappella’ means ‘as the church’ because the early church never used instruments in their worship.  Instruments weren’t introduced into worship services until the sixth century.  The church of the first century understood that when God asked for them to sing – that meant they should only sing.  Since we desire to do exactly what the Bible says and neither add nor subtract from God’s Word (Rev 22:18-19), we simply use our voices.  God doesn’t ask for instruments in His worship, and we don’t go beyond what He has written (1 Cor 4:6).

Day 167 - 2 Thessalonians 1

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

5 minutes a day 5 days a week - a year of Bible Wisdom

Keeping Under The Cap

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
How many times will God forgive me?  I’ve messed up many times and have repeated the same sin numerous times.  I always beg wholeheartedly for forgiveness and continue to try, but I keep falling, but I get back up, ask for forgiveness and strength, and continue to press on.  I know that one day I will finally conquer this sin through the glory and power of God, but I’m just curious if there is a limit at which He will stop forgiving me for the same sin, even if I truly want to stop.

Sincerely,
What’s The Quota?

Dear What’s The Quota,

There are two parts to your question:

  1. How many times can I ask for forgiveness for the same sin?
  2. How do I remove this sin from my life?

The answer to the first question is simple. You can ask for forgiveness an innumerable amount of times. Christ told Peter that we should forgive ‘seventy times seven’ (Matt 18:21-22). Paul was forgiven of his sins even after killing christians and actively persecuting the church (1 Tim 1:16). As often as we truly repent, God is ready to forgive (Lk 17:4). It is quite possible to truly repent of something and then find yourself doing that same thing not minutes later. It happens in arguments all the time! You say something mean, apologize, then find yourself upset again, and again use rash words. The repeating of the cycle is not necessarily an indication of false sorrow.

However, the second part of your question deals with stopping this cycle. God will forgive you for stumbling again into the same sin, but only if you are truly attempting to change your mind. Paul reminds us that we are to do everything we can to flee from the slavery to sin (Rom 6:1-2, Rom 6:12-13). Without knowing what sin you are caught up in, I can’t give specific advice, but I recommend getting help if it is as consuming as you say. Many sins can become addictions that are very hard to break. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Are you trying to change all on your own? God says two are stronger than one (Eccl 4:9-10). In the case of sin like pornography, many people try and struggle through it alone without seeking help because of the shame involved in it becoming known. This rarely, if ever, works. Telling someone, even just one trusted friend, and using things like Covenant Eyes accountability software can make all the difference in such circumstances.
  2. Are you putting yourself in compromising situations? People with drug and alcohol addictions are often tempted back into their old habits by drinking buddies or parties where drugs are made available. You may need to cut off certain people and habits from your life in order to escape that sort of sin. Remember, Christ said it would be better to remove even your own hand if it would free you from a sin (Matt 5:30).

Removing sin from our lives is a constant struggle. God is ready to forgive you ‘seventy times seven’ as you fight to defeat this sin, but you must look yourself in the mirror and make sure you are taking the steps necessary to change your life.

Day 166 - 1 Thessalonians 5

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

5 minutes a day 5 days a week - a year of Bible Wisdom

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