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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

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I posted the following in another post. but thought, perhaps, it might make for an interesting discussion on its own.

"As I have been reading through the old posts herein, (this was in the Cloud Vs. Chappell topic) it gets me thinking: Even Lighthouse in San Diego, my old alma mater, as it were, has begun to allow some small amount of altered CCM into their music, an issue that greatly saddens me. I don't know how much, but I have heard it. And it gets me thinking, often the pastor himself takes a stand against such, but as a church grows into a massive size, the pastor cannot possibly be hands-on in every area as he ought to be, and has to entrust certain things to others. It is here that there enters the great danger of sneaking in this sort of music. I think that's what happened at Lighthouse, when a new music minister took over. 

All this makes me think that, maybe churches ought to consider, How big should a church become, before they begin to consider breaking into multiple assemblies, over just one church with thousands? Ultimately, the Pastor will answer for what has been allowed there, and if he can no longer have hands-on control, at least to a reasonable point, should that church, perhaps, become two churches? Or three? Ought we be in the business of building megachurches? The huge church in Jerusalem was never meant to remain that large, but they also had 12 leaders, 12 pastors, if you will, not one or two, and eventually it broke up into many scattered churches all over Asia and the middle east. 

So, should churches consider breaking up, rather than building huge monoliths, which history will tell us, ALWAYS eventually fall to error?"

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47 minutes ago, Ukulelemike said:

I posted the following in another post. but thought, perhaps, it might make for an interesting discussion on its own.

"As I have been reading through the old posts herein, (this was in the Cloud Vs. Chappell topic) it gets me thinking: Even Lighthouse in San Diego, my old alma mater, as it were, has begun to allow some small amount of altered CCM into their music, an issue that greatly saddens me. I don't know how much, but I have heard it. And it gets me thinking, often the pastor himself takes a stand against such, but as a church grows into a massive size, the pastor cannot possibly be hands-on in every area as he ought to be, and has to entrust certain things to others. It is here that there enters the great danger of sneaking in this sort of music. I think that's what happened at Lighthouse, when a new music minister took over. 

All this makes me think that, maybe churches ought to consider, How big should a church become, before they begin to consider breaking into multiple assemblies, over just one church with thousands? Ultimately, the Pastor will answer for what has been allowed there, and if he can no longer have hands-on control, at least to a reasonable point, should that church, perhaps, become two churches? Or three? Ought we be in the business of building megachurches? The huge church in Jerusalem was never meant to remain that large, but they also had 12 leaders, 12 pastors, if you will, not one or two, and eventually it broke up into many scattered churches all over Asia and the middle east. 

So, should churches consider breaking up, rather than building huge monoliths, which history will tell us, ALWAYS eventually fall to error?"

The church I grew up in went from having just under 300 people every Sunday to having over 2K people very Sunday in just a few short years. It brought in many new people and many new challenges that I don't believe the pastor was totally able to handle. Even the associate and assistant pastors couldn't really control a lot of what was going on at that point. Some CCM was being introduced in the youth department, and that was finally "nipped in the bud" by the associate pastor. That brought a lot of tension between the youth and associate pastor. The youth pastor finally left to take another church. The church purchased land to build a new sanctuary, but as other "challenges" popped up, and scandals began to show up in not only the congregation, but showing up in the paper and Christian school the church had started as well, the church decided to pass these problems on to other churches. The membership started to take a hit, many prominent members leaving for other, more contemporary churches. When my family moved to Ga from Illinois, the church was running only 600 people. that continued to dwindle down and is now between 100 and 200 people. I believe it would have been advantagous for our church to have started other churches instead of having so many people in the service. There were several men who were qualified to pastor, but our pastor didn't see the value in losing members to new plants. I've never liked the idea of mega-churches. There is always something lost when an elderly pastor tries to keep up with all that's going on in a huge church, even with associates and assistants.

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