Are We Bibliolaters?

I remember talking to a pastor several years ago about the centrality of the Word of God in the
Christian's life and in the church's worship.  Apparently, I spoke too highly of God's Word (is that possible?) to the point that he cautioned me to be careful that I don't become a bibliolater - that is, a Bible worshiper.  Ever since then I've wondered if it was possible to over-emphasize the Bible and to indeed become a worshiper of the Word of God instead of the God of the Word.

Jim Shaddix, in his book, The Passion Driven Sermon, has gone TO the Word of God to help alleviate my fears.  His explanation is so very helpful.

...the Bible makes little distinction between God and His Word when it comes to the praise offered by His people. In recent years, some Christians have become concerned that the renewed emphasis on biblical authority would lead to bibliolatry, or the worship of the Bible. But based upon His Word, God probably isn’t nearly as concerned about that possibility as we have become. The psalmist said:

In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust
Psalm 56:4
In God (I will praise His word), In the LORD (I will praise His word)
Psalm 56:10
My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments, Which I love, and I will meditate on Your statues
Psalm 119:48
My flesh trembles for fear of You, And I am afraid of Your judgments
Psalm 119:120

and maybe most astounding of all,

I will worship toward Your holy temple,And praise Your name
For You have magnified Your word above all Your name
Psalm 138:2

These are just a few of the many examples of how Scripture makes little distinction between God and His Word (see also Psalm 119:9-11, 49-50, 97-98, 123, 137-144; 130:5-6). When we praise His Word, we are praising Him. So when His voice is magnified in the sermon, God draws people to Himself. Oh, how we need to reclaim the role of Scripture reading and expository preaching in corporate worship, and how we need to revere God’s Word with praise when it is proclaimed!
(emphasis added)


Christmas Band Concert

In conjunction with my son and daughter's recent Christmas concert, I'm posting the audio to four songs from my own Jr. High Band Concert from the mid 80's under the direction of Ed Grissom.

Santa's Toyshop

My Two Front Teeth

Sleigh Ride

What Child is This?

And here is one of the songs from my son's High School Band Concert. You can view more on the same YouTube channel.
And one of my daughter's songs from the Middle School Band.


But Jesus...

A helpful summary of sin and the saving power of Jesus over it.
  • Sin means we were doomed to die. But Jesus died to give us eternal life. “[He] died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him” (1 Thessalonians 5:10). 
  • Sin means we were cursed. But Jesus became cursed to make us blessed. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). 
  • Sin means we were shamed. But Jesus endured the shame of the cross to give us honor. “He has now reconciled [you] in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him” (Colossians 1:22). 
  • Sin means we were guilty. But Jesus was condemned and punished so we could be declared not guilty, “canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). 
  • Sin means we were enemies of God and deserving of his anger. But Jesus deflected that wrath onto himself to give us God’s favor. “While we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10). 
  • Sin means we were shut out from fellowship with God. But Jesus died alone on the cross so we might never be lonely again. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). 
  • Sin means we had no hope of lasting happiness. But Jesus suffered sadness to give us eternal joy. “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). 


God Will Watch Your Soap Opera

"The great danger of biblical discipleship is that we should have two religions:

a glorious, biblical Sunday gospel that sets us free from the world, that the cross and resurrection of Christ makes us eternity alive within us, a magnificent gospel of Genesis and Romans and Revelation;

and, then, an everyday religion that we make do with during the week between the time of leaving the world and arriving in heaven.
We have the Sunday gospel for the big crises of existence.
For the mundane trivialities-
the times when our foot slips on a loose stone,
or the heat of the sun gets too much for us,
or the influence of the moon gets us down –

we use the everyday religion of the Reader’s Digest reprint,
advice from a friend,
an Ann Landers column,
the huckstered wisdom of a talk-show celebrity.
We practice patent-medicine religion.

We know that God created the universe and has accomplished our eternal salvation. But we can’t believe that he condescends to watch the soap opera of our daily trials and tribulations; so we purchase our own remedies for that. To ask him to deal with what troubles us each day is like asking a famous surgeon to put iodine on a scratch.

But Psalm 121 says that the same faith that works in the big things works in the little things."

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Eugene Peterson (Page 44)


10 Biblical Reasons for Ministry to Children

I read recently some stats that said the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 was $152,790.00!*
That's  $8488.00 each year.
$707.00 each month.
$23.20 each day.
That's about a buck an hour. 

So what about the cost, or rather, the value, of raising a child spiritually? To use that famous credit card commercial slogan: Priceless.

Below are 10 simple and (I trust) biblical reasons why we should minister to children both in the home and in the church.

  1. All children are sinners in need of a Savior. 
    • Romans 3:23 
    • Ephesians 2:1-3
    • Psalm 51:5
  2. The Savior loves children. 
    • Matthew 19:13-15 
    • Mark 10:13-16 
    • Luke 18:15-17 3.
  3. Children cannot be saved without the Gospel. 
    • Romans 1:16 
    • Romans 10:13-17
  4. You are most like Jesus when you are serving and blessing children. 
    • Matthew 19:13-15 
    • Mark 10:13-16 
    • Luke 18:15-17 
  5. Teaching children teaches us. 
    • You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? (Romans 2:21 ESV) 
    • Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 3:1 ESV) 
  6. Children are a reward to be received and arrows to be released.
    • Psalm 127:3-4
  7. Children are fruit to be reproduced. 
    • Psalm 128:3
  8. Children will live more fulfilled lives. 
    • Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Ephesians 6:1-3 ESV
  9. Children are tomorrow’s Church. 
    • We have a measure of responsibility to train spiritual leaders beyond our time on earth. 
    • This demands we participate in ministry for reasons above & beyond ourselves. 
    • It’s not about us. It’s really not even about the children. It’s about the glory of God displayed through His body, the Church, until He returns for His bride.
  10. When we serve children, God is our reward!
    • And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me."  (Mark 9:36-37 ESV)
*2010 figures