Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How's Your Singing Sounding?

I mentioned the other day that I had been reading some outstanding books...  Two of my favorites have been, "Same Kind of Different As Me" and the follow up, "What Difference Do It Make?"  The first book is the story of a couple in Texas and a homeless man who became friends and the second book is what's happened since the first book was released.  The second book is full of some incredibly profound wisdom...

Here's just a nugget...  Denver, the once homeless man says to his friend Ron, "Mr. Ron, all these white folks be invitin us to their Bible studies.  How come none of 'em's invitin us to their Bible doins?"

Denver goes on, "I ain't sayin it ain't all right to study the Bible.  You got to study the Bible to know the rules of life.  But I notice a lotta folks doin more lookin at the Bible than doin what it says.  The book a' James says, don't just listen to what God has to say, do what He says.  And Jesus said God is gon' separate us, the sheep from the goats, based on what we did, not on how much we read."  (Just a note, he's not trying to say that works save us, just clearly making the point that works are evidence of true saving faith!)

And then he makes a great point...  "How we gon' know God for real, lookin' for Him in some kinda religion, in some kinda system?  I don't mean know about God...  I mean really, honest know who God is?"

Well, I LOVE God's perfect timing...  I've been in the book of Amos, in Scripture.  Amos was written during a time of great political rest and prosperity in Israel's history.  But sadly, their prosperity had caused them to forget their God, and they had turned to idolatry...  They were living wildly extravagant and indulgent lives and they were not caring for the poor.  Sound familiar?

So here is God's perfect timing, listen to what He says to them in Amos 5:21-24, "I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.  Even though you offer Me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them.  Take away from Me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.  But let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

Our worship, our works, all of our religiosity mean NOTHING to God if it's not seasoned with caring for those in need and living righteously.  We can do a million Bible studies, we can go to church every time the doors open, but if it's not transforming our hearts to care for those that God cares for, then we are so missing the point!

Many times I hear people pray at church that our worship would be a blessing to God, that's a good prayer, that's the point of worship, but something hit me really hard in those verses...  If we're not living as God wants us to live, our songs are just noise to Him...

And you know, I really think God is asking for more than just throwing a few dollars at something...  Justice and righteousness characterize who we are and how we live...not just what we give.  I've been so convicted lately that we need to do more than just give money to good causes...  We need to give ourselves to the people that those causes help.  Yes, the money is necessary, but lives are blessed and changed life on life...NOT money on life.

I think I need to start asking God daily, "Father, how's my singing sounding?"

1 comment:

Denise said...

I just finished this book and was boo hooing in my bed yesterday...and I was so convicted. I am not sure what to do with what I learned through reading it...but I know it is something. I have asked Jeff to read it too, so we can discuss it. Hugs to you friend for your constant inspiration~