Real Life Application (Die to self, put God first)

By Steven Shaw 

I’m going to start this with a disclaimer:  life application from the Bible is important. Seeing how it all relates to our lives in a personal way (like at the end of a sermon) is much needed, but…

It’s a little concerning when that’s the drive for your entire walk with Christ. Too many of us are living life, only to try and figure out how to make it the best we can for ourselves. We’re not asking, What can glorify Jesus more? or How can we help others more? but How can I be the best person I can?” The thing is, you’re not a good person, neither am I. Apart from Christ, we are dead sinners. With Christ, we are His righteous servants, but we are still servants. Therefore we need to be praying to God daily, “Lord, use me today. May it be to me as You would have it be. Help me deny myself and live for You today.” With this plea “life application” falls into place.

When you focus on building your character on Jesus, then you won’t have as much trouble figuring out, “How do I apply this to my life?” This begins by diving into His word every day and through repentance: washing yourself every day with the blood of the Lamb. Jesus often spoke in parables and that was His way of making it “life application” for his followers at that time. His main point: Live for Him and die to self. It’s over two thousand years later, its time to catch on.

So here’s your life application from this blog: Get over yourself and get under the cross. Stop asking “How do I apply this to MY life” and instead ask, “How can I use this knowledge to glorify God more? How and where can I serve more to help grow the kingdom of God? Where do I need to work on getting over myself and more giving of myself?”

These are my convictions for the church and each follower of Christ in it. Let’s be a people who lift up Jesus’ name, who think about the people around us first and who give of ourselves in every way. Now, I’m not saying it is easy. This is a day to day, moment to moment battle because it’s a fight against our nature. So you need to start your day off right and bury your head in the Bible. Pray for more than just your self and your own blessings. Do this and begin to see your fulfillment, your satisfaction, and your life application found centered in Christ.

Closing.

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and his glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @fitbeard @fitcore @theshaws

 

 

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Music in Church (Proper Gospel)

By Steven Shaw 

My name is Steven Shaw. I lead musical worship with my wife Lauren Shaw. Our heart and passions are glorifying God through music and doing music well. We have been writing and rewriting worship songs for many years together.

I want to stress the importance of proper music in the church. Not all “good” songs are good for corporate worship. Some can actually be a hindrance to the congregation. As a music leader at church, you have a responsibility to deliver God’s message through music. Not focusing so much on “our” experience, but giving people something to sing all week. We sing to praise His name, absolutely, but also to suffer for Christ and glorify Him through it.

Sometimes we can give the wrong message (specifically to guests or non-believers), either through the songs or the sermon, that following Jesus is always warm and fuzzy. If people walk away thinking that way, then when they go through a difficult time of life, or “storm,” they’re faith will suffer because it was based on shallow truths. They will cry out, “I thought Jesus loved me?” and may turn away from Him because they lack categories for suffering or attack. Providing good, theologically rich and accurate music allows people to go through that same storm and be able to sing out words like “When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see Him there who made an end to all my sin”. That makes a difference. That’s the kind of stuff that helps you trust God’s power to work through you in all circumstances. Giving people a real view of God and His glorious attributes through music is a huge responsibility.

If our lives are supposed to be truly and completely reliant on Christ then why should our church “worship” be any less? There are plenty of great songs that are wonderful for a believer to sing in the car or at home and may facilitate a great, worshipful experience, but that doesn’t mean the song is right for the church body. It’s like a pastor getting up to deliver his sermon and all he says over and over again is: “God is so great, wonderful and strong. I love Him so much. He is so good. His name is powerful. He is awesome”. Now each statement is true, but you’re not teaching anyone anything. Those that know all that to be true can say, “Amen!” and may get excited by those words. However, what about the rest of the people who don’t know God on that level? They need to know why God is all those things. Why and how He is merciful and gracious. Why Jesus is enough even in the times of suffering. When those things are taught, then God’s bigness is more fully understood and our wretchedness is in proper perspective.

We have no power, righteousness, goodness, holiness, humbleness, etc. apart from Christ. We are to be fully running after and seeking Jesus every day. Dying to ourselves is a moment-by-moment thing. Music that only says, “Jesus is my boyfriend” doesn’t help us do that. It hinders are awe, by making God’s glory so small. These songs may have their place in your headphones, but not in the church.

I hope to help those who seek to make God’s glory known in a bigger way through their music. If that’s you, please contact me with any questions or insight you have because I don’t claim to have it all figured out. However, I am convicted on this topic: It’s time to place substance back in our musical worship.

Closing.

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @fitbeard @fitcore @theshaws