Get Over Yourself and Under the Cross

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 our 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. Instead we should be living for what can glorify Jesus more? or “How can we help others see Jesus more?” Simply living to try and be a good person is not what the Christian is called to. 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 Jesus. 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. This is something I missed for most of my life. And when I finally began to meet God in His word and started to behold His glory, that’s what changed me.

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 this is easy and I struggle with it all the time. This is a day to day, moment to moment battle because it’s a fight against our nature. So we need to start our day off right and bury our 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 good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith 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 StevenShaw.co

www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @stevenshaw.co @fitcore @theshaws

 

 

 

 

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What is Congregational Worship?

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, I 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 as they go on each day living as Christ has instructed. We sing for the praising of His name, we sing for the suffering, we sing to bring peace, comfort and joy, but most importantly, we sing to make much of God.

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 truth that helps us trust God’s power to work through and 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 His name is 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 much. 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. Hence, our need for a Savior names Jesus because we believe He is the only one that can truly save us.

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 our 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 congregational 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”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith 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 StevenShaw.co

www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @stevenshaw.co @fitcore @theshaws