This Week and Beyond...
Good day everyone!! Just sitting here pondering my thankfulness for each and everyone of you today. Each of you bring a unique flavour and gift to Calvary Chapel and I'm so blessed to be called to serve alongside of you.
I'm encouraged by your faithfulness, desire to give back to God the gifts that he has so clearly given you, and your joy in singing, playing, and leading the congregation in music. Keep pressing on!!
As per other weeks, let me encourage you to be in prayer!
- for each other
- for the leadership of the music, service, and preaching
- for the Holy Spirit to be ever present in our meetings
- for much fruit to come out of our times together
- children's choir and our Easter celebration
Island Breeze!! Just a quick note to let you know Darian will be playing bass for Island Breeze at Calvary tomorrow night (Thursday, March 23rd @ 7pm). If you enjoy praise and worship, I'm sure the youth won't mind you standing at the back and taking it all in.
PLEASE READ DEVOTIONAL... :)
Inciting a Riot
by Tom Kraeuter, Hillsboro, Missouri
"And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying, 'The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression...' Please pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now." (Numbers 14:17-19).
These words of Moses are amazing. God had just -- once again -- threatened to wipe out the Israelites and start over by making a new nation from Moses. This was immediately after the twelve spies had returned from the Promised Land and gave their report. In the minds of the people, the ten bad reports apparently overwhelmed the two good ones. The people believed the ten naysayers causing rumblings of a mutiny to be heard throughout the camp. God was rightly displeased with His chosen people.
Keep in mind that this was after they had seen the Lord emasculate the nation of Egypt through fierce and deadly plagues. It was also after they had witnessed the parting of the Red Sea and the annihilation of the most powerful army on earth. It was even after the incident with the golden calf, when God clearly displayed His anger, yet relented when Moses stood up for the people.
So here they were, just a short time later, again rebelling against Moses, wanting to elect a new leader: "And they said to one another, 'Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt'" (Numbers 14:4). Yet in the midst of their consistent rebellion, Moses again interceded on their behalf. "Lord, do what You promised," Moses said, "demonstrate Your great mercy to Your people and forgive their sin." What an amazing reaction!
As I travel, I regularly hear those who are involved in worship ministry talking about people in their congregations. Most of the time those comments are pretty negative. Sometimes they are quite minor: "Someone mentioned they didn't like the new song we did last week." Other times are much stronger: "Those people are so lazy. They never really worship. They just stand there looking at us. It's disgusting."
I wonder what would have happened if Moses had spoken like that to Aaron in their non-public moments. If he had, do you think he would have been able to stand up for them when it came to the real crunch time? I don't think so.
If you read the whole story of the Israelites leaving Egypt and entering the Promised Land, it is obvious that Moses valued the people the Lord had placed him over. Again and again he defended them even at the possible expense of his own life. It seems obvious that he could not do that publicly while privately mumbling about them over and over.
Several years ago the administrator of our Christian school confronted the father of a student at the school. The student, although only in junior high, repeatedly said negative things about the staff and policies of the school. The father defended his child by emphatically stating the kid was correct in making such assessments. The administrator turned the conversation, however, by asking where the father thought the student might have acquired those ideas in the first place. The father was silent because he knew it was from conversations overheard at home.
I don't mean to meddle, but how do you talk about the people in your congregation? As one involved in the ministry of worship in the church, your words carry a lot of weight with others. The things you say about the people in your church will impact how others see those people. Don't be guilty of inciting a riot, even inadvertently.
Are you like Moses, always valuing and standing up for the people, or do you grumble and complain about them? Which do you think would be more pleasing to God?
1. Speculate for a moment: What do you think might have happened if Moses had spoken negatively about the people in private?
2. How do you talk about the people in your congregation in your private conversations? What about conversations that are less private?
3. Talk together about the things you appreciate about the people in your church.