3 Ways Psalms Helps Us to Combat Selfishness

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. —Psalm 136:1 KJV

Rather than expressing gratitude for the good gifts we have received from God, we often act as if we have a right to far more. We complain about the privileges God gives others and covet what belongs to them (compare James 4:1-3). The Psalms combat our bent toward selfishness by calling us to thank the Lord by…
  • Rehearsing what God has mercifully done for us (Ps. 107, 136).
  • Challenging us to express gratitude for what we have (Ps. 92:1)
  • Reminding us of the source of the source of our possessions (Ps. 104).
By illustrating the dangers of ingratitude, Psalm 106 urges us not to minimize the importance of offering God our heartfelt thanks. It reviews Israel’s history of faithlessness, from unbelief in Egypt to idolatry in the Promised Land. The psalm ends with a plea for God to save His people so that they will give him thanks. We can avoid great pain and loss in this life by thanking the One who gives us life and every good gift (James 1:17).

What practical ways do you combat your own selfishness?

Move Towards the Mess

Life is messy. Relationships are messy. People are messy. And God came for messy people. Jesus welcomed everyone, regardless of their mess. And as a church being the body of Jesus, we welcome everyone, regardless of how messy their lives are. At oneChurch.tv, everyone is accepted, because we believe the church is a place for messy people.

One thing that we all have in common—whether you're religious or Christian or some other religion—the thing we all have in common is life is just messy. The mess that brings us together, the thing that we have in common is actually the mess that brought God near. For God so loved the mess...

Don’t miss the point—Jesus didn’t walk away from the mess. He walked towards it. He walked away from religion and towards the mess. It seems like the messier people got in the Bible, the more Jesus embraced them—not ran away from them.

And because Jesus embraced them--made them belong--their beliefs and behaviors started to change. It is impossible to be around Jesus without changing. So everyone is welcome. Everyone is accepted. But growing people change. Hanging out with Jesus will change you from the inside out.

Life Is Better Connected

At oneChurch.tv, we believe that circles are better than rows. Why? Because just sitting in rows in a class or Sunday service is one-way communication. But when you sit in rows? You learn from other people through a conversation about God's Word. Lifechange takes place best in small groups, and we believe that people will grow further faster in community. So who are you doing life with? 
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:23-25
All of us want to be unswerving in our morals, beliefs, and convictions. But just wanting to be consistent isn't enough. We need people to come alongside us that will spur us on. Hold us accountable. Ask us tough questions. Encourage us. So who are you doing life with?

There is Always HOPE

A little bird was flying south for the winter, but the air became so cold that it began to freeze and could not get to a warmer climate. After some time, the little bird finally collapsed in a large field where a herd of cows were grazing. Eventually, a cow came by and dropped manure on the freezing bird. At first, the bird was very upset until it felt how warm the manure was. Before too long, it began to thaw out and became so excited that it started singing with joy.

A cat happened to be passing by and heard the bird’s joyful song. He followed it to the pile of manure and started digging until he discovered the little bird and promptly ate it.

There are a number of lessons we can learn from this story. First, not everybody who drops manure on you is your enemy. Second, not everybody who digs you out is your friend. Finally, when you’re in manure, keep your mouth shut.

If we live long enough, each one of us will find ourselves in a situation that seems much worse that we can bear. To follow the story line above, we’ll feel as though we are under a pile of manure. However, if our expectations are set on Jesus and His care, we will not stumble at the thought of going through a time of trial. In fact, we’ll have His hope to comfort us even in what appears to be a hopeless situation.

I love the illustration that we read in the book of Daniel 3 where it says, 
Nebuchadnezzar commanded certain valiant warriors who were in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in order to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire.

Daniel 3:20

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were in a bad situation. It doesn’t get much worse than being thrown into a fiery furnace – except for being thrown in all tied up! However, these three young men put their faith in God and gained a tremendous victory. We read...

“Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he said to his high officials, ‘Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?’ They replied to the king, ‘Certainly, O king.’ He said, ‘Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.  
Daniel 3:24-25

God honored these three young men’s faith by delivering them from the furnace, even while they were still in the furnace. He will do the same for you when you live as a faith-walker, rather than as a faith-talker.

Friend, the message of God’s word does not automatically and immediately change all of life’s negative realities. Christians still face the same troubles of life as anyone else (see John 16:33). What God does provide, however, is a sustaining hope. God is aware of your plight and is working on your behalf for good. No matter how dark the situation is, keep the faith because ultimately it will keep you. If you are still stuck deep in a pit, look for the lifeline that God uses to send you what you need to sustain you as you wait on your breakthrough. He is Jehovah Jireh – My God who Shall Supply All My Needs.

And when the day comes for your victory, praise Him. Praise Him because He saw you through what seemed like a hopeless situation. Scripture tells us that Abraham was in a hopeless situation – that he and his wife were past the age of bearing children but that God had promised him an heir. So we read that, “Against all hope, Abraham – in hope – believed” (Romans 4:18). Abraham saw the fruit of his belief in his son.

You, too, will see the fruit of your belief – either in this world or in the next. It is a promise from a God who says that “those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:23).

Put your hope in God today, friend. He sees you. He knows you. He loves you. And He will deliver you - He will deliver us - when we trust Him.

Are you saying your better than Jesus?

At oneChurch.tv, we believe that we don't exist for us, but we exist for the world. Saved people serve people!! That is why we encourage everyone to join a team at oneChurch.tv. Why? Because Jesus modeled it. Jesus said in Mark 10:45, 
"The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 
Mark 10:45 
If Jesus served everyone and He is the Son of God? When we choose NOT to serve, we are saying that we are better than Jesus. So where are you serving? The guy in the picture--CJ--he serves Jesus and others by creating a fun and safe environment for our children. So where do you serve? Click HERE to Join a Team at oneChurch.tv!!

Anything Short of Sin...

One of oneChurch.tv's core values is "We will do anything short of sin to reach people for Jesus." And we mean that--ANYTHING!! To reach people no one is reaching, we’ll do things no one is doing.

I like what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:22-23...
... I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Here is the same verse from one of my favorite Bible--the Living Bible.
When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.

So we're willing to become all things to reach some. We try to find common ground with people--just like what Paul did in Acts 17. 

That's why our church does stuff like Trunk or Treat's or other things. We don't care what our culture says Halloween is--if it's an opportunity that we can serve our community and be an environment where people can be around church goers and realize that we're not THAT weird? That's a win. We want to create places where the unchurched and dechurched can come and take a second look at God at His church. Reaching people for Jesus may sometimes require doing that which is unconventional!

Anyone who has attended services at oneChurch.tv has heard secular music, seen crazy videos or even been asked to download an app on their phone to participate in the service. These methods have been questioned throughout the years, but the fact remains that these techniques are reaching those who do not know Jesus. As a church, we agree to do what it takes to reach people, even if it opens up criticism from some factions. There is simply too much at stake to not exhaust every opportunity to reach someone for Christ!

Jesus ate with sinners. He was willing to even ruin His reputation with religious people so those far from God could get to know Jesus! So what are some ways you can get more involved in the lives of people who are far from Christ?

Easy & Accessible

Recently, I was walking in downtown Nashville, and I saw a fire escape.
I have seen fire escapes like this one before in NYC, but it reminded me of the church, and here's why. For people who have never been to church, don't know the stories, don't know how to read the Bible or where to begin. The church feels a lot like a fire escape ladder that doesn't go all the way to the ground. 

Unchurched people stand on the street looking up, wishing they could relate to God and relate to other Christians, but the rungs have been removed. Sometimes intentionally. Sometimes unintentionally. 

Jesus was the master at making a relationship with God easy and accessible to everyone. We should as well.  The Gospel should be easy and accessible to everyone.
Let that sink in. Acts 15:19 hangs in my office, and it says...
“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.”
Acts 15:19 (NIV)

There’s an observation! “I got an idea—let’s don’t make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God! Hey guys, let’s not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God! 
Let’s just tell them that they don’t have to keep that whole law (that we actually didn’t keep that well anyway!), and let’s make it easy and accessible so that everyone who is turning to God don’t have to have surgery!” That is what the early church wanted to require--circumcision. Don't believe me?
The Pharisees who had turned to God said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses.” 
Acts 15:5 (NIV)

 Surgery? Really? That is a pretty high standard for salvation?  The new members class were all women! And when you filled out the card to join the church, “Name. address. Date of Birth. Date of Circumcision? I will just have to pray about this some more.” These Jewish guys said, “If you are going to be a Christian, you have to have an operation!” It’s in the Bible!
We laugh at that and think in our Western mindset, “How silly! To tell somebody, ‘You have to have a physical operation to become a Christian.’” They were just as serious as they could be. They tell Paul, “You need to go back and tell those Gentiles that think they’re going to heaven when they die, ‘They have to have surgery before they die or they’re not going to heaven’. It is part of Jewish tradition.” 
That is why I love Acts 15:19 so much...
“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.”
Acts 15:19 (NIV)
What could be more obvious than that? The essence of the Gospel—“I have come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
That’s Jesus’ way of saying this: “I am making it so easy and accessible to everyone that everybody­ can get on board. I want the rungs so low on the ladder that a guy like Zaccheus—who has no clue—could get on board. For a woman who not only had a reputation, but was caught in the act of adultery could get on board. That children could get on board. That the worst possible sinner like Matthew the tax collector—could not only get on board with this, but, “I am going to let him write a book in the Bible. We’re going to call it… Matthew!”
So the decide “Let’s skip the law and the circumcision thing and confirm the fact that God has accepted them just like He has accepted us.”
         James said, “Okay guys, we have to keep this easy and accessible.” You don’t have to become Jewish to become a Christian. It has to be easy and accessible. We don’t have to follow the law or offer sacrifices. Easy and accessible. We just have to put our faith in a risen Jesus! Easy and accessible. Because if we don’t make the Gospel easy and accessible, we’re testing God. If we don’t make the Gospel easy and accessible, we are working against God. If we don’t keep the Gospel easy and accessible, we’re actually working against the God that we worship and say that we love. Easy and accessible.
And then a strange thing happened. 100 years later, back to where they began. 100 years later, they made it complicated again. 300 years later, it was really, REALLY complicated—you couldn’t get on board with the local church if your life depended on it. And then in the year 1095, when the Pope says, “Hey, let’s don’t reach people—let’s just kill them! Let’s put together an army, we’re going to go back into Israel and retake Jerusalem, and let’s slaughter everybody we can along the way—including Jews!”  the church leaders decided, “Hey, let’s don’t win people—let’s just kill them!” Time out! Where was that part! It isn’t in there! This isn’t about reaching people, but about conquering people and keeping people out! We continually build walls instead of bridges. We continually put up security lights instead of search lights. 
And in the 1490’s, the Spanish Inquisition happened. They threw all of the Jews out of Spain in the name of Jesus. They said, “Let’s purify the church. Let’s don’t reach people, let’s just kill all of the people who don’t go along with the way we think you ought to do it. If you didn’t cook your food a certain way or didn’t show up to church on holidays, we’ll torture you until you tell us you had some secret cult thing going on.” And tens of thousands of people were killed—by the church in the name of Jesus! What was that? 
The church and its leaders refused to have God’s Word translated into everyday language. You know why? That would be too easy. That would be too accessible. So when people started translating the Latin Bible into an everyday language that everyone could read, do you know how the church responded? They killed the people responsible! That’s right! They strangled and burned a guy at the stake by the name of Tyndale, because he took it from the Latin and translated it into English—Tyndale made reading the Bible accessible. And he made it easy.
Martin Luther came along. He said, “Let’s make it really simple. Let’s make it really accessible. It is by faith alone!” There was almost a war over the idea of faith alone. People flocked to that message, because there were people on the outside looking into the Catholic tradition and high-church tradition who couldn’t read Latin and who couldn’t sing Gregorian Chant. Millions of people gathered around Luther’s message—by faith alone. The Protestant church was born. But 100 years later, it was complicated again. All of the Protestants split up.
Now, all of these denominations fight over who’s right and who baptizes the right way and who understands Revelation—all the while people outside of our churches scratch their head and say, “I want to know God. I want to learn about Him. But every time I show up at your church, you guys already have it figured out. But I wasn’t raised that way. I don’t understand.” For some reason, the natural tendency is for the church to complicate it and to make it difficult for people who are turning to God.
The church wants to say, “It can’t be quite that easy, because you’ve got to do, and you gotta go, and you gotta jump higher, and you can’t be involved in that.” And before long, without really meaning to—nobody does this on purpose—we’re taking out the bottom rungs again! And we make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God! And we’re the church!
A few years ago when we started all of this, we had one thing in mind—we’re going to make it easy and accessible. Here at oneChurch, we’re committed to keeping it easy and accessible for everyone. Because you know what we believe? We believe that Jesus came not for religious people—we believe Jesus came for everybody! We don’t think the church is for churched people—we think the church is for everybody! Do you know why we think the church is for everybody? Because we think everybody needs to be forgiven! I do! Everybody is going to face a crisis in life and want to know, “Does God really care about me?” Most people would love to be able to pick up a Bible and for it to make sense to them.
So we made a commitment—we’re going to keep it Easy and Accessible. No matter how much it costs—easy and accessible. We’re committed to that. So when a guy or a girl who knows nothing about the Bible and Jesus shows up, they can say, “Okay… I can’t find Genesis, but boy, did I find a place where I can connect. Chris, I didn’t understand all of that stuff you said, but my children sure do like it here! I didn’t have any friends, but I got into a small group, and we started talking about marriage."
Because the church is for everybody, because everybody matters to God! 

Reaching People, Not Keeping People

Did you know that 88% of people in Clarksville don't go to church? That's 9 out of 10 people, or 125,274 people. Every Sunday in Clarksville, 125,274 people stay at home and do not attend church.
9 out of 10. Yet Jesus told a story in Luke 15 in which the Good Shepherd left the 99 found sheep to search after the 1 lost sheep. Here in Clarksville? the ratio is 12 found and 88 who are far from God.
As churches, let's stop fighting over the 12% and actually reach our community by engaging people who don't know God or go to church.
Over the past 9 years, oneChurch.tv.tv has reached over 8,600 people come to oneChurch.tv, and we have baptized 591 people!! Clarksville is at the crossroads of the world, and churches have the potential to influence soldiers and their families who are here but for a short time and then get launched all over the world!!
So are you reaching people, or just content on keeping people?
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