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July 2020

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Hmmm, while I have to confess I do love a strong rock beat with the best of them, when it comes to "Christian" music, I think it's pointless to call it such if it doesn't then truly edify God. My problem with 2/3 of what's termed CCM music out there today is that much of it has become so worldly there's little difference - many of the lyrics could just as easily be secularly aimed as Christian with double meanings about love etc, and then there are the downright diabolical bands (to me) like Stryper and some other extremely heavy metal rock bands that I truly seriously and categorically do NOT think should ever be classed as Christian - firstly their music is so noisy you couldn't enjoy it unless you're semi-deaf, and secondly I've yet to be able to make out a full sentence in some of the lyrics, and usually if I do manage to do so, I find they're singing about cars, or drugs or some other secular/worldly topic with the odd "Jesus" maybe thrown in which is presumably what classifies it as Christian for some reason. A fair few years ago I heard a song by a group on an album Salvation Singing which I think was primarily Australian or else the group itself was - they'd come up with a song titled "Yay God", and it had a superb rock beat to it that I totally fell in love with initially, but the lyrics were primarily "Yay God" repeated over and over like a permanent chorus. It worked well in some respects, but I remember thinking - if I was to come face to face with God today would I EVER be likely to walk up to him and go "Yay God, how'ya doing man"!! You get my drift. I then watched a video about Christian rock that pretty much finished it for me, and I now listen to at least the gentler side of CCM music (Third Day, Jars of Clay etc), but even my 'hero' Michael W Smith has veered off at times into more secular music, so I figure the best attitude is to recognise that I can enjoy music for its own sake, and not get too strung up about it, BUT if I desire to use it to worship God, then it absolutely has to have lyrics that speak about HIM, not my relationship with Him, which is where so many get it wrong. The good old fashioned hymn writers had it right more times than not, and I think sometimes we need to be more careful in not being so much a part of the world, we're no longer distinguishable from it! :)).

In this chapter, Paul asks us to live to please the Lord. We should not be impure, but holy. We need to try to ignore the evil temptations, and do what is right and holy. This passage made me remember, Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Jeremiah 17:5-8 is the part that stood out the most. God has two main points here: 1.) People who trust in man will be cursed and 2.) People who trust in God will be blessed. God says that people who depend on flesh will be like "a bush in the wastelands". And people who depend on God will be like "a tree planted by the water". This shows that we really do need God to prosper and thrive like the tree. With him, we will not need to worry when bad things come our way. But if we don't follow God, we will end up like that dried bush. (Not a very good way to go.)

God tells us to live in a way that pleases God, and if we don't (including having sinful thoughts and actions), we disobey God and are rejecting him. We do not need to be sad about people who die if they die with Christ, because they are in a better place with God. Also, we should not just rest because the day of the Lord is coming sooner.

I like the comment about the sabbath and it just so happens that it’s the fourth commandment. The Lord said remember the sabbath to keep it holy, six days you should work but the seventh is for rest. Since it’s a commandment like the other nine why aren’t churches teaching Christians this and are keeping only nine of the commandments but not the sabbath?

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

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