Why is praise so important? Why is it a consistent feature of almost every prayer? Does God need it? No. God’s ego is not so fragile that God needs our constant praise and support. But God knows we need to praise God in order to keep our focus centered on God. We need to remember who God is and how God acts prior to our asking God for anything.
After the masses abandon Jesus because of his “hard” teaching, Jesus turns to his twelve disciples and offers one of the most touching, heartbreaking, and haunting questions of his life: “Do you also wish to go away?” What do you do when Jesus’ teaching is hard to understand? Can you love the God you don’t understand?
The current craze in contemporary spiritual literature is to embrace a Churchless Christianity. I realize that this is often done out of frustration. But the church that Christ loves is not a supermodel, but rather, a flawed and broken bride. Like Christ, we must regain a love for the church as it really is – warts and all – and not as we imagine it should be.
Many view ministers as nothing but effeminate and incompetent individuals, sniveling wimps who are unable to hold down a “real job.” But according to Paul, ministers are action heroes. Paul offers three examples of faithful ministry: A faithful minister must be like a single-minded soldier, a self-disciplined and law-abiding athlete, and a hard-working farmer.