Dressing up for Prom and dressing down for Worship Part 2

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Dressing Up for Prom and dressing down for worship!

 

Part 2

 

 

Today many feel it is better to dress down for worship so everyone will be comfortable. They think that this will put everyone at ease? But if you are attending a Sweetheart Dance, Prom or Fashion Show or celebrating Valentine’s Day it’s proper etiquette to dress up. When Christmas or Resurrection Day/Easter rolls around you can dress up if you like as well.  You want to look nice for those pictures with Santa or the Easter Bunny. However you still might get a few stares if you come to worship looking like you are wearing your tithes and offerings!
 

A little humor is always good! But we need to seriously take a look at just how blurred the lines are. I see the trend. But what or who do we give more honor to. God wants to be a part of every area of our lives!

 

Worship adoration, devotion and praise are important. We ought to worship and praise our Lord daily. Imagine if every believer really did. What a grand marvelous time we would have whenever we all got together! Sunday is important! CHRISTmas is important! Resurrection Day is important! Each day is important because it may be your last! Honoring God is important. Worship is a time for reflecting upon all that the Lord has done for us. Jesus Christ’s sinless life, crucifixion, death & resurrection are all very important.  

Every time we come to together it really is important to worship the Lord! You can do this sitting or standing. Quietly or in Forte` mode! There needs to be a balance. Sunday Worship really is the ultimate Red Carpet Affair! Jesus Christ shed HIS precious SINLESS BLOOD and atoned for the sins of the whole world! WOW! Without HIM becoming the Ultimate Holy Sacrifice; none of us would be able to enter into Heaven. There is cleansing POWER in the BLOOD! What is more important than that?

 

How important is it to dress for worship? Some are even subconsciously encouraged to dress down thinking this means that they will have more money to give for the offering? God can and will supply All that is needed. The CHURCH needs to trust GOD more…

 

Whatever happened to proper etiquette or being well groomed? Just because? We have thrown it out the window and replaced it with “dress down.” It is the new way to express you. To show that you are humble? Or is it just plain laziness? Or is it conforming to the world’s standards? Here is the dilemma it is hard to tell sometimes where am I?  Am I in worship or am I on a cruise or at the park? No I do not have Alzheimer’s; if I did it wouldn’t matter!

 

God truly is the Great “I AM!” God is The Most High God above Him is no other. Worship is about us recognizing Him as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! When you leave worship you should leave knowing more about HIM & HIS WORD!  The Word teaches us; “Do not conform any longer 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.” Romans 12. So why have we; God’s Church begun to conform to the dress standards of the world?

 

When we dress up we look like we are material right? Well clothes are made out of material. Just because you have on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt does not mean that you are any less material!  Have you seen the price of some of these jeans and tennis shoes & T shirts? It does not matter how much you did or did not pay for it. You can be quite material and have nothing…

You have the freedom to dress however it is you want, when and where you go. My question is what is your priority? We must really begin to think on a much deeper level.

 

Did you know that children behave better when they are dressed? Taking the time to dress them tells them you care. If it is just in a T shirt let it be neat and tidy.  At the park let them at least go in clean if they come out dirty fine… When my children were young I took them everywhere I went. I made sure that they were well fed, well dressed, loved and well attended. We as a family attended Worship during the week and on most Sunday’s all day long, all year long. They were well behaved, polite and respectful. They had plenty opportunity to run and play in the back yard freely once they got home and put on their play clothes. Children actually feel better about themselves when they know you give them TLC as well!  Even they know innately that when you are in certain attire you need to stop fooling around and pay more attention. There is a time and place for everything.

 

I know when you are dressed up it means that you are too cute to worship? However that only applies to certain people. Lord Help us! Absolutely Not!

 

Notice how the Royal family in England is always fit for the occasion. Even when they dress down  they properly present themselves. Unless you catch them under the privacy of their own residences under a camera you will not see them dressed scantly or inappropriately. In their private residences they should have the freedom and privacy to walk around as they please even if it’s nude. How would anyone know unless they infringed upon their privacy rights. Remember Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. (Once they sinned God made them coats of fur skins…) The point is there is a proper time to dress or undress. Modesty is good. We can learn a thing or two from them. Well, guess what nothing or no one is more important than GOD! Through Jesus Christ we are a part of The Most High God’s Royal Family!

 

It is hard for me to believe that Solomon via God’s instructions built that first magnificent Temple for seven long years;  then said dress down or wear your sweats. Or your most comfortable clothes. Notice how detailed the temple and its contents are described in the Word. I do not think in its entire splendor that the people came dressed like “ragamuffins” when they came to worship!

 

We have missed the point!

 

When slavery was prominent in America the slaves even knew that on Sunday or during worship that they dressed up and presented themselves in proper attire. It was a time to leave the tasks and hardships of slavery, lay them aside momentarily and focus on worshipping the Lord! They honored the Lord above their slave master, pastor and everything else. Even if they did not have shoes they took the time to clean up well and present themselves in their best attire!   The African American/Colored worship services in general continues to encourage dressing up to a degree in your better attire. Some of the long standing traditional congregations throughout the world also elect to make a conscious effort to present themselves to the Lord in a certain manner. Some opt to dress down in the warmer months; however I believe that one should still dress no less than they do for any special occasion, work or school. Despite how others chose to present themselves my mother was keen on proper etiquette. As people of color I was taught to recognize that as a lady it’s important to present yourself in proper dress attire wherever you are!

I realize that we differ as to what is perceived as to what or whom is proper. For many this will change as to what is going on in or about worship on a particular day. Or until someone decides we need to do something different just because? Think about it? Was this true (200) two hundred years ago?

Always remember that God’s Church is the people not the building. His Church is a collective body of all colors and cultures all over the world. We who have accepted Christ Jesus into our hearts as Savior & Lord are His True Church. We are to daily seek His Will & His Way and embrace and live out the principles of His Word. What is most important that we represent Him in a way that is pleasing in his sight wherever we are.

 

 

Revelation gives us an excellent visual of the “New Jerusalem”   the Holy City in Heaven. It is fabulously splendid. It is absolutely Awesome, so much so that the streets are paved with translucent gold. The walls are made of fine gemstones of sapphire, emeralds, sardonyx, chalcedony, jasper and…   The twelve gates are made of a fine single humongous pearl! WOW!   Think about it! Hmm just does not seem to me that throwing on a wrinkled T shirt and a pair of old baggy jeans, skirt or leggings would be appropriate!   No wonder why the ambiance in worship has drastically changed right along with the dress code! However, there is an unspoken code. It means if you are in the in crowd you can pretty much as you please and no one will take offense.   Many do not respect the sacredness of worship anymore.

 

They are now trying to pass laws so that it’s okay if you have a gun license you can come to worship packing a gun! This further shows that you can prepare to expect just about anything. Just maybe this is also why we are having all these random shootings everywhere. Nothing is sacred to anyone!

 

Foreign countries uphold a better standard for worship than we do here in the United States. For example when we visited Vatican City in Rome we were told that in order to enter St. Peter’s Basilica the women needed to be covered properly and would not be able to enter unless they were properly attired! They maintain a standard that one must at least be presentable.  After all is not the Church the Bride of Christ! Ponder and think about that for a moment! Would you dress up if you were meeting the President?

 

Ponder this for a moment. You are welcome to disagree. I know it’s because I am a child of the 50’s! Everyone wore a tie and dressed up for most occasions way back when. No, it’s because there is nothing, no occasion, dance or prom or no one more important than God! Therefore we need to put our best self forward.   God knows us all from the inside out! We are not fooling Him. At least we can honor Him in how we present ourselves for worship!   There is always an exception to the rule.   If you are homeless that’s different,   if you are mentally ill that’s different, if you really do not have anything to wear that’s   different too.

 

“Come as you are!” Yes, but you will not “Stay as you are!”  The Word of God transforms us from the inside out. At some point you will begin to feel better about yourself and want to step it up a bit! Why is that? Believers are supposed to live each day as though the Lord was going to return. If Heaven is going to be your Eternal Home I suggest you begin here on earth getting prepared for Kingdom living!  Even if you still decide to wear jeans and a T shirt, let be done neatly! & Please no matter what size you are; No really tight dresses, No low cut dresses or blouses and sweaters. And please definitely NO sagging pants. These are not appropriate. Think for a moment; Above all make sure that you would be comfortable in whatever you decide to wear expecting that our Lord was going to be there. Or come at anytime!

 

“Your will be done Lord! Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.” Lord we are down here waiting on your return when everyone will see  you breaking through the sky!  Come Lord!

 

 

 

 

 

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God Loves A Cheerful Giver

Jesus Christ is the WORD in flesh. He has all power. There is no power principality or anything that is not subject to Him; yet He humbled himself to be the only flawless perfect example for us. He died on the cross for the sins of the world. He then arose from the dead with ALL POWER! His purpose was to make us aware of the importance of developing an intimate personal relationship with God through Him.

When you accept Christ Jesus into your heart, the Comforter; His Holy Spirit will direct you and teach you all things as you grow spiritually. Yet He always gives you the liberty and freedom to choose.

“GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER!”

Today there is much discussion as well as questions in regards to giving. How much, when to give and to who should it be given. Should you give to missions, church ministries, or charities? Is the money used to further the Gospel or to just maintain the building and activities? Should it matter to you how the monies are used? Is tithing commanded? Do we tithe our gross or our net?

When we give be it our money, material possessions or time it should be done responsibly. I believe in supporting ministries who focus upon spreading the “Gospel.” This actually equips others to live victoriously. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world them and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 24 We are stewards of whatever God puts or allows in our possession. I also believe when you seek His direction, He will direct you how, when, who and who not to give to.

When I read the scriptures I see how Jesus saw that the needs of His disciples were met. The scripture even says they “lacked nothing.” You often hear; Well, Jesus was poor. Jesus didn’t even have a place to lay His head.” Did you forget when Jesus was a growing child He lived in a home with Joseph and Mary his earthly parents. When He became of age His mission was to further go forth fulfilling the Will of Our Heavenly Father. “He who was rich became poor so we might become rich”. I don’t think He pulled money out of His pocket to pay the little lad for his lunch he used to feed the great multitude. I think it was out of the mouth of a fish that His disciple found money? The point is giving is not just monetary. Money is the system that the world uses to exchange goods or services.

You should not manipulate people to give to God! The Lord does not need anything from us. We all need Him! God wants us to give our lives to HIM. To daily live to please HIM. There is nothing wrong with giving but it should not be under compulsion or out of guilt. When monetary giving is usually the primary focus of the Church it is usually because of something material man wants to do or accomplish. If or when there is a need simply say so and let those who are led to give accordingly. Have FAITH in GOD to supply “ALL your needs”

There is much division over the proper way of giving. There is also an often unspoken bias. I have seen many sides of this within the Church over the years. There are those who lean towards believing you are entitled in somewhat of a hierarchy of privileges based on tithing.

Tithes are often mandated from the clergy and widely encouraged. Chances are you will not be able to really participate unless you pay tithes. You are often considered to be robbing God.

In the Old Testament the priests did not receive an inheritance therefore they were taken care of by the tithe. They did not necessary give a tithe themselves. Does this mean that if tithes are received should a minister not then receive a salary? Biblically speaking the tithe was not always necessarily monetary; it was given from the yield of crops and animals etc…

“Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the reverence of the Lord in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. so that you may learn to revere the Lord God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry the tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his name is so far away, then exchange the tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like; cattle sheep….” Deuteronomy 6. The Bible is clear that the tithing is to actually remind us to always put GOD first.

Your giving is personally between You & God!

Were tithes collected when the children of Israel were in Babylonian captivity? To whom was it distributed? It is important in these “Last Days” we are certain of what we are preaching, proclaiming, saying or teaching is Biblical. For we will all have to answer to HIM.

To give or not give tithes as a tenth of your money is a bone of contention for some. Is this because there is an underlying fear that some will not give to the support of the local church ministry if not? Can you distribute your tithes among several ministries? Not everyone involved in the monies always keep this information private. I have seen resentment on both sides. Some who elect to tithe feel slighted when others don’t or entitled because they do? LORD HELP US!

“GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER!”

It is important to spend time with the Lord in His Word!

“Remember this; Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give and not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work..” 2 Corinthians 9.

God is more than able to meet your personal needs as well as the needs of His Church. Let the Lord lead you in your giving.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness and everything will be added unto you”. Matthew 6 If you put God first in you life He will provide whatever you need as well as some of your wants. The scripture says if you ask anything in His Will He will give it to you. You don’t have to beg, steal, manipulate, brow beat or coerce anyone. Don’t be envious of others. If you are not content with your blessings; take it up with God. “To whom much is given much is required.” Just remember persecutions come with blessings.

We often make decisions and don’t consult God. Or we consult Him and don’t listen. When we begin to feel the consequences of those decisions we want a fast relief. The problem is many don’t want to seek Him first! We often want something or want somebody to give us something that may not be in God’s will. This should not be…

Since God is omniscient (all knowing) He knows what we need before we even ask. Had you ever thought perhaps I’m not quite ready for what I’m asking for? Or perhaps my priorities aren’t right, or just maybe the time isn’t quite right? I believe when God puts something in your possession He will give you the wisdom how to handle it as well. So therefore, readily repent when the Lord shows you something. This is how you grow in His Grace.

Money comes and money goes even when you are very responsible. There are many variables that can come in to play beyond ones control. Therefore seek to be a prudent steward of whatever the Lord allows in your possession.

Is God your source? Well what’s the problem? The “love of money is the root of all evil which while some coveted after, have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Know that there are people who will do anything for money. Money in itself is not bad or evil. You see you can love money and not have any. You can also have a lot of money and not love it! Just to name a few of many in the Bible, remember Abraham, Solomon, Queen of Sheba, Joseph and Job to name a few? I think they had spiritual and material riches? But they also had the right priorities. It is God that gives the power to be rich.

I can never express enough the importance of having an consistent avid personal prayer, worship and bible study time. It will enhance your life tremendously. It will help you be a good steward. It will increase your spiritual discernment. It will also free you when others try to manipulate you to give or do anything out of guilt. When you grow spiritually your desire to give will as well. But you will receive much persecution when you don’t give your time and money when, how, and how much they think you should. This is why it is important to seek direction from the Lord.

Just know that God knows your heart and He will direct you. Be careful who and what you support. It is not necessary for others to understand or see what you do. God knows your heart and your intentions and He really does see everything. It is your obedience to Him that will cause you to reap bountifully.

God truly is a GOOD GOD. He has left no stone unturned to prepare us through His Word instructions for righteous living and giving. When you accept Him as Lord and Savior remember; “He WILL supply all of your needs according to HIS riches in Christ Jesus.” Begin to give as He instructs. Remember again what Paul tells us in Corinthians; “But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord and not man.

Please the Lord and be a cheerful giver whenever you give!

This is what the LORD teaches us that HE requires of each of us as believers;

“O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of Thee, but TO DO JUSTLY, and to LOVE MERCY, and to WALK HUBMBLY WITH THE LORD.” MICAH 6

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