Why we Worship

PSALM 47

Clap your hands, all peoples!
  Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
  a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
  and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
  the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

God has gone up with a shout,
  the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
  Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
  sing praises with a psalm!

Why Sing?

God reigns over the nations;
  God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
  as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
  he is highly exalted!


Why Scripture?



 
I, not the Lord. Well meaning servants of God in the past have said some pretty goofy things. I don’t want to add to that list, but I certainly am capable of that! So be like the Bereans (Acts 17:11) and after reading what I say, see if it holds up to the scrutiny of scripture.


Recent Posts

Theological Steak
April 10, 2012
These words by P. T. Forsythe on the magnificence of Christ's work are to theology what Ruth's Chris is to a good steak.

Describing the Indescribable
February 11, 2012
What we have in Christ will take all eternity to describe. But for one segment of one sermon, a great preacher made a mighty attempt.

Making Sense Of It All
January 30, 2012
Where are things headed? Is there rhyme and reason to the endless cycle of summer, fall, winter and spring? Is there a plan in place, or is randomness the explanation?

Suffering Saints
January 25, 2012
We get nervous thinking about it - suffering for the sake of Christ. How necessary is it, and what does it produce in us?

George Herbert on Prayer Meetings
January 21, 2012
Prayer Meetings are a thing of the past. Or so it seems. What has been lost? Maybe more than we realize.

When Fear Is Good
January 7, 2012
NO FEAR, we are told. And the point is well taken. But fear can be healthy, at least when it comes to eternal matters.

Happy, Happy, Happy
January 4, 2012
The declaration of independence holds up the pursuit of happiness as a right. Did you ever consider the reading the bible might be the one source that will never let you down?

The Twelve Signs Of Grace
December 22, 2011
Self-examination is not easy to do. The tendency is to let ourselves off easy. But examine we must, for eternity is at stake.

"Ouch!!"
July 22, 2011
Spiritual pride is hard to detect. Jonathan Edwards gives some tips. The process can be painful, but necessary.

Sleepwalking Through Life
January 4, 2011
Seeing is believing. Or so we are told. But what if there is a truth behind the obvious? How do we get to that? Poets, do your job!

God? Who Needs Him?

May 31, 2013

Self-sufficient humanism. Paul saw it coming – “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”


Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. Matthew 24:12

Jesus may have had our day in mind when he spoke these words. Charles Taylor in A SECULAR AGE, writes….

 “I would like to claim that the coming of modern secularity in my sense has been coterminous…”

(NOTE: Had to look this word up. Means having the same boundaries or extent in space, time, or meaning)

“….coterminous with the rise of a society in which for the first time in history a purely self-sufficient humanism came to be a widely available option. I mean by this a humanism accepting no final goals beyond human flourishing, nor any allegiance to anything else beyond this flourishing.”

“Of no previous society was this true.”

So here is the most encouraging thing I can think of to checkmate the reality of our age:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8






Imago Dei

September 12, 2012

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.


Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

The son of a Presbyterian minister and biblical scholar, Robinson Jeffers was a Northern Californian poet who died in 1962. At the height of his fame, Time Magazine featured him on their cover. He was invited to read from his works at the Library of Congress, and his image was even made into a U.S. postage stamp.

You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

His poetry revealed a preference for the natural world over what he saw as the negative influence of civilization. He even coined the phrase “inhumanism,” holding to the thought that mankind is too self-centered and too indifferent to the "astonishing beauty of things."

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

The National Endowment For The Arts claims that Robinson Jeffers questioned the uniqueness of humankind.

“As extraordinary as humans might be, from his perspective they are not qualitatively superior to other beings, they are not essential to the universe, and they are not the special concern of a man-like God.”

You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.

How did this play out in his poetry. The poem HURT HAWK includes the controversial line “I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk.”

You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

In his collection of poems titled A BOOK OF LUMINOUS THINGS, Czeslaw Milosz says that Jeffers felt that the human species was a “destructive plasm on the surface of the globe,” and that in time mankind would exit this planet, when everything would “once again be perfectly beautiful.

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Psalm 8








Why Can't I Pray?

August 18, 2012

The bible gives us several reasons, but according to Jeremy Taylor, a deceitful heart is at the root of prayerlessness.


The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

 Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667) preached a sermon titled THE DECEITFULNESS OF THE HEART. And one key proof of its existence can be found in the ongoing struggle that is the human experience to pray.

We put on strange fire, and put out the fire upon our hearths by letting in a glaring sun-beam, the fire of lust, or the heats of an angry spirit, to quench the fires of God, and suppress the sweet could of incense.

 The heart of man does not have strength enough to think one good thought of itself; it cannot command its own attention to a prayer of ten lines long, but before its end wanders after something that is to no purpose; and no wonder than that it grow weary of a holy religion, which consists of so many part as make the business of a whole life.

 And there is no greater argument in the world of our spiritual weakness, and falseness of our hearts in the matters of religion, than the backwardness which most men have always, and all men have sometimes, to say their prayers; so weary of their length, so glad when they are done, so witty to excuse and frustrate an opportunity: and yet there we do not trouble ourselves in the duty, or weary ourselves, or labor violently.

We do not beg a blessing and rarely rejoice in receiving it. There is not the sense of having the greatest honor of speaking to the greatest person and greatest King of the world.

 And that we should be unwilling to do this! We are unable to continue in it, and we are so backward that we cannot return to it. Where is the gust and relish in doing it? We are unable to comprehend the value of the nature of the thing within us. We have a strange sickness of the heart, a spiritual nauseating of loathing of Manna, something that has no name. What else could explain all this but a weak, a faint, and false heart?

Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel. Isaiah 43:22

 

 






It's Not Rocket Science

July 23, 2012

To keep in step with the Spirit should be our daily quest. And if we are successful at that, all of life falls into place.


"Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit," says the Lord. Zechariah 4:6

William Law wrote some helpful thoughts down for pastors. I think he knew the universal temptation we all have to minister in the "strength" of our natural abilities. And his warning is just as useful today as at any stage in church history.

The necessity of a continual inspiration of the Spirit of God, both to begin the first, and continue every step of a divine life in man, is a truth to which every life in nature, as well as all scripture, bears full witness.

A natural life, a bestial life, a diabolical life, can subsist no longer, than whilst they are immediately and continually under the working power of that root or source, from which they sprung. Thus it is with the divine life in man, it can never be in him, but as a growth of life in and from God.

Hence it is, that resisting the Spirit, quenching the Spirit, grieving the Spirit, is that alone which gives birth and growth to every evil that reigns in the world, and leaves men, and churches, not only an easy, but a necessary prey to the devil, the world, and the flesh.

And nothing but obedience to the Spirit, trusting to the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, praying with and for its continual inspiration, can possibly keep either men, or churches, from being sinners,or idolators, in all that they do. For everything in the life, or religion of man, that has not the Spirit of God for its mover, director, and end, be it what it will, is but earthly, sensual, or devilish.

The truth and perfection of the gospel state could not show itself, till it became solely a ministration of the Spirit, or a kingdom in which the Holy Spirit of God had the doing of all that was done in it.










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