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?



 
Devotion


Recent Posts

God? Who Needs Him?
May 31, 2013
Self-sufficient humanism. Paul saw it coming – “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?


It's unfortunate that George Mueller is not a household name, considering all the good he did for thousands of parentless children on the streets of London in the middle of the 19th century.   

The orphanages that God raised up through Mueller's faith were started with only two shillings (50 cents) but as he prayed - believe it or not without making his needs known - slowly but surely the buildings were built to feed and house orphans for sixty years.

How did this happen, you ask? Curiously, Mueller credits his habit of scripture reading.

I believe that the one chief reason that I have been kept in happy useful service is that I have been a lover of Holy Scripture.

It has been my habit to read the Bible through four times a year; in a prayerful spirit, to apply it to my heart, and practice what I find there. I have been for sixty-nine years a happy man; happy, happy, happy." 

Forget four times. Try once in 2012. Baby steps. Here are some questions to keep you focused and to increase your understanding of what you are reading.

1. What do these words actually mean?

2. What light do other scriptures through on this text? Where and how does it fit in the total biblical revelation?

3. What truths does it teach about God, and about man in relation to God?

4. How are these truths related to the saving work of Christ, and what light does the gospel of Christ throw on them?

5. What experiences do these truths delineate, or explain, or seek to create or cure? For what practical purpose do they stand in Scripture?

6. How do they apply to myself and others in our own actual situation? To what present human condition do they speak, and what are they telling us to believe and do?

From A QUEST FOR GODLINESS by J. I. Packer, page 105

 






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.


Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5

Self-examination takes courage and honesty. And since it concerns our eternal destination, we need to be all the more diligent to estimate how our soul is doing.

Jeremy Taylor, (15 August 1613 – 13 August 1667) was a cleric in the Church of England who achieved fame as an author Oliver Cromwell rose to power, and he spent a considerable amount of time thinking on this matter of holiness and integrity of heart.

The person certainly belongs to God,

1) who believes and is baptized into all the articles of the Christian faith,

2) and studies to improve their knowledge in the matters of God, so as may best make them live a holy life.

3) Out of obedience to Christ they worship God diligently, frequently, and constantly, with natural religion, that is of prayer, praises and thanksgiving.

4) They take all opportunities to remember Christ's death by a frequent sacrament, as it can be had, or else by inward acts of understanding, will, and memory (which is the spiritual communion) when the external rite is not possible.

5) They live chastely,

6) and are merciful.

7) They despise the world, using it, but never engrossed in it.

8) They are just in their dealings and diligent in their calling.

9) They are humble in spirit,

10) obedient to government,

11) content in their fortune and employment.

12) They do their duty out of love God; and if after all this they are afflicted, they are patient, ready to suffer affliction for the cause of God.

The person who has these twelve signs of grace and predestination does as certainly belong to God, and is His child as surely, as he is His creature.

Well? How'd you do?






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

Better Than Counting Sheep
December 13, 2010
When my head hits the pillow, it's lights out. But perhaps before nodding off, some more intentionality might be in order. Certainly Jeremy Taylor thought so.

It Is Necessarily So!
July 24, 2010
The Bible has always had its detractors, but for the last hundred years there has been an unprecedented attack mounted against it. The death blow has failed, but not for lack of trying.

What Really Matters
July 11, 2009
On the surface, this world seems promising. But as wonderful as it is, it can't compare with knowing Christ, and the living water he supplies that quenches any and every thirst.

Saturday Night Ritual
June 22, 2009
No question, Saturday evening is traditionally a "night-on-the-town" opportunity. But if we are to be sitting in church just 12 hours later for worship, just what steps can be taken to make that time as significant as possible?

Old Things Pass Away....
June 13, 2009
Transformation. Being born again, suddenly everything is turned upside down. Or is it right-side-up? Either way, we no longer see things the same way. We belong to another. And it's ok. Or if it's not.....

The Best And Worst Of Times
May 11, 2009
In the opening sentences of A TALE OF TWO CITIES, the reader is immediately thrust into the turmoil. For Madame Elizabeth of France, that turmoil meant death by guillotine. She was faithful to the end, and went magnificently.

The Problem With Puddles
March 28, 2009
It rains, and they appear. Want-a-be lakes, they show up and are gone. Puddles are a nuisance more than anything - good for nothing, really. How do we keep our lives from being the equivalent?

The Cross and "Whatever"
March 6, 2009
It is not possible for there to be more pathos than what is packed into the death of our Lord Jesus on the cross. But often there is no "correspondingly" from us to match the significance of the moment. How do we move from cold indifference to melting?

Outrage and The Holiness of God
March 5, 2009
A jaded Christian is an oxymoron. Anything that is hurtful to God must hurt us as well. We must not become so self-protective that we are not emotionally impacted by rebellion against God. And any such identification pleases God.

Deserted, maybe. Forsaken, never!
February 24, 2009
Our walk with God has its high points, and its low ones. We have times when God seems intensely near, and other times when it seems our cry is ignored, and God is nowhere to be seen. Or so it seems. Bottom line - it is all for our good.

The Bible and Yadayadayada
February 4, 2009
There was a time in the Old Testament when, while cleaning out the Temple, a "book" was found. People began reading it, and before long, the city of Jerusalem was repenting! Only one book has such power - God's word, the Bible.

Rise And Shine!
February 4, 2009
Getting out of bed in the morning can be difficult. And making the time to be with God before the day demands our full attention is a challenge many of us struggle with. But the dividends are immeasurable.

History In The Making
January 28, 2009
“Prayer is a grand cement, and lack of prayer is like withdrawing the force of gravitation from a mass of matter, and scattering it into so many separate atoms.” C. H. Spurgeon

Flawless
January 11, 2009
The Bible has come under intense scrutiny for more than a hundred years, and Satan has done all he can to discredit it. Consequently, it lies unopened and collecting dust on many a bookshelf. But it is a treasure of hope nonetheless.

Saintly Resolutions: GEORGE BOWEN
January 1, 2009
Who? It was said of him,"He was all soul, and you can't photograph the soul nor describe it as you know it to exist." Missionary, scholar, mystic, saint. Quite a resume. So what advice does he give us at the turning of a new year?

The Only Authentic Truth Syrum
December 25, 2008
Your truth, my truth. That doesn't work very well, does it. God has a truth, and it is the word of God, scripture, the Bible, the holy book. No matter what you call it, it is his word to us. And we need it now more than ever.

Feeling Our Way Through Life
November 24, 2008
Feelings have become the new end all, the criteria that governs our actions. At the same time, self-discipline is frowned upon as inauthentic and artificial. Worship often loses out, when it is our means to health and wholeness.

Out With A Blaze Of Glory
November 19, 2008
Our culture sets 65 as the ideal time to quit working and just enjoy life. For the Christian, an eternal perspective places a different set of demands on us. The Lord's work is never done. What keeps us going?

Self-examination
November 12, 2008
"Don't be so hard on yourself. Give yourself a break." Welcome to our cultural mantra. The gravitational pull of the world can be devastating, so Paul says in 2 Corinthians 13: 5: "Examine yourselves." Just what does that look like, and how do we do it?

Keeping The Main Thing The Main Thing
November 9, 2008
When the advice "don't put all your eggs in one basket" seeps into ministry, danger lies ahead. "Keeping your options open" is a recipe for disaster for the minister of God, making whole-hearted devotion to Christ an even greater mountain to climb.

If I Should Die Before I Wake
November 5, 2008
We all know we should pray. And for most of us, we get around to it eventually, mainly in emergencies. What can we learn from a man of prayer? And how might we end the day before God on our knees? What might that prayer sound like?

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
November 3, 2008
One never knows what a day might hold. So to safely get through a day is a mercy of God, and He deserves our thanks. John Baillie gives us a helpful example from his prayer life.

Cheaper Chicken
October 29, 2008
What are you shooting for? Is your life being lived myopically, with self-interest as the bottom line? Or do you have the grand purposes of God propel you? Choose carefully. Each of us gets one go-around.

Detecting Slippage
October 21, 2008
This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. Isaiah 66:2

Prepping The Heart For Worship
October 14, 2008
How many of us slide into church on Sunday morning, and the first song is like a cold shower. What might we do to prepare the heart for worship? A Puritan has a few valuable suggestions.

The Best Time Of The Day
October 8, 2008
Most of us struggle to have a quiet time at all, so to argue for the early morning hours as "most desirable" seems a bit unfair. What secret did Jesus know that we need to rediscover?

Anybody Seen My Bible?
October 3, 2008
We can read anything and everything before we sit down and read the one source of truth that doesn't lie - God's word, the Bible. Which is crazy, because only scripture gives us the spiritual nutrients we need to run the race of faith.





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