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?



 
Wisdom


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?

17th Century Authenticity

December 30, 2010

To say what you don't feel in your emotions is considered to be inauthentic, or phony. Samuel rutherford would beg to differ.


"If you don't feel it, don't say it!" That mantra, more unstated than overtly expressed, has had a debilitating effect on  worship of late. After all, so the reasoning goes, how can you "be joyful" when you don't feel it? Isn't that just being hypocritical?

A great old Scottish saint (is that redundant?) from the 1600's, Samuel Rutherford, argued against this line of thinking, as pointed out by a Scotsman two centuries later named Alexander Whyte:

Ought we to go on with our work and with our worship when our hearts are dry and when we have no delight in what we do?

That is just the time to persevere, replies their evangelical guide, for it is in the absence of all sense of liberty and sweetness that our duties prove themselves to be truly spiritual.

A sweet service has often its sweetness from an altogether other source than the spiritual world. Let a man be engaged in divine service, or in any other religious work, and let him have sensible support and success in it; let him have liberty and enjoyment in the performance of it; and, especially, let him have the praise of men after it, and he will easily be deceived into thinking that he has had God's Spirit with him, and the light of God's countenance, whereas all the time it has only been an outpouring on his deceived heart of his own lying spirit of self-seeking, self-pleasing, and self-exalting.

In other words, we can be easily self-deceived. Just feeling good about our service for God, or our worship of Him, is no guarantee that what has been offered is genuine.

While, again, a man's spirit may be all day as dry as the heath in the wilderness, and all other men's spirits around him and toward him the same, yet a very rich score may be set down beside that unindulged servant's name against the day of the 'well-dones.'

God can honor his truth and his word, and accomplish His purposes, even though it come from Balaam's ass, or Balaam himself.

'I believe that many think that obedience is lifeless and formal unless the wind be in the west, and all their sails are filled with the joys of sense. But I am not of their mind who think so.'

My conclusion? Better to risk being inauthentic than to remain silent and choke off what God might want to do, in you and through you.






Running To Win The Prize

September 16, 2010

The race of faith is a marathon. Some compete, some excell, some just plan on finishing, and others drop out. It is commendable to set the bar high, to finish well.


Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Brett McCracken notes that concern over "twenty-somethings" leaving churchgoing behind has elevated "relevancy" to be the ultimate consideration. He writes....

Increasingly, the "plan" has taken the form of a total image overhaul, where efforts are made to rebrand Christianity as hip, countercultural, relevant. As a result, in the early 2000s, we got something called "the emerging church"—a sort of postmodern stab at an evangelical reform movement. Perhaps because it was too "let's rethink everything" radical, it fizzled quickly. But the impulse behind it—to rehabilitate Christianity's image and make it "cool"—remains.

From the Orange County Register dated September 14, 2010....

ANAHEIM – Apparently holding services in a punk rock nightclub every weekend wasn't quite cool enough for City Church. So, to mark its first birthday, the budding Anaheim congregation Sunday proposed following its regular rock 'n' roll revival with a "radical commitment" – tattoos of various versions of the church logo.

Ouch....

C. H. Spurgeon asked his congregation this question 135 years ago....

Where are the saints now? We have a superabundance of professors (those who claim to follow Christ) but where are the truly eminent Christians?

I believe that the strength of the church lies in that inner circle of champions which is composed of the thoroughly consecrated, the men who are favored of the Lord.

Holy Bernard was the light of his age, and passing on from age to age we see men who blazed with the light of God; but we ought each one of us to seek to be saints in the highest sense of the word.

We must aim at being the holiest of men and women. Let it be ours to be like the mountain-tops that catch the first beams of the raising sun, and reflect the light upon the lowlands.






The Book Of Books
May 21, 2010
Sixty-six individual books, but one theme, really - God, and his purposes in history. The beginning is there, so is the ending, and everything inbetween. What's more, it's all true.

Holding On To Air
May 3, 2010
Arthur Sulzberger Jr. can't be faulted for hypocrisy. He is a true believer. But in what, exactly?

Defeating A Party Spirit
July 10, 2009
Tribalism is everywhere, in politics as well as matters of faith. And who doesn't want to be on the side of truth? In a letter John Newton warned of the damage that crusading, no matter how well-intentioned, can do to our hearts.

Richard Dawkins, Meet Blaise Pascal
April 17, 2009
Paul tells us that the god of this world blinds the hearts of unbelievers. So their conclusions about eternal things further Satan's cause. Others, like Pascal, see with God-given perception, and truth is advanced, for those who have ears to listen.

WISE GUYS - Francis Quarles
April 14, 2009
My vote for the wisest person since Solomon, and deserving of the Wise Guy award, goes to Francis Quarles. His maxims flowed out of him effortlessly, and ranging from the political to the pious, they deserve in every way to be called proverbs.

WISE GUYS - Richard Sibbes
April 13, 2009
Some people can't help themselves, and just think - profoundly, about eternal things. Richard Sibbes was one of those, a Puritan pastor who left the interested reader a wealth of rich thought on the wonder of God.

WISE GUYS - George Herbert
April 12, 2009
Fortune cookies play at significance, but ultimately their advice is as fluffy as the cookie itself. George Herbert had a talent for maxims, and they have been largely lost. But their wisdom still shines, after all these years.





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