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?



 
Return of Jesus
“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:12-13)


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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?
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It's Not Rocket Science
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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
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Describing the Indescribable
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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
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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?

It Could Happen!

December 30, 2010

The past 100 years have chilled the surging optimism that with time, humankind will "figure things out and learn to get along." Now, quiet desperation has settled in. What can the righteous do?


It's not like Paul didn't warn us.

There will be terrible times in the last days.

Check.

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. 2 Timothy 3:2-5

Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check.

It is a little frightening that so many of the items on Paul's list are so pronounced in our day. J. C. Ryle was consoled in his day (the 19th century), by reasoning that since these verses are so immediately verifiable proves that Scripture was right.

I believe that the widespread unbelief, indifference, formalism, and wickedness, which are to be seen throughout Christendom, are only what we are taught to expect in God's word.

Troublous times, departures from the faith, evil men waxing worse and worse, love waxing cold, are things directly predicted. So far from making me doubt the truth of Christianity, they help to confirm my faith. Melancholy and sorrowful as the sight is, if I did not see it I should think the Bible was not true.

But the fact that the Bible is true does not lessen the weariness we feel by living in such a world. So, what is our source of hope, with such a bleak prospects for change? C. H. Spurgeon points to the second coming - the Blessed Hope.

Apart from the second Advent of our Lord, the world is more likely to sink into pandemonium than to rise into a millennium. A divine interposition seems to me the hope set before us in Scripture, and, indeed, to be the only hope adequate to the situation. We look to the darkening down of things; the state of mankind, however improved politically, may yet grow worse and worse spiritually.

These words, preached 150 years ago, have a prophetic exactness that more than proves true in our day. Part of Paul's advice to Timothy, words that we should heed as well, is that Timothy would watch over his life, and stay awake, doing all in his power to keep his name from being added to the junkpile of faith.

Paul seems devastated that Demas has defected, and that former co-worker Alexander has now joined the enemy camp. The warning is clear. Timothy, the times are perilous, so watch your life and your doctrine closely.

Here comes 2011. May we have the same confidence that Paul displays as he closes out his second letter to Timothy....

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Given the day we live in, that's a promise to claim. The return of Christ may happen this year. It could happen! Regardless, let's watch and wait and hope and pray, longing and yearning, with our lamps lit.

Maranatha.

Lord, come soon.






The Best Of All Possible Worlds

December 11, 2008

Some day, perhaps very soon, the order of this world will be turned on its head. The Second Advent will be much different than the first, and fills us with tremendous hope - to sustain us while we wait and long for the inevitable.


"The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever." Revelation 11:15

That baby in a manger wrapped in swadling clothes looks harmless. Don't be fooled. The poet Robert Southwell (1561-1595) got it right. There is more to Mary's sleeping child than meets the eye. Much more.

This little Babe, so few days old,
Has come rifle Satan's fold.
All hell doth at his presence quake
Tho' he Himself with cold doth shake.
For in this weak unarmed wise
The gates of hell he will surprise.

With tears he fights, and wins the field
His naked breast stands for a shield
His battering shot are babish cries
His arrows looks of weeping eyes
His martial engines Cold and Need
And feeble Flesh his warrior's steed.

His camp is pitched in stall
His bulwark but a broken wall
His crib his trench, haystacks his stakes;
Of shepherds He his muster makes
and thus, as sure his foe to wound,
the angels' trumps alarums sound.

My soul with Christ, join thou in fight,
Stick to the tents that he hath pight,
Within his crib is surest ward,
this little babe will be thy guard.
If thou wilt foil thy foes with joy,
then flit not from this heavenly Boy.


Advent is not just a time of reflecting on the incarnation, as wonderful as that may be. Just as it was promised that a Savior would come to redeem his people - and he did - so we have a promise from the mouth of Jesus himself that he will come again, and set this world on its ear! Order will be restored, and Jesus will be the only name on anyone's lips.

For the Christian, this is exciting news. For the unbeliever or skeptic, this prospect is unnerving at best, and catastrophic at worst. This much is true. Jesus is coming again. It will be awesome, it will be glorious, and it will be wonderful.

From the pen of Samuel Zwemer...

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever - His promises, His power, His presence, His Spirit.  The sovereignty over the world was conferred on man in his original estate.  But his being lost through sin, was restored again by redemption. You are Christ's, and Christ is God's. 

The spirit which is bestowed on Christians carries in itself a principle which everything must eventually obey, and which will subjugate the world ever more and more, until at last the promise that "the meek shall inherit the earth" is fulfilled, and the world has become the theatre of the divine kingdom. 

Until He shall reign from sea to sea, from the river unto the ends of the earth - until every knee shall bow, of things in Heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.       







The Clock Is Ticking
November 5, 2008
"The Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality." Romans 9:28 That sounds ominous, doesn't it? The Day of the Lord is coming. We can't delay it. So are you prepared?





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