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?



 
Adoration of Jesus
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:12-13)


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?

Where Else Can We Go?

September 2, 2009

When Peter uttered these five words, they modeled the conclusion of every sincere believer - that Jesus alone is Lord, and has no rival - never has and never will. Simply stated, Jesus is the way to God, all other roads are cul-de-sacs.


John Owen, the Puritan of Puritans, preached a sermon in 1646 from Acts 16:9 titled UNCHANGABLE, FREE MERCY. Towards the end of this 35 page sermon, as he began to extol the Lord Jesus Christ, he suddenly seemed to get caught up in the glory of who Christ is. His words are like a spring bubbling up, and they still refresh us now, as they must have done for his hearers 350 years ago.

Jesus Christ is all, and in all; and where he is wanting (lacking, absent, not recognized, desired or honored) there can be no good.

Hunger cannot truly be satisfied without manna, the bread of life, which is Jesus Christ; and what shall a hungry man do that has no bread?

Thirst cannot be quenched without that water or living spring, which is Jesus Christ; and what shall a thirsty soul do without water?

A captive, as we are all, cannot be delivered without redemption, which is Jesus Christ; and what shall the prisoner do without his ransom?

Fools, as we are all, cannot be instructed without wisdom, which is Jesus Christ; without him we perish in our folly.

All building without him is on the sand, which will surely fall.

All working without him is in the fire, where it will be consumed.

All riches without him have wings, and will away.

A dungeon with Christ is a throne; and a throne without Christ is a hell.

The greatest evil in the world is sin, and the greatest sin was the first; and yet Gregory feared not to cry, “O happy fault, which found such a Redeemer!”

All mercies without Christ are bitter; and every cup is sweet that is seasoned but with a drop of his blood; he is truly the love and delight of the sons of men, without whom they must perish eternally; “for there is no other name given unto them, whereby they may be saved."

He is the Way; men without him are Cains, wanderers, vagabonds.

He is the Truth; men without him are liars, like the devil, who was so of old.

He is the Life; without him men are dead, dead in trespasses and sins.

He is the Light, without him men are in darkness, and go they know not whither.

He is the Vine; those that are not grafted in him are withered branches, prepared for the fire.

He is the Rock; men not built on him are carried away with a flood.

He is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the author and the ender, the founder and the finisher of our salvation.

He that does not have him, has neither beginning of good, nor shall have end of misery.

O blessed Jesus! How much better were it not to be, than to be without thee!

It is more desirable never to be born, than to die and not be in thee! A thousand bells come short of this, eternally to want (lack) Jesus Christ, as men do that want (lack) the gospel.





The Solid Rock vs. All Other Ground

May 16, 2009

What does it mean to take Jesus lightly? For a hundred years or more, Jesus has been "damned" with very faint praise. The wisdom of this world gives ground begrudgingly to the Lord of the universe. But the battle is real.


On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand 
All other ground is sinking sand

At the turn of the 20th century, P. T. Forsythe spoke at Yale on the state of preaching. In his lecture that covered the influence of modern thought with a corresponding loss of Jesus at the center, particularly the cross, he took pains to distinguish the difference between what true belief was (he called it positive belief) and what was currently in  vogue - that is, faint praise.

I will refer to the two categories as "sinking sand" and "solid rock." Forsythe, I'm certain, would approve.

SINKING SAND
We must have a faith like Christ's.

SOLID ROCK
We must have a faith in Christ.

SINKING SAND
We must imitate the religion of Jesus.

SOLID ROCK
We cannot attempt to imitate a Redeemer, or criticize He who judges our conscience. Jesus is our religion.

SINKING SAND
Christ is our supreme example and prophet who showcased the potential of human spirituality.

SOLID ROCK
Christ's eternal person does it all for us.

SINKING SAND
Christ's preaching is emphasized.

SOLID ROCK
Christ preached is emphasized.

SINKING SAND
Christ's perfect human nature is extolled.

SOLID ROCK
Christ's treatment of human nature carries more weight than the way his incarnation of our nature.

SINKING SAND
Christ is the full expression of humanity.

SOLID ROCK
Christ's business with humanity is explored and lifted up.

SINKING SAND
Christ consummates humanity.

SOLID ROCK
Christ redeems humanity.

SINKING SAND
For a suffering world, Christ is its healer.

SOLID ROCK
For a guilty world, Christ is its Atoning Savior.

SINKING SAND
The sinlessness of Christ is the expression of the essential, though soiled, sinlessness of man.

SOLID ROCK
Man's only hope of sanctity is possible only through the Holy One of God.

SINKING SAND
Love is valued but undefined.

SOLID ROCK
Love finds its full value as displayed in Christ, representing holy grace.

SINKING SAND
The divine reality is a calm and mystic presence and the nearness of God is rejoiced over.

SOLID ROCK
God's divine reality is a perpetual deed, and the nearness is a terror except as grace.

SINKING SAND
God's real presence in the world is manifested in mere action, process and movement.

SOLID ROCK
History is a supreme act that consummates the world.

SINKING SAND
Fascination with the way God's presence pervades the world is paramount.

SOLID ROCK
God's redemptive act, and the purpose He is orchestrating is paramount.

SINKING SAND
Jesus is the crowning immanence of the divine presence in the world.

SOLID ROCK
Jesus is the incarnation of the divine will in the world.

SINKING SAND
The world is God's arena, His sphere of energy, where His substance, forces and ideas play.

SOLID ROCK
The kingdom of this world is becoming the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, where His purpose rules.

SINKING SAND
The world is God's organ.

SOLID ROCK
The world is God's creature.

SINKING SAND
The world was created for Christ, or at least Christ's ideal.

SOLID ROCK
The world was created in Christ.






George Herbert's Heart In Prayer
April 8, 2009
We've all prayed perfunctory prayers. "Thanks for the food, Lord. Amen." Taking the time to pray before a sermon has given way to opening illustrations that put the listeners "at ease." Not so George Herbert, the 17th century pastor/poet.

Choose You This Day
March 10, 2009
Jesus is one of many that a devout person may choose to put their hope and trust in. What makes Jesus so compelling? John Stott gives his reason - the sufferings of Christ.

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?

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.

Ready Or Not....
November 25, 2008
The first advent - the incarnation of the Son of God as a baby in a manger in Bethlehem - is a reminder that God is good on his word. And He promised He would come back, and that it would be totally unexpected. Are you ready?

A Burst of Praise
October 3, 2008
Do you often feel tongue-tied when trying to express devotion to God? Do words fail you? Why not borrow from the best? Here, from the heart of Augustine, a transformed mind expresses the grandest truths in a masterful, gifted outpouring.

Thanksgiving - Don't Lose Your Mind!
September 27, 2008
I will sing with my spirit, I will also sing with my mind. 1 Corinthians 14:15

The Medicinal Side of Thanksgiving
September 27, 2008
We are told to give thanks. And isn't it just like God to have side benefits built in, so that we are helped as God is honored? Spurgeon tells us how.

C.S. Lewis On Praise
September 27, 2008
Christians are called to praise the Lord. Why? What is that all about? And just what does it "accomplish?

From The Heart of Augustine
July 7, 2008
My mouth will declare your praise. Psalm 51:15





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