Why we Worship


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?

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

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.

Be Careful Where You Sit

July 19, 2010

Reading scripture plops us down into a world of faith, of trust, and a miracle-working God. Can some of that faith rub off on us? Hope so.

In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. Psalm 22:4-5

When David was a boy, the testing of Abraham's faith on Mount Moriah was probably a bedtime staple. You can almost hear him asking his mom to tell of the people of God "trapped" at the Red Sea, with Pharaoh on one side, and a body of water on the other. We know how that story turned out.

Or take Abraham. Surely David loved hearing that story. After years of waiting, Abraham had his son as promised, only to be told that he must offer up his boy as a sacrifice! What did Abraham do?

He believed.

Hebrews 11 tells us that as he raised the knife to slay his son, the thought was going through his mind, "This seems crazy (or words to that effect) but God can raise the dead, so..."

Embedded in these two verses above from Psalm 22 is a truth that resounds in every generation - simply that when up against difficulties, our part is to trust, and God's part is to deliver.

Remember Eutychus, with early church believers gathered in a third story room, listening to Paul talking "on and on?" Getting drowsy as midnight came and went,  Eutychus apparently sat on a window sill to keep from falling dozing off. It didn't work, and tragically he fell to his death three stories below!

Paul, no doubt feeling somewhat responsible, went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him (remember Elisha and the dead Shunammite's son? 2 Kings 4:34?). "Don't be alarmed," Paul shouted to the worried faces peering down from above, "he's alive!" Acts 20:7-12

Acting like nothing out of the ordinary had happened, Paul climbed back up the three flights, suggested that they all have some more food, and then with a "now where was I?" he resumed his discourse until daylight, and then left.

Jesus wondered, if when he returns, faith would be in short supply. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!!


But By My Spirit
July 16, 2010
Jesus told his disciples that they would be better off when he left, because then they would benefit from the presence of the Holy Spirit. We cannot overestimate this gift.

Your Lap and God's Blessing
May 13, 2010
Everything we do on earth is carefully monitored by our heavenly Father. That can be scary, or wonderful. It all depends.

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.

If The Lord Had Not Been On Our Side
January 20, 2009
Life is more fragile than we realize. Our very existence hangs by a thread. But unless God wants that thread to break for some reason, we are perfectly safe. And if it snaps by his will, he is ready to catch us. The saints of God are secure in Him.

Watchman, What Of The Night?
January 9, 2009
A newly installed president to "break in", an intense struggle in the Middle East, a worldwide economic meltdown, with America humbled and somber and anxious. What's going on?

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?

Saintly Resolutions: HENRY MARTYN
December 29, 2008
Shaped by the pastoring of Charles Simeon at Cambridge, Henry Martyn burned bright for God in India until his early death at age 31. From an entry in his journal on the first day of 1807, we get a wonderful glimpse of his heart for God.

Saintly Resolutions: MATTHEW HENRY
December 29, 2008
Making New Year resolutions is a venerable tradition. But they do tend to be a bit trivial, as in weight goals. Matthew Henry (1662-1714) left us an example of how to set our hopes and dreams and expectations before the Lord, with eternity in mind.

What's In A Name?
December 28, 2008
Emmanuel means GOD WITH US. That's good, right? So just why are we so anxious? What gives? Fretting offends God, because it implies that he won't come through. How can trust shove doubt aside, and we become God trusters instead?

God Is Not Dead
December 19, 2008
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote to a friend, "I do not believe anyone can be perfectly well, who has a brain and a heart." Where did he turn to find hope in his time of despair?

Go Away And Leave Me Alone!
December 13, 2008
This world is enemy territory, and Satan fights for every inch. And the biggest threat to him are Christians who take the word of God as just that, the word of God, and seek to live by that word, knowing that to be the path of greatest happiness.

The Ultimate No-Brainer
November 24, 2008
I'll do it myself. Where does that come from, anyway? We're born with it. But seeing God as the One we turn to instead of "the arm of flesh" is the key to living life well. God is in control, so let Him lead. He's really good at it.

Every Reason To Be Thankful
November 23, 2008
Complaining seems to come naturally, doesn't it? Being thankful is a whole different matter. We have to work at it, knowing that if we are obedient in this, God will get the credit he deserves, and our satisfaction in Him will expand.

Do The Math
November 21, 2008
Ten lepers, all healed. One returned to give Jesus thanks. Ten percent. You don't suppose that ratio always holds true, do you? Yikes! How can we then foster hearts of gratitude?

Faith And Real Life
November 16, 2008
"Keep a stiff upper lip," we're told. Buck up. Life is capable of throwing a withering sequence of blows at us, bringing even the strongest to their knees - literally. For if our hope is in God, our future is very bright, no matter how grim the present.

Making A Difference
November 13, 2008
We all want our lives to matter, to count for something. How can we be sure we are not throwing our life away? What will count for eternity? This much we know. Giving ourselves to Kingdom of God work is never wasted effort.

The Best Sermon of the Last 200 Years
November 11, 2008
What if someone preached a sermon so powerful that it launched Protestant missions, and initiated the modern mission movement? What in the world did William Carey say that had such an impact?

The Falling Leaf And God's Sovereignty
October 16, 2008
So just how much does God know beforehand? And just what is determined and orchestrated? Is He ever surprised?

Faith - A Grace From God
October 12, 2008
Faith, hope and love are the three qualities that endure. But if our faith gets depleted, this three-legged stool suddenly is worthless.

Nothing Is Impossible With God
October 5, 2008
Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:19

Samuel Rutherford and Gratitude
September 27, 2008
Trials and testing can rob us of joy, and can turn us from contentment, and cause us to be disgruntled. Trust in God's sovereignty is key to spiritual health.

Comfort and the Plan of God
July 11, 2008
The kingdom of this world is becoming the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. But that battle is "no holds barred" - it's nasty, and believers can get caught up in some pretty uncomfortable moments in the process.

Life's Wear And Tear
July 8, 2008
"I will show him how much he must suffer for my name." Acts 9:16

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