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?


“O LORD, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. (Jonah 4:2)

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?

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.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38

During the time that Elisha was prophet, an unnamed woman took a liking to his ministry, and after talking it over with her husband, she had a room constructed on the roof especially for him, so that whenever he was "in town" he could come and relax.

Her generosity got the best of her, and the room had all the conveniences of a Days Inn - you know, not the Ritz Carlton, but it had a bed, a table, a chair and a lamp (had wifi been around then, that would have no doubt been included).

The man of God was impressed, and sat her down one day, and said, "So I really appreciate what you have done. Now, what can I do for you? You want me to speak to the king? I have pull, you know." She deferred, basically saying, "I'm doing just fine."

Elisha and his servant Gehazai conferred together. "Surely we can do something for her," they thought. Gehazai pointed out that they had no children, and that her husband was old. "Great idea," Elisha exclaimed. "Go call her!" And as the woman stood in the doorway, Elisha announced to her, "At this time next year, you will be holding your firstborn!"

She was shocked. The pain of thinking she would never be a mother was just below the surface and she blurted out, "Don't mislead your servant, O man of God!"

The prophet wasn't kidding. A boy was born in due time, and you can just imagine her joy. With no ulterior motive, she had blessed the man of God with a kindness, and now God had blessed her womb. Her lap was getting full. Blessing #1.

Tragically, one day the boy complained of a headache, and died in his mother's arms. She went up on the roof, entered the man of God's room, and laid her lifeless child on Elisha's bed. Without informing her husband of the crisis, she saddled a donkey a servant brought her, and the two of them sped of (if a donkey can speed off!) to find Elisha on Mount Carmel.

He spotted her in the distance as she approached, and sent Gehazai to inquire of her, suspecting that something had gone terribly wrong. Ignoring Gehazai, she headed straight for Elisha, and fell at his feet in bitter distress.

"Did I ask you for a son, my lord?" she said. "Didn't I tell you, 'Don't raise my hopes'?"

The fastest solution seemed to rush Gehazi off with Elisha's staff. He ran ahead, went up on the roof to that now very familiar room, and laid the staff on the boy's face. Nothing. There was no sound or response.

So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, "The boy has not awakened."

When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the LORD. Then he got on the bed and lay upon the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands.

As he stretched himself out upon him, the boy's body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out upon him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, "Call the Shunammite." And he did. When she came, he said, "Take your son." She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.

Blessing #2. Her lap is overflowing with the kindness of God. But that is not all. God pours out blessing on us, far more than we deserve.

The next blessing came as Elisha warned the woman of a coming seven year famine.

"Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the LORD has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years."

The woman proceeded to do as the man of God said. She and her family went away and stayed in the land of the Philistines seven years.

Blessing #3. A heads-up on a coming crisis, allowing her and her family to avoid starvation. Her lap now has barely any room left!

At the end of the seven years she came back from the land of the Philistines and went to the king to beg for her house and land. The king was talking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, and had said, "Tell me about all the great things Elisha has done."

Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to beg the king for her house and land.

Gehazi said, "This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life." The king asked the woman about it, and she told him. Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, "Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now."

Blessing #4 - God watched out over her property, and made sure that she was not taken advantage of, and that she suffered no loss.

The takeaway? We can't outgive God. Our acts of kindness, no matter how risky or random or even reckless they may seem at the moment, will not go unnoticed by our heavenly Father.

And consider yourself "warned" - you better make some room on your lap, because God is about to show some kindnesses of his own.

A Free But Most Costly Gospel

March 22, 2009

The thought that a holy God might have to punish his Son to justify us is a stumbling block. And so men have tried to make the atonement of God palatable to contemporary tastes, and the effect has been devastating.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

Where is the wise man?
Where is the scholar?
Where is the philosopher of this age?
Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

P. T. Forsythe lived for one thing as a theologian in England at the turn of the 20th Century. His "main thing" was keeping the atoning work of the cross the "main thing." It was like the preverbal placing the finger in the dike, as the thinking of the day was to strip Golgotha of its ability to be a stumbling block. "Not so fast," said Forsythe, again and again.

In THE WORK OF CHRIST, he states that the "old orthodoxies....had a true eye for what truly mattered in Christianity, and especially how they grappled with the final facts of human nature, and its darling sefl-will. They closed with ultimates. They did not heal lightly the wound of the people.

It is the grace of Israel we need; for the grace of Greece fails heart, and flesh and moral will. It is subjective sand when we want objective rock. It does not enable us to keep our feet.

We need a hand to lift us by the hair, if need be, and hurt us much in the doing of it, if only it sets un on the Rock of Ages. And the old Puritans (now sixpence a volume octave) at least do that. And they do because...they stood at a center of things with their religion of the moral Atonement, of a free but most costly Gospel.

They grasped what makes God the Christian God - not only a free grace but a costly one. It is not only the freedom of His grace, but its infinite price to Him that makes God God."

"By terrible things in righteousness dost Thou answer us, O God of our salvation.
Psalm 65:5

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee;
Let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfill thy law's commands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and thou alone.

A. Toplady

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.

God Down And Dirty
February 7, 2009
What can be said concerning the wonder of our salvation that hasn't been said? P. T. Forsythe is in that line of great thinkers who pondered God's love and then articulated it carefully. Read slowly and chew each morsel.

Remember To Remember
November 20, 2008
Psalm 107 ends with the command to "consider the love of the Lord." Our memory is a powerful tool God has given us - with it we recall his faithfulness, which serves to give us the confidence that our faithful God will continue to be just that - faithful.

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?

I Pray The Lord My Soul To Keep
November 4, 2008
The Bible is full of prayers that took place at night. Assuming that we will wake to see the morning light is hasty, and presumes on God's grace. Isaac Watts put his heart on paper in meter and rhyme, placing his hope in the grace of God.

The Most Amazing Love
October 14, 2008
God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God, 2 Corinthians 5:21

CONFESSION - Book of Common Prayer
September 30, 2008
If God is holy (and He is) then transgression is very much a constant reality, with confession the appropriate response. And our heavenly Father loves to show mercy.

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