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?



 
Forgiveness
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14)


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?

After The Bread And Cup

July 5, 2010

Communion is a privilege for the believer that has no parallel. It is impossible to plumb the depths of its significance, and expressing appropriate gratitude is daunting. Lancelot Andrewes helps us, with his gift for words.


Lancelot Andrewes (1555 – 25 September 1626) was an English clergyman and scholar, who held high positions in the Church of England during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. During the latter's reign, Andrewes served successively as Bishop of Chichester, Ely and Winchester and oversaw the translation of the Authorized Version (or King James Version) of the Bible.

He was chaplain to reigning monarchs for forty years; not only holding influential positions but also ministering to many who held important positions of State.

Still, his congregations came from all walks of life, apart from royalty, politicians and gentry, there were actors, artisans, musicians, students, common folk and clerics

T. S. Eliot was a fan of Andrewes, calling him "the first great preacher of the English Catholic Church" who always spoke as "a man who had a formed visible Church behind him, who speaks with the old authority and the new culture, whilst his sermons "rank with the finest English prose of their time, of any time."

A man of prayer and learning, each day of his life, from 4 am to noon was spent in prayer and study. Wow. Just wow.

Who has not taken of the bread and the cup, and not been overwhelmed with the grace of God, that we have been given such a privilege? The following is a prayer composed by Andrewes that articulates for us those feelings, and verbalizes proper gratitude in a sprit of humility.

If all the creatures in the world should offer themselves together with me to praise thee, O Lord, yet is it certain that we could not give thee sufficient thanks for the least of thy mercies; and if together we cannot sufficiently praise thee for the least, how much less can I alone perform so great a duty, for such inestimable blessings, as I have at this time received; for vouchsafing to visit me, comfort me, and honour me with acceptance   and admittance to thy blessed table.

If Elizabeth, the mother of John Baptist, upon the Virgin Mary’s entrance to her house) said, Whence is it that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? What shall I say, whom the Lord himself hath visited and united to him, by his blessed Sacrament, being a vessel and receptacle of all impurity, who hath so often affended, despited and neglected him?

King David wondered why God should so esteem of, or visit man; but I wonder much more, why he should be made man for man, abide with him, suffer death for him, and give himself to him for spiritual food. Solomon, after he had built a temple to God, reasoned thus: But will God dwell indeed on the earth? Behold the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee, how much less this house, that I have builded?

May not I much more marvel, that God  will not disdain to come and abide in this my poor and wretched soul?

What greater benefit or grace, what greater argument of his love is there, can there be showed to me?

Oh my soul, if thou wouldest but thoroughly conceive the happiness that cometh to thee by this holy Sacrament, then consider and well weigh, what benefits it bringeth with it. By it the sons of men are made the sons of God, and all that is earthly or carnal in us is mortified, that the Deity may live and abide with us.

What therefore, O my Lord, shall I do?

What thanks shall I render to thee?

With what fervency shall I love thee? For if thou, so mighty  a Lord, hast vouchsafed to love me, poor wretched creature, how should it be, but that I should return love again to thee?

And how shall I express my love better, than in forbearing those things which thou dost abhor, and following those things which thou dost command?

Give, O Lord, to this end thy concomitant grace to me, whereby I may return a reciprocal love to thee, and love those things, which are acceptable to thee, and avoid those things, which are to thee unpleasing.

Give me a heart, which may love thee with so true, faithful, and constant affection, as that nothing under the sun may separate me from the love of thee.

Let me not follow the love of the world, or delight in the vanities of it any longer: but give me power to kill and quench all other love and desires, and to love thee only, desire thee only, and only think of thee, and thy commandments: that all my affections and thoughts may be fixed on thee; that in all temptations and adversities, I may have recourse to thee only, and receive all comfort from thee alone, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.






Don't Worry! Be Happy!

May 15, 2009

In denial. Nero, who apparently fiddled while Rome burned, would be the classic example of it. Jesus faced it while here on earth. And the disease is still with us. What are its symptoms? Diagnosis is the first step to finding a cure.


All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

Wikipedia says that denial "is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead.

The Bible is a mirror that doesn't lie, telling us with no sugar-coating that outside of Christ, we are a mess, hopelessly lost, unable to fix things for our selves, and desparately in need of a Savior.

P.T. Forsythe, to an audience of pastors at Yale in 1907, spoke of man's ability to put the best human spin on life, and how we in essence tell God, "I'm doing fine without your help, thank you very much. If I need you - which I probably won't - I'll let you know."

Our moral eyes still have scales, he contends. It is a sign that "sin still has not bitten" when there  "is not yet resistance unto blood; that the holy has not yet outgrown the homely; that grace is untasted still, however the heart takes its fill of love.

The holy has not become the one reality. It indicates the ethical amateur brisk in his studies, though at times abashed; but not the broken man, the broken and contrite spirit, shamed, desperate, and delivered, lost and found.

In such a Gospel as that of man's natural and indelible sonship we not only have no need that God be reconciled to us, we hardly seem to need to be reconciled to God.

All we seem to need is to be reconciled to our inner truer selves. Be true to yourself, is the note of this youthful Gospel, and stir up one another to love. Cultivate the Spirit of Jesus. Believe and work for spiritual progress.

Meet with a shining face the dawn of God who loves to see His children happy. Yes, but in the meantime, where is the anguish of the new birth? And where the stricken confession 'God be merciful to me, a sinner?'"

When the crowd that had gathered heard this, they were pierced to the heart. They asked Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?" Acts 2:37





Why God's Holiness Matters
October 15, 2008
When Isaiah had his vision of God, he was impacted by the purity of God. "Woe is me," he cried, because he knew he was a sinner standing before a holy God. That understanding is being tossed over the side in our day, and the loss is profound.

Sinners, Of Whom I Am The Worst
October 1, 2008
Is this just sort of a weird way of bragging? Or, like Isaiah, as we see God in His holiness, do we become more keenly aware of our sinful nature?

Out Of The Heart......
July 8, 2008
Jesus was very clear in his conversation regarding the Pharisees - they were obsessed with keeping the outside of the cup clean, while Jesus focused on the inside of the cup, that is - keeping the heart pure before God.





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