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?



 
Consecration
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)


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Better Than Counting Sheep

December 13, 2010

When my head hits the pillow, it's lights out. But perhaps before nodding off, some more intentionality might be in order. Certainly Jeremy Taylor thought so.


Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667) was a key figure in the Church of England, until deposed for a 15 year period while the Puritans under Cromwell enjoyed running things.

Those years, however, became very productive in terms of writing. Odd how God has a way of doing that! Just ask John Bunyan with his Pilgrim's Progress written while in Newgate prison, or the Apostle Paul with the book of Philippians , or John on the isle of Patmos writing Revelation.

Holy Living and Holy Dying were written in those years of Taylor's exile. And in Holy Living, some prayers are included to pray at the end of the day.

Given our media-driven lifestyle, we often go to bed with the days news still reverberating in our ears, or, having just signed off of Facebook after a couple of hours of "friend-snooping," our minds are filled with the mundane of a Starbucks run or other innocuous tidbits.

Jeremy Taylor provides us with a prayer that puts the essence of our lives forefront as we close out the day. It places eternity at the forefront, where it belongs.

Into thy hands, most blessed Jesu, I comment my soul and body, for htou hast redeemed both with thy precious blood. So bless and sanctify my sleep unto me, that if may be temperate, holy, and safe, a refreshment to my wearied body, to enable it so to serve my soul, that both may serve thee with a never-failing duty.

O let me never sleep in sin or death eternal, but give me a watchful and prudent spirit, that I may omit no opportunity of serving thee; that whether I sleep or wake, live or die, I may be thy servant and thy child: that when the work of my life is done, I may rest in the bosom of my Lord, till by the voice of the archangel, the trump of God, I shall be awakened, and called to sit down and feast in the eternal supper of the Lamb.

Grant this, O Lamb of God, for the honor of thy mercies, and the glory of thy name, O most merciful Savior and Redeemer Jesus. Amen.

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Now That's A Headstone!!

June 20, 2009

King Jehoram passed away at age 32 "to no one's regret." Ouch. The Puritan John Owen not only left thousands of pages of passionate theology behind, his life inspired one of the world's wordiest epitaphs on his grave marker. It is worth our attention.


John Paton, the missionary to the south seas, said of his deceased father:

"he himself in 1868, having reached his 77th year, an altogether beautiful and noble episode of human existence having been enacted."

Not a bad epitaph for any son to write of his father. Consider what was chisled into the grave marker of John Owen, the Puritan.

Late in life, after declining the presidency of Harvard, he expired after "years of martyrdom to asthma and gallstones." (J. I. Packer) What follows is a translation from the Latin, taking some liberty for the sake of coherence.

John Owen, born in Osfordshire, son of a distinguished theologian, was himself a more distinguished one, who must be counted among the most distinguished of his age.

Furnished with the recognized resources of humane learning in uncommon measure, he put them all, as a well-ordered array of handmaids, at the service of theology, which he served himself.

His theology was polemical, practical, and what is called casuistical, and it cannot be said that any one of these was peculiarly his rather than another.

In polemical theology, with more than herculean strength, he strangled three poisonous serpents, the Arminian, the Socinian, and the Roman.

In practical theology, he laid out before others the whole of the activity of the Holy Spirit, which he had first experienced in his own heart, according to the rule of the Word.

And, leaving other things aside, he cultivated, and realized in practice, the blissful communion with God of which he wrote; a traveler on earth who grasped God like one in heaven.

In causistry, he was valued as an oracle to be consulted on every complex matter.

A scribe instructed in every way for the kingdom of God, this pure lamp of gospel truth shone forth on many in private, on more from the pulpit, and on all in his printed works, pointing everyone to the same goal.

And in this shining forth he gradually, as he and others recognized, squandered his strength till it was gone. His holy soul, longing to enjoy God more, left the shattered ruins of his once-handsome body, full of permanent weaknesses, attacked by frequent diseases, worn out most of all by hard work, and no longer a fit instrument for serving God, on a day rendered dreadful for many by earthly powers but now made happy for him through the power of God. August 25, 1683. He was 67.





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