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?



 
Gratitude
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)


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Testify!

August 14, 2010

Why does the song "Amazing Grace" resound so in our hearts? Because it is giving credit to where credit is due. He is the God of all grace. And we are the grateful recipients.


He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. Psalm 66:9

Samuel Rutherford (17th century) wrote a letter to the parishioners of Kilmacolm, and 200 years later the Scottish pastor Alexander Whyte examined Rutherford's insight.

'Some of the people of God,' says their sharp-eyed censor, 'slander the grace of God in their own soul.' And that is true of some of God's best people still.

We meet with such people now and then in our own parishes to-day. They are so possessed with penitence and humility; they have such high and inflexible and spiritual standards for measuring themselves by; the law has so fatally entered their innermost souls that they will not even admit or acknowledge what the grace of God has, to all other men's knowledge, done in them.

Seek out, says Rutherford, the signs of true grace in yourselves as well as the signs of secret sin. And when you have found such and such an indubitable sign of grace, say so.

Say this, and this, and this, pointing it out, is assuredly the work of God in my soul. When you, after all defeat, really discover your soul growing in grace;

in patience under injuries;

in meekness under reproofs and corrections;

in love for, or at least in peace of heart toward, those you at one time did not like, but disliked almost to downright hatred;

in silent and assenting acceptance, if not yet in actual and positive enjoyment, of another man's talents and success, gain and fame;

in the decay and disappearance of party spirit, and in openness to all the good and the merit of other men; in prayerfulness;

in liberality, and so on; when you cannot deny these things in yourself, then speak good of Christ, and do not traduce and backbite His work because it is in your own soul.

'Some wretches murmur of want while all the time their money in the bank and their fat harvests make them liars.'

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

AMAZING GRACE by John Newton

 






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.






Lightning and Thunder
November 25, 2008
First the lightning, then thunder, in that order. If God's grace is the lightning, then the thunder is our gratitude. There will be no end to God displaying his grace, so eternity will be filled with gratitude. Lets get a head start on it now.

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?

Priming The Pump Of Gratitude
November 20, 2008
Who can proclaim he mighty acts of the Lord or fully declare his praise? Psalm 106:2 The answer? No one. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

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.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
November 3, 2008
One never knows what a day might hold. So to safely get through a day is a mercy of God, and He deserves our thanks. John Baillie gives us a helpful example from his prayer life.

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September 27, 2008
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I will sing with my spirit, I will also sing with my mind. 1 Corinthians 14:15

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Christians are called to praise the Lord. Why? What is that all about? And just what does it "accomplish?

Everybody Praise
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Every living soul belongs to me. Ezekiel 18:4

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made #1
July 5, 2008
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.....God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:27,31





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