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?



 
Confession
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)


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?

The Kiss Of Death

June 2, 2009

God's grace can lead to not taking sin very seriously. Big mistake! Sin is toxic, to kiss it is to die. Its aim is to take us out, to render us harmless, ineffective, useless, or worse yet, turning us into bored, distracted and conflicted spectators.


John Owen was burdened by apostasy, defined as the formal religious disaffiliation or abandonment or renunciation of one's religion.

The church in all ages has been both red hot and ice cold. Revelation 2 and 3 was written to restore what had been lost, and inspire zeal and fervor for the things of God.

The following is extracted from Owen's THE MORTIFICATION OF SIN, and has been edited slightly to become (hopefully) more clear to our 21st Century ears.

The one main reason why the Spirit and the new nature have been given to us is this - that we may have a principle within whereby to oppose sin and lust.

The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit also lusts against the flesh," Gal. 5:17.

There is a propensity in the Spirit, or spiritual new nature, to be acting against the flesh, as well as in the flesh to be acting against the Spirit. And when we participate with the divine nature, we are given us an escape from the pollutions that are in the world through lust.....

Now this is, first, the most unjust and unreasonable thing in the world (we might say "idiotic!") when two combatants are engaged, to bind one (the work of the Spirit) and keep him up from doing his utmost, and to leave the other (the flesh) at liberty to wound him at his pleasure; and, secondly, the most foolish thing in the world to bind him who fights for our eternal condition, and to let him alone who seeks and violently attempts our everlasting ruin.

The contest is for our lives and souls. Not to be daily employing the Spirit and new nature for the mortifying of sin, is to neglect that excellent succour which God has given us against our greatest enemy.

If we neglect to make use of what we have received, God may justly hold his hand from giving us more. His graces, as well as his gifts, are bestowed on us to use, exercise, and trade with. Not to be daily mortifying sin, is to sin against the goodness, kindness, wisdom, grace, and love of God, who hath furnished us with a principle of doing it.

Negligence in this duty casts the soul into a perfect contrary condition to that which the apostle affirms....

"Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16

When we let the flesh get the upward hand, 2 Corinthians 4:16 is turned upside down - the inward man perishes, and the outward man is renewed day by day. Sin becomes like the house of David, and grace takes on the unfortunate role of the house of Saul. And we know how that turned out! Not good at all for Saul. If this happens, grace loses, as Saul found out in the end.

Exercise and success are the two main cherishers of grace in the heart. When grace is suffered to lie still, it withers and decays: the things of it are ready to die.

Sin gets ground towards the hardening of the heart. This is that which I intend: by the omission of this duty grace withers and lust flourishes, and the frame of the heart grows worse and worse; and the Lord knows what desperate and fearful issues it hath had with many.

Where sin, through the neglect of mortification, gets a considerable victory, it breaks the bones of the soul and makes a man weak, sick, and ready to die, so that he cannot look up.

And when poor creatures will take blow by blow, wound after wound, foil after foil, and never rouse up themselves to a vigorous opposition, can they expect any thing but to be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, and that their souls should bleed to death?

Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 2 John 8.

Indeed, it is a sad thing to consider the fearful consequences of this neglect, which lie under our eyes every day. How tragic to see those who we once knew to be humble, melting, broken-hearted Christians, tender and fearful to offend, zealous for God and all his ways, his Sabbaths and ordinances now become - through neglect of watching unto this duty - earthly, carnal, cold, wrathful, complying with the men of the world and things of the world, to the scandal of religion and the fearful temptation of them that know them?

COME SPIRIT COME
Come Holy Spirit, dwell here among us
We need your power, your healing grace
Show us your favor, grant us your presence
As you have promised, come Spirit come

Come rushing wind, come holy fire
Here and now descend
O breath of God, O Perfect peace
Revive us once again








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





Advent - A Time For Taking Stock
December 2, 2008
Inventory isn't fun, but it is a necessary part of good business practice. And for the believer, this time of year gives us several weeks in a row when we can evaluate and re-evaluate our lives, and what we are giving ourselves away to.

A Pastor After God's Own Heart
October 22, 2008
The shift from pastor as shepherd to pastor as CEO has had devastating effects on the "sheep." They've wandered off. So what are the pastoral basics again, and how do we become "retro?"

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.

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.

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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