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?



 
Waiting on God


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Self-sufficient humanism. Paul saw it coming – “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

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So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

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The bible gives us several reasons, but according to Jeremy Taylor, a deceitful heart is at the root of prayerlessness.

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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.

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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.

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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?

When God Comes Close

May 19, 2010

Jacob had his dream, and knew that God had been there. Jonathan Edwards had that afternoon in the woods, as God poured out his love profoundly and personally. Paul had an experience with God that he could not put into words. And they were changed.


George Matheson had a night of struggle with God one evening, and God decided to reassure him by giving him a song, a hymn of profound truth about the love of God that still has the ability to stir the faith of the singer.

A pastor in Scotland for the latter part of the 19th Century, Matheson's eyesight gradually declined to the point of blindness, but thanks to the help of his sisters, he excelled, and armed with an exceptional ability to memorize, he maintained a successful and fruitful ministry from the pulpit. Often those who heard him preach for the first time did not even realize that he was blind.

From Matheson's own recollection, we are told how O LOVE THAT WILT NOT LET ME GO was born.

My hymn was composed in the manse of Argyleshire, Scotland on the evening of the 6th of June, 1882, when I was 40 years of age. I was alone in the manse at that time. It was the night of my sister’s marriage, and the rest of the family were staying over night in Glasgow.

Some thing happened to me, which was known only to myself, and which caused me the most severe mental suffering. The hymn was the fruit of that suffering. It was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life. I had the impression of having it dictated to me by some in ward voice rather than of working it out myself.

I am quite sure that the whole work was completed in five minutes, and equally sure that it never received at my hands any re­touching or correction. I have no natural gift of rhythm. All the other verses I have ever written are manufactured articles; this came like a dayspring from on high.

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

 

 






Sit! Stay! Hold! Wait!

June 15, 2009

We are people of action. "God helps those who help themselves," is our default motto. Wrong! Running ahead of God is the quickest way to disaster. On the other hand, learning to wait on God is the door to true happiness and fulfillment.


Being men of action may have its up side, but often, since it lacks the advantage of careful consideration, it can lead to making things worse, not better.

As Jesus was being arrested in that fateful night, Peter drew a sword and struck a servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. Jesus scolded Peter, saying "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" And then He miraculously  reattached Malchus' ear. (John 18:10-11)

Waiting on the Lord is a virtue that is rarely mentioned, but leads to great joy and peace.

Following are the thoughts of Oswald Chambers, from a devotional called THE SACRAMENT OF SILENCE....

To wait upon God is not to sit with folded hands and do nothing, but to wait as men who wait for the harvest. The farmer does not wait idly but with intense activity, he keeps industriously "at it" until the harvest.

To wait upon God is the perfection of activity. We are told to "rest in the Lord," not to rust. We talk of resting in the Lord but it is often only a pious expression; in the Bible, resting in the Lord is the patience of godly confidence.

"In returning and rest shall ye be saved;.....But ye said, "No, for we will flee on horses...." In other words we will take the initiative. When we take the initiative we put our wits on the throne, we do not worship God.

God never guides His children by their own initiative. The only initiative we have to take is the initiative of worshipping God.

"My soul, be silent unto God." Psalm 62:5

Rouse your soul out of its drowsiness to consider God. Fix your attention on God, on the great themes of His Redemption and His holiness, on the great and glorious outlines of His character, be silent to Him there; then be as busy as you like in the ordinary affairs of life.

Be like the Lord Jesus; when He was sound asleep in the fishing-boat He knew that His Father would waken Him when He wanted Him. This is a marvelous picture of confidence in God.





So Where's The Next John The Baptist?
February 15, 2009
At key times in the history of the Church, men and women have been raised up to fan into flame the the embers of Christian believers, and often with seismic results. God is watching carefully, and preparing. Keep your eyes open, and keep praying.

Rise And Shine!
February 4, 2009
Getting out of bed in the morning can be difficult. And making the time to be with God before the day demands our full attention is a challenge many of us struggle with. But the dividends are immeasurable.

History In The Making
January 28, 2009
“Prayer is a grand cement, and lack of prayer is like withdrawing the force of gravitation from a mass of matter, and scattering it into so many separate atoms.” C. H. Spurgeon

Guys, A Potential Wife Is Watching
January 16, 2009
Remember how we used to ask that question, "If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you. In the case of John Paton's father James, his devotional life caught the attention of his eventual wife Mary.

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December 25, 2008
Your truth, my truth. That doesn't work very well, does it. God has a truth, and it is the word of God, scripture, the Bible, the holy book. No matter what you call it, it is his word to us. And we need it now more than ever.

Satisfaction Guaranteed
November 6, 2008
The mere presence of these two words on the packaging admits that the product may not deliver. With God, there is no risk. We are offered a relationship of the most magnificent possibility, with the absolute certainty that He will never disappoint.

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October 21, 2008
This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. Isaiah 66:2

What's Your News Source?
October 19, 2008
Newspapers are myopic. Who, where, when, how. The why is not so easy. Yes, online news is faster, but scripture alone gives us the big picture, giving us a framework of God's plan that calms our souls, reassuring us that the end is in God's hands.

Prepping The Heart For Worship
October 14, 2008
How many of us slide into church on Sunday morning, and the first song is like a cold shower. What might we do to prepare the heart for worship? A Puritan has a few valuable suggestions.

The Company We Keep
October 10, 2008
You've heard the phrase "in the world, but not of the world." How do we associate with unbelievers, without being molded by their perspective on life, and losing our zeal and spiritual fervor?

The Best Time Of The Day
October 8, 2008
Most of us struggle to have a quiet time at all, so to argue for the early morning hours as "most desirable" seems a bit unfair. What secret did Jesus know that we need to rediscover?

Anybody Seen My Bible?
October 3, 2008
We can read anything and everything before we sit down and read the one source of truth that doesn't lie - God's word, the Bible. Which is crazy, because only scripture gives us the spiritual nutrients we need to run the race of faith.

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"Prayer," says Vinet, "is like the air of certain ocean isles, which is so pure that there vermin cannot live. We should surround ourselves with this atmosphere, as the diver shuts himself into his bell ere he descends into the deep."

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In chapter one of Acts, we are told that the Church "joined constantly in prayer." Where did that kind of zeal go, and how might we get it back?

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I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known. Habakkuk 3:2

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God doesn't get caught up in numbers. Remember Gideon? An "army" of 300? This is the story of a prayer meeting that changed a nation.





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