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?



 


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.


Recent Entries

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?

Anybody Seen My Bible?

October 3, 2008



When I was a kid (the fifties!) we used to have Bible drills. Maybe some of you remember. (Maybe some of you still do that??) Anyway, everybody would hold their Bible in the air (bringing them to church was common then) and the leader would shout out a reference. Then began this wild scramble to be the first to find the text, and if your knowledge of those 66 books was at your razorsharp, and you were fast to your feet, you would proudly leap to your feet and read the passage, impressing all of your friends. Of course, we never worried about what we were reading might mean, or how to apply it in our lives. The emphasis was purely on speed, not content.
   
Looking back now on those days, I both cringe and feel slightly nostalgic. The nostalgic part is that the Bible was a bigger deal back then. The cringing part is that we devalued what it was trying to convey to us. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that the Bible has fallen on hard times in our day. It seems like the more the translations, the smaller the readership! For a hundred years at least, critics have taken pot shots in the name of scholarship, picking away methodically as confidence in the Bible's reliability has waned steadily. Face it, the whole concept of truth has changed. You know, your truth, my truth. As Bill Clinton said, "it depends on what the meaning of is is..."

Truthfully (yes, the irony is intended) this problem in not new. The human race has never liked authority from outside that sets an agenda other than the one we personally approve of. And if God's word is about anything, it's about what He is up to, what He loves and hates, and just how we can come under His blessing. God has a plan, and when we find it and fit into it, all is well. You want a recipe to ultimate joy and happiness and satisfaction, then this Book is for you.
   
Yet somehow we remain unconvinced. In Isaiah 8, God has had enough of His people consulting anything and everything but Him.

When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?  To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God.  Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness. Isaiah 8:19-22
   
No light of dawn. Wow. Just what do we lose when we set the Bible aside, and never dust it off? We lose our map, that's what. We set our compass aside. It's like going from GPS in your car to having to cross the road blindfolded with only a cane. Losing sight of God's Word always results in spiritual blindness.
   
2 Chronicles 34 tells of the priesthood cleansing the temple after a dark period in Israel's history. Hilkiah the priest found "the book of the law," dusted it off, and ran and told Shaphan, a king's aid. Shaphan took the book to the king, and informed him, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book."
   
A book! He didn't even know what he had. But they began reading, and would you believe a revival resulted? The king repented, then the people repented. There were tears mixed with new resolve, and as long as Josiah continued to reign, the people continued to follow the Lord. Wonderful story.
   
So why is it that we read every manual we can find to help us do our jobs better, but do we go to God's word, to hear from Him?  We network, we conference - all to be as relevant as we can. And meanwhile the Bible doesn't quite fit into our busy schedule. Hello! God's word is food! It is designed to uniquely satisfy, as nothing else can. Is it any wonder that we are distressed and hungry, as we rummage through the garbage cans of culture (and the internet!) to find some morsel of half-truth to get us through another week?
   
The Bible makes wonderful claims about itself: But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:14-17
   
The point I am trying to make should be obvious. God's word is our biggest ally, and our chief source of support to keep us strong and vital in our faith.  It is what we need personally, and what our congregations needs to see oozing out of us. Who else but scripture can promise that it will completely prepare you for all that life throws at you?
   
One more thing. Enjoying scripture is a learned skill. It is an acquired taste. Ask the Lord to give you a love for His word. He will love that prayer request. So dive in with a reading program, because it takes you by the hand and "tells you what to do." And if you get behind (which you will) just skip those passages and stay current. Eventually you will read through the Bible, and joyfully, at that. 
   
Some people can run a marathon. 26 miles can seem daunting. You start training for it by running around the block.  Before long, you'll be up to a mile, and eventually 26 miles will be doable. Bible reading has eternal rewards, for it keeps you in the race, running well, with your eye on the prize. It invigorates, it revives, it restores, and leads you to the finish line. Give it a chance. You'll never be sorry.
















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