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?



 


No one in this life is exempt from trials. But when they come in the service of Christ, we suffer in his name, and there is purpose in our discomfort. Nonetheless, trials must be weathered, sometimes literally. Consider John Paton.


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Why Can't I Pray?
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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
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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.

Theological Steak
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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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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.

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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?

'Jever Have One Of Those Days?

January 22, 2009



I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.

Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.

Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move.

I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.

I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.

Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? 2 Corinthains 11:23-29


Ok, Paul, you win. That is quite a list. One gets exhausted just reading it. There is no question that servants of God are not given a free pass from being in harms way. The "cushy life" seems antithetical. Rather, by being ambassadors for Christ, it seems that the likelyhood of trials and testings increases.

John Paton had four nightmarish years on the island of Tanna in the South Seas. His wife and infant son were buried there. He had ignomiously been chased off the island by what could best be termed savages, fleeing for his very life. After some fund raising in Australia, he was encouraged to return to Scotland, and raise further support for "stage two" of his mission.

At the time of his arrival, Scotland was experiencing a harsh winter, and the trip from Edinburgh to Thurso, he took a mail coach. The inside seats were occupied, so he sat outside. Brrr...

"The cold was intense, and one of my feet got bitten by the frost. The storm detained me nearly a week at Thruso, but feeing did not return to the foot."

"We started, in a lull, by steamer for Stromness; but the storm burst again, all were ordered below; but the storm, and hatches and doors made fast. The passengers were mostly very rough, the place was foul with whisky and tobacco. I appealed to the Captain to let me crouch somewhere on deak and hold on as best I could."

"He shouted, 'I dare not! You'll be washed overboard.' On seeing my appealing look, he relented, directed his men to fasten a tarpaulin over me, and lash it and me to the mast, and there I lay till we reached Stromness."

"The sea broke heavily and dangerously over the vessel. But the Captain, finding shelter for several hours under the lee of a headland, saved both the ship and the passengers."

"When at last we landed, my foot was so benumbed and painful that I could move a step only with greatest agony. Two meetings, however, were in some kind of way conducted; but the projected visit to Dngwall and other places had to be renounced, the snow lying too deep for any conveyance to carry, and my foot crying aloud for treatment and skill."

Yikes! A doctor who cared for him said that he had never seen any part of the human body so dead to feeling on a live and healthy person! It took months to fully recover, but the toe survived. John Paton remarked...

"I feel myself crooning over the graphic words of the Greatest Missionary, 'I bear about in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.'

Samuel Rutherford, the much-tried Scottish pastor of the 1600's, saw difficulties (banished from his congregation) as part of what we "signed up for:

"It cost Christ and all his followers sharp showers and hot sweats ere' they win to the top of the mountain. But still our soft nature would have heaven coming to our bedside when we are sleeping, and lying down with us, that we might go to heaven in warm clothes; but all that came there found wet feet by the way, and sharp storms that did take the hide off their face, and found to's and fro's, and up's and down's, and many enemies by the way."

As the hymnwriter asks....

Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease
While others fought to win the prize
And sailed through bloody seas?

Sure I must fight if I would reign
Increase my courage Lord
I'll bear the toil, enfue the pain
Supported by Thy word









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