• OVER 5,000 ARTICLES AND QUOTES PUBLISHED!
  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,382,211 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,280 other followers

  • August 2018
    M T W T F S S
    « Aug    
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    2728293031  
  • Recommended Reading

  • Advertisements

MEANINGFUL WORSHIP

Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! (Psalms 150:1-2 ESV)

How much attention do you give to your personal and corporate worship of God? If your worship is to glorify God, have you examined yourself to make certain that glorifying God is actually what you are doing? According to Jesus:

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24 ESV)

Without true worship, we cannot continue to grow in the blessing of His grace. Our consciousness of God’s presence in our lives begins to fade. Worship is not simply an outward act; it is the demonstration of a heart on fire for God. Have you experienced the joy of His pleasure in your worship? We need to reflect on our worship because it should be done according to God’s will, not ours.

Continue reading

Advertisements

ACCEPTABLE WORSHIP

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! (Psalm 95:1-6 ESV)

… Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, (Hebrews 12:28 ESV)

The MERRIAM-WEBSTER DICTIONARY defines “worship” as 1) “the act of showing respect and love for … God especially by praying with other people who believe in the same God: the act of worshipping God;” 2) “reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also: an act of expressing such reverence;” 3) “to take part in worship or an act of worship.” Such definitions, however, fall short in their accuracy because worship is both an attitude and an act. Worship must connect the mind and heart with the truth of God and His marvelous grace as made known in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible.

Continue reading

FEELING RIGHT WHEN WE ARE SO WRONG

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV)

Narcissus

Narcissus

Christian men and women are human and therefore often pray, worship, and read the Bible without consideration of the personal prejudices which influence their thinking about these practices. We allow our feelings to become the unassailable doctrines of our belief without the Berean’s objectivity and careful study of the Word of God. This is a self-centered theology driven by our emotions and personal whims. The basis upon which we decide what the Scriptures actually mean is driven by how it makes us feel. To any thinking Christian, this system is unacceptable.

God requires that we seek Him as He has presented Himself in the Bible. As Jesus said:

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 ESV)

Christians must learn to depend on the Scriptures which offer truth and reason to guide our prayer, worship, and Bible study. Although these practices may give rise to emotions, they must not be guided by selfish emotionalism. Seek instead to become a Bible-saturated and Holy Spirit filled Christian. Jesus reminds us that “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24 ESV)

CHRISTIAN, REJOICE!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4 ESV)

cranky christianHave you ever meet a cranky Christian? Of course you have. These are Christians who have allowed circumstances to rob them of their joy. Paul tells us that joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22 ESV)

You should not confuse joy with happiness. Happiness is created by what happens to us. It is a product of circumstances. Joy, on the other hand, is the result of our covenant relationship with God. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11 ESV) Christian joy is impossible without a loving relationship with God:

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 ESV)

Nothing can separate us from the love of God. This is why a Christian can have eternal joy. We should not worry about circumstances or what we have or don’t have in this world. Take joy in the eternal pleasure of knowing God and being one of His family. If you have been saved from your sins in order to spend eternity in His household, do you not have sufficient reason to be full of Joy?

THE FOUNDATION OF WORSHIP

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24 ESV)

WorshipMany of the unchurched public visited places of worship during the recent Holidays. What did they see and hear at your church? In some churches, I think they saw only a poor reflection of the secular world. How then will they be saved if the pastor’s message is not God-centered, sin-exposing, self-convicting and life-challenging?

Of course, this is the opposite of the popular sermons that seek only to entertain and promote a Christianized self-help philosophy. In such places the congregation becomes sovereign; ignoring what God has said on the subject, they dictate how worship will be conducted by what makes them feel better.

Thank God there are other churches where people meet to engage in God-centered, Scripture-directed worship. Those churches remind us that God wants us to worship Him in truth. (John 4:24 ESV) These are churches where you find the expository preaching of God’s Word. Indeed, all of worship is regulated by the Bible. Which of these churches do you attend?

The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation
By water and the Word:
From heav’n He came and sought her
To be His holy Bride;
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.
(“The Church’s One Foundation” by Samuel John Stone)

WORSHIP IN THE WRONG DIRECTION

‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ (Matthew 15:8-9 ESV)

Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,  Therefore behold … the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.” (Isaiah 29:13-14 NASB)

Narcissus

Narcissus

I believe that when Christians and unbelievers attend church they should hear the Bible preached and sing songs that reinforce the biblical message. This is worship that glorifies God. However, the modern church has altered worship to the current tastes of the unchurched. The advent of the “Church Growth Movement” (CGM) in evangelical circles has generated changes in corporate worship to attract the unchurched. Churches who adopt CGM are driven to find the answer to the question, “What do people want?”

Continue reading

THE PERFECTIONS OF GOD

Richard Baxter:

baxter“Remember the perfections of that God whom you worship, that he is a Spirit, and therefore to be worshipped in spirit and truth; and that he is most great and terrible, and therefore to be worshipped with seriousness and reverence, and not to be dallied with, or served with toys or lifeless lip-service; and that he is most holy, pure, and jealous, and therefore to be purely worshipped; and that he is still present with you, and all things are naked and open to him with whom we have to do. The knowledge of God, and the remembrance of his all-seeing presence, are the most powerful means against hypocrisy.”

%d bloggers like this: