November 17, 2014
Old Story New: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God is free for Kindle. Looks like a great tool for Dads (or Moms) who still have kids at home. Also, I’m always looking for helps along the way incase I get asked to speak to kids.
Do You Hear the People Sing? deals with how important it is to be able to hear the voices of other saints during Sunday morning worship. Sunday morning isn’t about performance; it is about corporate worship.
Mark Altrogge writes about The Unbelievable, Incomprehensible, Mind-Blowing Power Available To Us.
February 12, 2014
“So they feared the LORD but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away”
2Kings 17:35 says “The LORD made a covenant with them and commanded them, ‘You shall not fear other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them.'” It isn’t that we don’t worship God. We do. Our problem is that often we have a personal pantheon of gods. These pantheons are fluid. One day the primary god I worship might be my child’s health, the next day it could be getting a bill paid, and the third day it could be my marriage. These are good things but they are not God. Because they are worthy desires, we are tempted to worship them by believing that they will bring delight to our lives. This magnifies our idols and minimizes God.
While we’re bowing to these other gods, we are paying lip service to the LORD. Because of this intellectual commitment to God we often don’t sense the emotional commitment to our idols. So often our emotional misery in life is tied to the fact that we’re worshiping idols that either can’t do anything for us or gods that are evading us. You see, when God isn’t the only god of my life, when I’m not getting what I want, unhappiness and misery are sure to follow. Our idols are always cruel. Psalm 37:4 is truth we need to get into our hearts: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” The LORD is our only sure thing in life. Because of this, anything else we delight in is sure to disappoint. What god are you running after today?
September 17, 2013
As you probably know, I think parents ought to do their best to have their children with them in church. Here is a helpful post that Deb alerted me to that talks about this challenge. All of us need to read this post.
Speaking of raising our children in church, here Trevin Wax reminds us that the point of church isn’t to merely learn. What do we tell our kids when they already know ALL the stories?
“Acting the Miracle” is John Piper’s new book on sanctification. It releases at the end of this month. However you can download the whole thing in PDF form and read it now.
“Give and it shall be given to you …”
August 22, 2013
Good literature engages the mind and the heart. It doesn’t emotionally grab us because the author says, “This is tragic.” Rather, the writer paints an engaging word picture so that his readers see what he sees in his mind and respond emotionally. Good worship music does the same thing. It doesn’t just tell us to praise the Lord. It moves us to praise the Lord because it helps us see God’s greatness. Great worship music articulates the truth about God so that we can’t help but worship. Alistair Begg is getting at this in this video:
August 9, 2013
First, some free stuff (I love free stuff). This month’s free audio book from Christian Audio is Stott’s insightful book “Basic Christianity.” Also Sinclair Ferguson’s wonderful book “In Christ Alone” is free. Finally, Wiersbe’s “Be Equipped (Deuteronomy): Acquiring the Tools for Spiritual Success” is free for the taking.
Based on my limited experience, one of the most difficult things we have to do in life is forgive others. Many of us have a list of personal Hitlers in our lives. Here Tullian illustrates the truth that people who are forgiven, forgive.
As we leave church on a Sunday morning we might very well discuss with our family whether or not we liked the sermon. Tim Challies says that this sort of critiquing isn’t what we should be doing with sermons. As you might suspect, I appreciate what he says.
People who are opposed to Calvinism typically don’t use scripture to argue against it. I suspect this is because scripture is the Calvinist’s home court. Usually the mode of attack is more straw man based. Caricatures, misinformed myths of Calvinism are attacked. Michael Patton discusses twelve common myths about Calvinism. Even those who believe in the doctrines of grace should read what he has to say.
Finally, here is a encouraging post about the power of singing. The piece was written with Sunday mornings in mind, however, I think that the power of gospel-centered music he articulates is available the rest of the week as well.
From Joe Thorn:
As we gather for worship this Sunday let’s consider that it’s called a worship “service” for a reason. Corporate worship is both the celebration and depiction of the gospel. In the gospel we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who has made full and complete atonement for our sins. We receive him. Our Savior came to serve us (Mt. 20:28). Christianity is more about receiving than doing. It does not neglect duty. In fact what we receive empowers us to act. But ours is a faith that accepts before working.
And so our gathered worship is itself a service of the good news. We come together to receive the word and sacraments. We believe the gospel proclaimed in both. Yes, God’s people offer praise and prayer and even ourselves to the Lord, but he is already our Lord. Our offerings are to him who has already done all the work necessary to save us. He is our God, and we are his people.
This is not merely a worship event. It is not simply a worship gathering. It is God’s service to his people through the church. Come ready to receive what God offers freely in his Son Jesus Christ.
October 27, 2012
Worship cannot be isolated or relegated to just one place, time, or segment of our lives. We cannot verbally thank and praise God while living lives of selfishness and carnality. That kind of effort at worship is a perversion. Real acts of worship must be the overflow of a worshiping life… As God warms the heart with righteousness and love, the resulting life of praise that boils over is the truest expression of worship.