Posts Tagged ‘heart’

watchman-on-wall

I wrote this upon waking from a dream:

I stand high above the sea of souls

Gazing at the wondrous beauty of the Body

The building upon which I stand is enormous

The purest white, spacious, with many rooms, and many floors, and many wings

I stand watching…

I stand waiting…

I stand listening…

I hear countless tales and lore

I hear many words come forth

Sometimes I hear something strange

Sometimes I see a wall coming

That alienates

That separates

Then the Word comes

Then the Spirit comes

They come together as One

With the Father

In the high tower

Of protection it’s sure

Inside that which my invocation seeks

The prayer of the heart

For upon which I stand

As a watchman…

Psalm111

Psalm 111 Observations:

Verse 1:
1. Glory and honor are due unto God
2. Not just ordinary praise, but high praise given to God
3. This high praise comes from all of our being
4. Those who have been made righteous give this praise
5. God’s work in creation, providence, & redemption is exceptional

Verses 2-4:
6. God’s workings are so marvelous they cannot be forgotten
7. Those who love God delight in and seek out His wondrous works
8. The nature and character of God is justice and holiness
9. Memorials: eternal covenant, Law, Passover (Pascha), the Lord’s Supper, Baptism
10. God has tender mercy and is actively compassionate toward us

Verse 5:
11. The Psalmist reminds the people of God’s goodness
12. The God of peace, Who through the blood of the eternal covenant

Verse 6:
13. God’s powerful working is seen in the regeneration of our souls

Verses 7-8
14. God has always had a purpose and design for His works

Verse 9:
15. There is a transition from…
15. The Psalmist declaring the mighty works that Jehovah has done for His people
16. To Mt. Sinai and the commandments that He has given to them
17. “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”(Galatians 5:14)
18. “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
19. “but he became a priest with an oath when God said to Him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind: ‘You are a priest forever.'” Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.” (Hebrews 7:21-22)
20. Jesus Christ is the surety, the guarantee, the insurer of the eternal covenant

Verse 10:
21. Holy and terrifying is His Name – Yahweh, Jehovah, THE LORD!
22. In vs. 9 awesome or fearful = to stand in awe, to be afraid, to fear, to inspire reverence
23. In vs. 10 The fear of the Lord, = fear, terror, a terrifying thing, to stand in awe
24. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” (1 Corinthians 3:19-20)
25. Psalm 111 speaks of God’s divine attributes: power, wisdom, faithfulness, and goodness
26. Psalm 111 issues the need for our response to God by: deep inquiry into communion with Him, being in awe of God that He is God, obedience in trusting in and relying upon God, and that true praise and worship flow from our inner most being in the gatherings of the local church, in our special personal times of devotion, and at all times in our hearts

Download the message here.

Potter & Clay

Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” (v. 21).

See – – Romans 9:14-24

If only some people are predestined to be saved, then it logically must follow that other people are not. The doctrine of predestination to salvation is called the doctrine of election, and the doctrine of predestination to damnation is called the doctrine of reprobation.

There is some mystery in these doctrines of predestination, but as we have said before, if we don’t say that God predestines all things, we don’t have a God at all. If He is not totally sovereign, He is only a “big man” like Zeus or Baal. At the same time, there are some things we can say about the doctrines of election and reprobation, and we need to say them.

First, the fact is that all mankind is in sin and rebellion against God. God does not have to elect anybody. When God chooses to save a sinner, He puts forth an action to save that person. God works to create belief in us. This contrasts with the doctrine of reprobation. God does not put forth an effort to cause people to sin. When God chooses to bypass a sinner, He does not work to create unbelief in that person’s heart. Rather, God simply lets him go his own way.

Thus, second, we say that election and reprobation are not “equally ultimate.” In election, God powerfully acts to change a person from a sinner to a saint. God does not act to change a saint into a sinner. Election is an act of God; reprobation is simply the reflex of that action, the fact that God has not elected everybody.

Third, we have to say that God’s action of deciding to save some is simultaneously a decision not to save others. The decision to save is called election, and the decision not to save is called preterition. Since this is one action, it can be seen as two sides of one coin, and “equally ultimate” in that sense.

But, and this is most important, when God implements election by calling the saints, He saves us apart from anything we have done. When God implements preterition by reprobating the wicked, He does not do anything to them; He simply leaves them alone. In this important sense, the work of God in condemning the wicked is not the reverse side of His work in saving sinners.

Many people are put off by the things we have discussed today. Read Romans 9:19–21. Notice how Paul deals with those who objected. The bottom line of Paul’s reply is this: We must bow the knee to God. He has decided not to save everybody, and we have no right to criticize Him. Can you agree?

Shared from www.ligonier.org.

GAME-ADUP-PASS_THE_POPCORN_MOVIE_GUESSIN

What’s a worship service supposed to look like? I’m sure if we polled everyone, we’d get lots of different opinions – and strongly stated ones at that. But I think that a lot of us approach church a lot like going to the movies. It’s sort of a spectator and consumer activity to a lot of us.

Think of it like this: You go to the movie and buy your ticket. In church, that’s like the offering. Then you get your popcorn. In church that’s like the bulletin. So you settle into your seat in the theatre and listen to the music and passively watch those trivia questions on the screen before the show. In church, that’s like the prelude music and reading the bulletin while you’re waiting for the service to start.

Then, back at the theatre, come the previews for upcoming shows. In church, those are the announcements and for some of us, that’s the category that the music fits in as well – preliminaries – stuff you have to get through to get to the show you came for. And then in the theatre, at last, the movie comes on. In church, that’s the sermon. In the theatre, we had hoped to be entertained. Maybe we were moved, or maybe we laughed, or maybe we were scared.

And when the movie’s over, either we think it was a great or maybe it was a dud, and we let everyone we came with know what we thought. In church, we tend to have the same expectation, and we sort of give our assessment of the sermon in the same way. “That was a great sermon. That was a boring sermon. Man, pastor was meandering today, wasn’t he? I didn’t like the songs they picked this week, etc.” Then, after attending either venue, we go home and come back looking for a good show the next week.

For many of us, church is a weekly show we go watch. We pay our offering, as if we’re buying a ticket, and so we expect the kind of results we want. Our mindset is that we’re going to church to receive something. And certainly that’s an okay expectation on one level.

But ultimately, is that what a “worship service” is all about? I don’t think so. You see the very nature of the word worship, in all of its New Testament and Old Testament variants, is that it’s verb. It’s something we do. And that thing we do is never defined as simply “showing up” at a service called a worship service. If you’re going to be in a real “worship service,” it’s going to have to involve some people choosing to worship God.

Biblical words for worship have definitions such as “to kiss towards,” “to kiss the feet of,” “to bow down,” “to prostrate oneself,” “to ascribe worth to,” and “to serve.” Biblical worship is described as singing, shouting, bowing, kneeling, clapping, making joyful noises, dancing, sacrificing, giving offerings, and presenting our bodies as living sacrifices. These are very active, physical sounding definitions and descriptions that don’t come close to sounding like “show up and receive something.”

Worship isn’t a passive experience. Worship is a response to who God is and what he’s done in light of who we are and what we’ve done. And when we really start to grasp that truth, we will find ourselves, bowing and kneeling and lifting our hands and singing with our whole hearts and giving our offerings as sacrifices to the one who sacrificed his all for us. Just showing up and listening doesn’t look anything like biblical worship.

If you’re looking for good entertainment or just want to watch a show, maybe it’ll be worth your eight bucks to go the local theatre. But if you’ve gotten a taste of who God is and what he’s done in light of who you are and what you’ve done, I’d recommend heading to church and let God be your audience for a while. He’d love to listen and watch and he’s worthy of every expression of worship we can offer him!

~ by Dan Adler

repent-sign

“Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.” ~ Joel 2:12-13

The Call for Repentance

Joel opens his book by reflecting on God’s judgment in a plague of locusts in ancient Judah and how it anticipated the final day of the Lord, when He would judge even Jerusalem for its evil (Joel 1:1–2:11). This part of his work offers little hope to the people, but that changes in 2:12. Our Creator’s mercy is emphasized, as the Lord calls His people not to sit idle and wait for His wrath, but to repent. The repentance God demands here is not a superficial rending of clothing but rather a true soul conversion—the heart circumcision that the Lord has always demanded (Deut. 10:12–22). This circumcision is finally the gift of God for His elect people (Ezek. 36:22–38; John 3:1–8).

Those who have been gifted with circumcised hearts repent when the Lord, through His prophets and Apostles, calls them to turn from their sin. But the call must go out, for God ordinarily works through the preaching of His Word; thus, Joel calls for deep and thorough repentance in Joel 2:13–17. He grounds this call to repent in God’s revelation of His mercy and willingness to relent over the disasters He has announced (see Ex. 34:6–7; Jer. 18:5–8). At the same time, Joel’s call to repentance lacks any hint of presumption. Although God’s people can always be confident that He will forgive them when they turn to Him in heartfelt repentance (2 Chron. 7:14; Luke 15:11–32), even the healing that He promises does not always mean that we will escape the earthly consequences that flow from our sin. Joel 2:14 reflects this point, as the prophet leaves it up in the air as to whether God’s forgiveness might include other undeserved blessings.

Nothing less than full national repentance would do when Joel called Judah to repent. War was not important enough to conscript new husbands for battle (Deut. 20:1–7). Likewise, women with young children could apparently delay paying their vows or meeting other worship requirements until their little ones were weaned (1 Sam. 1:21–24). But Joel exempts neither group from repentance. The need to avert the coming judgment was so urgent that even newlyweds and young mothers had to participate in national repentance if there were to be any hope of staving off disaster (Joel 2:15–17).

God responds in Joel 2:18–27 to the call to repentance of verses 12–17, pledging to bless His people lavishly upon true and full repentance. Tomorrow we will look at this lavish blessing in greater detail.

Coram Deo

True repentance is confidently grounded in what God says about Himself in His Word, but it expresses itself in humility toward Him. We come before our Creator with confidence that He is faithful and just to forgive our sins (1 John 1:8–9), but we come humbly, refusing to believe or affirm that He owes us forgiveness. Every act of divine forgiveness is an instance of the Lord keeping His promises to pardon His people, but it is at the same time a forgiveness we never deserve.

From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: http://www.ligonier.org | Phone: 1-800-435-4343

thubfire

troubled times
and hearts
swing to the beat
of yesterday
some days
blood covers a multitude
of yesterdays
that must be remembered every day