worship

  • The care-free lifestyle of the wicked is tempting, but intimacy with God must be your standard of what is good.

    Psalm 73:3 expresses a feeling that most Christians experience after they have been saved for a while: "I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked." Job expressed the same thought in Job 21:7-20. This is especially challenging in a culture where sinful lifestyles are celebrated.

    Psalm 73 addresses the issue of why the wicked prosper, but without answering the question. It answers the deeper question of why the righteous envy the wicked and what the solution is for that.

  • Loving the Lord with All of Our Heart.

    In most of Scripture, God speaks to mankind. The poetic books of the Old Testament are unique because in them, man speaks to God. Human authors used the poetic structures available to them in attempts to surpass the limits of human language and recreate their experience with God.

  • As Creator, God has revealed his majesty and has given us dignity – all so that we might worship Him!

    The following is a quotation from scientist Carl Sagan, famous for his “Cosmos” documentary series:

    “Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people… I am a collection of water, calcium, and organic matter called Carl Sagan. You are a collection of almost identical molecules with a different collective label.”

    Feeling very small is not uncommon when contemplating Creation. As individuals, we are incredibly small. In the universe, even collective mankind is tiny.

  • A Portrait of Divine Authority.

    Certain events in life forcefully remind us that we are not in charge. Psalm 2 reveals who is in charge: Jesus Christ, God's Son.

  • A Righteous Reminder.

    Some may recall a teaching method used to ingrain material in students' heads: Remember, Recite, Remediate. After material is taught, it is repeated until the students can recite it accurately. Romans 1:18-32 is a repetition of the truth about fallen humanity. It was not written primarily to convict sinners, since the letter was written to believers in Rome. It is a reminder of what we were before the Lord saved us.

  • Ability, Grace, and Ultimate Purpose.

    "Many a little makes a mickle." This Scottish proverb illustrates how many small things can add up. The local church is made up of many people with Spirit-given special abilities. The combination of these gifts working together is one of the most significant influences in the world.

  • "A zeal for the house of the Lord consumes Him."

    The second chapter of John's Gospel shows the beginning of Jesus' public ministry – His first miracle, His first appearance at the Temple, His first Passover and His first cleansing of the Temple. The central verse of this section is John 2:17. All these events were the Messianic fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. We can study this passage to ask, "What is the activity and fruit of a life consumed with properly worshiping the Lord?"

  • Introducing the Character of Timothy.

    Our theme for the year is Living Worship-Filled Lives. Romans 12:1-2 exhorts us to present our whole selves to God as a logical act of worship. This includes times of corporate worship and personal worship in prayer and reading God’s Word. But we also worship as we go about our lives, showing the fruit of what we’ve learned. The integrity of our lives should mirror how we worship on the Lord’s Day.

    As we prepare to study the Pastoral Epistles, we’ll begin by learning about Timothy, to whom Paul wrote two letters. Understanding Timothy’s character helps us understand the content of the letters written to him.

  • The Virtues of Our Christian Pilgrimage.

  • Of all things we experience in life, our relationships reveal the most about our character.

    All Scripture is God’s Word, and is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). It’s our natural tendency to apply principles that we know from the New Testament to Old Testament stories. But remember, a text taken out of context leaves just a con. So don’t judge Jacob too harshly. His family did not have the written Bible, but they did have the oral Word of God which they were responsible for.

  • Please be patient: God is not finished with Jacob yet!

    God can still use saints that have failed and help them make right choices again, even in their last years. Isaac and Rebekah are an example that it’s never too late to do right. True saints experience guilt and conviction that leads to repentance, forsaking sin, and prospering again. Now governed by the Spirit, Isaac comes to his senses and sends Jacob on a journey to continue in God’s will.

  • The genuine walk of faith always includes more spiritual success than failure.

    When studying narrative or story portions of the Bible, we will not find as many direct commands from God. We draw out spiritual principles from stories, and these are just as authoritative as direct commands.

    We have observed several virtues in Abram so far, his spiritual discipline and patient obedience. The next section of narrative show Abram succumbing to temptation. Genesis records God speaking to Abram 7 times, and 3 times of Abram being tempted away from God’s truth. Here is our first principle: A saved person will never be sinless, but in the process of progressive sanctification, they will succeed more than they fail.

  • God’s sovereign mercy on nations provides eternal opportunity for the Lord’s people — Part 2.

    The Bible is not a history book, but it contains history. We can learn much from what the Holy Spirit chose to record.

  • Righteousness elevates true faith to new opportunities in a new world.

    Genesis 8 continues the story of Noah, showing us what righteous people do and what God does to protect them. The whole chapter displays God’s faithfulness to His righteous people.

  • Theme: Our Eternal Foundation, Part 3 – Every Spiritual Blessing is in Christ

    As the introduction to the last section of chapter 1, these verses mentions two practical ways that our riches in Christ are most vividly displayed. This passage is a prayer of praise offered personally by Paul in response to the testimony of the Ephesians.