My 1/12/14 sermon, God’s Greatness and His Word, from Psalm 145 is now online. The sermon sought to connect the big thoughts of God’s greatness to the revelation He’s given us, very specifically of Himself, in His Word. One of the big applications was from Psalm 145:5 and its call to meditate. I mentioned in my sermon some applications from Don Whitney. His website is filled with great articles, resources and other readings to help stoke the fire of Biblical meditation. So, this week. Slow down and see the wonder of God’s greatness in His Word.
My 11/24/13AM sermon, Important Reminders from Revelation 22:1-9, is now online. It’s an odd sermon in that it brings together many important themes in this book yet packs a powerful punch in giving us truths that are important for our living. Things like our future before God, the trustworthiness of His Word and the priority of worship all are things that needed to be consistently kindled in our walk with God. I hope this sermon helps your walk, then.
There was a great post a couple of days ago entitled Hidden In the Heart. The writer, in my estimation, was seeking to sound a wake up call for us to not be numbed to the effects that technology has on us, but to redeem them for the glory of God and the good of the Gospel. Here’s a sampling of this:
If we are to be holy we need to hide the word in our hearts, and that means a deliberate commitment to memorisation and meditation. It means a refusal to allow our brains to be trained by the world, a resistance to the laziness that the interweb can breed in our all-too-susceptible minds; it means a commitment to holiness that is willing to re-train and develop the faculties of our hearts contrary to the trend and tendency of the age in which we live, and to make sure that we pack into the armoury that array of weaponry necessary for the constant fight against ungodliness, temptations within and without. We must love that truth, know that truth in its sense and substance, in its particular words and phrases, understand it as a treasure and as a weapon, and learn how to use it in the combat with sin.
I invite you, then, to fight the effect of technology in your heart and soul and fight to renew your mind. With you in this fight…
My sermon from 1/8/12 entitled Affliction and God’s Word from Psalm 34 is online. Each year, following Piper’s model, I’ve found it helpful to start the year with a sermon related to prayer and kick off a Week of Prayer, then follow it up with a sermon related to God’s Word. Yesterday, I wrapped up this brief 2 week excursion by preaching on how God’s Word helps in affliction from Psalm 34. The big point was to taste and see God in His Word and He will lead you (through His Word) to fear Him and praise Him. Hope you have a good week feasting on God’s Word.
This coming Lord’s day, we hope to be back in Psalm 34 to be shaped again to be a people of God’s Word. I was asked by someone yesterday how Psalm 34 relates to the Word. So, here’s my attempt at whetting your appetite:
In vv.1-3, we are told that the humble hear and are glad. What does afflicted or humble people here that gives them joy in the midst of their affliction? Well, on one level, we have to say that it is God’s Word.
In vv.4-10, we are told to taste and see that God is good. Where do we do this? How do we know God is good? By simply looking at creation’s marvel? Yes, but we don’t stop there. It is in His Word that we know God is for us and not against us. We need the special revelation that comes from savoring Him in His Word.
Finally in vv.11-22, we are told to come and listen to learn the fear of the Lord. What are we listening to? The Word of God.
Quite simply, God’s Word is what we need to hear and as we do, we’ll be equipped for affliction when it comes (and it will). My hope this coming Lord’s Day is to encourage you to go after God in His Word. Hope to see you there.
Now that we are through the July 4th weekend, we will return, Lord-willing, this coming Lord’s Day to working through the book of Hebrews, specifically dealing with Hebrews 4:12-13, possibly one of the most familiar verses in the book of Hebrews.
It wasn’t until I was studying this fresh again for this sermon, that I think I finally realized the importance of these two verses in context. Sure, we’ve used these verses (especially in Bible church contexts) to justify (rightly!) the centrality of God’s Word. However, the writer of Hebrews isn’t writing to give a mere apologetic for the importance of the Scriptures. He’s writing to help us persevere in the Gospel.
Remember 4:12-13 comes at the conclusion of the entirety of chapters 3 and 4. What we saw in those chapters was the need to not be like the children of Israel, disbelieving God’s good promises and failing to enter His rest, failing to have a faith that persevered when tested. Thus, the writer of Hebrews urged us to hold onto the confidence we had at the first. He urged us to not let go of the Gospel and to hold onto Jesus as the core foundation of our faith.
In this sense, then, He reminds us “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” God is able to discern whether or not we are listening to the clear message He has spoken firmly and finally in His Son. This is the call of Hebrews 4. It has far-reaching ramifications and applications. Today, then, if you hear His voice, don’t harden your heart, but believe. His Word will expose your heart, therefore, cling to Jesus as your hope.
Last night’s sermon, Your Family Needs God’s Word, from James 1:16-25 is now online. In the world we live in, God’s Word or family worship is often pushed by the “tyranny of the urgent” to the side. In last night’s sermon in the Gospel-Centered family series, I tried to give an apologetic from God’s Word as to why it’s so important that we keep pursuing it. I hope this sermon encourages you to this as well.
Each year, Piper begins the year with a sermon on prayer followed up by a sermon encouraging Bethlehem to be passionate for God’s Word. I had a chance to listen to last Sunday’s sermon, Holding Fast The Word of Life in 2010, and was encouraged and challenged to be passionate for God’s Word.
One part was when Piper was showing how the world influences believers so that they think God’s Word is boring. Piper’s response “Avatar is boring.” His point was that when the Almighty God of the universe speaks, it is never a boring thing. Great point and really used by God to awaken me to the sinful reality of my own heart. Listen, watch, or read and be encouraged.