Bless the Lord. Forget not his benefits!

We are a very blessed people. We are also a forgetful people. Or let me own that more personally, I am a forgetful person. Today I read Psalm 103 and it reminded.  I have a God who blesses me even though I deserve none of it. I have a God who forgives ALL my sins, who heals ALL my diseases, and who CARES for me. How often do I forget all this? How often do I live as a functional atheist? How rarely do I really stop and say THANK YOU, humbly acknowledging that the very air I breath was given to … [Read more...]

Twenty differences between the Psalms and modern worship songs. 

Beware of presumption. We serve a holy God not a cuddly best mate.  There is a major difference between many modern worship music and the Psalms. Too many modern songs speak only of the love of God, and he is seen only as a gentle and loving friend.It's not that the worship songs are wrong. It's just that they can almost completely miss a different side of God's character. I want to explore that a little today before we focus in another post to an event that happened in 2 Samuel 6 which … [Read more...]

SERMON: The Trinity and You

This is the video of the sermon I preached this morning followed by a full set of notes.AudioHow do you tend to think of God? A Force or Power? A remote ruler? An angry judge?But the Bible reveals that God is intensely personal and he is very interested in you. HE wants to know you.  Part of getting to know someone is getting to know about someone. It is not enough to merely learn about them, but it is a helpful and necessary start. We must know why we believe what we believe and … [Read more...]

Some biblical resolutions for 2014 from Psalm 115

I was directed in a personal email to read Psalm 115:1, and found myself keeping on reading. May this passage be a motto for us all as we enter 2014.  I see in this passage some resolutions we do well to make at the turn of this year.a. A resolution to put God first and seek his gloryIn an age of being encouraged to "build your platform" how about we determine that we will build God's platform this next year. If you tweet, run a blog, or post to Facebook, determine that you will increase … [Read more...]

A sermon on Psalm 2

This is a sermon I preached earlier this year at Jubilee Church Wood Greed. It is based on Micah 6:7 and Psalm 2.Here are some brief notes from the sermon.The rejection of the King The world hates us as it hates God. They see Christianity as boring and restrictive, and cast off the restraints. But God sets limits for our own good. So-called constraints are actually liberating. He has designed you, be content with what he has made you to be.The response of the King Jesus is … [Read more...]

Reasons to Rejoice

As I conclude, this series of posts based on a sermon about joy, we ask what are our reasons to rejoice?  This is other than of course the most important reason, that we have been saved, and our glorious God has done so much for us! But at times we all need a gentle prod, so here some good reasons:1. Joy is commandedDeuteronomy 12:18 says: ‘You shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all your undertakings’. Psalm 35:27 says: ‘Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be gl … [Read more...]

Joy in facing difficulties, sorrow, and even death

Yesterday we spoke about depression and I finished by saying that when you're depressed it is still possible to rejoice. There are two senses in which this is the case. Firstly, God does offer us a stream of joy inside our heart that somehow means that you can be "sorrowful yet always rejoicing."The other way in which Christian can always rejoice is by choice. Rejocing is a verb. It is something we can do even when we don't feel like it. This is not the same thing as falsely claiming to be … [Read more...]

Joy in receiving counsel from God's word

In Psalm 16, David goes on to say ‘I bless the LORD who gives me counsel…’ There is a great Joy in receiving God’s word. The truth is that the Bible is a great source of joy. Psalm 119:162 "I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil." The idea there is that treasures are hidden in the word. Sometimes reading the Bible may even seem boring, you may read verse after verse with little noticeable benefit, but suddenly a verse jumps out at you and it is like a precious nugget. The Bible is … [Read more...]

Joy in fleeing idols rather than being as miserable as sin

Today I continue this series on joy. Psalm 16 continues,  ‘The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply…’ It is important for us to reason that the reverse is also true. If you seek God you will have joy but if you seek idols you will have sorrow. In a way, it is the same point but in reverse that we started answering the question "where do we get joy?" with.God calls us to flee idols and there is a joy in fleeing idols. Worship has such a place in our hearts that we will worsh … [Read more...]

Joy in fellowship with God’s people: How the church can give you joy!

As we continue in this series on joy, the next reason the psalmist gives for joy is the people of God: ‘As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight’. These are very strong words, which underline the passion and joy David felt in the people of God. Church is not meant to be something you come to on a Sunday morning and sit there while other people entertain you. We are called to delight in the Body of Christ. There is joy in fellowship with the Body of Chr … [Read more...]