Worship and the Christian Life

Worship and the Christian Life
Worship is a central aspect of the life of believers. This has been true since the time of the ancient Hebrews, through the early decades of the New Testament church, and even into our own day. The people of God have been instructed and exhorted to praise the Lord with their mouths as well as their actions.
In the Old Testament, for example, Psalm 95:6-7 famously urges believers, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” The New Testament encourages the same sorts of activities. Consider the call of Hebrews 13:15, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”
From Old Testament to New Testament, believers are actually commanded to worship and serve the Lord. This is a “Thus saith the Lord.” Christ affirmed this in Luke 4:8 by echoing and endorsing the fundamental teaching, “It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”

What, then, are the basic elements of worship? The Lord’s people have always engaged in singing, prayer, teaching, learning, and fellowship. The church has always practiced baptism, when new disciples were converted, and the Lord’s Supper, even on a weekly basis. All of these things truly exalt the Lord as well as edify the people of God.
So as not to exclude the fact that we can and must worship the Lord at all times, let me conclude with the well-known quote of Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” The apostle is obviously framing this exhortation in terms of continual, daily worship, and most modern translators have rendered that last word as “worship.” The reasonable expectation of Christians is that they worship the Lord God every day as a living sacrifice. We offer our lives to Him as we submit to His will for our lives, obey His commands, and fulfill His purposes in the world. Let us be a worshipping people, inside and outside the gathering!

Why We Trust the Newborn King

Why We Trust the Newborn King

1. He is the fulfillment of all the prophecies and promises of Scripture. 
{Matt 1:22-23; Matt 2:4-6; Matt 5:17; 2 Cor 1:20}

2. He came to save us from our sins. 
{Matt 1:21; Mark 10:45; Luke 19:10; John 3:17; 1 Tim 1:15}

3. He is God in the flesh, our Creator who has come to His creation to reconcile us back to Himself. 
{John 1:1, 14; Col 1:19-20; Gal 4:4-5}

4. He is the only one who can satisfy all of our longings and deepest needs. 
{John 4:14; John 10:10; Matt 11:28-30; Matt 6:33}

5. He died, was resurrected, and will come again.
{Acts 3:15; 1 Cor 6:14; 1 Cor 15:3-4; Matt 25:31-32; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thess 4:16}

6. He is all of who He claimed to be.
{Luke 5:20-21; Luke 18:31-33; John 11:25; John 14:6}

7. We know Him personally and experientially.
{John 10:27-30; John 17:3; Rom 8:16}

Christmas: A Time to Repent and Believe

Christmas: A Time to Repent and Believe

Even in the Christmas narratives there are encouragements to repent and believe. God has broken into our world to do a new thing, a mighty thing, a wonderful thing! The world is forever changed, and your life can be forever changed as well.

Think of the shepherds out in the fields by night. Luke 2:8-20 recounts these narratives surrounding the birth of Christ. There were shepherds out in the fields in the area near Bethlehem, and they were basically living out there so that they could share the shifts throughout the night to keep watch over the sheep so that they would not wander off, be stolen by thieves, or attacked by wild animals like wolves.

This passage is where we get the nighttime theme for so many of our Christmas hymns. They were out there in the middle of the night. It would have been quiet and dark in the fields, and that contrasts with what happens next, as reported in verse nine and following. They were out there in the middle of the night, in the dark, doing the same ol', same ol' and God broke into their lives! God broke into the world! The Savior was born.

And this recounts the normal sequence of events. This happens for all of us:
1. God makes Himself known
2. We rush to Jesus- Savior, Christ, Lord
3. We glorify and praise God
4. We spread the word about Christ

Christmas is a time to recognize (again and afresh) the wonderful revelation of God and to throw ourselves at His wonder and mercy. It is a time to not only repent and believe but to glorify Him and share this Good News with others. Repent and believe all the more this Christmas season, and glorify God and evangelize others as you go along your way!