Sun, 29 July 2018
A city slicker bought a horse from a weathered cowboy. The cowboy was God-fearing and had trained the horse using biblical terms. Instead of “giddy-up,” the command to go was “Praise the Lord.” “Amen” was the signal to stop. He coached the new owner on the importance of using these phrases and these alone.
Now fully prepped and astride his new steed, the city slicker said to the horse, “Praise the Lord!” Off they trotted. Soon enough, a rabbit darted in front of the horse and startled him. The horse began to gallop at full speed. The rider saw that they were quickly approaching a cliff with a sheer drop of a couple hundred feet.
He forgot the coaching he’d received. He shouted “Whoa!” “Stop!” He pulled back on the reins. But nothing slowed the horse. Finally, he remembered the necessary word. “Amen!” he shouted. At that the horse came to a screeching stop at the brink of the canyon. The rider sighed with relief, lifted his hands heavenward, and said with sincerity, “Praise the Lord.”
That may be the only situation where a heart-felt “Praise the Lord” would be inappropriate! God’s word makes it abundantly clear that we are to praise the Lord at all times and in all places.
This Sunday we wrap up our summer series through the Psalms. We have ascended to the very peak of the book as we come to Psalm 150. The unrelenting cry of this Psalm is that the Lord is to be praised. In it we will learn the “who,” the “where,” the “why,” and the “how” of biblical praise.
Join us as we praise the Lord!
Songs of the Summer
“Praise the Lord!”
Praise the Lord! . . . Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (150:1a, 6)
Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!(150:1b)
Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! (150:2)
Praise him with trumpet sound; . . . with lute and harp! . . . with tambourine and dance; . . . with strings and pipe! . . . with sounding cymbals; . . . with loud clashing cymbals! (150:3-5)
Sun, 22 July 2018
Buckminster Fuller studied the accumulation of information. He created what is known as the “Knowledge Doubling Curve.” He noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II, knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today, on average, human knowledge is doubling every 13 months! According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.
We may be getting smarter, but are we getting wiser?
A young, university graduate crossed a large, dangerous river on a barge. An elderly, seasoned fellow was steering the barge. As they made the crossing, the odd couple struck up a conversation. The university student asked the old man three questions.
The first one was: “Do you know anything about physics?” “Nope”, replied the old man. “Then a third of your life has been wasted!” decried the young student. His second question was: “Do you know anything about philosophy?” “Nope”, answered the old man with no note of angst. “Then another third of your life has been wasted!” protested the collegiate. Finally, he asked: “Do you know anything about the social sciences?” “Nope”, dryly replied the old man. “Then another third of your life has been wasted!”
Suddenly, the barge hit a large object, took on water rapidly, and overturned. Both men were thrown into the water. The old man cried out to the young student, “Do you know anything about swimming?” The young man replied “Nope.” “Then your whole life is wasted!” replied the old man.
The young man thought the accumulation of knowledge about certain subjects was essential to life. The old barge pilot knew that none of that mattered in the world of piloting a barge if you can’t swim. What was essential in his life was knowing how to swim.
What knowledge is essential? What is it that we should know in a world where knowledge is doubling virtually every year? We may have a tremendous amount of knowledge about the things of life, but, without a proper knowledge of who God is, all of life (and eternity) can be wasted.
This morning we will learn “How to Stay Ahead of the Knowledge Curve.” Psalm 139 celebrates the attributes of God and how they impact our lives. David is the inspired author and he is amazed by the nature of God. There may be no other place in Scripture where the magnitude and immensity of God are more explicitly revealed.
Songs of the Summer
“How to Stay Ahead of the Knowledge Curve”
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! (139:1)
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? (139:7)
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb (139:13).
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (139:23-24)
Sun, 15 July 2018
Mon, 9 July 2018
n the book, Amazing Grace, an interesting story is told about a young man named Arlo. He had a godly grandfather. When Arlo got married to his wife, his grandfather gave them a wedding gift. It was a beautiful, leather-bound Bible with their names engraved on its cover. Arlo and his wife appreciated the gift of a Bible, but never took it out of the box. He stored it away.
Every once in a while, his grandfather would ask, “Did you like the Bible I gave you?” They assured him that they did. They sent him a thank-you note. But he wouldn’t let it rest. “What did you think about the Bible I gave you?” he would ask with frequency.
Finally, Arlo took the Bible from its box and began to leaf through it. When he did, he discovered that his grandfather had put a $20 bill at the beginning of Genesis, and $20 at the beginning of Exodus, and $20 at the beginning of every book in the Bible—$1320 in total in cash! Arlo says that he never would have discovered how valuable that gift was had his grandfather not kept prompting him.
I am a grandfather now and I want to imitate Arlo’s grandfather. Do you like the Bible that you hold in your hands today? Do you like the Bible that you have on your shelf or night stand? Have you leafed through its pages and discovered the unbelievable wealth of wisdom it contains? It is not worth $20 or $1320. It is worth more than all the silver and all gold the world contains.
It is “God’s Wisdom for Your Way.” In today’s message, God’s word will remind us of the treasure it is both for our day-to-day living and for all of eternity.
Songs of the Summer
“God’s Wisdom for Your Way”
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word (119:9).
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments (119:10)!
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you (119:11).
Sun, 1 July 2018
The sports world is caught up in World Cup fever [slide with World Cup logo]. On June 17 Mexico played Germany. Germany is a soccer powerhouse. They have won the World Cup four times (second only to Brazil’s five). Mexico has never won the World Cup but they are officially soccer crazy and desperately hungry for a title.
Estimates are that 75,000 people jammed the main square in Mexico City to watch the televised game. When Mexico scored the winning goal, the fans erupted in pandemonium. Nearby seismic meters registered their celebration. There was, on a small level, an earthquake.
Is it possible that a crowd could get so excited that the earth could quake? Yes! And I say, “Let the earth quake again!” But this time, let the earth quake for the celebration of God’s people for the victories that He has won on our behalf.
Psalm 100 encourages and even commands God’s people to exalt Him in exuberant praise. Let’s dive into the truths of this Psalm and “let the earth quake.”
Songs of the Summer
“Let the Earth Quake”
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. . . . Come into his presence with singing (100:1-2).
Serve the Lord with gladness! (100:2a)
Know that the Lord, he is God! (100:3a)