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to worship – divine frivolity?

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A friend who recently returned to Christ sent me a copy of an unpublished essay by Jonathan Edwards on the Trinity. He was quite elated about what he read. I see now what got him so excited.

I have enjoyed reading Edwards over the years, but was not aware of this piece. The whole essay is a sight to below (with the minds eye), yet it doesn’t take long to find out where this typically verbose Puritan is going.

In the very first sentence Edwards knocks you over with the utter sacredness of Divine Frivolity.

How could worship every be dull after knowing God in this way?

Haaa Haaaa Haaaaaaa Haaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaa

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“IT IS COMMON when speaking of the Divine happiness

to say that God is infinitely happy

in the enjoyment of


in perfectly beholding and

infinitely loving,

and rejoicing in,

His own essence



and accordingly it must be supposed that God

p e r p e t u a l l y

and                                     eternally

has a most perfect idea of Himself,

as it were an exact image and representation of Himself

ever before Him

and in actual view,

and from hence arises a most




act or energy in the Godhead,

which is the Divine love,


and joy.”

Jonathan Edwards, Essay on the Trinity


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preparing for worship 7.23.11

I found George Washington’s Sacred Fire at a great low price – could not resist. This 900 plus page (over 1150 if we include the rich end notes) gives bold voice to Washington’s godly devotion – in his own words. Clearly he does not shrink away from open declarations of his worship to God.

To his frail army he gave serious concern for their spiritual welfare as in other matters which make a fit army. He said

‘Let vice and immorality of every kind be discouraged, as much as possible in your brigade; and as a chaplain is allowed to each regiment, see that the men regularly attend divine Worship’ (p.19).

‘…attend divine Worship’

I think of the word ‘attend’ in at least two ways.

– attend as in show up, appear, be there, do my time

– attend as in give close attention and give un-distracted watchfulness

As we go to worship on this coming Lord’s Day could Washington’s advice be for us more than showing up? Could it be to be there with God’s people and likewise give close attention to and watchful delight in the glories of Christ?

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preparing for worship 7.9.11

Don’t know about you, but sometimes I go to gathered worship in a mechanical state of mind (meaning – I’m there but my brain goes to other things while on the outside I do what I’m supposed to do):

“turn to hymn number…let’s pray…while the instruments play let’s greet…turn in your Bibles to…our closing song is…nice to see you brother…”

I do look forward to Sundays, but we humans are a distracted species. Unlike birds who set their sights to fly from point A to point B or cougars who keep a routine watch on the boundaries of their mountain domain we humans have distractions to pursue. I am of a distracted species. We do love our distractions, but distraction hinders worship.

Then I saw this from George Ladd (New Testament scholar from a past era).  Seeing the reality of the Resurrection has helped to shove me outta my distraction rut.

“This has led us to designate Jesus’ resurrection as an eschatological event. It is an anticipation of the end. To speak crudely, it is a piece of eschatology split off from the end and planted in history. The end has begun; the future is present.”

George Eldon Ladd, I Believe in the Resurrection (Grand Rapids, 1975), page 152.

So the Resurrection of Jesus is not just a true event in the past. It is the future pushing, forcing, pressing its way into the present. Cool. The Gospel is eschatological as much as it is historical.

Sundays –

We worship on Sundays because Christ arose. That’s commemoration.

And now I see we worship on Sundays because Christ has arrived from the future to perform the coming resurrection in our present. That’s anticipation.

How good is that?! How could Sunday worship ever be the same again after seeing this? That’s celebration.

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preparing for worship 7.3.11

When the children of Israel were released from their bondage in Egypt they were given something they had NOT known before – freedom. Most of them were born into bondage. This is so like mankind as a whole. We are born in bondage to Self.

Messiah has come to see us free. Moses wrote a beautiful canticle on the glory of this freedom and the glory of the Redeemer who gave it to them.

The Song of Moses is not just an Ancient thing. We will sing it again when all the redeemed gather at the feet of the One who purchased our freedom with His own blood.

Sundays of gathered worship should be a preview of this eternal moment. This is why I look forward to taking my family to sing and worship tomorrow. It’s the high point of the week for us. Hope it is for you too.

Have a blessed day of worship and fellowship in “the liberty with which Christ has made us free.”

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preparing for worship 6.18.11

Knowledge. Worship. Gratitude.

“So that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful.”

Romans 1:20, 21

THOSE who boast of their knowledge betray their ignorance. Knowledge is not a possession to be proud of, since it brings with it so great a responsibility that a nurse might as well be proud of watching over a life in peril.

Knowledge may become good or ill according to the use which is made of it. If men know God, for instance, and then glorify him as God, and are thankful, their knowledge has become the means of great blessing to them; but if they know God, and fail to glorify him, their knowledge turns to their condemnation.

There is a knowledge which does not puff up the mind, but builds up the soul, being joined with holy love.

from a sermon by C H Spurgeon

May we enjoy good fellowship and worship as we seek know the God who made us and gave His Son to the world.

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preparing for worship 6.11.11

again I turn to C. H. Spurgeon

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sermon: The Good Shepherd, Psalm 23.1

The LORD is my shepherd. I shall not want.

DOES not this sound just like poetry or like singing? If you read the entire Psalm through, it is written in such poetic prose that though it is not translated into meter, as it should have been, it reads just like it.

“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” It sounds like music for this, among other reasons, because it came from David’s heart. That which comes from the heart always has melody in it.

When men speak of what they know and from the depths of their souls testify to what they have seen, they speak with what we call, eloquence, for true eloquence is speaking from the soul.

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Happy Lord’s Day.