It Goes Without Saying

[318 words] We’ve all probably heard the adage that the majority of communication is nonverbal. This notion is from Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of the book Silent Messages. In his research, he found that only 7 percent of any message is conveyed through words, the rest (38 percent through certain vocal elements and 55 percent...

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The Gathering

[333 words] The phenomenon is called “shikadamari“ in Japanese. A loose translation would be, “deer gathering spot.” A large population of free-roaming deer live in and around the Japanese city of Nara, spending most of their time in the city park. Every summer evening at around 6:30, over 600 deer gather in the same spot...

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Some See Less as Better

[293 words] There are some times when less is better. Sometime the less words we speak the better. The less fat intake, the better. The less sin, the better. Sadly, some see less as better in their Christian lives: Less time for worship Less time for Bible study Less time for gospel meetings Fewer verses...

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Making Worship Meaningful

[172 words] In the first 5 verses of Psalm 63, David gives some great advice on how to make worship meaningful: “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water” (v.1) –...

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What You Do in the Church Pew Matters!

[461 words] “You mind your business and I’ll mind mine.” That is the motto of many and I, for one, like it! The Bible teaches us not to be busy-bodies. At the same time, we need to remember that what we do has an impact on others for good or bad. One of the reasons...

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The Joyful Call To Worship

[115 words] We fail to appreciate many things until they’re gone. Ethan, the author of Psalm 89, possibly a Levite, writing after the nation of Judah had been desolated and the temple destroyed, remembers. “Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord”...

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It is NOT ‘Just Church’

[577 words] Jesus promised to do something never before done on earth: He would build His Church upon the great truth that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God! “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of...

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Why Do You Go to Worship?

[300 words] Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation” (Psalm 111:1). We gather and worship on a different day than those spoke of in the passage above. Yet, God’s people have always been commanded to worship Him in a prescribed...

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What Brought YOU Here?

[388 words] This morning churches across our nation will fill up with people gathering together for different reasons. For some it was the social interaction. For some it was to check the “go to church” box off our checklist. For some it was because someone made them. For some it was a habit. For some...

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Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness

[163 words] Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;Bow down in reverence, God’s glory proclaim;Gold of obedience and incense of lowlinessBring now, adoring the Lord’s holy name. Low at his feet lay thy burden of carefulness;High on his heart Jesus bears it for thee,Comforts thy sorrows and answers thy prayerfulness,Guiding thy steps as may...

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Worship in Song

[423 words] As a preacher I often sit and look around at the people who are singing. We are singing songs of praise to the God of the universe. We stand in awe at the power and majesty of God. We know this is the same God who created the universe and who will bring...

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How Do You Approach God?

[207 words] “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’” (Heb. 12:28-29). This description of acceptable worship begins many verses before with a very impressive list of descriptors for God’s dwelling place,...

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Why I Go To Worship

[64 words] 1. I want to go, and I am wanted. 2. I need to go, and I am needed. 3. I had rather be there than anywhere else. 4. People will follow my example. 5. My soul is strengthened by the teaching. 6. My heart is warmed by the spiritual songs. 7. I am...

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‘Church Stuff’ Really Works!

[396 words] If I were to try to think of a word that best describes God, I suppose it would be “awesome.” Not in the trivial way it is sometimes used but in moments of quiet deliberation when I contemplate his Word, his purpose, and his ways which inspire awe. Throughout the course of my...

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What He Was Looking For

[193 words] John went to church one Sunday morning. He heard the song leader miss a note, and he winced. He saw a teenager talking when everybody was supposed to be bowed in prayer. He felt like the usher was watching to see what he put in the offering plate, and it made him mad....

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The Lord’s Day

[269 words] The Lord’s day is my tower of strength. It is the day of days for soul refreshment. In my moments of quiet meditation I have often asked myself, “How long would strength remain in me and God’s reality remain in my heart, if it were not for the soul-renewing worship of the Lord’s...

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Leaving Your Bible?

  [507 words] My father and mother used to carry a Bible to church with them every Sunday. My brothers and sisters and I, when we were old enough to read, were given a Bible so we could do the same. We didn’t leave the house without our Bible because my father would surely tell...

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You Preach First

  [183 words] The first sermon preached each Sunday is not by the minister, but by you. You preach a message about the importance of the Scriptures when you bring your Bible. You preach a message of good cheer when you say “Good morning!” to those you meet when you park your car and when...

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Don’t Follow the Crowd

  [289 words] God had heard the prayers of His people in Egypt. Though the Israelites murmured and complained most of the way, He had brought them from Egypt to the promised land. As they journeyed God protected them, fed them, clothed them, and had given them everything they needed. But the people still were...

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Advice for Worship from Hebrews 10:22

  [48 words] “let us draw near” — The obligation of worship. “ with a true heart” — The sincerity of worship. “in full assurance of faith” — The respect of worship. “having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience” — The humility of worship. “and our bodies washed with pure water” — The purity...

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Rally to Us There

[273 words] “And I said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, ‘The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there…’” (Neh. 4:19-20). Nehemiah,...

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When You’re Not at Church

[351 words] When you’re not at church, you are missed. You are missed by those you sit with during our assemblies. You are missed by those by our appointed shepherds. People are concerned about you when you are not present for our family’s time of worship. When you’re not at church, lots of people miss...

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Worship from the Heart

[309 words] A little boy asked his father what was the highest number he had ever counted. Replying that he didn’t know, the father asked his son his highest number. It was 973. “Why did you stop there?” wondered the father. “Because church was over.” I suspect that you have probably sat through worship services...

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Who Will You Worship Sunday?

[89 words] The god of Ease? “Had a hard week, gotta rest some.” The god of Mammon? “Gotta get another dollar.” The god of Popularity? “Folks came, gotta stay with them.” The god of Pleasure? “Only day I have to hunt, fish or play.” The god of Self-Pride? “They do not do me right.” The...

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Faithful Attendance

[430 words] God expects (demands) His faithful followers to worship Him. The Scriptures are emphatic in the faithful child of God reflecting their love and loyalty by coming together with the saints, to worship their Heavenly Father, on the first day of the week. While attendance at worship services is NOT the only measuring stick...

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Who Are You Worshiping?

Henry Ward Beecher, the famous pulpit orator, once had to be absent and his brother was invited to speak for him. The church house was crowded, but when it became evident that the eloquent Henry Beecher was not going to appear, many started to leave. Beecher’s brother was not disturbed. He stood up before the...

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Faithful Attendance

God expects (demands) His faithful followers to worship Him. The Scriptures are emphatic in the faithful child of God reflecting their love and loyalty by coming together with the saints, to worship on the first day of the week. While attendance at worship services is NOT the only measuring stick of ones spirituality, it certainly...

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Why Go to Church?

A churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. “I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one...

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Maintaining the Connection

Summertime is in full swing, and with it the tendency for families to drift from closeness within the church because of family travel and activities. Here are a few suggestions to help maintain that connection. I will use the term “home church” for convenience and lack of a better one. Resolve that you will be...

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In Season, Out of Season

On his second missionary journey, Paul came to the city of Philippi. There, while worshiping by the river, he met and baptized Lydia. But not all in Philippi listened to Paul and he was falsely accused of “troubling the city” (Acts 16:20). Beaten and thrown into prison, Paul and Silas did not let persecution stop...

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Lest We Think God Doesn’t Care About How We Worship

[531 words] Worship is vital to the church. Reading the New Testament, we find the church coming together for worship each Lord’s day (Acts 20:7) and Christians being encouraged not to fall into a habit of being absent (Hebrews 10:25). We find that worship was regulated and that God, through the inspired writers, gave five...

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Straying

[264 words] Recently I was asked the following question: “We are in a different time, yes, we serve the same God. However if our worship is sincere, yet strays from the old days, is that somehow less pleasing before God? I think not!” How would you answer this question? We do live in “a different...

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Something Special About That Day

[329 words] “Upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7). Note the time: the first day of the week. Note the purpose: to break bread (the Lord’s Supper, 1 Corinthians...

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Worship or Entertainment?

[387 words] Neil Postman described serious problems in modern culture in his insightful 1985 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death. His thesis was that public discourse has been reshaped to such an extent by television and entertainment that thoughtful discourse is missing. “Show business” hype has affected advertising, politics, and religion. Postman’s conclusion is that none...

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Shall or May

Johnny Botts talks about his job as a police officer. In his line of duty “shall” and “may” are important words. Certain laws require an arrest or a ticket to be issued by the police. These laws use the word “shall” to indicate the requirement. Other laws use the word “may.” These laws allow discretion...

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Don’t Stay Away from Worship!

Because you are poor. There is no admission charge. Because you are rich. Money is not everything. Because it rains. You go to work, school and shopping in the rain. Because it is cold. It is warm and friendly inside. Because it is hot. So are fishing and attending ballgames and golfing. Because no one...

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Who Are You Worshiping?

Henry Ward Beecher, the famous pulpit orator, once had to be absent and his brother was invited to speak for him. The church house was crowded, but when it became evident that the eloquent Henry Beecher was not going to appear, many started to leave. Beecher’s brother was not disturbed. He stood up before the...

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Dumb Idols and Foolish Men

In Psalm 115 the psalmist is rightly critical of those who put their trust in man made idols. He says that men have created, by the works of their own hands, gods of silver and gold. They have mouths, but they do not speak. They have eyes, but they do not see. They have ears,...

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Pickles

[231 words] I don’t like pickles. Any pickles, all pickles. I don’t like sour pickles, sweet pickles, dill pickles, hot pickles…I don’t like pickles. Every time I order a hamburger, I say, “no pickles,” because I don’t like pickles! However, I am given pickles often. Sometimes I send them back and say “I ordered NO...

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Only By God’s Word?

[216 words] “In everything he walked in the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. The high places, however, were not removed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there” (1 Kings 22:43). Jehoshaphat did what was...

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