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Thursday, August 14, 2008

John Piper on True Revival and Lakeland

John Piper weighs in on tests for authentic Spirit driven revivals in light of recent events at the Lakeland "Revival" especially after the leader's recent announcement of his separation with his wife. His post launches off of a statement made by Lee Grady , editor of Charisma, where he quotes one Pentecostal Pastor who said a large section of the Charismatic Church will follow after the Anti-Christ because they have little discernment.

Piper argues that one of the tests must be a love for truth, doctrine, and the word of God.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hymn of the Week

This hymn is one of my favorites. I have led our church to reintroduce this classic since my pastorate began, and have had a good response from the church concerning this hymn. This hymn was originally composed in German by Joachim Neander in 1680. It was translated into English by Catherine Winkworth in 1863.

You can find the traditional arrangement at cyberhymnal. Additionally, Christy Nockels has recorded a nice arrangement of the hymn on the album titled, Hymns: Ancient and Modern.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Health hath vouchsafed and, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief ever hath failed of relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.

Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Are our churches really churches if...

This Sunday night, I will be arguing that the central mission of a New Testament Church is the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ to sinners.

If your average church is filled with a majority of members who either will not share their faith with anyone in the next year or cannot share their faith with someone in the next year, then does a true New Testament Church really even exist?

It seems to me that after four years of pastoring, this seems to be the chief shortfall of many churches, namely the absence of church members sharing the gospel with unrepentant sinners. And if this is, as I argue, the chief mission of the Church, I do not think God's blessing will ever fall until the Church is willing to proclaim the gospel outside of our Sunday meeting places.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Hymn of the Week

The hymn of the week is written by Joseph Hart titled, Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy. I was listening to the hymn this week and thought to myself how this song represents my preaching and my theology. You can find the traditional format of this hymn at Cyberhymnal. You can also sample an altered version of the Hart hymn by Indelible Grace.

Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.


Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.


View Him prostrate in the garden;
On the ground your Maker lies.
On the bloody tree behold Him;
Sinner, will this not suffice?


Lo! th’incarnate God ascended,
Pleads the merit of His blood:
Venture on Him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude.


Let not conscience make you linger,
Not of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.