June 6, 2008
For those of you who are interested in matters of ecclesiology (i.e. the Doctrine of the Church) and a biblical understanding of corporate life, I cannot recommend highly enough the work of Mark Dever and friends over at 9 Marks ministries. He recently posted an interesting piece regarding whether or not videos should be used in church. Here is his conclusion:
“In conclusion, I am not suggesting using video on Sun AM is necessarily sinful; but I am suggesting that it must normally (or always?) be imprudent. We are trying to build a word-centered counter-culture in a vision-addicted age. Will it really help the people to concentrate on the words of Scripture, or my words of explanation and exhortation by getting them to engage with a video just a few moments before? Immediate impact doesn’t always lead to lasting awe. In fact, it can work against it.”
You can read the whole thing here http://blog.9marks.org/2008/06/when-seeing-doe.html
May 30, 2008
Psalm 5:11-12 (ESV) – 11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. 12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.
The Psalmist calls for God’s people (i.e. “all who take refuge in You”) to rejoice… to sing for joy… to exult in God for He has spread His protection over us.
Think about this. God has blessed us beyond compare as His people. He covers us with His favor like a shield. He gives us His presence for all eternity, despite our sin, in Jesus Christ. He graciously gives us… not only that which we don’t deserve… but the exact opposite of what we do deserve. Recognizing this should cause us to rejoice…
Are you a joyful person?
I must confess that I am not nearly as joyful as I should be. I spend far too much time in “the Slough of Despond”, as John Bunyan put it in “Pilgrim’s Progress.” I spend far too much time seeing a half-empty glass, drained as a result of my own sin and living in a sin cursed world, rather than rejoicing in the overflowing cup of blessings which God has graciously given me in Jesus Christ.
The Psalmist tells us here that God’s people are joyful, because (“for” in verse 12) of the blessings which God has bestowed upon us and the proper response is joyful singing.
I am not much of a singer. That is probably being too generous… I am a bad singer. But that doesn’t change the fact that joyfully singing to the Lord should be a part of my life, because I have experienced the blessings of God in Christ Jesus. I need to remember what God has done for me… and express the resulting joy in song.
I have found the music produced by Sovereign Grace Music to produce this effect in me. I do not know of any musicians who are more intentional about focusing on the greatness and glory of God in Christ Jesus than those who produces the albums for Sovereign Grace Music. I find it hard to listen to this music and not be reminded of the cross and my salvation. I find it hard to listen to this music and not be moved in remembering my God who loves me and gave up His only begotten Son to death for me. I find it hard to listen to this music and not be moved to joyful praise of God in song (even if it is off-key.)
I thank God for the men and women of God at Sovereign Grace Music. They are a gift for this generation. Perhaps my thought at this particular moment is that they are a gift from God to me.
If you are interested in learning more about Sovereign Grace Music or purchasing some of their albums, you can find them here http://www.sovereigngracemusic.org/