Archive for the ‘Worship’ Category


Psalm 22:17 (in Hebrew it is Psalm 22:16) is a fascinating passage that I think, with all pun intended “nailed” the argument that Jesus is the predicted suffering Messiah with a prophecy that the Messiah would be pierced:

For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.

The prophecy “They pierced my hands and my feet” is translated by non-Messianic Jews as “Like a lion, my hands and my feet” and there are questions of Textual Criticism.

So which reading should one take?

This video that Alex Kruse shared was so fascinating and takes on this issue from a fresh way by considering not just Textual Criticism but the structure of Psalm 22 itself.

You got to watch it:


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The Messiah as Coming King

Psalm 24

Establishing the Need: Do we only think of Jesus as a friend and a Savior and have forgotten that He is the King of Kings?


Purpose: In this study we shall see three characteristics of the Messiah as a King so that we would honor Him as Lord of our life.

  1. The Messiah reign over the world (v.1-2)
  2. The Messiah is Holy (v.3-6)
  3. The Messiah is glorious (v.7-10)


Introductory matters

This is written by David as the subscript states: “A Psalm of David.

Psalm 24 is part of a trio of Psalm on the Messiah beginning in Psalm 22.[1]

We can chart these three Messianic Psalm in the following manner[2]:

Psalm 22               Psalm 23               Psalm 24

Person            Servant                  Shepherd               Sovereign

Ministry         Suffering               Providing               Reigning

Time               Past                        Present                   Future

Symbol          Cross                      Crook                     Crown


Here for Psalm 24 we see that the Messiah is a coming King.

There is an interchange of the Messiah/God throughout the Psalm which we shouldn’t be surprised as New Testament Christian since the Messiah would be God.


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The Lord is My Shepherd

Psalm 23

Purpose: Today we shall see the three seasons in our lives in which Christ is our shepherd so that we would trust in Him and have Him as our Shepherd today.

  1. The Lord is my shepherd during ordinary times (v.1-3)
  2. The Lord is my shepherd during difficult times (v.4-5)
  3. The Lord is my shepherd for eternity (v.6)

Some words about Shepherd: The verse opens up right away with the declaration that “The Lord is my shepherd” (v.1)

  • Lord” here literally is “Yahweh.” It is the subject and appears twice in this Psalm, with it appearing here in the beginning of the Psalm and also in the last verse in the end of the Psalm.
  • Why is the person that says “my” here? This is a Psalm by David according to the subscript above verse 1: “A Psalm of David
  • Remember David was once a Shepherd and he would have written about something he knew about.
  • The imagery of a shepherd is also one in which the people of Israel would have been familiar with as well.
  • The first person singular suffix here indicates this is David speaking possessively of the Shepherd. That is, God isn’t just “a Shepherd” but “my Shepherd.”  We need to see God as “my shepherd” too.
  • More about Shepherd in the Bible
    • King Saul was told by God to shepherd God’s people and Scripture in 2 Samuel 5:2 and Ezekiel 37:24 he failed in this task; this point shouldn’t be missed since David authored Psalm 23 and he recognized that God was His Shepherd.
    • There are also other Psalms that talk about God as Shepherd in Psalms 28:9; 80:1. But more importantly Jesus also saw Himself as the Shepherd in John 10:11-15.
  • Ultimately I see Psalm 23 to be talking about Jesus because Psalm 23 is part of a three part Psalm about the Messiah.
    • Psalm 22 is about Jesus in the past: He is the one suffering on the Cross.
    • Psalm 23 is about Jesus in the present: He is our Shepherd.
    • Psalm 24 is about Jesus in the future: He is the coming King.
  • I think we can use interchangeably God and Christ for shepherd in this Psalm.


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Celebrating God given victories

Psalm 21

Establishing the Need: How do you relate to the spiritual leaders in your life?


Purpose: In this study we shall see two imperative from Psalm 21 so that we are thankful of what God is doing and will do.

  1. Rejoicing in past victories from God (v.1-6)
  2. Anticipate future final triumph of God (v.7-13)


Introductory matters

  • This is written by David as the subscript states: “For the choir director. A Psalm of David.
  • Psalm 21 is a “royal psalms” because its subject matter involves the king of Israel and what he does militarily.[1]
  • Psalm 21 is related to Psalm 20.
  • Both Psalms 20 and 21 emphasize victory and ultimately salvation (20:5, 6, 9; 21:1, 5).[2]
  • Both psalms[3]:
  • Refer to the “king” (20:9; 21:1, 7)
  • Speak of the king’s “heart’s desire” (20:4; 21:2) and request (“petition,” 20:5;“request,” 21:2)
  • Identify the right hand of the LORD as accomplishing the king’s deliverance (20:6; 21:8)
  • Celebrate the LORD’s strength/power (20:6; 21:1, 13)
  • According to Dr. Barrick: “Psalm 21 is the prayer of thanksgiving for the victory granted by God in answer to the prayer in Psalm 20 for the king’s victory in battle.”[4]
    Specifically Psalm 21:1-6 looks back at the requests in Psalm 20 and give thanks for God answering that prayer.[5]


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Four Prophetic Proofs to Persuade you that Jesus is the Promised Messiah

Psalm 22

Purpose: Here are four prophetic proofs  to persuade you that Jesus is the promised Messiah, so you will praise Him.

Psalms 22 points to Jesus:

  1. According to the New Testament.
  2. And it is not about David or Esther.
  3. And fits with Jesus perfectly
  4. Promised Praise.


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Leaders and God

Psalm 20


Establishing the Need: How do you relate to the spiritual leaders in your life?


Purpose: In this study we shall see two imperative from Psalm 20 so that we have a right relationship with our leaders and God during times of difficulties.

  • Support your leaders (v.1-5)
  • Trust in God (v.6-9)



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God’s World and Word Part 1

Psalm 19:10-14


Review: Last week we saw two truths in response to God revealing Himself in both His World and His Word.

  • Appreciate God’s revelation in the world (v.1-6)
  • Appreciate God’s revelation in the Word (v.7-9)


Purpose: In this study we shall see five applications from Psalm 19 teachings concerning God revealing Himself in both His World and His Word.

  • Desire God’s Word (v.10)
  • Be humbled by God’s Word (v.11)
  • Desire to avoid hidden faults (v.12)
  • Desire to be free from the power of sin (v.13)
  • Desire to please God (v.14)


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The 3 Cs of Walking with God

Psalm 16


Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You. 2 I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.” 3 As for the saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight. 4 The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I take their names upon my lips. 5 The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. 6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. 7 I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. 8 I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. 10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.


Purpose: In this Psalm we shall see the three C’s of our relationship to God so that we walk with God today.

  • We need to have COMMITMENT to God (v.1-4)
  • We need to find CONTENTMENT in God (v.5-7)
  • We need to have CONFIDENCE in God (v.8-11)



Introductory matters

  • Hebrew verse 1 of Psalm 16 indicates that this is written by David: “A Mikhtam of David.
  • The author is clearly identified: “of David
  • What is a “Mikhtam?
    • According to William Barrick: “One of the more likely explanations was found in the old Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) 250 years before Christ: “inscription.”[1]
    • Jeremiah 2:22 uses a related word (nikhtam) is translated “stain” to express that something is indelible.  Thus this is writing that is meant to be preserved.[2]
  • Psalm 15 sets up God’s holy requirement to worship in God’s presence and Psalm 16 now shows us we need to trust in God and what trusting in God looks like.



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Prerequisite for Worship

Psalm 15


O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? 2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. 3 He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the Lord; He swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5 He does not put out his money at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.


Establish the Need: How often do you think about worshipping God and do you think carefully about your approach towards God?


Purpose: In this Psalm we shall see three imperative we need to follow so that we live a life that really matters.


We need to ask life’s most important question (v.1)

We need to hear the answer to life’s most important question (v.2-5b)

We need to trust in God’s assurance (v.5c)



Introductory matters

Hebrew verse 1 of Psalm 15 indicates that this is written by David.

Psalm 14 is a contrast with Psalm 15.


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Note: This is a guest post.  This is by Dan Carwright.  He’s been a brother who has been iron sharpening iron with us on here and social media for years.  His blog can be found here.  He also tweets.

I saw that question on a Facebook post a couple of weeks ago, connected to the recently released Bethel Music song “Reckless Love”, written by Cory Asbury. Apparently it hit the top of some Christian music charts but has also garnered quite a bit of dialogue, some of which is helpful helpful and some decidedly not so much.

Nevertheless, the above question is quite valid and deserving of discussion, at least when examined in light of what scripture teaches us about the nature of God’s love.


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Sunday is the day the church gathers for worship!

If you have been a Christian for sometime you might have heard of the cliche, “___ for an audience of One.”  The “One” is understood as God.  What you fill in depends on what you are doing for God.  It can be “preach for an audience of One” but probably more often it is “sing for an audience of One.”

I was doing my devotional thoughts and translation exercise from the Greek translation of Psalm 108:3 and it made me think deeper concerning this saying.


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I have young ones in my family and our home have many ditties.  Once in a while a ditty for one’s memory of theology strikes me.  Here’s one that deals with worship.

It’s not always easy to worship God as sinners.  You know what helps me?  Thinking about Christ.

Here’s the ditty:


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I’ve been doing a lot of studying this week so this is going to be a quick post.  Normally I don’t listen to anything when I study (so I don’t become distracted) but since I’m on overdrive I’ve been listening to some worship songs.

I admit I’m not really a music person but among the songs I really appreciated this week is “Be Thou My Vision” which is probably one of my favorite hymns.  I thought it was important that in the midst of a pastor’s study it is God and Christ that is one’s vision and focus.

So what is your favorite worship song?

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ethics under scope South Bay Alliance Church has hosted a monthly series in 2014 on the topic of Christian Ethics.  I commend this church for their moral courage to tackle on various issues some of which are controversial in our day and age.  I also appreciated the fact that they approached these topic with the desire and effort of being biblical. I hope you would all enjoy these videos.  I encourage you all to save this page and to share with others!

Introduction to Christian Ethics (January)

Woman, the Word and Worship (February)

The Statutes of Liberty (March)

Christians and Politics (April)

Christian Ethics: Euthanasia (May)

A Time for War (June)

Christian Ethics: Recovery of Vocation (July)

Contemplations for the Single Christian (September)

Worthy Life Aborted (October)

Homosexuality in the eyes of God (November)

Science, Philosophy, and God (December)

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The Foundation of Communion WIth God Owen

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

I did not know what to expect when I first got this book; I got it because I was curious and wanted to know more about the famous Puritan John Owen.  The book’s main point is that Christians today can benefit from Owens’ writing with his emphasis on a distinctively Trinitarian piety.  In fact the title plays on a quote from Owen that the foundation for Christian worship is the Triune God.  The bulk of the book are selected passages from John Owen’s work that is divided into three sections: 1.) Knowing God as Triune, 2.) Heavenly Mindedness and Apostasy 3.) and Covenant and Church.  My favorite section was section two because it touched on a lot on searching one’s own heart for the motive of worshipping God and it confronts a wrongful heart and false spiritual high that does not rely on God and the Gospel.  Christians must always watch their own heart for false and prideful reasons to worship God especially when it comes to public worship.  For those who are new to John Owen, both the opening chapter titled “The Trinitarian Piety of John Owen” and appendix A, “Reading Owen” are extremely helpful.  I think “Reading Owen” is important enough that it ought to have been the second chapter of the book rather than being an appendix.  This book did make me want to read more of John Owen.

NOTE: I received this book for free from the publisher Reformation Heritage Books through Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my honest opinion. The thoughts and words are my own and I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.

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