Monthly Archives: February 2009

Jesus Shall Reign (Hymn by Isaac Watts)


Wherever on God’s glorious globe you may be worshipping our crucified, risen, and exalted Savior, may these words by Dr. Watts (1678-1741) inspire you to lofty heights of worship!

Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

Behold the islands with their kings,
And Europe her best tribute brings;
From north to south the princes meet,
To pay their homage at His feet.

There Persia, glorious to behold,
There India shines in eastern gold;
And barb’rous nations at His word
Submit, and bow, and own their Lord.

To Him shall endless prayer be made,
And praises throng to crown His head;
His Name like sweet perfume shall rise
With every morning sacrifice.

People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His Name.

Blessings abound wherever He reigns;
The prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
The weary find eternal rest,
And all the sons of want are blessed.

Where He displays His healing power,
Death and the curse are known no more:
In Him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their father lost.

Let every creature rise and bring
Peculiar honors to our King;
Angels descend with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud amen!

Great God, whose universal sway
The known and unknown worlds obey,
Now give the kingdom to Thy Son,
Extend His power, exalt His throne.

The scepter well becomes His hands;
All Heav’n submits to His commands;
His justice shall avenge the poor,
And pride and rage prevail no more.

With power He vindicates the just,
And treads th’oppressor in the dust:
His worship and His fear shall last
Till hours, and years, and time be past.

As rain on meadows newly mown,
So shall He send his influence down:
His grace on fainting souls distills,
Like heav’nly dew on thirsty hills.

The heathen lands, that lie beneath
The shades of overspreading death,
Revive at His first dawning light;
And deserts blossom at the sight.

The saints shall flourish in His days,
Dressed in the robes of joy and praise;
Peace, like a river, from His throne
Shall flow to nations yet unknown.

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Categories: Hymns | 1 Comment

Be Wary of Contextualizing the Gospel

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The Gospel In Contemporary Culture (Alistair Begg 1998)

The Gospel In Contemporary Culture (Alistair Begg 1998)

Categories: preaching | Leave a comment

Be Wary of Contextualizing the Gospel

Categories: Gospel, missions | Leave a comment

Gripped By The Gospel Or By The Glands?

Dr. York preaches a sermon with the same title as that disturbing Kati Perry song that was the summer’s big hit. He makes a point that we have certainly crossed a line when a song with blatant lesbian overtones not only makes Billboard’s #1 for weeks, but is now being sung on the lips of 12-year-olds all across our country. The sermon deals with the overt sexualization of our culture and the dire consequences it brings. How do Christians respond to these temptations? You will find this sermon food for your soul

On a similar vein, Albert Mohler writes an article on “The Pornification of a Culture — What’s Going on in the Office Next Door?” Here’s an excerpt:

The scourge of pornography is now so pervasive that it begins to define the culture at large. America is fast transforming itself from a society that allows and markets pornography into a culture that is pornographic. Boundary after boundary is being transgressed.

Adding insult to injury, courts have ruled that public libraries have no right to use filters that prevent viewing of pornography on public computers. Now, the marketers of pornography are looking to mobile devices and cell phones as the next frontier. There is no safe place in a society that embraces pornography as a major industry.

Just when you think you are past being shocked, The Washington Times now reports that pornography “is a major workplace problem in contemporary American society.” Just look at what the paper reports:

The porn-at-work phenomenon is pervasive enough, a 2007 survey by the American Management Association and The ePolicy Institute found, that 65 percent of American companies use porn-detecting software – a dramatic increase from 40 percent in 2001 (click here to read the rest of the article).

What I find most disturbing is that American churches who have been very influenced by the proper Victorian era of England that finds sexual discussions taboo, fail to equip our young teenagers and adults in this very tempting area. Everyone speaks about it, and so do the Scriptures–yet why does the church avoid it? I’m thankful for men like Hershael York and Albert Mohler who address this subject with a vital saturation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Categories: Gospel | Leave a comment

Gripped By The Gospel Or By The Glands?

Dr. York preaches a sermon with the same title as that disturbing Kati Perry song that was the summer’s big hit. He makes a point that we have certainly crossed a line when a song with blatant lesbian overtones not only makes Billboard’s #1 for weeks, but is now being sung on the lips of 12-year-olds all across our country. The sermon deals with the overt sexualization of our culture and the dire consequences it brings. How do Christians respond to these temptations? You will find this sermon food for your soul

On a similar vein, Albert Mohler writes an article on “The Pornification of a Culture — What’s Going on in the Office Next Door?” Here’s an excerpt:

The scourge of pornography is now so pervasive that it begins to define the culture at large. America is fast transforming itself from a society that allows and markets pornography into a culture that is pornographic. Boundary after boundary is being transgressed.

Adding insult to injury, courts have ruled that public libraries have no right to use filters that prevent viewing of pornography on public computers. Now, the marketers of pornography are looking to mobile devices and cell phones as the next frontier. There is no safe place in a society that embraces pornography as a major industry.

Just when you think you are past being shocked, The Washington Times now reports that pornography “is a major workplace problem in contemporary American society.” Just look at what the paper reports:

The porn-at-work phenomenon is pervasive enough, a 2007 survey by the American Management Association and The ePolicy Institute found, that 65 percent of American companies use porn-detecting software – a dramatic increase from 40 percent in 2001 (click here to read the rest of the article).

What I find most disturbing is that American churches who have been very influenced by the proper Victorian era of England that finds sexual discussions taboo, fail to equip our young teenagers and adults in this very tempting area. Everyone speaks about it, and so do the Scriptures–yet why does the church avoid it? I’m thankful for men like Hershael York and Albert Mohler who address this subject with a vital saturation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Categories: Gospel | Leave a comment

Have Christians Despised Their Birthright?

Last night at our Wednesday Night Bible Study, we had a study entitled “Running Ahead of God’s Sovereignty” in looking at Esau’s forfeiture of his birthright and his loss of Isaac’s blessing. In Genesis 25:34, after Esau sold his birthright for some of Jacob’s stew, Moses tells us that “Esau despised his birthright.”

We may think, “How awful on Esau’s part–to forfeit this spiritual blessing for material possessions. Did he not realize what he did?”

A scene from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” comes to mind. After Delmar (played by Tim Blake Nelson) and Pete (John Turturro) “get baptized,” those two along with Everett (played by George Clooney) are driving down a desolate area where they come to a crossroads. There they meet Tommy (played by Blues guitarist extraordinare Chris Thomas King). He said he sold his soul to the devil who showed him “how to play the guitar real good.” Delmar sadly responds, “Oh, son… for that, you traded your everlasting soul.” To which Tommy responds, “Well, I wasn’t using it!”

This is the mindset of Esau: trading a spiritual blessing that he felt provided him nothing at the moment so that his belly might be filled for that one meal. And Jacob took full advantage. Rebekah knew full well where Jacob stood in the providence of God:

And the Lord said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the older shall serve the younger.”
When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb
(Genesis 25:23-24, ESV).

God worked out, even in the midst of such circumstances, for His prophecy to come to pass.

The question is, do we find ourselves shaking our heads at Esau–all the while not seeing how Christians have despised their birthright as those who have been regenerated by our Lord Jesus Christ?

James Montgomery Boice lists off five ways that Christians in the 21st century have despised their birthright:

  1. Many Christians have forfeited the benefits of Jesus’ death.
  2. Many Christians have forfeited the benefits of the Word of God.
  3. Many Christians have forfeited the benefits of gospel preaching.
  4. Many Christians have forfeited the benefits of His church.
  5. Many Christians have forfeited the benefits of time and leisure.

Over the next few days, I will flesh out many of these. Can you think of any other benefits Christians give up in despising their birthright?

John 1:12-13 says:

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Categories: God's sovereignty | 1 Comment

Have Christians Despised Their Birthright?

Last night at our Wednesday Night Bible Study, we had a study entitled “Running Ahead of God’s Sovereignty” in looking at Esau’s forfeiture of his birthright and his loss of Isaac’s blessing. In Genesis 25:34, after Esau sold his birthright for some of Jacob’s stew, Moses tells us that “Esau despised his birthright.”

We may think, “How awful on Esau’s part–to forfeit this spiritual blessing for material possessions. Did he not realize what he did?”

A scene from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” comes to mind. After Delmar (played by Tim Blake Nelson) and Pete (John Turturro) “get baptized,” those two along with Everett (played by George Clooney) are driving down a desolate area where they come to a crossroads. There they meet Tommy (played by Blues guitarist extraordinare Chris Thomas King). He said he sold his soul to the devil who showed him “how to play the guitar real good.” Delmar sadly responds, “Oh, son… for that, you traded your everlasting soul.” To which Tommy responds, “Well, I wasn’t using it!”

This is the mindset of Esau: trading a spiritual blessing that he felt provided him nothing at the moment so that his belly might be filled for that one meal. And Jacob took full advantage. Rebekah knew full well where Jacob stood in the providence of God:

And the Lord said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the older shall serve the younger.”
When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb
(Genesis 25:23-24, ESV).

God worked out, even in the midst of such circumstances, for His prophecy to come to pass.

The question is, do we find ourselves shaking our heads at Esau–all the while not seeing how Christians have despised their birthright as those who have been regenerated by our Lord Jesus Christ?

James Montgomery Boice lists off five ways that Christians in the 21st century have despised their birthright:

  1. Many Christians have forfeited the benefits of Jesus’ death.
  2. Many Christians have forfeited the benefits of the Word of God.
  3. Many Christians have forfeited the benefits of gospel preaching.
  4. Many Christians have forfeited the benefits of His church.
  5. Many Christians have forfeited the benefits of time and leisure.

Over the next few days, I will flesh out many of these. Can you think of any other benefits Christians give up in despising their birthright?

John 1:12-13 says:

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Categories: God's sovereignty | 1 Comment

For Whose Glory Do We Make Music? (Bob Kauflin)

Categories: music, worship | Leave a comment

REACH: Our Small Groups Ministry at My Church

In January, I preached about spreading God’s glory from our neighbors to the nations. It is my conviction that Christ called us to be witnesses from our hometown to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:6-8). In fact, the entire layout of Acts is how the Spirit led His people to fulfill His mission. So, too, must we be led by the Spirit of God to seek out ways to strengthen God’s people and share God’s gospel through Jesus.

That’s why God has impressed on me and a number of others that we should start some small groups that meet outside of our church building called R.E.A.C.H. This stands for:

Reaching

Every

Area from

Church to

Home

—given this not only a name, but in what we should be engaged: reaching our people and our neighbors with the Gospel.

Why do this? Consider:

  • The majority of our members only come to one service per week, either due to driving distance, work, health reasons, or just lost the habit of attending (Hebrews 10:25);.
  • The majority of those who live in our neighborhoods come to zero services, thus are not being fed the Gospel nor are they fellowshipping with those who are under the Gospel of Christ.

R.E.A.C.H. groups with bring the presence of God’s people at Boone’s Creek to the various locations where our people are located—as well as to those who are unbelievers, thus offering them an entry point in developing relationships with God’s people. What will these REACH groups set out to accomplish? Four things:

  • Strengthen our sanctification (2 Peter 3:18);
  • Foster fellowship (Acts 2:42-44);
  • Cultivate care and concern among the members (Hebrews 12:5-8; Galatians 6:1-2);
  • Generate an exercising of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:27-13:8)

Three have already expressed interest in leading a REACH group: Alex Marshall, Jr. (Lexington), Cam Potts (Richmond) and Mike Hamilton (Winchester). Doug and Mindy Yates are working on leading a REACH group here at church on Wednesday nights to reach our parents/grandparents who drop off their children to TeamKID. We will also have a REACH group that will meet on Tuesday at 10:00 A.M. here in the Athens area.

We will make use of three resources to train these leaders. The first (and primary) is the Scriptures, along with “Why Small Groups?“, edited by C.J. Mahaney. The other will be “Sticky Church” by Nelson Searcy.


The REACH groups will kick this off on Tuesday, March 24. Why March 24? It marks 40 days prior to our revival services beginning on May 3 and going through May 5. You will have a prayer guide to work from, as well as discussion questions based upon the Sunday morning sermon (I do this to keep from adding one more “thing,” and to help streamline our teaching ministries here).

We will have sign-up sheets in the vestibule (that’s church language for ‘foyer outside the sanctuary’). Alex lives in the Hartland area in Lexington and Mike Hamilton lives in Winchester. If anyone else is interested in leading one, please let me know so we can begin training ASAP. Otherwise, sign up for a REACH group and watch God move among that fellowship.


Again, there will be sign-up sheets in the foyer. Please sign up for one of these, or volunteer to lead a group.


May God help us spread His glory from our neighbors to the nations,


Bro. Matt

Categories: Acts 1:8, evangelism, small groups | 1 Comment