Pastor’s Pen

Does Your Soul Desire to Magnify the Lord?

As we move into another year as the GCT body of Christ we continue with the life-changing story of the nativity in Luke this Sunday. As you look at the nativity in Luke you see that Luke includes the four nativity songs sung by Mary, Zechariah, the angels, and Simeon. Only Luke writes about these four songs of worship. These are the first Christian hymns ever written. They are hymns of praise filled with joy and wonder of what God has done, is doing and will do.
 
So, why does Luke include these songs? My first thought is that God loves songs of praise being sung to Him. As we see throughout Scripture the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Our Lord loves it when we sing praises to Him. This week we will be looking at thirteen year old Mary and how she gives us the perfect example of how to come before the Lord in worship. Like Mary, singing praises to the Lord must be our natural response to the gospel. What God has done in Christ demands praise! It is not simply enough to say what God has done for us. What He has done for us needs to be sung out of the fullness of our heart and soul as Mary did. The Gospel should produce a melody in our heart to sing to the Lord in gratitude. God commands us over fifty times in Scripture to sing praises to Him. Do you have a song of praise on your heart right now? Do you see your need for a Savior? Do you see His endless blessings in your life?
 
Here is a crazy thought. Jesus sang praises while on Earth. Think about that. Jesus sang praises. The night before His crucifixion he worshiped with His disciples through song. And Hebrews 2:12, tells us that even now He is singing about us before the heavenly congregation because He is our brother. What an amazing thought to ponder. Our Savior and Lord is singing praises over us because He is our brother. That makes me want to sing praises with great magnifying power as Mary did in Luke 1:46-47, My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…
 
GCT, do you have the same desire to sing praises as Jesus does right now? When you sing are you singing with only an open mouth? Or are you singing like Mary with a soul that magnifies the Lord along with your spirit rejoicing in God your Savior? Let us be a people who worship with heart wholly excited to express praise to God who has saved us to the uttermost. Let us come to worship this Sunday and every Sunday with soul and heart desiring to magnify the Lord with our Spirit rejoicing in God as our Savior. I really look forward to worshiping with on Sunday.
 
Magnifying the Lord together, Steve

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Joy, Joy, Joy – Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere that Jesus Christ is born!

The JOY of Scripture at Christmas time is overwhelming!  I pray that you are increasing your joy this Christmas through reading the world of God.  When you go through Scripture with the desire to find the truths of Christmas you will find the reasons for Jesus coming everywhere.  They start to jump off of every page.  Christmas is everywhere in the Bible.  The Son of God coming to Earth is the greatest truth to seek, behold and share.  As you look deeper and deeper into the story of Christmas you start to realize that words fall significantly short to describe this wonder of wonders.  Join with me and let Scripture increase your delight for Christmas and for telling others of this good news.  Here are seven scriptures that are Christmas JOY stimulants that also result in going and telling these truths from the mountain and over the hills and everywhere that Jesus Christ is born.  Take these seven truths of Scripture and consider who needs to hear these promises of this GREAT NEWS of Christmas.


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Rejoice! Rejoice!

Rejoice – Rejoice, Emanuel shall come to thee!  I hope that you have been enjoying Luke’s first chapter as much as I have.  The story of Mary and Gabriel is epic!  This story is one of profound mystery and amazing love.  Gabriel declares to a thirteen year old little girl, who has not even made it through puberty, that she has found favor and will bear a child, the Son of God!  This is the gateway to the path of humiliation of the Son of God which ends at the Cross.  Church, it is so very important for us to understand that the Gospel stands or falls upon the incarnation of the Son of God as Jesus Christ.  Our salvation is dependent upon Jesus being fully God and fully Man.


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“…He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among men. (1:25)”

Last week we began our journey through Luke’s Gospel of “exact truth (1:4)” of the good news of Jesus Christ so that “we may know with certainty (1:4)” that God has sent us a Savior, the promised Messiah. Luke begins the story of Jesus with John the Baptist. This great story of Zechariah and Elizabeth is one that brings great encouragement to my heart. This is a great story of God’s purposes being worked out of Zechariah and Elizabeth’s sufferings. They were both going through great persecution as priests in a highly secularized Israel who had not heard a single prophecy from God for over 400 years. They were also going through the disgrace as a Hebrew couple who could not have children.

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What Shapes You?

You know when God gave us the first two commandments of the Ten Commandments He assumed that we will all be worshiping something.  We all ascribe ultimate value to something.  When we ascribe ultimate value to something we are worshiping that something.  We tend to live for it.  When we do not get it we get fearful or angry, depressed, anxious, etc.  If we do get that thing we have ascribed ultimate value to we are happy and our life is worth something.  That is when worship happens.  What have you ascribed ultimate value?


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Is there a way to worship in vain? Is there worship that means nothing to God?

“Vain.” What a scary word, especially when it comes from Jesus Christ. Vain means worthless, useless, producing no results. As we continue to look at “what this thing is that we call church” we have arrived at what exactly it is that we are called to do? Our Lord has called us as His covenant people to WORSHIP. Worship is our response to our Lord, always. God gives us clear guidance in Scripture on how He wants to be worshipped. Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way.

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