Category Archives: Worship

“Meditating day and night” by William Plumer

“Another positive sign of a renewed man is that he meditates in the law of the LORD day and night. ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.’

Vain thoughts lodge in all ungodly men. But the righteous hate sinful imaginings. What the wicked would be ashamed to act or speak out, the righteous is ashamed to think or desire.

Yet the mind of the righteous is full of activity. He meditates. The power of reflection chiefly distinguishes a man from a brute.

The habit of reflection chiefly distinguishes a wise man from a fool. Pious reflection on God’s word greatly distinguishes a saint from a sinner.

Without meditation grace never thrives, prayer is languid, praise dull, and religious duties unprofitable.

Yet to flesh and blood without divine grace this is an impossible duty.

It is easier to take a journey of a thousand miles than to spend an hour in close, devout, profitable thought on divine things.

Like prayer (Luke 18:7), meditation is to be pursued day and night, not reluctantly, but joyously, not merely in God’s house, or on the Lord’s day, but whenever other duties do not forbid.

Nor does the true child of God slight part of divine truth. He loves it all.

A saint is therefore described by his ‘meditating in the law of God day and night,’ which is the natural and necessary effect of his delight in it.”

–William Plumer, Psalms: A Critical and Expository Commentary with Doctrinal and Practical Remarks (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, originally published in 1867; reprinted 2016), 28.

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“The rigorous habit of querying the text” by John Piper

“Amazing things happen when you form the rigorous habit of querying the text-– when you aggressively ask questions to yourself and to the text. Little by little, thread by thread, you begin to see the intricately woven fabric of God‘s revelation. Over time you will be changed.”

–John Piper, Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 347.

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“The purpose of God for the Bible cannot fail” by John Piper

“God has made the natural act of reading the Bible supernaturally the indispensable means of achieving the ultimate goal of the universe…

The purpose of God for the Bible cannot fail. And that purpose is to reveal God’s infinite worth and beauty as the ultimate value and excellence in the universe, to open the eyes of His people to see that glory in the Scriptures, so that we savor the excellence of God above all created treasures, and, by beholding and being satisfied with God, be changed from glory to glory, until the bride of Christ— the family of God across all centuries and cultures— is complete in number and beauty for the white-hot worship of God forever and ever.

God purchased and secured this great salvation through the incarnation of the Son of God, so that He might live a perfect life, die in the place of sinners, and rise from the dead to rule the world. To preserve and perform this great plan of salvation, God inspired and preserved the Christian Scriptures.

And now He is carrying out His plan as millions of people pursue the natural act of reading the Bible supernaturally. I invite you to join us. It is the only way for your life to be of lasting service to the world, and for your work to show forth the glory of God, and for your soul to be fully satisfied forever.”

–John Piper, Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 392-393, 393.

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“Look, look, look!” by John Piper

“Most people read half asleep. We read the Bible pretty much like we watch television— passively. What I mean by passively is that we expect the TV program to affect us. Entertain us, or inform , or teach us. Our minds are almost entirely in the passive mode as impulses come into our minds.

The opposite is when our minds go on alert and watch carefully. We become aggressively observant. When we see TV or the world actively, we see layers and dimensions and aspects of reality that before were totally unnoticed. The difference is that now the mind is engaged.

You have issued a command to the brain: Look! Listen! Think about what you are seeing. Spot clues. Be aggressively observant. Be unremitting in your attentiveness. Be unwaveringly watchful. Make connections. Notice patterns. Ask questions….

The barrier to seeing the riches of the Scriptures is not owing to the fact that more people don’t know Greek and Hebrew, but that more people don’t have the patience to look, look, look.”

–John Piper, Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 327, 332.

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“This God is your God” by Jonathan Edwards

“This God, to whom there is none in heaven to be compared, nor any among the sons of the mighty to be likened– this God who is from everlasting to everlasting, an infinitely powerful, wise, holy, and lovely being, who is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, is your God.

He is reconciled to you and has become your friend. There is a friendship between you and the Almighty. You have become acquainted with Him, and He has made known Himself to you, and communicates Himself to you, converses with you as a friend, dwells with you, and in you, by His Holy Spirit.

Yea, He has taken you into a nearer relation to Him: He has become your Father, and owns you for His child, and doth by you, and will do by you, as a child.

He cares for you, and will see that you are provided for, and will see that you never shall want anything that will be useful to you. He has made you one of His heirs, and a co-heir with His Son, and will bestow an inheritance upon you, as it is bestowed upon a child of the King of Kings.

You are now in some measure sanctified, and have the image of God upon your souls, but hereafter, when God shall receive you, His dear child, into His arms, and shall admit you to the perfect enjoyment of Him as your portion, you will be entirely transformed into His likeness, for you shall see Him as He is.

The consideration of having such a glorious God for your God, your friend, your Father, and your portion, and that you shall eternally enjoy Him as such, is enough to make you despise all worldly afflictions and adversities, and even death itself, and to trample them under your feet.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “God’s Excellencies” in Sermons and Discourses, 1720-1723, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 10. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven, NJ: Yale University Press, 1992), 435. You can read this sermon on Psalm 89:6 in its entirety here. Edwards was only nineteen years old when preached this sermon.

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“The brighter glories and beauties of the Creator” by Jonathan Edwards

“God is infinitely exalted above all created beings in excellency and loveliness. It all runs upon infinities in God: so great as is His duration, so great as is His being and essence, so great is His excellency and loveliness.

His excellency excels all other excellencies that ever were seen or heard of, as much as His being exceeds created beings in greatness. It must needs be so: for all other excellencies proceed from Him as the fountain, for He has made them all.

He has made all things that are excellent, and therefore He must have given them their excellency, and so must have all that excellency in Himself, or else could not have given it.

He must have all the glories, perfections, and beauties of the whole creation in Himself in an infinite degree, for they all proceed from Him, as beams do from the sun, and He is as much more excellent than they all, as the whole sun is than one single ray.

We admire at the beauty of creation, at the beautiful order of it, at the glory of the sun, moon, and stars. The sun appears very bright and glorious.

So beautiful doth the sun appear that many nations take it to be the supreme God, and worship it accordingly. But we have much more reason from the beauty of the sun to admire at the invisible glory of that God whose fingers have formed it.

The beauty of trees, plants, and flowers, with which God has bespangled the face of the earth, is delightful. The beautiful frame of the body of man, especially in its perfection, is astonishing.

The beauty of the moon and stars is wonderful. The beauty of the highest heavens is transcendent. The excellency of angels and the saints in light is very glorious.

But it is all deformity and darkness in comparison of the brighter glories and beauties of the Creator of all, for ‘behold even to the moon, and it shineth not’ (Job 25:5).

Think of the excellency of God and the moon will not seem to shine to you, God’s excellency so much outshines it. And the stars are not pure in His sight, and so we know that at the great Day when God appears, the sun shall be turned into darkness, shall hide his face as if he were ashamed to see himself so much outshined.

And the very angels, they hide their faces before Him. The highest heavens are not clean in His sight, and He charges His angels with folly (Job 4:18).

God’s is an infinite excellency, infinite glory, and beauty itself. He is an infinite, eternal, and immutable excellency. He is not only an infinitely excellent being, but a being that is infinite excellency, beauty, and loveliness.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “God’s Excellencies” in Sermons and Discourses, 1720-1723, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 10. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), 420-421. You can read this sermon on Psalm 89:6 in its entirety here.

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“The church is the orchestra” by John Calvin

“The whole world is a theatre for the display of God’s goodness, wisdom, justice and power, but the church is the orchestra.”

–John Calvin, Commentary on the Psalms (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2009),619. Calvin is commenting on Psalm 135:13-14.

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