Grace Church, Austin (Texas): Brandon Davison – Real Worship Is From The Heart (John 4:20-24; Psalm 50)
20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
1 The Mighty One, God the LORD,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.
3 Our God comes; he does not keep silence;
before him is a devouring fire,
around him a mighty tempest.
4 He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
6 The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge! Selah
7 “Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
O Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9 I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and perform your vows to the Most High,
15 and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
16 But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to recite my statutes
or take my covenant on your lips?
17 For you hate discipline,
and you cast my words behind you.
18 If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
and you keep company with adulterers.
19 “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
and your tongue frames deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your brother;
you slander your own mother’s son.
21 These things you have done, and I have been silent;
you thought that I was one like yourself.
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.
22 “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
23 The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”
Grace Community Church (San Antonio, Texas) Bible Study, December 9, 2014 – Randy Pizzino: Divine Work And Human Responsibility (Philippians 2:12-13)
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
“Whatever Paul means by “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” you cannot read that with the idea that Paul is saying “I’m not sure about these Philippians.” That would be out of character with how the apostle is writing about them in chapter one verse six in which he is confident that they will make it to the end.”
Grace Community Church (Laredo, Texas) – Jeremy Vuolo: Urgent, Desperate & Dependent On God In Prayer (2 Kings 18 & 19)
“Do you share the same desperation in prayer as Hezekiah? With the Rabshakeh at the doorstep of our nation, speaking blasphemies against the God of the universe and threats against his people…with 1 million unbelievers stepping off into eternity each week…and many of our own families being counted among them, do you live in desperation? Desperate for God’s help in prayer? Desperate for souls, as your God is? If not brethren…why not? Are you distracted?”
Excerpt: “The Lord’s hesed will never let us go. In the midst of life’s trials and tragedies, we may cry out to our loving Lord in confidence that nothing in all creation can ever separate us from the loyal love that chose us before time began, is sanctifying us in the present, and will faithfully bring us to our eternal home (Rom. 8:28–30).”
Full essay available at Ligonier.org.
The slipping feet of the wicked – their fate is sure and God will be vindicated. Their feet will not hold firm forever in rebellion against the living God:
35 Vengeance is mine, and recompense,
for the time when their foot shall slip;
for the day of their calamity is at hand,
and their doom comes swiftly.’ (Deut. 32:35)
The feet of the wicked are made to slip – finally – by God Himself:
18 Truly you set them in slippery places;
you make them fall to ruin.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors! (Psalm 73:18-19)
How about the feet of the people of God – shall they “slip?” No. Not in the least.
Psalm 17:5 -My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
Psalm 18:36 – You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.
Psalm 37:31 – The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip. (“his” is the one who is righteous in v.30)
Psalm 66:8-9 – Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.
Psalm 94:18 – When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.
Why do the feet of the righteous not slip? Because there is One who keeps them from slipping and stumbling:
24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)
Solomon speaks to the feet of the righteous not stumbling as well – feet which the Lord will keep from being caught:
21 My son, do not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
23 Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror
or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
26 for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught. (Proverbs 3:21-26)
The help of the righteous comes from outside himself, from one who never slumbers nor sleeps:
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:1-4)
He not only keeps these feet from slipping, he guards them:
9 “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
for not by might shall a man prevail. (1 Sam. 2:9)
God is faithful. Does He command His people to be faithful? Yes, He does. Repeatedly. He also, however, provides what His people need (cf. John 3:27; 1 Cor. 4:7; James 1:17).
Praise God for His loving faithfulness in preserving a people for Himself – in keeping their feet from slipping!
 This verse – actually, one phrase from the verse – was the subject of one of the most famous sermons delivered on American soil – Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God” in the mid 18th Century.
Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church (Grand Rapids, Michigan) – Greg Nichols: A Biblical Portrait Of Our Personal Sin
81 Weeks Of Art (Azurdia, That Is) Preaching Through The Book Of Revelation: The Vindication Of God’s Witnesses, Part 1 (10:1-11)
Arturo Azurdia III is one of the pastors of Trinity Church, Portland, Oregon. Almost fifteen years ago, while pastoring another church in California, he preached through the book of Revelation over a course of 81 sermons. In the interest of full disclosure, Dr. Azurdia’s approach to this book may be a little different than what you may be accustomed to. If you will be patient with him, I think you will find that he brings much light to what can be a confusing book and makes it rather easy to understand. If you do not attend a Sunday evening service, this would be well worth your while as a substitute. You will need your bible open in front of you while listening to this series.
This week: Chapter ten, verses one through eleven.
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, 3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. 4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” 5 And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven 6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, 7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. 11 And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”