Archive for June, 2021

I Know Who Holds My Hand

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

I Know Who Holds My Hand

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Psalm 37:23–27

Eddie Snipes tells this story:

When my oldest daughter was about 5 years old, we went to spend an afternoon at a river. Some of the adults decided to walk out to an island in the middle of the river. My daughter wanted to come out with me. I returned to shore and took her hand. She stepped into the water but held on tightly to a branch on the shore. She was afraid of the river but wanted to go where I was going. I told her, “You must let go of the branch if you want to come”. She said that she was afraid that she would sink. “I have your hand. You won’t sink and if you start to, I will lift you up”. Fearfully she let go of the branch. I knew the water was just over waist deep and I guided her feet to each rock. When we began, she had no confidence, but she stepped on the rocks I guided her to. With each step she gained more confidence until she was eagerly reaching for each stone and soon we reached the middle. I looked back and realized that this is exactly how God deals with me.

Every once and a while we need to be reminded of truths we already know as believers. Tonight we will read the words of an older saint who is telling us first hand about how God treats His own. As we meditate on these unchanging truths we too can say, I know who holds my hand!

The Lord Leads

Psalm 37:23 KJV

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: And he delighteth in his way.

 • A good man is one who has a relationship with God deep enough to sense and follow His leadership.

John 10:27 KJV

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

In this strophe the security of the righteous is emphasized. Verse 23a means that it is the Lord who leads a person in the right way. The psalmist is not saying that, in fact, God guides all people in the way they should go, since it is quite evident that many do not accept God’s guidance. To avoid this possible misunderstanding, frcl translates “When a man’s conduct pleases him, the Lord enables him to go through life with confidence,” and niv has “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm.

1 Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 357.

 • Steps are ordered

Psalm 85:13 KJV

Righteousness shall go before him; And shall set us in the way of his steps.

Psalm 40:2 KJV

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

The word rendered ordered means to stand erect; to set up; to found; to adjust, fit, direct. The idea here is, that all which pertains to the journey of a good man through life is directed, ordered, fitted, or arranged by the Lord. That is, his course of life is under the Divine guidance and control. The word good has been supplied here by our translators, and there is nothing corresponding to it in the original. It is simply there, “the steps of man are ordered,” etc. Yet there can be no doubt that a good or pious man is particularly referred to, for the connexion demands this interpretation. The word steps here means his course of life; the way in which he goes.

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 1 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 326.

 • God delights in the fact that the good man follows His leading.

Psalm 37:4–5 KJV

Delight thyself also in the LORD; And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 

Commit thy way unto the LORD; Trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

The Lord Holds

Psalm 37:24 KJV

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: For the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

Micah 7:8 KJV

Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: When I fall, I shall arise; When I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

Psalm 34:19 KJV

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: But the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Though he fall. That is, though he is sometimes disappointed; though he is not always successful; though he may be unfortunate,—yet this will not be final ruin. The word here does not refer to his falling into sin, but into misfortune, disappointment, reverses, calamities. The image is that of a man who is walking along on a journey, but who stumbles, or falls to the earth—a representation of one who is not always successful, but who finds disappointment spring up in his path.

He shall not be utterly cast down. The word here used—?????, tul—means to throw down at full length, to prostrate; then, to cast out, to throw away. Comp. Isa. 22:17; Jer. 16:13; 22:26; Jonah 1:5, 15. Here it means that he would not be utterly and finally prostrated; he would not fall so that he could not rise again. The calamity would be temporary, and there would be ultimate prosperity.

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 1 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 327.

For the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. It is by no power of his own that he is recovered, but it is because, even when he falls, he is held up by an invisible hand. God will not suffer him to sink to utter ruin.

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 1 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 327.

I looked to God with great earnestness day after day, to be directed; asking him to show me the path of duty, and give me grace to ride out the storm.


Proverbs 24:16 KJV

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: But the wicked shall fall into mischief.

The Lord Provides

Psalm 37:25–26 KJV

I have been young, and now am old; Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his seed begging bread. 

He is ever merciful, and lendeth; And his seed is blessed.

While experience confirms God’s radical faithfulness to the righteous as well as the insubstantial nature of the wealth and power of the wicked, the psalmist speaks in these verses in a traditional form of testimony; these words should not be interpreted to mean a naive assumption that the righteous never hurt or suffer want. To the contrary, the whole psalm and much of canonical wisdom literature respond to the reality of the righteous suffering and the inexplicable prosperity of the wicked. In a sense, what the psalmist reports is not naive unreality but an inner vision of the true reality that accords with Yahweh’s character and purpose—the reality that must ultimately arrive.1

1 Gerald H. Wilson, Psalms, vol. 1, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 607.

Hebrews 13:5 KJV

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

The Lord Preserves – therefore do right

Psalm 37:27–28 KJV

Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell for evermore. 

For the LORD loveth judgment, And forsaketh not his saints; They are preserved for ever: But the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

Psalm 92:13–15 KJV

Those that be planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God. 

They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; They shall be fat and flourishing; 

To shew that the LORD is upright: He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Often we become discouraged because we cannot see God’s long range plan of guidance for our lives. We need to remember that God has promised to guide our steps, not the miles ahead.

  “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: And he delighteth in his way.” (Psalm 37:23, KJV)  

This beloved hymn came from the grateful heart of Fanny Crosby after she had received a direct answer to her prayer. One day when she desperately needed five dollars and had no idea where she could obtain it, Fanny followed her usual custom and began to pray about the matter. A few minutes later a stranger appeared at her door with the exact amount. “I have no way of accounting for this,” she said, “except to believe that God put it into the heart of this good man to bring the money. My first thought was that it is so wonderful the way the Lord leads me, I immediately wrote the poem and Dr. Lowry set it to music.” The hymn was first published in 1875.

No one knows the importance of guided steps as much as a blind person like Fanny Crosby, who lost her sight at six weeks of age through improper medical treatment. A sightless person is keenly aware that there will be stumbling and uncertainty as he continues on his way. As Fanny wrote, “Cheers each winding path I tread, gives me grace for every trial,” she has reminded us that God has never promised to keep us from hard places or obstacles in life. He has assured us, however, that He will go with us, guide each step, and give the necessary grace.

All the way my Savior leads me; what have I to ask beside? Can I doubt His tender mercy, who through life has been my Guide? Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, here by faith in Him to dwell! For I know whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me, cheers each winding path I tread, gives me grace for ev’ry trial, feeds me with the living bread. Though my weary steps may falter, and my soul athirst may be, gushing from the Rock before me, lo! a spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me; Oh, the fullness of His love! Perfect rest to me is promised in my Father’s house above. When my spirit, clothed immortal, wings its flight to realms of day, this my song through endless ages: Jesus led me all the way.1

1 Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996), 259.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 8:12 PM June 29, 2021.


Saturday, June 26th, 2021


Pastor Don Carpenter

The Gospel On Tour / Acts 13:1–5

In Discipleship Journal author and editor Kevin Miller writes:

Jesus had a specific, narrowly defined ministry. He didn’t try to do everything.… Jesus poured Himself out for people, but within the limits of the calling God the Father had given Him. He focused.…

Let me share how this works in my life.… One thing I know: God has called me to be a husband. That means He’s not going to call me to something that destroys my ability to lovingly care for my wife and my children.

For example, a few years ago, I was invited to join the board of a Christian organization. I really believed in the work, and I wanted to help. To me, even being asked felt like a dream come true. I was ready to start the day before yesterday.

But as I talked with my wife, Karen, she pointed out all the Saturday meetings and the evening phone calls that would come with the position. With her in graduate school, the family already felt stretched, and time for just the two of us was at a premium. She didn’t think I should join the board.

I did not want to hear that. I grumped at her and felt irritable inside. How could I say no to something that would please God and perfectly match my interests? For three days, I went back and forth between yes and no, not sure what to do.

What helped me finally make this grueling decision was to pray, “God, what specific things have You called me to do?” One answer was, “Love your wife and children. Support them and help develop their gifts.” If I joined the board, I realized, I couldn’t fulfill that very well. As much as it hurt to say no, I had to turn the opportunity down. My specific calling as a husband became a protective boundary.

Craig Brian Larson, 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers & Writers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2002), 45–46.

We have all felt it. A missionary comes in and shows his pictures of the great need of the field and our hearts are moved. We want to help, but are we burdened for the field or called to the field?

Tonight we are launching an exciting study of the first missionaries and their adventures. It is a great blessing to know and answer God’s specific calling in your life. Tonight we start at the beginning. We will discover a Biblical pattern for how a missionary is called and how that calling is recognized and answered.  

God Calls Folks Who Are Already Actively Ministering In the Local Church.

Matthew 16:18 KJV

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Acts 13:1 KJV

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

1 Corinthians 16:15–16 KJV

I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) 

That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.

Key Points Antioch

• Third largest city of the Roman Empire in the first centuries bc and ad

• Strategic location between western and eastern geo-political entities

• Greco-Roman ideals and worldview deeply embedded in cultural fabric

• Early Christian community in Antioch was at the forefront of the move to include gentiles

1 Elaine A. Phillips, “The Geographic Importance of Antioch on the Orontes (Acts 6:5; 11:19–30; 13:1–3; 14:26–28; 15:1–3,22–35; 18:22–23),” in Lexham Geographic Commentary on Acts through Revelation, ed. Barry J. Beitzel, Jessica Parks, and Doug Mangum, Lexham Geographic Commentary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2019), 269.

It has been pointed out that this list of prophets is symbolic of the universal appeal of the gospel. Barnabas was a Jew from Cyprus; Lucius came from Cyrene in North Africa; Simeon was also a Jew, but his other name Niger is given and, since this is a Roman name, it shows that he must have moved in Roman circles; Manaen was a man with aristocratic connections; and Paul himself was a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia and a trained Rabbi. That little group is an example of the unifying in?uence of Christianity. Individuals from many lands and many backgrounds had discovered the secret of ‘togetherness’ because they had discovered the secret of Christ.

One extremely interesting speculation has been made. Simeon not improbably came from Africa, for Niger is also an African name. It has been suggested that he is the Simon of Cyrene who carried Jesus’ cross (Luke 23:26). It would be a most wonderful thing if the man whose ?rst contact with Jesus was the carrying of the cross—a task which he must have bitterly resented—was one of those directly responsible for sending out the story of the cross to all the world.1

1 William Barclay, The Acts of the Apostles, 3rd ed. fully rev. and updated., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003), 115.

 • Crossing the ocean does not make you a soul winner if you are not one at home.

 • Crossing the ocean does not make you a Godly servant if you are not one at home.

 • Crossing the ocean does not give you a Godly work ethic if you do not have one at home.

 • Crossing the ocean does not make you a Bible scholar or teacher if you are not one at home.

 • The local church is the training ground and proving ground God uses to call servants into full time ministry.

God Called Folks Who Were Actively Seeking His Face Through Prayer and Fasting.

Acts 13:2 KJV

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

Jewish people fasted to mourn or repent, and some fasted to seek revelations; special fasts for prayer related to mourning were called in the face of great crises such as droughts. Here they are probably simply seeking God in prayer. The Holy Spirit was especially known as the Spirit of prophecy, so “the Holy Spirit said” probably means that one of the prophets prophesied. For the laying on of hands see comment on 6:6.1

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Ac 13:2–3.

Separate. The Greek adds ??, now, which is not rendered by A. V. or Rev. It gives precision and emphasis to the command, implying that it is for a special purpose, and to be obeyed at the time.1

1 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 514.

Jonathan Edwards was a man used by God in the First Great Awakening. I have read that he preached in a weak, squeaking, monotone voice and held his tiny manuscript so close to his face that people could not see his expressions. When he preached, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” in his weak, squeaking, monotone, people had to strain to hear him. It is said that he preached powerfully without the energy, eloquence, or theatrics some modern “evangelists” depend on. Strong men gripped pews and pillars as if they felt themselves falling into hell. Judgment day had dawned and they were desperately holding on to life until the altar call.

For three days before he first preached that sermon, he did not eat or sleep. Claiming New England for Christ was the only thing that mattered to him. Prayer was important to him. Food and sleep were not. Nothing distracted him. I am certain he did not intend it, but people passing his room heard his weak, squeaking voice as he sobbed, “God, give me New England! Give me New England!”

He finally rose from his knees and made his way to the pulpit. He was so weak, he could barely prop himself up. Before he opened his mouth, great conviction had already fallen on the congregation.

God’s Calling Was Communicated to All the Church Leadership, Not Just Privately to The Missionary.

Acts 13:3 KJV

And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

Placing ones hands on another as a symbol of blessing, or as a symbol of commission and authority. Also: “Imposition of Hands” and “Laying of Hands.”

They laid their hands on these two missionaries they were sending out. We still do that today to our missionaries. Why? Is it that we are imparting something to them? I’m afraid all that we can impart to someone by laying our hands on them is whatever disease germ we have on our hands. The laying on of hands is a means of identifying, of declaring that we are partners with that one. So the Christians in Antioch are indicating by placing their hands on them that they are in a partnership with Paul and Barnabas in the enterprise of getting out the Word of God. They are sending these men out as their representatives. They will minister at home while Paul and Barnabas go to the regions beyond.1

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: Church History (Acts 1-14), electronic ed., vol. 40 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 147–148.

The First Missionaries Did Not Leave the Protection and Authority of their Church Until God’s Calling Was Evident.

Acts 13:4–5 KJV

So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 

And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.


 • Your ministry at EBC is a sacred calling.  

 • Not only are we to surrender to our current calling, but we are to diligently seek God’s face for further direction and power.  

 • When God calls someone, it is evident to the church, not just the individual. 

 • It may be wise to be a bit suspicious of the missionary who was not genuinely sent from his local church. 

 • As we continue to follow the story of these first missionaries, we will discover that they will need to know that God was with them and they have indeed been commissioned.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:14 PM June 26, 2021.

Stay Pure

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Stay Pure

Pastor Don Carpenter

Behind Enemy Lines: Standing For God When Your Nation Does Not / Daniel 1

Manfred, Freiherr von Richthofen was a famous German First World War fighter pilot.

He was better known as the Red Baron because he flew a distinctive a red Fokker aircraft.

He shot down more combat planes than any one else on either side in the first World war

His known kill tally was 80.

On 21st April 1918, he began chasing a Canadian plane – that was trying to escape the battle over the Mor-lan-court Ridge, near the river Somme.

As the Red Baron pursued his prey, he strayed behind Allied lines.

He dived too low into the enemy lines

And he also he missed a Canadian pilot (Arthur) “Roy” Brown coming up on his tail to help his comrade.

We will never know whether it was a shot from the ground – or a shot from Brown that killed Richthofen.

But what we do know is that the “Red Baron” came to his end because he made the mistake of pursuing that Allied ‘plane “too long, too far, and too low into enemy territory” (as one report so succinctly put it)

And many committed Christians have been shot down because they have followed temptation for too long, too far, and too low into enemy territory.

And as with Richthofen — they are then caught unawares and then have to deal with the consequences.

What if as a Christian, you find yourself way behind enemy lines? What if you are a student in the public school system or worse, the secular college? You are surrounded by folks who hate everything we believers stand for. What do you do then?

In the next few weeks we are going to preach a series called “Behind Enemy Lines -Standing For God When Your Nation Does Not” We will discover several ways God’s people found victory in spite of being surrounded by the enemy through no fault of their own.

Godliness is not an accident. One does not live a consecrated life because it happens to come naturally or because it is the easiest course of action to take.

If you are a born-again believer, you are living in a world that is headed in a completely different direction than you are. Every Christian young person going off to public school is confronted with a culture that opposes the truth that they embrace. The work place offers the same kinds of challenges for Christian adults.

In our text this morning, we have the story of a teen aged boy who purposes to remain undefiled even though he is immersed in a pagan culture.

Purity In Spite Of Isolation

Daniel 1:3–7 KJV

And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; 

Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. 

And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. 

Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 

Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.

 • Daniel was a gifted child that was kidnapped

 • Taught different philosophy

 • Taught different customs

 • Taught different language

 • Removed from authority figures

  • Parents

  • Priests

 • Taught different religion

 • Determined to live differently than those around him

Purity On Purpose

Romans 13:14 KJV

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

A. Daniel’s faithfulness had gained the respect of some pagans around him

Daniel 1:9–10 KJV

Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. 

And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.

B. Daniel was willing to put Biblical purity to the test

Daniel 1:11–13 KJV

Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 

Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 

Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

C. God blessed his commitment

Daniel 1:14–16 KJV

So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 

And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. 

Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

Purity Based On Principle Not Opportunity

Daniel 1:8–9 KJV

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 

Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

A. Daniel’s decision was not based on outcome.

B. Daniel’s decision was based on what was right.

C. God worked in the heart of Daniel’s captor.

 1. Favor = kindness

 2. Tender love = compassion, the same emotion felt when a mother has a baby in her womb.

 3. He thought that Daniel’s conviction about diet would lead to weaker captives. Often the world views standards of separation and purity to be restricting rather than liberating.

D. God often requires our decision to obey before He shows any tangible hope of deliverance.

 1. Abraham was ready to kill his only son before he knew of the deliverance.

 2. The Hebrew children had to walk into the red sea before it parted.

 3. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were willing to die in the furnace before they saw God’s deliverance.

Purity On Public Display

Daniel 1:12–16 KJV

Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 

Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. 

So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 

And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. 

Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

A. This challenge was made after the decision to abstain from all of the king’s meat was made.

 1. God did not forbid all meat.

 2. Abstinence from all meat was the best way to avoid unclean meat.

B. Daniel put a specific challenge out.

 1. Replace meat with legumes.

 2. Replace wine with water.

 3. Give it 10 days.

 4. Evaluate physical appearance.

 5. Daniel really believed in his heart that God’s standards were best, not punative or limiting.

C. The results:

 1. Fairer = agreeable to the senses

 2. Fatter = firm, well fed

 3. All Hebrew captives were put on this diet.

Purity Is Power With God

Daniel 1:17–21 KJV

As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 

Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 

And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. 

And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. 

And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.

A. God gave them knowledge = intelligence.

B. God gave them skill = the ability to pay careful attention to:

 1. Learning = facts

 2. Wisdom = the application of truth

C. Daniel had God given understanding of dreams.

D. These four boys were very close to the king.

E. They were 10 times better than any pagan magician or astrologer.


A flock of wild geese was flying south for the winter, when one of the geese looked down and noticed a group of domestic geese by a pond on a farm. He saw that they had plenty of grain to eat, so he went down to join them. The food was so good, he decided to stay with the domestic geese until spring, when his own flock would fly north again. When spring came, he heard his old flock going by and flew up to join them. The goose had grown fat, however, and flying was difficult, so he decided to spend one more season on the farm and join the wild geese on their next winter migration. The following fall, when his former flock flew southward, the goose flapped his wings a little, but kept eating his grain. By the next time they passed overhead, the now-domesticated goose didn’t even notice them.1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 77–78.

God wants His people to remain separated from the World, pure from anything that would defile them. This purity will not happen by accident. One must purpose in his heart to remain pure, then take action based upon that decision. Once we have demonstrated our resolve to do what it takes to remain pure, then God will bless you in that decision. We must remember that God’s standards are never the second best. God has set up His standards for us because that is how we are designed to function. We must be bold enough to allow God and His standards to be put on display for all to see his wisdom. This is how we can Stay Pure.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:56 PM June 24, 2021.

The Good Shepherd In Action

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

The Good Shepherd In Action

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Psalm 23:1–6

A farmer repeatedly invited his neighbor to come over to his orchard and pick some apples and make fresh, sweet apple cider. The neighbor kept turning down the offer. Finally, the farmer asked why the neighbor didn’t want to come to his orchard. He said, “I think you are prejudiced against my apples.” The neighbor answered by saying, “Well, to tell the truth, I have tasted a few of them and they are very sour.” The farmer asked, “Which apples have you eaten?” The neighbor answered, “Those apples alongside the fence by the road.” The farmer said, “Ah, yes—those are sour. I planted them to fool the boys who live around here. But if you will come into the middle of my orchard, you will find a different taste.”

In much the same way, people who only nibble on the outside of Christianity only get a taste of conviction of sin, purity, and denial of self. All they see are fuddy-duddies and goody-two-shoes who don’t have any fun. Those apples were planted to keep out the hypocrites and curiosity seekers. Christ is interested in people making a commitment—a whole hearted, jump-in-with- both-feet commitment to follow Him. But once you come to Christ, the fruit is sweet. The nearer to God; the sweeter the joy.

John 10:14 KJV

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Sometimes it is heard to love a Savior we have never seen. Jesus tells us that He is the Good Shepherd. David wrote a song about the Good Shepherd. In this famous Psalm we will get to know our Savior more. I am sure you have heard many messages from this passage. This evening we are going to look at the verbs David uses to describe his relationship to the Shepherd. Tonight we will discover the Good Shepherd in Action.

The Lord Shepherds

Psalm 23:1 KJV

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

 The verb is a participle and means “is shepherding me.” Eastern shepherds guarded their sheep, led them, provided food and water for them, took care of them when they were weary, bruised, cut or sick, rescued them when they strayed, knew their names, assisted in delivering the lambs, and in every way simply loved them.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

My Shepherd – An Intimate Personal Relationship.

John 10:27–28 KJV

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:11 KJV

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Therefore I shall not want

 Genesis 22:14 (KJV)

 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

“I shall not want”—notice that David does not say, I have not wanted, but “I shall not want.” What is it that I need? Well, I need safety. I’m a sheep, a stupid little animal. Therefore, my Shepherd sees to it that I won’t want for protection. He protects me. When a little sheep says, “I shall not want” and “I shall never perish,” it is because it has a wonderful Shepherd.

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: Poetry (Psalms 1-41), electronic ed., vol. 17 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 135.

The Lord Leads

Psalm 23:2 KJV

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.

The word translated “lead” in verse 2 means “to lead gently.” You cannot drive sheep. The sheep hear the shepherd’s voice and follow him, just as we listen to Christ in His Word and obey Him (John 10:3–5, 16, 27). If a sheep goes astray, the shepherd leaves the flock in charge of his helpers and goes to find the lost animal.

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 96.

To Green Pastures

He makes me lie down: the causative form of the verb “to lie down” does not have the sense of “he forces me to lie down,” as rsv he makes me lie down seems to say (also neb, njv, niv). The idea is that the shepherd finds a place (green pastures) where the sheep can lie down and rest. So njb “he lets me lie.”1

1 Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 232.

Beside Still Waters

“still waters”- Jehovah-Shalom, “the Lord our peace” (Judg. 6:24)

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 9

 Judges 6:24 (KJV)

 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites.

Still waters translates “waters of quietness.” njv has “water in places of repose”; spcl “brooks of quiet waters.” Also possible is “refreshing streams.” This is not a stagnant pool, but a place where the fresh water flows gently, making it easy for the sheep to drink it. In some languages this is “streams of fresh water” or “rivers with good water.”1

1 Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 232.

To Paths of Righteousness

King James Version Psalm 23

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake

“paths of righteousness”—Jehovah-Tsidkenu, “the Lord our righteousness” (Jer. 33:16)1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

 Jeremiah 33:16 (KJV)

 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.

Through Dark Valleys

King James Version Psalm 23

      Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

   I will fear no evil: for thou art with me

The Lord Restores

King James Version Psalm 23

   He restoreth my soul:

shub (??????, 7725), “to return or go back, bring back.” This verb occurs in several Semitic languages (not in Phoenician-Punic and Ethiopic) including Ugaritic (1550–1200 B.C.) and in all periods of Hebrew. It occurs about 1,060 times in biblical Hebrew and about 8 times in biblical Aramaic (in the form tub).

The basic meaning of the verb is movement back to the point of departure (unless there is evidence to the contrary). In the first occurrence of this verb God told Adam that he and Eve would “eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3:19)1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 203.

The Lord Comforts

King James Version Psalm 23

   I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;

   Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Nacham may also mean “to comfort.” The refugees in Babylon would be “comforted” when survivors arrived from Jerusalem (Ezek. 14:23); 

Ezekiel 14:23 KJV

And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD.

the connection between “comfort” and “repent” here resulted from the calamity God brought upon Jerusalem as a testimony to the truth of His Word. David “comforted” Bathsheba after the death of her child born in sin (2 Sam. 12:24); this probably indicates his repentance of what had happened in their indiscretion.

2 Samuel 12:24 KJV

And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him.

W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 202.

With His Presence

“you are with me”—Jehovah-Shammah, “the Lord is there” (Ezek. 48:35)1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

 Ezekiel 48:35 (KJV)

 It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.

With His Weapons

The use of rod and staff…The rod was a club worn at the belt, while the staff was a walking implement that doubled as a weapon in time of need (1 Sam 17:35) and guided and controlled the sheep. These were traditional tools of the shepherd, as is shown already in a cylinder seal inscription of the third millennium.

Victor Harold Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Ps 23:4.

The Lord Provides

King James Version Psalm 23

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies

While My Enemies Watch

“presence of my enemies”—“Jehovah-Nissi, “the Lord our banner” (Ex. 17:15)

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

 Exodus 17:15 (KJV)

 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:

Goodness and Mercy

King James Version Psalm 23

   Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:

Philippians 1:6 KJV

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Eternal Security

King James Version Psalm 23

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever

John 14:6 KJV

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The Lord Anoints

King James Version Psalm 23

Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

With Oil – The Holy Spirit

“anoint my head”—Jehovah-M’Kaddesh, “the Lord who sanctifies” (Lev. 20:81

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 95.

 Leviticus 20:8 (KJV)

 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.

My Cup Runs Over – Joy!

John 10:10 KJV

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending Services regularly, stopped going.

After a few weeks, the preacher decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The preacher found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.

Guessing the reason for his preacher’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited…

The preacher made himself at home, but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs.

And after some minutes, the preacher took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more.

Soon it was cold and dead. Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.

The preacher glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire.

Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it. As the preacher reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday…”


Our Savior is in action keeping His beloved sheep safe, fed, watered, rested and guided. Let us endeavor to follow close to the Good Shepherd.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 5:50 PM June 23, 2021.

Holy Hands

Thursday, June 10th, 2021

Holy Hands

Pastor Don Carpenter

Building Blocks of Worship

We believe in the Trinity. Catholics believe in the Trinity, but we are not Catholics. We use the King James Bible, Mormons use the King James Bible, but we are not Mormons. We believe in eternal security. Calvinists believe in eternal security, but we are not Calvinists. I could go on and on with this example. Just because we may line up with one or two points of doctrine does not mean that we are the same or that we embrace a certain denomination.

1 Timothy 2:8 KJV

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

When it comes to tonight’s subject though, many Bible believers shy away from actually being willing to lift hands in worship because that is what the Charismatics and Pentecostals do. While I understand that we do not want to be confused with their false teaching about tongues, extra biblical revelation, and the lack of eternal security, just because they lift hands does not mean lifting hands is wrong. What we need to do is examine the scriptures and see what the role of lifting hands is in the Bible, and then decide if we should include it in our worship practice today.  

Lifted Hands in Prayer

An Outward Symbol of Supplication

Psalm 68:31 KJV

Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.

Exodus 9:29 KJV

And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the LORD’s.

Exodus 9:33 KJV

And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.

1 Kings 8:22 KJV

And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:

2 Chronicles 6:12–13 KJV

And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands: 

For Solomon had made a brasen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven,

Holiness is Required

Isaiah 1:15 KJV

And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: Yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: Your hands are full of blood.

Psalm 66:18 KJV

If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear me:

Symbol of Intercession

Exodus 17:11–13 KJV

And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 

But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 

And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Lamentations 2:19 KJV

Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches Pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: Lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, That faint for hunger in the top of every street.

Symbol of Communion With God

Psalm 141:2 KJV

Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; And the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Lamentations 3:41 KJV

Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

Lifted Hands In Praise

Tied To Verbal Praise

Psalm 63:3–5 KJV

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise thee. 

Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. 

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; And my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

Sign of Humble Praise 

Nehemiah 8:5–6 KJV

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: 

And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Tied to Public Praise

Psalm 134:2 KJV

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, And bless the LORD.

F. B. Meyer told of a revival meeting that was dragging along without signs of success until one evening an elder arose and said, “Pastor, I don’t believe there is going to be a revival as long as Brother Jones and I don’t speak to each other.” He went to Jones and said: “Brother Jones, we have not spoken for five years, let’s bury the hatchet. Here’s my hand.” A sob broke from the audience.

Soon another elder arose and said: “Pastor, I’ve been saying mean things about you behind your back and nice things to your face. I want you to forgive me.” Many arose and confessed their wrongs and God began to visit them. A revival swept over the community for three years.1

1 Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996), 1154.

Who knows what floodgates of blessing will open if we humble ourselves and offer up our cleansed hands in simple submission and worship. Perhaps we will see one day the power of lifted hands.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:22 PM June 10, 2021.

The Music of Worship

Thursday, June 10th, 2021

The Music of Worship

Pastor Don Carpenter

Building Blocks of Worship / Music; Dance; Responsive Singing / Psalm 95:2–3; 2 Samuel 6:5; Psalm 100:2; Psalm 149:3; Exodus 15:20; Psalm 30:11

In her Dear Abby newspaper column, Abigail Van Buren shares a letter from R. T. Holland of Los Angeles who tells of an article from the medical section of Time magazine. The magazine cited a man who went to a psychiatrist complaining that he was always hearing radio broadcasts.

Thinking to humor him, the psychiatrist asked what he was hearing right then. The man replied that he was hearing Rudy Vallee broadcasting from the Steel Pier in Atlantic City.

After much questioning he discovered that the man worked in a glass bottle factory and had gotten some silica crystals in dental cavities. The combination of the silica, saliva and some bridgework in his mouth had literally transformed him into a walking crystal radio receiver!

The psychiatrist referred the patient to a dentist who gave his teeth a thorough cleaning, filled the cavities and redid the bridgework. As a result, the patient “went off the air,” was able to concentrate, and lived happily ever after.

The Bible says that those who are filled with the Spirit are tuned into the heavenly frequency and carry a song around with them everywhere they go—speaking to themselves in songs, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music to the Lord in their hearts.

John 4:24 KJV

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Through out the better part of this year we have been exploring what it is like to worship God in spirit and in truth. We have learned about the gift of singing and how it is used to honor God and point us back to Him. We discovered that God listens to the soundtrack playing in our heads and is pleased when it is filled with the songs of Zion.  

In the last 6 weeks or so we have been examining different elements of worship. Some of them having to do with attitudes, and some with the practicalities of worship. This morning we are going to do a biblical overview of one of the biggest parts of public worship, the music.  

The subject of Biblical worship music has been a source of much passionate discussion, difference of opinions, and yes, the absolute butchering of correct Bible interpretation while folks try to make the Bible fit their narrow view culturally biased musical taste and call it “conviction”.  

This morning, as I try to do every time I preach, we are going to simply look at what the Bible actually says and use it to give us guidance as to how worship is supposed to sound. We will not be looking at extra biblical “experts” who warn of demon beats that make plants wilt and cows nervous. This morning let us discover together from the Bible, the essential elements of Biblical worship music.

Biblical Worship Music Includes Meaningful Lyrics

Psalm 100:2 KJV

Serve the LORD with gladness: Come before his presence with singing.

Psalm 63:3 KJV

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise thee.

Psalm 71:23 KJV

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; And my soul, which thou hast redeemed.

Psalm 107:21 KJV

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psalm 40:1–3 KJV

I waited patiently for the LORD; And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Ephesians 5:19 KJV

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Biblical Worship Music Includes Instrumentation

2 Samuel 6:5 KJV

And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.

Psalm 150:3–5 KJV

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: Praise him with the psaltery and harp. 

Praise him with the timbrel and dance: Praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 

Praise him upon the loud cymbals: Praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

Psalm 29:2 KJV

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

These various tones weave together to create an auditory tapestry of beauty consisting of both melody and harmony. The complex and beautiful creation of art by mankind shows that we have been made in the image of God. Therefore God is honored as we pursue creativity, intelligence and excellence in the art of our worship.

Biblical Worship Music Includes Rhythm

Exodus 15:20 KJV

And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.

Psalm 149:3–4 KJV

Let them praise his name in the dance: Let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. 

For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: He will beautify the meek with salvation.

Psalm 30:11 KJV

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

Biblical Worship Sounds Like Joy!

Joyful Noise = “raise a shout”, “give a blast”, “cheer”, “shout in triumph”.

Psalm 95:1–3 KJV

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, And make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 

For the LORD is a great God, And a great King above all gods.

Psalm 66:1 KJV

Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:

Psalm 81:1 KJV

Sing aloud unto God our strength: Make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

Psalm 98:4 KJV

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: Make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

Psalm 100:1 KJV

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

Several years ago, when my mother was still alive, she had been suffering from congestive heart failure so I went to Ohio to visit her. Because she was so ill, she was suffering from periodic hallucinations. One time she stopped talking, her face lit up and she beamed with one of her light up the room smiles.  

“Do you hear that?” She asked… of course I didn’t hear what she did. She said, “It’s your brother Danny singing the most beautiful hymn”. Soon she realized what was happening, flashed another smile and said, “Well I guess that is private just between me and God then, you don’t get any today.”

Mom knew what it was like to have the joy of the Lord flowing inside and out. Too often we limit expression of worship based upon our narrow taste or culture. Gods word shows us that Biblical worship has meaningful lyrics, beautiful harmony and melody, a rhythm that may move your feet enough to dance, and most of all JOY! Worship is the anthem of grateful sinners once bound for hell who are now on their way to the promised land, with Jesus holding their hand every step of the way. That is what Bible Worship sounds like.

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Bible Soaked Worship

Saturday, June 5th, 2021

Bible Soaked Worship

Pastor Don Carpenter

Building Blocks of Worship / Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:13; Nehemiah 8:5–6; Nehemiah 9:3

We have been learning about the building blocks of worship. We have learned about attitudes and methods of proclaiming God’s worth. Tonight we will come to the anchor point of worship in spirit and in truth… the Word of God. Paul tells us that in order for our worship to be right the Word must dwell in us richly… we must be Bible soaked.

Colossians 3:16 KJV

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

The words of the Bible, God’s written Word, are to dwell in believers. That is, by study, meditation, and application of the Word, it becomes a permanent abiding part of one’s life. When the words of Christ become part of a believer’s nature, they spring forth naturally and daily in psalms (songs from the Book of Psalms), hymns (other songs of praise), and spiritual songs (as opposed to secular odes) with gratitude (en t? chariti; lit., “in grace”).

Norman L. Geisler, “Colossians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 682.

Consider the difference between a strong and a weak cup of tea. The same ingredients—water and tea—are used for both. The difference is that the strong cup of tea results from the tea leaves’ immersion in the water longer, allowing the water more time to get into the tea and the tea into the water. The longer the steeping process, the stronger the cup of tea.

In the same way, the length of time we spend in God’s Word determines how deeply we get into it and it gets into us. Just like the tea, the longer we are in the Word, the “stronger” we become.1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 31.

With that in mind, the Apostle Paul tells young pastor Timothy exactly how to be Bible Soaked.

1 Timothy 4:13 KJV

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

Pay Attention to Reading

Deuteronomy 31:11 KJV

When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing.

Joshua 8:35 KJV

There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.

Luke 4:16 KJV

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

Deuteronomy 17:19 KJV

And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:

John 5:39 KJV

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Acts 17:11 KJV

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

There is a basic difference between an explorer and a tourist. The tourist travels quickly, stopping only to observe the highly noticeable or publicized points of interest. The explorer, on the other hand, takes his time to search out all that he can find.

Too many of us read the Bible like a tourist and then complain that our devotional times are fruitless. It is necessary that we take time to explore the Bible. Notable nooks and crannies will appear as we get beneath the surface.1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 31.

Pay Attention to Exhortation/ Preaching

Titus 2:15 KJV

These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Hebrews 12:5 KJV

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

1 Corinthians 1:18–21 KJV

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 

For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

 Hebrews 6:18 (KJV)

 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

Acts 4:36 KJV

And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

A U.S. Army officer told of the contrast in his pupils during two different eras of teaching at the artillery training school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In 1958–60 the attitude was so lax that the instructors had a problem getting the men to stay awake to listen. During the 1965–67 classes, however, the men, hearing the same basic lectures, were alert and took copious notes. The reason: these men knew that in less than six weeks they would be facing the enemy in Vietnam.

One reason that Bible study seems to be irrelevant to many Christians is that they have no interaction with non-Christians, no vital ministry to growing believers, and no personal and internal struggle for godliness, all of which are factors that bring the truths of the Bible to apply to life.1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 32.

Pay Attention to Doctrine

Nehemiah 8:5–8 KJV

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: 

And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 

Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. 

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

1 Timothy 4:6 KJV

If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

2 Timothy 4:2 KJV

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Ephesians 4:11–14 KJV

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

There is a story about a teenage boy who was deeply interested in scientific subjects, especially astronomy. So his father bought him a very expensive telescope. Since the young fellow had studied the principles of optics, he found the instrument to be most intriguing. He took it apart, examined the lenses, and made detailed calculations on the distance of its point of focus. The youth became so absorbed in gaining a technical knowledge of the telescope itself that he never got around to looking at the stars. He knew a lot about that fine instrument, but he missed seeing the wonders of the heavens.

As Christians, to know all the facts and figures contained in the Bible is not the end for which God has given us this Book. The purpose is that we might see God and know him.1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 32.

As we learn about worship, let us never forget Jesus Christ, the object of our worship. Let us remember that worship is to be grounded in truth and the Word is truth. Let us grow in Bible Soaked worship.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:07 AM June 5, 2021.

Praise In Worship

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

Pastor Don Carpenter

Building Blocks of Worship / Psalm 150:1–6

A gospel song saved a 10-year-old Atlanta boy from his kidnapper.

In April 2014, Willie Myrick was in his front yard and bent down to pick up money when somebody grabbed him and threw him in a car. The little boy began to sing a gospel song called “Every Praise.” Myrick said that the kidnapper started cursing and repeatedly told Myrick to shut up, but he wouldn’t. He sang the song for about three hours until the kidnapper let him out of the car.

We all know that praise and worship is good for the soul. In this case, it may have saved young Willie’s life. In addition, he got to meet “Every Praise” gospel singer Hezekiah Walker, and they sang the song together.

—Jim L. Wilson and Rodger Russell1

1 Jim L. Wilson and Rodger Russell, “Gospel Song Saves Boy from Kidnapper,” in 300 Illustrations for Preachers, ed. Elliot Ritzema (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015).

 “Hallelu Yah”—hallelujah—“Praise the Lord!” Jehovah (or Yah, for Yahweh) is the covenant name of the Lord. It reminds us that He loves us and has covenanted to save us, keep us, care for us, and eventually glorify us, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His Son, on the cross. The new covenant was not sealed by the blood of animal sacrifices but by the precious blood of Christ. “God” is the “power name” of God (El, Elohim), and this reminds us that whatever He promises, He is able to perform. Worship is not about the worshiper and his or her needs; it is about God and His power and glory. Certainly we bring our burdens and needs with us into the sanctuary (1 Peter 5:7), but we focus our attention on the Lord.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 224.

As we continue our study of the building blocks of worship, we come to the building block of praise. It is fitting that the Book of Psalms, God’s inspired hymnal, ends with an anthem of praise. The Hebrew transliteration of Praise Ye the LORD is Hallelujah! The Psalmist calls us to worship … more specifically, to Praise God in worship. This morning we will examine a very detailed explanation of what it means to Praise God in Worship.

Praise Whom?

Psalm 150:1 KJV

Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: Praise him in the firmament of his power.

The Hebrew expression hallu-yah opens and closes this psalm. See 135:1 and note.

Praise him The Hebrew exhortation used here, halluhu (commonly translated “praise him”), occurs nine times in Psa 150.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ps 150:1.

Psalm 135:1 KJV

Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; Praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.

Praise Where?

Psalm 150:1 KJV

Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: Praise him in the firmament of his power.

In His Sanctuary

The “sanctuary” was the Jewish tabernacle or temple where the priests and Levites led the people in praising God. We know that the Lord does not live in the structures that we design and build (Acts 7:48–50; 17:24–25), but there is nothing sinful about setting aside a place totally dedicated to worshiping the Lord. The early church met in the temple, in upper rooms, in private homes, and even in synagogues, and when persecution began, they met in caves and underground burial chambers. People who excuse themselves from public worship because they “worship God in nature” need to be reminded that the God of nature has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ and commanded us to gather together with other believers (Heb. 10:25). We can lift our hearts to the Lord from any geographic location, for our God fills heaven and earth.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 224–225.

Matthew 18:20 KJV

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

In The Firmament of His Power

Praise him in the firmament of his power. The whole expression is equivalent to earth and heaven;—Praise him on earth; praise him in heaven. The word rendered firmament is the same which is used in Gen. 1:6.

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 3 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 339.

Genesis 1:6 KJV

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

“Praise him in the heavens” or, if mighty is to be expressed, “Praise him in his mighty heavens.” For both phrases the preposition in indicates where God is, not where those are who are urged to praise him.1

1 Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 1188.

Luke 2:13–14 KJV

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 

Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, Good will toward men.

Praise Why?

Psalm 150:2 KJV

Praise him for his mighty acts: Praise him according to his excellent greatness.

The Psalms put the emphasis upon two things: the fact that He is the Creator, and the fact that He is the Redeemer. God made this earth on which we live, as well as the universe. This lovely sunshine that you are enjoying is His. He is the Creator. There is not a thing at your fingertips today that He did not make. He is worthy of our worship because He is the Creator. He is also worthy of our worship because He is the Redeemer. He is the only Creator, and He is the only Redeemer. You see, God works in a field where He has no competition at all. He has a monopoly on the field of creation and on the field of redemption. Because of this, He claims from all of His creatures their worship, their adoration, and their praise.1

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: Poetry (Psalms 90-150), electronic ed., vol. 19 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 189–190.

Power In Creation

Psalm 19:1–2 KJV

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament sheweth his handywork. 

Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night sheweth knowledge.

Romans 1:20 KJV

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Power of Salvation

1 Timothy 1:15 KJV

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Power of Sanctification

Romans 8:28–29 KJV

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Philippians 1:6 KJV

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Did you ever notice a tag on a piece of clothing saying, “The irregularities in this product are not flaws, but are a natural result of the handworking of the fabric.”?

That’s the way we are, too!

God put into your very being certain things that reflect His nature and His character in a way that no one else ever has or ever will.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have certain characteristics that no one has ever had before

But no one has the unique combination of characteristics that God has placed in you.

David likens God’s work to that of a weaver

He picks the exact color and thickness of every strand

Then He carefully puts them together to create a unique and beautiful creation.

Praise How?

With Singing

Psalm 7:17 KJV

I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: And will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

Psalm 9:2 KJV

I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

Psalm 18:49 KJV

Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, And sing praises unto thy name.

With Wordless Music and Art

Psalm 150:3–5 KJV

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: Praise him with the psaltery and harp. 

Praise him with the timbrel and dance: Praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 

Praise him upon the loud cymbals: Praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

 • Trumpet

TRUMPET (?????????, chatsotserah). A straight, metallic wind instrument made of silver; used during worship and in the court (Num 10:1–10; 31:6; 2 Kgs 11:14; 12:13; 1 Chr 13:8; Ezra 3:10). For further details, see this article: Horn.

 • Psaltery

 • with harp and lyre (psaltery) Describes two different stringed instruments. See note on Psa 92:3.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ps 150:3.

1 Samuel 10:5 KJV

After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:

1 Samuel 16:16 KJV

Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.

 • Timbrel – tambourine 

 • Dance

2 Samuel 6:14 KJV

And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.

Here it cannot be improper to regard it as referring to that measured tread, or solemn movement which sometimes constituted a part of worship: 2 Sam. 6:14. Such a movement cannot be proved to be wrong in worship; whether it is wise or expedient is a different matter. Customs in worship change as the customs of a people change; and that might be very proper in one stage of society, or in one period of the world, which, though not in itself wrong, might be very unadvisable in another.

Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 3 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 336–337.

 • Stringed Instruments

 • Organs – Pipes/flutes

Various opinions have been expressed as to the character of this instrument. Some very old authorities believe that the uwgab resembled the bagpipe. They say it consisted of two pipes fastened in a leather bag, one above and the other below. Through the upper pipe, which had a mouthpiece, the bag was filled with air, while the lower pipe had holes that were closed or opened with the fingers much like a flute. Air was forced through this bottom pipe by pressure on the bag.

Most authorities, however, identify the uwgab with the syrinx or panpipe, which is undoubtedly a very ancient instrument, and is generally conceded to be the germ of the modern pipe organ.

 • Loud Cymbals

1 Chronicles 13:8 KJV

And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

1 Chronicles 15:16 KJV

And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.

2 Samuel 6:5 KJV

And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.

Two kinds of cymbals are thought to be mentioned in our text-verse, as rendered in the KJV. The loud cymbals are believed to correspond to the castanets that are used in Spanish and Latin music. Two of these small cymbals were held in each hand. The high sounding cymbals are believed to have been the larger kind that are used today in military bands and symphony orchestras. They were often used in military bands in ancient times, and were also used by the Hebrews in Divine worship as an accompaniment to a chorus of singers (1 Chronicles 15:16 and 25:6, 2 Chronicles 5:13). Paul refers to this instrument in 1 Corinthians 13:1—“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”1

1 James M. Freeman and Harold J. Chadwick, Manners & Customs of the Bible (North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998), 329.

It is important to note that this passage ties musical instruments and dance to a public expression of praise in worship. We must use caution before we write all of this off as merely an ancient cultural practice. Surely God gets praise and glory through artful musical expression that is more than just lyrical.

Who Should Praise?

Psalm 150:6 KJV

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

Every breathing creature!

Revelation 5:13 KJV

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Psalm 145:21 KJV

My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: And let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

 • Saved and unsaved

 • Young and Old

 • If you can breath you can sing!

 • If you can breath you can praise God!

 • Even if you cannot talk, but you are breathing, you can praise!

Genesis 2:7 KJV

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Louis Albert Banks tells of an elderly Christian man, a fine singer, who learned that he had cancer of the tongue and that surgery was required. In the hospital, after everything was ready for the operation, the man said to the doctor, “Are you sure I will never sing again?” The surgeon found it difficult to answer his question. He simply shook his head no. The patient then asked if he could sit up for a moment. “I’ve had many good times singing the praises of God,” he said. “And now you tell me I can never sing again. I have one song that will be my last. It will be of gratitude and praise to God.” There in the doctor’s presence the man sang softly the words of Isaac Watts’ hymn,

“I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath,

And when my voice is lost in death,

Praise shall employ my nobler power;

My days of praise shall ne’er be past,

While life, and thought, and being last,

Or immortality endures.”

(From a sermon by Bruce Howell, “The Reputation of God” 1/22/2009)

Praise Ye The Lord!!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:14 PM June 3, 2021.