Great Reversals

As Mary sings her Magnificat, she is particularly delighted in the way God turns things upside down: the mighty are brought low and the humble are lifted up, the hungry are filled and the full are sent away empty, the servants are served. The only thing that isn’t surprising is that God has been faithful to do exactly what He promised to our fathers. This morning as you come to worship, rejoice along with Mary. Be glad that you too have been turned upside down: your stony heart has been replaced by a soft heart, your cursing lips have been healed and now speak praise. You were an orphan and a rebel, and now you are a glad servant of King Jesus, and a beloved child of God.

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Shouts of Joy

Yahweh is a God who fills the mouths of His people with laughter. Psalm 126 highlights the way that God reverses difficult circumstances, leading to shouts of joy. Ultimately, everything sad comes untrue, and even death itself works backwards. In God’s garden, tears are laughter seeds. We sow tears and cries in bare and empty fields, and God brings about a harvest of happiness.  This morning, don’t be afraid to come to God crying out in pain and sorrow. When God restores your fortunes, He will fill your mouth with shouts of joy. And because God is faithful to His word, begin rejoicing by faith even now.

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Marriage Pledge Link Pile

The Church and Civil Marriage – First Things Panel

The Marriage Pledge – Radner & Seitz

A Time to Rend – R.R. Reno

Why I Changed My Mind on Civil Marriage – Ephraim Radner

What the Marriage Pledge Means – Peter Leithart

It’s Official – The Religious Right Is Calling It Quits – Damon Linker

To Rend Is Not to Retreat – R.R. Reno

A Time to Rend? – Andrew Sullivan

Responding to Sullivan on the Marriage Pledge – R.R. Reno

Rusty Reno Doubles Down – Ed Peters

In Which First Things Does Some Fourth Things – Douglas Wilson

Several People Have Asked – Ryan T. Anderson

Separation Anxiety – Wedgeworth & Escalante

Rusty Reno’s Bad Penny – Ed Peters

My Red-line Notes on the Radner-Seitz Pledge – Ed Peters

Ad Usus Catholicorum: More Problems with Radner-Seitz – Ed Peters

Why You Should Not Sign the Marriage Pledge – Andrew Sandlin

What Are the Objections to the Marriage Pledge? – Matthew Schmitz

Our Canvas Christendom – Douglas Wilson

Does a ‘Decent Interval’ Suffice to Rehabilitate What is (Allegedly) Wrong? – Ed Peters

Not Yet – Russell D. Moore

A Legal Perspective on the Marriage Pledge – Mark McCall

To Go or Not to Go – John Stonestreet

Why Christian Pastors Are Divided on the Marriage Pledge – Trevin Wax

The Marriage Pledge: A View from Dixie – Rich Lusk

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Joyful Noise

Psalm 100 clearly tells us how we should come before God. We should be joyful, glad, thankful, praising Him with singing. Since we have been fully instructed in how we are to worship, our failures to do so are shown to be disobedience and unbelief. But God in His kindness attacks our cold hearts with a thousand reasons that melt the ice of unbelief and prompt us to begin worshiping joyfully: because the Lord is God, because He made us, because we belong to Him, for He is good, because His love endures forever, and His faithfulness to our children’s children. As you come to worship today, remember how to worship, and remember why, and the joyful noise you hear will be your own song of praise.

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Looking for Mercy

Psalm 123 tells us where to look and what to look for when we draw near to God. Our eyes are weary of looking to others and only receiving contempt and scorn, and so we lift up our eyes to the heavens, and look expectantly to the Lord our God. Just like servants look to their master or mistress, knowing from constant repetition to expect some instructions or commands, we keep looking to the Lord, knowing that He will once again be faithful to have mercy on us. You won’t find mercy anywhere else, so as you come to worship today, lift up your eyes to God, for mercy is found here at His throne.

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Many Salvations

Psalm 107 exhorts God’s people to give thanks for the many different salvations that God has worked on their behalf. Whether they were lost, hungry and thirsty, foolish, afflicted, storm-tossed, in darkness, sin, or rebellion, God responded to every situation with loving and powerful deliverance. How can a people who have witnessed such a full salvation do anything other than thank and praise the steadfast love of God? As you come to worship today, be comforted that no matter what affliction or distress you may be undergoing, God can and will bring you once again to the place of praise. Listen as God’s people celebrate God’s wondrous works for the children of man with songs of joy!

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God’s Work and Ours

In Psalm 90, Moses meditates deeply on God’s work in the world, how He governs the flow of history while men come and go with the seasons like grass. We live for a few years, but God’s project dwarfs even the greatest efforts of man. In light of man’s small and short life, Moses asks God for wisdom to be given to men so that we may use our short time well, being satisfied with serving God and having His blessing on the work of our hands. As you come to worship this morning, come seeking wisdom and favor from the Lord, so that your life will be well-pleasing to the everlasting God.

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