Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the August 13th, 2017, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on the Life of Elijah. I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “To whom will you turn?”. The main Scripture for the day is 2Kings 1. The other passages are either referenced in the message or provide additional insight for reflection.
(Pick and choose from the many resources and options, which I have tried to make available for your devotional life.)
From the Scriptures
Read and prayerfully reflect upon some or all of these Scriptures. Ask God to shape your life and your church’s life to match the heart of God:
Read or listen to 2Kings 1, 1Kings 22:51-53, Matthew 12:22-24, Luke 9:51-56.
(You can read or listen to all of these passages in a variety of translations at Bible.is.)
From the Creeds and Confessions
Heidelberg Catechism 27
Q27. What do you understand by the providence of God?
A. God’s providence is his almighty and ever present power, 1
whereby, as with his hand, he still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures, 2
and so governs them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, 3
indeed, all things, come to us not by chance 4
but by his fatherly hand. 5
1.Jer 23:23, 24; Acts 17:24-28.
3.Jer 5:24; Acts 14:15-17; Jn 9:3; Prov 22:2.
Heidelberg Catechism 28
Q28. What does it benefit us to know that God has created all things and still upholds them by his providence?
A. We can be patient in adversity, 1
thankful in prosperity, 2
and with a view to the future we can have a firm confidence in our faithful God and Father that no creature shall separate us from his love; 3
for all creatures are so completely in his hand that without his will they cannot so much as move. 4
1.Job 1:21, 22; Ps 39:10; Jas 1:3.
2.Deut 8:10; 1 Thess 5:18.
3.Ps 55:22; Rom 5:3-5; 8:38, 39.
4.Job 1:12; 2:6; Prov 21:1; Acts 17:24-28.
Belgic Confession Article 13: The Doctrine of God’s Providence
We believe that this good God,
after creating all things,
did not abandon them to chance or fortune
but leads and governs them
according to his holy will,
in such a way that nothing happens in this world
without God’s orderly arrangement.
Yet God is not the author of,
and cannot be charged with,
the sin that occurs.
For God’s power and goodness
are so great and incomprehensible
that God arranges and does his works very well and justly
even when the devils and the wicked act unjustly.
We do not wish to inquire
with undue curiosity
into what God does that surpasses human understanding
and is beyond our ability to comprehend.
But in all humility and reverence
we adore the just judgments of God,
which are hidden from us,
being content to be Christ’s disciples,
so as to learn only what God shows us in the Word,
without going beyond those limits.
This doctrine gives us unspeakable comfort
since it teaches us
that nothing can happen to us by chance
but only by the arrangement of our gracious
who watches over us with fatherly care,
sustaining all creatures under his lordship,
so that not one of the hairs on our heads
(for they are all numbered)
nor even a little bird
can fall to the ground
without the will of our Father.
In this thought we rest,
knowing that God holds in check
the devils and all our enemies,
who cannot hurt us
without divine permission and will.
For that reason we reject
the damnable error of the Epicureans,
who say that God does not get involved in anything
and leaves everything to chance.
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
Lord, to whom shall we go (Scott Soper): Music
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
Read and reflect on How to turn from your idols.
Read and reflect on Trusting God during difficult times.
The Sermon will be available online on August 13, 2017 at 12:30 pm.
Disclaimer: Reference to a particular article or website does not constitute endorsement or agreement with everything in that article or on that website.