Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the March 12th, 2017, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on the question, “Is it worth risking everything for God?”, I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “The Fear of the Lord”. The main Scripture for the day is Ecclesiastes 12:13. 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 Ecclesiastes 12:13, 1Chronicles 16:25-27, Revelation 14:7, Luke 19:11-27.
(You can read or listen to all of these passages in a variety of translations at Bible.is.)
From the Creeds and Confessions
Augsburg Confession Article 2 excerpt
Also [Our Churches] teach that since the fall of Adam all men begotten in the natural way are born with sin, that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with concupiscence; and that this disease, or vice of origin, is truly sin, even now condemning and bringing eternal death upon those not born again through Baptism and the Holy Ghost.
Augsburg Confession Article 27 excerpt
Furthermore, the precepts of God and the true service of God are obscured when men hear that only monks are in a state of perfection. For Christian perfection is to fear God from the heart, and yet to conceive great faith, and to trust that for Christ’s sake we have a God who has been reconciled, to ask of God, and assuredly to expect His aid in all things that, according to our calling, are to be done; and meanwhile, to be diligent in outward good works, and to serve our calling. In these things consist the true perfection and the true service of God.
Heidelberg Catechism Question 94
Q94. What does the Lord require in the first commandment?
Answer: That I, not wanting to endanger my own salvation, avoid and shun all idolatry, sorcery, superstitious rites, and prayer to saints or to other creatures. That I rightly know the only true God, trust him alone, and look to God for every good thing humbly and patiently, and love, fear, and honor God with all my heart. In short, that I give up anything rather than go against God’s will in any way.
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
What fears keep you from sharing your faith more boldly?
What fears keep you from obeying the words you read in the Bible each morning?
Why are these fears greater than your fear of God?
Read and Reflect on Strimple’s Article The Fear of the Lord
Read and Reflect on R.C. Sprouls short article, What does it mean to fear God?
Read and Reflect on Christina Fox’s short devotional article, Trading Fear for Fear
The Sermon will be available online on March 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm.