Gratitude leads to Risking for God (POHFW)

Preparing our Hearts to Worship

In an effort to help you prepare for the April 2nd, 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, “Gratitude leads to Risking for God”. The main Scripture for the day is Romans 11:32-33, 12:1-2. 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 Romans 11:32-12:2, 3:9-26.

(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 Q86

Q. 86. Since, then, we are redeemed from our misery by grace through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we do good works?
A. Because Christ, having redeemed us by his blood (cf. 1 Pet 1:18-19‡), renews us also by his holy Spirit (cf. 1 Pet 1:23‡) after his own image, that with our whole life we may show ourselves thankful to God for his blessing (Rom 6:13; 12:1-2; 1 Pet 2:5, 9-10; 1 Cor 6:20), and that he may be glorified through us (Matt 5:16; 1 Pet 2:12); then, also, that we ourselves may be assured of our faith by the fruits thereof (1 Pet 1:6-7†; Matt 7:17-18; Luke 13:6-9†; John 15:5†; Gal 5:6, 22-25; 2 Pet 1:10-11), and by our godly walk may win our neighbors also to Christ (1 Pet 3:1-2; Rom 14:19; Matt 5:16).

† This symbol indicates references added in later editions of a confession or catechism
‡ This symbol indicates references added by editors of the RSB project

Canons of Dort Main Point 3-4 Article 15

Article 15: The Proper Attitude with Respect to God’s Undeserved Grace
This grace God oweth to no man. For how can God become debtor to him, who hath nothing to give first, that it might be recompensed to him again (Rom 11:35†)? Nay, what can God owe him, who hath nought of his own, but sin and untruth? Whosoever therefore is made partaker of this kind of grace, ever oweth, and ever payeth, thanks to God only: and whoso hath it not, he either, framing to himself content in what he findeth himself, regardeth not all these special things, or carnal security vainly boasteth of having that which he hath not (Amos 6:1†; Jer 7:4†).
Furthermore, as for those that make outward profession of the faith, and amend their lives, we are, by the example of the Apostles, to judge, and speak the best of them (Rom 14:10†); the closet of the heart being unsearchable. But as for those, who are not as yet called, we must pray for them to God, who calleth those things that are not, as if they were (Rom 4:17†): but in no wise may we wax proud against them (1 Cor 4:7†), as if we ourselves had caused that distinction, whereby we are made unlike them.

† This symbol indicates references added in later editions of a confession or catechism
‡ This symbol indicates references added by editors of the RSB project

Canons of Dort Main Point 5 Article 12

Article 12: This Assurance Is an Incentive to Godliness
Now, so far is assurance of perseverance in the truly faithful for making them proud and carnally secure, that, on the contrary, it is the very root of humility, of filial reverence (Rom 12:1†), of true godliness, of patience in all conflicts, of fervent prayer, of constancy in bearing the cross and confessing God’s truth, and, lastly, of solid joy in God (Ps 56:12-13†): and that moreover the consideration of this benefit becometh a goad, or spur, to incite them to a serious and continual exercise of thankfulness and good works (Ps 116:12†; Tit 2:11-14†; 1 John 3:3†); as appeareth by the testimonies of the scriptures, and examples of the saints.

† This symbol indicates references added in later editions of a confession or catechism
‡ This symbol indicates references added by editors of the RSB project

Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 16.2

2. These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith (Jas 2:18, 22): and by them believers manifest their thankfulness (Ps 116:12-13; Col 3:15-17†; 1 Pet 2:9), strengthen their assurance (1 John 2:3, 5; 2 Pet 1:5-10), edify their brethren (2 Cor 9:2; Matt 5:16; 1 Tim 4:12†), adorn the profession of the gospel (Tit 2:5, 9-12; 1 Tim 6:1), stop the mouths of the adversaries (1 Pet 2:15), and glorify God (1 Pet 2:12; Phil 1:11; John 15:8), whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto (Eph 2:10), that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life (Rom 6:22).

† This symbol indicates references added in later editions of a confession or catechism
‡ This symbol indicates references added by editors of the RSB project

From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church

Risk (Butterworth): Lyrics, Video

Worthy is the Lamb (Hillsong): Lyrics, Video

Thank You (Hillsong): Lyrics, Video

For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study

Where might God be calling you to risk for his fame in your current life?
What cost does that risk entail?
How would taking that risk for God be an expression of gratitude for all He has done for you?
What keeps you from taking that risk?
Confess what holds you back and pray for God to give you the courage to take the risk.

Read and Reflect, or listen to, John Piper’s sermon, The Power to Risk in the Cause of Christ
Read and Reflect on Kenny Luck’s short article, Are you willing to trust God with everything?
Read and Reflect on Kris Beckert’s short article, When Risking it All for God Means Staying Where You Are

The Sermon will be available online on April 2, 2017 at 12:30 pm

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