Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the May21st, 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, “The Testing of our Faith”. The main Scripture for the day is 1Kings 17:7-16. 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 1Kings 17:7-16, James 1:2-4, Luke 4:16-30, Ephesians 2:10
(You can read or listen to all of these passages in a variety of translations at Bible.is.)
From the Creeds and ConfessionsEPC Essentials of Our Faith, point 7
All Scripture is self-attesting and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all areas of life. The infallible Word of God, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God’s redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks.
On this sure foundation we affirm these additional Essentials of our faith.
- We believe in one God, the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To Him be all honor, glory and praise for ever!
- Jesus Christ, the living Word, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. On the third day He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Mediator.
- The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior. Indwelling our hearts, He gives new life to us, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth, and seals us for the day of redemption.
- Being estranged from God and condemned by our sinfulness, our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace. God credits His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justifies them in His sight. Only such as are born of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life.
- The true Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit are united together in the body of Christ. The Church finds her visible, yet imperfect, expression in local congregations where the Word of God is preached in its purity and the sacraments are administered in their integrity, where scriptural discipline is practiced, and where loving fellowship is maintained. For her perfecting, she awaits the return of her Lord.
- Jesus Christ will come again to the earth–personally, visibly, and bodily–to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22:20)
- The Lord Jesus Christ commands all believers to proclaim the gospel throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations. Obedience to the Great Commission requires total commitment to “Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.” He calls us to a life of self-denying love and service. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10)
These Essentials are set forth in greater detail in the Westminster Confession of Faith.
In Essentials …………………. Unity
In Non-Essentials …………. Liberty
In All Things ………………… Charity
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
When Trials Come (Getty): Lyrics, Video
Empty Me (Jeremy Camp): Lyrics, Video
Great is thy Faithfulness: Lyrics, Video
Faithful One (Selah): Lyrics, Video
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
What was the widow being asked to give up to support God’s ministry?
What cost would she incur if God didn’t meet her needs after following the orders?
Why do you think she risked obedience?
What is God calling you to give up to support His ministry?
Read and Reflect on this Oswald Chambers Devotional: The Unsurpassed Intimacy of Tested Faith
Read and Reflect on FCA’s short Bible Study and Article, Rubber Band Faith
The Sermon will be available online on May 21, 2017 at 12:30 pm.