Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the May 6, 2018, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on the God’s Story of Salvation through the Scriptures. I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “Only God can bring LIFE to the Dead” The main Scriptures for the day are Ezekiel 37:1-14. 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
Please read through Chapter 17 of The Story this week, this is a lightly edited selection of Scriptures from 2 Kings 21, 23-25; 2Chronicles 33, 36, Jeremiah 1-2, 4-5, 13, 21; Lamentations 1-3, 5 and Ezekiel 1-2, 6-7, 36-37 that seeks to maintain the broad story line of the Scriptures.
You can read or listen to them here.
You can listen to Chapter 17 of The Story here. (34 minutes)
(If you choose to read all of 2Kings (2.25 hrs), 2 Chronicles (2.5 hrs) and Jeremiah (4 hrs) Lamentations (20 min) and Ezekiel (3.75 hrs) it will take roughly 13 hours.)
From the Creeds and Confessions
Heidelberg Catechism Q 53
What do you believe concerning “the Holy Spirit”?
First, that the Spirit, with the Father and the Son, is eternal God.
Second, that the Spirit is given also to me, so that, through true faith, he makes me share in Christ and all his benefits, comforts me, and will remain with me forever.
Heidelberg Catechism Q 57
How does “the resurrection of the body” comfort you?
Not only will my soul be taken immediately after this life to Christ its head, but also my very flesh will be raised by the power of Christ, reunited with my soul, and made like Christ’s glorious body.
Canons of Dort Main ¾ Article 11-12
Article 11: The Holy Spirit’s Work in Conversion
Moreover, when God carries out this good pleasure in the elect, or works true conversion in them, God not only sees to it that the gospel is pro- claimed to them outwardly, and enlightens their minds powerfully by the Holy Spirit so that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God, but, by the effective operation of the same regenerating Spirit, God also penetrates into the inmost being, opens the closed heart, softens the hard heart, and circumcises the heart that is uncircumcised. God infuses new qualities into the will, making the dead will alive, the evil one good, the unwilling one willing, and the stubborn one compliant. God activates and strengthens the will so that, like a good tree, it may be enabled to produce the fruits of good deeds.
Article 12: Regeneration a Supernatural Work
And this is the regeneration, the new creation, the raising from the dead, and the making alive so clearly proclaimed in the Scriptures, which God works in us without our help. But this certainly does not happen only by outward teaching, by moral persuasion, or by such a way of working that, after God’s work is done, it remains in human power whether or not to be reborn or converted. Rather, it is an entirely supernatural work, one that is at the same time most powerful and most pleasing, a marvelous, hid- den, and inexpressible work, which is not less than or inferior in power to that of creation or of raising the dead, as Scripture (inspired by the author of this work) teaches. As a result, all those in whose hearts God works in this marvelous way are certainly, unfailingly, and effectively reborn and do actually believe. And then the will, now renewed, is not only activated and motivated by God, but in being activated by God is also itself active. For this reason, people themselves, by that grace which they have received, are also rightly said to believe and to repent.
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
Here are some excellent articles or articles that will make you think on:
The CRC’s Dead Ends and Dry Bones
Who are the people that once walked with God but are now lost in dry places? Pray for God to renew their life.
What are the areas of your life where spiritual vitality is lacking or absent? Ask God to revive you and give you His Spirit anew.
The Sermon will be available online on May 6, 2018 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.