Forgiveness And Worship

December 6, 2014


 

 

Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg

SCRIPTURE

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.

~Psalms 130:3-4, NLT

QUOTE

It may be possible to have awe and not worship but it is impossible to worship without awe.

~Yaakov

my thoughts red

God is holy and there is a record of our sin. Fortunately for us, Christ took all our sin and shame upon Himself and on the cross and suffered our hell and death. As Paul said to the Colossians in chapter 2He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Praise God, our sinful deeds have been blotted out by the blood of Jesus. Understanding the above: there are two things needful for worship: [1] We must get a glimpse of the holiness of God and His hatred for sin–this should produce fear and awe. [2] We have to feel a sense of deep gratitude to God for sending His Son to be our Savior and of course, a deep love for Christ who died for our sins.

Most of what we label worship is a subtle form of narcissism. To counter narcissistic worship and the consumer mentality we have to be intentional. FIRST: We must desire transformation into the image of Christ. This means change and I am not talking small alterations but deep change. If you refuse to embrace change, there is little chance that you will worship. SEDOND: We have to be actively resistant to the world’s pressure to conform us to it’s image. Not only must there be radical change which God does gently and incrementally by grace, there must be our awareness that this change is going to be opposed by the world and the powers of darkness. THIRD: We have to be like Paul and have a deep desire to know HIM and partake in the fellowship of His suffering. This is where the rubber meets the road. Are you willing to bear shame for Christ sake? Are you willing to bear a cross, to suffer for His sake? Can you say honestly, Thy will be done? Are you willing to express your love for Christ by serving others? Can you give up self and live sacrificially?

There is little chance that we will experience transforming worship until we stand in awe and repent of sin. Choose any worship style, any music: it will not matter. A mute who fears God trumps an angel who does not. Don’t forget: Satan, a fallen angel is the father of narcissistic worship.

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  • Wow! You talk about blown away, 35 at our SENIOR ADULT CHRISTMAS at Cracker Barrel. It is not a record but it is the best turn out in the last five or so years. I was thrilled. LORD willing, I have one more SA Christmas party and I can tell you, it will probably be at Cracker Barrel.
  • TODAY WE PRAY FOR STUDENTS…youth helpers
  • Normal schedule tomorrow with Deacon’s meeting at 8:00, LCBS at 9:15 and worship at 10:15 and 6:00. We are starting a Christmas series of three messages in the morning. The choir will be doing a Christmas song to go with the message.
  • Next Sunday [Dec.14] morning Joe David preaches and next Sunday evening the children will do their play at 5:30 followed by our annual CHRISTMAS SUPPER in the FORTE. On the 21st we will have LCBS at 9:00 and morning worship at 10:15 with no pm services. We will follow the same schedule on December 28th. We will meet Christmas Eve at 6:00 for a candle light communion service but no services on New Years Eve.

LIFE CHANGING BIBLE STUDY PREVIEW

December 7, 2014

The Shelter of God’s Presence

Key Question: What is the biggest storm you’ve ever encountered?

Make a Top Ten

What are things about Storms that you do not like.

  1. Make us feel small and helpless.
  2. Make us afraid.
  3. ______________________
  4. ______________________

Some of us have weather apps on our phones that help us see approaching storms but not all storms can be detected. Sometimes they arise suddenly with no advance warning. No one is their right mind walks out into a storm. We a storm happens, we look for shelter. Storm shelters are a big business in this area. Today we are going to talk about some storm shelters of a different nature. One of the great storm shelters in the bible is Psalm 23.

  The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Facts About Storms

  1. They happen: life is a series of storms, they are unavoidable.
  2. They have super power: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes are all devastating. No human or group of humans can stop these storms.
  3. Storms humble us: they make us afraid. They knock the props of pride out from under us.
  4. Storms take things: sometimes our homes, our possessions and even the lives of our friends and love ones. The 2011 Hackleburg–Phil Campbell, Alabama tornado was a violent, long-track EF5 tornado that devastated several towns in northern Alabama, before tearing through the western suburbs of Huntsville and causing damage in rural portions of southern Tennessee on the afternoon and early evening of April 27, 2011. It was the deadliest tornado of the April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak, the largest tornado outbreak in United States history. The tornado reached a maximum width of 1.25 mi (2.01 km) and was estimated to have had peak winds of 210 mph (340 km/h). The tornado killed 72 people, making it the deadliest tornado in Alabama history. It was the deadliest tornado to strike the U.S. since the Udall, Kansas tornado of 1955 until the catastrophic tornado on May 22, 2011, which killed 158 people in Joplin, Missouri.
  5. Storms bring people together.
  6. Storms are great teachers. In Matthew 14 Jesus sends His disciple into a storm intentionally to teach them some valuable lessons. The April 11 storm taught me to love light and electricity.

How is Psalm 23 like a Storm Shelter?

  1. It reminds us that we have a Guardian Shepherd in Jesus. The ancient Palestinian shepherd was everything the sheep needed embodied in one individual. He lead the sheep; he fed the sheep, he protected the sheep, he rescued them from themselves and from danger. Jesus HIMSELF is our SHELTER. He is our ARK. He is the same thing to us that the Ark was to Noah and family. In Christ we are safe.
  2. It reminds us that Christ our Great Shepherd is present with us, even when we walk through difficult places. The disciples were terrified of storms but when Jesus manifested His presence to them, they cease to be afraid. Jesus presence calmed their hearts before His voice calmed the sea. The key to weathering any storm is the presence of Christ in the storm.
  3. The key verse is 4, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and staff, they comfort me.” The rod [club] could be used to discipline a rebellious sheep but primarily, it was a weapon used against the predators. David killed both a lion and a bear by clubbing them to death. The shepherds presence had a calming effect on sheep who by nature are timid and defenseless.
  4. Two things I think you should keep in mind: Christ is present with us. Our awareness of His presence has nothing to do with the fact of His presence. He was with the disciples on the road to Emmaus but they did not recognize His presence: regardless to what they recognized–Jesus was present. HIS PRESENCE IS A FACT NOT A FEELING. We must live by faith in His word and not rely on feelings. The second thing is that you under surveillance.  You are being pursued by Goodness and Mercy [love]. Women looking for a husband could only hope to be pursued by a good man who loves them unconditionally.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. What are some things that keeps us from recognizing God’s presence?
  2. Do you know what or when your next storm will come?
  3. How do you think Peter would answer the key question: “What is the worse storm of your life?” Did Peter see the storm coming? Who did?
  4. When do you seem to feel God’s presence most?
  5. What is the most frightening aspect of a storm?
  6. Have you ever enjoyed a storm?
  7. Have you learned from a storm?

INSIGHTS

  1. One diagnosis, one accident, one tragic event can change your life in a matter of seconds. Who knows, today would be the worse day of your life but Jesus is praying for you and He will see you through…Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. {Hebrews 7:25}
  2. The Presence of Christ gives us Peace and Courage. His goodness gives us Hope and His love gives us fulfillment.
  3. No believer is ever without hope.
  4. Christ is our shelter, our ARK of safety.
  5. Everyone needs a shelter from the storms.
  6. When we do not know what storm lies in our path, Jesus knows and He is praying for us.

Footnotes:

obama care

Dogs water Christmas Tree

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