Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, November 2, 2014

I became a Christian late in college. I had about a year left of school. I had wasted most of my time in college before I was converted. The University that I attended is broken up into degree granting colleges such as the college of humanities or the college of life sciences. However there is one non-degree granting college named First Year College. Its purpose is to introduce the student to entry level classes so that you can ‘figure out’ what you want to do with your life. The problem is that there seems to be a lot of students who enroll in this college with no idea what they want to do and no motivation to find out. I was one of those students. I mainly went to college because it was the next step. As I approached my senior year I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had become a Christian, but I often felt defeated in how I had sinned and utterly wasted my time in college. I could have spent it looking for a major or testing out gifts that I might have. Instead I wasted it on pleasures and vanity. On top of this I did not do very well in school. In order to get in to a degree granting college I had to matriculate. In order to matriculate I had to have good enough grades.

It had become the end of my senior year and I still was not able to matriculate to a degree granting college. I would often look at my situation frustrated with how I had wasted my time with no idea of what to do. I had however focused on a couple colleges and majors that I might be able to get in to. History and English were two of those majors that I was looking to matriculate in to. Miraculously I was able to get into an English major with a focus in language, writing and rhetoric. At the time however I was more interested in just graduating college. I often questioned God on why I had ended up with an English major and what I would do going forward. 

As I look at my college career under the notion that I am in control I think of the time that I wasted and my attempt at a quick graduation. That all may be true, but the ultimate truth is that God is in control and he governs the world with his holy, wise and perfect providence. He has used my feeble efforts and failings to accomplish His purposes. I believe that God has called me to full time pastoral ministry and it is amazing to see how God has governed my life in such a way leading me to do a campus ministry internship and to enroll as an MDIV student in seminary. He has used the degree that I thought was useless to prepare me and equip me. What I thought was useless God has used. When I thought my wasted time was irredeemable God redeemed it. We can often think that our sin and failure has somehow thwarted God’s plans but nothing can thwart the perfect will of God. Our current circumstance as dire as it may seem are not outside the perfect sovereign will of God. This doctrine can only lead us to worship. It can only lead us to joyful worship because we know that part of God’s will is that He works out all things for the good of those who love Him. Let us joyfully worship God who directs our lives in every way even when we fall. He is perfect, amazing and in control. 

THE WORD

Scripture: Ezra 6:13-22
Sermon: Joyfully Worship Our Providential God

SONGS

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (arr. Charlie Hall)
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Mighty to Save (arr. Hillsong)
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Here I Am To Worship (arr. Tim Hughes)
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Come Thou Fount (Traditional)
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Song of Preparation: Sovereign Grace O’er Sin Abounding
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Song of Response: Oh For a Thousand Songs To Sing (arr. David Crowder)
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