Preparing for Worship // October 30, 2016

Preparing for Worship // October 30, 2016

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Recently, my wife and I watched the movie London Has Fallen. It was exactly what we expected going in: a good old-fashioned action movie with cheesy dialogue, lots of action, and a plot that left much to be desired. It was predictable throughout and never took a turn that you didn’t see coming. Towards the end of the movie the U.S. president gets kidnapped, and although they drag it out and build up the suspense, I never really doubted that the secret service agent was going to get to him on time, kill the terrorists, and save the day.

When we read the Bible, it’s easy to read it like a cheesy action movie. We’re familiar with the gospel, we know that we worship a God who always saves His people, and it’s never very surprising to us when God rescues His people. In our passage this week, we are finally given a big picture snapshot of the Jews throughout the Persian empire. The last several chapters have been so focused on Esther and Mordecai as they seek deliverance for their people that it might be easy for us to lose sight of the fear and anticipation that the Jews have been experiencing this whole time. Things are gloomy, and they probably feel hopeless as they await the day when their enemies will be given free reign to destroy them.

This is the situation that the Jews are facing prior to this week’s passage. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that this was the situation that each of us was in prior to the salvation bought for us by Christ. Prior to our salvation in Christ, we were all hopelessly awaiting the day of our destruction. That is no longer the case. Through Christ, we have been set free from our sin and the punishment we deserve because of it. But in order to really understand what God has done for us, we must first understand where we were: lost in our sins and the wickedness of our hearts, bound for destruction, and without hope. If we lose sight of this, we will also lose sight of the beautiful and miraculous nature of the gospel story.

THE WORD

Scripture: Esther 8:1-17
Sermon: God’s Providential Deliverance is Fair Play

SONGS

A Mighty Fortress is Our God (Traditional)
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You Never Let Go (Matt Redman)
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Our Deliverer (Evan Wickham)
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All Things New (Red Mountain Music)
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Song of Preparation: Doxology (Romans 11) (Andrew Peterson)
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Song of Response: We Will Feast In The House Of Zion  (Sandra McCracken)
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