Preparing for Worship // September 25, 2016

Preparing for Worship // September 25, 2016

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The beloved children’s story The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe tells the story of four children who find their way into a magical world, which they come to learn is under the tyranny of an evil witch. In this magical realm, they meet the lion Aslan, the true king of Narnia, and as a result of their adventures, they defeat the White Witch in battle, delivering the people of Narnia from under her tyranny. It is a familiar story and one that mirrors our own deliverance from under the tyranny of death and sin.

While in a sense all four children are the main characters, it is Edmund who is at the center of the plot, and he is the character that we should identify with. He betrays his siblings and enters the service of the witch. His treachery leads to the arrest of Mr. Tumnus and his being turned into stone. He is held captive by the witch, and it is for him that Aslan dies, in order to purchase his freedom from the White Witch. Edmund’s redemption doesn’t end there. After he has been freed from slavery to the witch, he plays an important part in the battle that brings deliverance to the people of Narnia and is then crowned as one of the kings of Narnia.

God has redeemed us. He has delivered us from the tyranny of sin and death through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.  While this is the glorious climax of the story, it is not the end. Now that we have been redeemed, God is pleased to use us to deliver His people. Sometimes He uses us for the deliverance of one person through sharing the gospel; sometimes He uses us for the deliverance of His Church from oppression. For some, God may be calling you to seek the deliverance of an oppressed people group, to seek God’s justice here on earth. But it is always God who delivers, and we have the joy and privilege to be used by Him in this work.

In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the children have many opportunities to turn around and go home. They see the dangers of war ahead and the comforts of home behind, and they don’t see how they could possibly be the ones destined to save Narnia. In our passage this week, Esther faces a similar predicament, and we face this same difficulty every day. Losing sight of our deliverance through Christ, we don’t think there’s any way that God could use us, so we keep our mouths shut and go about our lives in the face of a dead and dying world. But our God, who always delivers His people, calls us to be instruments of His deliverance. Where is God calling you to speak up? Where is He calling you to bring deliverance?

THE WORD

Scripture: Esther 4:1-17
Sermon: Seeking God’s Providential Deliverance

SONGS

How Firm a Foundation
listen | chords | lyrics/info | purchase (whole album free on NoiseTrade!)

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed (Indelible Grace)
listen | chords | lyrics/info | purchase

You Never Let Go (Matt Redman)
listen | chords | lyrics/info | purchase

God Moves In A Mysterious Way (Jeremy Casella)
listen | chords | lyrics/info | purchase

Song of Preparation: Our Deliverer (Evan Wickham)
listen | chords | lyrics/info | purchase

Song of Response: Our God Our Help In Ages Past  (Cardiphonia)
listen | chords | lyrics/infopurchase

 

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