Preparing for Worship // October 22, 2017

Preparing for Worship // October 22, 2017

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There are two opposite tendencies in life. The first is to think that the success or failure of the things around us depends entirely on our own actions and effort. We burn ourselves out because we think that if we don’t do it, no one will. The second tendency is to think that what we do doesn’t matter because our actions can’t change anything. We assume either that someone else will do it or that things will happen a certain way regardless of our actions. We also tend to bring these tendencies into the Christian life and our relationship with God. Sometimes, it feels as if God is absent and we have to do it all on our own. Other times, we lazily fall back on His providence, using God’s sovereignty as an excuse to not live out His calling for us. While most likely you have a tendency in one of these directions, we all do both at different times (normally defaulting to the one that benefits us at the moment).

But, properly understood, the Christian life is one of balance. We shouldn’t work ourselves to death as if it’s all up to us, but we also shouldn’t sit around telling ourselves that God is sovereign and will do it on His own. Psalm 127:1-2 says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” There are two things to notice in this passage. The first is the combining of God’s work and man’s work. God’s work is the more important of the two, but the laborers are still working and the watchmen are still watching. The second thing to notice is the analogy used in verse 2: “eating the bread of anxious toil.” We tend to think of anxiety as something that is thrust upon us. “I’m anxious because I have too much to do.” But here the Psalmist is saying that anxiety is something we consume, something that we take upon ourselves. How often do we make ourselves needlessly anxious because we don’t believe that God is at work in the world? We carry the weight of the world because we believe it is all up to us. The reality is that God is working through believers everywhere to bring about His kingdom and to reveal His glory. When we worry, we are eating the moldy bread of anxiety rather than the fresh, warm bread of God’s love and compassion towards us. 

Few things reveal to us just how little we trust in God like Sunday. We are called to put everything aside and rest; instead, we enter church Sunday morning with a thousand different thoughts about the pressures of life. The Sabbath rest on Sunday is a good gift from God: a chance to rest in His provision and love. As you come to worship this Sunday remember that God is present among us, at work in and through us, and is spreading His Kingdom. So come to church this Sunday and cast your cares on Him. Let the knowledge that He is at work lead you to rest in and worship Him.

THE WORD

Scripture: Zechariah 4:1-5:11
Sermon: God’s Church Advances By His Power

SONGS

Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah (arr. Indelible Grace)
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Lion of Judah (Robin Mark)
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Let Your Kingdom Come (Bob Kauflin)
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Go Labor On  (Shane Martin)
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Song of Preparation: All Things New (Red Mountain Music)
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Song of Response: Sing to the King (Billy Foote)
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