PREPARING TO GATHER > JANUARY 24, 2016
Each week, we aim to prepare our hearts before the Lord in anticipation of our worship gathering. Therefore, we'll post the Scriptures, Big Idea, Songs, and other reflections that will help us enter into worship together - with one heart, one voice, and one mind - in full accord (Philippians 2:2). Here are some simple ways to prepare your heart...
- READ through the text that will be preached on Sunday. Take a few moments or more to familiarize yourself with it, study, or meditate on it.
- SING, LISTEN, OR READ through the songs that we'll be singing together. Meditate on the truth and substance they instill. Consider the ways of your own heart as you do. This is also a good opportunity to become familiar with new songs in advance of our time together.
- PRAY and ask the Lord to open your heart to Him and to draw you into thoughtful worship as you reflect on who He is, what He's done for us in Jesus, who we are, and what He's called us to do.
WE'RE IN A SERIES ON THE BOOK OF COLOSSIANS CALLED:
SUNDAY'S BIG IDEA:
Remember Your Roots.
The Colossian church is being persuaded by false teachers that they need to "worship Jesus + do some other things." Paul begins his letter to the Colossians by doing two things: 1. Praying for them: He's prays they are filled "with all spiritual wisdom and understanding" and 2. Reminding them of Jesus' Power: He sets their sights upon the wonder and power and significance of Jesus Christ. Paul says Jesus is Pre-Eminent (first and best) in Everything. He's calling them to remember just who it is they belong to. He's calling them to remember "where they came from."
Anthony Burgess (Novelist): It's always good to remember where you come from and celebrate it. To remember where you come from is part of where you're going.
Charles Spurgeon: (On Jesus' pre-eminence) He will reign over you, either by your consent, or without it.
Sam Storms: (On Jesus' power and capability) Some people will insist that the idea that God preserves us undermines and vitiates the urgency to make certain that we continue in our faith. I would argue precisely the opposite. The reason I commit myself fervently to the pursuit of holiness of life is that God has assured me that he will be ever present to energize my heart "to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:12-13). Praise God for his preserving presence and power!
John Piper: (On Jesus as Creator) "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” So Paul teaches us that Jesus Christ created all that is. They were created through him. He was with and in God—and was God (John 1:1-3)—as God created all things through him. And all things were created for him. All that came into being exists for Christ—that is, it exists to display the greatness of Christ. Nothing—nothing!—in the universe exists for its own sake. Everything from the bottom of the oceans to the top of the mountains, from smallest particle to the biggest star, from the most boring school subject to the most fascinating science, from the ugliest cockroach to the most beautiful human, from the greatest saint to the most wicked genocidal dictator—everything that exists, exists to make the greatness of Christ more fully known—including you, and the person you have the hardest time liking.
Here are a few songs we'll sing together this Sunday. Enjoy listening and endeavor to enter into worship as you do.
HOW HE LOVES US
DAVID CROWDER (Feat. Matt Chandler & John Piper)
GREAT ARE YOU LORD
ALL SONS AND DAUGHTERS