PREPARING TO GATHER > JANUARY 31, 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:
JESUS, THE HOPE OF OUR GLORY, EQUIPS AND BUILDS UP HIS CHURCH THROUGH HIS SUFFERING AND SACRIFICING ONES.
The Apostle Paul is glad to suffer for the sake of Jesus' Church. In fact, like the other apostles he rejoices that he's "counted worthy to suffer for the Name (Jesus)." God has made Paul a minister of the Gospel in order to strengthen His Church. The way Paul plants and strengthens churches is through revealing the age-old mystery:
The Messiah has come. He has a name and a zip code. A mother and father. His name is Jesus. He's the Hope of Glory in all of His people. All people who call on Him as their only hope are His and He will strengthen His church through their suffering and sacrifice.
You. Me. Others.
"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ."
Here are a few new songs we'll sing together this Sunday. Enjoy listening and endeavor to enter into worship as you do.
YOU HAVE SEARCHED ME
CITIZENS & SAINTS