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Quest for the Best challenges us to live in fear of the Lord to find meaning, purpose, and fulfillment because our Creator alone holds the answers to our most profound questions about life and eternity.
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Well, I invite you to take your Bible and turn to Ecclesiastes chapter five. I want to begin a series of sermons on this section of the book. Will be at least two if not three weeks here in Ecclesiastes five verses one through seven. It’s a message I’ve entitled, Watch Your Step. Because Solomon is about to counsel us on our approach to God, how you and I can make our worship of God much more meaningful. I think this is one of the most overlooked passages in the Bible as it relates to the issue of worship. If you’re with us for the first time this morning, welcome. It’s just the modus operandi of our church to work through books of the Bible verse by verse. We’d love for you to come back, bring your Bible, bring a heart that’s open to God, and join us on this journey through the book of Ecclesiastes as we join Solomon on his quest for the best.
What makes life meaningful? That’s a great question and Solomon gives us a great answer towards the end of the book. Fear God, keep His commandments for in this man finds his wholeness. I’m reading from the New King James translation of Holy and Iner scripture. Ecclesiastes five verse one, walk prudently when you go to the house of God and draw near to here rather than to give the sacrifice of fools for they do not know that they do evil. Do not be rash with your mouth and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven and you on earth. Therefore, let your words be few. We just sang about that, didn’t we? Verse three. For a dream comes through much activity and a fool’s voice is known by his many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it for he has no pleasure in fools.
Pay what you vowed. Better not to vow than divine and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin nor say before the messenger of God, that was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words, there is also vanity. But fear God. The story of Henry Martin is one of devotion to God and dedication to the gospel. Henry Martin was a grade A student and scholar at Cambridge University towards the turn of the 19th century. He was destined to a glittering academic career, but to the surprise of friends and family and fraternity, he turned his back on that career and he became a curate alongside Charles Simeon in an unfashionable evangelical church. After a year, he at the age of 24, left his home shores of England for India and then Persia to become an ambassador for Jesus Christ and the sharing of the gospel among the nations.
It took him almost a year to get to India and he was pretty poor in health when he got there and it was something he struggled with from that day forward. In fact, he died sadly and tragically some seven years later burned out for God at age 31. They say a man’s life is not measured by its duration but by its donation. And certainly if that’s the case, Henry Martin’s life was a weighty one and a worthwhile one because although he only ministered there for seven years, his legacy was translations of the New Testament in Urdu, Arabic Persian. His work became the foundation for mission work in that region for years to come and while a harvest of souls ultimately was the fruit of his pioneering evangelistic work, only one, only one recorded convert took place during his lifetime. In fact, it happened two days before Henry Martin died that his friend, Charles Simeon, back in Cambridge, England received a portrait of his former curate.
He hung the picture in his study, he often reflected on his friend’s blood earnestness and devotion to God. He said that those eyes would look down on him and they would often say, Charles, don’t trifle. Charles, don’t trifle. From the perspective of Henry Martin, life is no trifling matter. It’s a gift from God. And as a gift it is a stewardship from God that must be lived for his glory until the sun sets on human history. And surely in the words of Charles Simeon regarding his friend, we have a word and a warning that we need to heed. We need to remind ourselves not to trifle, not to trifle. And we need to hear that because I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but we’re living in an increasingly dumbed down culture. We’re living in a trivializing age where the sacred is mocked, where the profane is celebrated, where public discourse for the most part is rude and benign.
The things that matter don’t matter. In our culture, media inflated personalities of barely perceptible talent and less taste are adulated. While genuine heroes of our republic are condemned, their lives are turned over, their sins are highlighted, and the true sense of God themselves are ignored. This is a day, this is a time where we’re witnessing the trivializing of all things good and all things godly. The big is small, the small is big, the good is bad. The bad is good. The fear of God and the love of what’s good and the reverencing of what’s sacred. These are attitudes hard to find in such a climate, in such a culture. I think that’s true. I think you’d agree with me on that. And if that’s the case and I believe it is, then it’s incumbent upon us, the church of Jesus Christ, the people of God, not to trifle when it comes to the things of God and the issues of life and death.
We above all people are not to play at church. We’re not the tinker at our spirituality in an age of trivial pursuit. We are to be deadly serious about God and the things of eternity. And in fact, to that end, here’s what I suggest this morning based on the passage we’re about to study, you and I can guard ourselves against this trivializing age. We can set up a wall against this dumb down culture. We can do it through embracing a fresh and bold perspective on the majesty of God. The contemporary church in this present day must be captured anew and afresh by an overwhelming sense of awe and reverence for God because the trivialization of God is a clear and a present danger. We’ve got to avoid the mush God, the God of stray dogs and stray cats. The God has got no theology, no law, the God who is worshiped on a Friday night at a high school football game, the God who loves everybody and everything. The God who can be stretched over all kinds of scenarios and perspectives and beliefs.
We’ve got to avoid the mush God. We’ve got to recapture an ever expanding vision of his majesty and his might, his holiness, his power, his highness. Listen to these words of a writer, there is no sense of the majesty of God. It has fallen out of popular thought. Not for us, the traumatic vision of Isaiah the throne high and lifted up. Not for us, the prostration of John before the radiant glory of a face that shone like the sun. Not for us the burning bush or the cloudy pillar, not for us Jobe with his hands clasped over his mouth, speechless in self-loathing that he had been impudent enough to speak the name of God. No, God as our heavenly buddy. No, we favor him with our friendship. We patronize him with our prayers. He’s a great source of comfort to us, but he’s never a source of fear.
Solomon would warn us to run from the mush God because here he tells us in verse one, walk prudently when you come to the house of God and he finishes this section with fear God. Interestingly, the whole thought of trifling with God is the subject of this section of the book of Ecclesiastes. Don’t trifle could as much be the words of King Solomon as that of Henry Martin. Solomon is occupied as we’ve seen throughout this study, that there’s the question of life’s seeming futility and emptiness. And as Solomon investigates that question as it relates to life, he’s extra troubled to see that even the worship of God in the house of God has not escaped the triviality, the vanity, the banality, the witlessness and the monotony that marks so many other areas of life. Solomon has gone to the university campus. Solomon has walked the halls of power.
Solomon has been in the banqueting hall and on the dance floor. Solomon has been to the marketplace and the money exchange and he sees it’s all marked by weightlessness and monotony and banality. But he goes to church hoping to find that place, a place of refuge and respite, a place marked by weightiness and things substantial, things that count for eternity. But he goes to church and finds himself disappointed because Solomon here is warning us that even our worship of God can be marked by vanity. That’s where he finishes this section, doesn’t he? Where he tells us for in a multitude of dreams, in many words there’s also vanity, but fear of God. There was worship that went on in the house of God marked by hollow prayers, empty promises and the whole thing was marked by the grind of mechanical worship. And so Solomon issues a warning and a word. Watch your step when you go to the house of God.
Let me just try and put this section verses one through seven of this fifth chapter, let me put it in some kind of greater context. Let’s allow the passages behind this passage to kind of catch up with us. This is what most commentators call a critical interlude in the book. It’s like a rallying point in the book. You see, Solomon up until this point has dropped more than a hint that God’s gifts, God’s goodness and God’s government in life provides us a footing in a world tilted towards vanity. Back in chapter two in verse 24, he says, nothing is better from a man than he should eat and drink and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw from the hand of God. He recognizes here as he will in other places throughout this book that life is a gift from God and it’s enjoyed as a gift from God. And he recognizes in chapter three that a sovereign God has purposed different times and things for each of our lives.
Therefore, the goodness of God and the government of God provide us a footing in a world that’s tilted towards vanity, emptiness, meaninglessness. If you and I are going to survive life under the sun, we’ve got to connect it to life above the sun. And if that’s the case then how critical is worship? How necessary that you and I have God in his proper place? That’s what it means to fear God. That’s what it means to reverence God. That’s what it means to stand in awe of God and this is a theme. This is the key to life according to Solomon throughout this book. Chapter three and verse 14 tells us indeed that man should fear be before him. Chapter five and verse seven, we just read it, we’re told to fear God. Again, this theme comes up in chapter eight in verse 12, though a sinner does evil a hundred times in his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before him.
When we get to the end of the book, the key that opens the book is hanging on the back door and we’re told this is the conclusion of the matter, fear God. Life never goes right until God is the hub into which all the spokes go. And if that’s the case, then life should revolve around worshiping God, fearing God, the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. If that’s the case and it is, then worship is the highest and noblest and best activity a man can engage in. Listen, here’s a statement worth pondering. When we stop fearing God, we start fearing life because the fear of God is the key to life.
You won’t find a lot of quietness in a modern contemporary worship service. I wonder why? Their worship lacked preparation. It lacked pause. It lacked perspective. They need to be reminded of the transcendent nature of God. For God is in heaven and you in contrast are on the earth. Infinite finite, creator creature, eternal mortal, holy, sinful. They lacked perspective, they lacked pause, they lacked preparation and they lacked performance. In the verse four following, when you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it. In fact better not to devow a vow [inaudible 00:16:00] not pay it. Don’t be uttering your marriage vows and then get divorced. Don’t be singing hymns you don’t mean, don’t be promising to serve the Lord or talk about perhaps dedicating your life to world missions and then leave that all behind and get lost in the world. Don’t do that stuff. Better not devow a vow than devow and not pay it. You can’t sectionalize your life.
So let’s begin to dive in here. Their worship lacked proper preparation. Verse one, walk prudently or you might have in your version, watch your step when you go to the house of God and draw near to here rather than to give the sacrifice of fools for they do not know that they do evil. It’s an evil thing. It’s an affront to God for you and I to worship him casually, to lack preparation in our approach to God and worship. Solomon is saying familiarity and flippancy have to be banished. You’re to tread lightly, you’re to walk cautiously. The word prudent or watch is the word that carries the idea of guard, consider, observe. My studies took me back to Genesis chapter two, verse 15. That’s where this word turns up for the first time. Remember where God told Adam that he was to keep the garden and to tend it?
The word keep there is our Hebrew word here for prudent or watch. What do we read back in Genesis 2:15? We read that Adam was to take his responsibility seriously. He was to give due attention to the upkeep and safekeeping of the garden. He was to be careful and diligent in his work in the Garden of Eden within the will of God. This was his assignment. This was his calling in life and he was to reflect God’s glory in what he did for God’s glory. What’s the connection if we bring it back into Ecclesiastes five? I think what Solomon is saying here is, hey, you got to work at your worship. You got to work at your worship. You got to give some thought to it. You got to put some energy into it. You got to put some planning and preparation into it.
Someone has said this, the typical American worships his work, works at his play and plays at his worship. I think that’s true. But that means our priorities are all jumbled up. Let’s play at our play. Let’s work at our work, but let’s work and not play at our worship. Walk prudently when you come to the house of God. Listen, when you come to church, I know that the work of God has moved on. God doesn’t have a people for his temple or a temple for his people. He has a people for his temple, but we are the house of God. And so when we gather on the Lord’s day as the people of God to pray and break bread and fellowship and hear the apostles teaching, think about what you’re about to do. You’re not just dropping in on your neighbor for a friendly chat.
Let me tell you what you’re doing. When you step into God’s presence, you’re opening the door to a blast furnace. Go over to Hebrews chapter 12, Hebrews chapter 12, and we see the continuity of this thought. Solomon is saying fear God, the writer of the Hebrews says the same thing. This is something that should happen under the old covenant, something that should happen under the new covenant. Hebrews 12 verse 28. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace by which we may serve God acceptably, okay, which reminds us there’s worship that’s unacceptable. Listen, there’s two things we ought to avoid like the plague. Worshiping the wrong God or worshiping the right God the wrong way. Both are evil, both are wrong. We want worship that’s acceptable to God. God’s concerned about how he’s worshiped. So serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear for our God is a consuming fire, a consuming fire.
My friend, when you and I converse with the almighty, we’re not sitting down to have a chat by the fireside. We’re opening the door to a blast furnace. I don’t know if you’ve ever visited a steel mill or a smelting works, the heat would drive you back. The white hot glow of the furnace requires you to wear sunglasses. You need to put a helmet on, you need to put fire retardant suits on. That’s the image here. But we treat the worship experience like we’re sitting down in a living room by a cozy fire chatting up things with God. He’s a consuming fire. He’s to be approached with reverence. We’ve got to think about what we’re doing. Walk prudently when you go to the house of God and draw near to here rather than give the sacrifice of fools for they do not know that they do evil.
Think of Moses meeting with God at the burning bush where God said, remove the sandals from your feet for the place in which you’re standing is holy ground. Exodus three verse five. This is holy ground. This is sanctified to the Lord, this place. This is where an expression of Christ’s body meets on a weekly basis and when we come we ought to walk prudently into the house of God.
I was just in Israel as you know with Living Waters and a week or two ago and amidst all the filming of the next series that we were doing, we had some time for sightseeing and one particular morning our guide Donnie took us to the southern side of the temple mount. And there we stood on a set of steps that dated back to the Herodian era round about the time of Jesus. Some of the steps were long, some of the steps were short. And he explained that there were two theories as to why one step was short, one step was long. Why they alternated. He said, well, we do think maybe as people brought the animal sacrifices up to the temple, it allowed the animal to find its footing, a whole series of short steps, it might lose its footing. It’s a four-legged animal.
He says, but we actually think more it to be the case that it allowed the pilgrim to stop. It allowed room for the pilgrim just to stop, take in the sight of this magnificent temple. To realize that they’re about to enter the house of God, the holy of holies, the place where God meets his people, the thrice, holy God, the God who displayed his glory in the cloud and in the pillar of fire. As he told us that I immediately thought of this passage because I knew it was coming up. Metaphorically, you and I need to act that way, not come rushing into God’s presence, not come unprepared on a Sunday morning, tired, sleepy from a week of engagement with the world, with no respite, no reflection. No, we need to walk prudently. There was a lack of preparation here.
Now I want to apply this. Here’s what I think it says to us by way of just pastoral application. I think we need to be more reverential. I think the contemporary church needs to regain a glorious majestic vision of God. In fact, this section of seven verses is bracketed by that thought. Walk prudently, fear God. That’s the beginning and the end. That’s the book ends of this section. As we approach God, we need to do it with a right reverence and awe. We’re not to come self confidently and a waltz and trapeze into God’s presence without the slightest notion that it might be a bad idea. You know what? Sunday morning worship can be a bad idea if you don’t come prepared. Just ask those who fell asleep in the church at Corinth because they abused the Lord’s table and God judged them because their approach to him was an offense to him.
Ask Ananias and Safari. They were quick to talk but they offered a sacrifice of foes. They pretended to give more than they did. It was a show, it was a pantomime. Talk to Nadab and Abihu, back in the Old Testament, Leviticus chapter 10, where we’re not told what they did but somewhere along the line they did something that wasn’t very kosher and they offered strange [inaudible 00:26:11] to God and God judged them. Those are just a sampling, just a sampling of the fact that God’s plan and God’s program for us in terms of worship requires preparation. What God desires not our creativity rules the day in the worship experience.
In fact, failure to comply can be a death sentence. Make no mistake about it. God cares how we worship him. In fact, in my own readings, I’ve been working through the Pentateuch and recently I was to be honest weeding my way through the book of Leviticus. You need a cup of coffee with a double shot in it to work your way through the book of Leviticus. It’s tough going. And in fact I find myself in the very reading of it, doing what the book warns us not to do and that’s become careless. I just wanted to skip over the book of Leviticus. What’s this all about?
All these rules, all these routines, the dress of the high priest, the way the sacrifice had to be prepared, the approach of the people, the setup of the tabernacle. Because God designed it that way. God desired it to be that way. It can’t be designer worship according to our taste, our desires. That’s the whole point of Leviticus. God has spelled out in no uncertain term the proper way to enter his presence. And while we have left a lot of that in terms of the material and the physical behind in the new covenant, make no mistake about it, there’s a certain way to come into the holiest through Jesus Christ. There’s certain things that are to be part of the worship service of a rightly constituted New Testament church. You and I need to remember that.
Love the story that George Vanderman tells in his book Touch and Live. He tells of a young man, a young stranger who wanted to climb the Alps. It was his first climb and so he made it with a number of seasoned and stalwart guides. It was a steep climb. It was a hazardous climb, but after hours and hours of arduous climbing breathless, they reached a point where the rocks protruded through the snow above them to the summit.
Listen to what he says. The guide ahead wished to the lot of the stranger to have the first glorious view of heaven and earth. And so he moved aside to let him go first. Forgetting the gales that would blow across that summit. The young man leaped to his feet, but the guide dragged him down and said and shouted, on your knees, you’ll never see a fear except on your knees my friend. My friend, as you and I climb the holy hell, one of the ways worship is described in Psalm 24 is who can ascend the holy hill. As we ascend towards God and worship, listen, the only safe place is on your knees. Remembering that creator creature distinction. We need more reverence in our churches. We need to recapture that vision of Isaiah, that experience of John.
We need to remember that it’s not a fireside chat we’re having. Our God is a consuming fire, holy to be feared. Jesus said fear him who can kill the body and soul in hell. Worship is nitroglycerin. It’s not to be played with or juggled with. We also need more intentional worship, not simply more reverential worship, but more intentional worship. We’ll just make a start here for a few minutes. The worship of God requires careful planning. Walk prudently when you go to the house of God, the Christian needs to develop something akin to the pilot’s pre-flight check list.
I was talking to one of the pilots in our church after first service. They spend some time, they’re up in the cockpit a good while before takeoff. It’s a serious thing, isn’t it? To take that big bird up into the air. Maybe it’s something like 500 souls on board. I want that guy to check all the gauges. I want to know that that thing’s fueled up. I want them to go and check the tires. I want them to go and look under the undercarriage. I want them to look at the ailerons. Is there any ice building up on the front of the wing? I want him to do that. I want to be serious about what he does. Don’t want him to come waltzing in to the cockpit and just get on with it as if it’s a run of the mill thing.
Flying is serious business. You can’t make mistakes at 33,000 feet and live to tell the tail. And there’s a bit of an analogy there isn’t there? Let me give you a couple of things that I think are part of your checklist. Number one, keep your heart throughout the week. Here’s a pre worship checklist. Keep your heart throughout the week. Proverbs four verse 23, keep your heart for out of it flows the issues of life. Listen my friends, preparation for Sunday begins Monday because it’s against the backdrop of a holy life that we can truly worship God. We can’t come from a week of disobedience to worship him. The careless life does not allow for worthy worship. Jesus touched in this, didn’t he in Mark seven verse six where he cursed the worship of those who drew near him with their lips but their hearts belong to the world.
Listen, Sunday morning worship must be the overflow of a life dedicated to God. You can’t plug and play worship on a Sunday morning. It doesn’t work that way. And you’ll find that to be the case. And that’s why you’ll project your problems on me. Well, the pastor really didn’t cut it today. He didn’t seem to be firing in all cylinders. Christian, he should have had a different set of songs. I got nothing out of that service. Well, maybe you brought nothing to the service. Okay, maybe it was me, maybe it was Christian, but maybe it was you coming slothly from a week where you didn’t follow God or spend time in his word or kept an appointment with him in prayer. My friend, you can’t plug and play worship on a Sunday morning. Keep your heart throughout the week.
Secondly, treasure the Lord’s day. Treasure the Lord’s day. As much as is possible, keep Sunday special. That’s a whole theology and theme in itself. Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. There are works of necessity and mercy that need to be done, but where we can, we should keep Sunday Special. Christians throughout history have tried to do that. I love that verse in Revelation one, verse 10 where we read of John the Apostle that he was in the spirit on the Lord’s day. I want that to be said of me. I want that to be said of you. When the sun rises on the first day of the week, the day that Jesus rose from the dead and altered the course of history and made salvation possible.
When the sun rises on that day, I want to be in the spirit on the Lord’s day. Sunday has been taken seriously by our forefathers and put the holy uses and it must be taken seriously by us. Sadly, many people, an increasing number of Christians seem to view Sunday as an infringement on their personal liberty. You almost get the impression talking to families that God has taken a day from them instead of giving them the gift of a special day. And churches are catering to this thinking into this trend by offering abbreviated services on other days of the week for whatever reasons. Is there not some weight to the argument that our abbreviated services and our multiple services are there to cater so that we can fit God more easily into our schedule? So that worship on a Sunday morning becomes something like a dental appointment or a piano lesson? We’ve got to get it in there. Let’s get in, let’s get out and get onto the next thing.
Do you think you can have a meaningful worship experience doing that with the Lord’s day? You think God is honored in that? Oh my friend, I know that every day is holy, but I’ve found it to be true. And I think there are thousands of Christians that could stand up over the centuries and say it’s true that while every day is holy, if you’ll keep the Lord’s day holy, you’ll find you’ll keep the other days holy. You find the church meeting in the first day of the week in Acts 20 verse seven. Find the meeting in the first day of the week and first Corinthians 16, verse one to three. In fact, even Sackler historians tell us of this fact. Pliny, the Roman administrator around AD10 said this, speaking of Christians, they gather on Sunday, the first day of the week to sing praises to the Lord Jesus.
Listen, if you’ll prize and you’ll protect the Lord’s day and keep Sunday special as much as you can, you’ll find that it will protect you and over the years it’ll be a blessing to your family and to your children. Listen, the first day of the week in a very real sense helps us seek first the kingdom of God. It centers our lives. It allows us to keep our priorities. It sets us straight. Because we have gone through a week and the world is always working to conform us into its mold, jumble our priorities. And Sunday sorts that all out for us, doesn’t it? Gets us back on track, gives us a vision of God, reminds us of the real important issues of life because you see, we live in a culture where the things that matter don’t matter. And if you spend all your time there, you’re in danger of being conformed to that world.
But one of the blessings of the Lord’s day is it helps us see street. Read Psalm 73 later today you’ll find the struggle of a saint as he looks out on the world and he lives in the world and he sees evil on the throne and he sees righteousness on the scaffold. Evil men are prospering. And he’s struggling with that. But here’s the turning point in the Psalm. He says, my foot had almost slipped. I wondered if it was worth it following God, obeying his law.
But he said, my foot almost slipped until I went into the sanctuary. And then I saw their latter end. I knew that God someday would awaken judgment. You protect Sunday and Sunday will protect you. In the old days, ponies and mules were used to haul out the coal from the mines and a man asked the little boy why so many ponies and mules work out on the fields on a Sunday. The boy replied, they work all week in the mines, so we bring them out on a Sunday so they won’t go blind. Sunday will help you to see straight and stay straight.
Quick thought. Prepare for Sunday morning, Saturday night. You want to walk prudently to the house of God? Keep your heart throughout the week, treasure the Lord’s day, prepare for it and prepare for it on a Saturday night. Slow down. See Saturday night as the off ramp from the hurry and the hustle of everyday life. Begin to become quiet. Begin to let the noise of life and all the things that are crying for your attention, let them fade into the background and let God and his glory and the issues of eternity come to the foreground. Sleep well, rise early, get to church on time. Begin to divest yourself of the many things that occupy you Monday through Saturday. And the Bible understands that’s going to be part and parcel of life. Six days will [inaudible 00:40:00] labor, but as you deal with those many things, then you’ve got to begin to transition to the one thing. That was Martha’s problem, wasn’t it? And Luke chapter 10, verses 38 42, Jesus comes to the home of Martha and Mary, he sits down, begins to teach. Mary realizes this is a moment not to be missed.
She sits down and hears his word. Martha, poor Martha. She didn’t get it. She was still caught up with the many things, so much so Jesus had to shout twice to get her attention. Martha. Martha, you’re agitated about many things, but one thing is needed. And I think the Lord’s day, and I think the gathering of the church on the day that Jesus rose from the dead to break bread and fellowship and pray and hear the doctrine of the apostles. I think that’s the one thing. And you and I have got to rid ourselves of the many things so that we can walk prudently when we come to the house of God. One thing have I desired and sought after says David, to dwell in your house.
Maybe here’s the analogy. If you’ve ever dived to the bottom of the ocean and maybe you’ve done some scuba diving, if you’ve gone to any depth, you know that they teach you to come up in a series of stages. And sometimes a diver, if they’ve gone down real deep, will stay at a certain level for a few minutes, then go up to another level a few minutes until they eventually surface. Seems to me there may be an analogy there, a picture that you and I don’t want to miss because we get sucked into life and we get submerged in all the things that make up Monday through Saturday.
And I think we think we can come into Sunday and just pop up to the surface and have a meaningful dialogue and encounter with God. I don’t think that can happen. I think you got to be still and to know that he is God. You’ve got to move from the many things to the one thing. And I think you can do that by progressively preparing yourself over the weekend, starting especially in a Saturday night. Turning off the television, getting to bed early, gathering the family in time, having a good breakfast and coming to the house of God with a heart prepared and in a mind that’s alert and a life that’s ready to hear something new from God so that you might then do something new for God. Amen. Lord, we thank you for our time in your presence this morning. What a privilege, what an honor, but what a responsibility.
Lord, help us not to come trapezing into your presence [inaudible 00:43:12] and casually. Help us to realize that worship can be a bad idea when it is marked by bad ideas. So continue to challenge us in this critical passage of scripture. Help us to walk prudently as we come to the house of God. Help us, Lord indeed, to make sure that we purposefully prepare ourselves to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear his word. Lord, help us to understand the critical nature of worship. It’s the target we must shoot for. It’s the thing that will give our life substance and significance. For we pray and ask these things in Jesus’ name, amen.
So we can hear their testimony of faith, but we’re real excited that they’ve all joined us. What we’re going to do is just since we’re late, just pass the mic. Say your name, nothing else, no sermon, nothing. So we’re going to pass the mic, say your name and then when we’re done, pastor Phillips’s going to come up and pray for these new members. And then we’re going to have a final song. Each of you just turn around so you’re not feeling like you’re stay here, don’t go away. We’re going to do a final song. You can turn around, you can sit whatever you want. But come back after the final song and I’d encourage each of you to come up and welcome each of these members to Fellowship. So if you can pass the mic name only.
Well, I’m Mike Casper, my wife Lynette.
Jim and Kathy [inaudible 00:44:47].
Fred and Cindy Pavlov.
David and Annette Gunning.
Deborah [inaudible 00:45:09].
Dale and Anna Jackson.
Great. All right, so thank you all for joining us. We’re excited about having you service here at ministry again. If you’re interested in joining us at Kindred, our next class starts June 5th during the second service. So Pastor Philip’s going to pray for these men and women. Again, stay here, turn around, sing, and then we will come on up and greet them after the service.
Thanks Dean. Lord, we thank you for each story represented before us this morning. Thank you that you have indeed called these people out from among the nations to glorify your name. We thank you for their salvation. We thank you for their service to Jesus Christ. We thank you for what they represent in a gift to us at Kindred Community Church. We thank you for their joining this body of believers. We pray as elders that we may shepherd them, that our homes and our lives will be an example to them, that we might feed them the word of God. We pray as a body of believers that we will pray for one another, that we would admonish one another, that we would serve one another. We pray that they might feel the full embrace of this church. And then themselves, may they bring their gifts, their talents, their resources to bear upon all that we’re seeking to achieve in the name of Jesus Christ. How pleasant and good a thing it is when brothers dwell together in unity. For these things we ask and pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.