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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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Invite you to take your Bible and turn to Ecclesiastes chapter five as we carry on in a multiple sermon study of the opening seven verses of this passage. We’re gathering our thoughts around the theme, Watch Your Step. We want to more properly, more passionately worship God and I believe this is a passage that will help us to achieve those ends, “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. 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 the pay it, for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vowed. Better not to vow than to vow 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 in many words, there is also vanity, but fear God.
In his book, God in the Dock, author C.S. Lewis says something profoundly simple and yet simply profound. Here’s what he says, “You can’t get second things by putting them first. You can only get second things by putting first things first.” There’s a lot of wisdom in that and C.S. Lewis is pointing out the fact that it’s our job to keep the main thing, the main thing. That is everything in life. According to Lewis, things are to be enjoyed in their proper place.” You and I must not forget that when we try to make something more than it is, we actually make it less than it could be. And so the prioritize life paradoxically is the fuller and freer life.
One of the secrets of life is to do the things you ought to do in the order of their importance. So we’re constantly working at keeping our priorities straight, are we not? And misplaced priorities, second things becoming first things can also become a problem in the church. Let me … I touch on an issue I think illustrates this fact. It’s often being said that the church’s number one calling and predominant responsibility is evangelism. The church’s first business is to win people to Jesus Christ. Evangelism is a cause against which there is no argument. I want to carefully say that’s not true because I don’t want to be misunderstood. Evangelism is such an important issue. Jesus Christ commissioned us to go into all the world and preach the gospel. That should be a passion. That should be a priority, but worship and not evangelism is to be the church’s first priority, its first passion.
And I say that for several reasons. Number one, evangelism falls under the banner of our duty to our neighbor, while worship falls under the thought of our duty towards God. And naturally, our duty to God takes precedence over our duty to man. That’s why Jesus said in the gospels, didn’t He, “That loving God with all your strength, with all your might, with all your mind is the first and greatest commandment. And the second, to love your neighbor.” Worship and not evangelism is the church’s number one purpose, secondly, because although all of us are expected to share our faith with others as the doors of opportunity present themselves, and I hope you and I are engaged in that business, bringing the light of Jesus Christ to a dark world.
It’s interesting to read that evangelism is also a spiritual gift, given not to all but a few. In fact, Ephesians 4 recognizes the office of evangelist, an office to which only certain men are called. So you and I can deduce from this that Christians are all worshipers, but only some are evangelists in the strictest sense of the word and there is a gifting in the area of evangelism that’s not the experience of all Christians. All Christians must evangelize, but only some can become evangelists. And I just think there’s a distinction there that helps us see that worship and that evangelism is the church’s number one passion because it is our duty towards God and it is something that we can all equally be involved in. It’s a level playing field.
Thirdly, evangelism is a temporary activity. It will cease when the full number of the elect are gathered into Christ’s eternal kingdom, but worship toward the God who has saved us in time will [inaudible 00:05:29] into eternity. Listen to the words of John Piper, love this quote in his book, Let the Nations Be Glad!, “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exist because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity, but worship abides forever.” It’s good thought.
And so we see here that worship is a matter of great and grave importance. It’s the church’s first passion, first priority, first purpose. In fact, we evangelize as an act of worship and we evangelize to bring people to faith in Jesus Christ, so that the number of the worshiping throng before the face of God increases. Worship is a matter of grit and grave importance. It’s the first thing we should do in all that we do, okay? It’s the bedrock of everything we do and attempt. First Corinthians 10, verse 31, “Whether you eat or drink,” and then this catchall phrase, “whatever you do, do it to the glory of God.” So whatever you do, do it to the glory of God. The first thing you ought to do and everything you do is set out to worship God and reflect His glory and bear His image in the midst of all your activity.
I think you’re getting the weightiness of worship, aren’t you? It’s priority. Worship is something that we will do forever, and therefore, you can’t give yourself to something more important than that which will outlast your life. Worship is that thing. The worship of God is the most momentous, urgent and glorious action that can take place within a human life, for it is the reason for human life. We were created for His pleasure. Revelation 4, verse 11, and in Romans 11, verse 36, we read that everything was created by God for God. In fact, this very book, Ecclesiastes, will finish in chapter 12 and verse 13 with these words. This is the conclusion of the matter. This is the big takeaway, “Fear God, for in this man finds his wholeness.”
This is the very reason you were born. Life under the sun must be connected to life above the sun. So do yourself a favor and start worshiping God. That’s where true life and joy and purpose and satisfaction is fine. Now all that said by way of introduction, that brings us back here to Ecclesiastes 5 and why we’ve put the brakes on and we’re going to dig deep into these seven verses because Solomon addresses the issue of worship and there’s nothing more important. And he sees things that are missing in the life of the nation of Israel with regards to its worship of God. Their worship of God is hurried and ill thought out. Their worship of God is lacking a captivating vision of God. Their worship of God is divorced from life. They were an angel on a Sunday, a devil on a Monday and that’s unacceptable.
And so Solomon puts up a flare into the night sky and says, “Hey, walk prudently when you come to the house of God. No more of these religious shenanigans. Stop playing a church,” he says. That’s a vain thing. Okay, there’s vanity in the marketplace. There’s vanity in the halls of power. There’s vanity in the university campus. He’s shown us that and he says It shouldn’t be found in the temple. It shouldn’t be found in the house of God. And so we’ve been looking at this passage under two big headings, the vices of improper worship and the virtues of proper worship. We’re only into a small part of the vices and we’re going to not get very far today given the compressive time, but I do want to finish out the thought I started last week, and that’s as far as we’re going to get.
We identified one of the vices. Their worship lacked proper preparation. That’s Solomon’s first salvo across the bow of this worshiping congregation. It calls them to be more judicious, more prepared in their worship of God. They’re very quick to come into God’s presence. They’re very quick to talk to God and about God and it all amounts to the sacrifice of fools. They’re dishonoring God in the very attempt to honor God. And Solomon says, “Hey, you need to be more careful. You need to more properly prepare yourself. When you come in to God’s house. You need to remove your sandals from off your feet because the ground in which you stand is holy ground. There needs to be more reverence. And then secondly, there needs to be more intentionality and that’s where we were last week.
In fact, if you remember, we drew this analogy to the pilot’s preflight checklist, the things that he would go over in preparation before a flight. And you and I need to go through a preordered checklist of things that will help our worship be more meaningful to us and more acceptable to God because their worship brought no pleasure to God. In chapter five and verse four, we read that God has no pleasure in fools. This tomfoolery that was going on in the temple had to stop. They needed to be more prepared. They needed to give themselves more fully and earlier to the whole issue of approaching God in public worship.
In fact, I thought about this just this week. Last year, as you know, I had the joy of going back to Ohio, invited by our friends there, Chuck and Billy Nicholson who are season ticket holders at Ohio State University and they offered us to come and go to a game with them. It was a great day. In fact, it wasn’t a day, it was two days because here’s the thing that struck me just thinking about it, okay? The preparation for that thing started Friday night. We started talking about Ohio State, its history, its pageantry, its traditions, what it was looking to look forward tomorrow. There was … Coats were out, hats were out. They were hanging all over the house. Flags. He had an RV he got out that night before. He cleaned that thing of all the bugs. He got it ready for our trip to Ohio State.
Then it was a two-hour journey on the road. There was tailgating when we got there. We were there like three hours before the game. Was I complaining? No. I’d have got there the night before. I’d have camped out. We were down there. We tailgated. We enjoyed all the games, the camaraderie, the fellowship of fellow Buckeyes, the anticipation of beating the pants off Penn State. Before the day was done, we walked to The Buckeye Museum. We went over the great names of Buckeye lore. We got into the game an hour before. We bought a $10 program. We watched the band play the famous Dotting of the I. We watched the public execution of two Michigan fans. No, no, that didn’t happen.
And that’s all before the thing starts and it’s a three-hour game. And then I thought to myself, “Wow,” and this guy does that every Saturday for the whole season. What passion, what love for Ohio State University. And I thought about my own family at times. We rush out the door, we scramble together on a Sunday morning to get to church. What about your family? We don’t begin on a Saturday night, do we? We should. Do we not love God more than an Ohioan loves Ohio State University? We ought to. Love God with all your strength, with all your might. We need to get something of this back. “Walk prudently when you come to the house of God.” Rest your body, clear your mind, get excited the night before, that you’re going to fellowship with those you’re going to spend eternity with.
We don’t do this for a perishable crime. We’re not talking about the Heisman Trophy. We’re not talking about the Big 10 title. We’re not talking about the National Championship. We’re talking about the glory of God, the Kingdom of God, kinds that will last forever. Why do we offer Him the sacrifice of fools and we do things in which He finds no pleasure? And so we went through this checklist, I’m going to wrap it up, this morning. Keep your heart through the week. Treasure the Lord’s Day. Prepare for Sunday morning Saturday night. That’s as far as we got last week.
Here’s two or three more. Turn your back on sin as you turn your face towards God. You want to have a more meaningful worship experience, you want to bring a greater pleasure to the heart of God, then in turn from that which he hates. His eyes cannot look upon inequity. God dwells in unapproachable light. God is thrice holy, and according to Psalm 23, verses three to six, if you and I are to ascend the hell of the Lord, we have got to do it with clean hands and a pure heart. We’ve got to get washed before we go to the service, not just wash our hands and our face, but wash our souls in the washing of the water by the word of coming again to the cross and asking God to cover our sins in the blood of Jesus Christ.
John 1, verse five tells us that if we’re to confess our sins, that’s written to believers. There’s an idea going about today that Christians don’t need to confess their sins. Nonsense. Our relationship with God is established. Our sins have been forgiven in Jesus Christ judicially, but that parental relationship between father and son, father and daughter must be kept fresh and up to date. And you and I must confess our sins and He’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We cannot worship God all right while at the same time loving that which He hates or doing that which He forbids. A worship of God cannot rise to Him a sweet smelling incense while we seek to hide a smoldering disobedience. Is confession, not to a human priest but to the one great high priest, is that part of your regimen preparation for worship that you confess all known sin, that you keep short accounts with God so that you can climb the hill with clean hands and a pure heart?
Bring your thought life into captivity to Christ through prayer and the reading of the scripture. Second Corinthians 10, verse five tells us to do that, doesn’t it? And also First Peter 1, verse 13, in Peter’s letter, we’re told to gird up our minds. The idea here is of the long flowing tunic that was tucked in one’s belt as a man would run so he didn’t trip over his tunic. He would tuck his tunic in his belt. He would gird himself his loins as the old King James, “Gird up your loins.” That’s the picture and it’s the picture of strength, thoughts and our mind that’s free flowing. You got to bring all your thoughts and send to them on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Corinthians tells us to bring it all into captivity to Him. We need to get onto God’s wavelength. We need to be spending time with Him every day, so that when we come to His house with his people, the engine’s already running. The conversation’s ongoing, so we don’t stutter in our worship of God or feel distant from Him. I thought about an analogy of that. See if it doesn’t connect. It’s so easy for a husband and wife to drift apart, for life to pull them in all sorts of directions and they’ve got to work at staying connected. They’ve got to talk every day. They’ve got to spend some time downloading what’s on their hearts and on their minds and that’s why a date night, just as an isolated thing, won’t work.
I’m sure it’s been your experience, you’re drifting apart, life’s getting busy between kids and work and whatever. And so you and your wife go out on a date night, but it’s still cold, it’s still strained. Why is that? Because one hour of conversation or two hours of conversation can’t make up for six days of distance. To talk, you must talk and I think sometimes that’s what happens with you and me when it comes to the Lord’s Day. We get drawn away by preoccupied with the things of the world and we get caught up in worldly talk and worldly thinking, the things of time and space and then we think we can just disconnect on a Sunday morning, not even preparing on a Saturday night and then engage God in a meaningful conversation. No. To talk, you have to talk. To connect, you have to stay connected. That’s why you and I must bring the thought life into captivity to the Lord Jesus Christ on a daily basis through prayer and the reading of His word.
Here’s another thought in the pre-worship checklist. Think of God, okay? We just encourage you to do that. Bring your thought life into captivity to Christ through prayer and the reading of scripture. So think of God, but don’t forget the devil. This is something we often overlook when it comes to worship. Nothing bothers the devil more than watching God’s people worship God. Now this is a thought in and off itself, but if you read Isaiah 14, verse 11 following and Ezekiel 28, verse 12 following, these are passages that describe the fall of Satan and theologians speculate that Lucifer was the worship leader in heaven. They speculate on this because of certain descriptions of him that include musical ability connected to worship and leadership.
And if that’s true, in his fall, when he rose up against God, instead of directing worship to God, Satan diverted worship from God. That’s his modus operandi and he hates nothing more than times like this. When the people of God meet to exalt the name of Jesus Christ, who someday will put Satan under his heel. Satan hates our times of worship and he’s waiting for those opportunities to spoil them through hypocrisy, bitterness, unforgiveness, worldliness, casual Christianity. Satan and Lucifer is to God what King Saul was to David. Saul couldn’t stand hearing that David has slain his tens of thousands, this pretentious evil being hits it when he hears the name of God exalted.
That’s why, by the way, has it ever baffled you why it’s only Christ’s name that’s taken in vain? Why not Muhammad? Why not some leader of another world religion? It’s Christ. He seeks to make the name of God and His Son mud because he can’t abide God receiving glory. Therefore, he will seek to disrupt your fellowship with God. Ephesians 4, verse 27 says, “Give no place to the devil.” In fact, it’s interesting in James 4:7-8, we’re told to draw near to God and it involves what? Resisting the devil. Those two things go hand in hand. Think of God and don’t forget the devil. Draw near to God and resist him because he’s hard on your heels. He’s trying to spoil your worship experience. He’ll do anything either through disobedience or through distraction to draw you away from fully worshiping God.
In fact, Jesus tells us that, doesn’t he, in Matthew 13, verse four, in Matthew 13, verse 19, The Parable of the Sower and the Seed, a picture of the Word of God being distributed and there’s a picture of the seed falling on the ground and the birds coming down, eating the seed and snatching it away. And Jesus makes the application, “That’s what the devil does. He likes that, take the Word of God and nullify it.” See, this is good for you this morning, but be sure sometime this afternoon, something or someone who may be used of Satan will try and rob you of what you enjoyed today, what you took from this service.
In fact, I’ve seen it happen in services. A couple of years ago, I was at the Shepherd’s Conference and I sat under the ministry of Steve Lawson. He preached from Galatians 1, verses six through nine, of Paul’s astonishment that the Galatians were so soon removed from the gospel. Apostasy had got a foot in the door at the church of Galatia. In fact, he uses the word there, he marvels, it’s the same word used in the gospels, “For the astonishment, people showed in watching a miracle take place.” Paul was astonished that they were moving away from the simplicity and sufficiency of the gospel through faith in Jesus Christ.
I believe Steve Lawson was anointed of the Holy Ghost that day, probably one of the best messages I’ve ever heard. There was a holy hush on the service. I’m telling you, if he had have got every minister on their knees that day, we had signed up the storm, the gates of hell right after the service. As soon as the sermon was done and a short word of prayer was made. Somebody followed that from announcement of, “Who won John MacArthur’s commentaries in a raffle?” The whole tone of the meeting changed. A friend of mine from Ireland, Pastor Freddie McLaughlin, who had mentored me, he turned over to me and he said, “The birds stole it.” I’m going, “The birds stole it? What is he talking about?”
And then I got it. It was Matthew 13. He said, “The bird stole it.” He said, “That was a moment we met with God and we got distracted. We went from the holy to something so inconsequential as a set of books. Satan’s always at work inside and outside the service, distracting us, drawing us away from things holy.” Here’s another thought and you know what? I think this is about as far as I’m going to get today. You’ll just have to come back next week. Come to worship as a family having worshiped as a family. Boy, does this need to be emphasized in the evangelical church of today? And let me remind you of what we’re doing here, “Walk prudently when you come to the house of God.” How do we make our worship meaningful? How do we get something out of the service? More importantly, how do we make sure that in seeking to worship God, we don’t anger Him, in seeking to honor Him, we don’t dishonor Him while we’ve gone through our pre-worship flight list?
Walk with God during the week. Keep your heart throughout the week. Treasure the Lord’s Day. Prepare for Sunday morning Saturday night. Turn your back on sin as you turn your face towards God. Bring your thought life into captivity to Christ through prayer and the reading of scripture and then think of God and don’t forget the devil. And finally, come to worship as a family having worshiped as a family. Biblically speaking, the family unit is the basic building block of society. There was a family before there was a nation. There was a family before there was a church. Isn’t any wonder that William Perkins, the Puritan, said, “Marriage was made by God Himself to be the fountain of all other sorts and kinds of life in the commonwealth and in the church. The family is the primary nursery of all physical, social and spiritual welfare.” Agree with that?
Listen, here’s a statement and mothers and fathers hear it this morning and mothers who are homemakers, listen, this is an encouragement. The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. What an influence a godly mother can have on her children. What an influence a faithful father can have on his family. That’s why the establishment of a family altar is so important. Go back with me to Deuteronomy chapter six. Deuteronomy chapter six, verses one through seven, when I talk about a family altar, I’m talking about those times that the family gets together to worship, led by dad, where the family’s called to prayer can be a meal around the table, where the Thanksgiving is offered, but maybe a little more than Thanksgiving is offered, a thought is shared or a verse of the Bible is read.
There’ll be those formal times throughout the week when the family sits down and the Word of God is read and the family’s needs are prayed for and the children’s challenges at school are prayed for where they see that their faith is to touch every corner of their lives because that’s the way it is in the home. Listen to Deuteronomy 6, “Now this is the commandment and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all the statutes, and as commandments, which I command you, you and your son and your grandson all the days of your life.”
Remember what I said on a number of occasions, you, your son and your grandson and Deuteronomy anticipates that every father is the anchorman for a couple of generations, sets the direction, the trajectory for the family. This is awesome stuff. “Therefore, hear, O Israel,” verse three, “and be careful to observe it that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength. And these words, which I command you today shall be in your heart and you shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, when you rise up at home,”
In the mall, at the beach, at the baseball field, God becomes part of the conversation. Every incident becomes a time to teach theology. Blessed are the children that have a father and a mother seeking to fulfill this. Verse eight, “And you shall bind them as a sign in your hand and they shall be in the frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” And then the New Testament counterpart, you know Ephesians 6, verse four, “Bring your children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord.” Come to worship as a family and come having worshiped as a family. That’s what it means to walk prudently.
When a little boy was asked why he believed in God, he paused and he said, “I guess it runs in the family.” That’s true, although it needs a qualification because according to John 1, verse 12 through 13, we’re not born of blood or the will of man, okay? You’re not born a Christian. No, baptism will do that either. You’re not born or baptized a Christian as a child. That’s something that comes later when you repent of your sin and exercise faith in Jesus Christ and you’re born twice, born naturally, now born again, born in you, born supernaturally. There’s this new birth. That doesn’t come through your parents, that comes through the Holy Spirit. That doesn’t come through the water of baptism, that comes through the regeneration of God the Holy Spirit.
So while Christian faith is not inherited from your family lineage, it can be nevertheless instilled from your family life. According to Deuteronomy 6, according to Ephesians 4 and probably a classic example of Second Timothy 1, verses three through five where Paul says of Timothy, my son and the faith, “I see in you what I see in your mother and your grandmother, Lois and Eunice.” Timothy had been brought up at the knee of a godly mother with no sense that his father was a believer. But while Christianity is not inherited through family lineage, it can be instilled through family life. While God has no grandchildren, He does work through godly parents who are commanded to bring up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Listen, you can’t outsource the raising of your children. And I want to say this as we come towards a close, one of the ways that Christ builds his church is on the construction side of the home. Read the Book of Acts and you’ll find this word mentioned many times, household. You’ll find churches that met in homes. We’ve just installed an elder this morning to our church leadership team. One of the things we looked for in his life was his home life. First Timothy 3, 4, 5, “If a man can’t take care of his home, how’s he going to take care of the church?” It’s where Christianity begins, at the crib, at the cradle, at the dining room table, in the living room of the home, at the picnic in the woods, the walk along the beach where the children see that God is real in mom and dad’s life and there’s this family alter that alters the family.
Let me finish with this story. Richard Baxter was a great man of God. He was a minister in England. He took a very wealthy and sophisticated parish, and for three years, he preached his heart out as a dying man, the dying man, but there was no visible response. Dad is a dodo, was the congregation. Finally, one day he threw himself across the floor of his study and he cried out to God, “Oh, God, you must do something with these people or I’ll die.” And he said, and he was no mystic by the way or a closet charismatic, so when you hear this, put that into your thinking. “It was as if God spoke audibly,” Baxter said. And here’s what he heard from God. Here’s what was impressed upon his heart by the Holy Spirit, “You’re working in the wrong place. You’re expecting revival to come through the church, try the home.” That’s what Baxter heard. “Try the home.”
And if you’ve read anything of Richard Baxter’s life or his book, The Reformed Pastor, and the word reformed, there has nothing to do with Calvinism or reformed theology. It’s about, “How does a pastor stay alive and make his congregation alive? Try the home.” And so he set out visiting the homes of his congregation and he would ask the fathers of the home how often the family had had devotions because he realized that begins there. I was listening to Christian radio just a week ago, I think it was Sean McDowell, the son of Josh McDowell. He’s engaged with the young people’s culture and he was addressing the issue of how many young people fall at the hurdle of university. We seem to lose them.
And they begin into the whole discussion about the church and youth programs and children’s ministry. And while they talked about that for a while, Sean McDowell said something that was dead on. I said, “Amen,” in my car. He said, “You know what? It’s not the fault of the youth pastor. It’s not the fault of the children’s ministry. It’s the fault of the father. That’s where the failure is because there’s no family altar. There’s no Christianity being put on display 24/7.” We can’t outsource the raising of our children. And you know what? If we’re going to come as a family to worship, we must come having worshiped as a family. God’s pleased by that. The next generation is impacted by that and the church grows and grows and grows because of that.
By the way, as we close also, we’re really emphasizing, aren’t we, the reverence that we should feel for God? We have reminded ourselves here that God is a consuming fire and that make you feel disturbed or uncomfortable because you see you have created God in your own image. Maybe you worship the mush God of contemporary culture, the God that’s been defined. The God has got no teeth, but the Bible says, “He is a consuming fire and He’s not to be played with. In fact, someday He will visit this world with a tsunami of His judgment.” There’s coming a day when those outside of Christ will be looking for the rock to hide under according to Revelation 6.
My friend, there is a tsunami coming. God is a consuming fire. It is a fearful, fearful thing to fall into His hands apart from the covering of Jesus Christ. Prepare yourself for that day. Run from the mush God of contemporary culture. Look into the mirror of God’s Word and see a glorious being whose eyes cannot look on iniquity. Then see yourself in all your sinfulness and realize there’s a great gulf between him and you and it can only be bridged by one who Himself was holy, but took our sin upon the cross.
June and I were up in Cannon Beach a few years ago. In fact, it was early on in our ministry at Placerita and we got into our room. I was to speak at a pastor’s conference there, closed the door and was astounded by this warning on the back of the door, “Tsunami warning.” To be honest, fresh off the boat from Ireland, I didn’t even know what a tsunami was. What is tsunami? And I started reading it, about this earthquake out on the ocean bed and it creates this wave that just comes in at the speed of a locomotive and takes everything in its path. And I said, “June, have a look at this,” and it said, “Hey, listen for the siren, and if you hear the siren,” here’s what it said, get to the high ground. Get to the high ground.” That’s my word to you this morning, my friend. When the tsunami of God’s judgment comes, you better be on the high ground. It’s called a hill called Calvary, where the Lord Jesus Christ paid for your sin.
Let’s pray. Lord, we hush our hearts and prepare ourselves to leave this worship service that’s such a joy, such a privilege, such a blessing. Lord, we pray we’ll carry away the nectar and the fragrance of worshiping a thrice holy God through the mediation of Jesus Christ. Lord, help us afresh to take stock of what we think of You and how we approach You. Help us to walk prudently. Help us to walk cautiously. Lord, help us not to come ramstam into Your presence. Lord, may this week we walk with you day by day, bringing our thoughts into captivity to Christ through our daily reading and praying. May we treasure the thought of the Lord’s Day and its approach. May we begin on the weekend to get ready for Sunday and the gathering of the church of Jesus Christ.
Lord, help us to turn our feet towards You and our back towards sin. Help us as families to come having worshiped as families. Help us Lord to think about You and never forget the one who seeks to spoil our worship. Lord, if there are those this morning here who don’t know You, help them to know that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. They must fear You. They must understand Your holiness, Your just wrath against sin. But then take to the high ground of a hill called Calvary and see that you poured out Your judgment upon one who was sinless, so that we might never come into condemnation.
Oh, we thank You for the gospel. Lord, help us to share it this week. Help us to ever remember that it exists, missions exists because worship doesn’t. These things we ask and pray in Jesus’ name, amen.