Before we get to Luke 15:11-32, which is the text that Mark will be preaching on, I just want to reiterate why we are doing this preparing our heart’s for worship series. I quoted R. Kent Hughes last week who said: “We must discipline ourselves in preparation for corporate worship, and that does not begin with the thirty seconds after we have breathlessly sat down.” One of the ways to prepare for corporate worship is prayer. R. Kent Hughes says that: “Spiritually, prayer about the Lord’s Day is essential—prayer for the service, the music, the pastors, one’s family, and oneself.” So, as we read through this passage, let us also pray about the Lord’s Day. Lets be sure to pray for Ian and for Mark as well as ourselves. Pray that God would stir up our affections for Jesus, and that He would fan the flame in our souls, so that we are burning bright on Saturday night. As I read over Luke 15 earlier, I came to this section in verse 20: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” I was reminded that when I was 23 years old I was still a long way off from God, but God the Father saw me and felt compassion and ran and embraced me the prodigal son that I was and kissed me. As I considered the radical love of God, my affections began to be stirred.
The last thing I will say before we get to the text is that we should remember this foundational truth on worship from R. Kent Hughes: “Therefore, it is important that we understand, in distinction to the popular view that worship is for us, that worship begins not with man as its focus, but God. Worship must be orchestrated and conducted with the vision before us of an…awesome, holy, transcendent God who is to be pleased and, above all, glorified by our worship. Everything in our corporate worship should flow from this understanding.” Adrian Rogers last sermon series that he ever preached was on unity. In one of those sermons he talks about how people say that they like this style of music or that style of music in worship. Some people want a piano, and others want an organ or a guitar and drums etc. Pastor Rogers cuts right through all this and says in strong terms: “Friend, forget that stuff. We are here to glorify the Lord Jesus!” So, as we prepare our heart’s for worship, lets remember that: “We are here to glorify the Lord Jesus!”
Mark will be preaching from Luke 15:11-32 tomorrow. The ESV text of: The Parable of the Prodigal Son is below:
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”
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