Sorry I am late in writing this, but I have been on vacation. Hopefully we all will pray for the service tomorrow. Hopefully we will all pray for Ian, Jerry, and Mark as they will be leading us in worship. Before I get to the text, I wanted to quickly share something that has been really helpful to me from Matt Chandler. He says that we should seek to fill our lives with things that stir our affections for Jesus and seek to avoid those things that rob our affections for Jesus. I think this once again goes with Proverbs 4:23 that I have mentioned the last two weeks. Which says that we should watch over our hearts with all diligence for from the heart flow the springs of life.
With that said, Matt Chandler says that he: “started asking what stirs my affections for Christ? What, when I’m doing it, when I’m around it or dwelling on it creates in me a greater hunger for, passion for and worship of Christ and His mission? The first list was a strange one. It looked something like this:
Early mornings and hot coffee
The writings of John Owen (at the time it was The Mortification of Sin)
Listening to Lauren (his wife) sing
Walks through graveyards (I know this is weird but it reminded me of mortality)
The book of Hebrews
Robust dialogue on ecclesiology or missiology
Sermons by John Piper
I also wrestled with and paid attention to what robbed me of affection for Christ. What, when I was doing it or spending time around it created in me an unhealthy love for this world? The first list was a strange one because the majority of things that robbed me of zeal for Christ and His mission were morally neutral things. It looked something like this:
Watching too much TV and spending too much time online
Staying up late for no reason
Following sports too closely
Being physically lazy
Empty conversations (talking for hours about nothing)
I want to be keyed in to what feeds my zeal for our great God and King and what kills that zeal. My hope is that I could flood my life with Christ-exalting, worship-creating things and avoid anything that would rob me of that.
What inspires you? Better yet, what stirs your affections for Christ, truth and holiness? If we can fill our lives with the things that stir our affections and avoid and flee those things that rob us of inspiration, we have a better shot at dwelling deeply. What and who inspires you? Stirs you? What presses you into holy places? What robs you of joy and vitality? What robs you of your affection for Christ and holiness?”
So, hopefully we can all seek to fill our lives with the things that stir our affections for Christ and avoid those things that rob our affections for Christ.
Mark will be mainly looking at the story of the tower of Babel from Genesis 11. The ESV text of the first 9 verses is below:
“Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone,and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.”
2 thoughts on “Preparing For Worship”
Thank you for your faithfulness to post these. They are so good! I gain new insight every time.
Thanks again Elizabeth for all your encouragement. Really appreciate it.