Preparing for Worship – August 20, 2017

By Pastor Matt Sikes

As we look forward to Sunday it is my hope and prayer that we will all anticipate meeting with God’s people once again so that we may worship him and be renewed in our understanding that he is our God and we are the sheep of his pasture, we are a kingdom that Jesus has already established by his blood.

As we look ahead I ask you to read and reflect on the words of this song that is contained in John’s vision of heaven in the book of Revelation 5:

“Worthy are you to take the scroll

                And to open its seals,

For you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God

                From every tribe and language and people and nation,

And you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,

                And they shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9b-10)

We are told that these words are from a new song that is being sung around the throne of God, to the Lamb that was slain. And then they continue with “myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands” of angels and sing:

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,

to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might

and honor and glory and blessing!”  (Revelation 5:12b)

Finally, we are told that every creature that God has made can be heard saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb

be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13b)

What is happening in these verses is an extraordinary thing. Through the Apostle John, our Lord is giving us an amazing insight into the worship of heaven. We are receiving a foretaste of what worship will be like when we finally see Jesus face-to-face and all things are brought finally under his lordship. I hope that reading these words fills you with wonder and awe. I also hope that they help remind you of why we gather together each week to worship our risen Savior, the Lamb that was slain to purchase his bride, the church.

Another thing about these verses that I would like to point out is that at the heart of the worship of the 24 elders, the four creatures, the myriads of angels, and all of God’s creation is the gospel of Jesus Christ! Do you see it? If not, read them again. That has to give us yet another overwhelming sense of the centrality of the gospel to everything and everyone, and for all of eternity!

When we worship together in the church each week, the Spirit of Christ is in our midst, and we are being reminded of the reality that we are citizens of another Kingdom. We gather to remember that, as Christians, we drink from the Fountain of Living Waters and that we can come and lay down our burdens, the burdens that surround us in our lives every day, at the foot of the cross. We gather to remember that we are a people for God’s own possession. And we gather to remember that one day all will be made right and we will no longer face sin or suffering or racism or bigotry or violence or death ever again. And to that we say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

For this Sunday:

This Sunday the songs that we will sing are:

Praise to the Lord the Almighty

Merciful God

We will be introducing a new song this Sunday that the choir has presented in the past. The song is called Oh, How Good It Is and focuses on the theme of unity and harmony within the body of Christ and how we are called to live together as the church.

Oh, How Good It Is  (This link does not have the words to the song – I have posted them below)

Jesus, Thank You

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Pastor Mark will be continuing our series on Wisdom. The title of his sermon will be “Applying Wisdom to Our Relationships.”  As always, we ask that you would pray for the service and the God would prepare our hearts to meet him during this time and that we would consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.

See You Sunday!

Oh How Good It Is

Oh how good it is

When the family of God

Dwells together in spirit

In faith and unity.

Where the bonds of peace,

Of acceptance and love

Are the fruit of His presence

Here among us.


So with one voice we’ll sing to the Lord

And with one heart we’ll live out His word

Till the whole earth sees

The Redeemer has come

For He dwells in the presence of His people.

Oh how good it is

On this journey we share

To rejoice with the happy

And weep with those who mourn.

For the weak find strength

The afflicted find grace

When we offer the blessing

Of belonging.


Oh how good it is

To embrace His command

To prefer one another

Forgive as He forgives.

When we live as one

We all share in the love

Of the Son with the Father

And the Spirit.