Saturday, February 10, 2007

An Honest and Good Heart

I often post our Exhortations and Meditations in this place. I thought I would give you our entire Liturgical form here so you can see how we do this in our church.

Minister: Let us Worship the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Luke 9:1-2 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. 2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

Minister: Our Father in Heaven, we praise Your Name, for it is great and mighty to save and to heal. We thank You that Your Word has gone out to the ends of the Earth, proclaiming freedom to captives, dispensing with the authority of the devils, curing men of all manner of diseases and announcing the peace of the kingdom of God. We thank You that though we were sick and dead in our sins, You have made us healthy and alive in Christ. Though we were blind, we now see Jesus. Though we were deaf, You have given us ears to hear His Word. Glory be to God in the Highest. Amen.

HYMN OF PRAISE-Psalm 47- All Peoples, Clap Your Hands for Joy-Cantus Christi 87

Luke 8:4-5 4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: 5 A sower went out to sow his seed

That seed is the word of God. There are people who hear this Word who do not really hear it. The devil comes and takes away the Word out of their hearts before they even have time to believe and be saved. Other people hear this Word as if they were a wee bit of soil on a rocky spot. When they first hear the Word of God, they receive it with joy. But since they are on rocky ground, they have no root. They believe for a short time but as soon as some difficulty or temptation comes their way, they fall away.

There are other people who seem to be in good soil. But the soil is also sown with weed and thorn seeds. They get along for a time but eventually they are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

Some hear the word as if they were good ground, well prepared. They have an honest and good heart. They hear the Word and keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. (Luke 8:16-17)

Dear Saints, be careful how you hear the Word of God. If you hear Jesus and have the Word of Life, then more shall be given you. More Word. More life. But if you do not hear and obey, then even what you think you have, which really isn’t much after all, will be taken away from you.

So, come to Jesus, honestly, with an honest and good heart. Honest because you are man, woman or child and He is God. Good because Jesus takes your faith in Him and reckons it as righteous. So, let us confess our sins, seeking Christ.

Luke 8:5-7 and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

Our Father, we confess to You that there are those in Your Church who do not really believe as they should. They have embraced Your Word but are unwilling to let go of the pull of the world. Our Father, we renounce the world and its desires, taking up our crosses and following Jesus. May we look to Him, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Our Father, prepare our hearts now and ever, to be good and honest soil, ready to receive all the Words of Jesus, to hold them dear, and to keep them until He returns.

Unison: O Lord God, who sees that we do not put our trust in anything that we do; mercifully grant that by Your power we may be defended against all adversity and temptation, through Christ our Lord. We confess our individual sins to You now. (Silent Confession)
Minister: O, Father, we thank You for hearing and forgiving us through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Minister: Rise up, O Saints of God, Forgiven in Christ Jesus.

Luke 8:8-10 8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God:

Dear Saints, those of you who hear the Word of God and seek the Lord Jesus Christ in Spirit and Truth, are the good soil. May you fruit bear 30, 60 and 100 fold. The Lord Jesus is your Lord. In Him, you are forgiven. So, come and worship Him now. Amen.

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