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Preparing For The Lord's Day

preparing

Preparing for the Lord's Day

Jesus is Better

If you have ever visited a place where they do historical reenactments, such as Colonial Williamsburg, you are probably familiar with the concept of a blacksmith’s forge. The blacksmith will start with a design in mind, select a piece of metal for his work, and begin the task of transforming it into something useful or beautiful. First, he must heat his metal in the forge, preparing it to be reformed according to his design. Next, he will hammer this metal on an anvil, pounding and shaping it into his desired form. And finally, after the blacksmith has formed this piece of metal into his desired shape he will quench it in a barrel of water. This rapid cooling not only stiffens the metal into its final form but also provides strength as it is put to use as a horseshoe, a kettle, or a sword. When the process begins it seems impossible that a hunk of raw metal could become anything of use, but through the long hard work of the blacksmith, it is formed into something beautiful.

The Christian life is much like a forge. God is transforming us through heat and pressure. Even before the world began, he purposed to conform us to the image of his Son (Romans 8:29). But this process of transformation is not easy. For the Lord uses the heat and pressure of hardships and struggles to make us malleable under the hammer of his discipline. As he works, we are transformed bit by bit. Slowly, reformed into the image of Christ. However, the Father disciplines us in love, frequently quenching our pain and strengthening us through the comfort of His Spirit, reminding us that His presence and support are always with us.

Have you ever felt forged by the Lord? It is very common for Christians to doubt God’s love when we encounter such trying times. We feel as though the Lord has abandoned us or is capriciously punishing us. However, what our passage for this Sunday reveals is that the struggles of the Christian life are not signs of God’s betrayal but rather are signs of his Fatherly love. As John Calvin has commented, “… the scourges of God bear witness of his love toward us.” He disciplines us as his children so that we might become more and more like the Son. And while we might feel as though we cannot bear up under his discipline all who are in Christ will be empowered by the Spirit to endure the Father’s forge and be crafted into a beautiful masterpiece of His love.

To come prepared for the sermon, take time this week to read and meditate on these passages. As you do so reflect on the ways God has been at work in your own life, shaping and refining you through His loving discipline. Hebrews 12:4-13, Deuteronomy 8:5, Proverbs 3:11-12; 17:3, Isaiah 43:2-3, Matthew 10:29-30, Hebrews 2:10; 5:8, 1 Peter 1:6-7, James 1:2-12, and this article on God’s Discipline.

As we gather to worship our loving Father this Lord’s Day, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise “God Moves in a Mysterious Way,” the Acclamation of Praise “Before the Throne of God Above,” and the Hymn of Response “O Great God.” Let us come to worship this Sunday prepared to hear God’s Word, to receive it in faith, to love and treasure it in our hearts, and to practice it in our lives so that we may continue to glorify and enjoy Him! 

Sermon Information 

Text: Hebrews 12:4-13

Title: The Father’s Forge 

Outline: 

  1. Embrace the Heat: Trusting the Love of the Father (vv.4-6)
  2. Yield to the Hammer: Shaped into the Image of the Son (vv. 7-11)
  3. Quench in the Waters: Renewed by the Power of the Spirit (vv. 12-13)

Sunday's Bulletin

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