July 21, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND
1 Peter Sermon Series
In his book, Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam surveys the decline of social capital in the United States since the 1950’s. Statistically, there has been a decrease in political involvement, loss of membership in civic organizations, and fewer volunteers for groups such as the Cub Scouts or the Red Cross. Putnam uses the example of Bowling to illustrate his point. While the number of people who bowl annually has increased, participation in bowling leagues over the same period of time has decreased. People are still bowling but they are just doing it alone. A similar point could be made concerning church involvement. While people may still come to church on Sunday, overall participation in the community life of the church has decreased. It is more and more difficult to motivate members to serve, to attend events outside of Sunday worship, to give faithfully, or to volunteer for nursery or children’s events.
What is driving this decrease in social involvement? Putnam argues that it is the individualization of leisure time. TV, internet, video games, and smart phones have created an environment of leisure that does not require the sacrifice and inconvenience of social interaction. Over time people have been trained to evaluate their social involvement through the lens of personal fulfillment rather than service and community good.
The Church however cannot thrive when her members look to their own needs alone. The community of believers needs one another for the Church to go forward in her mission. In our passage for this Sunday, the Apostle Peter outlines for us the call that every Christian has to love and to serve the Church. To come prepared for the sermon, take time this week to read and to meditate upon 1 Peter 4:8-11, Matthew 24:9-14, 1 Corinthians 15:10, Ephesians 4:25-32, Hebrews 10:24-25, and Westminster Confession of Faith 25.
As we gather to worship our loving Father this Lord’s day, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise "To God Be the Glory," the Acclamation of Praise "Jesus! what a Friend for Sinners!" and the Hymn of Response "Like a River Glorious." 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 that we may continue to glorify and enjoy Him!
If you’re going to be out of town this Sunday, let me encourage you to listen to the sermon online (usually posted by Monday afternoon) or you can download the REPC podcast, which will be delivered to your mobile device.
Text: 1 Peter 4:8-11
Title: Church Life
1. Every Christian is called to love the Church through:
a. forgiveness (v. 8)
b. fellowship (v. 9)
2. Every Christian is called to serve the Church through:
a. words (vv. 10-11a)
b. works (v. 11b)