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Preparing For The Lord's Day

preparing

Preparing for the Lord's Day

Jesus is Better 

It is not one of my prouder moments. I was about four years old at the time. My cousin, Ryan, (also four years old), and I was playing around my grandparents’ home. In their recreation room was a loft. To get up to the loft you had to climb a wooden ladder built into the wall. Ryan went first, and I followed. As he reached up to grab the next rung his little fleshy four-year-old love handle was exposed. In a moment of pure evil, I opened wide and bit my poor cousin on his back. As you can imagine he screamed out in confusion, pain, and horror. He was stuck up on this ladder with his cousin’s teeth sunk into his side. There was no provocation on his part. There was no animosity on my part. Nevertheless, when the chance to bite him presented itself, I took it. When I finally let go and we climbed down the ladder my grandma looked at the teeth marks on my cousin’s back and then looked at me. With a confused and disappointed look, she asked, “David, why did you bite Ryan?” It was a question that was asked multiple times that day. My mom, my dad, his mom, his dad, even my sister asked, “Why did you bite Ryan?” Even now, almost forty years later, when we get together someone in the family will bring it up and ask, “Why did you do it?” The honest answer is, I don’t know why I bit my cousin. I just did. There was something within me that compelled me. 

As a parent, I have asked this question many times, “Why did you do it?” Very often the answer I receive is something similar to what my four-year-old self said, “I don’t know.” How often do we act with no knowledge of why we are doing what are doing? Why was I so angry or emotional? Why did I yell at my child for a minor infraction? Why was I so hurt by those passing words? Why did I look at someone else’s answers on the test? Why did I lie about so small a thing? Why do I continually go back to those websites? Why do I continually pursue the attention of someone other than my spouse? Why am I so critical of the people I love? We could multiply these questions by a thousand-fold. They all come down to the question of the heart. The heart is darkened by sin and out of it comes all manner of evil. And yet it is with the heart that one must believe. It is from the heart that one must offer obedience.

In our passage for this Sunday, we come to one of the most well-known passages from the Book of Hebrews. Here the author compares the Word of God to a double-edged sword. It is this sword to which we must all look to understand our hearts. For the word of God is dynamic, it is dividing, and it is discerning. It is by God’s Word alone that we will come to truly know our hearts and have our hearts change. To prepare for the sermon take time this week to read and to meditate upon Hebrews 4:12-13, Isaiah 55:10-11, Jeremiah 17:9-10, John 17:17, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Peter 1:23-25, 2 Peter 1:19-21, and Westminster Confession of Faith 10.1

This week we will celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper during our worship service. As we receive the elements of bread and wine look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. For as we physically receive the signs of the Lord’s body and blood, spiritually we feed upon him and all his benefits. Our hymns for this week include “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise,” “Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners! and “All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name.

Text: Hebrews 4:12-13 

Title: Knowing the Heart 

Outline: 

  1. Every Christian Must Look to God’s Dynamic Word (v. 12a)
  2. Every Christian Must Look to God’s Dividing Word (v. 12b)
  3. Every Christian Must Look to God’s Discerning Word (vv. 12c-13)

Sunday's Bulletin

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