The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 24:1-10 Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; For their minds devise violence, And their lips talk of trouble. By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong, And a man of knowledge increases power. For by wise guidance you will wage war, And in abundance of counselors there is victory. Wisdom is too exalted for a fool, He does not open his mouth in the gate. One who plans to do evil, Men will call a schemer. The devising of folly is sin, And the scoffer is an abomination to men. If you are slack in the day of distress, Your strength is limited.
This evening Joseph will be ordained as the first Pastor of Sovereign King Church. In an age when truth has been abandoned, Pastor Joseph is committed to the Word of God. We have witnessed first hand the fruit that has been produced in this man’s life: the love he has for his wife, his obedience to be fruitful and multiply, the leadership of his home, and his faithfulness to minister God’s Word both in his home, on the streets, and to us here at Sovereign King Church. Every step of the way Joseph has sought to submit to the leadership and wisdom of those who have gone before, having a desire to establish Sovereign King Church on the foundation that has already been laid, on Jesus Christ. Proverbs 24: 3, 4 tells us “By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.” I believe, and I think many here would agree, that Joseph has been gifted for the task set before him, and that the Elders of Clearnote Church and others have been faithful to call him to this task. I believe it is an act of obedience to God that Sovereign King Church is being established. The Word of God teaches that some plant seeds, some water, and God gives the increase. The planting of this Church, and the watering that will take place, are both necessary elements for growth, but let us never forget that the establishment of Christ’s Church is not a formula in which if we do A, add in B, then we will receive C. God does not dwell in houses made with human hands. God will build His Church. Sovereign King Church will be built upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ as the Chief Cornerstone, or it will not stand. All of us have witnessed first hand the divisive nature of God’s Word. We have watched as the Word has separated family, friends, and coworkers. We have witnessed the Word of God divide brothers in Christ. As we move forward in this grand endeavor to plant Sovereign King Church, we will see more division, so long as we remain faithful to the Word of God. The nation’s rage against the LORD and His anointed, and should we remain faithful, we will be blessed to suffer for His Namesake in this wicked and perverse generation. Will we be found faithful? Will we persevere to the end? I believe we all have a desire to see Sovereign King Church grow beyond this basement and barn. What if it doesn’t? I know we would love nothing more than to see our friends, family, and neighbors come to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus. What if they don’t? Holding to our optimistic eschatologies, we know that God’s Kingdom is like a mustard seed, and will grow to include all of those that God has predestined to be His sons and daughters. What if we never see this growth in our lives? I ask these questions to challenge us this morning to do some self examination. What motivates us to plant this Church? Is it because we love the LORD our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves? Are we driven by a desire to be faithful to the Word of God, or a desire to finally have a place to do things our way? Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:
According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
We are those who are building upon the foundation already laid. Let us use wisdom, and understanding, as we move forward, being careful how we build upon this foundation. May we all continue in the Apostles teachings, fellowship, and the breaking of bread together, and watch as God fills His House with all precious and pleasant riches. At this time, let us kneel and confess how we have sought to build on God’s foundation with wood, hay, and straw.
Heavenly Father, You alone are worthy of praise, honor, and glory. You alone are the Master Craftsman, removing hearts of stone from men, women, boys, and girls, putting in hearts of flesh, and building Your Church upon the foundation of Your Word. Father, we are often arrogant, believing that it is the work of our hands that establishes Your Church. Father, we will be tempted to be unsatisfied with the growth that You ordain for us, and will seek to do things in our own strength and wisdom. Father, it is possible that our motives for establishing this Church have not always been pure. O Lord, please be merciful towards us sinners. Please forgive us for our arrogance and pride. Please forgive us for thinking that we are more wise than You. Please forgive us for any attempt to add wood, straw, and hay to the gold, silver, and precious things that You fill Your house with. Father, we plead the blood of Your Son Jesus at this time, throwing ourselves upon Your mercy, and begging for more grace. It’s in Jesus name that we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. – Psalm 103:8-12
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Lift up your hearts!
(From the 9-23-18 liturgy of Sovereign King Church. Written by Aaron Sabie.)