From the 10-4-2020 liturgy of Sovereign King Church
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 23:12-21 Apply your heart to discipline And your ears to words of knowledge. Do not hold back discipline from the child, Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die. You shall strike him with the rod And rescue his soul from Sheol. My son, if your heart is wise, My own heart also will be glad; And my inmost being will rejoice When your lips speak what is right. Do not let your heart envy sinners, But live in the fear of the Lord always. Surely there is a future, And your hope will not be cut off. Listen, my son, and be wise, And direct your heart in the way. Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.
A 2014 Pew Research Survey revealed that 70.6% of Americans identified as Christian. According to the same source, that shakes out to approximately 205,000,000 Christians in the United States.
In a land of 205,000,000 self professed Christians, we see abortion on demand, sodomite marriage, the deification of sports figures and entertainers, a political landscape rife with lies, hypocrisy, and corruption, and rampant sexual immorality from immodestly dressed women to the normalization of pedophilia. Cohabitation has become a common arrangement even among professing Christians, with traditional marriage being maligned as an institution of privilege.
These things have been highlighted so that this point may be made:
it is not enough to proclaim with your mouth that you are a Christian,
it is not enough that you read your bible daily,
attend Church every Lord's Day,
take the Lord's supper,
and physically do "churchy" things which would satisfy the inspecting eye of outsiders or even unsuspecting elders.
Dear Christian the word today tells us we must:
Apply your heart to discipline And your ears to words of knowledge.
The word apply as used here means to "come to" or "enter into". One way to think of it would be if your wife asked you to fix a broken faucet and the tool required was a wrench, so you grab the wrench and go stand next to the sink. Your wife walks by and sees you standing there holding the wrench and asks "Are you going to fix the sink?", and you respond "I am, can't you see I am holding the wrench?" Simply having access to the tool, having it in your hand, and even the opportunity to use it, does not fix the sink. To fix it, you must apply your knowledge of how to fix sinks, and the wrench in your hand, to the problem.
It is the same with the Word of God. You can have all the book knowledge that comes from a Christian upbringing,
You can cry "Lord, Lord!",
You can attend Church every Sunday,
Listen to all the latest podcasts and
read Calvin's Institutes twice a year until you are the foremost authority on all things reformed,
but unless you apply it to the path which God has placed before you, it is for nothing.
Your religion is merely window dressing, a show, and worthless.
James tells us that we ought not be simply hearers of the Word, but also doers.
You see brothers and sisters, it is not enough to immerse yourself into the life of the Church, all the teaching, activities, and motion that takes place. It is not enough to merely play the part, hoping for some kind of osmosis to take place in which you are conformed to Christ's image merely by saying and doing the "right" things, and looking the part.
No dear saints, we must apprehend the Word of God. We must lay hold of it, and along with our laying hold of it, apply it to every area of our lives.
Isn't that what we say here? "God's Word is eternally true and applicable for all of life?"
On the day of judgement if you prove to have been a faker, a fraud, a faux Christian, having worshipped God with your lips in rote manner, while your heart was far from Him, this phrase you hear uttered week after week "eternally true and applicable for all of life", will ring in your ears as judgement against you. If on the day of judgement it is revealed that the whole of your religion consisted merely of holding the tools given to you without any application, you will find yourself like the unfaithful servant in Matthew 25:
“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “Now after a long time the master of those slaves *came and *settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 25:14-30 NASB
He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Word of the Lord says to Sovereign King Church.
At this time if you are able, please join me in kneeling as we confess our sins to Almighty God.
Thou hast placed me in the church
which thy Son purchased by his own blood.
Add grace to grace that I may live worthy of my vocation. I am a voyager across life’s ocean;
Safe in heaven’s ark, may I pass through
a troubled world
into the harbour of eternal rest. I am a tree of the vineyard thou hast planted.
Grant me not to be barren, with worthless
leaves and wild grapes;
Prune me of useless branches;
Water me with dews of blessing.
I am part of the Lamb’s bride, the church.
Help me to be true, faithful, chaste, loving,
Let no strong affection wantonly dally
with the world.
May I live high above a love of things temporal,
sanctified, cleansed, unblemished, hallowed
thy love my fullness,
thy glory my joy,
thy precepts my pathway,
thy cross my resting place.
My heart is not always a flame of adoring love,
But, resting in thy Son’s redemption,
I look forward to the days of heaven,
where no langour shall oppress,
no iniquities chill,
no mists of unbelief dim the eye,
no zeal ever tires.
Father, these thoughts are the stay, prop, and comfort of my soul.
From The Valley of Vision titled "Vocation".
Father, please forgive us of our sins against You, for our failure to apply Your Holy Word to every area of our lives. Please help us to trust anew in Your Son Jesus, and to lay hold of His wisdom. In Jesus Name we pray, amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Romans 6:15-18 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
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!