Posts Tagged 'remain'

Lingering in Worship: Persisting

Lingering in Worship: Persisting Sermon Audio Here

Ezra 5:1-5; Hebrews 9:1, 11-15

Our eyes have a neat feature called “persistence of vision”. When light enters the eye, we see it… but we continue to see it even after it’s stopped. Ever watch a kid playing with a sparkler on the Fourth of July, and watch them draw shapes in the air? Your eyes “connect the dots” and you see something due to persistence of vision.
What do you see in your spiritual life? What is persisting in worship mean to you?

What Remains In Our Vision of Worship?

The Call to Carry On ~ Ezra 5:1-5

  • 1 prophets’ message: come to ME, get to work
  • 2 rebuilding temple work starts again
  • 3/4 enemies thought they’d won; Israel just on pause
  • 5 This time, even though a letter was written, they didn’t stop working; they kept rebuilding the temple
  • they persisted in the work necessary to worship

Christ Has Carried Us All ~ Hebrews 9:1, 11-15

  • 1 (see much of OT)
  • 11 temple in Heaven is REAL; earthly temple just a copy (still good, still used, but not the original)
  • 12 Jesus is the PERFECT sacrifice; ONCE for ALL
  • 13/14 our works of worship are temporary; Jesus’ are permanent
  • 15 “for this reason”: the new agreement that God made with us was to rescue us based on HIS righteousness, not ours, using HIS work of worship, not ours. The old temple rituals of sacrifice are fulfilled, and no longer needed

Christ’s sacrifice COMPLETES the work of worship; now, when we participate in worship, we’re not working or earning or proving anything: THIS is just about being in the presence of God together, reminding each other of where we are and Who we’re with.

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Prayer Practicum: Contemplative Prayer

Prayer Practicum: Contemplative Prayer Sermon Audio Here

John 15:1-10

THIS IS ABIDING: Joining With Jesus

John 15:1-10 our Big Idea from this text is in verses 4&5: “remain in me” – what does it mean to “remain” in Jesus? The tense in the Greek is CONSTATIVE: a Solemn Command “Make this your top priority” Jesus wants to MAKE SURE we understand the importance, the GRAVITY of His command to remain or abide in him. And like gravity, this is pulling at us ALL THE TIME.

James 4:8: Come near to God and he will come near to you.

~ God doesn’t change; when we approach, He comes into focus

John 17:21: that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.

~ Unity with God is the goal; more of Him, less of us

SO: How Do We Abide In Christ?

Two Active Preparations

  1. Loving the Lord: Zephaniah 3:17: The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
    ~ RECEIVE God’s Love for you – you are worth it BECAUSE God has chosen you!
    In Proverbs 8:17: I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
    ~ Give God Love – Love Him Back
  2. Purifying the heart: Psalms 24:3-4: Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
    ~ Just like a lover will spurn all others to declare dedication to their loved one, so we must let go of anything that stands in the way of our love for God. God wants and deserves first place in our lives.

Two Passive Preparations

  1. Still the Soul: Psalms 131:2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
    ~ We surrender to Christ’s control, and let Him calm the Spirit within us.
  2. Listen for the Whisper: Jeremiah 30:21: Their leader will be one of their own; their ruler will arise from among them. I will bring him near and he will come close to me, for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?’ declares the LORD.
    ~ Who is doing the drawing? The Lord!
    ~ Who is engaging in the process? WE ARE

Just like a plant grafting being changed from the inside out, THAT is what God does in us… but remember, the process takes TIME. We can’t rush it, but we can recognize what’s happening, and lean into it.


Pastor Ed Backell

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