(A prayer and exhortation delivered in a worship service at Berean Bible Church)
Almighty God and Everlasting Father, Thou alone art God. Thou alone art the Eternal One. Thou art the Triune Majesty.
Thou art the God who keeps covenant for a thousand generations. Thou art the God who keeps covenant and mercy with Thy servants. Thou art the God that saves to the uttermost all that come unto Thee in penitent faith.
Thou hast stooped low and consented to be our God, and Thou hast kindly called us out of darkness that we might be Thy Children. Thou dost dwell in the midst of Thy people and Thy holy presence sets us apart from those who are outside the covenant of promise.
Thou art the Pillar of Fire and the Cloud of Glory. Go before us, as we seek to worship Thee, and come behind us and shut us in with Christ. We ask for Thy blessing until the last amen is given, and we glory in the fact that because Thou hast raised Thy Son from the dead, there will never be a last amen.
Unto Thee, O Lord God Almighty, we render all glory and praise, and ask that Thou wouldst be kind to us, and take what we offer up now through Jesus’ name. Receive it as cleansed through His blood and magnify Thyself with it.
We come, not because we are worthy, but because we are bidden. We come, not because we are good, but because of Thy grace. We come because the way has been opened to us. The gates of death are closed to us because the Prince of Life conquered the grave. The gates of life are held open by nail-pierced hands. Our entrance unto Thee has been purchased with the gold of His blood and the silver of His tears. So receive us now, for His sake, as we come bringing glory that does not belong to us.
In the strong name of Jesus we pray. Amen!
The Duty of Delight
Once again we have assembled to worship the Lord. We must remember that our duty here amounts to a choice between one of two things.
The first is a deep delight and satisfaction with the knowledge that God is God, and we are not. This truth should be a morsel to taste with gladness, light that lets us see around us in a dark place, harmony that completes the melody that we once thought we knew. A creature can do nothing greater than glorify the Lord who made Him, and a blessed creature is one who rejoices to do so.
The second godly possibility is the realization that we do not possess this delight, and so we have come to tremble over the absence of it. This too is acceptable to God—He is pleased to draw near to the contrite heart.
But if we have come without delight, or without fear over the lack of delight, we have no business here. Any continued attempt to worship God on our own terms is insulting to Him and disastrous for us. It amounts to “trampling His courts.” So, as you love your own soul, don’t dare to worship God without delighting in Him.
Judgment awaits the tepid.