Almighty and most glorious Lord, we come before Thee seeking Thy glory. We know that in ancient times Thy glory would fill the Temple, and that Thou wouldst shroud Thyself in a great cloud so that Thy people would not be utterly consumed.
We know also that in the new covenant Thy glory has not been diminished, and that Thou hast told us as Christians to serve Thee with reverence and fear precisely because Thou dost remain a consuming fire.
When we ask, like Moses, to see Thy glory, we know that the request cannot be granted in this life. We know that no one can look upon Thee and live; and yet, we also know that we cannot live unless we look upon Thee. We beseech Thee, O God of glory, to resolve this paradox for us in Thy mercy.
We are asking that as a congregation we would begin to grasp the ungraspable. Show us, by Thy grace, something of Thy glory—the length, the breadth, and height, and weight of it, the heat of its unapproachable light.
Father, we are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Grant us mercy so that there is more to this than just the bare words.
In the strong name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
One of the centerpieces of the new covenant is the forgiveness of sins. If you are a sinner, then you qualify, you may come. But you may only come on the terms set by the Master, our Lord Jesus Christ.
When we come to worship the Lord, we know that we are to put away sin, confess it, leave it behind us. We can often think that we have done this because we have done it “in general.” But make sure this morning as you pray, sing, hear, and respond, that you have put away all resentment and bitterness. No one in the world has wronged you as much as you have wronged the Lord—and yet you are welcome here this morning, in His presence. Is there anyone whom you would not welcome to your side here because of your pride, resentment, and bitterness?
If we were to pray the Lord’s Prayer here this morning, could you pray all of it? Could you ask that your debts would be forgiven just as you have forgiven your debtors? I want to say this as gently and as firmly as possible, but if you cannot pray the Lord’s Prayer from the heart, then you need to find another religion. Our Lord prohibits bitterness, and we are here to worship and serve Him, not our own selfish hearts.