Prayer & Preparation for March 24th, 2024

This Lord's Day

Hey church,

Here are some details about this week's service:

Songs we'll sing: "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)," "O Church of Christ, Invincible," "Living Hope," "There Is a Higher Throne," and "Hear the Call of the Kingdom"

Sermon title: What Drives the Church?

Sermon text: Jude 17-25

Cross-references: Zeph. 3:17; Zech. 3:1-5; John 1:14-18; 15:9-10;
Eph. 4:15; Titus 1:1, 16; 2:13; 2 Peter 2:1-3:3; Jude 3

Helpful teaching I gleaned in my study and preparation:

"The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!" 


"What compensates for the bodily absence of Jesus from the earth right now? Nothing! ... Yet whenever the church proclaims the gospel, baptizes, teaches, and administers the Lord's Table, the powers of the age to come break into this present age, and the light of the new creation dawns."

Michael Horton

"God warns his people of their turning away from him in order that they may turn back to him through faith and repentance.... Pastoral care requires warnings when there is a need to be warned! One should not go around frightening the godly, who, while conscious of their sin, are living in fellowship with God and his people. But we do have a duty to those who have become lukewarm. Christ makes promises to backsliders in Ephesus and Laodicea (see Rev. 2:7; 3:20-21). True, his threats are real, but so too are his offers of mercy and grace.... We can, however, distinguish between a total falling away (apostasy) and a temporary turning away (backsliding).... John Owen makes an important point that 'it may be given as a safe rule in general, that he who is spiritually sensible of the evil of his backsliding is unquestionable in a recoverable condition.... No man is past hopes of salvation until he is past all possibility of repentance; and no man is past all possibility of repentance until he be absolutely hardened against all gospel convictions.'"

 Mark Jones in The Pilgrim's Regress: Guarding Against Backsliding and Apostasy in the Christian Life

I'm praying that the Spirit who spoke, who inspired/breathed out the Scriptures, including Jude, would speak to us through the Scriptures this Lord's Day (see Heb. 3:7). "Holy Spirit, living breath of God, breathe new life into my willing soul. Let the presence of the risen Lord come renew my heart and make me whole. Cause your Word to come alive in me; give me faith for what I cannot see. Give me passion for your purity; Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me" (Townend, Getty). And I'm praying that the result of his speaking to us would be something like this:

May the God who called you, who loves you, and who will keep you, give you as a church to remember the Lord's words regarding the last time, to remain in the Lord's love, to rescue the lost, and to rejoice in the Lord's power and grace. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Love you, church!

Jeff Tague