Preparing for Worship: The Sabbath & the Future (9am service only!)

Preparing for Worship: The Sabbath & the Future (9am service only!)

John Haralson   •   March 4, 2016

"...one of shame’s features is as a harbinger of abandonment, of catastrophic collapse of relationship....Lurking deep within us is what Satan convinced our first parents to believe―that we are not important enough for God to remain with us."

Curt Thompson, The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe about Ourselves

"But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, 'Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.'"
Numbers 13:30


Many people in my extended family have a love of roller coasters. My nephew, who is 14, is often at the center of these adventures. Sometimes, as the roller coaster is approaching the apex of the highest hill, he will scream out:

We’re gonna die!

He does this for two reasons. First, he’s a middle school male, and this expression is very much in the sweet spot of the male, middle school genre of public communication. Second, he says it because it’s kind of funny. When he shouts out, “We’re gonna die”, we all know that we’re not going to die. We all know that everything is going to be just fine.

I’ve recently been reading a lot about shame. I am convinced that shame is one of the most powerful tools that Satan uses against us to undermine our relationship with God. Through his skillful use of shame, we can be deceived to believe that God is not with and will not be with us tomorrow. We can become persuaded that the Lord will not be there for us in the “far future”―when we die or Jesus returns. Or, even more powerfully, we can become persuaded that God will not be there for ustomorrow or the next day.

Through shame, Satan deceives us to believe that we are always on the verge of being abandoned by God. Shame’s powerful message is that we are inadequate, undesirable, and one false move away from being utterly alone.

God’s desire for us is to have a faith in him that looks forward to the future with confidence and, dare I say it, optimism. The narrative of faith is this:

God loves me, and I can take the next step into my future with confidence. 

The Lord will be with me tomorrow, the next day, and the day after that.


This week, we will conclude our sermon series on the Sabbath as we look forward to the future God has in store for his people.

This week: The Sabbath & the Future, Exodus 17:1-7, Hebrews 4:1-13

Liturgy is here.

I hope to worship with you.

Warmly in Christ,

John

P.S. Don’t forget, because of the women’s retreat, we are only having one worship service this Sunday at 9am!