Preparing for Worship: Giving Glory to God

Preparing for Worship: Giving Glory to God

John Haralson   •   October 27, 2017

Skagit Valley Tulips, Toby Brown Photography

Everyone’s advancement in piety is the secret work of the Spirit.
John Calvin, Commentary on Ephesians

...the free coming to Christ in faith is dependent on the sovereign drawing of the Spirit. Because the Spirit works in us we are able freely to respond. Sovereign divine activity does not negate the necessity for human activity; rather it grounds it and renders it possible.
Sinclair Ferguson, The Holy Spirit

Dear Friends,

We live in an incredibly beautiful part of the world.  One of the things we may not realize, though, is that when the Bible speaks about creation, one of the key aspects is this:

          Creation obeys the voice of God.

In other words, it is no stretch to say that the glorious tulips captured in this photograph are obeying God’s commands. Every spring, as it were, God commands the tulips to come up from the ground. And it is so. One of the things we learn from creation is that obedience to God brings beauty into the world. 

Human beings are the one segment of creation that has rebelled against God. Instead of living in joyful and beauty-bringing submission to God, we fight him every step along the way.

In order for us to change, God has to do something. He has to give us new hearts―hearts that trust God’s promises and obey God’s commands. 

This work of God’s Spirit deep within us is what theologians call regeneration. It is a gracious work of God whereby we who were dead in our sins are made alive to God. This new life (or new birth as Jesus called it in John 3) is a life where we are now able to repent of our sins, believe the good news of the gospel, and walk in new obedience to God.

Like a Skagit Valley field filled to the brim with tulips, a life marked by obedience is a beautiful thing. It is also a work of the Lord.

This week: Luke 7:11-17, Giving Glory to God.

Liturgy is here.

I hope to worship with you.