Elder's Prayer - August 19, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
How do we measure greatness? In our society, we often measure it in terms of talent – greatest quarterback, greatest basketball player, greatest writer, greatest president, greatest singer or band, greatest actor. We see a person’s greatness in how they use the talents that they’ve been given.
How do we best see God’s greatness? We could look at his greatness in many different ways.
We can see God’s greatness in creation – from creation’s scope – planets, stars, galaxies, that gets pretty big and varied.
We can see God’s greatness in the beauty of creation – from flowers to trees to oceans to mountains to caves to weather.
We can see God’s greatness in the variety of creation – numerous kinds of fish and mammals and birds – and in their habitats, their reproductive habits, what they eat, how they interact with each other, how they fit into the grand scheme of nature.
Fascinating to see God’s greatness in his creativity.
Perhaps the best way to see God’s greatness is through the cross – through the justice and mercy and grace and love we see there.
The cross shows us how great God’s justice is. Disobedience towards God demands some sort of punishment, payment must be made. And this punishment is eternal because God is so great. Any sin against God demands a perfect sacrifice as payment.
The cross shows us how great God’s mercy is. Because of our complete helplessness as sinners, God has made a way for us, through the cross, to be saved from our sin. God has provided the perfect sacrifice.
The cross shows us how great God’s grace is. All we sinners have to do to be saved is to put our faith in all that God accomplished through Christ on the cross. Christ does the hard work on the cross, and because God is gracious toward us, we benefit from that work.
The cross shows us how great God’s love is. Romans 5:6 & 8: for while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. While we were separated from God by our sin, and unable to do anything about it, God shows his love for us by providing reconciliation through the cross.
When we see Jesus on the cross, we see God’s greatness on display, the greatness of his character, seen in his justice, mercy, grace, and love.
Let us sing to the Lord, let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving.
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his and his hands formed the dry land.
Let us worship the Lord. Let us bow down before him, for he is our God and we are his people.
Father soften our hearts to our sin. Help us to see and understand how our sin offends your holiness. Help us to more fully comprehend that even the smallest sin is worthy of eternal punishment because you are great and holy.
Help us to not take the cross for granted, to take lightly your mercy and grace and love.
Help us to think on all that was accomplished by Christ on the cross – how you paid for sin; how you brought your enemies near and now call them friends; how Christ’s obedience, even to death, accomplishes righteousness for those who believe; and how the cross puts on full display the greatness of your character. It is a greatness that we cannot fully understand or measure.
Help the rest of our worship this morning to be done with a greater appreciation and thoughtfulness of your greatness.