ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
GOD IS LOVE
God’s love is so great that He gave His only Son to bring us into fellowship with Him. His love encompasses the world, and embraces each of us personally and intimately.
1 John 4:7-10 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Praise the God of Love
Praise Jesus because He demonstrated His love by going to the cross. Praise Jesus that He is an example of love. Praise God because He loved us even though we do not deserve love.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.
- Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
- Pray for Christian Challenge as they meet at the church tonight.
- Give thanks for our military members. Pray for service members deployed overseas and pray for those in our church who serve in the military.
Philippians 3 The Message
To Know Him Personally
3 And that’s about it, friends. Be glad in God!
I don’t mind repeating what I have written in earlier letters, and I hope you don’t mind hearing it again. Better safe than sorry—so here goes.
2-6 Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances—knife-happy circumcisers, I call them. The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials. You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book.
7-9 The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.
10-11 I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.
Focused on the Goal
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.
20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.
When you think of “heaven” what images come to mind? Look around in your mind right now as you contemplate the idea of heaven. Do you see a somewhat cold place? I mean streets of gold may be expensive but they certainly don’t sound very warm. I prefer a mountain path to metal streets. Do you think of buildings, maybe large ones…also expensive and better than sleeping on the gold streets. I like to sleep and work in buildings but I love to be outdoors. Maybe you think of a city. The Bible says our eternal destiny is a “city.” I don’t mind visiting cities, but again, I prefer places with less traffic and fewer people. Perhaps I’m not just cut out for heaven! Fortunately, these biblical images of heaven are to give our minds categories to consider the unconceivable. Heaven is a reality of great value and beauty, thus the gold and jewels for building materials. It is a place of security, thus the images of buildings and cities. It is a place of relationship and community. But remember God put Adam and Eve in a garden not an apartment complex. He walked with them in the garden before they decided they wanted to do things their own way. Heaven is a reality that we cannot fully hold in our minds because God is a being we cannot fully hold in our minds. Heaven is first and foremost the presence of God. God will recreate, along with our physical bodies, a new heaven and earth…a new cosmos. We will live in that place. We will walk with God in gardens, or cities, or whatever it looks like. It will be a real place and his presence and our access to his presence is why that place is heaven. His presence and our access to his presence now on “outpost earth” is what makes his “kingdom come and his will be done” a possibility for us here and now.