Church was so wonderful yesterday morning. I had the pleasure of Toya coming with me to experience her first Presbyterian service. The sermon was called ‘The Cup Christ Would Not Pass’ and it focused on Matthew 26:36 – 46:
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Matthew 26:36-46 ESV
As Pastor Tinsley discussed the text, he described the cup. He said that he imagined that in the cup was the horror of man’s sins, an accumulation of all of the sins of all of the people along with the wrath of God. I thought about the horror of our sins. As I sat in the pew, I just thought about Christ being horrified at the amount of and the stench of man’s sins. So much and so horrible. It had to be (and still is actually) absolutely disgusting that man, in his total depravity, was capable of so much sinfulness. But, truly, being 100% God as well as 100% man, Christ knew. He knew.
As he continued with the sermon, he compared the wrath of God to a river behind a dam, gathering strength until the day that it’s released and we’d ALL plunge into hell if it weren’t for the work of Jesus Christ. There’d be no elect. Thank You, Lord, for Your redeeming work.
He went from the sermon to communion smoothly, connecting the two. I will say this – Communion was much different for me today after hearing the sermon. As we broke the bread, it all just seemed to take on a different meaning. The sermon is up in the church’s sermon center.
At the end of service, before the benediction, we sang one of my favorite hymns – My Jesus I Love Thee:
My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
for thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;
if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
And speaking of church services, when I got home, I did part of my usual routine – checking news sites. When I logged onto the Dallas Morning News, I was shocked to see this headline: Hard-core for Christ. Of course, I naturally got excited and I clicked the link. I was surprised to learn about the service, and although not my cup of tea (not a fan of metal), the beliefs seem pretty solid. I cannot make any comments about their style of worship and dress because that’s the same stick by which people use to measure the Christian authenticity of the Holy hip hop generation. Reading these things was exciting:
“For a long time, I thought I was going to heaven because of my goodness,” Mr. Warren told a man outside a club. “But then I found out all sinners have a place in the lake of fire. Repent and believe. Turn away from your sin and be saved.”
They preach to the open air, approach drunks in bars and evangelize to men and women in lines outside clubs at shows. They say they are regularly punched, yelled at and spit upon.
“Our words are not easy to hear,” Pastor Cleetus said. “We aren’t trying to make people feel better about themselves. We want people to feel bad because they are bad. We don’t want to dance around it.”
No sugar coating it there, glory to God. As I was surfing one of the church’s myspace pages, I found out about a new group called Waterdeep. Their sound is acoustic / folk / contemporary. It’s a nice blend of many elements. I liked what I heard so much that I added their song ‘Put In Me’ to my own myspace page.
Put in me
What I cannot give myself
Put in me
A clean heart
And since I am on the topic of music, the music room is newly updated.
I’ve been doing a lot of self examination lately and it’s not pretty at all. I didn’t expect it to be pretty, but it’s been more disturbing that I’d thought… I’ve got to run harder after the Lord, much more harder than I am. Becoming complacent is too easy and proves to be quite problematic. For all the days of my life, I pray that my mindset is that I’ve always got to do better. I will never be, and never want to be, at a point where I’m thinking I’ve got a grip on this… If I ever find myself in a place where I THINK I do, I must be careful for those are dangerous grounds to be on. Just when you think you’ve got it, and you get cocky, you allow yourself to become the devil’s playground. No such thing as too much studying or praying. My Lord, help me to always do better than the day before.