GRACE, MERCY AND PEACE FROM GOD THE FATHER AND CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD! (1. Timothy 1: 2)
DAVID PRAISED THE LORD IN THE PRESENCE OF THE WHOLE ASSEMBLY, SAYING: – “PRAISE BE TO YOU, O LORD, GOD OF OUR FATHER ISRAEL, FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING. YOURS, O LORD, IS THE GREATNESS AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY AND THE MAJESTY AND THE SPLENDOUR, FOR EVERYTHING IN HEAVEN AND EARTH IS YOURS. YOURS, O LORD, IS THE KINGDOM; YOU ARE EXALTED AS HEAD OVER ALL. WEALTH AND HONOUR COME FROM YOU; YOU ARE THE RULER OF ALL THINGS. IN YOUR HANDS ARE STRENGTH AND POWER TO EXALT AND GIVE STRENGTH TO ALL. NOW, OUR GOD, WE GIVE YOU THANKS, AND PRAISE YOUR GLORIOUS NAME”.
(1 Chronicles 29: 10 – 13)
TO OUR GOD AND FATHER BE GLORY FOR EVER AND EVER. AMEN.
(Philippians 4: 20)
DOXOLOGY is a theological term for Glorifying God. In our two readings today David’s is a longer version of it and the Apostle Paul’s is a shorter version. Each is glorifying, praising and worshipping the Lord. They both are determined to rejoice in God, but that does not mean that they were sure how things would work out. Yet there is one thing they are quite clear about: they want the Lord to be honoured and glorified through their lives for ever.
Some years ago, one of our church members was terminally ill in Raigmore Hospital. Visiting her, she said to me before I left: – Ask the Prayer Meeting to pray that I will die like a Christian, glorifying my Saviour for ever. You never forget that kind of pastoral visit.
We also should review our own lives and consider the love, patience and forgiveness of our God. We need to recognise the changes worked in our lives even during these testing times, in the liberation and integration of our personalities. May we acknowledge that all that has been accomplished in our lives was indeed the work of the grace of God from beginning to end. Then… we may say and sing from the heart: To God be the glory! When we consider the great things He hath done, when we ponder His wise, sure and sovereign providence, and when we really marvel that God spared not even His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, then we begin to sing in a true spirit of worship:- How great Thou art!
Think of the SHORTER CATECHISM’s affirmation that: – The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him for ever. Without doubt, it is when we live to please and glorify God that we begin to enjoy Him, His company, His service and His people. How easily and superficially at times we say the traditional words at the end of the Lord’s Prayer: – Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever! See, how an awareness of God’s glory caused King David and the Apostle Paul to give thanks for His steadfast love.
It is when we are glorifying God that there is a curb on our anxiety, and we can rejoice, even in tribulation or sufferings. (Romans 5:3-5) When anxiety is brought into the presence of the Lord, we become calm enough to pray in faith rather than in fear. Life then begins to be more positive, not least because we are content that God will answer our prayers in the light of His glory in the Risen Christ. Remember the significant words Jesus prayed before His death on the Cross : – Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began. (John 17:5).
Try to grasp the amazing scale of God’s provision. It is according to His riches in glory, in Christ Jesus. If we have Jesus, we have blessings beyond what we can imagine, because all the fulness of God is in Him and He lives in us. It is indeed a deep comfort, encouragement and assurance in these times of fearful lockdown, to never forget, that this almighty and glorious God is our loving heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
HYMN 374 – To God be the glory! great things he hath done! So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, who yielded His life an atonement for sin, and opened the life-gate that all may go in.
( Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice; praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice: O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son and give Him the glory; great things He hath done!)
LET US PRAY:
Eternal God, whatever our worries in the present, whatever our fears for the future, teach us to trust in you, assured that, in life or in death, your love is stronger than all. Help us to live each day, each moment, in that sure and certain faith. Thank you that we can greet each day assured that your love surrounds us and that your everlasting arms will never let us go. Teach us, that when we trust in you and walk faithfully in the way you take us, though we may stumble, you will not let us fall. In these weeks of lockdown and anxiety keep us safe and show us your glory in all the unknown and uncertainty that surrounds us. We pray for all who struggle with infection from Covid-19 and for all who are trying to stop its spread and alleviate the suffering and thousands. Bless all those who keep our country going as the weeks go by and support those who are in grief or financial difficulties. Heal, gracious Lord God, the painful sense of separation from our loved ones, the burden of loneliness and the absence of common worship in our beloved church. We pray for our loved ones, close to us or far away; keep them safe in your love. Bless Her Majesty our Queen and Her Governments in London and in Edinburgh. Be with the Christian Church Universal in all its branches, with our Church of Scotland in all its Presbyteries and Congregations and bless all the ways that Your Word is brought and preached to those children of yours who hunger and thirst for Your Message. May Your Love that passes all understanding keep our hearts and our lives in Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father who art in heaven….
THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU; THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE SHINE UPON YOU AND BE GRACIOUS TO YOU; THE LORD TURN HIS FACE TOWARD YOU AND GIVE YOU PEACE. (Numbers 6: 24 – 26.)
THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. AMEN.
Sandor, your Minister