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The King of Kings

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Sometimes we forget that we are under the rule of a king. In an election year, a lot of our focus and attention goes to news coverage about who we, as a nation, will choose to govern our lives the next four years (emphasis on "we will choose"), and we can easily spend less time and energy dwelling on the good news that a King has already been chosen for us—and for all the nations—who will rule over all of us forever. So one of the the things we do when we gather for worship on Sundays is to remind ourselves and one another about this easily forgotten truth—that we really belong to a different kingdom than any of the kingdoms of this world. It's a kingdom that isn't talked about on the news, and information about our kingdom isn't tracked by the latest polls. But though it's a hidden reality, our allegiance to this kingdom and to this king, is massively more real, more life-changing and more satisfying than our belonging to any political movement.
 
If we imagine for a moment that instead of attending a rally for our favorite presidential candidate, what if we had the opportunity to gather under the banner of the King of the nations—to hear from him, to honor his accomplishments, to shout our support for his reign? Isn't that what we get to do when we gather each Sunday as the church of God? These words from Revelation are what we get to say in praise of our beloved ruler: That his deeds are great and amazing—nobody has got a record like his!—winning battles, overcoming enemies, providing for the good of his people. That he is almighty—that there is no end to his strength and ability. That his ways are just and true—he's more discerning than the most righteous earthly judge and wiser than all the learned men of history combined. That his name is feared—his reputation precedes him, causing awe and wonder among those who enter his presence, both friends and enemies alike, speechless before him, because no one can compare to him.
 
If we'll take a moment to realign our thinking and see with the eyes of faith that there is a king on the throne of heaven who calls us to himself, our amazement will be rekindled and our passion for his kingdom renewed. Our king bids us to come and gaze on his majesty. He declares to us that he has been victorious and won for himself a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and we are the beneficiaries of his victory. He tells us that all the weapons of his enemies have been destroyed and every war has been won. And he reminds us that all of this is because he has laid down his life for our sakes. Jesus Christ is exalted as our king because he was willing to wear a crown of thorns. He became the lowliest of men, enduring hatred and the rejection of his people so that he could overcome the power of sin and death to be able to offer eternal life, joy and peace to all the lowly, hated and rejected. In Revelation 15, this song of praise to the victorious king is called the song of Lamb—because the Lion of Judah is also the Lamb who was slain as a sacrifice for the sins of his people. Other kings and leaders of men have died on the battle field in defeat. But only one King has laid down his life of his own accord in order to take it up again in victory!
 
This is a king who is worthy of all our attention, all of our praise and all of our devotion.
 
And though we won't be physically gathering this weekend, here are is a call to worship and some songs that would have been part of our service had we met. We'd encourage you to meditate on these words and sing these songs to the Lord this weekend!
 
Great and amazing are your deeds,
    O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
    O King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord,
    and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
    All nations will come
    and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.
—Revelation 15:3,4
 
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
He is Our God
Then He Rose
Turn Your Eyes
You Have My Surrender
 
Here's a Spotify Playlist of those songs. We'll miss seeing you all this weekend, but join us for our facebook livestream on Sunday at 9:00am!
Posted by Kendall Ellis with

Witnesses

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Isaiah 43:11-12 says:

"I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.
I declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and I am God."

These verses are such an encouragement to me. They remind me that there is One God who is Holy, Mighty, Powerful, and Awesome beyond our comprehension - this is revelation.

They also remind me that this Holy, Righteous, Sovereign God of the universe has chosen to save people from the horrible punishment due them as a result of their rebellion against his reign - this is grace.

They also remind me that He is the only way  - through the work of Jesus - to be saved from the just and deserved consequences of my sin - this is mercy.

They also remind me that He chose to rescue sinners like me - by taking our punishment for us - before we had even chased after the countless counterfeit gods that captured our attention - this is love.

They furthermore remind me that not only did he graciously and kindly accept me into his family, but he allows me to take part in the rescue mission for others that He is pursuing. He calls me to be his witness to a dark and sad world - this is generosity.

When I'm reminded of truths like that, I have no appropriate options for response apart from worship. That worship might sometimes look like singing loud songs of joy. It might sometimes look like stunned and silent meditation. It might sometimes look like tearful prayers of thanks. It might other times look like obedient and faithful witnessing to a lost friend or family member or stranger. But worship, in it's various forms, is the only appropriate response to glimpses of God's grace, mercy, kindness and generosity.

And when we gather on Sundays, it is our prayer that we glimpse God in all his holiness, grace, mercy, kindness, we respond with the various appropriate acts of worship that ought to flow from his revelation of himself. The initial response is a corporate response of singing together, and then that is to flow into a week of various acts of worship in response to the revelation of our God.

Here are the songs and Scriptures that we trust will lead us into this rhythm of revelation and response this Sunday:

Call to Worship from Isaiah 43:11-12
He's Holy Holy Holy 
At Your Name
Highest Praise
Build My Life
Take My Life
Sermon from Daniel 2
 
Here's a Spotify Playlist of the songs we'll be singing. It's our desire that you won't be distracted by having to learn a new song on Sundays, so we send out these playlists so you can listen to them and be more comfortable with them before Sunday, and that they might be an encouragement to you as you seek to worship with your whole weekend.
Posted by Tim Payne with

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