About Our Worship July 24, 2011
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” -Ephesians 5:1, 2
Love saw a guilt of sin, and sought a basis of pardon.
Love saw the defilement of sin, and sought a way of cleansing.
Love saw the depravity of sin, and sought a means of restoration.
Love saw the condemnation of sin, and sought a method of justification.
Love saw the death of sin, and sought a way of life.
Love sought – Love found!
Pastor Drew continues his sermon series in Genesis and has come to chapter 21, which tells of the birth of Isaac. Back in chapter 17:15-19, we read that God tells Abraham that Sarah, his wife would bear a son and that she would be a “mother of nations” and that “kings of peoples would be from her.” Then we read that Abraham fell on his face and laughed, since both he and Sarah were well past childbearing years. But God says to Abraham, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him” (Gen. 17:19).
Then, in chapter 18 God again tells Abraham that his wife would bear a child, but this time he told Abraham in the hearing of Sarah, and she laughed as well. Again, both Abraham’s and Sarah’s advanced age would make it impossible for them to conceive children. But God asked, “Why did Sarah laugh? Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Sarah denied that she laughed, but God said, “No, but you did laugh!”
Now in chapter 21, we see the birth of Isaac, whose name means “laughter,” and we see now that even though both Abraham and Sarah laughed in disbelief, when Isaac was born, Sarah laughed for joy at this supernatural work of grace. God had fulfilled His promise to Abraham, providing him a son, foreshadowing the coming of his greater Offspring, even Jesus Christ, our Lord!
Our closing hymn of response to today’s sermon is Charles H. Gabriel’s I Stand Amazed in the Presence of Jesus the Nazarene. Gabriel was the most popular and prolific gospel song writer of the early 1900’s, which was the height of the Billy Sunday/Homer Rodeheaver evangelistic crusades. The song first appeared in a hymnbook entitled Praises, published in 1905.
Since Sarah’s laughter exhibited her joy at the grace of God in the birth of Isaac, it’s appropriate that we would end our service today in the joy we have in our new birth in Christ. Won’t you join us as we sing of Jesus’ great love for us?
“How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be: How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!”