Yesterday at church, we had a wonderful service. Our attendance was up 50% from last week, and everything was God-centered worship. John did an excellent job choosing songs that led up to the proclamation part of the service. I have to admit, during the song 'Here I Am To Worship', I broke down. This was not a result of an emotional experience, but one of realization of that which I was singing. In the song there is this phrase that is repeated: 'I'll never know how much it cost to see my sins upon that cross.' As I sang this I tried to imagine standing there as Jesus drank the cup that bore the wrath of God. As I did this, I saw myself, my sinful nature. This led to a desperation that I can't explain. It was like I finally realized, Scott you are unworthy, you are sinful, it is because of you that he is hanging there. In that moment I had no other option than to be broken and confess my need of God's grace and mercy. It was a very humbling moment, one that is needed daily.
We continued our study on Jonah. Yesterday we covered, Jonah 1:7-16. We focused on two things: God's sovereignty (He is in control of the good times as well as the bad times of life) and on Jonah as a symbol of the scapegoat used on the Day of Atonement. With this contrast, I was able to then show the congregation that even though Jonah was able to save the men from death of drowning, these sailors were still in need of something or someone to offer them hope for the salvation of their souls. This was a great lead into presenting the gospel of Jesus as that hope. The sailors made the statement that God does as he pleases, and I ended with the statement, 'It pleased God to provide a way for us to be atoned for, through the death and resurrection of His Son. Jesus was the final sacrificial lamb and scapegoat needed.'
It was an amazing service. My prayer is that God was glorified and not the church nor the pastor. I pray that I directed people's attention to their own sinfulness and upon the hope and beauty of the Cross of Calvary.