Worship at the center…

A great comment was made by someone at CPCC the other day, reminding us that whatever we do as a church — including evangelism and outreach — must flow out of worship. He had just read the following (from an OPC publication, available online), where author Larry Wilson quotes John Piper. It is one of my favorite points made by Piper, and its significance is worth digesting…

But our Lord Jesus declares that God is seeking worshipers (John 4:23–24)! As we grow in our love for God, we will, like John Calvin, grow in our zeal that God be truly worshiped, as well as truly known. If our Lord grants such zeal, it will drive reformation and renewal in every aspect of the church’s life. It will even renew our evangelistic and missionary zeal. John Piper helpfully exhorts:

Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man…. Worship… is the fuel and goal of missions…. When the flame of worship burns with the heat of God’s true worth, the light of missions will shine to the most remote peoples on earth…. Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak. Churches that are not centered on the exaltation of the majesty and beauty of God will scarcely kindle a fervent desire to “declare his glory among the nations” (Ps. 96:3). Even outsiders feel the disparity between the boldness of our claim upon the nations and the blandness of our engagement with God. (John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad [Baker, 1993], pp. 11–12)

It is of the utmost importance, then, that our hearts be gripped by the real point of worship.

Amen! The whole of Larry Wilson’s article, THE REAL POINT OF WORSHIP, can be found here.

Week of Prayer 2009 begins

rembrandt_stjerome_prayer454x650With each new year comes a need for our annual Week of Prayer at CPCC! Each Prayer Week begins with a fresh sermon on prayer from God’s Word. This year our guest preacher is Rev. Jim Hale of Saratoga Chapel in Ballston Lake, NY.
Pastor Hale preached yesterday in our morning service from Acts 4 on The Beauty, Delight & Power 
of Corporate Prayer [watch for link to online sermon]. He then also taught the Adult Sunday School Class on perseverance in prayer, from The Parable of the Persistent Widow (Luke 18).

Last night, we had a good turnout for our annual “CONCERT OF PRAYER.” This hour uses several 6-8 minute segments of praying, each “orchestrated” around a set theme. It is a powerful way to begin praying together.

Monday through Friday, from 7-8:15 PM, a nightly prayer meeting is led by an Elder in someone’s home. These begin with a brief devotional thought then requests are shared and conversational praying begins. Many folks attempt to attend all five weeknight meetings to watch how the Holy Spirit is working among us during the week.

On Saturday, at 9 AM, we gather in the Fireside Room for our annual Prayer & Praise Breakfast, where answers to prayer & testimonies are shared, and one final round of prayer takes place.

Our theme verse is from James 1:17a as we look in prayer to God, our heavenly Father….

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

May the Lord again open our eyes to the power, privilege and potential of prayer among us during “Prayer Week 2009.”

Yours by divine mercy,

PS — tonight’s meeting is at my house…