This Week’s Theme
The Sovereignty of God
(The Knowledge of the Holy [KOTH], Chapter 22)
“God’s sovereignty is the attribute by which He rules His entire creation, and to be sovereign God must be all-knowing, all-powerful, and absolutely free” (KOTH, p. 108). So begins Tozer’s treatise on the meaning of God as a sovereign God. In order to be truly sovereign (i.e., having final control of all things, working all things according to his will), God must possess all knowledge of things (able to see and understand all things), possess all power (able to move things as he wishes), and be absolutely free (not bound by any other force, being, or power to conflict with his will).
“Were there even one datum of knowledge, however small, unknown to God, His rule would break down at that point. To be Lord over all the creation, He must possess all knowledge. And were God lacking one infinitesimal modicum of power, that lack would end His reign and undo His kingdom; that one stray atom of power would belong to someone else and God would be a limited ruler and hence not sovereign. Furthermore, His sovereignty requires that He be absolutely free, which means simply that He must be free to do whatever He wills to do anywhere at any time to carry out His eternal purpose in every single detail without interference. Were He less than free He must be less than sovereign” (KOTH, p. 108).
As Paul completes his discussion of God’s election of Israel and the fulfillment of his covenant promise, he responds with praise and thanksgiving to the God who has so worked out things according to his will. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” (Rom. 11.33-35). Our God’s counsels and directives are beyond human searching, and no being has ever counseled him or aided him in any matter regarding the fulfillment of his plan. Paul concluded his praise with a statement that captures concisely the sovereignty of our God: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (v. 36). God is the Source of all things, he is the Sustaining power of all things, and he is the end of all things. He is beyond us – our knowing, counsels, and offerings – and, in the end, all things will occur consistent with his plan. In the end, God wins!
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Who wouldst not fear Thee, O Lord God of Hosts, most high and most terrible? For Thou art Lord alone. Thou has made heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth and all things that are therein, and in Thy hand is the soul of every living thing, Thou sittest king upon the flood; yea, Thou sittest king forever. Thou art a great king over all the earth. Thou art clothed with strength; honor and majesty are before Thee. Amen.
~ KOTH, p. 108
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: Phil. 1-4
Psalm: Ps. 70
OT: Amos 5.18-24
Gospel: Matt. 25.1-13
NT: 1 Thess. 4.13-18
(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
The Lord descended from above,
And bowed the heavens most high,
And underneath His feet He cast
The darkness of the sky.
On cherubim and seraphim
Full royally He rode,
And on the wings of mighty winds
Came flying all abroad.
He sat serene upon the floods,
Their fury to restrain;
And He, as sovereign Lord and King,
For evermore shall reign.
~ Psalm paraphrase, by Thomas Sternhold (KOTH, p. 113)
Affirmation for the Day
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (Rom. 11.33).
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Let now your reign be commenced for all time and rule as the King of all kings, all sublime! (Don Davis).
For Your Weekly Journey
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Sovereignty of God, Romans 11.33-36
Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy
Our Corporate Disciplines
Book Discussion: Wednesday, November 11, 2020