June 13, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, June 13, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Song: “I Will Glory in My Redeemer”
Words and music: Steve Cook and Vikki Cook.

I will glory in my Redeemer,
whose priceless blood has ransomed me.
Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails
and hung Him on that judgment tree.
I will glory in my Redeemer,
who crushed the power of sin and death;
my only Savior before the holy Judge,
the Lamb who is my righteousness,
the Lamb who is my righteousness.

I will glory in my Redeemer;
my life He bought, my love He owns.
I have no longings for another;
I’m satisfied in Him alone.
I will glory in my Redeemer,
His faithfulness my standing place.
Though foes are mighty and rush upon me,
my feet are firm, held by His grace,
my feet are firm, held by His grace.

I will glory in my Redeemer,
who carries me on eagles’ wings.
He crowns my life with lovingkindness;
His triumph song I’ll ever sing.
I will glory in my Redeemer,
who waits for me at gates of gold.
And when He calls me, it will be paradise,
His face forever to behold,
His face forever to behold.

Hymn: “It Is Well with My Soul”
Words: Horatio G. Spafford. Music: Philip P. Bliss.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul.”

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blest assurance control,
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate, and has shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought: My sin, not in part but the whole
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, “Even so,” it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

Hymn: “Before the Throne Above”
Words: Vikki Cook and Charitie Lees Bancroft. Music: Vikki Cook

Before the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea:
a great High Priest whose name is Love, who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands, my name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heav’n He stands, no tongue can bid me thence depart,
no tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within,
upward I look and see Him there, who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Saviour died my sinful soul is counted free,
for God the Just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me,
to look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb, my perfect spotless righteousness,
the great unchangeable “I Am,” the King of glory and of grace.
One with Himself, I cannot die; my soul is purchased with His blood.
My life is hid with Christ on high, with Christ, my Savior and my God,
with Christ, my Savior and my God.

Time of Prayer

Sermon: “The Dragon”
Revelation 12 (ESV)

1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

Hymn: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”
Words and music by Martin Luther

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
and He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God has willed His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
one little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
the body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still:
His kingdom is forever.

Benediction
1 Peter 5:6–11 (ESV)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

June 6, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, June 6, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “How Great Thou Art”
Words by Stuart J. Hine, who arranged a Swedish folk melody

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
consider all the worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander,
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
sent him to die, I scarce can take it in;
that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
and there proclaim, My God, how great thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

Hymn: “By Faith”
Words and music: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Stuart Townend.

By faith we see the hand of God in the light of creation’s grand design.
In the lives of those who prove His faithfulness, who walk by faith and not by sight

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith our fathers roamed the earth, with the power of His promise in their hearts,
of a holy city built by God’s own hand, a place where peace and justice reign.

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith the prophets saw a day when the longed-for Messiah would appear,
with the power to break the chains of sin and death, and rise triumphant from the grave.

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith the church was called to go in the power of the Spirit to the lost.
To deliver captives and to preach good news in every corner of the earth.

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith this mountain shall be moved, and the power of the gospel shall prevail;
for we know in Christ all things are possible for all who call upon His name.

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

Sermon: “Witnesses”

Revelation 11 (ESV)

1 Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”

These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire. And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, 10 and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. 11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. 13 And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come.

15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying,

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is and who was,
for you have taken your great power
and begun to reign.
18  The nations raged,
but your wrath came,
and the time for the dead to be judged,
and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,
and those who fear your name,
both small and great,
and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”

19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

Hymn: “There Is a Fountain”
Words by William Cowper, music: early American melody

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in His day;
and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away:
wash all my sins away, wash all my sins away;
and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die:
and shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue lies silent in the grave,
then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Your pow’r to save:
I’ll sing Your pow’r to save, I’ll sing Your pow’r to save;
then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Your pow’r to save.

The Lord’s Supper

Song: “O Sing, My Soul”
Words and music by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa

O sing, my soul, the ancient song, and lend Your highest praise
to Him who is the King of old and dwells in endless days.
How resplendent His glory! How majestic His name!
Now to the Uncreated One, oh, Let the anthem raise.

O worship Him our Father God, the Spirit and the Word,
Who fashioned all things from His joy, and saw that it was good.
What perfection of friendship, what communion we shared!
But choosing death, we fell from life aside the guilty pair.

Now hear, my soul, the gospel song, attend the joyful news,
for Christ has come, the perfect Son, His Father’s will to choose.
In our place He did suffer, in our place became sin,
the death of death, the death of Christ who stands alive again

Now, people of the risen Lord, O hear the call to go.
Into the world we have been sent as messengers of hope.
Christ alone be our treasure, Christ alone our reward.
Come, bid the nations sing with us the praises of the Lord.

Benediction

Hebrews 13:20–21 (ESV)

20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

 

May 30, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, May 30, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Give to Our God Immortal Praise”
Words: Isaac Watts. Music: John Hatton.

Give to our God immortal praise; mercy and truth are all His ways;
wonders of grace to God belong; repeat His mercies in your song.

He built the earth, He spread the sky, and fixed the starry lights on high:
wonders of grace to God belong; repeat His mercies in your song.

He fills the sun with morning light; He bids the moon direct the night;
His mercies ever shall endure, when suns and moons shall shine no more.

He sent His Son with power to save from guilt, and darkness, and the grave
wonders of grace to God belong; repeat His mercies in your song.

Through this vain world He guides our feet, and leads us to His heav’nly seat:
His mercies ever shall endure, when this our world shall be no more.

Song: “This Is Amazing Grace”
Words and Music: Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle, and Josh Farro.

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness,
whose love is mighty and so much stronger?
The King of glory, the King above all kings.

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
and leaves us breathless in awe and wonder?
The King of glory, the King above all kings.

This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love,
that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life that I would be set free.
Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.

Who brings our chaos back into order,
who makes the orphan a son and daughter?
The King of glory, the King of glory.

Who rules the nations with truth and justice,
shines like the sun in all of its brilliance?
The King of glory, the King above all kings.

This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love,
that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life that I would be set free.
Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy, worthy, worthy!

This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love,
that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life that I would be set free.
Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.

Hymn: “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”
Original words by William Cowper, refrain and music by K. Jason French

God moves in a mysterious way! His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mine of never-failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs and works His sov’reign will.

God of mercy! God of grace! Give us eyes to see!
Eyes to see Your smiling within the mystery,
within the mystery!

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take! The clouds ye so much dread
are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head!

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace;
behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face!

God of mercy! God of grace! Give us eyes to see!
Eyes to see Your smiling within the mystery,
within the mystery!

His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour,
the bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flow’r!

Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter and He will make it plain!

God of mercy! God of grace! Give us eyes to see!
Eyes to see Your smiling within the mystery,
within the mystery!

Time of Prayer

Sermon: “The Little Scroll”
Revelation 10 (ESV)

1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. 11 And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”

Hymn: “How Firm a Foundation”
Words from John Rippon’s Selection of Hymns. Music from Joseph Funk’s Genuine Church Music.

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply;
the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

“The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no never forsake!”

Benediction
Ephesians 6:23–24 (ESV)

23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

 

May 16, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, May 16, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “All Creatures of Our God and King”
Words: Francis of Assisi (paraphrased by William H. Draper and Thomas Ken).
Music: Geistliche Kirchengesänge (harmonized by Ralph Vaughan Williams).

All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam, Thou silver moon with softer gleam!

O praise Him! O praise Him! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong, ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice, ye lights of evening, find a voice!

O praise Him! O praise Him! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

And all ye men of tender heart, forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear, praise God and on Him cast your care!

O praise Him! O praise Him! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless, and worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son, and praise the Spirit, Three in One!

O praise Him! O praise Him! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Hymn: “Come, Behold the Wondrous Mystery”
Words and music: Matt Papa, Matt Boswell, and Michael Bleecker.

Come behold the wondrous mystery, in the dawning of the King;
He the theme of heaven’s praises, robed in frail humanity.
In our longing, in our darkness, now the light of life has come;
look to Christ, who condescended, took on flesh to ransom us.

Come behold the wondrous mystery, He the perfect Son of Man;
in His living, in His suffering never trace nor stain of sin.
See the true and better Adam, come to save the hell-bound man;
Christ, the great and sure fulfillment of the law; in Him we stand.

Come behold the wondrous mystery, Christ the Lord upon the tree,
in the stead of ruined sinners, hangs the Lamb in victory.
See the price of our redemption, see the Father’s plan unfold;
bringing many sons to glory, grace unmeasured, love untold.

Come behold the wondrous mystery, slain by death the God of life;
but no grave could e’er restrain Him, praise the Lord, He is alive!
What a foretaste of deliverance, how unwavering our hope;
Christ in power resurrected, as we will be when he comes.

Song: “I Will Glory in My Redeemer”
Words and music: Steve Cook and Vikki Cook.

I will glory in my Redeemer,
whose priceless blood has ransomed me.
Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails
and hung Him on that judgment tree.
I will glory in my Redeemer,
who crushed the power of sin and death;
my only Savior before the holy Judge,
the Lamb who is my righteousness,
the Lamb who is my righteousness.

I will glory in my Redeemer;
my life He bought, my love He owns.
I have no longings for another;
I’m satisfied in Him alone.
I will glory in my Redeemer,
His faithfulness my standing place.
Though foes are mighty and rush upon me,
my feet are firm, held by His grace,
my feet are firm, held by His grace.

I will glory in my Redeemer,
who carries me on eagles’ wings.
He crowns my life with lovingkindness;
His triumph song I’ll ever sing.
I will glory in my Redeemer,
who waits for me at gates of gold.
And when He calls me, it will be paradise,
His face forever to behold,
His face forever to behold.

Time of Prayer
Matthew 6:7–13 (ESV)

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10  Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11  Give us this day our daily bread,
12  and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13  And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
[For yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.]

Sermon: “Seven Trumpets”
Revelation 8 (ESV)

1 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.

12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.

13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”

Hymn: “The Solid Rock”
Words: Edward Mote. Music: William B. Bradbury.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace;
in every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood, support me in the whelming flood;
when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in Him be found;
dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.

Benediction
Revelation 22:21 (ESV)

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

 

May 9, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, May 9, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
Words: Thomas O. Chisholm. Music: William M. Runyan.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
there is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;
as Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed, Thy hand hath provided;
great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed, Thy hand hath provided;
great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed, Thy hand hath provided;
great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Hymn: “By Faith”
Words and music: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Stuart Townend.

By faith we see the hand of God in the light of creation’s grand design.
In the lives of those who prove His faithfulness, who walk by faith and not by sight

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith our fathers roamed the earth, with the power of His promise in their hearts,
of a holy city built by God’s own hand, a place where peace and justice reign.

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith the prophets saw a day when the longed-for Messiah would appear,
with the power to break the chains of sin and death, and rise triumphant from the grave.

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith the church was called to go in the power of the Spirit to the lost.
To deliver captives and to preach good news in every corner of the earth.

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith this mountain shall be moved, and the power of the gospel shall prevail;
for we know in Christ all things are possible for all who call upon His name.

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

Hymn: “When Trials Come”
Words and Music: Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty.

When trials come, no longer fear, for in the pain our God draws near
to fire a faith worth more than gold; and there His faithfulness is told
and there His faithfulness is told.

Within the night I know Your peace; the breath of God brings strength to me;
and new each morning mercies flow, as treasures of the darkness grow,
as treasures of the darkness grow.

I turn to Wisdom not my own, for ev’ry battle You have known.
My confidence will rest in You; Your love endures, Your ways are good;
Your love endures, Your ways are good.

When I am weary with the cost, I see the triumph of the cross.
So in its shadow I shall run, ’til He completes the work begun,
’til He completes the work begun.

One day all things will be made new; I’ll see the hope You called me to;
and in your kingdom paved with gold, I’ll praise your faithfulness of old.
I’ll praise your faithfulness of old.

Time of Prayer

Sermon: “Trusting God through Shattered Dreams”

John 12:24 (ESV)
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Ruth 4:11–17 (ESV)
11 Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, 12 and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman.”

13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 17 And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Hymn: “It Is Well with My Soul”
Words: Horatio G. Spafford. Music: Philip P. Bliss.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul.”

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blest assurance control,
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate, and has shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought: My sin, not in part but the whole
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, “Even so,” it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

Benediction
1 Thessalonians 5:28
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

 

May 2, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, May 2, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Be Thou My Vision”
Traditional Irish melody; ancient Irish text translated by Mary E. Byrne, set to verse by Eleanor H. Hull

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord.
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always.
Thou, and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Hymn: “Speak, O Lord”
Words and music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
to receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
that the light of Christ might be seen today
in our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
all Your purposes for Your glory.

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
holy reverence, true humility.
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
in the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow’r that can never fail,
let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us.
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
that will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises,
and by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
and the earth is filled with Your glory.

Sermon: “Ears to Hear”
Mark 4:1–9 (ESV)

1 Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Hymn: “The Communion Hymn”
Words and music: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Stuart Townend.

Behold the Lamb who bears our sins away, slain for us, and we remember
the promise made that all who come in faith find forgiveness at the cross.
So we share in this bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice
as a sign of our bonds of peace around the table of the King.

The body of our Savior Jesus Christ, torn for you, eat and remember
the wounds that heal, the death that brings us life paid the price to make us one.
So we share in this bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice
as a sign of our bonds of love around the table of the King.

The blood that cleanses every stain of sin, shed for you, drink and remember
He drained death’s cup that all may enter in to receive the life of God.
So we share in this bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice
as a sign of our bonds of grace around the table of the King.

And so with thankfulness and faith we rise to respond, and to remember
our call to follow in the steps of Christ as His body here on earth.
As we share in His suffering we proclaim Christ will come again!
And we’ll join in the feast of heaven around the table of the King.

The Lord’s Supper

Song: “All I Have Is Christ”
Words and music by Jordan Kauflin

I once was lost in darkest night, yet thought I knew the way.
The sin that promised joy and life had led me to the grave.
I had no hope that You would own a rebel to Your will.
And if You had not loved me first, I would refuse You still.

But as I ran my hell-bound race, indifferent to the cost,
You looked upon my helpless state and led me to the cross.
And I beheld God’s love displayed, You suffered in my place.
You bore the wrath reserved for me, now all I know is grace.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ.
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ.
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone, and live so all might see
the strength to follow Your commands could never come from me.
Oh, Father, use my ransomed life in any way You choose,
and let my song forever be my only boast is You.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ.
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ.
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.

Benediction
2 Corinthians 13:14 (ESV)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

April 25, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, April 25, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
Words: Robert Robinson. Music: traditional American melody.

Come, Thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of Thy redeeming love.

Hither to Thy love has blest me; Thou has brought me to this place;
And I know Thy hand will bring me safely home by Thy good grace.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God,
He, to rescue me from danger, bought me with His precious blood.

Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face,
Clothed then in the blood-washed linen how I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace.
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, take my ransomed soul away;
Send Thine angels now to carry me to realms of endless day.

Hymn: “There Is a Higher Throne”
Words and Music: Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty.

There is a higher throne than all this world has known,
where faithful ones from ev’ry tongue will one day come.
Before the Son we’ll stand, made faultless through the Lamb;
Believing hearts find promised grace; salvation comes.

Hear heaven’s voices sing; their thund’rous anthem rings
through em’rald courts and sapphire skies.Their praises rise.
All glory, wisdom, pow’r, strength, thanks, and honor are
to God our King, who reigns on high forevermore.

And there we’ll find our home, our life before the throne.
We’ll honor Him in perfect song, where we belong.
He’ll wipe each tear-stained eye as thirst and hunger die.
The Lamb becomes our Shepherd King; we’ll reign with Him.

Hear heaven’s voices sing; their thund’rous anthem rings
through em’rald courts and sapphire skies.Their praises rise.
All glory, wisdom, pow’r, strength, thanks, and honor are
to God our King, who reigns on high forevermore.

Hymn: “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”
Words by Henry Williams Baker, set to a traditional Irish melody

The King of love my Shepherd is, whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am His, and He is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow my ransomed soul He leadeth,
and where the verdant pastures grow, with food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed, but yet in love He sought me;
and on His shoulder gently laid, and home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill, with You, dear Lord, beside me;
Your rod and staff my comfort still, Your cross before to guide me.

You spread a table in my sight; Your saving grace bestowing;
and O, what transport of delight from Your pure chalice flowing!

And so through all the length of days Your goodness fails me never.
Good Shepherd, may I sing Your praise within Your house forever.

Time of Prayer

Sermon: “Sealed from Every Tribe”
Revelation 7 (ESV)

1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed,
12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,
12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
12,000 from the tribe of Asher,
12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,
12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,
12,000 from the tribe of Levi,
12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,
12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,
12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15  “Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
17  For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Song: “Never Cease to Praise”
Words and music: Jeff Bourque.

May we run this race, may we keep the faith,
may our eyes be fixed on Jesus,
that we’ll not lose heart in our struggle with sin,
and through suffering know endurance.

May we arm ourselves with the mind of Christ
to rejoice in trials and be not surprised.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

May our company be the saints You’ve called,
may we all stand firm in one spirit,
that the gospel’s truth may resound on earth,
that all living things may hear it.

May the fruits of faith mark the path we trod
through the life of Christ to the glory of God.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

May the words we share be Your grace and peace.
May our tongues speak Your proclamations
that the many parts of the body of Christ
be affirmed in their right relation.

As we long and wait for the groom to come,
may we learn to love, and spur each other on.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

When that day arrives, and our race is won,
when our griefs give way to deliverance,
we will fully know, as we’re fully known,
all our groans will end as new songs begin.

And a multitude from every tribe and tongue,
wearing robes of white, will stand before Your throne,
And our hearts will be so consumed by You
that we’ll never cease to praise!

May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

Benediction
Ephesians 6:24 (ESV)

Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

 

April 18, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, April 18, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Rejoice, the Lord Is King”
Words: Charles Wesley. Music: John Darwal.

Rejoice, the Lord is King: Your Lord and King adore!
Rejoice, give thanks, and sing, and triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart; lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Jesus, the Savior, reigns, the God of truth and love;
when He had purged our stains, He took His seat above.
Lift up your heart; lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

His kingdom cannot fail, He rules o’er earth and heav’n;
the keys of death and hell are to our Jesus giv’n.
Lift up your heart; lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Rejoice in glorious hope! For Christ the Judge shall come
and take His servants up to their eternal home;
Lift up your heart; lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Hymn: “Onward March, All-Conquering Jesus””
Words: William Williams. Music: John Zundel.

Onward march, all-conquering Jesus,; gird Thee on Thy mighty sword.
Sinful earth can ne’er oppose Thee; hell itself bows at Thy Word.
Thy great Name is so exalted, ev’ry foe shrinks back in fear;
terror creeps through all creation, when it knows that Thou art near.

Free my soul from sin’s foul bondage; hasten now the glorious dawn.
Break proud Babel’s gates in sunder; let the massive bolts be drawn.
Forth, like ocean’s heaving surges, bring in myriads ransomed slaves,
host on host, with shouts of triumph, endless, countless as the waves.

E’en today I hear sweet music, praises of a blood-freed throng;
full deliverance, glorious freedom, are their themes for endless song.
Whiter than the snow their raiment, victor palms they wave on high,
as they pass, with fullest glory, into life’s felicity.

How my raptured soul rejoices that the jubilee is near;
ev’ry word will be accomplished spoken by our Savior here.
North and south in countless myriads, from earth’s darkest ends they come,
with the dance and gladsome music, into heaven’s eternal home.

Hymn: “See, He Comes”
Words: Charles Wesley. Music: Zach Sprowls and Rich Gunderlock.

See, He comes upon the clouds, Jesus Christ, our King appears.
All the saints bought by His blood  will rise to meet Him in the air.
Earth and sea shall flee away, all creation waits and groans,
for the Lord Redeemer comes to take His longing exiles home.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, come, O Lord, on earth to reign.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, we await the coming day.

Those who mocked and scorned His name,
pierced and nailed Him to the tree,
deeply wail, in sorrow grieve, when they the true Messiah see.
Ev’ry eye will see the Lord dressed in dreadful majesty;
ev’ry knee shall bow before the Judge of all eternity.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, come, O Lord, on earth to reign.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, we await the coming day.

Still He bears the holy scars: evidence of saving grace.
All the saints bought by His blood shall then rejoice to see His face.
Yes, amen, let all adore Christ on His eternal throne.
All the pow’r and might are Yours, come, claim the kingdom as Your own.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, come, O Lord, on earth to reign.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, we await the coming day.

Time of Prayer

Sermon: “Seven Seals”
Revelation 6 (ESV)

1 Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.

When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”

When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

12 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14 The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Hymn: “It Is Well with My Soul”
Words: Horatio G. Spafford. Music: Philip P. Bliss.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control,
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and has shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought:
My sin, not in part but the whole
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,
“Even so,” it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

Benediction
1 Thessalonians 5:23–24 (ESV)

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

 

Worthy Is the Lamb (Revelation 5)

Who is worthy to execute God’s plans? Who is worthy to direct history towards a good end? Who is worthy of our worship? The answer to these questions is Jesus. Brian Watson preached this message on Revelation 5 on April 11, 2021.

April 11, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, April 11, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Ye Servants of God”
Words: Charles Wesley. Music: William Gardiner.

Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,  and publish abroad his wonderful name;
the name all-victorious of Jesus extol; his kingdom is glorious and rules over all.

God ruleth on high, almighty to save; and still He is nigh, His presence we have;
the great congregation his triumph shall sing, ascribing salvation to Jesus our King.

“Salvation to God, who sits on the throne!” let all cry aloud, and honor the Son:
the praises of Jesus the angels proclaim, fall down on their faces and worship the Lamb.

Then let us adore and give him his right: all glory and power, all wisdom and might;
all honor and blessing with angels above, and thanks never-ceasing and infinite love.

Hymn: “How Rich a Treasure We Possess”
Words and music: Matt Boswell and Matt Papa

How rich a treasure we possess, in Jesus Christ our Lord.
His blood, our ransom and defense; His glory, our reward.
The sum of all created things are worthless in compare,
For our inheritance is Him whose praise angels declare.

How free and costly was the love, displayed upon the cross!
While we were dead in untold sin the Sovereign purchased us.
The will of God the Father demonstrated through the Son.
The Spirit seals the greatest work, the work which Christ has done.

For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.
Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory. Amen.

How vast and measureless the flood of mercy unrestrained!
The penalty was paid in full; the spotless Lamb was slain.
Salvation, what a priceless gift received by grace through faith,
We stand in robes of righteousness; we stand in Jesus’ name.

For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.
Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory. Amen.

Hymn: “There Is a Higher Throne”
Words and Music: Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty.

There is a higher throne than all this world has known,
where faithful ones from ev’ry tongue will one day come.
Before the Son we’ll stand, made faultless through the Lamb;
Believing hearts find promised grace; salvation comes.

Hear heaven’s voices sing; their thund’rous anthem rings
through em’rald courts and sapphire skies.Their praises rise.
All glory, wisdom, pow’r, strength, thanks, and honor are
to God our King, who reigns on high forevermore.

And there we’ll find our home, our life before the throne.
We’ll honor Him in perfect song, where we belong.
He’ll wipe each tear-stained eye as thirst and hunger die.
The Lamb becomes our Shepherd King; we’ll reign with Him.

Hear heaven’s voices sing; their thund’rous anthem rings
through em’rald courts and sapphire skies.Their praises rise.
All glory, wisdom, pow’r, strength, thanks, and honor are
to God our King, who reigns on high forevermore.

Time of Prayer

Sermon: “Worthy Is the Lamb”
Revelation 5 (ESV)

1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10  and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”

11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Hymn: “Worthy Is the Lamb”
Words and Music: Don Wyrtzen

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain; worthy is the Lamb that was slain.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive
power and riches and wisdom and strength,
honor and glory and blessing!
Worthy is the Lamb, worthy is the Lamb, worthy is the Lamb that was slain.
Worthy is the Lamb!

Hymn: “Crown Him with Many Crowns”
Words: Matthew Bridges and Godfrey Thring. Music: George J. Elvey.

Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne;
Hark! how the heav’nly anthem drowns all music but its own;
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
and hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.

Crown Him the Son of God, before the worlds began,
and ye who tread where He hath trod, crown Him the Son of Man;
who ev’ry grief hath known that wrings the human breast,
and takes and bears them for His own, that all in Him may rest.

Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side,
those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
but downward bends His wond’ring eye at mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed o’er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.
His glories now we sing, who died, and rose on high,
who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.

Crown Him the Lord of lords, who over all doth reign,
who once on earth, th’incarnate Word, for ransomed sinners slain,
now lives in realms of light, where saints with angels sing
their songs before Him day and night, their God, Redeemer, King.

Benediction
2 Corinthians 13:14 (ESV)
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

April 4, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today”
Words: Charles Wesley. Music: Lyra Davidica.

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply: Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Dying once He all doth save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened Paradise, Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hymn: “In Christ Alone”
Words and music: Keith Getty and Stuart Townend.

In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace when fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My Comforter, my All in All; here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh; fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness scorned by the ones He came to save;
’til on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied;
for every sin on Him was laid; here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay; Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then, bursting forth in glorious Day, up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
for I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand;
’til He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand!

Sermon: “My Lord and My God!”
John 20 (ESV)

1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Hymn: “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”
Words and Music: Stuart Townend.

How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure,
that He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss, the Father turns His face away
as wounds which mar the Chosen One bring many sons to glory.

Behold the Man upon a cross, my sin upon His shoulders.
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished.
His dying breath has brought me life, I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom.

The Lord’s Supper

Hymn: “Crown Him with Many Crowns”
Words: Matthew Bridges and Godfrey Thring. Music: George J. Elvey.

Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne;
Hark! how the heav’nly anthem drowns all music but its own;
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
and hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.

Crown Him the Son of God, before the worlds began,
and ye who tread where He hath trod, crown Him the Son of Man;
who ev’ry grief hath known that wrings the human breast,
and takes and bears them for His own, that all in Him may rest.

Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side,
those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
but downward bends His wond’ring eye at mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed o’er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.
His glories now we sing, who died, and rose on high,
who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.

Crown Him the Lord of lords, who over all doth reign,
who once on earth, th’incarnate Word, for ransomed sinners slain,
now lives in realms of light, where saints with angels sing
their songs before Him day and night, their God, Redeemer, King.

Benediction
Hebrews 13:20–21 (ESV)

20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

 

I Stand at the Door and Knock (Revelation 3:14-22)

Jesus tells a church who had been keeping him at a distance to repent, to see that they were poor, blind, and naked, and to open the door to him. Brian Watson preached this sermon on Revelation 3:14-22 on March 21, 2021.

March 21, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, March 21, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “All Glory Be to Christ”
Words: Dustin Kensrue. Music: Traditional Scottish tune (“Auld Lang Syne”).

Should nothing of our efforts stand, no legacy survive;
unless the Lord does raise the house, in vain its builders strive.

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain, tell me what is your life?
A mist that vanishes at dawn, all glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our King! All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing, all glory be to Christ!

His will be done, His kingdom come, on earth as is above;
Who is Himself our daily bread, praise Him the Lord of love.

Let living water satisfy the thirsty without price,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, all glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our King! All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing, all glory be to Christ!

When on the day the great I Am, the Faithful and the True,
the Lamb who was for sinners slain, is making all things new.

Behold our God shall live with us and be our steadfast light,
and we shall e’er His people be, all glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our King! All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing, all glory be to Christ!

Song: “Yet Not I but through Christ in Me”
Words and music by Jonny Robinson, Rich Thompson, and Michael Farren

What gift of grace is Jesus my redeemer.
There is no more for heaven now to give.
He is my joy, my righteousness, and freedom,
My steadfast love, my deep and boundless peace.

To this I hold: my hope is only Jesus.
For my life is wholly bound to His.
Oh how strange and divine, I can sing: all is mine!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me.

The night is dark, but I am not forsaken.
For by my side, the Savior, He will stay.
I labor on in weakness and rejoicing,
For in my need, His power is displayed.

To this I hold: my Shepherd will defend me.
Through the deepest valley He will lead.
Oh the night has been won, and I shall overcome!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me.

No fate I dread, I know I am forgiven,
The future sure, the price it has been paid.
For Jesus bled and suffered for my pardon,
And He was raised to overthrow the grave.

To this I hold: my sin has been defeated.
Jesus now and ever is my plea.
Oh the chains are released, I can sing: I am free!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me.

With every breath I long to follow Jesus.
For He has said that He will bring me home.
And day by day I know He will renew me
Until I stand with joy before the throne.

To this I hold: my hope is only Jesus.
All the glory evermore to Him.
When the race is complete, still my lips shall repeat:
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!

When the race is complete, still my lips shall repeat:
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!

Hymn: “Come to Me”
Words: Lizzie Akers, refrain by Village Church. Music: Michael Bleecker, Jeff Capps, and Hunter Pecunia.

Weary, burdened wand’rer, there is rest for thee.
at the feet of Jesus, in His love so free.

There is freedom, taste and see. Hear the call, “Come to Me.”
Run into His arms of grace, your burden carried, He will take.

Listen to His message, words of life, forever blessed.
“O thou heavy laden, come to Me, come and rest.”

There is freedom, taste and see. Hear the call, “Come to Me.”
Run into His arms of grace, your burden carried, He will take.

Bring Him all thy burdens, all thy guilt and sin.
Mercy’s door is open, rise up and enter in.

There is freedom, taste and see. Hear the call, “Come to Me.”
Run into His arms of grace, your burden carried, He will take.

Jesus there is waiting, patiently for thee,
Hear Him gently calling, “Come, O come to Me.”

There is freedom, taste and see. Hear the call, “Come to Me.”
Run into His arms of grace, your burden carried, He will take.

Time of Prayer

Sermon: “I Stand at the Door and Knock”
Revelation 3:14–22 (ESV)

14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.
15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

Hymn: “Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy”
Words: Joseph Hart. Music: “Walker’s Southern Harmony.”

Come ye sinners, poor and needy, weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you, full of pity, love, and pow’r.

I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior, O there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome, God’s free bounty glorify;
true belief and true repentance, ev’ry grace that brings you nigh.

I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior, O there are ten thousand charms.

Come ye weary, heavy laden, lost and ruined by the fall;
if you tarry till you’re better, you will never come at all.

I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior, O there are ten thousand charms.

Lo! th’incarnate God ascended, pleads the merit of His blood.
Venture on Him, venture wholly; let no other trust intrude.

I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior, O there are ten thousand charms.

Benediction
Revelation 22:20–21 (ESV)

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

 

March 7, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, March 7, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Holy, Holy, Holy”
Words: Reginald Heber. Music: John B. Dykes

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
who were, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Hymn: “Before the Throne Above”

Words: Vikki Cook and Charitie Lees Bancroft. Music: Vikki Cook

Before the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea:
a great High Priest whose name is Love, who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands, my name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heav’n He stands, no tongue can bid me thence depart,
no tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within,
upward I look and see Him there, who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Saviour died my sinful soul is counted free,
for God the Just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me,
to look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb, my perfect spotless righteousness,
the great unchangeable “I Am,” the King of glory and of grace.
One with Himself, I cannot die; my soul is purchased with His blood.
My life is hid with Christ on high, with Christ, my Savior and my God,
with Christ, my Savior and my God.

Sermon: “Perspective”
Isaiah 6 (ESV)

1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people:

“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
10  Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
11  Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”

And he said:

“Until cities lie waste
without inhabitant,
and houses without people,
and the land is a desolate waste,
12  and the Lord removes people far away,
and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13  And though a tenth remain in it,
it will be burned again,
like a terebinth or an oak,
whose stump remains
when it is felled.”
The holy seed is its stump.

Hymn: “O Fount of Love”
Words and music by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa

O fount of love divine that flows from my Savior’s bleeding side
Where sinners trade their filthy rags for His righteousness applied.
Mercy cleansing ev’ry stain, now rushing o’er us like a flood;
There the wretch and vilest ones stand adopted through His blood.

O mount of grace to Thee we cling, from the law hath set us free.
Once and for all on Calv’ry’s hill, love and justice shall agree.
Praise the Lord! The price is paid, the curse defeated by the Lamb.
We who once were slaves by birth, sons and daughters now we stand.

O well of joy is mine to drink, for my Lord has conquered death.,
Victorious forevermore, the ancient foe is laid to rest.
Hallelujah! Christ is King, alive and reigning on the throne;
Our tongues employed with hymns of praise: Glory be to God alone.

Hallelujah! Christ is King, alive and reigning on the throne;
Our tongues employed with hymns of praise: Glory be to God alone.

The Lord’s Supper

Hymn: “Jesus Paid It All”
Words: Elvina M. Hall. Music: John T. Grape.

I hear the Savior say, “Thy strength indeed is small,
child of weakness, watch and pray, find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find Thy pow’r and Thine alone,
can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone.

Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I where-by Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.

And when, before the throne, I stand in Him complete,
“Jesus died my soul to save,” my lips shall still repeat.

Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.

Benediction
1 Thessalonians 5:23–24 (ESV)

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

 

February 21, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, February 21, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
Words by Robert Robinson; music: traditional American melody

Come, Thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of Thy redeeming love.

Hither to Thy love has blest me; Thou has brought me to this place;
And I know Thy hand will bring me safely home by Thy good grace.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God,
He, to rescue me from danger, bought me with His precious blood.

Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face,
Clothed then in the blood-washed linen how I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace.
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, take my ransomed soul away;
Send Thine angels now to carry me to realms of endless day.

Song: “Never Cease to Praise”
Words and music: Jeff Bourque.

May we run this race, may we keep the faith,
may our eyes be fixed on Jesus,
that we’ll not lose heart in our struggle with sin,
and through suffering know endurance.

May we arm ourselves with the mind of Christ
to rejoice in trials and be not surprised.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

May our company be the saints You’ve called,
may we all stand firm in one spirit,
that the gospel’s truth may resound on earth,
that all living things may hear it.

May the fruits of faith mark the path we trod
through the life of Christ to the glory of God.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

May the words we share be Your grace and peace.
May our tongues speak Your proclamations
that the many parts of the body of Christ
be affirmed in their right relation.

As we long and wait for the groom to come,
may we learn to love, and spur each other on.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

When that day arrives, and our race is won,
when our griefs give way to deliverance,
we will fully know, as we’re fully known,
all our groans will end as new songs begin.

And a multitude from every tribe and tongue,
wearing robes of white, will stand before Your throne,
And our hearts will be so consumed by You
that we’ll never cease to praise!

May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

Hymn: “And Can It Be?”
Words: Charles Wesley. Music: Thomas Campbell.

And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, should die for me?

Amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, should die for me!

He left His Father’s throne above, so free, so infinite His grace;
emptied Himself to show His love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race.
’Tis mercy all, immense and free; for, O my God, it found out me.

Amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, should die for me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

Amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, should die for me!

No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine;
bold I approach the eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, should die for me!

Time of Prayer

Sermon: “Wake Up”
Revelation 3:1–6 (ESV)

1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.

“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

Hymn: “Jesus Paid It All”
Words: Elvina M. Hall. Music: John T. Grape.

I hear the Savior say, “Thy strength indeed is small,
child of weakness, watch and pray, find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find Thy pow’r and Thine alone,
can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone.

Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I where-by Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.

And when, before the throne, I stand in Him complete,
“Jesus died my soul to save,” my lips shall still repeat.

Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.

Benediction

Hebrews 13:20–21 (ESV)

20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

 

February 14, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, February 14, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “O Breath of God”
Words and music: Keith Getty and Phil Madeira.

O Breath of God, come fill this place;
revive our hearts to know Your grace,
and from our slumber make us rise,
that we may know the risen Christ.

O Word of God, so clear and true,
renew our minds to trust in You;
and give to us the Bread of Life,
that we may know the risen Christ.

O Love of God, so unrestrained,
refresh our souls in Jesus’ name.
Let us reflect Your sacrifice,
that we may know the risen Christ.

May God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit make us one;
in holiness let us unite,
that we may know the risen Christ.

Song: “His Mercy Is More”
Words and music: Matt Papa and Matt Boswell.

What love could remember no wrongs we have done?
Omniscient, all-knowing, He counts not their sum.
Thrown into a sea without bottom or shore,
Our sins they are many; His mercy is more.

Praise the Lord, His mercy is more.
Stronger than darkness, new every morn’.
Our sins, they are many; His mercy is more.

What patience would wait as we constantly roam?
What Father, so tender, is calling us home?
He welcomes the weakest, the vilest, the poor.
Our sins, they are many; His mercy is more.

Praise the Lord, His mercy is more.
Stronger than darkness, new every morn’.
Our sins, they are many; His mercy is more.

What riches of kindness He lavished on us.
His blood was the payment; His life was the cost.
We stood ’neath a debt we could never afford.
Our sins, they are many; His mercy is more.

Praise the Lord, His mercy is more.
Stronger than darkness, new every morn’.
Our sins, they are many; His mercy is more.

Hymn: “Holy, Holy, Holy”
Words: Reginald Heber. Music: John B. Dykes

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
who were, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Time of Prayer

Sermon: “She Refuses to Repent”
Revelation 2:18–29 (ESV)
18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.
19 “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. 25 Only hold fast what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

Hymn: “May the Mind of Christ My Savior”
Words: Kate B. Wilkinson. Music: A. Cyril Barham-Gould.

May the mind of Christ, my Savior, live in me from day to day,
by His love and power controlling all I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly in my heart from hour to hour,
so that all may see I triumph only through His power.

May the peace of God my Father rule my life in everything,
that I may be calm to comfort sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me as the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing: this is victory.

May I run the race before me, strong and brave to face the foe,
looking only unto Jesus as I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon me as I seek the lost to win;
And may they forget the channel, seeing only Him.

Benediction
Revelation 22:20–21 (ESV)
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

 

February 7, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, February 7, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Brethren, We Have Met to Worship”
Words: George Atkins. Music: William More.

Brethren, we have met to worship and adore the Lord our God;
Will you pray with all your power, while we try to preach the Word?
All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down;
Brethren, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.

Brethren, see poor sinners round you slumb’ring on the brink of woe;
Death is coming, hell is moving, can you bear to let them go?
See our fathers and our mothers, and our children sinking down;
Brethren, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.

Let us love our God supremely, let us love each other, too;
Let us love and pray for sinners, till our God makes all things new.
Then He’ll call us home to Heaven, at His table we’ll sit down;
Christ will gird Himself and serve us with sweet manna all around.

Hymn: “Before the Throne Above”
Words: Vikki Cook and Charitie Lees Bancroft. Music: Vikki Cook

Before the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea:
a great High Priest whose name is Love, who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands, my name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heav’n He stands, no tongue can bid me thence depart,
no tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within,
upward I look and see Him there, who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Saviour died my sinful soul is counted free,
for God the Just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me,
to look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb, my perfect spotless righteousness,
the great unchangeable “I Am,” the King of glory and of grace.
One with Himself, I cannot die; my soul is purchased with His blood.
My life is hid with Christ on high, with Christ, my Savior and my God,
with Christ, my Savior and my God.

Time of Prayer

Sermon: “A New Name”
Revelation 2:12–17 (ESV)
12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.
13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’”

Hymn: “The Communion Hymn”
Words and music: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Stuart Townend.

Behold the Lamb who bears our sins away, slain for us, and we remember
the promise made that all who come in faith find forgiveness at the cross.
So we share in this bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice
as a sign of our bonds of peace around the table of the King.

The body of our Savior Jesus Christ, torn for you, eat and remember
the wounds that heal, the death that brings us life paid the price to make us one.
So we share in this bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice
as a sign of our bonds of love around the table of the King.

The blood that cleanses every stain of sin, shed for you, drink and remember
He drained death’s cup that all may enter in to receive the life of God.
So we share in this bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice
as a sign of our bonds of grace around the table of the King.

And so with thankfulness and faith we rise to respond, and to remember
our call to follow in the steps of Christ as His body here on earth.
As we share in His suffering we proclaim Christ will come again!
And we’ll join in the feast of heaven around the table of the King.

The Lord’s Supper

Hymn: “I’d Rather Have Jesus”
Words: Rhea F. Miller. Music: George Beverly Shea

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand

Than to be the king of a vast domain
or be held in sin’s dread sway.
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
this world affords today.

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy name

Than to be the king of a vast domain
or be held in sin’s dread sway.
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
this world affords today.

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead

Than to be the king of a vast domain
or be held in sin’s dread sway.
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
this world affords today.

Benediction

Revelation 22:20–21 (ESV)
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

 

January 31, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, January 31, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”
Words and music by Martin Luther

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
and He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God has willed His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
one little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
the body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still:
His kingdom is forever.

Hymn: “Abide with Me”
Words by Henry Lyte, music by Wiliam Henry Monk

Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day.
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me!

I need Thy presence ev’ry passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through clouds and sunshine, oh, abide with me!

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still if Thou abide with me!

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies.
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee!
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

Hymn: “Oh, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus”
Words: Samuel Trevor Francis. Music: Bob Kauflin.

Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free.
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me.
Underneath me, all around me is the current of Your love.
Leading onward, leading homeward to Your glorious rest above!

Oh, the deep, deep love, all I need and trust
is the deep, deep love of Jesus.

Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore.
How He came to pay our ransom through the saving cross He bore:

How He watches o’er His loved ones, those He died to make His own:
How for them He’s interceding, pleading now before the throne!

Oh, the deep, deep love, all I need and trust
is the deep, deep love of Jesus.

Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus, far surpassing all the rest.
t’s an ocean full of blessing in the midst of every test.
Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus, mighty Savior, precious Friend:
You will bring us home to glory where Your love will never end.

Oh, the deep, deep love, all I need and trust
is the deep, deep love of Jesus.

Time of Prayer

Sermon: “Be Faithful unto Death”
Revelation 2:8–11 (ESV)
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.
“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’”

Hymn: “In Christ Alone”
Words and music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace when fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My Comforter, my All in All; here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh; fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness scorned by the ones He came to save;
’til on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied;
for every sin on Him was laid; here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay; Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then, bursting forth in glorious Day, up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
for I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand;
’til He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand!

Benediction
Revelation 22:20–21 (ESV)
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

 

The Love You Had at First (Revelation 2:1-7)

Jesus tells the church that having good theology and avoiding evil is not enough. Jesus also wants our love: love for God and love for neighbors. Brian Watson preached this message on January 24, 2021.

January 24, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, January 24, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
Words by Robert Robinson; music: traditional American melody

Come, Thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;

Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of Thy redeeming love.
Hither to Thy love has blest me; Thou has brought me to this place;
And I know Thy hand will bring me safely home by Thy good grace.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God,
He, to rescue me from danger, bought me with His precious blood.

Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face,
Clothed then in the blood-washed linen how I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace.
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, take my ransomed soul away;
Send Thine angels now to carry me to realms of endless day.

Hymn: “My Savior’s Love”
Word and music by Charles H. Gabriel

I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus, the Nazarene,
and wonder how He could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean.

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!

For me it was in the garden He prayed: “Not My will, but Thine.”
He had no tears for His own griefs, but sweat drops of blood for mine.

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!

In pity angels beheld Him, and came from the world of light
to comfort Him in the sorrows He bore for my soul that night.

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!

He took my sins and my sorrows, He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calv’ry, and suffered and died alone.

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!

When with the ransomed in glory His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages to sing of His love for me.

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!

Hymn: “Oh, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus”
Words: Samuel Trevor Francis. Music: Bob Kauflin.

Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free.
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me.
Underneath me, all around me is the current of Your love.
Leading onward, leading homeward to Your glorious rest above!

Oh, the deep, deep love, all I need and trust
is the deep, deep love of Jesus.

Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore.
How He came to pay our ransom through the saving cross He bore:

How He watches o’er His loved ones, those He died to make His own:
How for them He’s interceding, pleading now before the throne!

Oh, the deep, deep love, all I need and trust
is the deep, deep love of Jesus.

Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus, far surpassing all the rest.
It’s an ocean full of blessing in the midst of every test.
Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus, mighty Savior, precious Friend:
You will bring us home to glory where Your love will never end.

Oh, the deep, deep love, all I need and trust
is the deep, deep love of Jesus.

Time of Prayer
1 Timothy 2:1–6 (ESV)

1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

Sermon: “The Love You Had at First”
Revelation 2:1–7 (ESV)

1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

“ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

Song: “Never Cease to Praise”
Words and music by Jeff Bourque

May we run this race, may we keep the faith,
may our eyes be fixed on Jesus,
that we’ll not lose heart in our struggle with sin,
and through suffering know endurance.

May we arm ourselves with the mind of Christ
to rejoice in trials and be not surprised.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

May our company be the saints You’ve called,
may we all stand firm in one spirit,
that the gospel’s truth may resound on earth,
that all living things may hear it.

May the fruits of faith mark the path we trod
through the life of Christ to the glory of God.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

May the words we share be Your grace and peace.
May our tongues speak Your proclamations
that the many parts of the body of Christ
be affirmed in their right relation.

As we long and wait for the groom to come,
may we learn to love, and spur each other on.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

When that day arrives, and our race is won,
when our griefs give way to deliverance,
we will fully know, as we’re fully known,
all our groans will end as new songs begin.

And a multitude from every tribe and tongue,
wearing robes of white, will stand before Your throne,
And our hearts will be so consumed by You
that we’ll never cease to praise!

May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

Benediction
Revelation 22:20–21 (ESV)
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

 

Fear Not (Revelation 1:9-20)

Jesus tells his people not to fear, because he is with them, he was killed and rose from the grave, and because he is in control. Brian Watson preached this sermon on Revelation 1:9-20 on January 10, 2021.

January 17, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, January 17, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “By Faith”
Words and music by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Stuart Townend

By faith we see the hand of God
in the light of creation’s grand design,
in the lives of those who prove His faithfulness,
who walk by faith and not by sight

We will stand as children of the promise;
we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done.
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith our fathers roamed the earth,
with the power of His promise in their hearts,
of a holy city built by God’s own hand,
a place where peace and justice reign.

We will stand as children of the promise;
we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done.
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith the prophets saw a day
when the longed-for Messiah would appear,
with the power to break the chains of sin and death,
and rise triumphant from the grave.

We will stand as children of the promise;
we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done.
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith the church was called to go
in the power of the Spirit to the lost.
To deliver captives and to preach good news
in every corner of the earth.

We will stand as children of the promise;
we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done.
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith this mountain shall be moved,
and the power of the gospel shall prevail;
for we know in Christ all things are possible
for all who call upon His name.

We will stand as children of the promise;
we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done.
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

Hymn: “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus”
Words: Aurelius C. Prudentius. Music: Plainsong, 13th Century.

Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me,
underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love;
Leading onward, leading homeward to my glorious rest above.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore;
how He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best;
’tis an ocean vast of blessing, ’tis a haven sweet of rest.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
and it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee.

Hymn: “He Will Hold Me Fast”
Words: Ada Habershon, Matt Merker. Music: Matt Merker.

When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast;
when the tempter would prevail, He will hold me fast.
I could never keep my hold through life’s fearful path;
for my love is often cold; He must hold me fast.

He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast;
For my Savior loves me so, He will hold me fast.

Those He saves are His delight, Christ will hold me fast;
precious in His holy sight, He will hold me fast.
He’ll not let my soul be lost; His promises shall last;
Bought by Him at such a cost, He will hold me fast.

He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast;
For my Savior loves me so, He will hold me fast.

For my life He bled and died, Christ will hold me fast;
Justice has been satisfied; He will hold me fast,
Raised with Him to endless life, He will hold me fast
’till our faith is turned to sight, when He comes at last!

He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast;
For my Savior loves me so, He will hold me fast.

Time of Prayer

Sermon: “Our Glorious Future”
2 Corinthians 5:1–10 (ESV)

1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

Hymn: “It Is Well with My Soul”
Words: Horatio G. Spafford. Music: Philip P. Bliss.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control,
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and has shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought:
My sin, not in part but the whole
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,
“Even so,” it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

Benediction
2 Corinthians 13:14 (ESV)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

January 10, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, January 10, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “The Church’s One Foundation”
Words: Samuel J. Stone. Music: Samuel S. Wesley.

The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
she is his new creation, by Spirit and the Word;
From heaven He came and sought her to be His holy bride;
with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died.

Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth,
her charter of salvation: one Lord, one faith, one birth;
one holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses, with every grace endued.

’Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation of peace forevermore;
till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we,
like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with Thee.

Hymn: “See, He Comes”
Words: Charles Wesley. Music: Zach Sprowls and Rich Gunderlock.

See, He comes upon the clouds, Jesus Christ, our King appears.
All the saints bought by His blood  will rise to meet Him in the air.
Earth and sea shall flee away, all creation waits and groans,
for the Lord Redeemer comes to take His longing exiles home.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, come, O Lord, on earth to reign.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, we await the coming day.

Those who mocked and scorned His name, pierced and nailed Him to the tree,
deeply wail, in sorrow grieve, when they the true Messiah see.
Ev’ry eye will see the Lord dressed in dreadful majesty;
ev’ry knee shall bow before the Judge of all eternity.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, come, O Lord, on earth to reign.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, we await the coming day.

Still He bears the holy scars: evidence of saving grace.
All the saints bought by His blood shall then rejoice to see His face.
Yes, amen, let all adore Christ on His eternal throne.
All the pow’r and might are Yours, come, claim the kingdom as Your own.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, come, O Lord, on earth to reign.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, we await the coming day.

Hymn: “In Christ Alone”
Words and music: Keith Getty and Stuart Townend.

In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace when fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My Comforter, my All in All; here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh; fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness scorned by the ones He came to save;
’til on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied;
for every sin on Him was laid; here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay; Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then, bursting forth in glorious Day, up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
for I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand;
’til He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand!

Time of Prayer

Sermon: “Fear Not”
Revelation 1:9–20 (ESV)
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Hymn: “How Firm a Foundation”
Words from John Rippon’s Selection of Hymns. Music from Joseph Funk’s Genuine Church Music.

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply;
the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

“The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no never forsake!”

Benediction

Revelation 22:20–21 (ESV)
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

 

The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1-8)

The book of Revelation has long fascinated people. The best way to understand this book is to pay careful attention to the introduction. Brian Watson begins this sermon series by preaching on Revelation 1:1-8. This sermon was preached on January 3, 2021.

January 3, 2021

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, January 3, 2021

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “All Glory Be to Christ”
Words: Dustin Kensrue. Music: Traditional Scottish tune (“Auld Lang Syne”).

Should nothing of our efforts stand, no legacy survive;
unless the Lord does raise the house, in vain its builders strive.

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain, tell me what is your life?
A mist that vanishes at dawn, all glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our King! All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing, all glory be to Christ!

His will be done, His kingdom come, on earth as is above;
Who is Himself our daily bread, praise Him the Lord of love.

Let living water satisfy the thirsty without price,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, all glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our King! All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing, all glory be to Christ!

When on the day the great I Am, the Faithful and the True,
the Lamb who was for sinners slain, is making all things new.

Behold our God shall live with us and be our steadfast light,
and we shall e’er His people be, all glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our King! All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing, all glory be to Christ!

Hymn: “See, He Comes”
Words: Charles Wesley. Music: Zach Sprowls and Rich Gunderlock.

See, He comes upon the clouds, Jesus Christ, our King appears.
All the saints bought by His blood  will rise to meet Him in the air.
Earth and sea shall flee away, all creation waits and groans,
for the Lord Redeemer comes to take His longing exiles home.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, come, O Lord, on earth to reign.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, we await the coming day.

Those who mocked and scorned His name, pierced and nailed Him to the tree,
deeply wail, in sorrow grieve, when they the true Messiah see.
Ev’ry eye will see the Lord dressed in dreadful majesty;
ev’ry knee shall bow before the Judge of all eternity.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, come, O Lord, on earth to reign.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, we await the coming day.

Still He bears the holy scars: evidence of saving grace.
All the saints bought by His blood shall then rejoice to see His face.
Yes, amen, let all adore Christ on His eternal throne.
All the pow’r and might are Yours, come, claim the kingdom as Your own.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, come, O Lord, on earth to reign.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, we await the coming day.

Sermon: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”
Revelation 1:1–8 (ESV)

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Hymn: “The Communion Hymn”
Words and music by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Stuart Townend

Behold the Lamb who bears our sins away, slain for us, and we remember
the promise made that all who come in faith find forgiveness at the cross.
So we share in this bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice
as a sign of our bonds of peace around the table of the King.

The body of our Saviour Jesus Christ, torn for you, eat and remember
the wounds that heal, the death that brings us life paid the price to make us one.
So we share in this bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice
as a sign of our bonds of love around the table of the King.

The blood that cleanses every stain of sin, shed for you, drink and remember
He drained death’s cup that all may enter in to receive the life of God.
So we share in this bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice
as a sign of our bonds of grace around the table of the King.

And so with thankfulness and faith we rise to respond, and to remember
our call to follow in the steps of Christ as His body here on earth.
As we share in His suffering we proclaim Christ will come again!
And we’ll join in the feast of heaven around the table of the King.\

The Lord’s Supper

Hymn: “Crown Him with Many Crowns”
Words: Matthew Bridges and Godfrey Thring. Music: George J. Elvey.

Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne;
Hark! how the heav’nly anthem drowns all music but its own;
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
and hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.

Crown Him the Son of God, before the worlds began,
and ye who tread where He hath trod, crown Him the Son of Man;
who ev’ry grief hath known that wrings the human breast,
and takes and bears them for His own, that all in Him may rest.

Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side,
those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
but downward bends His wond’ring eye at mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed o’er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.
His glories now we sing, who died, and rose on high,
who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.

Crown Him the Lord of lords, who over all doth reign,
who once on earth, th’incarnate Word, for ransomed sinners slain,
now lives in realms of light, where saints with angels sing
their songs before Him day and night, their God, Redeemer, King.

Benediction
Revelation 22:20–21 (ESV)
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

 

Worship the King

After Jesus was born, wise men came from the east to honor the newborn King with gifts. These men teach us how to respond to Jesus. Pastor Brian Watson preached this sermon on December 24. 2020. (The audio got cut off at the end, which is why the message ends abruptly.)

December 27, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, December 27, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Go, Tell It on the Mountain”
Words: John W. Work Jr. Music: Spiritual, harmonized by John W. Work III.

Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching o’er silent flocks by night,
behold throughout the heavens there shone a holy light

Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.

The shepherds feared and trembled when lo! above the earth
rang out the angel chorus that hailed our Savior’s birth.

Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.

Down in a lowly manger the humble Christ was born,
and God sent us salvation that blessed Christmas morn.

Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.

Hymn: “Angels, from the Realms of Glory”
Words: James Montgomery. Music: Henry T. Smart.

Angels, from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth;
ye who sang creation’s story now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Shepherds, in the fields abiding, watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with man is now residing; yonder shines the infant Light:
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Sages, leave your contemplations, brighter visions beam afar;
seek the great Desire of nations; ye have seen the Infant’s star:
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Though an Infant now we view Him, He shall fill His Father’s throne;
gather all the nations to Him; ev’ry knee shall then bow down:
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Time of Prayer
Matthew 6:7–13 (ESV)

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10  Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11  Give us this day our daily bread,
12  and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13  And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
[For yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.]

Hymn: “It Came upon the Midnight Clear”
Words: Edmund H. Sears. Music: Richard S. Willis.

It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth, to touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men from heavens all gracious King!”
The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife the world has suffered long,
beneath the angel strain have rolled two thousand years of wrong;
and man, at war with man, hears not the love song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing!

All ye, beneath life’s crushing load, whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing:
O rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on, by prophets seen of old,
when with the ever-circling years comes round the age of gold;
When peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song which now the angels sing.

Sermon: “Flee”
Matthew 2:13–23 (ESV)

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

18  “A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Hymn: “Fullness of Grace”
Words and music: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Stuart Townend.

Fullness of Grace in man’s human frailty; this is the wonder of Jesus.
Laying aside His power and glory, humbly He entered our world.
Chose the path of meanest worth; scandal of a virgin birth.
Born in a stable, cold and rejected: here lies the hope of the world.

Fullness of grace, the love of the Father shown in the face of Jesus.
Stooping to bear the weight of humanity, walking the Calvary road.
Christ the holy innocent took our sin and punishment.
Fullness of God, despised and rejected: crushed for the sins of the world.

Fullness of hope in Christ we had longed for, promise of God in Jesus.
Through His obedience we are forgiven, opening the floodgates of heav’n.
All our hopes and dreams we bring gladly as an offering.
Fullness of life and joy unspeakable: God’s gift in love to the world.

Benediction
Romans 15:13 (ESV)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

 

December 24, 2020

Here is the worship guide for our Christmas Eve service.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 5:00 p.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “The First Noel”
Words: Traditional English Carol. Music: Traditional English Carol.

The First Noel the Angel did say,
was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
in fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel!

They looked up and saw a star
shining in the East beyond them far;
and to the earth it gave great light,
and so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel!

And by the light of that same star
the wise men came from country far;
to seek for a King was their intent,
and to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel!

Then let us all with one accord
sing praises to our heavenly Lord
Who hath made Heaven and earth of naught,
and with his blood mankind hath bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel!

Scripture Reading and Prayer
Isaiah 42:1–9 (ESV)

Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.

Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.”

Hymn: “What Child Is This?”
Words: William C. Dix. Music: Traditional English Melody.

What Child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ, the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why lies He in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here the silent Word is pleading.

This, this is Christ, the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh, come, peasant, king to own Him.
The King of kings salvation brings; let loving hearts enthrone Him.

This, this is Christ, the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

Hymn: “Exult in the Savior’s Birth”
Words and music: Matt Boswell and D. A. Carson.

Shepherds watched their flocks at night, attending lowly sheep.
Now within a cattle shed, a much stranger watch they keep.

Today, a Savior has been born and He is Christ, the Lord.
Placed within a humble trough, this baby must be adored.

Pagan wise men from the East seek out the infant King.
Trackless miles behind them lie and now all their rev’rence bring.

They have come to worship Him with spices and with gold.
Countless millions seek Him still, whose advent was long foretold.

For to us a child is born, to us a Son is giv’n.
He shall reign in righteousness, this Counselor King from heav’n.

The government will rest on Him, He is the mighty God.
Prince of Peace, this gentle King, yet rules with a mighty rod.

Scriptures say that Mary’s boy was born that He might die.
Angel voices burst in praise, their harmony fills the sky.

Sing, “Glory in the highest heav’n!” Sing, “Gracious peace on earth!”
Those on whom His favor rests exult in the Savior’s birth.

Sermon: “Worship the King”
Matthew 2:1–12 (ESV)

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Hymn: “We Three Kings of Orient Are”
Words and music: John Henry Hopkins, Jr.

We three kings of Orient are: bearing gifts we traverse afar—
field and fountain, moor and mountain—following yonder star.

Oh, star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain: gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never over us all to reign.

Oh, star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

Frankincense to offer have I, incense owns a Deity nigh;
prayer and praising, all men raising, worship Him, God on high.

Oh, star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume breathes of life of gathering gloom—
sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

Oh, star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

Glorious now behold Him arise: King and God and Sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia! Earth to heav’n replies.

Oh, star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

Hymn: “Silent Night, Holy Night”
Words: Joseph Mayr. Music: Franz Gruber.

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright
round yon virgin mother and Child! Holy Infant so tender and mild,
sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night, shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing: “Alleluia!”.
Christ, the Savior is born, Christ, the Savior is born

Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Benediction

May God grant you the grace to be like the wise men, making every effort to worship King Jesus. May Jesus, the Prince of Peace, grant you peace as you come to him.
May the Holy Spirit fill your heart with the love of God.
Merry Christmas. Go in peace.

 

December 20, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, December 20, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “O Come, All Ye Faithful”
Words: Latin Hymn, ascribed to John Francis Wade. Music: John Francis Wade.

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant;
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels!

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

God of God, Light of Light eternal,
lo, he abhors not the virgin’s womb;
very God, begotten, not created;

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;
O sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest!

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv’n;
Word of the Father, now in the flesh appearing!

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

Hymn: “Once in Royal David’s City”
Words: Cecil F. Alexander. Music: Henry J. Gauntlett.

Once in royal David’s city stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her Baby, in a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild, Jesus Christ, her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven, Who is God and Lord of all,
and His shelter was a stable, and His cradle was a stall:
with the poor, and mean, and lowly, lived on earth our Savior holy.

Jesus is our childhood’s pattern; day by day like us He grew;
He was little, weak, and helpless, tears and smiles like us He knew;
and He feeleth for our sadness, and He shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see Him, through His own redeeming love;
for that Child so dear and gentle, is our Lord in heaven above:
and He leads His children on to the place where He is gone.

Time of Prayer
Isaiah 43:1–7 (ESV)

1 But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you.
I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”

Hymn: “Joy Has Dawned”
Words and music: Keith Getty and Stuart Townend.

Joy has dawned upon the world, promised from creation—
God’s salvation now unfurled, hope for ev’ry nation.
Not with fanfares from above. not with scenes of glory,
but a humble gift of love—Jesus born of Mary.

Sounds of wonder fill the sky with the songs of angels
as the mighty Prince of life shelters in a stable.
Hands that set each star in place, shaped the earth in darkness,
cling now to a mother’s breast, vuln’rable and helpless.

Shepherds bow before the Lamb, gazing at the glory;
gifts of men from distant lands prophesy the story.
Gold—a King is born today, incense—God is with us,
Myrrh—His death will make a way. and by His blood He’ll win us.

Son of Adam, Son of heaven, given as a ransom;
reconciling God and man; Christ, our mighty champion!
What a Savior! What a Friend! What a glorious myst’ry!
Once a babe in Bethlehem, now the Lord of hist’ry.

Sermon: “God with Us”
Matthew 1:18–25 (ESV)

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23  “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Hymn: “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing”
Words: Charles Wesley. Music: Felix Mendelssohn.

Hark the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King;
peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies;
with the angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav’n adored; Christ, the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come, offspring of the Virgin’s womb:
veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail the incarnate Deity,
pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail, the heav’n-born Prince of Peace! Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die,
born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Benediction
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (ESV)

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

 

December 13, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, December 13, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”
Words: Aurelius Prudentius. Music: 13th century plainsong.

Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending He,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven adore Him; angel hosts, His praises sing;
powers, dominions, bow before Him, and extol our God and King!
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
every voice in concert sing, evermore and evermore!

Christ, to Thee with God the Father, and, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
hymn and chant and high thanksgiving, and unwearied praises be:
honor, glory, and dominion,
and eternal victory, evermore and evermore!

Hymn: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
Words: Latin hymn, translated by John Mason Neale and Henry Sloane Coffin; music: Plainsong

O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
from depths of hell Thy people save, and give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O Come, Desire of nations, bind all peoples in one heart and mind.
Bid envy, strife, and quarrels cease; fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

Time of Prayer
Zephaniah 3:14–20 (ESV)

14  Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15  The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
16  On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
17  The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
18  I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
19  Behold, at that time I will deal
with all your oppressors.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
20  At that time I will bring you in,
at the time when I gather you together;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes,” says the Lord.

Hymn: “Good Christian Men, Rejoice”
Words: Medieval Latin carol. Music: Traditional German carol.

Good Christian men rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Give ye heed to what we say: Jesus Christ is born today!
Man and beast before Him bow and He is in the manger now:
Christ is born today, Christ is born today!

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Now ye hear of endless bliss: Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has opened heaven’s door, and man is blessed evermore.
Christ was born for this, Christ was born for this!

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Now ye need not fear the grave: Jesus Christ was born to save
Calls you one and calls you all to gain His everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save, Christ was born to save!

Sermon: “The Son of David, the Son of Abraham”
Matthew 1:1–18 (ESV)

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

We’ll also look at Genesis 12:1–3; 2 Samuel 7:8–13; Isaiah 9:6–7; 11:1­–5. For more about Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba (“the wife of Uriah”), see Genesis 38, Joshua 2, Ruth, and 2 Samuel 11–12.

Hymn: “Come, Behold the Wondrous Mystery”
Words and music by Matt Papa, Matt Boswell, and Michael Bleecker

Come behold the wondrous mystery, in the dawning of the King;
He the theme of heaven’s praises, robed in frail humanity.
In our longing, in our darkness, now the light of life has come;
look to Christ, who condescended, took on flesh to ransom us.

Come behold the wondrous mystery, He the perfect Son of Man;
in His living, in His suffering never trace nor stain of sin.
See the true and better Adam, come to save the hell-bound man;
Christ, the great and sure fulfillment of the law; in Him we stand.

Come behold the wondrous mystery, Christ the Lord upon the tree,
in the stead of ruined sinners, hangs the Lamb in victory.
See the price of our redemption, see the Father’s plan unfold;
bringing many sons to glory, grace unmeasured, love untold.

Come behold the wondrous mystery, slain by death the God of life;
but no grave could e’er restrain Him, praise the Lord, He is alive!
What a foretaste of deliverance, how unwavering our hope;
Christ in power resurrected, as we will be when he comes.

Benediction
2 Corinthians 13:14 (ESV)

14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

November 29, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, November 29, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul”
Words by Anne Steele, music by Matt Merker

Dear refuge of my weary soul, on Thee, when sorrows rise,
on Thee, when waves of trouble roll, my fainting hope relies.
To Thee I tell each rising grief, for Thou alone canst heal;
Thy Word can bring a sweet relief for every pain I feel.

But oh! when gloomy doubts prevail, I fear to call Thee mine.
The springs of comfort seem to fail, and all my hopes decline.
Yet, gracious God, where shall I flee? Thou art my only trust;
and still my soul would cleave to Thee though prostrate in the dust

Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face, and shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace, be deaf when I complain?
No, still the ear of sovereign grace, attends the mourner’s prayer;
Oh, may I ever find access to breathe my sorrows there.

Thy mercy seat is open still, there let my soul retreat;
with humble hope attend Thy will, and wait beneath Thy feet.
Thy mercy seat is open still, here let my soul retreat;
with humble hope attend Thy will, and wait beneath Thy feet.

Hymn: “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”
Words by Charles Wesley, music by Rowland H. Prichard

Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth Thou art;
dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever, now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
by Thine all sufficient merit, raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Time of Prayer

Isaiah 40:1–11 (ESV)

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
10  Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11  He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

Hymn: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
Words: Latin hymn, translated by John Mason Neale and Henry Sloane Coffin; music: Plainsong

O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
from depths of hell Thy people save, and give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O Come, Desire of nations, bind all peoples in one heart and mind.
Bid envy, strife, and quarrels cease; fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

Sermon: “Living on a Prayer”
Psalm 4 (ESV) A Psalm of David.

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.

Be angry, and do not sin;
ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.

There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Hymn: “Before the Throne Above”
Words by Vikki Cook and Charitie Lees Bancroft, music by Vikki Cook

Before the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea:
a great High Priest whose name is Love, who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands, my name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heav’n He stands, no tongue can bid me thence depart,
no tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within,
upward I look and see Him there, who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Saviour died my sinful soul is counted free,
for God the Just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me,
to look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb, my perfect spotless righteousness,
the great unchangeable “I Am,” the King of glory and of grace.
One with Himself, I cannot die; my soul is purchased with His blood.
My life is hid with Christ on high, with Christ, my Savior and my God,
with Christ, my Savior and my God.

Benediction
Numbers 6:24–26 (ESV)

24  The Lord bless you and keep you;
25  the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26  the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

 

November 22, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, November 22, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “In Christ Alone”

Words and music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

 

In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace when fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My Comforter, my All in All; here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh; fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness scorned by the ones He came to save;
’til on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied;
for every sin on Him was laid; here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay; Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then, bursting forth in glorious Day, up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
for I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand;
’til He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand!

Hymn: “Abide with Me”

Words by Henry Lyte, music by Wiliam Henry Monk

Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day.
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me!

I need Thy presence ev’ry passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through clouds and sunshine, oh, abide with me!

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still if Thou abide with me!

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies.
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee!
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

Time of Prayer

1 Chronicles 16:8–36 (ESV)

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
10  Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
11  Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
12  Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
13  O offspring of Israel his servant,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

14  He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
15  Remember his covenant forever,
the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
16  the covenant that he made with Abraham,
his sworn promise to Isaac,
17  which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
18  saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan,
as your portion for an inheritance.”

19  When you were few in number,
of little account, and sojourners in it,
20  wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people,
21  he allowed no one to oppress them;
he rebuked kings on their account,
22  saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
do my prophets no harm!”
23  Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.

24  Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
25  For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be feared above all gods.
26  For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
27  Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his place.

28  Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
29  Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
30  tremble before him, all the earth;
yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
31  Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32  Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
33  Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
34  Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

35 Say also:

“Save us, O God of our salvation,
and gather and deliver us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.
36  Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!”

Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the Lord.

Hymn: “My Heart Is Filled with Thankfulness”

Words and music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

My heart is filled with thankfulness to Him who bore my pain,
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace and gave me life again,
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness and clothed me in His light,
And wrote His law of righteousness with pow’r upon my heart.

My heart is filled with thankfulness to Him who walks beside,
Who floods my weaknesses and strengths and causes fears to fly,
Whose ev’ry promise is enough for ev’ry step I take,
Sustaining me with arms of love and crowning me with grace.

My heart is filled with thankfulness to him who reigns above,
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace, whose ev’ry thought is love.
For ev’ry day I have on earth is given by the King;
So I will give my life, my all, to love and follow him.

Sermon: “Life and Death”

Proverbs 14:12 (ESV)

There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.

Proverbs 16:25 (ESV)

There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.

Proverbs 15:24 (ESV)

The path of life leads upward for the prudent,

that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.

Proverbs 16:17 (ESV)

The highway of the upright turns aside from evil;
whoever guards his way preserves his life.

Proverbs 21:16 (ESV)

One who wanders from the way of good sense
will rest in the assembly of the dead.

Proverbs 22:5 (ESV)

Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;

whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.

Proverbs 28:18 (ESV)

Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,
but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.

Proverbs 10:2 (ESV)

Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.

Proverbs 11:4 (ESV)

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.

Proverbs 21:6 (ESV)

The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.

Proverbs 11:30 (ESV)

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and whoever captures souls is wise.

Proverbs 15:4 (ESV)

A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 18:21 (ESV)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Proverbs 14:27 (ESV)

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from the snares of death.

Proverbs 15:10 (ESV)

There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way;
whoever hates reproof will die.

Proverbs 19:16 (ESV)

Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life;
he who despises his ways will die.

Proverbs 20:9 (ESV)

Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;

I am clean from my sin”?

Proverbs 15:11 (ESV)

Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord;
how much more the hearts of the children of man!

Proverbs 21:21 (ESV)

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
will find life, righteousness, and honor.

Hymn: “There Is a Fountain”

Words by William Cowper, music: early American melody

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in His day;
and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away:
wash all my sins away, wash all my sins away;
and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die:
and shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue lies silent in the grave,
then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Your pow’r to save:
I’ll sing Your pow’r to save, I’ll sing Your pow’r to save;
then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Your pow’r to save.

Benediction

1 Kings 8:56–61 (ESV)

56 “Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant. 57 The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us, 58 that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers. 59 Let these words of mine, with which I have pleaded before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires, 60 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other. 61 Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the Lord our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.”

 

November 15, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, November 15, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”

Words by Thomas O. Chisholm, music by William M. Runyan

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
there is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;
as Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed, Thy hand hath provided;
great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed, Thy hand hath provided;
great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed, Thy hand hath provided;
great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Hymn: “By Faith”

Words and music by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Stuart Townend

By faith we see the hand of God in the light of creation’s grand design.
In the lives of those who prove His faithfulness, who walk by faith and not by sight

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith our fathers roamed the earth, with the power of His promise in their hearts,
of a holy city built by God’s own hand, a place where peace and justice reign.

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith the prophets saw a day when the longed-for Messiah would appear,
with the power to break the chains of sin and death, and rise triumphant from the grave.

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith the church was called to go in the power of the Spirit to the lost.
To deliver captives and to preach good news in every corner of the earth.

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

By faith this mountain shall be moved, and the power of the gospel shall prevail;
for we know in Christ all things are possible for all who call upon His name.

We will stand as children of the promise; we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward;
till the race is finished and the work is done. We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.

Time of Prayer

1 Samuel 2:1–10 (ESV)

1 And Hannah prayed and said,

“My heart exults in the Lord;
my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.

“There is none holy like the Lord:
for there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.
Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble bind on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low and he exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
and on them he has set the world.

“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
for not by might shall a man prevail.
10  The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
against them he will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

Sermon: “Believe and Keep on Believing”

Hebrews 3:12–4:2 (ESV)

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.

Hymn: “Come to Me”

Verses by Lizzie Akers, refrain by Village Church, music by Michael Bleecker, Jeff Capps, and Hunter Pecunia

Weary, burdened wand’rer, there is rest for thee.
at the feet of Jesus, in His love so free.

There is freedom, taste and see. Hear the call, “Come to Me.”
Run into His arms of grace, your burden carried, He will take.

Listen to His message, words of life, forever blessed.
“O thou heavy laden, come to Me, come and rest.”

There is freedom, taste and see. Hear the call, “Come to Me.”
Run into His arms of grace, your burden carried, He will take.

Bring Him all thy burdens, all thy guilt and sin.
Mercy’s door is open, rise up and enter in.

There is freedom, taste and see. Hear the call, “Come to Me.”
Run into His arms of grace, your burden carried, He will take.

Jesus there is waiting, patiently for thee,
Hear Him gently calling, “Come, O come to Me.”

There is freedom, taste and see. Hear the call, “Come to Me.”
Run into His arms of grace, your burden carried, He will take.

Hymn: “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand”

Words by Samuel Stennett. The music is an American folk hymn.

On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand and cast a wishful eye
to Canaan’s fair and happy land, where my possessions lie.

I am bound for promised land, I am bound for promised land;
O who will come and go with me? I am bound for the promised land.

All o’er those wide-extended plains shines one eternal day;
there God the Son forever reigns and scatters night away.

I am bound for promised land, I am bound for promised land;
O who will come and go with me? I am bound for the promised land.

No chilling winds nor poisonous breath can reach that healthful shore;
sickness and sorrow, pain and death are felt and feared no more.

I am bound for promised land, I am bound for promised land;
O who will come and go with me? I am bound for the promised land.

When shall I reach that happy place and be forever blest?
When shall I see my Father’s face and in His bosom rest?

I am bound for promised land, I am bound for promised land;
O who will come and go with me? I am bound for the promised land.

Benediction

Hebrews 13:20–21 (ESV)

20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

 

November 1, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, November 1, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Song: “O Great God”

Words and music by Bob Kauflin

O great God of highest heaven, occupy my lowly heart.
Own it all and reign supreme, conquer every rebel power.
Let no vice or sin remain that resists Your holy war.
You have loved and purchased me, make me Yours forevermore.

I was blinded by my sin, had no ears to hear Your voice.
Did not know Your love within, had no taste for heaven’s joys.
Then Your Spirit gave me life, opened up Your Word to me,
through the gospel of Your Son, gave me endless hope and peace.

Help me now to live a life that’s dependent on Your grace.
Keep my heart and guard my soul from the evils that I face.
You are worthy to be praised with my every thought and deed.
O great God of highest heaven, glorify Your Name through me.

You are worthy to be praised with my every thought and deed.
O great God of highest heaven, glorify Your Name through me.

Hymn: “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”

Original words by William Cowper, refrain and music by K. Jason French

God moves in a mysterious way! His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mine of never-failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs and works His sov’reign will.

God of mercy! God of grace! Give us eyes to see!
Eyes to see Your smiling within the mystery,
within the mystery!

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take! The clouds ye so much dread
are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head!

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace;
behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face!

God of mercy! God of grace! Give us eyes to see!
Eyes to see Your smiling within the mystery,
within the mystery!

His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour,
the bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flow’r!

Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter and He will make it plain!

God of mercy! God of grace! Give us eyes to see!
Eyes to see Your smiling within the mystery,
within the mystery!

Sermon: “Our Plans, God’s Purposes”

Here are the verses from Proverbs about God’s sovereignty:

Proverbs 16:1–4 (ESV)

The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.

Proverbs 16:33 (ESV)

The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the Lord.

Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Proverbs 20:24 (ESV)

A man’s steps are from the Lord;
how then can man understand his way?

Proverbs 21:1 (ESV)

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will.

Proverbs 21:2 (ESV)

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the heart.

Proverbs 21:30 (ESV)

No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
can avail against the Lord.

Proverbs 21:31 (ESV)

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord.

Acts 2:22–24 (ESV)

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

Acts 4:23–28 (ESV)

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
26  The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

Hymn: “Communion Hymn”

Words and music by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Stuart Townend

Behold the Lamb who bears our sins away, slain for us, and we remember
the promise made that all who come in faith find forgiveness at the cross.
So we share in this bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice
as a sign of our bonds of peace around the table of the King.

The body of our Saviour Jesus Christ, torn for you, eat and remember
the wounds that heal, the death that brings us life paid the price to make us one.
So we share in this bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice
as a sign of our bonds of love around the table of the King.

The blood that cleanses every stain of sin, shed for you, drink and remember
He drained death’s cup that all may enter in to receive the life of God.
So we share in this bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice
as a sign of our bonds of grace around the table of the King.

And so with thankfulness and faith we rise to respond, and to remember
our call to follow in the steps of Christ as His body here on earth.
As we share in His suffering we proclaim Christ will come again!
And we’ll join in the feast of heaven around the table of the King.

The Lord’s Supper

Hymn: “There Is a Fountain”

Words by William Cowper, music: early American melody

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in His day;
and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away:
wash all my sins away, wash all my sins away;
and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die:
and shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue lies silent in the grave,
then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Your pow’r to save:
I’ll sing Your pow’r to save, I’ll sing Your pow’r to save;
then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Your pow’r to save.

Benediction
Numbers 6:24–26 (ESV)

24  The Lord bless you and keep you;
25  the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26  the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

 

The Fear of the Lord

Those who know God fear him. That’s a strange idea, but when we understand who God is, we should have a healthy respect for him. The book of Proverbs often speaks of “the fear of the Lord.” Listen to find out why this matters so much. Brian Watson preached this sermon on October 25, 2020.

October 25, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, October 25, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Be Thou My Vision”

Traditional Irish melody; ancient Irish text translated by Mary E. Byrne, set to verse by Eleanor H. Hull

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord.
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always.
Thou, and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Hymn: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”

Words and music by Martin Luther

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
and He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God has willed His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
one little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
the body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still:
His kingdom is forever.

Scripture Reading and Prayer:

1 Thessalonians 3:6–13 (ESV)

But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you— for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?

11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Sermon: “The Fear of the Lord”

Here are the verses from Proverbs about fearing and trusting God:

Proverbs 14:26–27 (ESV)

26  In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge.
27  The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from the snares of death.

Proverbs 15:16 (ESV)

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
than great treasure and trouble with it.

Proverbs 15:33 (ESV)

The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,
and humility comes before honor.

Proverbs 16:6 (ESV)

By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.

Proverbs 16:20 (ESV)

Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good,

and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

Proverbs19:23 (ESV)

The fear of the Lord leads to life,
and whoever has it rests satisfied;
he will not be visited by harm.

Proverbs 22:4 (ESV)

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
is riches and honor and life.

Proverbs 23:17–18 (ESV)

17  Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.
18  Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.

Proverbs 24:21–22 (ESV)

21  My son, fear the Lord and the king,
and do not join with those who do otherwise,
22  for disaster will arise suddenly from them,
and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?

Proverbs 28:14 (ESV)

Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always,
but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

Proverbs 29:25 (ESV)

The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

Hymn: “Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul”

Words by Anne Steele, music by Matt Merker

Dear refuge of my weary soul, on Thee, when sorrows rise,
on Thee, when waves of trouble roll, my fainting hope relies.
To Thee I tell each rising grief, for Thou alone canst heal;
Thy Word can bring a sweet relief for every pain I feel.

But oh! when gloomy doubts prevail, I fear to call Thee mine.
The springs of comfort seem to fail, and all my hopes decline.
Yet, gracious God, where shall I flee? Thou art my only trust;
and still my soul would cleave to Thee though prostrate in the dust

Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face, and shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace, be deaf when I complain?
No, still the ear of sovereign grace, attends the mourner’s prayer;
Oh, may I ever find access to breathe my sorrows there.

Thy mercy seat is open still, there let my soul retreat;
with humble hope attend Thy will, and wait beneath Thy feet.
Thy mercy seat is open still, here let my soul retreat;
with humble hope attend Thy will, and wait beneath Thy feet.

Benediction
1 Thessalonians 5:23–24 (ESV)

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

 

October 18, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, October 18, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “In Christ Alone”
Words and music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace when fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My Comforter, my All in All; here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh; fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness scorned by the ones He came to save;
’til on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied;
for every sin on Him was laid; here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay; Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then, bursting forth in glorious Day, up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
for I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand;
’til He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand!

Song: “This Is Amazing Grace”
Words and music by Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle, and Josh Farro

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness,
whose love is mighty and so much stronger?
The King of glory, the King above all kings.

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
and leaves us breathless in awe and wonder?
The King of glory, the King above all kings.

This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love,
that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life that I would be set free.
Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.

Who brings our chaos back into order,
who makes the orphan a son and daughter?
The King of glory, the King of glory.

Who rules the nations with truth and justice,
shines like the sun in all of its brilliance?
The King of glory, the King above all kings.

This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love,
that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life that I would be set free.
Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy, worthy, worthy!

This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love,
that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life that I would be set free.
Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.

Scripture Reading and Prayer:
Ephesians 1:15–23 (ESV)

15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Sermon: “Justice”

Here are some of the Proverbs on justice:

Proverbs 16:11 (ESV)

 A just balance and scales are the Lord’s;
all the weights in the bag are his work.

Proverbs 17:13 (ESV)

If anyone returns evil for good,
evil will not depart from his house.

Proverbs 17:15 (ESV)

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous
are both alike an abomination to the Lord.

Proverbs 17:23 (ESV)

The wicked accepts a bribe in secret
to pervert the ways of justice.

Proverbs 17:26 (ESV)

To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good,
nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.

Proverbs 18:5 (ESV)

It is not good to be partial to the wicked
or to deprive the righteous of justice.

Proverbs 18:17 (ESV)

The one who states his case first seems right,
until the other comes and examines him.

Proverbs 19:5 (ESV)

A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who breathes out lies will not escape.

Proverbs 19:9 (ESV)

A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who breathes out lies will perish.

Proverbs 19:28 (ESV)

A worthless witness mocks at justice,
and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.

Proverbs 20:22 (ESV)

Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.

Proverbs 21:3 (ESV)

To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

Proverbs 21:7 (ESV)

The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.

Proverbs 21:13 (ESV)

Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself call out and not be answered.

Proverbs 21:15 (ESV)

When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.

Proverbs 22:8 (ESV)

Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of his fury will fail.

Proverbs 24:11–12 (ESV)

11  Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
12  If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?

Proverbs 24:23–25 (ESV)

23  These also are sayings of the wise.
Partiality in judging is not good.
24  Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
25  but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
and a good blessing will come upon them.

Proverbs 24:28–29 (ESV)

28  Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
and do not deceive with your lips.
29  Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;
I will pay the man back for what he has done.”

Proverbs 28:3 (ESV)

A poor man who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.

Hymn: “Compassion Hymn”

Words and music by Stuart Townend, Keith Getty, and Kristyn Getty

There is an everlasting kindness You lavished on us,
When the radiance of heaven came to rescue the lost.
You called the sheep without a shepherd to leave their distress
For Your streams of forgiveness and the shade of Your rest.

What boundless love, what fathomless grace
You have shown us, O God of compassion.
Each day we live an offering of praise
As we show to the world Your compassion.

And with compassion for the hurting You reached out Your hand
As the lame ran to meet You and the dead breathed again.
You saw behind the eyes of sorrow and shared in our tears;
Heard the sigh of the weary, let the children draw near.

What boundless love, what fathomless grace
You have shown us, O God of compassion.
Each day we live an offering of praise
As we show to the world Your compassion.

We stood beneath the cross of Calvary and gazed on Your face
At the thorns of oppression and the wounds of disgrace;
For surely You have borne our suffering and carried our grief,
As You pardoned the scoffer and showed grace to the thief.

What boundless love, what fathomless grace
You have shown us, O God of compassion.
Each day we live an offering of praise
As we show to the world Your compassion.

How beautiful the feet that carry this Gospel of peace
To the fields of injustice and the valleys of need.
To be a voice of hope and healing, to answer the cries
Of the hungry and helpless, with the mercy of Christ.

Benediction
Ephesians 3:20–21 (ESV)

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

 

October 11, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, October 11, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

Words by Robert Robinson; music: traditional American melody

Come, Thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of Thy redeeming love.

Hither to Thy love has blest me; Thou has brought me to this place;
And I know Thy hand will bring me safely home by Thy good grace.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God,
He, to rescue me from danger, bought me with His precious blood.

Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face,
Clothed then in the blood-washed linen how I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace.
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, take my ransomed soul away;
Send Thine angels now to carry me to realms of endless day.

Song: “Yet Not I but through Christ in Me”

Words and music by Jonny Robinson, Rich Thompson, and Michael Farren

What gift of grace is Jesus my redeemer.
There is no more for heaven now to give.
He is my joy, my righteousness, and freedom,
My steadfast love, my deep and boundless peace.
To this I hold: my hope is only Jesus.
For my life is wholly bound to His.
Oh how strange and divine, I can sing: all is mine!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me.

The night is dark, but I am not forsaken.
For by my side, the Savior, He will stay.
I labor on in weakness and rejoicing,
For in my need, His power is displayed.

To this I hold: my Shepherd will defend me.
Through the deepest valley He will lead.
Oh the night has been won, and I shall overcome!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me.

No fate I dread, I know I am forgiven,
The future sure, the price it has been paid.
For Jesus bled and suffered for my pardon,
And He was raised to overthrow the grave.

To this I hold: my sin has been defeated.
Jesus now and ever is my plea.
Oh the chains are released, I can sing: I am free!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me.

With every breath I long to follow Jesus.
For He has said that He will bring me home.
And day by day I know He will renew me
Until I stand with joy before the throne.

To this I hold: my hope is only Jesus.
All the glory evermore to Him.
When the race is complete, still my lips shall repeat:
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!

When the race is complete, still my lips shall repeat:
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!

Scripture Reading and Prayer:
2 Corinthians 1:3–11 (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

Sermon: “The Heart”

Here are some of the Proverbs on emotions.

Proverbs 12:25 (ESV)

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad.

Proverbs 13:12 (ESV)

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Proverbs 14:10 (ESV)

The heart knows its own bitterness,
and no stranger shares its joy.

Proverbs 14:13 (ESV)

Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and the end of joy may be grief.

Proverbs 15:13 (ESV)

A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.

Proverbs 15:30 (ESV)

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
and good news refreshes the bones.

Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)

A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 18:14 (ESV)

A man’s spirit will endure sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?

Proverbs 25:20 (ESV)

Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart
is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
and like vinegar on soda.

Proverbs 25:25 (ESV)

Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
so is good news from a far country.

Proverbs 27:19 (ESV)

As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.

Song: “O Sing, My Soul”

Words and music by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa

O sing, my soul, the ancient song, and lend Your highest praise
to Him who is the King of old and dwells in endless days.
How resplendent His glory! How majestic His name!
Now to the Uncreated One, oh, Let the anthem raise.

O worship Him our Father God, the Spirit and the Word,
Who fashioned all things from His joy, and saw that it was good.
What perfection of friendship, what communion we shared!
But choosing death, we fell from life aside the guilty pair.

Now hear, my soul, the gospel song, attend the joyful news,
for Christ has come, the perfect Son, His Father’s will to choose.
In our place He did suffer, in our place became sin,
the death of death, the death of Christ who stands alive again

Now, people of the risen Lord, O hear the call to go.
Into the world we have been sent as messengers of hope.
Christ alone be our treasure, Christ alone our reward.
Come, bid the nations sing with us the praises of the Lord.

Benediction
2 Corinthians 13:14 (ESV)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

October 4, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, October 4, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The worship service can be found on the church’s YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Song: “This Is Amazing Grace”

Words and music by Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle, and Josh Farro

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness,
whose love is mighty and so much stronger?
The King of glory, the King above all kings.
Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
and leaves us breathless in awe and wonder?
The King of glory, the King above all kings.

This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love,
that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life that I would be set free.
Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.

Who brings our chaos back into order,
who makes the orphan a son and daughter?
The King of glory, the King of glory.
Who rules the nations with truth and justice,
shines like the sun in all of its brilliance?
The King of glory, the King above all kings.

This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love,
that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life that I would be set free.
Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy, worthy, worthy!

This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love,
that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life that I would be set free.
Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.

Hymn: “Ye Servants of God”
Words by Charles Wesley, music by William Gardiner

Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,  and publish abroad his wonderful name;
the name all-victorious of Jesus extol; his kingdom is glorious and rules over all.

God ruleth on high, almighty to save; and still He is nigh, His presence we have;
the great congregation his triumph shall sing, ascribing salvation to Jesus our King.

“Salvation to God, who sits on the throne!” let all cry aloud, and honor the Son:
the praises of Jesus the angels proclaim, fall down on their faces and worship the Lamb.

Then let us adore and give him his right: all glory and power, all wisdom and might;
all honor and blessing with angels above, and thanks never-ceasing and infinite love.

Scripture Reading and Prayer:

Philippians 1:3–11 (ESV)

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Sermon: “Counsel”

Here are some of the Proverbs on counsel and advice.

Proverbs 11:14 (ESV)

Where there is no guidance, a people falls,
but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

Proverbs 12:15 (ESV)

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 13:10 (ESV)

By insolence comes nothing but strife,
but with those who take advice is wisdom.

Proverbs 15:22 (ESV)

Without counsel plans fail,
but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 18:1 (ESV)

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment.

Proverbs 20:5 (ESV)

The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water,
but a man of understanding will draw it out.

Proverbs 20:18 (ESV)

Plans are established by counsel;
by wise guidance wage war.

Proverbs 24:6 (ESV)

for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

Proverbs 21:28 (ESV)

A false witness will perish,
but the word of a man who hears will endure.

Proverbs 25:19 (ESV)

Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble
is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.

You may also want to look up 1 Kings 12; Isaiah 11:15; John 14:15–17; Matthew 18:15–20; Acts 15

Song: “All I Have Is Christ”
Words and music by Jordan Kauflin

I once was lost in darkest night, yet thought I knew the way.
The sin that promised joy and life had led me to the grave.
I had no hope that You would own a rebel to Your will.
And if You had not loved me first, I would refuse You still.

But as I ran my hell-bound race, indifferent to the cost,
You looked upon my helpless state and led me to the cross.
And I beheld God’s love displayed, You suffered in my place.
You bore the wrath reserved for me, now all I know is grace.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ.
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ.
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone, and live so all might see
the strength to follow Your commands could never come from me.
Oh, Father, use my ransomed life in any way You choose,
and let my song forever be my only boast is You.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ.
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ.
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.

Benediction
Numbers 6:24–26 (ESV)

24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

 

September 27, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, September 27, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page or YouTube page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generatedWelcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “O Worship the King”

Words by Robert Grant, music by Johann Michael Haydn

O worship the King all-glorious above,
and gratefully sing His wonderful love:
our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.

O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark is His path on the wings of the storm.

Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
it streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
and sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
in Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail.
Thy mercies, how tender, how firm to the end,
our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!

Song: “This Is Amazing Grace”

Words and music by Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle, and Josh Farro

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness,
whose love is mighty and so much stronger?
The King of glory, the King above all kings.
Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
and leaves us breathless in awe and wonder?
The King of glory, the King above all kings.

This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love,
that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life that I would be set free.
Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.

Who brings our chaos back into order,
who makes the orphan a son and daughter?
The King of glory, the King of glory.
Who rules the nations with truth and justice,
shines like the sun in all of its brilliance?
The King of glory, the King above all kings.

This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love,
that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life that I would be set free.
Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
Worthy, worthy, worthy!

This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love,
that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life that I would be set free.
Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me..

Scripture Reading and Prayer:

1 Timothy 2:1–4 (ESV)

1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Sermon: “The King”

There are many verses in the book of Proverbs that deal kings and rulers. Here are some of those verses, and some other passages from the Bible.

Proverbs 14:28 (ESV)

In a multitude of people is the glory of a king,
but without people a prince is ruined.

Proverbs 14:34–35 (ESV)

34  Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin is a reproach to any people.
35  A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor,
but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.

Proverbs 19:12 (ESV)

A king’s wrath is like the growling of a lion,
but his favor is like dew on the grass.

Proverbs 20:2 (ESV)

The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.

Romans 13:1–7 (ESV)

1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

1 Peter 2:13–17 (ESV)

13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Proverbs 16:12–15 (ESV)

12  It is an abomination to kings to do evil,
for the throne is established by righteousness.
13  Righteous lips are the delight of a king,
and he loves him who speaks what is right.
14  A king’s wrath is a messenger of death,
and a wise man will appease it.
15  In the light of a king’s face there is life,
and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.

Daniel 2:20–23 (ESV)

20 Daniel answered and said:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
21  He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
22  he reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him
23  To you, O God of my fathers,
I give thanks and praise,
for you have given me wisdom and might,
and have now made known to me what we asked of you,
for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”

John 19:10–11 (ESV)

10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

Proverbs 29:12 (ESV)

If a ruler listens to falsehood,
all his officials will be wicked.

Proverbs 17:7 (ESV)

Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
still less is false speech to a prince.

Proverbs 20:8 (ESV)

A king who sits on the throne of judgment
winnows all evil with his eyes.

Proverbs 20:26 (ESV)

A wise king winnows the wicked
and drives the wheel over them.

Proverbs 20:28 (ESV)

Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,
and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.

Proverbs 21:1 (ESV)

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will.

Proverbs 24:21–22 (ESV)

21  My son, fear the Lord and the king,
and do not join with those who do otherwise,
22  for disaster will arise suddenly from them,
and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?

Titus 3:1–8 (ESV)

1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

[See also 1 Peter 2:13–17 above]

Proverbs 28:15–16 (ESV)

15  Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16  A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.

Proverbs 29:2 (ESV)

When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.

Proverbs 29:4 (ESV)

By justice a king builds up the land,
but he who exacts gifts tears it down.

Proverbs 29:14 (ESV)

If a king faithfully judges the poor,
his throne will be established forever.

Proverbs 29:16 (ESV)

When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
but the righteous will look upon their downfall.

Proverbs 29:26 (ESV)

Many seek the face of a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice.

Psalm 146:3–4 (ESV)

Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.

Song: “Jesus Is Better”

Words and music by Aaron Ivey and Brett Land There is no other so sure and steady;

my hope is held in Your hand.
When castles crumble and breath is fleeting,
upon this rock I will stand, upon this rock I will stand.

Glory, glory, we have no other King but Jesus, Lord of all.
We raise the anthem, our loudest praises ring.
We crown Him Lord of all.

Your kindly rule has shattered and broken
the curse of sin’s tyranny.
My life is hidden ‘neath heaven’s shadow;
Your crimson flood covers me. Your crimson flood covers me.

Glory, glory, we have no other King but Jesus, Lord of all.
We raise the anthem, our loudest praises ring.
We crown Him Lord of all.

In all my sorrows Jesus is better; make my heart believe.
In ev’ry victory Jesus is better; make my heart believe.
Than any comfort Jesus is better; make my heart believe.
More than all riches Jesus is better; make my heart believe.
And our souls declaring Jesus is better; make my heart believe.
And our song eternal: Jesus is better; make my heart believe!

Glory, glory, we have no other King but Jesus, Lord of all.
Glory, glory, we have no other King but Jesus, Lord of all.
We raise the anthem, our loudest praises ring.
We crown Him Lord of all. We crown Him Lord of all!

Benediction
Titus 3:15b (ESV)

Grace be with you all.

 

September 13, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, September 13, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Song: “This Is Our God”

Words and music by N. DeGraide, D. Fournier, Z. Jones, D. Pland, and G. Romanacce

God, our Father, full of power, Maker of the heavens, Maker of the world;
forming all things seen and unseen,
truly the Almighty beyond all measured worth. Holy is His Name.

We believe the Lord our God is One, Father, Spirit, Son; this is our God!
We believe forever He will reign. Let the church proclaim: this is our God!

Our Lord Jesus sent to save us, born unto a virgin, lived a perfect life;
greatly suffered, dying for us. From the grave He’s risen, seated now on high.
Holy is His Name.

We believe the Lord our God is One, Father, Spirit, Son; this is our God!
We believe forever He will reign. Let the church proclaim: this is our God!

Jesus will come back again to judge the living and the dead,
usher in the age to come; let everyone sing “amen.”
Jesus will come back again to judge the living and the dead,
usher in the age to come; let everyone sing “amen,”
let everyone sing “amen.”

Spirit, holy, One in glory, speaking through the prophets, empowering the Church;
life is given by and through Him, with the Son and Father, worshipped and adored.
Holy is His Name.

We believe the Lord our God is One, Father, Spirit, Son; this is our God!
We believe forever He will reign. Let the church proclaim: this is our God!

Hymn: “Speak, O Lord”

Words and music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
to receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
that the light of Christ might be seen today
in our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
all Your purposes for Your glory.

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
holy reverence, true humility.
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
in the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow’r that can never fail,
let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us.
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
that will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises,
and by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
and the earth is filled with Your glory.

Scripture Reading and Prayer:

Psalm 150 (ESV)

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Sermon: “Words”

There are many verses in the book of Proverbs that deal with words. Here are most of them arranged by topic. We will not read all of these this morning.

God’s word

Proverbs 30:5–6 (ESV)

Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.

Wisdom vs. folly in speech

Proverbs 10:31–32 (ESV)

31  The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
32  The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.

Proverbs 14:7 (ESV)

Leave the presence of a fool,
for there you do not meet words of knowledge.

Proverbs 26:9 (ESV)

Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

Words are a life and death matter

Proverbs 14:3 (ESV)

By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
but the lips of the wise will preserve them.

Proverbs 14:25 (ESV)

A truthful witness saves lives,
but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.

Proverbs 15:4 (ESV)

A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 18:6–8 (ESV)

A fool’s lips walk into a fight,
and his mouth invites a beating.
A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.

Proverbs 18:20–21 (ESV)

20  From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied;
he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
21  Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Wise ways of speaking

Listening

Proverbs 18:13 (ESV)

If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame.

Remaining silent

Proverbs 10:18–20 (ESV)

18  The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever utters slander is a fool.
19  When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
20  The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
the heart of the wicked is of little worth.

Proverbs 11:12–13 (ESV)

12  Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
but a man of understanding remains silent.
13  Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

Proverbs 13:2–3 (ESV)

From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good,
but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.|
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Proverbs 17:27–28 (ESV)

27  Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28  Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Proverbs 21:23 (ESV)

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.

Telling truth

Proverbs 12:17–19 (ESV)

17  Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness utters deceit.
18  There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19  Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Proverbs 13:5 (ESV)

The righteous hates falsehood,
but the wicked brings shame and disgrace.

Proverbs 16:13 (ESV)

Righteous lips are the delight of a king,
and he loves him who speaks what is right.

Sharing knowledge and wisdom

Proverbs 15:2 (ESV)

The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

Proverbs 15:7 (ESV)

The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
not so the hearts of fools.

Proverbs 18:4 (ESV)

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

Proverbs 20:15 (ESV)

There is gold and abundance of costly stones,
but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

Bringing peace

Proverbs 15:1 (ESV)

A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Building others up

Proverbs 22:11 (ESV)

He who loves purity of heart,
and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.

Knowing how to answer and persuade others

Proverbs 15:28 (ESV)

The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

Proverbs 16:21 (ESV)

The wise of heart is called discerning,
and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.

Proverbs 16:23–24 (ESV)

23  The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24  Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 25:11–13 (ESV)

11  A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
12  Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
13  Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
he refreshes the soul of his masters.

Proverbs 25:15 (ESV)

With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.

Proverbs 26:4–7 (ESV)

Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless,
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

Defending the oppressed

Proverbs 31:8–9 (ESV)

Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Foolish ways of speaking

Proverbs 26:17–26 (ESV)

17  Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18  Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
19  is the man who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I am only joking!”
20  For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
21  As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22  The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23  Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24  Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
25  when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26  though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

Speaking hateful words (tearing others down)

Proverbs 10:18 (ESV)

The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever utters slander is a fool.

Proverbs 11:12–13 (ESV)

12  Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
but a man of understanding remains silent.
13  Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

Proverbs 25:23 (ESV)

The north wind brings forth rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.

Speaking rash words

See Proverbs 12:18 above

Proverbs 20:25 (ESV)

It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
and to reflect only after making vows.

Proverbs 29:20 (ESV)

Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Speaking words that divide

Proverbs 16:27–28 (ESV)

27  A worthless man plots evil,
and his speech is like a scorching fire.
28  A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.

Telling lies (and repeating that which isn’t true)

See Proverbs 12:17, 19 above

Proverbs 12:22–23 (ESV)

22  Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.
23  A prudent man conceals knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims folly.

Proverbs 14:5 (ESV)

A faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes out lies.

Proverbs 17:4 (ESV)

An evildoer listens to wicked lips,
and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.

Proverbs 17:20 (ESV)

A man of crooked heart does not discover good,
and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.

Proverbs 19:1 (ESV)

Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity

than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.

Proverbs 21:28 (ESV)

A false witness will perish,
but the word of a man who hears will endure.

Proverbs 25:18 (ESV)

A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.

Proverbs 26:28 (ESV)

A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Proverbs 28:23 (ESV)

Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than he who flatters with his tongue.

Gossiping and slandering

Proverbs 18:8 (ESV)

The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.

Proverbs 17:9 (ESV)

Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

Proverbs 20:19 (ESV)

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.

Proverbs 25:9–10 (ESV)

Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
and do not reveal another’s secret,
10  lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
and your ill repute have no end.

Boasting

Proverbs 27:2 (ESV)

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.

Venting

Proverbs 29:11 (ESV)

A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Empty words

Proverbs 10:8 (ESV)

The wise of heart will receive commandments,
but a babbling fool will come to ruin.

Song: “Never Cease to Praise”

Words and music by Jeff Bourque

May we run this race, may we keep the faith,
may our eyes be fixed on Jesus,
that we’ll not lose heart in our struggle with sin,
and through suffering know endurance.

May we arm ourselves with the mind of Christ
to rejoice in trials and be not surprised.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

May our company be the saints You’ve called,
may we all stand firm in one spirit,
that the gospel’s truth may resound on earth,
that all living things may hear it.

May the fruits of faith mark the path we trod
through the life of Christ to the glory of God.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

May the words we share be Your grace and peace.
May our tongues speak Your proclamations
that the many parts of the body of Christ
be affirmed in their right relation.

As we long and wait for the groom to come,
may we learn to love, and spur each other on.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

When that day arrives, and our race is won,
when our griefs give way to deliverance,
we will fully know, as we’re fully known,
all our groans will end as new songs begin.

And a multitude from every tribe and tongue,
wearing robes of white, will stand before Your throne,
And our hearts will be so consumed by You
that we’ll never cease to praise!

May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

Benediction
Numbers 6:24–26 (ESV)

24  The Lord bless you and keep you;
25  the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26  the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

 

September 6, 2020

Here is the worship guide for Sunday, September 6, 2020.

PDF version of the worship guide to download or print.

The livestream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page.

A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

Words by Robert Robinson; music: traditional American melody\

Come, Thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of Thy redeeming love.

Hither to Thy love has blest me; Thou has brought me to this place;
And I know Thy hand will bring me safely home by Thy good grace.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God,
He, to rescue me from danger, bought me with His precious blood.

Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face,
Clothed then in the blood-washed linen how I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace.
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, take my ransomed soul away;
Send Thine angels now to carry me to realms of endless day.

Song: “Never Cease to Praise”

Words and music by Jeff Bourque

May we run this race, may we keep the faith,
may our eyes be fixed on Jesus,
that we’ll not lose heart in our struggle with sin,
and through suffering know endurance.

May we arm ourselves with the mind of Christ
to rejoice in trials and be not surprised.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

May our company be the saints You’ve called,
may we all stand firm in one spirit,
that the gospel’s truth may resound on earth,
that all living things may hear it.

May the fruits of faith mark the path we trod
through the life of Christ to the glory of God.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

May the words we share be Your grace and peace.
May our tongues speak Your proclamations
that the many parts of the body of Christ
be affirmed in their right relation.

As we long and wait for the groom to come,
may we learn to love, and spur each other on.
May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

When that day arrives, and our race is won,
when our griefs give way to deliverance,
we will fully know, as we’re fully known,
all our groans will end as new songs begin.

And a multitude from every tribe and tongue,
wearing robes of white, will stand before Your throne,
And our hearts will be so consumed by You
that we’ll never cease to praise!

May our hearts be so consumed by You
that we never cease to praise.

Scripture Reading and Prayer:

Psalm 149 (ESV)

Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the godly!
Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with salvation.
Let the godly exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats
and two-edged swords in their hands,
to execute vengeance on the nations
and punishments on the peoples,
to bind their kings with chains
and their nobles with fetters of iron,
to execute on them the judgment written!
This is honor for all his godly ones.
Praise the Lord!

Sermon: “Family”

We will look at several Proverbs, and other passages, including some of the following:

Proverbs about marriage:

Proverbs 12:4 (ESV)
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.

Proverbs 18:22 (ESV)
He who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the Lord.

Proverbs 19:13–14 (ESV)
13  A foolish son is ruin to his father,
and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
14  House and wealth are inherited from fathers,
but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

Proverbs 21:9 (ESV)
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs 21:19 (ESV)
It is better to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.

Proverbs 25:24 (ESV)
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs 27:8 (ESV)
Like a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home.

Proverbs 27:15–16 (ESV)
15  A continual dripping on a rainy day
and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
16  to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.

Proverbs about children and discipline:

Proverbs 10:1 (ESV)
A wise son makes a glad father,
but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

Proverbs 13:24 (ESV)
Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

Proverbs 14:26 (ESV)
In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge.

Proverbs 15:20 (ESV)
A wise son makes a glad father,
but a foolish man despises his mother.

Proverbs 17:2 (ESV)
A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully
and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.

Proverbs 17:21 (ESV)
He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow,
and the father of a fool has no joy.

Proverbs 17:25 (ESV)
A foolish son is a grief to his father
and bitterness to her who bore him.

Proverbs 19:13 (ESV)
A foolish son is ruin to his father,
and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.

Proverbs 19:18 (ESV)
Discipline your son, for there is hope;
do not set your heart on putting him to death.

Proverbs 19:26–27 (ESV)
26  He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother
is a son who brings shame and reproach.
27  Cease to hear instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

Proverbs 20:7 (ESV)
The righteous who walks in his integrity—
blessed are his children after him!

Proverbs 20:20 (ESV)
If one curses his father or his mother,
his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:15 (ESV)
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

Proverbs 23:13–14 (ESV)
13  Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14  If you strike him with the rod,
you will save his soul from Sheol.

Proverbs 23:22 (ESV)
Listen to your father who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Proverbs 23:24–25 (ESV)
24  The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
25  Let your father and mother be glad;
let her who bore you rejoice.

Proverbs 28:24 (ESV)
Whoever robs his father or his mother
and says, “That is no transgression,”
is a companion to a man who destroys.

Proverbs 29:3 (ESV)
He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

Proverbs 29:15 (ESV)
The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Proverbs 29:17 (ESV)
Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.

Proverbs 30:11 (ESV)
There are those who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.

Proverbs 20:30 (ESV)
Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
strokes make clean the innermost parts.

Proverbs 29:19 (ESV)
By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
for though he understands, he will not respond.

Proverbs about grandparents and grandchildren:

Proverbs 13:22 (ESV)
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.

Proverbs 17:6 (ESV)
Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
and the glory of children is their fathers.

Hymn: “O Fount of Love”

Words and music by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa

O fount of love divine that flows from my Savior’s bleeding side
Where sinners trade their filthy rags for His righteousness applied.
Mercy cleansing ev’ry stain, now rushing o’er us like a flood;
There the wretch and vilest ones stand adopted through His blood.

O mount of grace to Thee we cling, from the law hath set us free.
Once and for all on Calv’ry’s hill, love and justice shall agree.
Praise the Lord! The price is paid, the curse defeated by the Lamb.
We who once were slaves by birth, sons and daughters now we stand.

O well of joy is mine to drink, for my Lord has conquered death.,
Victorious forevermore, the ancient foe is laid to rest.
Hallelujah! Christ is King, alive and reigning on the throne;
Our tongues employed with hymns of praise: Glory be to God alone.

Hallelujah! Christ is King, alive and reigning on the throne;
Our tongues employed with hymns of praise: Glory be to God alone.

Benediction
Galatians 6:18 (ESV)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

 

One Thing Is Necessary

This sermon was preached by Brian Watson on March 10, 2019.
MP3 recording of the sermon.

PDF of the written sermon (see also below).

Does anyone here remember the movie City Slickers? The movie came out in 1991 and starred Billy Crystal, Bruno Kirby, and Daniel Stern as three middle-aged men, the city slickers of the title, who are all having what amounts to a mid-life crisis. The three friends leave New York City and go out west to a tourist ranch to take part in a two-week cattle drive. While there, they meet an old cowboy named Curly, played by the leathery Jack Palance, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. At one point in the film, Billy Crystal’s character, Mitch, is riding alone with Curly, and they discuss marriage, love, and life. Curly recognizes that Mitch is like most of the other men who come to the ranch, all in the midst of their mid-life malaise. So, Curley asks Mitch, “Do you know what the secret of life is?” He then holds up one finger and says, “This.” Mitch says, “Your finger?” Curly says, “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and every else don’t mean [ahem].” Mitch says, “That’s great, but what’s the one thing?” Curly responds, “That’s what you’ve gotta figure out.”

That’s a question we should all ask ourselves. What is the one thing? What is the most important thing in life, the thing we need to stick to? What is the highest priority? Figure that out, and everything else follows.

We’ve been studying the life of Jesus as presented in the Gospel of Luke. And today we’ll see that Jesus says something very similar to what ol’ Curly said. One thing is necessary. What is that thing? Let’s see.

Today, we’re looking at Luke 10:38–42. Jesus spends time with two sisters, Martha and Mary. One of them has discovered that one necessary thing and the other hasn’t. Let’s read the passage.

38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”[1]

On one level, this story is easy to understand. There are two sisters, Martha and Mary, who are with Jesus in Martha’s house. These two women are most likely the sisters of Lazarus, whose story is told in John 11. While Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to his teaching, Martha is “distracted with much serving.” She’s probably cooking, bringing Jesus food, cleaning dishes, worried about being a good hostess. And she’s bothered that she’s doing all the work. So, she says to Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”

Jesus answers her by telling her that she is worried about a lot of things, but only “one thing is necessary.” He implies that if there’s something to be concerned about, it’s that one thing. But here Jesus sounds like Curly. What’s the one thing?

The answer is found in Mary. Jesus says, “Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” What is the good portion? On the surface, it seems like Jesus is saying that Mary has chosen to listen to him, to learn from him. And that’s no small thing. In fact, it was not common for women to be allowed to sit a teacher’s feet, yet here we see Jesus teaching a woman.

But is Jesus only referring to his teaching? Is that the good portion?

Perhaps the word “portion” is the key to understanding “the one thing” that “is necessary.” And if we look the Old Testament, we find out what, or who, that portion is.

We’re going to turn to some Psalms see to see how that word is used. The first one we’ll look at is Psalm 16, particularly verses 5–8:

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Jesus says that Mary chose the good portion. David says that “the Lord is my chosen portion.” Notice how he also says, “I have set the Lord always before me.” David says that the God of Israel, Yahweh, is his portion, he is the one who is always before him, and because of that, he will not be shaken.

I don’t think it’s an accident that in this passage of Luke, Jesus is referred to as “Lord” three times, twice by Luke and once by Martha. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament Hebrew, the covenant name of God, which we pronounce as Yahweh, appears as “Lord” (Greek: κύριος, kyrios). Jesus is Lord, the Son of God who has always existed, yet who, over two thousand years ago, also became a man. And just as David chose Yahweh as his portion, Mary chose Jesus as her portion.

Let’s now turn to Psalm 73, a Psalm of Asaph. I’ll read verses 26–28:

26  My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27  For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
28  But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.

Again, God is called “my portion forever.” The idea is very similar to what we’ve seen so far. Jesus says that Mary’s good portion would never be taken away from her. Asaph says here that though his body would decay and die, God is “the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Those who are apart from God will perish. The implication is that those who find their refuge in God will live forever.

Finally, we’ll look quickly at one verse in Psalm 119. This is verse 57:

57  The Lord is my portion;
I promise to keep your words.

Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm, and it’s the longest chapter in the Bible. It’s a Psalm that praises God for revealing his word. And there’s a strong connection between praising God and praising his word. In a sense, God’s word is an extension of himself. Because God is true and never lies, his word is true. He always says what he means. Our words are an expression of ourselves, but we don’t always say what we mean. I don’t mean that we always lie, though we can be dishonest. Sometimes we struggle to find the right words. Sometimes we say things that aren’t very meaningful. We say things just to avoid silence, we say things that are foolish, we say things that are wrong. We say things just to please other people. God doesn’t do any of these things. There’s a strong bond between him and his word. That’s why the psalmist can say, “The Lord is my portion,” and then, without changing topics, say, “I promise to keep your words.” If God is really your portion, you will pay attention to his words and you will do what he asks you to do.

That’s what Mary is doing. Because she recognizes that Jesus is Lord, she has chosen him as her portion. Because she has chosen Jesus as her portion, she’s sitting at his feet, listening to his teaching. And she’s surely doing that not because his words are entertaining, or because they satisfy her intellectual curiosity. She must understand that his words give life, and she is likely learning from Jesus so that she can live rightly.

As we start to think about what this short passage in Luke has to do with us, how it informs our lives, we need to think about what that “one thing” is in our lives that is most important, that is truly necessary. In fact, if you’re talking to non-Christians with the hopes of sharing the good news, the gospel, of Jesus Christ with them, you might want to ask them what they think that “one thing” is. What is most important in life? People might say that one thing is family, or being a good person, or doing something that truly matters, like leaving a positive impact on future generations. But Jesus is saying that one thing is God; specifically, he is saying that one thing is him.

Now, that might sound arrogant. If you or I said, “I am the most important thing in life, so choose me!” we wouldn’t be just arrogant, but crazy. But Jesus isn’t just a man; he is God. God the Father sent him to do his will. And if we want to know God, we must know Jesus.

In John’s Gospel, Jesus often talks about his relationship to God the Father, how his words are the Father’s words and his work is the Father’s work. In John 6, he talks quite a bit about his own identity and work. In verse 27, he says, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” We might paraphrase that, in light of today’s passage, as “Don’t focus on all those ‘many things’ like Martha is doing, because they won’t last. Focus on ‘the one thing that is necessary.’ Make that your food, your portion. I’m the one who can give that to you.” In the next verse, John 6:28, Jesus’ audience says, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” And Jesus replies, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29).

Jesus says the key to having food that is eternal is to believe in him. That doesn’t mean believing he exists, or believing facts about him. We believe a lot of things to be true, but that doesn’t mean those things give us eternal life. He means that we need to trust that he is the Son of God, and we must trust him personally. We must believe that he and he alone is the one thing necessary to give us eternal life, to make us right with God, to fix our major problem in life, which is our separation from God cause by our sin, which is rebellion against God.

If we keep reading in John 6, we see that Jesus makes this more and more clear. In verses 35–40, he says,

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

What he says here matches up with what he says in Luke. Mary’s good portion will never be taken away from her. Those who make Jesus their “bread of life” will never be cast out, they will never be removed from God. They will be raised to eternal life on “the last day,” the day of judgment. And Jesus makes it clear later in John 6 that if people do not trust him, they will not have that eternal life with God (John 6:53). He says that those who do not believe that he is God (“I am he”) will die in their sins (John 8:24).

So far, we’ve seen that Jesus is the “good portion,” the “one thing” that “is necessary.” Those who make him their good portion will never lose their relationship with him. They will be with God forever. Though they die, they will live forever, raised to eternal life on judgment day. We also see that, somehow, this is connected to Mary choosing to sit at Jesus’ feet.

Now, if we’re thinking about this carefully, we should ask a pretty obvious question: How do we sit at Jesus’ feet? Jesus was there in the flesh, and Mary could literally sit down in front of him and hear his words. How do we do this when Jesus is now in heaven?

The way that we have access to Jesus’ teaching is through the Bible, the written word of God. If Jesus is truly our portion, if we realize that he is the God-man, the bread of life, the only one who gives us eternal life, then we will want to hear from him. In John 6, after all that talk of bread that gives eternal life, one of Jesus’ followers, Peter, said to him, “You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God
(John 6:68–69). The way that we access Jesus’ “words of eternal life” is through the pages of the Bible.

And Jesus’ words are not limited to the “red letter” words of the Gospels. Jesus makes it clear that his words are the Father’s words (John 12:50). Jesus also says that the Holy Spirit would speak to the apostles, and that these words were also from him and the Father (John 16:13–15). The entire Bible is “breathed out by God” (2 Tim. 3:16), authored by him through human authors (2 Pet. 1:21). Peter says that Jesus’ own commandments came through the apostles (2 Pet. 3:2). And there are times when the New Testament writers attribute Old Testament passages to Jesus (Heb. 10:5–7, which attributes Ps. 40:6–8, written by David, to Christ). So, to know Jesus’ words is to know the Bible.

And we need to come to the Bible again and again, to learn, to revisit what we’ve already read, to think on it again and again. Psalm 1 talks about someone who is blessed, who doesn’t do what the wicked do. It says that this person’s “delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Ps. 1:2). Then, it says,

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Those who delight in God’s word and think on it are like well-nourished trees that do not wither. Those who reject God’s word whither away.

The Bible uses organic metaphors when it talks about growing in faith, or being connected to Jesus. Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches (John 15). The Bible doesn’t often use transactional language, like, “Take the treasure that is Jesus and store it up your vault.” A relationship with Jesus is living, and it needs to be nourished constantly, the way that a tree needs water, nutrients, and light. If those things are removed from the tree, it will die. We need God’s word to be nourished. We also need things like prayer and fellowship with other Christians. I think those are also aspects of sitting at Jesus’ feet. Without those things, we wither, we get spiritually sick and weak. Without those things, we are ineffective.

Now, at this point, I’m anticipating an objection. This objection might not come from within this room, but there are certain people who say that we put too much emphasis on the Bible. We do too much Bible reading, Bible study, Bible discussions. There is a kernel of truth in this criticism. The kernel of truth is that we might listen to Jesus’ words but not do what he says. And that can happen. And that is wrong. Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). He says that we must not only hear what he says, but do what he says. So, it is possible to study the Bible and not live according to what we read. And that is wrong.

But the answer is not to ditch the Bible and just get busy serving. In that case, we would become like Martha. If we don’t come back to the Bible again and again, we’ll end up doing what we believe to be God’s work for us, but we’ll drift away from what God has actually said. We’ll do certain things that appeal to us, but not the things that are hard, that are contrary to our desires and inclinations. And perhaps the greatest danger is that we’ll believe we can achieve a right standing with God by doing certain things.

Last week, we looked at the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37), when a Jewish religious scholar who tried to test Jesus asked the question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus asked this man what the law (the Old Testament commands) said. The answer, more or less, was to love God and love other people perfectly. Jesus showed the man what this looked like, telling him that if he did this, he could have eternal life. But the point is that we can’t do that. We don’t love God and others perfectly.

And if we try to achieve a right standing through our own efforts, however much good work we do, we’re not sitting at Jesus’ feet. We’re not doing the work of God, which Jesus says is to trust him. It’s very possible to a religious person, a doer of good works, and avoid a relationship with Jesus. You can avoid a personal relationship with Jesus by rejecting his words, by rejecting the Bible, and avoiding church. You can also avoid a personal relationship with Jesus by being a very busy person in church, doing a lot of good works, but shutting him up by keeping your Bible closed. If Martha realized exactly who it was that was in her house, she would have served Jesus, yes, but she also would have stopped and listened to him, fallen at his feet and realized that he is the Lord whose words give eternal life.

So, the answer to the criticism that we are a bunch of Bible-worshiping hypocrites is not to make less of the Bible, but to make sure that we are doing what it says we should do. We should adopt Jesus’ views of Scripture. He called it God’s unbreakable word (John 10:35). He quoted favorably Deuteronomy 8:3, which says, “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (see Matt. 4:4; Luke 4:4). Our food is God’s word. But Jesus also said that his food was to do the will of God (John 4:34). We must be hearers of God’s word and doers of it (James 1:23–25).

In fact, I think that we need to be soaked in Scripture, to read it often and meditate on it often, in order to do what it says. God asks his people to do hard things. And we won’t do them unless we believe that the story told in the Bible is true. If we don’t believe that God is the creator of the universe, that we are all sinners who deserve condemnation, that Jesus is the world’s only Savio, and that the only solution to our problem of sin, we won’t understand who he is, let alone trust him. I’m also convinced that if we don’t believe that this life, in this fallen world, corrupted by sin, is temporal, and that life either with God or apart from God is eternal, we won’t have the perspective on life that is necessary to do what God says we must do.

Think about some of the things that God asks us to do. He asks his people to give generously. We’re supposed to give to those in need and give to the church, to support those who preach and teach, to support other Christians. Giving generously is hard for a lot of people. If you believe that this life is all there is, then you will want to live comfortably. You will want to seek as many pleasures as you can. If you give generously, you’re going to make sacrifices. You’re going to sacrifice some vacations, some gadgets, some clothing, some meals in restaurants, or tickets to sporting events or concerts or whatever. You can’t do all these things and give generously. But if you understand that everything you have is from God, that he entrusted these things to you to use wisely, that this life is not all there is, and that if you know Jesus you will live an eternal life in a new creation that is full of pleasures beyond what we can imagine, you can make some sacrifices in this life.

Christians are called to be ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), witnesses of Jesus who tell others about him. We’re supposed to share the gospel. We do this because we want God to be known, to be glorified and worshiped. We do this because we believe that those apart from Jesus are truly lost, destined for condemnation. If we love others truly, we will be concerned about their souls. But evangelism is hard. One evangelist called our willingness to open our mouths for Christ crossing “the painline.”[2] Evangelism is hard because it’s hard to change the course of a conversation toward Jesus. It’s hard because when we do that, we might be regarded as fools. It’s hard because we may lose friends, or we might be shunned by others, not we might not receive a promotion at work, or perhaps we may experience some other consequence, including persecution. But if we believe what the Bible says, if we meditate on the biblical narrative again and again, we will cross that “painline” and speak.

Christians are called to believe that certain things are right and other things are wrong. We are called to take unpopular stances, particularly with respect to ethical issues that are controversial. If we hold fast to what God has revealed in his word about sex and marriage, about the exclusivity of Jesus (that he’s the only way to be right with God), or any number of topics, we’ll experience some level of persecution. The world will think that we’re stupid, or bigots, or whatever. There’s a great temptation for Christians to compromise their beliefs in order to fit into the prevailing culture. There’s a temptation for Christians to keep their unpopular views to themselves. The only way to fight against this temptation is to keep coming back to God’s word, to trust that it is true, and to know that the world can often be wrong.

Christians are called to deny some desires, urges that feel natural to us. Sometimes, like in the area of sex, those urges can be quite physical. If you don’t sit at Jesus’ feet, reading the Bible and praying to him, and being part of a group of believers in a church, I don’t think you can fight against your sinful desires. And we all have them. Because of sin, we have distorted desires. We are born into a sinful world, and as a result, our thinking isn’t right, and neither are our hearts. As Paul says it, because of the power of sin, people “became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Rom. 1:21). We have pride, anger, lust, greed, and all kinds of desires that have to be mastered and even put to death. How can we do this if we don’t fill our minds and our hearts with God’s word? If it is true that you are what you eat, you will never rise above the level of what you’re putting into your mind. And I don’t think you can change the desires of your heart if you don’t change your thoughts and your behaviors. They’re all connected. If we understand that this life is not all that there is, that our desires can be wrong, and that in eternity, our desires will be perfected and no joy will be withheld from us, then we can put some desires to death. We can deny ourselves.

Christians are also called to suffer. We’re called to endure difficult situations and circumstances. That might be a health problem, a job that isn’t fulfilling, a marriage that is a struggle, raising kids when it’s really hard. In some of these circumstances, it might be tempting to blame God and quit following Jesus. It might be tempting to get out of our commitments, to leave a marriage, or to abandon a family, to be irresponsible in the name of finding our true selves and making ourselves happy. We might be tempted to escape life through suicide. But that’s not the way of Jesus.

It’s not the way of Jesus because he is faithful. He knows what it’s like to endure, to even put some desires to death. Jesus never had bad or sinful desires. But, in his humanity, he didn’t want to experience God’s wrath. He didn’t want to die on the cross. At the least, he didn’t want to experience that physical and spiritual pain. I’m sure it wasn’t pleasant to be rejected, mocked, ridiculed, abandoned, betrayed, tortured, and killed. But he went through all of this to do the Father’s will. He did this because it was his will, to bring glory to the Father, and glory to himself, and also to rescue his people from condemnation. To do all this, Jesus had to stay rooted in Scripture. He prayed often. He knew the biblical narrative because he is its author. He knew the story didn’t end in suffering and death, but in resurrection and glory. So, he endured the cross, despising its shame, because a greater joy was set before him (Heb. 12:2).

So, we need to sit at Jesus’ feet, to have our relationship with him nourished. We need to feed on his words, so that we can be strong in our faith and strong in our obedience. We need to pray to God through the Son by the power of the Spirit to keep a strong connection to our good portion, and to do what that portion tells us to do.

So, what is the one thing? We might answer the way Jesus did: “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). Everything else will perish, but the kingdom of God will endure, and it cannot be shaken. I urge us all to sit at Jesus’ feet, to trust him, to hear from him, to talk to him,

Notes

  1. All Scripture quotations are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV).
  2. Rico Tice, Honest Evangelism: How to Talk about Jesus When It’s Tough (Croydon, UK: The Good Book Company, 2015), 15.

 

One Thing Is Necessary (Luke 10:38-42)

Jesus says, “One thing is necessary.” What is that one thing? What is most important? Listen to this sermon on Luke 10:38-42, preached by Brian Watson, to find out.

On Music

This sermon was preached by Brian Watson on October 23, 2016.
MP3 recording of the sermon.
PDF of the written sermon (see also below).

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been looking at some important things that we do in the church. And today, I want to talk about something we do every single week. I want to talk about music.

I don’t think I need to tell you that music is an important part of life. We hear it everywhere: On the radio, on soundtracks to movies and television shows, on commercials, and, yes, in the church. Yet we don’t often spend time talking about music, what it means, and why it’s important.

So, today I want to do that. I want to help us think Christianly about music. More specifically, I want us to think about the role of singing in the life of the church. To do that, I’m going to ask and answer a series of questions.

Here’s the first question: Why do we sing? Maybe that sounds like a funny question to ask. Perhaps some of you are thinking, “Why shouldn’t we sing?” But it’s an important question to ask. I think that public singing is a lot less common than it used to be. There’s only one place outside the church and outside choirs where people tend to sing in public, and that’s at rock concerts. We don’t sing in the mall, at the movie theater, or at sporting events. (Unless you sing the national anthem, or belt out “Sweet Caroline” at Red Sox games, or if you’re that guy who’s had a little too much beer.)

Singing used to be much more common, particularly before radio, television, and the Internet. In the nineteenth century, if you wanted home entertainment, you played and sang music. In an opinion piece written for the New York Times twenty-five years ago, Russell Baker noted that even through World War II, Americans sang more. That was true during the war, when people would even sing in movie theaters to “follow the bouncing ball” tunes. He writes, “The songs may have been silly, melancholy, propagandistic and sentimental, but singing them helped Americans define a communal identity for themselves. Nowadays the absence of singing defines our lack of communal identity, our national apartness, our aloneness.”[1]

But singing together is making a bit of a comeback. Several years ago, I read an article in the New York Times about group-singing, which is when people come together just to sing. They’re not performing or worshiping; they’re not even professionals; they just want to sing with other people. Pete Seeger, the folk singer, was a champion of group-singing. He said, “I think that singing together gives people some kind of a holy feeling. And it can happen whether they’re atheists, or whoever. You feel like, ‘Gee, we’re all together.’”[2] Notice that he is essentially saying that singing together creates community.

Also, research has shown that singing in groups can reduce levels of cortisol, associated with stress and weight gain, and singing can also lower blood pressure. Singing in groups helps produce endorphins and oxytocin, which create feelings of pleasure and fight against feelings of stress and anxiety.[3] So, singing seems to be good for our health.

Here’s another reason to sing: Music is quite simply a good gift. I don’t think that any of us would deny that music is a good thing. Just think of what life would be like if music didn’t exist. We could still function, yet life would be duller. Music is something that we don’t absolutely need, but something that makes life better. From a biblical perspective, we can say that music is grace: An undeserved, good gift from God. James 1:17 says, “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.”

So, music is a good gift, singing together is good for us, and it creates a sense of community. Those are some good reasons to sing. But there are more.

Within the story of the Bible, God’s people have always sung, particularly in response to God’s great acts of salvation. When God rescued the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt by bringing them through the Red Sea, they sang on the other side (Exod. 15). Moses and the Israelites sang,

“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him” (Exod. 15:1b–2).[4]

Over four hundred years later, when David was king, the Israelites brought the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem, and David commanded the Levites to identify singers and instrumentalists to “play loudly” and “raise sounds of joy” (1 Chron. 15:16). And then David sang,

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works! (1 Chron. 16:8-9)

23  Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.
24  Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples! (1 Chron. 16:23-24)

When David’s son, Solomon, built the temple in Jerusalem, singers helped the people celebrate (2 Chron. 5:12-13). Clearly, God’s people celebrated important events in their history with singing. They sang of God’s salvation of them and God’s provision for them. And it seems that they didn’t even have to be commanded by God to sing. They sang because they wanted to. They sang because they were thankful for what God had done for them.

And that leads me to another point: We often sing about what we love the most. We praise what we love. That’s why love songs exist. People sing about the one they love. Singing helps us express our greatest desires and our greatest emotions.[5]

I would say that one of the main reasons why we sing is so that we can get theological truths from our heads into our hearts. When we sing, we’re not just rehearsing true statements about God and what he has done. When we sing, we feel what God is like and what he has done for us. God has made us not just to be thinking creatures, but also feeling creatures. And he has given us bodies, so we are supposed to be creatures that not only feel things emotionally, but feel things physically. Singing is a physical act that helps us feel emotionally. When we sing true words about God, we are thinking, feeling, and doing all at the same time.

Sometimes, we sing in response to something we already feel. Sometimes, we sing in order to feel something that we know to be true but don’t yet feel. I don’t know if any of you have sung a hymn to remind yourself of a truth you already know. I know I have. (“It Is Well with My Soul” is particularly good for Christians when they don’t feel that things are well.) I imagine that’s what Paul and Silas did in Acts 16:25 when they were in jail in Philippi. I doubt they sang because they were feeling good. They probably sang to remind themselves of who God is and what he had already done for them and what he promised he would do for them in the future. I think that singing is one of the few things that helps when we’re not feeling thankful to God, when we’re depressed, or when we seem to lost our love for God.

Here’s another reason why singing is good: It helps us memorize truths. How many of us can remember lyrics to the silliest, most worthless songs we heard when we were young? Sometimes, even when we don’t try to memorize words to songs, we do anyway. When we sing hymns and songs that have words directly from the Bible or words based on the Bible, we start to memorize theological truths that stick with us.

Singing is also something that we can do as a congregation. It’s an activity we can all be engaged in at the same time. That’s another reason to sing.

Of course, we also sing because we’re commanded to. In the Old Testament, we find commands to sing, particularly in the Psalms. We read things like:

  Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name (Ps. 30:4).

And:

Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm! (Ps. 47:6–7)[6]

We also find commands to sing in the New Testament, which we’ll look at in a moment.

All of this leads me to a second question: What are we supposed to sing? We have several good reasons to sing, but what does the Bible say about what types of songs we are supposed to sing?

I ask this question because there tends to be tension in churches about whether old hymns or new songs should be sung. What does the Bible actually say about this issue?

There are two passages in the New Testament that tell us what kind of things we should sing. The two passages are parallel; in other words, they basically say the same thing, and they are both written by Paul.

The first one is Ephesians 5:19. To get a sense of the context, I’ll read verses 15–21:

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

In this passage, Paul is in the middle of telling the Ephesians how to live in light of the gospel. Paul has spent the first three chapters telling the Ephesians about how God has predestined them for salvation, and how God has redeemed them with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. He has told them that God the Father has adopted them now that they are united to the Son of God. He has told them that they have the Holy Spirit living inside of them. He has told them that Jesus is above all power and authority on earth. He has told them that they have been reconciled to God and saved from sin and condemnation, all through God’s free gift of grace. They have been made spiritually alive, and this is God’s work. Paul has told them that God has brought them into the one people of God, where the Holy Spirit dwells and where God’s wisdom and glory are displayed.

I take time to describe this because this is the good news of Christianity. We all have turned away from God. We have ignored our purpose for living, which is to have a right relationship with God. Yet God saves his people by sending his Son to live the perfect life that none of us live. He is the perfect representative of God. He is the one who truly worships God always. And yet though he is perfect and never did anything wrong, he was treated as a criminal and he was sentenced to death. He agreed to this plan, dying on the cross in our place, so that everyone who turns to him, trusts him, and follows him has the penalty for their sin paid for. If turning away from God is a crime, we are all guilty. But those who turn to Jesus are declared innocent because Jesus paid did the time for them. He paid their sentence. They are now free to live as children of God.

This is a great reason why we should sing. Christians have been forgiven and have been reconciled to God, not because we are good, but because Jesus is good. And we can look forward to living with God in a perfect world on that day when Jesus returns and makes all things right, when the dead are raised and Christians receive new bodies that cannot die again.

As Paul is telling the Ephesians how to make the best use of their time, he tells them that they shouldn’t get drunk. They shouldn’t be controlled by alcohol. By extension, they shouldn’t be controlled by drugs, either. But they should be controlled by the Holy Spirit. And they should address one another “in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Don’t miss that: Part of the way that we make good use of our time is by singing to each other.

The parallel passage is in the book of Colossians, which is another one of Paul’s letters. Specifically, the verse is Colossians 3:16, but to get some context, I’ll read verses 12–17:

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Here, you can see that Paul wants us to be more like Jesus. And he wants us to be thankful. But look at verse 16: Paul tells us to “[l]et the word of Christ dwell in [us] richly, teaching and admonishing one another in wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” In Ephesians, Paul says to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Here, he says to have Christ’s word dwell in us. If you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you need to be filled with Jesus’ words. And, really, the whole Bible is Jesus’ words because Jesus is God. So, if you want to experience more of God, you need his words dwelling in you.

But, as far as music goes, the point in these two passages is that we should sing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” Somehow, this is part of how the Spirit fills us, how the word of Christ dwells in us, and how we teach and admonish each other. What do these three categories of song mean? It seems that “Psalms” are the Psalms of the Old Testament.[7] They are songs of praise. That’s why many Psalms have some musical direction underneath their titles. The words are poetry, and they are like prayers, but they are intended also to be sung. That’s why many churches sing settings of Psalms regularly. The best hymns pull phrases from different parts of the Bible, including the Psalms. And even new songs incorporate ideas and phrases from the Psalms. For example, the refrain “Bless the Lord, O my soul” that we sing in the song “10,000 Reasons” comes from Psalm 103.

A “hymn” here doesn’t refer to a style of music. It refers to a “song of praise.” The word itself is hardly used in the New Testament, but in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is used to refer to “songs of praise” or “praise” (Pss. 39:4; 64:2; 99:4; 118:171; Isa. 42:10). This word may refer to the texts we have in the New Testament that appear to be songs, like Mary’s “Magnificat” in Luke 1:46-55, or the “song of Simeon” (the “Nunc Dimittas”) in Luke 2:29-32. Other possible hymns are John 1:1–18; Philippians 2:6–11; Colossians 1:15–20; and 1 Timothy 3:16.

A “spiritual songs” doesn’t mean spirituals, or songs that are “spiritual,” which is pretty vague. It refers to songs prompted by the Holy Spirit. These could be spontaneous songs composed on the spot.

At any rate, these three words refer to types of texts. They do not refer to musical genres. And here’s an important point: We have no idea what the music sung in biblical times sounded like. Modern musical notation started around the year 900, over 800 years after the Bible was completed, and it would take a few hundred years for that notation to resemble what we have today. So we don’t have the sheet music of that time. Obviously, we don’t have any audio recordings of early Christian music. But what Jesus and Paul sang was very different from “Amazing Grace,” and I’m sure even our older hymns might have sounded very foreign to their ears.

The point is that the Bible doesn’t tell us a certain musical style to sing. Musical styles are constantly changing. What’s most important are the words we sing. We need to sing words that reflect and communicate biblical truth. They need to be centered on God. They need to exalt Jesus. And they should be ones that can be understood by people today.

As for music, we should try to sing music that is beautiful, music that reminds us that God is transcendent and glorious. That means we should try to identify some hymns and songs that will stand the test of time. We should also try to sing music that stirs our souls, songs that speak to our hearts. We should sing music that is intelligible to contemporary generations. After all, music is a language unto itself, and we want our language to be understood. That means that some of our songs will be newer, able to speak more directly to the hearts of younger people.

When we sing as a congregation, we want to sing music that can be sung together. That means we can’t sing music that is too difficult to sing. The music we sing shouldn’t have too wide of a range. It shouldn’t be too high or too low. The rhythm can’t be too complex. Handel’s Messiah is a great piece of music, but a church full of average singers won’t be able to sing it well. Our goal is to sing together.

It should go without saying that this emphasis on congregational singing means that our music isn’t meant to be entertainment. We’re not here to put on a show. In fact, the kind of music sung should be one of the least important factors in picking a church. What’s more important is whether the church is preaching the Bible accurately and whether the church is following the Bible’s teachings faithfully.

You may have favorite hymns and songs that we haven’t been singing. And the reason we haven’t been signing them is that they may not be good pieces of music, songs that have a beautiful melody or harmonic progression. They may be pieces that sound like they belong to one particular musical era that has come and gone. Their words may not be theologically sound. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy these hymns and songs at home. But for our corporate worship, I try to pick music that is of good theology, good quality, is singable, stirs the soul, and is intelligible to younger generations. That’s a hard balance to achieve.

One last word on the type of music we should sing. The music has to match the text. You can sing the words of “Amazing Grace” to the theme song from “Gilligan’s Island.” In some of the songs we have in our current hymnal, the music doesn’t really fit the text, or even the words don’t fit the theological theme. The greatest example I can think of is “Jesus Is Coming Again” (#567).

Now, very briefly, I want to ask my third question: How do we play music? How do we sing?

We should play musical instruments with excellence. Psalm 33:2–3 says,

Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

I think we should all agree that God deserves to be praised with good music that is performed well. Instrumentalists need to play well. Those who lead singing should be able to sing well.

But, at the same time, when we sing together, it’s not a concert. What matters most is our hearts. We need to sing with hearts tuned to praise God. As Jesus said, God is looking for those who will worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). If singing is a part of worship (please don’t confuse singing with worship!), then singing, too, should be done in spirit and in truth.

I also think we should consider singing in parts, in harmony, because when we sing the same song in parts, we are reflecting the body of Christ. But before I get too far with that idea, I want to move to the piano so I can talk a bit more about music. After all, talking about music is like dancing about architecture. (That’s a saying I didn’t make up, though I don’t know where it originated. Also, the original saying, I believe, is “writing about music is like dancing about architecture.”) Architecture must be seen and experienced, just as music must be heard and experienced. So, let me move to the piano to demonstrate some points.

As I do that, I want to ask a fourth question: What does music say about God?

Let me continue with the idea of parts. In music, we have the melody, the tune. But we also have harmony, the combination of notes that come together to produce a chord. In music, we can have one chord that consists of many different notes. So, there is unity and plurality in a chord, and there is unity and plurality to a four-part hymn. In the same way, there is unity and plurality to the body of Christ, the church. We are one because we are united to Jesus. But we all play different roles. In that way, the church is like a choir. Not all of us will be soloists. Not all of us will sing the melody, the soprano line. Some will, and they are the more visible members of the church. But some of us will perform supporting roles. We’ll sing the inner voices of the chords, the alto and tenor parts. Some members of the church will play foundational roles. They’ll be our basses. Though we all sing different parts, we’re all singing the same piece of music.

You might even say that the unity and plurality of music echoes the unity and plurality of God. We proclaim that there is one God in three Persons. Now, we can’t say that is exactly like one chord consisting of three notes. Because with God, the fullness of God is found in each Person of God; Jesus isn’t one-third of God. So, the analogy breaks down quickly. But there is perfect harmony in a triad just as there is perfect harmony in the Trinity.

Here’s something else, which may be harder to discuss. I think that music is evidence for the existence of God. If you’re not a musician, this next bit may make your eyes glaze over. In fact, it may make your doughnuts glaze over. It’s that technical.

To illustrate, I want to play a short piece of music on the piano. This is a short piano piece written by the German composer, Robert Schumann (1801–1856). It’s called “Träumerei,” which means “dreaming” or “reverie.” It’s part of a larger collection of piano pieces called Kinderszenen, written in 1838.

Here are the two things I want to point out. In a piece of music like this, the musical language or structure is fairly simple. There are a few main chords that are played, with some secondary chords that provide some color. The music sounds good. It’s harmonious. Mostly, this piece of music contains major triads. It’s written in the key of F major. That’s a diatonic key, consisting of seven notes that alternate between whole steps and half steps. (If you don’t know music, think “Doe, a deer, a female deer; ray, a drop of golden sun . . .”). In that key, there are some very prominent chords, such as F major (F-A-C) and C major (C-E-G) or C7, the dominant seventh (C-E-G-Bb). These chords are very consonant. They sound good together. Even when there are brief bits of dissonance, they resolve. We have a strong sense of where “home” is. It’s F, the tonic. We know that the penultimate chord, C7, must resolve to F and not some other chord, like E major or A-flat major.

Here’s what’s interesting: The fact that all of this sounds so normal and good to us is not because it’s simply the music we’re used to. Some people will say that. We can call them musical relativists. They are the kind of people who refuse to say that any one type of music is better than any other. But I think that’s wrong.

The reason why this music sounds so good, and why other, more experimental music of, say, the twentieth century, sounds bad is because this music is based on mathematical relationships. The relationships between notes in a major or minor key, or between chords in those keys, are based on simple mathematical proportions or ratios.

Many of us have heard of “A 440.” That means that the frequency of the A above middle C (A4) is 440 Hz. That means that when I play this key, if it’s tuned to 440hz, the frequency of the strings vibrating will be 440 times per second. The strings will vibrate 440 times per second, which produces sound waves that will oscillate that many times per second. (There will be other vibrations present, which produce harmonics.) Now, if you go to the A above this A (which will be A5), the frequency will be 880. That’s double 440. Every time you go up an octave, the frequency doubles. Of course, every time you go down an octave, the frequency will be divided in two.[8] So, that is a nice mathematical relationship. But you don’t need to know that to know hear the octave.

Now, let’s think about the notes within a key. If we’re in A major, the most prominent chord will be an A major triad: A-C#-E (or do-mi-so in solfege). If the A is 440 Hz, the C-sharp should be 550 Hz, and E 660 Hz. That’s a 4:5:6 ratio. The next most prominent chord is the E major chord, the dominant. And that’s based on E, which is 1.5 times the frequency of A. In fact, all of the common intervals are based on simple ratios. The perfect fourth is a 3:4 ratio. The minor third is a 5:6 ratio. The second is an 8:9 ratio. The major sixth is a 3:5 ratio. The minor seventh is a 4:7 ratio. There is obviously a great deal of order to this music. These aren’t complex, seemingly random ratios (like 1:1.719358).

This illustration is found in Vern Poythress’s Redeeming Science.[9]

This table is found on a Wikipedia page concerning music and mathematics.[10]

Here’s the point of all of this: I believe that God created music for our good. I believe he created the language and structure of music based on mathematical proportions. The reason why this music sounds good to our ears is because it lines up with God’s design for music. The combination of frequencies that harmonize mathematically sound good to our ears because God created our ears, our minds, and the building blocks of music. This is not something we created or invented. It’s something that already exists, something that we discovered. And I think that’s true of so much in this world. It’s true of science. It’s true of God’s design for us as human beings. It’s true of God’s design for marriage and the family. When we discover how God has arranged these things in nature, we find harmony. When we go against God’s design, we get dissonance and cacophony. That’s why music that tries to abandon major and minor scales and these basic intervals doesn’t sound right. It’s going against fabric of God’s creation.

Here’s another reason why music is evidence for God. I think this point is easier to understand. Part of what makes music beautiful is that it is bound by the limitations of time. In short, music runs in real time. We can’t stop it. Yes, you can pause on a chord and just hold it. But it has to move onward until the end of the piece. Yes, you can play it again, but the more and more you play one piece of music, the less beautiful it seems to us. There is something elusive about the beauty of music. It’s like the beauty of fall in New England. It’s wonderful to see the leaves turn color. But there’s a short window of time when we can see these beautiful leaves on trees. Before long, the trees are bare and it’s winter. That makes the beauty of this season more precious. Yet here’s also something kind of heartbreaking about it. In this world, we want to hang on to beauty, but we can’t. We want the world to be beautiful always because we have a sense that that is the way the world ought to be. Yet we find that we can’t hang on to beauty because we live in a now-fallen world. So we want beauty, but beauty never lasts, and that fact makes the experience of beauty a bittersweet one. David Skeel calls this the “paradox of beauty.” He writes, “This perception that beauty is real and that it reflects the universe as it is meant to be, but that it is impermament and somehow corrupted, is the paradox of beauty.”[11] The story of Christianity accounts for this paradox. God made a beautiful world that was marred by sin. We now live in a fallen world. We can experience beauty, but it never lasts. We long for a perfect world where beauty remains, where it stays and we don’t get bored of it. And Christianity tells us that Jesus will make this perfect world—and perfectly beautiful—when he comes to restore all things. So even the elusive beauty of music is evidence for the Christian worldview.

One last thing: Music and singing tell us something about God. In one passage in the Old Testament, in the prophet Zephaniah, we’re told that God himself sings over his people. This is Zephaniah 3:14–20:

14  Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15  The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
16  On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
17  The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
18  I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
19  Behold, at that time I will deal
with all your oppressors.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
20  At that time I will bring you in,
at the time when I gather you together;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes,” says the Lord.

The prophet Zephaniah spoke of the day of the Lord (Zeph. 1:7), a day of judgment and a day of salvation. After judgment, God would restore his people, and defeat their enemies. Jesus has taken away the judgment of all who turn to him, trust him, and follow him. Yet we look forward to the day when all of this is completed, when Jesus defeats the last enemy, which is death (1 Cor. 15:26). As we wait for that day, we can know this: God exults over us with loud singing. Earlier, I said that we sing about the things we love. We praise what we love. God sings over his people because he loves them. Let us sing about God, because we love him in return.

Notes

  1. Russell Baker, “Observer; Hear America Listening,” New York Times, November 2, 1991, http://www.nytimes.com/1991/11/02/opinion/observer-hear-america-listening.html, accessed October 22, 1991.
  2. Ben Ratliff, “Shared Song, Communal Memory,” New York Times, February 10, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/arts/music/10ratli.html, accessed October 22, 2016.
  3. Stacy Horn, “Singing Changes Your Brain,” Time, August 16, 2013, http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/16/singing-changes-your-brain, accessed October 22, 2016.
  4. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV).
  5. See James 5:13b: “Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.”
  6. See also Pss. 81:1; 95:1; 96:1–2; 98:1, 4–6; 105:2; 135:3; 147:7; 149:1.
  7. The Greek word, ψαλμος, is used also in 1 Corinthians 14:26, where it may not refer to a Psalm of the Old Testament but to a song of praise or “hymn” (as in the ESV).
  8. On pianos, the actually frequencies may vary due to something called equal temperament, which makes it possible to play any key and have it sound good. The frequencies I mention here would be found in just temperament, or just intonation, which is a more pure tuning.
  9. Vern Poythress, Redeeming Science: A God-Centered Approach (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2006), 288.
  10. “Music and Mathematics,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_and_mathematics, accessed October 22, 2016.
  11. David Skeel, True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2014), 65.

 

The Image of God

Pastor Brian Watson preaches a sermon on the importance of the image of God. Genesis 1:26-28 says that God made human beings in his image and likeness. Brian explains the meaning and significance of this idea, why it gives us purpose in our lives, how we fail to live according to God’s design, and how we can find hope and renewal in Jesus Christ.

Do Not Love the World (1 John 2:12-17)

This sermon was preached on May 21, 2017 by Brian Watson.
Sermon recording
PDF of sermon typescript

Today, we’re celebrating a baptism. Baptism is a ceremony that has great significance. It signifies a change in a person. God has transferred the person who is being baptized out of the realm of darkness and into the kingdom of light. That person has gone from spiritual death to spiritual life. The old self has died and the new self is risen in Jesus Christ.

Baptism also signifies cleansing. The person being baptized has been washed of her sins, completely forgiven because Jesus paid the penalty for her sins and because his perfect life is credited to her.

Baptism is also a ceremony that demonstrates a commitment. I compare it to a wedding ceremony. That may seem strange at first, but they share a lot in common. They are public ceremonies held before witnesses, both God and the people who are gathered. They demonstrate a change in identity. They are outward signs of something that has already happened internally. The rite of baptism represents the internal faith that a Christian has, as well as the cleansing that person has already received. (I should be clear that the rite of baptism doesn’t impart faith or saving grace.) A wedding is a sign of a commitment that two people have already made to each other. They already love each other and have agreed to live their lives together. Now, before witnesses, they make promises. In a similar way, baptism is saying “I do” to Jesus in front of the witnesses of a local church. And I think this analogy isn’t a stretch because the Bible often likens the relationship between God and his people to a marriage. That’s why we call the church the “bride of Christ.”

As we think about baptism and the commitment it entails, we should consider what it means to be a Christian. We’ve already been doing that in recent weeks as we’ve been looking at 1 John, a letter written by one of Jesus’ initial followers, the apostle John. This week’s passage, 1 John 2:12–17, fits baptism well because it talks about the commitment that Christians make when following Jesus.

The passage is divided into two halves. The first half, verses 12–14, is a bit like a poem. John has written some tough words in the previous verses. He says that those who don’t obey God don’t know him, and that those who don’t specifically obey the commandment to love others don’t know Jesus. After such stern words, John wants to encourage his readers. This poem does that.[1] Let’s read verses 12–14 to see how John addresses his readers.

12  I am writing to you, little children,
because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
13  I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.
14  I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God abides in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.[2]

I’ll have to admit that in the past I have found these verses to be a bit perplexing. I didn’t really understand what John meant. But after studying the passage, I understand it a lot better. First of all, notice the structure. In verses 12 and 13, John addresses “little children,” “fathers,” and “young men.” At the very end of verse 13 in the ESV, we read of “children,” and then in verse 14, we read of “fathers” and “young men.”[3] So, it seems that this little poem has an A-B-C, A-B-C structure. In other words, it has two halves, and each half addresses “children,” “fathers,” and “young men.”

Now, are these supposed to be three groups of people? It seems that when John writes to “little children” or “children,” he is addressing all Christians, because throughout the letter he uses this term to address all Christians (2:1, 12, 13, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4; 5:21). John says that the sins of the children of God have been forgiven “for his name’s sake.” This is a translation that seems to hang on to what we find in the King James Version. A better translation would be “through his name,” or “on account of his name.” The “his” is Jesus. His name represents his character, his identity, his person. His name literally means “God saves” or “God is salvation.” Because Jesus is God incarnate, who lived the perfect life that God requires of his people and died an atoning death, all who have a right relationship with him are forgiven of their sins. This is true of all Christians. It is also true that all Christians know the Father.

It would seem that John then addresses two groups of Christians. First, he addresses the “fathers.” This is probably a term used for older Christians. And then, he addresses “young men,” which probably refers to younger Christians. Both times, John says that the “fathers” know “him who is from the beginning.” That’s Jesus. The older Christians know Jesus. They don’t just know facts about him. They have a right relationship with him. They know who the real Jesus is, and they are united to him. Perhaps John is writing this because, as we’ll see next week, one of the problem that he addresses in this letter is false teachers. There were people in the churches he is writing to who didn’t know the real Jesus. But true Christians know, love, worship, and obey the true Jesus.

The younger Christians, the “young men,” “have overcome the evil one,” Satan. They are strong. The word of God abides in them. Putting that all together, we might they have the strength to overcome Satan because the word of God abides in them. The word of God is Jesus, but it’s also the message concerning Jesus. Jesus dwells in these believers by means of the Holy Spirit, and they have clung to the gospel message. This is the same thing that John writes in Revelation 12:11: “they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” The only way that anyone can overcome Satan is by knowing Jesus, having the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer, and clinging fast to God’s word.

To sum it up: “children” refer to all Christians; “fathers” refers to older Christians; and “young men” refers to younger Christians. Augustine, in one of his sermons on 1 John, sums it nicely: “In the sons, birth: in the fathers, antiquity: in the young men, strength.”[4] All children of God are spiritually reborn. Older Christians have a more experienced knowledge of God. And younger Christians possess the strength of the young.

I don’t think we should get hung up on the fact that John uses male language of “fathers” and “young men.” When we read “brothers” in the letters of the Bible, it’s clear that women are also included. When masculine plural nouns are used in this way, they refer both to men and women. Truly, all Christians, whether young or old, male or female, know God and have overcome the evil one. Older Christians should have a greater knowledge of God that they can pass on to younger generations. Younger Christians can be strong in their zeal and what they can do for Jesus, but they must find their strength in Jesus and they must hold fast to Scripture.

John’s main point is that we know we are Christians if we do these things. John also uses this little poem to prepare for another strong commandment. Part of living in the light and obeying God is to give our ultimate allegiance to God. Let’s read verses 15–17 to see what John says.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

At first, this commandment seems impossible. If we only read, “Do not love the world or the things in the world,” we might think that we can’t love other people, because, after all, they are in the world. And wouldn’t that contradict what John has already written? In verse 10, John writes, “Whoever loves his brother abides in the light.”

To understand what John means, we have to look carefully at how John defines “world.” Here’s one thing we need to keep in mind: Sometimes, “world” or “earth” simply refers to this planet and has a neutral meaning. And we know from other parts of the Bible that God made everything and it is his. Psalm 24:1 says,

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein.

But “the world” can have another meaning. “Sometimes the world is seen as an organized system of human civilization and activity which is opposed to God and alienated from him.”[5] First John 3:13 says, “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.” James 4:4 says, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” Clearly, John has this negative sense of “the world” in mind.

Here’s a second thing we need to keep in mind: When interpreting one part of Scripture, we can’t pit it against other Scripture. If all Scripture is God-breathed, and is God’s word, we should expect harmony. From the rest of the Bible, we know that when God made the world, he initially made it good (Genesis 1). Though the power of sin is at work in the world, we can still enjoy God’s creation. Another apostle, Paul, tells his younger associate Timothy about people who forbid eating certain foods and even marrying. He says that this isn’t right. Paul’s reason? “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer” (1 Tim. 4:4–5). Paul also says that God “richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17). I don’t think John is teaching a different message than Paul. John doesn’t mean we can’t love other people or enjoy things that God has made.

So, here is the third thing to keep in mind: If we are going to understand what John means by “the world,” we need to pay careful attention to how he defines it. We find a definition in verse 16: “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” The real problem isn’t the things in the world. The problem is our desires and our pride. Almost anything in the world can be used in a positive way or a negative way. The things themselves are generally neutral. The real problem is our relationship to those things. When John warns us about loving the world, he means that we shouldn’t love the world more than we love God, or even as much as we love God. If our love for God’s creation leads us to covet and lust, and to take pride in our possessions, then we have a great problem. One commentator that I’ve been studying is Robert Yarbrough, who writes, “to set one’s heart on the world is effectively to expel God from the heart. To attempt to love God in multitasking fashion, dedicating a portion of one’s love worldward and then the remaining amount godward, is fruitless because it fails to acknowledge God as he truly is: sole, unique, sovereign, alone deserving one’s core allegiance.”[6]

The problem, really, is our desires. We crave things that God doesn’t want us to have. Some theologians see a hint of Eve’s temptation here. She craved the forbidden fruit after Satan tempted her. She saw “that it was a delight to the eyes” (Gen. 3:6). Her pride caused her to want to “be like God” (Gen. 3:5). Whether John had Eve (and Adam) in mind, we all are like Eve: We crave what we don’t have, we see things we covet, and we tend to rely on our possessions. Instead of being content with what God has given us and relying on the Giver, we make the gift ultimate and we want more and more.

Because of our sinful condition, we tend to make even good gifts ultimate things in our lives. When we do that, we ignore the Giver. I quoted Augustine, one of the church’s most influential theologians, earlier. In one of his sermons on 1 John, he said that we tend to make the things of this world the objects of our worship. He said,

God does not forbid you to love these things, nevertheless, [God commands] not to set your affections upon them for blessedness, but to approve and praise them to this end, that you may love your Creator. In the same manner, my brothers, as if a bridegroom should make a ring for his bride, and she having received the ring, should love it more than she loves the bridegroom who made the ring for her: would not her soul be found guilty of adultery in the very gift of the bridegroom, however she did but love what the bridegroom gave her? By all means let her love what the bridegroom gave: yet should she say, “This ring is enough for me, I do not wish to see his face now:” what sort of woman would she be? Who would not detest such folly? who not pronounce her guilty of an adulterous mind?[7]

Wouldn’t it be strange if a man proposed to his girlfriend and she took the engagement ring and said, “Thanks, but now that I have this ring, I don’t require your services anymore”? Wouldn’t it also be strange if she said, “You gave me this modest ring? Why didn’t you give me a bigger diamond? Don’t you know I want platinum and not gold?” Augustine says that we are like that woman. We take the good things that God has given us but we don’t want a relationship with God. Or we’re not content with what God has given us and we want more and more.

That’s the problem with our cravings. In fact, there are several problems with loving the world in this ultimate way, as opposed to loving God. One, when we covet and lust and desire more and more, we aren’t grateful. We don’t really love the Giver. Instead, we take the gift and ignore the One who gave it to us. We don’t thank him. We don’t want a relationship with him. And we certainly don’t want him to be our King. Our problem is that we don’t want God to be our authority. We don’t trust that he is a good King. Something or someone else fills that role of authority in our lives. Jesus said that we cannot serve two masters. We will end up hating one and loving the other, or being devoted to one and not the other (Matt. 6:24). We often think we can handle the role of King, and so we reject God. When we reject God, we think we’re free.

But this leads us to another problem with loving the world in the way that John write about. Two, the person who follows every urge isn’t free. That person is enslaved by his or her desires. And that person is never happy and never satisfied. He’s like someone who is thirsty but only has salt water to drink. The salt water never quenches his thirst. In fact, it increases his thirst.[8]

That is because the goods of the world can’t satisfy us. They hold out that promise, of course, but it’s all a cheat. So many of us long for things that we will never get, like riches and power and fame and the world’s greatest entertainments. But even if we did get them, we would find that, though nice, they don’t live up to their billing. They would leave us wanting more. They would leave us asking, “Is that all there is?”

A third problem is that, as John puts is, “the world is passing away.” All the things we crave don’t last. The things we take pride in aren’t eternal. There are so many good things that we can misuse my making them ultimate things in our lives. We can do that with our marriages. Marriage is a good gift, but your spouse can never be your Lord and Savior. And our marriages have expiration dates. Some people make their children their idols. But our relationship with children may not last, and they certainly will disappoint us. Some people live for entertainment and pleasure, but those are the shortest-lasting things that exist. The same is true for sex. All of the things that we tend to desire the most don’t last. How foolish are we to put our trust in them? Especially when our lives are short and our deaths are inevitable?

Blaise Pascal once wrote, “You do not need a greatly elevated soul to realize that in this life there is no true and firm satisfaction, that all our pleasures are simply vanity, that our afflictions are infinite, and lastly that death, which threatens us at every moment, must in a few years infallibly present us with the appalling necessity of being either annihilated or wretched for all eternity.”[9] In other words, you don’t have to be particularly smart or astute to know that all our pleasures don’t satisfy, that they’re empty, that our pain is great, and that death threatens to put an end to us. If you’re an atheist, you assume that death means annihilation, the end, full stop. But if there’s a heaven and a hell, then there’s something infinitely worse, a wretched experience for all eternity. This should force us to wake up, to take a more serious look at what matters in life.

Elsewhere, Pascal has the following meditation:

When I consider the short span of my life absorbed into the preceding and subsequent eternity . . . , the small space which I fill and even can see, swallowed up in the infinite immensity of spaces of which I know nothing and which knows nothing of me, I am terrified, and surprised to find myself here rather than there, for there is no reason why it should be here rather than there, why now rather than then. Who put me here? On whose orders and on whose decision have this place and this time been allotted to me?[10]

If we think about our lives in the grand spaces of time and of the universe, we should be terrified. Who are we? We’re just specks of dust in a massive universe. What do we matter? Compared to eternity, our lives are but mists. Why should we live here and now? Why should we exist? Who put us here? The fact that our lives come and go in the vast spaces of eternity should cause us to ask questions. And, if we’re wise, we should want to grab on to something eternal.

In the same sermon I quoted earlier, Augustine says that the one eternal thing we can hold onto is Jesus. He says

The river of temporal things hurries one along: but like a tree sprung up beside the river is our Lord Jesus Christ. He assumed flesh, died, rose again, ascended into heaven. It was His will to plant Himself, in a manner, beside the river of the things of time. Are you rushing down the stream to the headlong deep? Hold fast the tree. Is love of the world whirling you on? Hold fast Christ. For you He became temporal, that you might become eternal; because He also in such sort became temporal, that He remained still eternal. Something was added to Him from time, not anything went from His eternity. But you were born temporal, and by sin were made temporal: you were made temporal by sin, He was made temporal by mercy in remitting sins.[11]

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like life is “rushing down the stream to the headlong deep.” Time moves quickly, and it only moves in one direction. We all have the experience of having time evade our grasp. We can’t hold on to the best moments and we can’t go back in time to fix the bad ones. And as we get older, time seems to move more swiftly. But Jesus is the eternal one who entered time to make us eternal. If we hold fast to him, though the world passes away, we will not.

John tells us that whoever does the will of God abides forever. We don’t get eternal life by doing the will of God, as if eternal life is something we could ever earn. That’s not the gospel. Eternal life is a gift received by those who trust in Jesus. In fact, we can say that Jesus is the only one who truly loved the Father more than he loved the world. He loved the Father more than the world for the sake of the world. He is the one who was able to resist the desires of this world. Augustine says that Satan tried to tempt Jesus with the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life. According to Augustine,

By these three was the Lord tempted of the devil. By the lust of the flesh He was tempted when it was said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, speak to these stones that they become bread,” when He hungered after His fast. . . . He was tempted also by the lust of the eyes concerning a miracle, when he said to Him, “Cast yourself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.” . . . By “pride of life” how was the Lord tempted? When he carried Him up to a high place, and said to Him, “All these will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” By the loftiness of an earthly kingdom he wished to tempt the King of all worlds: but the Lord who made heaven and earth trod the devil under foot.[12]

Jesus did what we can’t do, live the perfect life, for us.

Those who follow Jesus will follow in his footsteps. They don’t love the world in the way that John writes about. They love God first and foremost. They can love other people and the world, but not in a way that competes with their love for God. And, as John says earlier in his letter, those who have eternal life confess their sin, are cleansed, obey God, and love others. These are all signs of a Christian.

In fact, there’s a clear connection between verses 12–14 and verses 15–17. The ones whom John addresses in verses 12–14 are the ones who don’t love the world more than they love God. They are the ones who do the will of God. Their love for God and their obedience to God are daily realities. But those who love the world more than they love God, who love the gift but not the Giver, are the ones who do not overcome the evil one. They will not receive eternal life because they don’t walk in the light.

What does this mean for us? I see two important applications from this passage, one that is implied in verses 12–14 and one that is quite clear in verses 15–17.

In his little poem, John talks about older and younger Christians. In an ideal world, older Christians would be mature and would have a great knowledge of God. In the real world, I have seen older people who have been very immature in their faith, who have been selfish and demanded that things in church be done “their way,” and who haven’t had great theological knowledge. That shouldn’t be the case. Older Christians should have great wisdom, knowledge, and experience, and they should pass that on to younger Christians. John doesn’t say that here, but that is a very biblical concept. If you take your faith seriously and are living in light of eternity, and if you’re a “father” of the church, you should mentor someone younger. Older Christians, what are you doing now to pass on your knowledge and wisdom to younger generations? If you’re not doing anything along these lines, why not? Is the love of the world stopping you?

Younger Christians, you should also pay heed to what John says. You may have physical strength, but do you have spiritual strength? Are you overcoming the evil one by clinging to the word of God? Do you know the word of God? It is so important to know the Bible and to hold fast to the gospel message. In John’s day, people had left the churches because they had abandoned the faith that John and the other apostles taught. If you don’t know the word of God, you may be like those people whom John describes in verse 19: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us.” Real Christians abide in Christ by doing the simple things like reading the Bible and praying on a daily basis and being a part of the church. False Christians have a superficial knowledge of God’s word. They won’t overcome the evil one; instead, they will be overcome.

The second application for us comes from verses 15–17. We should love God more than anything else, and we should take our faith seriously. We should live in light of eternity. So many things in this world will pass away. So much of what we waste our time on will be gone and will be forgotten. Much of what seems important right now won’t even be a footnote in the pages of history. That’s true of stories in the news. It’s true of sports and entertainment. It’s true of our hobbies. And if our love for any of these things has displaced our love for God, we’re in trouble. At the least, it harms our relationship with God and keeps us from experiencing fully his presence, love, and blessings. It also keeps us from being effective Christians. At worst, our disordered desires and loves may be a sign that we aren’t really Christians.

This passage should cause all of us to reassess our lives. Do we love the world as much we love God? Do we love the world more than we love God? If so, then the things that God has created have become idols to us. We get more joy of them than we get joy from God. We trust them to fulfill us more than we trust God. We’re more committed to them than we’re committed to God. Some of us are more committed to our hobbies than we are to God. If your hobby keeps you from worshiping God, from committing to the local church, then you need to repent. We must continue to worship together each Lord’s Day, to serve in the church and be served. We shouldn’t be like the bride who takes the ring from the groom and then ignores him.

Some of us may covet what we don’t have. We may wish we had more of what others have, what the world offers. If that is the case, we should consider what God has given to us and be thankful. Enjoy what God has given you to enjoy, and let those gifts lead you to praise the Giver. Don’t be like the woman who, upon receiving the engagement ring, asks, “Is this the best ring you could give me?”

Some of us may take pride in our possessions, trusting them instead of trusting in God. We may be like the woman who says, “Look at my ring” instead of “look at my husband,” the one who takes pride in the gift instead of the Giver. Remember that your possessions will pass away. They won’t die to pay for your sins. They won’t forgive you if you don’t take care of them. But Jesus did die for your sins, and he has forgiven you and will forgive you. If you’ve been baptized, if you professed your “I do” to Jesus, then continue to trust in him. He is the only Savior, the eternal God who entered into history to save temporal man. And if you haven’t said “I do” to Jesus, I would urge you to do that today. Everything else will pass away and fade into the abyss.

Notes

  1. I got this insight from David Helm, on Nancy Guthrie’s podcast, “Help Me Teach Me the Bible.”
  2. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV).
  3. Some translations have verse 14 start with the second address to “children.” This represents the versification of the United Bible Society’s latest Greek New Testament.
  4. Augustine of Hippo, “Ten Homilies on the First Epistle of John,” in St. Augustine: Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homilies on the First Epistle of John, Soliloquies, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. H. Browne and Joseph H. Myers, vol. 7, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1888), 471.
  5. David Jackman, The Message of John’s Letters: Living in the Love of God, The Bible Speaks Today (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 60.
  6. Robert W. Yarbrough, 1–3 John, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 130.
  7. Augustine of Hippo, “Ten Homilies on the First Epistle of John,” 473. I modernized the language in this quote for ease of comprehension.
  8. I got the salt water illustration from David Jackman, The Message of John’s Letters: Living in the Love of God, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England; Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 63: “It is like drinking salt water. Far from bringing satisfaction, the unquenchable thirst is in fact increased, and that is no way for a child of God to live.”
  9. Blaise Pascal, “Pensées,” §681, in Penseées and Other Writings, trans Honor Levi, Oxford World’s Classics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 160.
  10. Ibid., §102, p. 26.
  11. Augustine of Hippo, “Ten Homilies on the First Epistle of John,” 473. Again, I modernized the language slightly in order to understand it better.
  12. Augustine of Hippo, “Ten Homilies on the First Epistle of John,” 474–475. Again, I modernized Augustine’s language.

 

The Lord Gave, and the Lord Has Taken Away (Job 1-2)

Pastor Brian Watson begins a sermon series through the book of Job. He shows what happens in the first two chapters, which give us some indication of why there is evil and suffering in the world and how we can respond to it.

On Music

Pastor Brian Watson presents a message on music, particularly singing in church. He asks and answers four important questions: Why do we sing? What do we sing? How do we sing? What does music tell us about God and his people?