Weekly Liturgy of Green Pond Bible Chapel

[Why do we do what we do? CLICK HERE for an explanation on why we use the word “liturgy”, why we do more than just sing, and how this corporate discipline shapes us]


9/15/19

We’ll be continuing through 1 Kings this Sunday with chapter 2. In this passage we learn that the peace of God’s kingdom is established by waging war with sin. Solomon engages in violent destruction of the remaining sinful leaders and influences, yet at the cross we see the greater Son of David destroying the power of darkness by submitting to violence. Thus our focus will be on the need for sin to be abolished, while recognizing how it is to be done in the New Covenant under Jesus.

We’ll begin by praising God for who he is as Creator, Redeemer, and King over all. “Come Praise and Glorify” calls us to acknowledge the Trinity’s work in salvation, and “How Great Thou Art” continues to exalt God for is power in Creation, his power over sin by sending Jesus, and anticipating his return.

After Elder Prayer and a baptism (Candis Tanis in 1st service!), we will rejoice in our Conquering King who defeated evil in his death and resurrection with “O Worship The Lord”. Our response is in verse 4 (Now let us hold fast to what we confess, to his precious blood and covenant rest). We will take a moment to consider how we have not dealt with our sin and waged war against it by considering 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.” We’ll respond with “Rock of Ages”, taking refuge in the stronghold that God provides in Himself as we seek to demolish proud strongholds in our own lives.

Our response to the sermon will be “Stronger“, which highlights the strength of Christ to defeat our enemies that came through the weakness of the cross. Our benediction will be Ephesians 3:16-19…

May God grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.


9/8/19

We are beginning our new Kings series this Sunday. As we take a hard look at the successes and failures of the monarchy, we’ll see examples to follow and reject, but that’s not all! Ultimately these stories create a vacuum that only the True King can fill. The success of the kings don’t last and aren’t perfect. Their failures are tragic and plentiful. They create a longing for a true King to put things to right and to bring a rightful order to the world.

In 1 Kings 1 we see how Solomon comes to power by overcoming the self-exaltation of others, and learn that the greater Son of David saves us from self-exaltation. Our call to worship will be Psalm 97:1-6…

The LORD reigns! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coasts and islands be glad! Clouds and total darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him and burns up his foes on every side. His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; all the peoples see his glory.

We’ll begin by singing “Doxology of the Trinity” and submit the will of the Father, Son and Spirit in our gathering and in our lives. “Death Was Arrested” will follow, as we glory in the victory of our King who defeated our greatest enemy at the cross.

We’ll then consider the example of self-exaltation in Mark 10:35-45 when the sons of Zebedee wanted to have special treatment in the kingdom of God, and learn that the way to exaltation is by way of sacrificial humility. We’ll have an opportunity to confess how we’ve sought to promote our kingdom over God’s.

We’ll respond with “Living Hope”, considering the great chasm between us and God, and how God’s humility in Christ bridged the gap for us. We’ll then be assured of our standing before the true King with “Before the Throne”.

Our response to the sermon will be “Let Your Kingdom Come”, as we submit to God’s kingdom and all that entails. Our benediction will be Revelation 1:5b-6

To him who loves us and has set us free from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father ​— ​to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.


8/4/19

In Psalm 16 we learn that absolute dependence on God results in our ultimate good. When we give up our autonomy and recognize that dependence on God is the key to our satisfaction, we will experience true and lasting joy.

Our call to worship will be Hebrews 6:19-20, “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever.

We will respond by declaring the source of our stability in God by singing “How Firm A Foundation”, followed by “The Lord, My God, My Salvation”. In the spirit of 16:4 we will call upon the name of the Lord and no other gods for our salvation.

We will then read Psalm 73:25-26, “Who do I have in heaven but you? I desire nothing on earth but you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.” The call of this verse is the let the Spirit prick our consciences about when we can’t say “I desire nothing on earth but you”. Despite our unbelief we sing. Not that we believe perfectly, but that we may believe. We’ll respond with “My Worth Is Not In What I Own”, recognizing that our greatest good comes from God’s gift at the cross. We’ll then take communion, reminding ourselves of the cross, and sing a song of thankfulness in “O Lord My Rock and My Redeemer”.

Our response to the sermon will be “He Will Hold Me Fast”. As Psalm 16 says, this truth will bring us joy as we depend on God for our security. Our benediction will be Philippians 4:19-20…

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.


7/28/19

Today, Psalm 14 calls us to trust the Lord, even in the face of our own sin and the sins of others. His salvation is stronger than either, both to judge evil and justify guilty sinners! Our call to worship will be from Psalm 130, “O people put your hope in the LORD. For there is faithful love with the LORD, and with him is redemption in abundance. And he will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.”

Praise to the Lord the Almighty will be our response as we consider God’s surprising salvation and “ponder anew what the Almighty can do if with his love he befriend thee”.  We’ll then sing a text based off of Psalm 130  to the tune of “O For A Thousand Tongues”. This Psalm serves as a cry out to God similar to Psalm 14. We cry out from the depths and he responds.

In our time of confession we’ll own the fact that when we read in Psalm 14 about “the fool”, it is about us. If it wasn’t for Christ who is our wisdom from God, and the Holy Spirit’s movement in our lives, we would never seek God. Paul in Romans 3 considers Psalm 14, so we’ll consider Romans 3 here…

10 There is no one righteous, not even one.11 There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one…
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. 19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are subject to the law, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become subject to God’s judgment. 20 For no one will be justified in his sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.

Let the Holy Spirit convict us of sin and pride through the Law. Let us recognize that, but for God’s grace, we are no better than those who reject God. The good news is that God make us unrighteous sinners righteous…

21 But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, attested by the Law and the Prophets. 22 The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as an atoning sacrifice in his blood, received through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. 26 God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.

That is our security, our refuge, our hope. Whenever we’re oppressed as Psalm 14 describes, we will recognize God as our refuge and our deliverer, and we rejoice in his salvation.

Rom 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We’ll respond to these readings with “When Trials Come”, finding security in the fact that God is with us and will work through our trials by sanctifying us to prepare us for glory. We’ll sing about that glory and the vindication over the enemies that so often surround us with “When We See Your Face”, and anticipate that ultimate communion with Christ.

Our response to the sermon will be “Stronger”, as we rejoice in the Lord who is stronger than all our enemies, and who humbled himself to the cross to save us. Our benediction will be from Psalm 121…

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.


7/21/19

This Sunday begins our Psalms series! We’ll be doing six more Psalms this summer. These Psalms will cover a huge range of theological topics, emotions, and expressions of worship. They will certainly be enriching for us as a body. Psalm 13 is a Psalm of lament. In the beginning of the Psalm, David cries out to God asking how long until God stops ignoring him in his plight. By the end however, David has reaffirmed his faith in God and rejoices in his salvation. This Psalm demonstrates that this way of approaching God is appropriate, and we are given permission to cry out to him when we don’t understand. His faithfulness displayed to us will cause us to respond in faith ourselves.

We’ll begin with “Let Us Love And Sing And Wonder” a great text by Issac Watts that has been put to modern music. As we sing “through fierce temptation”, we will still delight in the Son who has given us light. We’ll then sing our new song, “The Lord My God My Salvation”, which draws attention to why the Lord is worthy of our praise and trust. The refrain “I will trust and not be afraid” is appropriate for us as we consider Psalm 13. We’ll then finish this segment of praise with “Cornerstone”, affirming that God is the only one worth trusting because of his unfailing love and sovereignty.

We’ll then consider what it looks like to cry out to a God like this. Job 13:15 says, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways before him.” We see in Job’s example and in the example of the Psalm today that it’s ok to ask God what’s going on, yet to to it from a heart of faith and trust. It’s ok to ask “How long O Lord?” We’ll provide space to do just that, and then respond with Psalm 62, which is a call to find rest in God alone.

We’ll respond to the sermon by singing “O Praise the Name”, echoing the last few verses of Psalm 13, “My heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me”. Our benediction will come from Psalm 46:1-3…

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam, we will not fear.


7/14/19

By Mark Lisa

In 1 Corinthians 16 we wrap up our journey through the book by looking at what it looks like to be a cross-centered church by focusing on love and grace. We gathered to join together in worshipping the “matchless King” who “triumphed o’er the grave”. He is enthroned above and we eagerly anticipate the day when we will worship him forever –

“Crown him with many crowns”
“Living hope”
“Death was arrested”

The resurrection validates that God was pleased with Jesus’ death as atonement for our sins. In fact he was the only acceptable atonement. He was blameless, without sin, perfectly holy yet he died in our place. We praised him for his holiness by singing “Holy, Holy, Holy”.

We need not look any further than the life and death of Jesus as the ultimate example of perfect love and grace. We closed our service with “Here is Love”.

7/7/19

In 1 Corinthians 15 we learn what it looks like to live in anticipation of the completed new creation. Because our final enemies have been defeated and will be completely destroyed at the end, we are called to steadfastness and a hope that cannot be thwarted by our present sufferings and circumstances.

Our call to worship will be 1 Peter 1:3-5, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

We’ll respond to God’s grace with “I will Glory in My Redeemer” and “All Creatures of Our God and King” as we anticipate our Redeemer who’s face we will behold and who will return in power to reign.

We’ll respond to God’s glory with confession of sin and assurance of his pardon during communion. We’ll read Isaiah 25:6-9, which anticipates the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, which communion is a foretaste of. We will consider what it looks like to not only look back and reflect on Jesus’ death, but “to proclaim his death till he comes.”  As we consider the great, strong love that God showed us in our rebellion and “conquered death’s sting”, we’ll sing “He Who Is Mighty”, and glory in God’s victory over death with “I Will Rise”.

Our response to the sermon will be “It Is Well” as we glory in the steadfast love of the gospel, and anticipate the day when our “faith shall be sight”, “the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend”. Our benediction will again be Hebrews 13:20-21…

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

6/30/19

Our passage this week is 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 where we see that our union with Christ implies that we will raise like him. Just like we died in Adam, we will have new bodies and be raised like Christ was. This is good news because, despite the corruption and dishonor and weakness we experience now, we will be raised in glory, power and incorruption due to the guarantee that Jesus’ resurrection secured for us.

Our call to worship will be Ephesians 1:3-6, stressing our union with Christ. Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. 5 He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One.

We’ll begin with “Doxology of the Trinity” which points us to the work of the Trinity in saving us, which call us to respond in worship. We’ll continue to praise with “Behold Our God”, looking to the center of the song where we behold God most clearly in Jesus’ death and resurrection.

We’ll then read from Colossians 3:1-10 where we’ll be assured of our union with Christ by faith, and be called to confess and own how we’ve not lived into that new identity.

Col. 3:1   So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Col. 3:5    Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, God’s wrath is coming upon the disobedient, 7 and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. 8 But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator.

We’ll respond with “Before the Throne”, looking to “our risen Lamb, and perfect righteousness” who we are united to, and thus “cannot die”. We’ll then affirm that “It Is Not Death to Die” because of our union with Christ.

We’ll respond to the sermon with “I Will Rise”, affirming the good news we heard and looking with anticipation toward the day when “the darkness breaks to light”. Our benediction will be from Hebrews 13 like  it’s been all through 1 Corinthians 15…

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


6/23/19

In 1 Corinthians 15:29-34, Paul again encourages the church to consider the ramifications of denying the resurrection. If there is no resurrection then why do anything “Christian”, like baptism? If there is no resurrection then why risk anything for anyone? If there is no resurrection then one should enjoy life anyway they want now. Since the resurrection is a fact, Paul exhorts the church to remain faithful to God’s truth and to turn from sin.

We’ll begin with “Jesus Messiah” as we rejoice in the love of God in Christ that dealt with our sin so that we would turn away from it. We’ll continue to glorify God for his attributes of love and holiness with “He Is Our God”.  We’ll read 1 Peter 1:3-4 and sing “Because He Lives”, which will  point us clearly to the sermon’s message that all spiritual life and future physical resurrection life come from our risen Lord. This ought to lead us to faith in who God is and what he’s done.

We’ll take time to confess our sins before God as we think specifically about how we’ve neglected this great salvation.  Selections from Psalm 18 will guide us in our prayer. As you read, consider that sin and death are your greatest enemies, that God has dealt with them, and the reason is because of the righteous life of Jesus on our behalf.

I love you, LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I was saved from my enemies. The ropes of death were wrapped around me; the torrents of destruction terrified me. The ropes of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. I called to the LORD in my distress, and I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he pulled me out of deep water. He rescued me from my powerful enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out to a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; he repaid me according to the cleanness of my hands.

“Rock of Ages” will help us respond to our confession by putting our faith in the only sure thing, that is the righteousness of Christ. That alone provides the “double cure” which saves us from wrath, and makes us pure.

We’ll respond to the sermon with “Man of Sorrows”, as we rejoice in God’s provision in Christ for our deepest problems to be resolved. Our benediction will be Hebrews 13:20-21…

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

6/16/19

1 Corinthians 15:20-28 shows us that at Christ’s resurrection  he was victorious over death, and thus we will be victorious over death when we are raised as well. Although in Adam all die, in Christ all will be made alive!

Our call to worship will be Revelation 1:4b-6 Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has set us free 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.

We’ll then sing “O Fount of Love” and declare that Christ is “victorious forevermore, the ancient foe is laid to rest!”. We’ll respond to Christ’s victory with anticipating our own victory over death with “I Will Rise” and look forward to our faith being made sight.

We’ll then be led into a time of prayer on behalf of the body by Kevin Blanchard, and then consider Colossians 2:13-15…And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive with him and forgave us all our trespasses. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; he triumphed over them in him.

Our response will be to rejoice in Christ’s victory by singing “O Worship The Lord”, which calls us to glorify Christ for his redemptive acts, and thus hold fast to what we’re called to. We’ll continue rejoicing with “Death Was Arrested”, since “the last enemy to be defeated is death”.

Our response to the sermon will be “When We See Your Face”, anticipating the time when “the demons we’ve been fighting, Those without and those within, will be underneath our feet to never rise again. All our sins will be behind us through the blood of Christ erased and we’ll taste Your kindness when we see Your face.”  The benediction will be Hebrews 13:20-21…

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


5/19/19

In 1 Corinthians 14:1-25 we see that the purpose of the spiritual gifts are for the edification and love of the body, not self-promotion. As we saw last week, love is the most important of the virtues and all of our actions ought to be coming from a desire to love. Regarding spiritual gifts, the best way to love the body and build it up is by encouraging through prophecy. We’ve defined prophecy as the delivering of a message from God to someone that builds them up, encourages them, or consoles them. Whatever we do, it’s all for the glory of God and the building up of the church!

Our call to worship is Psalm 103:8-11…

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love. He will not always accuse us or be angry forever. He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his faithful love toward those who fear him.

We’ll begin singing with “O For A Thousand Tongues”, which exults in the salvation that God has accomplished. Charles Wesley wrote this hymn (With 18 original verses! We’ll “only” do 6) on the anniversary of his conversion in praise to God for what he did in his life. We’ll continue to praise God for what he’s done and who he is with “Behold Our God”.  After we exalt in who God is and what he’s done, we’ll be brought to confess in prayer how we have failed to love God and others. “Lord Have Mercy” allows us to confess our unworthiness and need of God, but then rejoice in how he makes us worthy as “sinners washed as saints”. Pat Walsh will then lead us in prayer for our church body and the ministries going on in our midst. We’ll prepare for the sermon by singing “Speak O Lord”, as we seek to submit to his grace and love, and be built up by the truth shown to us in scripture.

We’ll respond to the sermon by singing “When We See Your Face”. We anticipate the day when all gifts cease and are not needed because we will know and be fully known by Jesus! The benediction will be 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13…

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 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.


5/12/19

1 Corinthians 13 is the famous “love passage” everyone reads at weddings, but what is it really about? Paul is exalting love over all the gifts, basically saying that none of the other gifts matter if you don’t have love. When that perfect love is shown in the face of Jesus, all other gifts will be unnecessary, but love will never end, only increase! Paul uses this vitally important excursus on love to draw the Corinthians’ attention away from the things that are temporary and toward more eternal longings of knowing Jesus and being fully known by him in his love.

We’ll begin by singing “Here Is Love” which will center us on the true love of God out of which flows all human love that we seek to replicate. “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery” then points us to the center of that love in the story of the gospel, and ends with a longing for the hope that the gospel brings of resurrection. Continuing on with that hope and longing, we’ll sing a new song for us, “When We See Your Face”. This song highlights the temporal sufferings and temptations that we face, but rejoices in the fact that they will all fade away when we are fully known by Christ and fully know him.

We’ll then take some time to confess our focus on the temporary things of the world. Although they may be “spiritual”, if they distract us from loving well than Paul would say they are a worthless endeavor. In Matthew 9 we see the Pharisees who fail to show mercy to the ones who need it, and instead value their religiosity.

While he was reclining at the table in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came to eat with Jesus and his disciples.  When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  Now when he heard this, he said, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick.  Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

We’ll take a moment to consider how we may be prioritizing empty religious deeds and seeking to improve our image before others instead of loving the people God has placed in our lives.

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him.  Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us.

“O Fount of Love” will be our response to this scripture as we sing about how God loved us and sent his son. We’ll respond to the sermon with “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us”, finishing with a desire to not boast in anything but the love shown us in Christ. Our benediction will be 2 Corinthians 4:5-6

For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord… For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


5/5/19

In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 we see the metaphor of the body of Christ explained and teased out. There is a focus on both unity in Christ, as well as diversity of individual gifting. Because of this reality, we are to put away all self-promotion and recognize that we need each other. Every part is indispensable (vs 22) and worthy of honor so that there should be no division. This leads us to sacrificially love each other.

We’ll begin with “Jesus Messiah” to start our focus on the head of the church and look forward to communion as we consider his body and blood “broken and poured out all for love”. “This is Our God” is a creed put to song, so we will rejoice in those truths that unite us and bring us together as one body. Those truths will continue to be treasured in “How Firm A Foundation”.

During communion we will have an opportunity to consider the broken body and poured out blood of Christ that makes us whole and unifies us together. We will have an opportunity to confess any ways in which we contribute to division in the body as well.

We’ll respond to Communion with “The Church’s One Foundation” which considers many doctrines of the church and glories in the realities that Christ has accomplished for us. You can read a background story of the hymn here.

The response to the sermon will be “This I Believe”, which reminds us again of what unifies us, as well as gives us resolve to hold fast to these truths. Our benediction will come from 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13…

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 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.


4/28/19

By Josh Barlow and Mark Lisa

In 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, we see that no one is able to live contrary to their spiritual state. Someone captured in sin will work toward their sinful ends, and someone saved by grace through faith will ultimately work toward God’s intended ends. One of God’s intended ends is the building up of the church. Each person saved by grace is adopted into God’s Church and is called to participate in the building up of his local church. God has uniquely gifted and empowered each person to do so. Though each person has different gifts, each manifests the Spirit in the church body by using their gifts to build up the church body. This gifting denies any claim of superiority, laziness, or uselessness and affirms that our work is for God’s glory and his purposes.

We’ll begin with “O Worship the King” as we proclaim God’s matchless wonders together- namely his love, splendor, grace, and mercies. The chorus reminds us that he is “matchless”, all glory belongs to him! The next song, Come Thou Fount, we proclaim that Jesus rescued us from the darkness. We were bound by sin and now freed by Christ. He is the fountain of every blessing and all good things come from his hand.

We’ll then read Ephesians 4:1-7 which urges us to live worthy of the calling we have received in Christ, in unity and peace together as one body. We were once captives, but now we have been set free and given gifts of grace.

We’ll respond with Wonderful Merciful Savior, and recognizing our need for mercy and him as the source of our ultimate gift of salvation. He offers hope when we lost our way.

The Power of the Cross points us to the reason why we are a redeemed and forgiven people, and the cost to make that happen. He crushed death, overcame the grave, and now we stand forgiven.

We’ll respond to the sermon with O Great God as a prayer to help us live lives that are pleasing to Him. May we guard our souls from evil, and ask that he glorify himself through us! Our benediction will be Romans 15:5-6…

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


4/21/19

It’s Easter Sunday, He is Risen! We are taking a break from 1 Corinthians and heading over to Ephesians 1:15-23, where we see the wisdom and power of God on display by raising Jesus from the  dead. But that’s not all! That “immeasurable greatness of his power” was directed towards us who believe (vs 19). The resurrection didn’t happen in a vacuum, it has vast implications not only for history and truth but our own personal lives as we seek to kill sin and each day come to “know the hope of his calling” (vs 18).

We’ll begin with a call to worship from Revelation 1:4-6, “Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has set us free from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Our first song will be “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” which brings us to praise him for all the benefits and blessings of the resurrection of Jesus. This will be further emphasized by “Living Hope”, as we consider where we were once far apart from God, but now rejoice in the reality of the living hope we have in Christ who frees us.

The reality of the resurrection has implications for us here and now. One of them is that we are now dead to sin, and are called to live like it. We’ll have a time of reflection on select verses from Romans 6, and provide time to confess our unbelief in the resurrection’s power for us now, and our failure to live as new creation people.

Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection.

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin.

10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all time; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

How have we failed to believe these truths of the gospel? How have we failed to consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God? How do we live like sin still has power over us? We will take a moment to consider these things.

Let’s then respond to the gospel with resolve to fight the sin inside of us and to daily crucify the old self by following these commands…

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. 14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under the law but under grace.

With that promise in our hearts, we will glory in that truth with “Because He Lives (Amen)” and respond in worship with “O Praise the Name”.  After the sermon, we will respond with “Stronger” as we declare Jesus, the one who our passage declares as “far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”

As we look forward to getting back in 1 Corinthians next week, our benediction comes from 1 Corinthians 15:54b-58…

“Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”


4/14/19

This week is Palm Sunday and we’re having a baptism, so we have lots to think about! Some churches also call this “Passion Sunday”, as a reminder to also focus on the death of Jesus since many people may not attend Good Friday services and thus go from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday without considering Good Friday. We’ll be considering both themes in our songs and readings. Our text is 1 Corinthians 11:17-33, where Paul continues to address selfish division, but this time he’s addressing it in reference to the Lord’s table. He wants them to really understand what the implications are for Christ’s death and resurrection, and how it speaks to their quarrelsome nature.

We’ll begin with these passages from Zechariah 9 and Psalm 45…

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; he is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey.
In your splendor ride triumphantly in the cause of truth, humility, and justice. May your right hand show your awe-inspiring acts.
Your throne, God, is forever and ever; the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice. You love righteousness and hate wickedness;

We’ll respond by singing “How Marvelous”, beholding our Savior and rejoicing in his love for us. We’ll continue dwelling on that (after the baptism in 2nd service) by singing “There Is A Fountain”. As we consider the double-mindedness of the crowds who crucified Jesus less than a week later, and the double-mindedness of the Corinthians in being “religious” yet not caring about the people in their church properly, we will read James 4:1-10 and consider how we have acted in the same way. An opportunity will be provided to repent from that and humble ourselves before the Lord. We will receive assurance of his pardon by singing “His Mercy Is More”, where we will declare that our sins are “thrown into a sea without bottom or shore”. “Man of Sorrows” will focus our attention on both the theme of the sermon text, and the passion narrative of Jesus going to the cross and triumphing over the grave.

Our response to the sermon will be “Jesus Thank You”, as we rejoice that we were once enemies, but we are now seated at the Lord’s table. The implication is, if Christ accepts us and allows us to fellowship with him freely, how much more ought we extend the same love to others! The benediction will come from Romans 15:5-6

 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


4/7/19

1 Corinthians 11:2-16 covers lots of interesting ground about head-coverings, gender roles, and hair length. The overall point is that if we want to honor God in our hearts, then we will honor each other in how we present ourselves outwardly.  In the name of Christian liberty, we ought not dress or present ourselves in ways that cause others to stumble. The ultimate point is to glorify God by honoring the people in our community.

We’ll open with a call to worship from Psalm 103:1-5 which highlights the many reasons for us to bless the Lord and praise him for what he’s done.  “10,000 Reasons”, based off that same Psalm, calls us out of ourselves to honor God and not seek our own glory. “Here is Love” paints a beautiful picture of the multi-faceted love of God and calls us to respond. Ephesians 4:1-6 instructs us on how to live out our individual calling in the church community, “bearing with one another in love,  making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  This goal will be reinforced as we sing “The Church’s One Foundation” which explains the basis of our unity in Christ and why we ought to honor each other.

Communion is of course based on our unity as a body, and will be a chance for us to repent of how we’ve put ourselves and our priorities before God and others. We’ll respond to this with “It Is  Well”.  After the sermon we’ll respond with “All I Have Is Christ” as we put aside all the things we chase for our glory and recognize that he is all we need and he is all we really have, and that’s enough! The benediction will be 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13…

And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we do for you, so that your hearts are strengthened in holiness to be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.


3/31/19

By Pat Walsh

In 1Corinthians 10:23-11:1, Paul continues his teaching on how to properly handle food that is set before us that has been offered to idols. We are to exercise our freedom to eat the food because it all belongs to God and we are to imitate Paul from chapter 9 “becoming all things to all people”, UNLESS someone tells us that the food has been defiled, then we are NOT to eat for the sake of that person’s conscience, out of love for that person. Whatever we do, we are to do it for the glory of God.

We will open with “He Is Our God” proclaiming God’s power and sovereignty over creation. I’ll then read Psalm 86:8-10…

Psalm 86:8    Lord, there is no one like you among the gods, and there are no works like yours. 9 All the nations you have made will come and bow down before you, Lord, and will honor your name. 10 For you are great and perform wonders; you alone are God.

We’ll respond with “Crown Him With Many Crowns”, which exalts Christ and His sacrifice. We’ll transition to a time of confession and self-reflection where we’ll participate in a responsive reading as follows…

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have gone our own way,
not loving you as we ought,
nor loving our neighbors as ourselves.
LORD have mercy and forgive us.

We have sinned against you
in thought, word and deed
and in what we have failed to do.
LORD have mercy and redeem us.

We deserve your condemnation.
yet we presume upon your grace
sinning again and again
without truly repenting.
LORD have mercy and change us.

Help us to love you and our neighbors,
and to live for your honour and glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
LORD have mercy and restore us

“My Worth Is Not In What I Own” will then affirm our confessions and helps us look to Christ in whom we have “our worth”. We finish the first part of the service with “Death Was Arrested” recounting our conversion and rejoicing in our salvation. After the sermon, we’ll close with “All Glory Be To Christ” as a reminder of Paul’s admonition do to everything for His Glory.


3/24/19

In 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 we learn that idolatry is incompatible with Christ. Although there is room for Christian freedom in some areas, there are many circumstances we find ourselves in where the culture is clearly partaking in corporate idol worship. Paul contrasts that communal idolatry with communal worship of Christ around the Lord’s table. He calls the church to worship Christ as a unified body. When we are tempted to idolatry, we are to flee those situations and run to Christ. This passage calls us to consider if we are compromising our love for God in our hearts, and if we need to repent of that sort of idolatry. Paul allows no room for such compromise.

Given Pauls stress on the unity that the Lord’s table brings, we’ll begin with “Jesus Messiah”, proclaiming Jesus as Lord because of what he did for us and how he has saved us. “Nothing But the Blood” calls us to proclaim that there is nothing that can take care of our deepest problems of sin and rebellion except the sacrifice of Christ. “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery” further glories in the gospel as our only hope of salvation.

Since we have considered our only source of hope in the gospel of Christ, it is only appropriate to consider how we have misplaced our hope and worship in other things. We’ll read the following verses and responsively pray after each one, reflecting and confessing as necessary…

Psalm 135:15 The idols of the nations are of silver and gold, made by human hands. 16 They have mouths but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. 17 They have ears but cannot hear; indeed, there is no breath in their mouths. 18 Those who make them are just like them, as are all who trust in them. Consider how your idols have shaped you, and run to Christ who re-forms you into his image by the Spirit.

Galatians 4:8 But in the past, since you didn’t know God, you were enslaved to things that by nature are not gods. 9 But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elements? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? Consider how your idols have enslaved you, and run to Christ who frees you.

Psalm 16:4 The sorrows of those who take another god for themselves will multiply; Consider how your idols have brought sorrow on you and others, and run to Christ who comforts you.

Now hear these words of invitation to stop striving after that which doesn’t satisfy
Isa 55:1 “Come, everyone who is thirsty, come to the water; and you without silver, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without silver and without cost! Why do you spend silver on what is not food, and your wages on what doesn’t satisfy?
Matt. 11:28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

We’ll respond to these readings with “My Worth Is Not In What I Own”. This song calls us to relinquish the idols that we think bring us meaning, and to find our meaning and worth at the cross.

Our response to the sermon will be “O Great God”, which is a prayer of confession, praise, and resolve to follow Christ and glorify him. Our benediction will be I Thessalonians 5:23-24…

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. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.


3/17/19

In 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 we learn that spiritual arrogance is a sign of spiritual deception. Paul explains that Old Testament Israel was an example for us to heed. They gave into temptation despite the fact that they experienced the amazing provision of God. They fell because they had the arrogance to believe that they, not God, knew what they needed. They sought control and followed after idols to get what they wanted. This passage calls us to humbly check our hearts to see if this arrogance resides within us, but it also assures us that God will sustain us and provide a way out of our temptation.

We’ll start with a call to worship from Hebrews 6:19-20 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. Jesus has entered there on our behalf as a forerunner, because he has become our high priest forever”. We’ll then sing Cornerstone, which calls us to put our hope and faith in the sure foundation that Christ is (from vs 4), and praise him for being “Lord of all”. Living Hope praises God for rescuing us in our deep need, and providing victory over the powers that seek to defeat us.

We’ll then enter a time of prayer for the body led by one of our elders, TJ Walsh, and then proceed to a time of confession and owning of our sin. To prepare for our next song, we’ll read Romans 3:10-12, explaining how we are unrighteous and “have become worthless”, contrasted with Romans 5:6-9 which explains the great worth put on us by God through Jesus’ sacrifice. The next song, My Worth Is Not In What I Own explains that our worth is tied to what God has done for us, not any of our accomplishments. The authors of the song had this quote by John Stott in mind when writing the lyrics…

‘Our self is a complex entity of good and evil, glory and shame, of creation and fall…we are created, fallen and redeemed, then re-created in God’s image’ ….. ‘Standing before the cross we see simultaneously our worth and unworthiness, since we perceive both the greatness of his love in dying, and the greatness of our sin in causing him to die’ [The Cross p. 285]

Although we have temptations to idolize the things of this world and find value there, we will read in Hebrews 2:17-18 that we have a great high priest in Jesus, who was tempted as we were, sympathizes with us, and yet was without sin. We’ll then respond with Before the Throne.

Our response to the sermon will be “In Christ Alone”, which calls us to claim that he alone is our source of meaning, fulfillment, strength, and life. The benediction will be Hebrews 4:14-16…

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.


3/10/19

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 is a passage that calls us to endurance, self-control, and anticipation. Because of the prize that has been secured by Jesus, Paul calls us to run the race with endurance with the church body around us as an outworking of our salvation. This passage gives us an opportunity to examine where we need to implement more self control, confess our lack of it, and because of the gospel, live with more resolve to follow after Christ along with fellow believers in the church.

Our call to worship in song is “Come Praise and Glorify”, which highlights the saving grace of the gospel that each member of the Trinity works toward securing for us. We then respond with “By Faith”, resolving to endure as we fix our eyes on Christ.

It’s important to remember that we are not saved by our faithfulness or endurance, but by Christ’s faithfulness. We’ll enter a time of confession with a reading from Hebrews 4:14-16, which calls us to boldly approach the throne to do so.

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The responsive reading is as follows (Bold is the congregation)….

Lord, we confess our unbelief has led us to sin against you with proud and idolatrous hearts, seeking fulfillment where there is only emptiness.
We desire to believe that you are sufficient, help our unbelief.

Lord, we confess our unbelief has led us to demean those who are made in your image by speaking, thinking, and acting sinfully towards them.
We desire to believe that your love extends to all, help our unbelief.

Lord, we confess our unbelief has led us to discontentment in our circumstances and to indulge in the comfort of momentary pleasures.
We desire to believe in your kind providence, help our unbelief.

Lord, we confess our unbelief has led us to be anxious about our lives, and mistrust your call to come find rest in you.
We desire to believe that you are our true refuge, help our unbelief.

Lord, we confess our unbelief has led us to think our pervasive sin makes us too far gone from grace, doubting Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient to cover our shame.
We desire to believe that the love of Christ overcomes all failure, help our unbelief.

Father, let us now lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despised the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1b-2)

We’ll respond to this confession with “Jesus Paid It All”, reminding our hearts that our faith is weak, and our only strength is to be found in Jesus who paid our debt. We’ll then respond to these truths with joy by singing “How Abundant”.

We’ll respond to the sermon with “As You Go”, which exhorts our hearts and each other to apply the gospel to our relationships and our lives as we “seek to win the prize”. The benediction will come from Jude 24-25…

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.


3/3/19

In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 we see a demonstration of gospel centered fruit that puts others first. Christians are to put aside personal preferences in order to win people over to the gospel. This sacrificial love is compelling to those in the church and also the world, and we ought to demonstrate it because of how it was first demonstrated to us in Christ.

We’ll open with “Behold our God” to capture both the power of God and the humility of Christ as we begin our worship of him. “O Fount of Love” gets more specific with regard to the gospel we are responding to. Specifically, it shows how the gospel breaks down the barriers that the apostle Paul is seeking to take down with his gospel love (Law, slavery, weakness in ourselves/victory in Christ). I’ll then read from Mark 8 which is the story of Peter being rebuked by Jesus, and Jesus following that rebuke with the words, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” This passage ought to convict us of ways in which we’re self-seeking and not sacrificial in our love for God and others. After a short prayer of confession we’ll sing “Lord Have Mercy” to confess our sins and be assured of God’s grace.

The Lord’s Table will be a place where we will have opportunity to continue to confess and be assured of our salvation. We’ll respond to it with “He Will Hold Me Fast” which encapsulates the message of gospel assurance so well and provides us with the basis to love others. We’ll respond to the message with “All Glory Be To Christ”, since all of our good works and humility should find their purpose in glorifying him!

The benediction will be Jude 20-21…

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”


2/24/19

By Pat Walsh

This week’s passage is 1 Corinthians 9:1-18, where Paul is confronting the church about their unwillingness to part with their freedoms or rights that they feel entitled to by offering himself up as an example of one who has given up his rights in order to preach the Gospel unhindered. Our worship set seeks to exalt God our Father as supreme over all of our lives and all that we may be tempted to hold dear.

We begin with “He Is Our God”, proclaiming His greatness, grandeur and glory. “And Can It Be” helps us consider our lost state before a Holy God and recounts our salvation experience and helps us rejoice at being set free from the chains of sin that bound us. We will transition to a time of corporate prayer as Engle presents a prayer of thanksgiving, praise and requests to Our Father. “O Lord My Rock and My Redeemer” helps us examine our hearts in our lowly state and reaffirms our complete depravity and need of redemption through Christ. We will then read Philippians 2:5-11 as a reminder of Christ’s example of emptying Himself in order to glorify The Father. “Living Hope” retells the Gospel story and ends this section of the service on a crescendo of praise, gratitude and rejoicing for what Christ has done for us. After the sermon we will close with “All I Have Is Christ” to remind us to renew our minds and our hearts with a Gospel perspective, exalting Christ above everything else in our lives.

2/10/19

In 1 Corinthians 7:25-40 we have advice and commands from Paul regarding singleness and marriage. It’s important to not get lost in the weeds and miss the big picture that we got last week — contentment in Christ is of utmost importance if we’re going to live faithful lives. It doesn’t matter what situation we find ourselves in, there are eternal kingdom priorities at hand because, as 7:21 says, “the present form of this world is passing away”.

We’ll begin with “How Firm A Foundation” and “Cornerstone” as songs that remind us of what really matters and what foundation we really stand on in this fallen world full of fallen relationships. We’ll read from Colossians 2:8-15 as a reminder of who we are and why Christ ought to be the one fulfilling us, since “In him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” We’ll pray that God reveal to us how we have sinned by undervaluing Christ.

We’ll respond to these truths with “In Christ Alone” (remember, we sing so that we might believe, not that we have it all together already!). We’ll then be assured of his great mercy by singing “His Mercy is More”.

Following the sermon we’ll sing “Be Thou My Vision”, asking God to re-prioritize our hearts and minds and asking that he be our everything. Our benediction will be II Corinthians 9:8…

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

2/3/19

Our passage this week is 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 where we learn that God, in his sovereignty, doesn’t remove Christians from their situations, but rather calls them to live obedient lives in the situation he has assigned them. The reality is that Christ has bought each of us individually by his blood no matter where we find ourselves in life. Thus we ought not strive to change our circumstances or outward identity, but instead rest and remain faithful to God’s sovereignty and plan in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.

We’ll begin with “Everlasting God”, which declares our dependence on the kind sovereign reign of the God who comforts and defends us. “Living Hope” further explains God’s kindness by explaining the story of the gospel and how it provides us true hope. “Before the Throne” assures us of God’s lavish grace in interceding for us in Christ and pardoning us on account of the sinless Savior’s death. In these songs we see that God is for us, so neither our circumstances nor our religious works determine God’s favor. Only Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection is able to secure it.

Communion will provide a time for us to reflect and confess on how we have failed to believe these truths, how that unbelief has affected us in various ways, and how the gospel speaks to those situations. “Hallelujah What A Savior” points us to glory in our Savior who’s blood has pardoned us. This reflects on verse 23 of our passage, “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of people.”

We’ll respond to the sermon with “Psalm 62”, which calls us to find rest in God alone, and nothing else. The benediction will come from Philippians 4:19-20…

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever, amen.

1/27/19

This week we’re considering 1 Corinthians 7:1-16 which has a lot to do with the underlying issues surrounding marriage and divorce, and what it takes to make a marriage work. We know that all of Paul’s commands to be faithful are rooted in the gospel. God is faithful to us despite our unfaithfulness, so that’s what we’ll be singing about!

The first three songs glory in the work of God through Christ in the gospel. Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder, There Is a Fountain, and It Is Well, center around how great the gospel is and our proper response to it (delighting, praising, and resting in the fact that we have peace with God).

We’ll then pray through Psalm 130 as a way to confess our sins to the Lord, and be assured that we have forgiveness, and thus hope…

1 Out of the depths I call to you, Lord! 2 Lord, listen to my voice; let your ears be attentive to my cry for help. 3 Lord, if you kept an account of iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
Here the Psalmist acknowledges that he is “in the depths” as well as a recognition that he doesn’t deserve to be before God. We can be assured that God meets us where we are, hears us, and that confession is necessary.
4 But with you there is forgiveness, so that you may be revered. 5 I wait for the Lord; I wait and put my hope in his word.
This good news of forgiveness brings with it a response — that God may be worshipped. May we not take His forgiveness for granted, but may we be moved to worship, to wait, and put our hope in His unchanging word.
6 I wait for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning— more than watchmen for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord. For there is faithful love with the Lord, and with him is redemption in abundance. 8 And he will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
With forgiveness brings hope, hope and faith that God can redeem our trials and failures for His glory. We wait for this expectantly, knowing that His faithful love and redemption is abundant. Maybe some of us have ceased to hope because our failures seem so great or our trials seem so daunting. Let’s reflect on God’s forgiveness in his faithful love in Christ, and how that brings hope to us in our relationships, our marriages, our trials, and even our failures.

We’ll then respond with “Living Hope”, a song we introduced last week. It highlights our union with Christ as the basis for us having victory and hope. Our response to the sermon will be “Here Is Love” to remind us of the gospel that is the basis of which all the commands and guidelines in our passage are made. The benediction is 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13…

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 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.

1/20/19

This week we will consider 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. Paul shows that the risen Lord is the only one to be master over us, not our fleshly desires. He explains that our bodies are for God, bought by Christ’s blood, and are united to Christ’s body. We should treat them accordingly, as temples of the Holy Spirit. Thus we’ll be focusing on being bought by Christ, owned by Christ, united to Christ, and consider the call it has on us to glorify him.

Opening with “All Creatures of Our God and King” forces us to submit in worship to our Lord, and praise him as “the redeemed washed by his blood.” The next song “I Will Glory in My Redeemer”, has a similar focus in calling us to glory only in the one worth glorying in, and being “satisfied in him alone”. The new song, “Living Hope” is one that highlights our union with Christ by connecting his victory to us.

We’ll then be seated and provide time to confess by reading parts of Psalm 16 and praying the following responsive reading…

Lord, we have come to see that our lives fall far short of your glory.
Have mercy and forgive us.

Lord, you have given your life for us, and poured out your Spirit,
yet we fail to return your love with all our heart.
Have mercy and change us.

Too often we are selfish, lustful, envious, and proud, instead of selfless and content in the gospel.
Have mercy and cleanse us.

Lord, when we do not truly trust and obey you,
we are overwhelmed by fear, self-pity, and worry.
Have mercy and deliver us.

In Christ we are given a sure hope and secure love, yet we enslave ourselves to the false hopes and fleeting desires of this world.
Have mercy and redeem us.

Father, through the redeeming death of your Son on the cross, by your Spirit and through your word, transform and renew us to follow you with joy.
All this we ask, confident in your unchanging faithfulness. Amen.

We’ll finish this time with “O Lord My Rock and My Redeemer”, which assures us of our union with Christ and calls us to respond with “may all my days bring glory to your name”.

We’ll respond to the sermon with “O Great God” as a submissive prayer for God to change us. May our hearts submit to him so he may be glorified through us as verse 20 says! The benediction will be Ephesians 3:20-21…

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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

1/13/19

This week we’re in 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 where, amidst a rebuke about taking each other to court and avoiding worldly behavior, we see Paul’s main point in Verse 11. He says, “And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” Thus, we’ll be focusing on our spiritual state before Christ, and how we should respond to God’s miraculous work of saving us in the gospel.

We’ll read verse 11 and then sing “Come Praise and Glorify” as our call to worship, highlighting the work of the Trinity as Paul does there in verse 11. After Elder Prayer, the next two songs, “Because He Lives” and “Death Was Arrested”, both reflect on who we were before Christ, and glory in God’s provision of new life. We’ll then read and reflect on Titus 3:3-7, which highlights that theme of God saving us from our former way of living. We’ll then respond with “He will Hold Me Fast”, to remind us that it ultimately is God’s work that sustains us in our endeavor to be holy.

After the sermon we’ll respond by singing “And Can It Be”, which is another song that reflects on where we were and how God responded, and then calls for a response (Long my imprisoned spirit lay fast bound in sin and nature’s night…My chains fell off, my heart was free…no condemnation now I dread…bold I approach the eternal throne).
The benediction will be from 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24…

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. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.


1/6/19

This week we’re back in 1 Corinthians, considering the difficult passage in chapter 5 regarding the removal of people from church due to sin. This is difficult for us because it calls us to judge people in our midst and call them out for our sin. Before we do that, we are called to examine ourselves, so that’s what we’ll do!

In our singing we will consider the mercy of God that takes care of our sin and moves us to respond in “How Abundant” and “O Fount of Love”. In light of that we will then freely confess our sins with “Lord Have Mercy” and by taking communion together. We’ll respond to the Lord’s Supper by singing “Man of Sorrows”, which takes our sin seriously (sin of man and wrath of God has been on Jesus laid), yet glories in the death and resurrection of Jesus that overcomes it.

We’ll respond to the sermon with “All I Have is Christ” and reflect on where we were outside of Christ, and how we’re called to relinquish all else. The song then calls us to rely on Christ for everything (even the difficult obedience we’re called to in 1 Corinthians 5!). The benediction will be 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

May the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone, just as we do for you. May he make your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. Amen.


12/23/18

This week we’re considering Matthew 2:13-23 which talks about Jesus’ life being spared so he could eventually die for us. The selected text from “Angels from the realms” (There are actually SEVEN verses, we’re only doing 4) highlights his birth, death and resurrection, and serves as a call to worship “Christ the newborn King”. I will then read from Isaiah 59 as a call to repent of our sin that needed to be dealt with, and and recognize that God alone could save. Isaiah says “A redeemer will come to Zion” because the Lord “Saw that there was no justice, and no man to intercede”. This will highlight the need we had for a redeemer to save us.

The text of “Oh Holy Night”, by Kevin Hartnett also brings attention to the reason Jesus was born and calls us to trust in that salvation. My favorite line from that new text is “In towering grace he laid aside his glory, and in our place was sacrificed for sin.” We will follow that with the song “God with us” as a song of thankfulness, praising God for being with us by taking care of our sin. After the sermon we’ll sing two songs, the first of which is “What Chid is This”. It’s an oft neglected Christmas hymn which is very cross centered. We’ll then move into “In Christ Alone” starting at verse 2 — “in Christ alone, who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless babe.” This final song helps us remember why Jesus was born — to die and rise again in our place! The benediction comes from Revelation 1:5b-6.

To him who loves us and has set us free from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father — to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

12/16/18

By Mark Lisa

This week in Matthew 2:1-12 we’re considering the costly worship of the Magi and how that calls us to worship Jesus no matter the cost. “O Come All Ye Faithful” will serve as our call to worship Christ. After elder prayer we’ll read from Isaiah 60:1-6 which predicts the worship from all nations that will be proclaimed due to the sudden glory of the Lord that will shine over the earth’s darkness. We’ll respond to this by singing “Angels We Have Heard On High”. “God With Us” and “He Who Is Mighty” expound on God coming down to us in our darkness and bringing us out of it. After the sermon, which will call us to costly worship, we’ll end with “O Come Let Us Adore Him” as a call to worship Christ alone, “for he alone is worthy”!


12/9/18

This week we’re considering Matthew 1:18-25, where we see the purpose of Jesus’ birth being that he would “save his people from their sins” (vs 21) as “God with us”. We will emphasize the fact that it is Jesus alone, as Emmanuel, who can save us ultimately.

We’ll begin by singing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and glory in the fact that “God and sinners are reconciled”. “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery” helps us see how the birth of Jesus points to his death and resurrection, which leads us to anticipate his second coming. “God with Us” very simply emphasizes the reason God came in Christ, to bring peace, light, and love and to take care of sin and death.

The reading will be a time of reflection and confession from Isaiah 46. Here God declares himself to be the only God worthy of worship over all other idols. In order to deal with idolatry and sin, he will “bring his righteousness near” and won’t delay his salvation. We’ll tie that in with “God with us”, and pray that we will serve and worship this God alone.

After scripture reading and prayer we will sing the Advent version of “Hallelujah what a Savior” which is a great Advent text put to a familiar tune. It glories in the uniqueness of our Savior and calls us as the “blood bought bride” to worship our “matchless king”. The response to the sermon will be “Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King”, which calls us to submit our lives to our true King and Prince of Peace.

Our benediction comes from Deuteronomy 31:6…

Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid. For the LORD your God is the one who will go with you; he will not leave you or abandon you.”


12/2/18

This week we will be considering Matthew’s genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1. This passage declares Jesus as the center of God’s sovereign plan by portraying him as the true fulfillment to both the covenants to Abraham and David, as well as the one to bring Israel out of exile.

We’ll begin with “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” and transition to “The Godhead Through Jesus”. Both songs highlight the longing that took place before Christ and portray him as the fulfillment of all God’s promises. We’ll then read Colossians 1:15-20, which reminds us of who Jesus was before his incarnation, and then respond with “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”, which praises God for that miracle of the incarnation. The verses of this hymn (which is really a chant of sorts) are traced back to the 3rd century B.C., and contain language about Christ that is linked to the early creeds (“As the light of light descendeth from the realms of endless day” in verse 3 for example).

Communion will be a time for us to reflect on the reason Christ came to earth — namely our sin. We will consider the good news of the King who came down to us, along with the bad news of sin that needed to be remedied. In light of his grace we will be called to repent of our sins and submit to the true King who shed his blood and allowed his body to be broken for us.

We’ll respond with the Sovereign Grace version of “O Come O Come Emmanuel” which contains newer verses that glory in Jesus’ work as prophet, priest and king. We’ll respond to the sermon with “He Who is Mighty”, which allows us both to reflect on the brokenness in our world and in our hearts, as well as “rejoice in the God who saves”. Our benediction will be from Hebrews 13:20-21…

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


11/25/18

In 1 Corinthians 4:14-21 Paul likens his relationship with the Corinthians to that of a father admonishing children. His authority to admonish comes from God, as he says, “the kingdom of God doesn’t consist in talk but in power” (vs 21). In this service we will consider the difference between building God’s kingdom on self-centeredness and building God’s kingdom with his power.

We will move from praise, to confession, to assurance, to response. “Doxology of the Trinity”, “The Father’s Love”, and “Man of Sorrows” glory in God’s character and love as caring father and atoning sacrifice in Christ. We’ll then pray through parts of Psalm 143 (CSB) as a confession of sin, as well as dependence on God. The following is basically what I will pray.

1 Lord, hear my prayer. In your faithfulness listen to my plea, and in your righteousness answer me. 2 Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one alive is righteous in your sight.

Leader: Lord, we know that because of your faithfulness in Christ, you hear our confession and do not judge us as we ought to be judged. Please reveal to us how we’ve failed to come to you in confession this past week. How we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone, and how we have not loved you with our whole heart, or loved our neighbors as ourselves.

(moment of silence)

5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all you have done; I reflect on the work of your hands. 6 I spread out my hands to you; I am like parched land before you.

Leader: Lord, your kindness toward us ought to bring us to a grief about our sin. We are amazed at your undeserved love you’ve shown us in Christ. Bring that back to the forefront our minds now, and make us thankful for your many blessings.

(moment of silence)

8 Let me experience your faithful love in the morning, for I trust in you. Reveal to me the way I should go because I appeal to you. 9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I come to you for protection.

Leader: Lord, we confess we often appeal to other sources for love, guidance, protection that only you can provide. Reveal this foolishness to us, and help us be resolved to come to you for these things.

(moment of silence)

10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me on level ground. 11 For your name’s sake, Lord, let me live. In your righteousness deliver me from trouble.

Leader: We declare you to be God above all other gods we have worshipped, and we now ask that you show us your ways. We understand that this is risky for us, but living for you and your kingdom is far better than anything else. So enable us to live for you, as you deliver us from the enemy, for Jesus name sake, Amen.

We’ll respond by singing “O Lord My Rock and My Redeemer” as a transition from confession to assurance.

After the sermon, “O Great God” will be our response, and our benediction will come from 1 Thessalonians 5:22-23 (CSB)…

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


11/18/18

By Pat Walsh

This week’s passage is 1 Corinthians 4:6-13, where Paul admonishes the church to not be divided and prideful about what has been given to them by God in his grace. Paul then reminds them of the suffering and weakness that comes with being an apostle, and how that looks foolish to the world.

We start with “All Creatures of Our God and King”, establishing His greatness over all creation. Following our Elder Prayer of intercession for the body, “Lord Have Mercy” brings us to a position of humility to recognize our need of forgiveness. “Amazing Love” lifts us up from that low place with acknowledgement that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. What an amazing act of love that was! We will then read from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 which says

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.10 So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

“Stronger” reaffirms this truth and let’s us proclaim “Jesus You Are Lord of All!” After the sermon we close with “In Christ Alone” to remind us that there is only hope in him alone.


11/11/18

This week we considered 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 where Paul discusses the nature of what it looks like to be a faithful servant of God stewarding the mysteries of God. The central part of his argument is that to be faithful we can’t worry about what others think or even what we think of ourselves, only how God views us in Christ, who will reveal all things when he comes.

We began with “He Is Our God” since it’s a new song for us to begin the service in general praise to God for his holiness and mercy. We got more specific with “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery”, coinciding with verse 4:1, and moved into “Grace Alone”. It served as a song of confession of our brokenness and assurance of God’s grace towards us.

Our time of confession contained the following verse and confession (confession was edited and adapted from Scotty Smith’s post at TGC here)

That is what the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.
Joel 2:12-13

  • We confess caring more about what others think about us than what they think about you.
  • We confess that it’s easier for us to share gossip than to share the gospel.
  • We confess we often manipulate people for our good, rather than serve them for your glory
  • We confess that we fear man’s opinions and compare ourselves, rather than fearing you and loving others.
  • We confess hoarding our brokenness and weakness, rather than letting friends enter our pain and suffering.
  • We confess indulging in irritation and justifying our resentment, rather than forbearing with others and forgiving as Jesus has forgiven us.

“All I Have is Christ” allowed us to respond with acknowledging that Christ is all we need, not human approval. The sermon was followed by “Before the Throne” which declares Christ as our intercessor before the throne of God. Only his opinion really matters.

Benediction: Jude 23-24
Now to him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of his glory, without blemish and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Familyhood

Discussing faith, family, fatherhood, and a fair bit of anything else.

Reformedish

incompletely reformed thoughts on God, ministry, and life

Chris Borah

Personal Blog of Chris Borah

Practical Shepherding

Helping pastors thrive in the trenches of pastoral ministry.

Jonathan Pennington

Just another WordPress site

Ad Fontes

To the fountain

HeadHeartHand Blog

Exploring a life of worship in light of the resurrection

Doxology and Theology

Just another WordPress.com site

Mike Ruel

Pastor Stuff | Book Reviews | Randomness

Making and Maturing

For the body of Christ at Green Pond Bible Chapel

Worship Matters

Exploring a life of worship in light of the resurrection

New Creation Living

Exploring a life of worship in light of the resurrection

Familyhood

Discussing faith, family, fatherhood, and a fair bit of anything else.

Reformedish

incompletely reformed thoughts on God, ministry, and life

Chris Borah

Personal Blog of Chris Borah

Practical Shepherding

Helping pastors thrive in the trenches of pastoral ministry.

Jonathan Pennington

Just another WordPress site

Ad Fontes

To the fountain

HeadHeartHand Blog

Exploring a life of worship in light of the resurrection

Doxology and Theology

Just another WordPress.com site

Mike Ruel

Pastor Stuff | Book Reviews | Randomness

Making and Maturing

For the body of Christ at Green Pond Bible Chapel

Worship Matters

Exploring a life of worship in light of the resurrection

New Creation Living

Exploring a life of worship in light of the resurrection

%d bloggers like this: