Monthly Archives: February 2014

Preparing for Worship – 03.02.2014

mainslideNEWThis Sunday we our series on Ecclesiastes called Enjoy the Sovereign. Do we truly believe that God is sovereign over all things? Do we believe that everything in our lives comes from the sovereign hand of God? Over the next 4 months we will learn from the author of Ecclesiastes that both the good and the bad come from God. The good and the bad are given to us to point us to God. Nothing in this life is meaningless, unless it is done apart from God.

Lyrically, this week we will be singing many songs that point out how all of our effort and toil is ultimately useless to gain favor with God. It’s only by the work of Jesus on the cross that we have been made righteous.

I’ve pointed out some interesting lyrics below that illustrate this point. To prepare to sing together, listen to the songs in advance by clicking on the links below:

Doxology (Listen)

Rock of Ages (Listen | Purchase)

“Not the labor of my hands can fulfill the law’s commands”

Jesus Paid It All (Listen & Download)

This version of Jesus Paid it all has an interesting lyrical change from the version that most of us are probably familiar with. In the most popular version, the lyric in verse three reads “And when before the throne, I stand in Him complete, Jesus died my soul to save, My lips shall still repeat”

But, this Sunday, we’ll sing the original lyric as written by Elvina Hall: “And when before the throne, I stand in him complete, I will lay my trophies down, Lay them down at Jesus’ feet

It’s an interesting lyrical change, isn’t it? The idea is that even our best efforts, the things we are great at, the things that on this earth have earned us praise and accolades, won’t earn us righteousness. They won’t save us. Indeed, scripture calls even our best acts of righteousness “filthy rags” in light of Jesus’ righteousness.

Christ, Or Else I Die (Listen | Purchase)

“Wealth and honor I disdain, earthy comforts Lord are vain, these can never satisfy, give me Christ or else I die”

Grace Alone (Listen | Purchase)

“I worked my fingers down to the bone, but nothing I did could ever atone.”

 

Thanks be to God that Jesus grants us HIS righteousness!

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Cor 5:21

See you on Sunday.

Are you a part of the body?

one body main slide (increased contrast)Over the past four weeks we have been looking at God’s Word to us about the church. We began with Paul’s words to the Colossian church about Jesus – “He is the head of the body, the church.” (Col. 1:18)  If Jesus is not central to everything we do and say as a church, we are off and it’s time for you to start looking for a different church. (You can listen to this sermon series here.)

After setting the foundation we answered the questions – What is the church? Who are her leaders? Who are her members? We looked at Paul’s words to the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 12:12-31).  Each person who is a part of the church is a necessary part of the body. When you disengage from the body, you are an amputated limb. You miss out on being with us and we miss out on being with you.

So often we look at our connection to the church family in self-centered, pragmatic ways.  How will this be good for me? How will this benefit me? Those kinds of questions may come from a selfish heart. What is a better way of thinking about our connection to the body? Scripture does not give us laws about how often we should be around other believers. We can look at the descriptions in passages like Acts 2:42-47, but those are simply descriptions. Where Scripture doesn’t make laws, neither can we – so how do we proceed?  These kinds of things often become questions for our hearts to determine if we are in sin or not.

Below are some questions that may be helpful to ask yourself in an effort to see where your heart is in relation to your connection to the body.

  1. Does my occupation prohibit me from regularly being around other Christians from our church?
  2. If so, is it possible to change jobs/hours?
  3. Do my hobbies prohibit me from regularly being around other Christians from our church?
  4. If so, is it possible to find a different time for my hobby? Is it possible to find a different hobby?
  5. Are my hobbies more important than Christian community?
  6. Have I intentionally distanced myself from people who may challenge me on my thinking about the church?
  7. Have I intentionally chosen to circle myself with those who have the same view of the importance of the local church?
  8. Is my love of community itself greater than my love of what my church community prizes most (Christ)?
  9. Does my calendar reveal a heart that longs to worship God with the gathered body?
  10. Is it possible I have deceived myself into thinking my views and priorities regarding the church are correct?

There are probably other questions to consider as you think about your involvement in the body. If you don’t know the answers to the questions above, have someone in your church answer them with you.  Whether you know it or not, if you are a believer, you are a necessary, valued, loved part of the One Body with many members.

Preparing For Worship – 02.23.2014

one body main slide (increased contrast)

This Sunday we finish our series on the church called ONE BODY.  We will be looking at what it means to be a member of God’s church and what our role should look like.  Our primary text will be 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.

I urge you to come ready to worship, fellowship, encourage and be changed by God.

To prepare to sing together, listen to the songs in advance by clicking on the links below:

By His Grace (Listen | Purchase)

Praise To The Lord (Listen | Purchase)

It is Finished (Listen | Purchase)

Sing To The King (Listen | Purchase)

Come Thou Fount (Purchase)

See you on Sunday.

The Beauty of Figure Skating?

figure-skating-ice-dancing-daviswhite-usaOn February 16th we discussed the qualifications and duties of elders in the church. They are a gift of God to lead, shepherd and guide the church. In our discussion of elders we looked at Paul’s qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3 and we see that elders are to be men. This is not because men are more valuable.  I mentioned an article in my sermon about the beauty of of the differing roles as seen in figure skating. Now, I am not what you would call the biggest fan of figure skating (shocking I know), but this picture  of the roles and values of men and women is a very helpful illustration.

If he makes a mistake, she pays the larger physical price; he pays the larger emotional price. She falls, but he fails! So he has to learn to initiate and risk. She has to help him understand her moves and to endure his learning curve.

I would encourage you to read the entire article.

Preparing For Worship – 02.16.2014

This Sunday we will be working through church leadership in our series ONE BODY.  We will be looking at the qualifications and duties of a biblical elder.  Several months ago we worked through 1 Timothy where we saw the qualifications of a biblical elder. This Sunday we will be focusing more on the duties of an elder. What do they do?  What has God called the elders to accomplish? This will be a good time for us to think about the calling of an elder.  Paul tells Timothy that the office of elder is a noble task (1 Timothy 3:1), and throughout the New Testament we see evidence of the high and weighty calling of a biblical elder to shepherd the flock of God.

I urge you to come ready to worship, fellowship, encourage and be changed by God.

To prepare to sing together, listen to the songs in advance by clicking on the links below:

One God (Listen | Purchase)

Oh! Great Is Our God! (Listen | Purchase)

Oh God (Listen | Purchase)

Alas! (Listen | Purchase)

God Undefeatable (Listen | Purchase)

See you on Sunday.