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True knowledge of our God brings men joy. The Scriptures insist on this. While we do often struggle with melancholy and sadness, the Lord is capable of bringing us joy, even amidst the darkest of times and trials. With even dim faith, our spiritual eyes ought to strain to look and see his truth. The best place to look in such times is the cross, where Jesus himself suffered great agony and distress for us. There our Savior took our sins and guilt on himself, and he saved us, giving us the hope of resurrection and eternal life in him. When we see the glory of God revealed in the grace of Christ, we should be able to respond to the Scripture call of Psalm 97:12 with strong affections: Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!
In the prayer service, we will return again to the beautiful words of Psalm 119. To begin the service, we will sing together the hymn we’re learning this month, Christians Hearts, in Love United (Gray 254).
This week, my exposition of Colossians continues with verses three through eight of chapter one. The whole paragraph is one complete sentence of thanksgiving to God. Paul was a thankful Christian. By faith he understood that God had acted gracious for him and others in Christ. Seeing that mercy and kindness of God, he responded with thanksgiving. Yet the thanksgiving in these verses also teaches us about how God graciously works in Christ’s church. There is a reason that Paul thanks God for the Colossians faith, love, and hope. That Paul gives God thanks also shows Paul’s unwavering commitment to giving God the glory due his name. Paul insisted on giving credit where credit was due. So he says, We always thank God.
Call to Worship: Psalm 97:12
Hymn 25 [Gray] God Himself Is with Us Colossians 1:3-8 teaches that God is the source of the believer’s faith, love, and hope. This beautiful hymn by Gerhard Tersteegen not only glorifies God for his presence in the gathered assembly of saints, but of his grace in sanctifying our hearts to worship him. The fourth stanza illustrates this: Come, celestial Being, make our hearts your dwelling, every carnal thought dispelling. By Your Holy Spirit sanctify us truly, teaching us to love You only. This, dear brothers and sisters, is a good prayer to offer to God. It is a good prayer to pray as you prepare to worship him this Lord’s Day.
Congregational Reading: Psalm 79:5-9, 13
Doxology: Doxology, Red 437
Hymn 216 [Gray] My Hope is Built on Nothing Less
Hymn 56 [Gray] Now Thank We All Our God
Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 10 & Hebrews 1
Hymn 154 [Red] O Come with Thanks, God’s Goodness Praising
Sermon: Credit Where It’s Due from Colossians 1:3-8
Hymn 193 [Gray] Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned
In Sunday School, I will teach on the book of Philippians.