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As a church, we have covenanted together “to sustain” the “worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines” given to us as a church by our Lord Jesus Christ. These precious gifts ought never to be looked at as grievous burdens, but as what our God has given to us by Christ in love for our eternal good. Yes, we do what we do in our gatherings because of the command of Christ. At the same time, we receive these duties with joy, knowing that through them God is conforming us to the image of his Son by his grace.

In our prayer service this Sunday, we’re doing something a bit different. Instead of splitting out into small groups with our prayer requests, we will be altogether for a special combined prayer service. Since we have just spent some time considering the Lord’s Prayer more closely, the theme of this service will be the Lord’s Prayer. Each man who reads Scripture and prays will take one of the petitions from Jesus’ teaching on prayer in Luke 11.

Our morning worship service centers on the message from 1 Cor 13:6, love’s holy joy. Paul’s words that love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth is one of the most counter-cultural aspects of biblical love, especially when one considers our current setting today. The order of service is as follows, with my comment on the hymn “Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word”:

Call to Worship: Psalm 95:2

Hymn 305 [Red] Holy, Holy, Holy

Congregational Reading: Psalm 137:1-6

Doxology: Diademata, Red 293

Hymn 141 [Blue] Look, Ye Saints! the Sight is Glorious

Hymn 20 [Blue] We Praise Thee, O God, Our Redeemer

Prayer

Offering

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 25:1-22 & 1 John 5:13-21

Ministry of Music: Jesus, Still Lead On

Hymn 343 [Red] Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word The hymn “Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word” is a prayer for illumination over the preaching of the Word. Its author, Tobias Clausnitzer, recognized that mere preaching does not accomplish anything. Indeed, the darkness of our sinfulness is so profound that we need the Holy Spirit to illumine the Word of God to us. Without God’s grace, preaching is mere sound waves bouncing around on the walls. With God’s grace, the Word of God transforms ruined sinners by opening up their spiritual eyes and hearts to the glory of Christ revealed in Scripture (see 1 Cor 2). This connects to the gift of divine love, for love rejoices in the truth, which is the content of right preaching. The truth represented in 1 Cor 13:6 represents not simply accurate propositional content, but God’s revealed Truth in Jesus Christ, and the corresponding way of life that reflects that truth. Thus the second verse of this hymn: “All our knowledge, sense and sight Lie in deepest darkness shrouded, Till Thy Spirit breaks our night With the beams of truth unclouded. Thou alone to God canst win us; Thou must work all good within us.” When God does break our night to his Truth through the spiritually illumined Word of Christ, he does so such that he works all good within us. Therefore, love rejoices with the truth. 

Sermon: Love’s Holy Joy from 1 Corinthians 13:6

Hymn 313 [Red] Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Prayer

Benediction

 

In Sunday School, Eric White will explain and instruct us in Soliloquy 3: The Lord from Job 38-41.

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