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When God saves, the saved give thanks. This is seen in the Scripture’s call to worship this Lord’s Day from Zephaniah 3. The daughters of Zion are urged to Sing Aloud! Israel is told to Shout, and to rejoice and exult with all your heart! The purpose for this praise is rooted in Israel’s glorious hope in the Messiah: The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. What a stunning reason for praise. Yahweh has forgiven and restored his people. The one who is both King of Israel and Yahweh incarnate is in the midst of his people forever. Fear is banished. Evil has been chased away. When this happens, the people will sing with full-throated praise the glory of Yahweh. Even as we hope in that day and anxiously await it, we too sing aloud, shout, rejoice, and exult in the Lord our God. Let us gather with happiness in worship of the Almighty.
As we prepare for prayer this Lord’s Day, we will look at yet another verse from Psalm 119. We will begin by singing “Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus,” also to the tune Rustington (“See, the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph”).
The sermon this Sunday considers Paul’s short rhapsody on grace that breaks into his reaffirmation of the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. There Paul shows how God’s grace is behind all that he is. The amazing grace of God in Christ is the lens through which Paul sees his past, present, and future. He was called because of grace and serves by grace. He refuses even to take the smallest credit for who he is, and explicitly denies that he in any way cooperates with God’s grace. And by pointing so insistently at grace, Paul is showing us how it is that someone boasts in the Lord. He deserved nothing, but God had given him everything when Christ appeared to him. If this was true for this mighty saint and apostle, how much more is it true for us? Our sin is what necessitated God’s grace to us, it is with a vision of this grace that we are stirred to labor for Christ’s sake, and anything good in us is only because of grace. By professing the truth of this theological reality, we glorify God and his mercy.
Call to Worship: Zephaniah 3:14-15
Hymn 141 [Blue] Look, Ye Saints! the Sight is Glorious
Congregational Reading: Psalm 12
Hymn 236 [Blue] Amazing Grace
Hymn [Insert] My God, I Love Thee
Scripture Reading: Job 19 & Mark 4:21-41
Hymn 356 [Red] Jesus, Priceless Treasure Paul says in verse 10 that “his grace toward me was not in vain.” When we fully comprehend the riches of God’s unmerited favor towards us, it moves us to gratitude and a life of devotion. God’s past demonstrations of grace to us is an appropriate motivation for us to live by grace. So Johann Franck, the author of this hymn, writes (as translated by Catherine Winkworth), “Pain or loss or shame or cross shall not from my Savior move me, Since He deigns to love me.” If Christ has given us himself, how can we not give up our very lives in submission to this glorious Lord?
Sermon: Amazing Grace from 1 Corinthians 15:9-11
Hymn 127 [Blue] Hallelujah, What a Savior!
In Sunday School, I will teach on Jonathan Edwards on prayer (originally scheduled a couple weeks ago but postponed due to snow).