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“Praise befits the upright.” So the Psalmist begins his call to worship in Psalm 33:1. In other words, there is a fittingness—an appropriateness—to a holy man worshiping his Creator. You might say that there is a kind of beauty and harmony to an upright man worshiping the Lord, when he shouts for joy in the LORD (33:1) or gives thanks to him (33:2a) or makes melody to him (33:2b). This is full-throated praise before the true God. The Psalmist continues, play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. We are to exalt our God, not with quiet mumbling or half-hearted singing, but with high and zealous joy, with instruments and art and song. Yet this is not without reverence. Just a few verses later in the Psalm, we are commanded, Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! He is our Creator, and so our worship, though loud and joyful and exuberant, must still be presented with sober awe and holy trembling. We were made to do this. That is why “praise befits the upright.” If you are God’s chosen ones, then praise befits you too. Offer to God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
In the prayer service, we will look at another verse from Psalm 119. We will begin the service singing “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth” (Red 256).
This Lord’s Day, we are privileged to have Mark Perry with us. Mark and his wife Bekah are raising funds to take the gospel to Chile and work alongside Dave and Kristi Flinck. He graduated from Northland Baptist Bible College (my alma mater) and has an M.Div. from Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. Before becoming a missionary appointee, Mark served for many years at Westerville Bible Church. He has also completed some doctoral work from Central Baptist Theological Seminary.
Mark’s sermon comes from Mark 8. Jesus’ words in Mark 8 are familiar: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? For what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (vv 36-37). Mark will challenge us from that passage to forfeit our lives for Jesus Christ for the sake of the gospel. Our service order for this Lord’s Day reflect some of these themes:
Call to Worship: Psalm 33:1-3
Hymn 304 [Red] Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken
Congregational Reading: Psalm 33:13-17, 20-22
Doxology: Doxology, Red 283
Hymn 255 [Red] Ah, Holy Jesus
Hymn 263 [Red] O Sacred Head, Now Wounded As we consider the call to follow Christ completely, the idea is expressed well in the third verse of this hymn about Christ’s atoning work on the cross. There we see both the dying love of Christ and our own consecration to the Lord Jesus Christ: “What language shall I borrow to thank thee, dearest Friend, for this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end? O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never outlive my love for thee.” Christ demands our undiluted and unalloyed lives. He has purchased us with his own blood, and so we should by his grace return our full and complete love to him. “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor 6:19b-20)
Scripture Reading: Job 42 & Mark 15:1-20
Hymn 356 [Red] Jesus, Priceless Treasure
Sermon: Saving or Spending from Mark 8:34-38
Hymn 390 [Blue] Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken
After the fellowship meal, Mark will present to us Bekah and his ministry goals for Chile.