The Psalm for this Sunday comes from Psalm 45:1-5, 17-21. It is a Psalm of great jubilation and praise. We will be opening with “O My Soul Bless God the Father” as our call to worship. The language of this hymn echoes much of this psalm. References to healing, redemption, and the passing on of the faith also tie into the Old Testament text Dennis will be preaching on. Continue reading
The goodness of God is assumed by most people, even by unbelievers. We all understand that God is the source of all that is good. When we become alive to the Gospel, reborn, and regenerated, we celebrate this fact. However, in times of trial and struggle, and especially death and tragedy, we are often confused by the inconsistency between his goodness and what happens around us.
This week’s call to worship continues our theme of being chiseled by God. God uses various chisels, be they illness, misfortune, or discontentment, to conform us to the image of His Son. “He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Thought” confesses that God’s intention is behind every circumstance, good or bad. “By waters still, o’er troubled sea / still ’tis His hand that leadeth me!” Continue reading
For the first time in the 10+ years I’ve been leading worship at Christ Community Church, we are departing from the lectionary and are planning the next four services around a theme. I’m not sure we’re actually allowed to do this sort of thing but I must admit, it has been a fresh change in planning. It also presents a few challenges. Continue reading
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1:12–17
When is the last time you thought about your own sin? Sometimes Christians can become so accustomed to God’s grace and forgiveness that we can forget how wretched we once were and how we continue to struggle with sin. The passage of focus this week comes from the Epistle reading, 1 Timothy 1:12–17.
This Sunday’s Call to Worship echoes the sentiments from the morning’s Psalm. He Hideth My Soul is a witness to the faithfulness and friendship of Christ. Not only this, but as we gather in his name and in song, we will declare his mighty power and unfathomable care for his children. Continue reading
New Testament Reading: Colossians 3:12–4:1
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. 18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality. 4:1 Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
This week, we will be focusing on Colossians 3:16. Part of letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly is singing with grace in our hearts. Throughout our time in Colossians recently, I have come back to this verse and asked, “What does it mean to teach and admonish one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs?” It has caused me to consider the impact corporate singing has on each of us. It seems that Paul is implying that our corporate singing has corporate benefits. Through singing together, we both taught and encouraged. Continue reading
1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
The overall theme for the book of Colossians that I’ve tried to focus on over the past few weeks is that of fruit bearing. The book of Colossians is such an encouragement. Unlike many of his other epistles, Paul is well pleased with this congregation and his letter to them is an encouragement to yield fruit. I’ve put my imagination to work and have been trying to foster a lush, colorful vocabulary to accompany the texts. Continue reading