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Order of Worship—John 12.20-36 Part 2—The Application
Announcements and Graduate Recognition
Call to Worship
(Ps. 138:1-8) I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; 2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. 3 On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. 4 All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth, 5 and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD. 6 For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. 8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Song—Hymn #5 “How Great is Our God”
Welcome and Pastoral Prayer
Indeed, Lord, you are great! You dwell in unapproachable light! At the sound of your voice, you spoke into existence the heavens and the earth. As the Potter forms the clay, you made all things good. But we are but clay…weak vessels, for sure. We rebelled against your one clear command and fell into sin and death. We hid ourselves among the bushes and attempted to cover our shame. But you found us and clothed us in your mercy. And you made a promise to send a child that would crush the dead of the deceiver.
By your grace, we discover a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins. And by your grace, we sinners are plunged beneath that flood and lose all our guilty stains. Though as vile as the thief on the cross, the blood of the Innocent One washed all our sins away. And yet the wonder of the cross bids us to come and die so that we may truly live.
Oh, that our neighbors would know this good news! Indeed, we are your witnesses to such a great salvation. Give us boldness as we engage those who cross our paths throughout our days to tell them the wondrous story. We are mere beggars telling other beggars where to find bread. May we direct them to the Bread of Life that they may never hunger again.
But one day, our time here will be over and into your presence we will be.
And… When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue
Lies silent in the grave,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save.
“May the Lamb who was slain receive the reward of his suffering.”
In Christ’s name we pray, amen.
(A brief bio on William Cowper): We are about to sing a song written by William Cowper. His life is marked with many tragedies and difficulties including what was described as melancholy. This was a result of losing his mother when he was 6 years old. His relationship with his father was terrible. He sent him off to boarding school where he was bullied in awful ways. And then maybe the final straw was a broken relationship with a girl he had fallen in love with. But Cowper’s life was marked by friends who pointed him to Jesus and helped him learn to follow Jesus. From the doctor at the asylum who shared to the gospel with Cowper and left the scriptures for him to read. The Lord also placed John Newton, the slave-trader who repented and believed and eventually wrote Amazing Grace, into his life. Cowper’s life is marked by other believers with whom he lived and depended on for the rest of his life. The point is, are we dying to self to help others to walk by faith like many did with Cowper? We might not be able to write hymns but we can love and encourage those who can.
Song—Hymn #224 “There is a Fountain”
(Phil. 3:7-11) 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith– 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Song—Hymn #234 “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”
Sermon—John 12:20-36 “What does it look like to serve and follow Jesus?” (This is a follow up sermon to help us to think and apply the text)
Song—Hymn #534 “Take my life, and Let it Be Consecrated”
(Heb. 12:1-2) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
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