Sermon Manuscript for Lord’s Day 6/13/2021

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Order of Worship—John 13.1-11

Prelude

Announcements and Call to Worship

We are about to sing “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee.” There’s a line in the song that says, “teach us how to love each other.” So, our call to worship text comes from Philippians 2 where Paul instructs us on how to love each other in humility. So, let’s call ourselves to worship with this on our minds:

(Phil. 2:3-11) 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

May our lips sing for joy when we think of the humility and love of Christ towards us and may we learn to love and serve each other as we see Christ!

Hymn No. 13 “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee”

Welcome and Prayer

Indeed, Lord, we do adore you because your love is unmatched by any. As we are about to sing a song in which we are asking the question, “Amazing love, how can it be that thou, my God, should die for me?”  We know because (Rom. 5:7-8)…one will scarcely die for a righteous person– though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die–  8 but Christ shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We were your enemies and yet you have adopted us into your family.

May we live as sons and daughters of the King! The One who came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as ransom for many. May we serve one another, gladly. May we humble ourselves, because you oppose the proud. When we are full of pride, we become defensive and we feel entitled to things that other people do not deserve. “Pride allows us to convince ourselves that we can step over your boundaries without any consequences. We are no longer afraid of you so we write our own rules.”

O Father, you give grace to the humble. Humble us Lord! Mold us into the image of Christ. We are free to be humble for we are sons of the King. We have nothing to prove. We have your favor and you love us just as you love your Son. Though we are of Adam’s helpless race, Jesus bled for us in his mercy. May we praise you, for your mercy has reached us. Amazing love!

Hymn No. 250 “And Can it Be”

(Highlight this line in the song in light of our text)

“And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us: the prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo his doom is sure: one little word shall fell him.”

Hymn No. 656 “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”

Sermon John 13:1-11

Hymn No. 229 “Are You Washed in the Blood”

Benediction

(Rev. 7:13-17) “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?”  14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.  16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.  17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”


Quote of the Day

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” C.S Lewis


Sermon Manuscript for Lord’s Day 6/6/2021

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Order of Worship—John 12.44-50

Prelude

Announcements and Call to Worship

(Ps. 27:4-5)  4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.  5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.

Hymn No. 463 “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me”

Welcome and Pastoral Prayer

For our government leaders and nation

Hymn No. 47 “Fairest Lord Jesus “

(Ezek. 37:1-10) The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones.  2 And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry.  3 And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.”  4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.  5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.  6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”  7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.  8 And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them.  9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”  10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Hymn No. 83 “Be Thou My Vision”

Sermon John 12:44-50

The Lord’s Supper

Hymn No. 506 “In Christ Alone”

Benediction

(Lam. 3:24-26)  24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”  25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.  26 It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.


Sermon Manuscript for Lord’s Day 5/30/2021

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Order of Worship—John 12.37-43

Prelude

Announcements

Call to Worship

(Ps. 105:1-3) Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!  2 Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!  3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!

Hymn No. 6 How Great Thou Art

Welcome and Prayer of Confession and Hope

O Lord, our God, you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.

Yet, we live in this broken world. A world that has been marked with war and death. These things are the reality in which we live. Tomorrow, the USA will attempt to remember that 1.1 million soldiers have died in war. We forget so easily. They fought for the freedoms we enjoy right now. We gather this morning is freedom because many men and women have died. Their families grieved. Indeed, families are still hurting because of the pains of war and death. Please comfort the hurting.

Yet, we know that true comfort and healing can only come through another death, the death of your Son. He came to set us free from the bondage of sin yet we often forget. We return to that bondage and dishonor the blood Christ spilled for us. Father, forgive us. May we repent and remember. God help us.

In Christ’s name we pray, amen.

Hymn No. 448 Before the Throne of God Above

(Isa. 53:3) 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows

Hymn No. 242 Hallelujah, What a Savior!

Sermon—John 12:37-43 “Rejected to Save”

Hymn No. 249 Jesus Paid it All

Benediction

(1 Pet. 2:24-25)  24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.  25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.


Praying and Doing

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I’ve thought about how prayer and our responsibility work together for a long time. I first noticed this in the story of David fleeing Jerusalem when Absalom had stole the hearts of the men of Israel. One of the conspirators was Ahithophel, one of David’s wise counselors. As David flees the city, he gets word from someone that Ahithophel is in on this. David immediately prays in (2 Sam. 15:31), “O LORD, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.”

I suppose our understanding of prayer stops right there. That’s enough, right? The only addition we might make is to continue to pray the same thing. Certainly being persistent in prayer is right and good and sometimes there’s really nothing else we can do. But when something can be done, is that interfering with prayer? It could be but not always.

Soon after David prays for the counsel of Ahithophel to become foolishness, he meets another one of his wise counselors, Hushi. Here’s what he says to him: (2 Sam. 15:32-34) 32 While David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn and dirt on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so now I will be your servant,’ then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel.

At the end of 2 Samuel 16, we hear Absalom seeking counsel from Ahithophel. He advises him on how to defeat David the King. Absalom, though hesitant, allows Hushi to be his counselor as well. He asks Hushi what he should do concerning David the King. Here’s how they respond to the two options: (2 Sam. 17:14) 14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.”

Why did they choose Hushi’s counsel over Ahithophel’s? Was it because David had prayed? Or was something else going on? Here’s what it says: For the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring harm upon Absalom (2 Sam. 17:14b). So what’s the right answer? I think the prayer, the sending of Hushi and what the Lord had ordained work together.

There is some mystery here. There are some ways to answer this. But we know that James says that we do not have because we do not ask. And sometimes we ask for the wrong things. (Jas. 4:2-3) You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

I guess the point is, praying and waiting are not always the right response. We might ask if David’s prayer was answered and did God accomplish his ordained purpose in this? Here’s the answer: (2 Sam. 17:23) 23 When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.

What about Absalom? I assume you know how his life ended. But who gets their hair caught in a tree? That seems very ironic. (2 Sam. 18:9) 9 And Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak, and his head caught fast in the oak, and he was suspended between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on.

As you know, Absalom was struck down and David was restored to the throne. Just consider that prayer and what God ordains are not opposed to one another (though they could be). In this story, they work together. And I’m aware that some will say that God ordained that David pray that way. Sure. I’m on board with that. But it’s not that obvious when David is fleeing the city and life is happening. I don’t think we have to say that. I don’t think David paused in the middle of all of that and acknowledged that God ordained that prayer. I don’t think he knew that at the time. He seems to hold out the possibility that God might do something else. I mean, why did he flee at all if he was certain of Absalom’s defeat?

I think this is how David thought about it: (2 Sam. 15:25-26) 25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place. 26 But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you,’ behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.”

Pray and respond. Trust the Lord to do what is right and good. And sometimes that means we participate in that process that was ordained by the Lord.


Sermon Manuscript for Lord’s Day 5/23/2021

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Order of Worship—John 12.20-36 Part 2—The Application

Prelude

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”

Benediction

(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.


Currently Reading…

Have any of you read this book? I’m about half way through. It’s wrecking me and teaching me some good stuff!

Tell what you think about it.

The Compelling Community: Where God's Power Makes a Church Attractive (9Marks)


Praise the LORD! But why?

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I want you to go get a Post-it note and write on it, “How do I expect God to respond to what I just read?”

Next, turn to Psalm 106 and take the sticky note and place it over verses 44-48 but do not read those verses yet.

Take note of verses 1-5 first. They essentially say, “Praise the LORD!” But verses 6-43 (and that’s a lot of text) paints a very dark and rebellious picture. First, feel the weightiness of 6-43. Think about how they describe you.

Once you’ve done that, look at the sticky note. How do you expect God to respond to what you just read? Now, remove the sticky note. I think you will now understand why this Psalm begins and ends with “Praise the LORD!”


Sermon Manuscript for Lord’s Day 5/16/2021

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Order of Worship—John 12.20-36

Prelude

Announcements and Call to Worship

(Rev. 4:8-118 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”  9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever,  10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,  11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

Song—Hymn #68 “Holy, Holy, Holy”

Welcome and Prayer of Confession and Hope

O Lord, you indeed are holy! The whole earth is full of your glory. We confess that some of our mornings have not been filled with songs to you and we have not treated you as holy. We have found ourselves distracted too easily by worthless things and some good things. In our weakness, please find us. We confess that we have not adored you and have thought of ways to keep our crowns. In your grace Lord, pry our hands loose and may we lay up our treasures in heaven.

We come this morning, by the mercies of God, to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to you. We can only do this as enemies on whom you have poured out your amazing grace so that we would receive the free gift of forgiveness in Christ who paid our penalty. May we offer thanksgivings and praises in worship to you. Let us not be conformed to this world, but we plead for you to transform us by renewing our minds. May we love you with our minds…in how we think…in what we give attention to in our minds…let us take every thought captive…may our minds be guarded by the helmet of salvation.

And now Lord we are about to sing a prayer to you. We ask that you would take our lives and let them be set apart for you. May our hands move at the impulse of your love. Cause us to serve Christ gladly and to follow him no matter the cost. Jesus has bore the cross for us. The penalty has been paid. Now may we take up our cross and follow him. Let us not live this life which is but a vapor with regrets. Our lives are yours. You have bought us with blood of your son. We are yours. Do with us as you please. Make Jesus known through us.

And in name of Jesus, we pray, amen.

Song—Hymn #541 “Take my life, and Let it Be Consecrated”

(Lk. 9:23) “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Song—Hymn #438 “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken”

Sermon—John 12:20-36

Song—Hymn #611 “On Jordon’s Stormy Banks”

Benediction

(Rev. 22:1-4) Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb  2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.  4 They will see his face


Sermon Manuscript for Lord’s Day 5/9/2021

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This was the order of worship:

Order of Worship—John 12.12-19

Prelude

Announcements and Call to Worship

(Ps. 113:1-9) Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD!  2 Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore!  3 From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!  4 The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!  5 Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high,  6 who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?  7 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap,  8 to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.  9 He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!

Song—Hymn #499 “Victory in Jesus”

Mother’s Day Welcome and Pastoral Prayer

(Jn. 15:13)  13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Song—Hymn #152 “No Not One”

Song—Hymn #22 “We Will Glorify”

Sermon—John 12:12-19

Song—Hymn 447 “It is well with my soul”

Benediction: (Jn. 14:27) 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.