We are pleased to welcome Stacey Croft to preach this Sunday from Luke 18. Stacey serves as the RUF minister at Vanderbilt University and is an active member of the Nashville Presbytery. We will be tracing the theme of faith like a child even as we consider the passage from Luke in which Christ welcomes the children to himself. The Call to Worship from Psalm 66 invites us to shout for joy and sing of His glory for He is awesome in His deeds towards the children of man. The opening hymns, Come Christians, Join to Sing and Glory Be to God the Father are both strong declarations of praise to God for who He is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, our Redeemer, King of the Church and of nations, and full of goodness.
The New Testament Reading from I John 5 reminds us of the role of love and faith towards the Father as fruit of our belief in Christ. The Prayer of Confession from I Corinthians 1 confronts our sinful proclivity to seek after reason and worldly wisdom to explain our faith as opposed to the “folly” of the cross and what appears to be weakness, but in reality shows the strength of God.
Our first Communion Hymn is I Will Praise Him Still which speaks of the child-like faith of trusting God beyond what appears to be our present circumstances. The second Communion Hymn is Holy Father, Hear My Cry as a simple but profound prayer of mercy with the desire to know the love, peace, and presence of God.
We conclude by singing Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer with the hope that we would ever rise on the wings of faith to be more and more like our Savior.
The snare of riches and the temptation to trust in our own strength help form the theme from this morning’s passage from Luke 12. Our accumulated wealth means nothing in the light of eternity. The Call to Worship from Psalm 16 reminds us that it is God who is our portion and that we have a beautiful inheritance that includes pleasures at His right hand forevermore. We sing praises with O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing and Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness.
The Old Testament Reading from Psalm 49 confronts us with the sobering reality that wealth and an abundance of riches can neither ransom someone’s life or pay off God. We perish and leave our wealth to another. The Prayer of Confession from I Timothy 6 deals with our sources of contentment and what it means to store up Godly treasure. The Assurance of Pardon from Ephesians 1 states that we have obtained an inheritance in Christ that is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer gives some perspective on the true blessings of our journey as we lay all our treasure at His throne. In the first Communion Hymn, Deck Yourself My Soul With Gladness, we sing of the priceless gifts of heaven that are offered to us through Christ—the vast and deep treasure of His love. Come Ye Disconsolate reminds us that the best of this world and the sorrows of this world are ultimately healed by the gift of heaven.
As our final hymn, Jesus, I am Resting, Resting, is a prayer for the sufficiency of Christ as our only joy.
The fear of the Lord, fear of man, and the godly comfort of “Do not fear” along with the boldness of acknowledging Christ before men form some of the backdrop of our passage from Luke 12. The service begins with godly fear from Psalm 22 in the Call to Worship—You who fear the Lord, praise Him! We continue with singing Holy, Holy, Holy! and God is My Strong Salvation—What foe have I to fear?
The New Testament Reading from I John 4 reminds us that we have confidence on the day of judgment because the perfect love of the Father as expressed in Christ casts out all fear. The Prayer of Confession from II Corinthians 6 and 7 this love is expounded in being called the sons and daughters of God and “holiness comes to completion in the fear” of the Lord.
The freedom from fear as expressed in Isaiah 43 becomes both our Assurance of Pardon and our next hymn of praise. The Communion Hymns include Approach My Soul, the Mercy Seat where we come for rest from the war without and the fears within and My Faith has Found a Resting Place in the blood of Christ that ends our fears and doubts.
We conclude the service with In Christ Alone and the power of Christ in us that frees us from guilt in life and fear in death.
As we move into the passage in Luke 11 just after the Lord’s Prayer, we find Jesus’ instruction on what our attitude and approach to prayer should be—to speak boldly to our gracious Father who freely gives us all things. The Call to Worship from Psalm 105 invites us to seek the Lord and His presence continually and to remember His wondrous works. Give Thanks to God the Lord reminds us of the works of the Lord for which we owe Him great gratitude and thanksgiving—“Rejoice all you who seek the Lord, come glory in His name.”
Psalm 63: O God Thou Art My God Alone recognizes God as the object of our longing even as He shows the footsteps of His grace in our lives.
The New Testament Reading from Romans 8 addresses our position as children of God and fellow heirs with Christ. For the Spirit intercedes in our weakness to the Father. Our Confession of Sin comes from James, Jonah, John Philippians and Psalms and highlights the loving care of our Father who supplies our every need. We continue by singing Before the Throne of God Above and His love that lives and pleads for us.
The Hymns for Communion are O Love of God, that sings of the gracious love of the Father, and Approach My Soul, the Mercy Seat as a reminder of the work of Christ as our mediator. We conclude by singing What Wondrous Love is This as praise and wonder at the gift of the Lamb slain on our behalf who redeems us from sin and death and supplies our need in glory in Christ Jesus.
The sermon series on the Luke 11 and the Lord’s Prayer continues with “Lead Us Not Into Temptation” and so we will focus on temptation and our great High Priest who was tempted even as we are. The Call to Worship from Psalm 31 refers to the Lo9rd as our refuge and fortress who leads, preserves, and recues His people. He continue by singing Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah and Psalm 27: God is My Strong Salvation—“In darkness and temptation, my Light, my Help is near.”
The New Testament Reading from Hebrews 2 reminds us that Christ suffered when tempted and is able to help us as we are tempted. The Prayer of Confession from James 1 focuses on standing firm under trial, not submitting to temptation knowing that our sinful desires give birth to sin which brings forth death. Isaiah 43 reminds us that the Lord, our God, leads us through the trials of life.
For Communion we will sing Holy Father and At the Name of Jesus—a wonderful hymn on the person of Christ who is our “Captain in temptation’s hour.” We conclude with Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners—“tempted, tried, and sometimes failing, He, my strength, my victory wins!”
This Sunday we continue in the season of the Church year known as Ordinary Time or the Sundays of Pentecost—the period between Pentecost and the start of Advent. The Church calendar starts in Advent with the prophecies and anticipation of the coming and second coming of Christ and then moves through His life and ministry culminating in the season of Easter with resurrection, ascension and the birth of the Church on Pentecost. In a very real sense, this season of Ordinary Time is the story of the Church in the book of Acts as we await the Second Advent—it is living in the outworking of redemption.
Our sermon series on the Luke 11 and the Lord’s Prayer continues with “Forgive Us Our Sing” and so we will focus on our need of forgiveness as well as the need to forgive others. We begin with the Call to Worship from Psalm 119 and the desire to know the way of the Lord in order to not sin against him. Glory Be to God the Father rejoices in the nature and character of God especially as He who loved us and washed us from “each spot and stain.” Holy God, We Praise Your Name reminds of the holy nature of God and his worthiness to be praised.
The New Testament Reading from Matthew 18 challenges us to forgive as we have been forgiven. The Prayer of Confession from Psalm 32 confronts our proclivity to hide our hearts from ourselves as well as from God. Forgiveness comes in acknowledging our sins and confessing our transgressions. We then sing Psalm 32: Blest is the Man. The Profession from God’s Word uses Psalm 25 as an explanation of God’s mercy in instructing sinners in the way that is right.
Our Hymns for Communion are Come, Ye Sinners and There is a Fountain—both prayerful reminders of the cleansing blood of Christ that welcomes sinners home. Our final hymn, Come Ye Souls, By Sin Afflicted, calls us to look to Jesus and learn the happy choice of obedience.
This Sunday we enter the season of the Church year known as Ordinary Time or the Sundays of Pentecost—the period between Pentecost and the start of Advent. The Church calendar starts in Advent with the prophecies and anticipation of the coming and second coming of Christ and then moves through His life and ministry culminating in the season of Easter with resurrection, ascension and the birth of the Church on Pentecost. In a very real sense, this season of Ordinary Time is the story of the Church in the book of Acts as we await the Second Advent—it is living in the outworking of redemption.
Our sermon series on the Luke 11 and the Lord’s Prayer continues with “Our Daily Bread” and so we will focus on God’s provision, our propensity for anxious hearts, and resting in the Savior who gives us what we need. The Call to Worship from Psalm 107 reminds us that the Lord satisfies the longing and hungry soul with good things. We sing of His daily provision in Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah and of His watchful care in How Firm a Foundation.
Our New Testament Reading from II Corinthians 8 sets forth Christ as becoming poor so that we might become rich—a spiritual reminder that He provides for our needs and we should graciously and humbly provide for other’s needs. The Prayer of Confession from Matthew 6 strikes at our anxious hearts that often think too much about daily needs instead of relying in faith on our Father abundantly provides. We continue by singing Psalm 73: O God How Good Thou Art for “burdened with anxious care” we see the goodness of the Lord in His house.
Our final hymn is My Shepherd Will Supply My Need as a sung reminder of the Good Shepherd who provides for our needs as presented in Psalm 23.