FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts
Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts
Thou fount of life, Thou light of men
From the best bliss that earth imparts
We turn unfilled to Thee again.
Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood
Thou savest those that on Thee call
To them that seek Thee thou art good
To them that find Thee all in all.
Welcome to the Red Mountain Sunday Recap!
The Sunday Recap is a brief fly-by of what we did during Sunday worship. Did anything land with you from worship on Sunday? What did it make you think? How did it make you feel? What did you find especially sweet or challenging from God's word? What did we sing, read, or pray that left an impression on you?
Food For Thought:
"Jesus was the only One that ever raised the dead," The Misfit continued, "and He shouldn't have done it. He thrown everything off balance. If He did what He said, then it's nothing for you to do but throw away everything and follow Him, and if He didn't, then it's nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him. No pleasure but meanness," he said and his voice had become almost a snarl. – The Misfit, from ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ by Flannery O’Connor
Confession of Faith: Westminster Shorter Catechism (1646)
Q. 17. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just assin came into the world through one man, anddeath through sin, andso death spread to all menbecauseall sinned—
Q. 18. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called Original Sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.
Romans 3:10 None is righteous, no, not one;
Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.
Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—
Confession of Sin
Exodus 20:1-2, 7
And God spoke all these words, saying,
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. . . .You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”
O Lord our God, no day of our lives passes that does not prove us guilty in your sight. We confess that we have not spoken of you as we should from our lips or in our hearts. We confess that we murmur and grumble at your word and your ways thinking we know better. We confess our hypocritical hearts in how we profess one thing and yet do another. Please forgive all our sin for the sake of Jesus Christ. We thank you that in Jesus there is full and free pardon for all our sin, for it is in his strong name we pray. Amen.
1 Peter 2:22-25
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 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. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
This past Sunday Matt Terrell, RUF Campus Minister at Samford, preached for us. The text and outline of his sermon are below with some reflection questions to ponder.
Sermon Text: John 1:1-18
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
- Jesus is big enough to bear the weight of your life (vs. 1-4)
- Jesus is near enough to make sense of your life (vs. 9-10, 14)
- Jesus is good enough to redeem your life (vs. 14)
- What was new or compelling to you? What stood out to you from this passage?
- What questions does this passage raise for you?
- Was there anything that bothered you?
- Which point connected with you most: big enough, near enough, or good enough?
- What is one way you can rejoice in the coming of Jesus this week?
Suggested Resources & The Week Ahead
If you are looking for another short but helpful book to help you reflect on the meaning of Christmas check this one out.
This Sunday we will finish up our advent series on the gift of God's adoption through sending his Son! We will look at Galatians 4:6-7 and the Cry of the Spirit.
During the week of Christmas my family and I will be traveling to visit family. However, Adam Venable, RUF Campus Minister at UAB will be preaching for me on December 27.
Songs for this week:
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Thine Everlasting Throne
Angels from the Realms of Glory
Arise, My Soul, Arise
What Child is This?
Until next time,
Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts
We taste of Thee, O living bread
And long to feast upon Thee still
We drink of Thee the fountain head
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.
Our restless spirits yearn for Thee
Where'er our changeful lot is cast
Glad when Thy gracious smile we see
Blessed when our faith can hold Thee fast.