FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
In Christ Alone
In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.
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!
People don’t need a staircase; they need a Rescuer. Because the way back to heaven isn’t a staircase; it was a Person. People can never reach up to Heaven, so Heaven must come down to them. - Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible
Confession of Sin:
Prayer of Confession
Loving and gracious Father, the more we delve into the depths of our sin, the uglier and more heinous it becomes. If we promise to do better, we lie. If we try to clean ourselves up, we are frauds. If we give because we feel guilty, we are schemers. If we serve to feel good about ourselves, we are self-righteous. If we pray only to get what we want, we are self-serving. If we read your Word so you will be pleased with us, we are manipulators. The selfish motivations of even our best actions condemn us. They are un-holy, un-pleasing, and un-like the One in whose image we are created. Please forgive us and help us to look only to the life-saving, life-changing, life-giving power of your grace and mercy through Your Son Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Words of Grace
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
Confession of Faith: Westminster Shorter Catechism (1646)
Q. 32. What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life?
A. They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, and sanctification, and the several benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from them.
Guest Preacher: Dave Driskill
This past Sunday we had Dave Driskill, Assistant Pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church preach for us. He preached from Genesis 11:1-9 on the story of the Tower of Babel. Below you will find a link to his sermon, the sermon text and several questions to guide your reflection and discussion this week.
Sermon Text: Genesis 11:1-9
1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” 5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6 And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
- 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?
- How do you see the attitudes and desires of the people in this story bubble up in your own life?
- How does this story find new meaning and hope in Jesus?
What are we to make of suffering and hardship? So many questions...so many of which seemingly are unanswerable...at least for now. However, we are not left alone. We have the gospel and all the promises and benefits bound up with it in Christ. Therefore, I want to suggest to you a book called When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty. The book asks three central questions: Who is this God? What is he up to? and How can I hang on? Some of you may know of Joni Eareckson Tada. After a tragic accident she has spent more than 30 years in a wheelchair. She coauthors this book along with her pastor, Steve Estes.
Songs for this week:
Holy, Holy, Holy
Arise, My Soul Arise
The Gospel is Good News Indeed
How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds
Nearer, My God to Thee
Sermon passage for this week: Mark 11:1-25
Until next time,
In Christ Alone
There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.