FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
He Leadeth Me
He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.
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] can make the dry parched ground of my soul to become a pool and my thirsty barren heart as springs of water. Yes he can make this habitation of dragons, this heart, which is so full of abominable lusts and fiery temptations, to be a place of bounty and fruitfulness unto Himself….
The more I see of the glory of Christ, the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes and I will be more and more crucified to this world. It will become to me like something dead and putrid, impossible for me to enjoy. – John Owen
Confession of Sin:
Prayer of Confession
Merciful Father, forgive us the sins of our tongues—for deception and untruthfulness in our dealings with others; for resentment, coldness, impatience, and ill temper. Forgive us for the sins of our eyes—for impurity in our glances and imagination; for pining after more beauty, comfort, status, and wealth than you have given us. Forgive us the sins of our hearts—for hard-heartedness toward you and our neighbors; for pride, self-absorption, self-pity; and above all for rebelling against you and doubting your love. Father, remove our fear, envy and pride and melt our hearts with the good news of the Gospel. Transform us by your grace to live wholly for your glory. Take away our mourning and replace it with songs of joy, for it is in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Words of Grace
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:1-2
Confession of Faith: The Children’s Catechism Question 73-75
Q. 73. Why do you need Christ as your prophet?
A. Because I am ignorant by nature.
Q. 74. Why do you need Christ as your priest?
A. Because I am guilty of breaking God’s law.
Q. 75. Why do you need Christ as your king?
A. Because I am weak and helpless.
Guest Preacher: Tom Franklin, RUF at Birmingham Southern
This week we had our friend Tom Franklin preaching. You can listen to his sermon by clicking above and reflect on the text he preached from with the reflection questions below.
Sermon Text: John 4:1-42
1 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making andbaptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive thatyou are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say thatin Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
27 Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reapthat for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
- 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?
- Put yourself in the Samaritan woman's shoes. What do you imagine it would be like for you to encounter Jesus like this?
- What do you find most astounding or impressive or comforting about Jesus? How many claims does he make (explicitly or implicitly)?
- What do we learn about "giving a reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15) from this story?
This past week I and Ruling Elder, Miles Gresham were at the General Assembly (GA) of the Presbyterian Church in America. Each year this national meeting is hosted in a different city and this year it was hosted in Mobile, AL. There are a lot of moving parts to GA and the part Miles and I played was to serve on what is called the Overtures* Committee. The committee had 63 overtures to consider and a little over 40 of them spoke to the issue of racism, racial diversity, confession and repentance. After many hours of debate and amendment the Overtures Committee and subsequently the entire GA approved overture 43: Pursuing Racial Reconciliation and the Advancement of the Gospel. Subsequent to GA a fellow African American PCA Minister wrote ahelpful article reflecting on this significant moment in the history of the PCA. You will also see in this article links to the original overture and to the final approved overture.
*An “overture” requests action from the General Assembly on a specific matter. Overtures normally come from presbyteries (regional bodies of church elders) and are submitted to the General Assembly for deliberation during the annual meeting. Depending on the topic, the overture goes to the Committee on Overtures during the General Assembly. The committee then makes a recommendation to the broader assembly which votes in the affirmative, the negative, or sends it back to the Committee.
Songs for this week:
Holy, Holy, Holy
Depth of Mercy
The Gospel is Good News Indeed
How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds
Fairest Lord Jesus
Sermon passage for this week: Mark 14:1-11
Until next time,
He Leadeth Me
And when my task on earth is done,
When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.
He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful foll’wer I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.