FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
“The Spirit’s work is not to enable a man to do something which will save him or help save him, but to so detach him from all his own exertions and performances, whether good, bad, or indifferent, that he should be content with the salvation which the Savior of the lost has finished.” – Horatius Bonar
There are several books I find myself returning to again and again each year.Here is one that repays thoughtful, slow, repeated readings.
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Psalm 129
How Firm a Foundation - Adoration
God of My Life to Thee I Call - Confession
O Love that Will Not Let Me Go - Grace
Abide with Me - Response
Fountain of Grace - Communion
Doxology (Tallis Canon)
The Bible Project:
As a way to help you grasp the over-arching story of the Bible, I am going to include each week a link to one of The Bible Project videos that summarizes in a few minutes one book of the Bible.
This week check out the summary of Micah
If you are looking for help to read the Bible in a more regular way, you may findthis approach and this app helpful.
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
In Christ Alone
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power 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
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
God of mercy, we humbly confess our need of your pardoning grace. We shelter arrogance and pride in our hearts, believing that our efforts will secure what only you can give us. We are quick to judge and grumble when our plans, pleasures, and preferences are threatened. We are slow to offer mercy, both inwardly and outwardly, towards those you have placed in our lives and called us to love. Forgive our self-righteousness and our self-absorption. Fix our eyes on our savior, Jesus Christ, that we may become enraptured with Him, for it’s in his name we pray. Amen.
Words of Grace
[B]ut God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text – Isaiah 9:1-7
A Song of Ascents.
9 But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
2 The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
3 You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
4 For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
1. Jesus is the wisdom we need: Wonderful Counselor
2. Jesus is the power we need: Mighty God
3. Jesus is the love we need: Everlasting Father
4. Jesus is the peace we need: Prince of Peace
Sermon Reflection Questions
- What stood out to you from these verses?
- What questions do they raise for you?
- Was there anything that bothered you?
- Where in your life do you feel at the end of your resources?
- What is God zealous to do in Isaiah 9?
- How does God's zeal impact how you live this week?
Confession of Faith: Westminster Shorter Catechism c. 1646
Q. 76. Which is the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment is, You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Q. 77. What is required in the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment requires the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbor's good name, especially in witness bearing.
Q. 78. What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment forbids whatsoever is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbor's good name.