FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Welcome to the Red Mountain Sunday Recap!
The Sunday Recap includes an assortment of items to help keep the Gospel in front of you throughout the week. Most are from the previous Sunday while a couple look ahead to next Sunday. As you read consider these questions:
- Did anything land with you during worship?
- 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:
Glorifying in God is by those who were the bad and the ugly, the enemies and the aliens who are filled with praise because God’s mercy has changed all this. They are not inherently extraordinary, but are worse than ordinary. They are “darkness.” Now, however, they have a new motivational compulsion: thankfulness for the difference between what they once were and did and what they now are and do by virtue of God’s transforming life working in their souls. They shine with a radiance of gratitude based on God’s sovereign call of grace. – C. John Miller
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Galatians 2:15-21
Crown Him with Many Crowns - Adoration
Depth of Mercy - Confession
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross - Grace
My Jesus has Done All Things Well - Response
Jesus, the Lord My Savior Is - Communion
How should Christians think about and practice their faith and convictions in an increasingly pluralistic society? What does it mean to cultivate a public faith? Miraslov Volf is a leading voice speaking to these types of questions. Here is a brief video in which Volf addresses the topic, "Public Faith in a Pluralistic Society." In fact, Volf is the author of the book we are reading for our "Lunch & Learn Series." We recently completed the first run of 5 lunches. We will begin a second run of 5 lunches on Tuesday, March 7 at 12 Noon at the Avon. If you are interested or have questions about our "Lunch & Learn Series" firstname.lastname@example.org.
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
Come Ye Souls By Sin Afflicted
Come ye souls by, sin afflicted,
Bowed with fruitless, sorrow down;
By the broken, law convicted,
Through the cross, behold the crown;
Look to Jesus; Look to Jesus; Look to Jesus;
Mercy flows through Him alone.
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
We confess, our Father, that we do not live up to the family name. We are more ready to resent than to forgive, more ready to manipulate than to serve, more ready to fear than to love, more ready to keep our distance than to welcome, more ready to compete than to help. At the root of this behavior is mistrust and self-love. We do not love one another as we should, because we do not believe that you love us as you do. Forgive us our cold unbelief. And make more vivid to us the gift and power of your love at the cross. Show us what it cost you to give up your Son that we might become your sons and daughters. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our only righteousness. Amen.
Words of Grace
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
1 John 3:2-3
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text – 2 Timothy 1:13-18
13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
15 You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— 18 may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.
1. The experience of the gospel (v. 13-14)
2. The expansion of the gospel (v. 15-17)
3. The expectation of the gospel (v. 18)
Sermon Reflection - Matt Clegg, Pastoral Resident
What happens when an employee gets promoted to company manager? Most find they begin to do jobs, all on their own, that they never thought to do before. They notice when the windows get dirty, when the display case becomes outdated, and how many people make purchases in a day. The reason is because they feel a sense of ownership of how the company fares. Paul calls Timothy in these verses to take such ownership over his calling as one entrusted with the gospel. Just as Paul labored tirelessly in ministry, and just as Onesiphorus put himself aside to serve Paul in need, Timothy was to work hard in his calling to see the gospel spread to every corner of life. Very few of us today have callings to vocational ministry like Timothy. However, all who have been saved by Christ through faith have been brought into a holy calling. The gospel calls all who long for Christ’s resurrection life for themselves, to also seek its spread to others. What should this look like in our lives today?
First, Paul instructs Timothy that he must incorporate the pattern of the gospel in his own life. What is this pattern? In 1 Tim.1:16 Paul says that he is a pattern of God’s patience for the chief of sinners, Paul. He is not a pattern of how to do life and ministry correctly. He is a pattern of how merciful God is to those who do not deserve Him. It is the knowledge of such great grace though Christ that motivated Paul into ministry. He knew God’s grace personally, and thus was motivated to share such good news with others. If Timothy was to succeed in ministry, he must first know how the gospel addressed his own need. This is the starting place for anyone who is called to follow Christ. Taking ownership over our callings as Christians must come from knowing the power of Christ over our own sin, so we will know how to share it’s beauty with others.
Second, Paul shows Timothy that taking ownership over his calling also involves self-motivated action. He uses a man named Onesiphorus as an example for Timothy to emulate. Onesiphorus heard that Paul was suffering in prison, dropped everything he was doing, and served him. This demonstrates ownership and deep conviction in the heart of the gospel. God did not merely save us from condemnation, and from the negative consequences of our sin. He certainly did those things, but he also saved us into a holy calling. We are saved into Christ & His purposes, not merely saved away from the consequences of our sin. This involves taking action. It is a fundamental call of the Christian faith that as our hearts are turned to hate sin and long for Christ’s promise of renewed life, that our hands and feet grow to demonstrate such longing. For some this means tireless work in vocational ministry, and for others it means putting aside our own comforts and helping another in need. For many of us this probably sounds very tiring. It is important to remember that Paul is not calling Timothy to heroism in his own strength. He is calling him to know Christ’s promise of new life to such a degree, that he would enjoy its fruit wherever it may be found.
Finally, Paul gives Timothy two wonderful expectations as motivation. First, the Holy Spirit lives inside of Him. Therefore, he has every reason to be confident that his work will not be in vain. Second, Paul claims that Onesiphorus will find mercy from Christ at the end of his life. Paul is not saying that Onesiphorus earned God’s mercy from his labors. He is saying that the Christian calling is ultimately worth the trouble in the end. Christ waits at the end of the road. No matter how hard and laborious it is, our merciful savior walked the road first, enduring with perfect strength. He now waits in heaven at the right hand of the Father to welcome us home in the end. That is an expectation worth the wait, and worth the effort.
- What was new or compelling to you? What stood out to you from these verses?
- What questions do they raise for you?
- Was there anything that bothered you?
- Is your Christian life defined by Christ's patience with you, or with your ability to be faithful to God?
- Are there areas in your life where you feel God's grace is strained, or too thin to cover?
- What people or situations has God put in your life that you could take initiative to serve?
Confession of Faith: Westminster Shorter Catechism Q. 102
Q.102: What do we pray for in the second petition?
A. In the second petition, (which is, Thy kingdom come,) we pray, that Satan’s kingdom may be destroyed; and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it; and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.