FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
It is an invariable maxim in God’s kingdom, that whosoever exalts himself, shall be abased; but he that humbles himself, shall be exalted. - John Newton
Prostitutes are in no danger of finding their present life so satisfactory that they cannot turn to God: the proud, the [greedy], the self-righteous, are in that danger. - C.S. Lewis
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Romans 1:1-17
O for a Thousand Tongues - Adoration
Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder - Adoration
He Leadeth Me - Grace
There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy - Response
Psalm 128 - Communion
Doxology Old 100th
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 1 Timothy.
If you are looking for help to read the Bible in a more regular way, you may find this approach and this app helpful.
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
Come, O Come, Thou Quickening Spirit
Grant our hearts in fullest measure
Wisdom, counsel, purity,
That we ever may be seeking
Only that which pleaseth Thee.
Let Thy knowledge spread and grow,
Working error's overthrow.
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
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, 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
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - Genesis 11:1-9
1. The essence of sin: Kingdom Building
2. God's response: intervention, disruption, reversal
The Heart of the Message
The reality is we all are engaged in a building project that is defiant and misguided. But it is so hard to see that. Everything in our hearts and our world says make a name for yourself, do what you think is best. But how will we ever leave off our building projects? What could ever convince us that left to ourselves we will only seek out destructive, hurtful schemes? The answer is the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ experiences the inevitable outcome of our building projects: confusion and scattering. On the cross, Jesus cry’s “My God, My God WHY…?” On the cross Jesus experiences the full extent of God’s scattering. He is alone, isolated, desperate. God comes down and instead of building his own kingdom he gives up everything and is obedient even unto death (Phil. 2:7-8) in order that we might see the folly of our own building projects and discover the Kingdom Building project of our God and King that leads to life and joy and peace.
- What features of this story stand out to you the most? What do you notice about the characters?
- What do you learn about humanity from this passage?
- What do you learn about God from this passage? What does he do and say?
- Where is God telling you, “NO”? How is God keeping you from doing what you are capable of doing? Where is God confusing your world and preventing you from building your kingdom?
- How can you be sure God’s intervention, disruption, and reversal in your life is a work of love?
Confession of Faith: The New City Catechism, 2017
Q. 14. Did God create us unable to keep his law?
A. No, but because of the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, all of creation is fallen; we are all born in sin and guilt, corrupt in our nature and unable to keep God’s law.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.