FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
Abraham complains out of his faith, not his unbelief. It takes spiritual energy of faith to complain in contrast to despairing in silence… Faith is living in imagination in God’s word when the situation by sight seems impossible…. Complaint and faith are not antithetical; complaint is based on taking God seriously. – Bruce Waltke
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Genesis 16
Praise to the Lord - Adoration
Jesus, I Come - Confession
My Jesus has Done All Things Well - Grace
The Lord’s Prayer
Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior - Response
Be Still and Know - 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 1-3 John.
If you are looking for help to read the Bible in a more regular way, you may find this approach and this app helpful.
This week is the 46th General Assembly of the PCA. If you would like to learn more about GA here you go. If you would like follow a live stream click here.
One of the more interesting parts of GA is the Overtures Committee. This committee discusses various topics sent to the GA to consider from a wide variety of Presbyteries around the country. Here is the list of overtures for this year.
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
Jesus, The Lord, My Savior Is
As through the wilderness I roam,
His mercies I'll proclaim;
And when I safely reach my home,
I'll still adore His name.
Mercy and truth and righteousness,
And peace, most richly meet
In Jesus Christ, the King of Grace.
In whom I stand complete.
Whate'er I need in Jesus dwells,
And there it dwells in me;
'Tis Christ my earthen vessel fills
With treasures rich and free.
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
Heavenly Father, we confess that our glory has been our comfort, rather than your Son's cross. We confess that we crave the fellowship of those already like us, rather than the fellowship of Christ's sufferings. We confess that we work to save our own lives, rather than lose our lives for Christ’s sake and the gospel. Have mercy on us, Father, and grant us the gift of gospel repentance. Cleanse us by the finished work of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and restore to us the joy of your salvation. Amen.
Words of Grace
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
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 1:8-2:2
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - Genesis 15
1. A God worth questioning
2. A God worth believing
The Heart of the Message
God has the power to make promises and the love to keep them. He backs up these promises with his one-sided covenant with Abraham. Only God passes between the “cut” pieces of the animals signaling may the same happen to him if he doesn’t keep covenant with Abraham. In other words, God is saying I will keep my side of the covenant and I will bear the cost of you not keeping covenant. It’s a picture of the Gospel and the cross of Christ; God doing for us what we can’t do and bearing the penalty of what we do do.
- What features of this passage stand out to you the most? What words or phrases or ideas grab your attention?
- Do you think Abraham questions God out of faith or unbelief? (see v. 2, 8, and v. 6) How can you relate to Abraham?
- Imagine you were journeying with Moses from Egypt to the promised land, hearing this chapter for the first time. What would you think? How would you feel? (see vs. 13-16)
- How might this story of Abraham lead you to exercise faith and grow in trust in Christ? (re: vs. 1)
Confession of Faith: The New City Catechism, 2017
Q. 23.Why must the Redeemer be truly God?
A. That because of his divine nature his obedience and suffering would be perfect and effective; and also that he would be able to bear the righteous anger of God against sin and yet overcome death.
God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.