July 30, 2017
Before We Worship
One of the first things that children learn to say is “Why?" Children ask incessantly. In their still-forming minds the world holds so many mysteries, and they struggle to understand, to grasp at the reason and the meaning of it all. But children eventually become boys and girls, who then go on to become men and women. Along the way we have learned why we should look both ways before we cross the street and why not to be rude. Yet we never actually stop asking “Why?”
In Psalm 94 we see a number of things that makes the psalmist ask, “Why?” So 94:3 — “O LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult?” Why does the Lord not act quickly to establish justice? And why does God allow injustice? “They kill the widow and the sojourner, and murder the fatherless”. How can we not ask “Why?” Our world is full of corruption and injustice, ruled by “those who frame injustice by statute”. In other words, they pass laws to institutionalize wickedness.
Sometimes the answers that children seek are beyond their understanding. Sometimes we have to answer their “Why” with “Just trust me for now and do as I say.” The time for understanding will come. But for now they need to trust and obey. It is much the same with our heavenly Father. God does not answer all our questions. And so it is both difficult and dangerous to divine the reason for what God does and does not do. We are, instead, to trust and obey. So Psalm 94 gives us some practical things we can do in this perplexing world.
First, we pray for God’s justice. “Rise up, O judge of the earth; repay to the proud what they deserve!” Our prayers are often a variation of a same theme: “Bless me, bless me.” Injustice is how God awakens us out of our self-centered thoughts.
Second, we lean on God for strength. “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Consolation is the chief work of God’s Spirit. Thus we are reminded that no matter how bleak things may seem, God has not left us as orphans. He has given us exactly everything we need, not only to endure this world, but even to find the joy that cheers our soul.
One day all questions will be answered. We will no longer need to ask “Why?” except, perhaps, to say “Why did you love me so? Why were you so faithful to me.” And in view of that hopeful day, we trust and obey today.
Call to Worship
Psalm 94 (reading responsively from TH p. 818)
Trinity Hymnal #672 “Trust and Obey”
Trinity Hymnal 731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
James 4:13–17 (p. 1013)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6–7 ESV)
“My Faith Has Found a Resting Place” (Bulletin p. 10)
Confession of Faith The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty; Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who, for us and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried; and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; and he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets; and we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Luke 13:18–21 (p. 872)
The Power of God’s Kingdom
Rev. Ken Han
The Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper
We participate in the Lord’s Supper weekly. We welcome to the Lord’s Table all baptized believers who have sincere faith in Jesus Christ, and regularly worship in a Reformed or evangelical church.
The Lord’s Supper is a sign and a seal of the new covenant blessings. When we participate in the Lord’s Supper with faith, it strengthens our bond with our covenant Lord, Jesus Christ. Thus we participate properly when we come to our Savior with faith and repentance as we renew our resolve to forsake sin and live for his glory.
The Lord’s Supper also renews our bonds with God’s covenant community, the body of believers in the local church. As we receive the Lord’s Supper, we renew our pledge to give ourselves away in loving service.
During the distribution of the bread we will sing Trinity Hymnal #648 “My Jesus, I Love Thee” stanzas 1–2, and stanzas 3–4 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #387 “Now May He Who from the Dead”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 20..
We have some new resources for you at the information table, including several new CCEF mini books, as well as other edifying books. Be sure to check them out!
Upcoming Events and Notices
Every Lord’s Day 10:15 AM: Please join us for Hymnsing, a time of preparing our hearts for worship in praise, and for learning new hymns for worship.
July 30: Shorter Catechism (Q. 20) lesson will meet after the worship service. The Children’s Bible First Catechism lessons will resume on August 20.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
July 30: Kelly & Rebecca Rogers
August 6: Liza Beede