August 13, 2017
Before We Worship
Parents talk about their children. Athletes talk about their games. We can’t help it. We just have to talk about what we love. We are built to find a deep joy in the act of proclaiming our love. That is why we go out of our way to announce our love to everyone and anyone listening.
We can now understand the psalmist’s unceasing praise. “Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!” “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!" The exuberant praise of Psalm 96 comes from love. And it is love that extends to the whole world the invitation to join in the praise of the LORD.
Our heart’s praise is a very telling metric for our spiritual condition. Do we sing God’s praise day and night? Do we declare his worth to everyone and anyone who will listen to us? Do we invite others to join in our worship? If, however, our days are filled with the words of praise for other things, if we spend our days marveling at the pleasure of other things, our hearts are beholden to idols.
Ancient Israelites were often tempted to worship idols. Baal, for example, promised fertility, and Israel often clung to him. But idolatry is alive and well today. For anyone whose minds are beholden to sex is a Baal worshiper. Idolatry only changes name from one generation to next. But the substance of it stays as long as we lack the wisdom, “For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.” No idol ancient or present can actually deliver what they promise. That is why it is so awful for believers to sing their praises day and night, whether they are the idols of fertility and sex, the idols of wealth and pleasure, or the idols of self. Glory belongs to God alone. “Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!”
What did you praise today? This week? What did you long for people to know about you? That you are clever (idol of self)? That you are successful (idol of wealth)? Or that you have beautiful children (idol of fertility)? But when we make idols out of gifts, we worship Baal. But if we give glory to God, sing his praises day and night, then gifts can truly bring us pleasure that is good and righteous.
Whose praise will you sing day and night?
Call to Worship
Psalm 96 (reading responsively from TH p. 819)
Trinity Hymnal #67 “Not unto Us, O Lord of Heaven”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
James 5:7–8 (p. 1013)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:11–13 ESV)
“Come Ye Souls By Sin Afflicted” (Bulletin p. 10)
Confession of Faith — The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Luke 13:31–35 (p. 873)
Jesus Christ the Prophet
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 #708 “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go” stanzas 1–2, and stanzas 3–4 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #251 “Beneath the Cross of Jesus”
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.
August 13 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship potluck lunch after the worship service at the Beede home.
August 20: Shorter Catechism (Q. 22) lesson will meet after the worship service. The Children’s Bible First Catechism lessons will resume (Qs. 44–48).
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
August 13: Michelle Kay
August 20: Yoori Han