July 1, 2018
Before We Worship
Some parts of Scripture are more challenging to read than others. Psalm 136 is a good example. It has the misfortune of having a line that is repeated twenty six times! Every single verse of the psalm ends with “for his steadfast love endures forever.” Say it once. It’s nice. Say it twice for dramatic effect. Sure, why not? Say it three times. Well, our patience is being tested. But twenty six times! That’s just boring. And everyone knows there is no greater crime than being boring!
But if the repetition of “for his love endures forever” bores us, that is an indication of our not understanding the very heart and climax of the Bible. After all, God’s love, not love in some abstract sense, but his love for us, and not whimsical and ever changing, but immovable and unchanging, is the heart of Scripture. Psalm 136 casts a vast and expansive vision before our eyes. It tells us we do not know the Lord at all unless we know him as one whose “steadfast love endures forever” (136:1–3). Nor do we understand his great powers rightly until we understand the very creation of the heavens and the earth are the acts of “steadfast love” (136:4–9). Not only so, setting free the captives in Egypt, delivering Israel from the Egyptian slave masters, from the dead-end of the Red Sea, the barrenness of wilderness, from foes with determined opposition are all the outworkings of love that “endures forever” (136:10–20). Indeed, Israel’s possession of the land is also the gift of the one whose “steadfast love endures forever” (136:21–22).
The psalm in addition tells us that God remembers those in “low estate”, rescues “from our foes”, and “gives food to all flesh” for “his steadfast love endures forever” (136:23–25). We can look to God for salvation and for daily protection and needs because he loves us not in some vague sense, but with a definite purpose and plan. Further, he does not ever get bored in his single-hearted love for us. His love never fails because his love never changes. And this brings the psalmist to conclude, “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.” No, we are far from being bored with the repetition of his steadfast love. It is the very heart of the Bible’s message about God. It is the very foundation of our hope and assurance in God.
Perhaps it is difficult for you to believe that God is doing everything in your life because “his steadfast love endures forever.” Perhaps you have begun to think of yourself as forgotten and forsaken. We are always walking by sight, not by faith. Isn’t that true? So let’s say it together. Let’s say it together twenty six times. Or how every many times it takes for the truth to grab our hearts and thanks and praise explode out of our hearts. Let us praise the Lord together, “for his steadfast love endures forever.”
Call to Worship
‡ Psalm 136 (Trinity Hymnal p. 835)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #3 “Give to Our God Immortal Praise”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
2 Timothy 2:22–26 (p. 996)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—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 2:4–7 ESV)
20 “Come Ye Souls by Sin Afflicted”
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 26
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Romans 12:3–8 & 1 Corinthians 12:4–7 (p. 948)
The Spirit Gives Gifts
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 #654 “O Jesus, I Have Promised”, and Trinity Hymnal #340 “Come, Dearest Lord, Descend and Dwell” during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #585 “Take My Life, and Let It Be”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 38.
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.
Join us for “12 for 18” as we read 12 great books in the year 2018. For July we are reading Aimee Bird’s “No Little Women.” For August, Tim Keller’s “Every Good Endeavor.” Please let Janny Ligtenberg know if you would like to order a copy of the book.
July 1 (Lord’s Day): Join us for the last adult catechism before the summer hiatus on the topic of baptism. Adult catechism lessons will resume on August 19.
July 8 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship potluck lunch.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
July 1: Kelly Rogers
July 8: Liza Beede