July 22, 2018

Before We Worship

Who causes the most problems for you? Who is the source of your deepest aggravation? Who is your worst enemy? It is no use trying to deny that we are aggravated and that we even have enemies. We have read too many psalms about vicious attacks. We have enemies. But however we answer this question, and whomever we identify as our enemies, that answer surely must include ourselves. We do not just have enemies outside. We are our own worst enemies.

Psalm 141 is David’s prayer of deliverance from his enemies. And notice what his prayers consist of. “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies.” It is quite shocking that David should write these words. He was a spiritual giant. Yet, as David’s own failures proved, he was not beyond failing, and his heart did incline to evil. David’s words here thus display wisdom that comes from knowing himself. David knew he was his own worst enemy, and asked the LORD for deliverance from himself.

David also prays for deliverance from the usual suspects. They are those who do evil, which David opposed (v. 5). He knew well of their evil schemes, and that he would not be able to guard himself sufficiently from their attacks. Thus he turns to the LORD for help: “in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless! Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me and from the snares of evildoers!”

And the LORD delivers. Indeed, to ask for deliverance is to be delivered. For as we confess our own weakness and ability to defend ourselves, as we acknowledge before the LORD we do not have sufficient answers to silence the attackers, we entrust ourselves to God with humility and faith. And those who humble themselves before the LORD will be lifted. If we make the LORD our refuge, we will find him to be our protector. What can man do to me if God is for me? No enemy will have the last laugh if the LORD is our friend.

The LORD also rescues us from ourselves. “Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.” David is perhaps remembering how God sent the prophet Nathan to confront his sins with Bathsheba. It is humiliating to be rebuked, and for that reason many refuse it. But God had mercy on David and gave him a receptive heart. So even though the discipline was painful, David was delivered from his worst enemy, himself.

So God will rebuke us with grace. Through his Word and through godly people. But he does so with saving mercy and kindness. Thus we yield to the Law and the Gospel. And by degrees Christ is formed in us. Every time we confess our failures, and every time we believe his promise of pardon, God subdues our worst enemy, us, and remakes us in Christ’s likeness. Indeed, we cannot have less of our enemy without having more of Christ.

Call to Worship

‡ Psalm 141 (Trinity Hymnal p. 836)

‡ Trinity Hymnal #38 “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”

Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”

Prayer of Invocation

The Reading and Exposition of the Law

2 Timothy 3:14–17 (p. 996)

Prayer of Confession

The Proclamation of the Gospel

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” (Ephesians 2:13–16 ESV)

7 “There Is a Redeemer”

The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 28

Presentation of Gifts and Offering

Pastoral Prayer

The Proclamation of God’s Word

Amos 2:6–16 (p. 765)

The Criminal Charges Against Israel

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 #647 “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.

Trinity Hymnal #55 “To God Be the Glory”



Growth Resources

Family Devotion for the Week

The July 15, 2018 sermon, Amos 1:1–2:5 “The Burden of the Prophet” is available on our church website. But you can catch up on older sermons from our Sermon page. You can also subscribe to sermon podcast here.

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 29 (Lord’s Day): Join us as we discuss our July book, “No Little Women” by Aimee Bird.

Nursery Volunteers

(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)

July 22: Yoori Han

July 29: Kelly Rogers & Rebecca Rogers