September 9, 2018

Before We Worship

Psalm 147 begins and ends with the command “Praise the LORD!” Why do we praise God? Psalm 147 answers, “For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.” In other words, praising God is a good thing to do. It is a fitting thing to do. But don’t forget the other answer. Praising God is pleasant. Our hearts are warmed as we praise God and his glorious attributes. Our souls truly become what they were created to be (worshipers), and the result is a deep pleasure and satisfaction. Thus true believers experience something that unbelievers never experience.

Psalm 147 teaches us at least three reasons why it is good, pleasant, and fitting to praise God. The first set of reasons appear in verses 2–6, which reveal God as one who graciously restores. He “gathers the outcasts…heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds…lifts up the humble.” What hope do unbelievers have when life has not gone their way and they did not become who they thought they would be? None. But we, believers, know that God graciously restores what is broken. His restoration will not be in equal measure to our loss. The beauty he brings out of the ruin we have experienced will be immeasurably greater than our loss.

The second set of reasons appear in verses 7–11. We praise the LORD because he is the God of perfect provision. He cares for his creation: “he prepares rain for the earth…gives to the beasts their food”. But his special care is reserved for those whom he loves: “the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” Again, what do unbelievers know about peace amidst trials, or about security when the world is against them? We, however, know that God takes pleasure in us, and will provide for us.

The third set of reasons appear in verses 12–20. God is devoted to his people and “strengthens the bars of your gates”. The God who cares for our community also cares for our families: “he blesses your children within you.” The psalmist knew that no other nation could presume such a devoted faithfulness from God: “He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules.” But Israel that feared the LORD, and we who love God and take pleasure in worshiping him, will forever know his fatherly care and merciful provision. This is why worship for us is more than a duty. Rather, to worship God is to know the pleasure that the world knows nothing about.

Indeed, the most important hour of the week is the hour God’s people gather to worship God. If everyone in the church had the same conviction, within weeks our nation will be a different place. So let this short hour transform our lives rest of the week. Come and worship the Lord. Then leave his presence with your hearts lifted up and warmed.

Call to Worship

‡ Psalm 147 (Trinity Hymnal p. 839)

‡ Trinity Hymnal #3 “Give to Our God Immortal Praise”

‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”

Prayer of Invocation

The Reading and Exposition of the Law

Exodus 20:4-6 (p. 61)

The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 35

Prayer of Confession

The Proclamation of the Gospel

“He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;” (Psalms 103:10–11 ESV)

Trinity Hymnal #246 “Man of Sorrows! What a Name”

Presentation of Gifts and Offering

Pastoral Prayer

The Proclamation of God’s Word

Amos 8:1–14 (p. 769)

Feast or Famine?

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 #507 “Approach, My Soul, the Mercy Seat” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.

Trinity Hymnal #251 “Beneath the Cross of Jesus”



Growth Resources

Family Devotion for the Week

The September 2, 2018 sermon, Amos 7:1–17. “God Has Spoken. It Must Be Done” 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 September we are reading John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” For October we are reading Robert Godfrey’s “Learning to Love the Psalms.” Please let Janny Ligtenberg know if you would like to order a copy of the book.

Septerm 9 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship potluck lunch at the Ligtenberg home.

September 16 (Lord’s Day): The Catechism lessons for both children and adults will resume.

Nursery Volunteers

(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)

September 9: Michelle Kay

September 16: Yoori Han