Apri 28, 2019
Before We Worship
It goes without saying that life is this fallen world is quite difficult. We struggle against all sorts of things that rob joy from our hearts. And when discouragements abound, it is next to impossible to give thanks to God.
But we must give thanks. As we read in Psalm 50, giving thanks is the chief part of a sincere worship. Gratitude is the one thing, if it is missing, would cause our worship to be rejected by God.
How, then, can we give thanks to God amidst the difficulties and disappointments of life? First, we need to be wise. We secretly think that we lack thanksgiving because God is lagging behind blessing us. If only (we think) our life circumstances were better, then we (we lie to ourselves) would give thanks! But the experience of Adam and Eve prove us wrong. For they were in paradise, blissful and lacking nothing. Yet they did not give thanks. Instead, their hearts were gripped by discontentment. Gratitude is not so much a statement about the circumstances of life as it is a statement about the condition of our heart.
Second, God has in fact richly blessed us already. Gratitude thus comes from remembering all the ways God has, and continues to, sustain and provide for us. With thanks we remember the forgiveness of our sin. We give thanks even for trials, for what God will graciously accomplish through them. These are some of the reasons why gratitude is essential to worship, and why every Christian has more than enough reasons to give thanks, regardless of their present circumstances.
Gratitude, then, is an important spiritual discipline. This is why mature believers are people characterized by gratitude. Indeed, unless we are growing in our capacity to give thanks, we cannot really make any progress as a believer.
Dear Christian, what do you give thanks for? If no answer readily comes to mind, you may be in a spiritually dangerous place. You have likely begun to stumble. Can it be that your heart is more full of discontent and anger, rather than joy and rest? Let me encourage and urge you to lay your heart open before the Holy Spirit. May he generously pour out into our hearts new measures of grace, and call us to true worship.
Call to Worship
‡ Psalm 50 (p. 473)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #635 “How Good It Is to Thank the Lord”
‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Shorter Catechism Qs. 29–30
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
Titus 3:1–8 (p. 998)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” (1 John 3:19–20 ESV)
Trinity Hymnal #253 “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood”
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Luke 22:1–23 (p. 881)
Given for You
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 TH #420 “At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing” and TH #425 “Bread of the World in Mercy Broken” during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #708 “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Qs. 70–72.
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 19” as we read 12 great books in the year 2019. For April we will read Paul Tripp’s “Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family.”
April 28: Children’s catechism lesson (Qs 14–15) will meet.
April 28: You are invited to come along for a tour of our new meeting place after the worship service.
May 5 (Lord’s Day): Please note that the location and the time of our worship service will change to Zion Lutheran Church, 1405 E. Fallbrook Street, Fallbrook CA 92028 at 11 AM.
May 5 (Lord’s Day): Join us as we discuss Paul Tripp’s “Parenting: The 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family.”
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
April 28: Michelle Kay
May 5: Yoori Han