June 16, 2019
Before We Worship
Sunday is Father’s Day, and, naturally, my inbox is flooded with notices of special sales. Leaving aside the unabashed consumerism for a moment, we may profit from reflecting on honoring our fathers. Interestingly, honoring our heavenly Father with appropriate gifts is the theme of Malachi 1:6–11.
The Bible often discusses the gifts we bring God. To be sure, God does not need anything. And if he ever did, he would not tell us. But gifts matter because they are one tangible way we express our love towards God. The best gifts express how much we honor God in our heart. And, conversely, no gifts is acceptable, regardless of how big they are, if they are not given with affection and with the desire to honor God. This was precisely Israel’s problem. They seldom failed to bring gifts to God. But their gifts did not honor God.
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear?” How glibly did Israel call God “Father” without honoring him! And how insincerely did they call God “Lord” without serving him! To be sure, Micah’s hearers were none too pleased at this charge, and protested. “But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’” The LORD answers. The priests offered “polluted food” on the altar. Instead of giving God from the best of what they had, instead of offering to God something that would cost them something, they offered to God the worthless leftovers. So the LORD says, “When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil?” That is to say, we honor God when our gifts cost us something real.
In addition, the LORD rebukes the priests, because they were saying “that the LORD’s table may be despised.” Surely, no priest actually said words like “Go ahead and despise the LORD’s altar” to Israel. What they did, instead, was permitting, normalizing, and blessing the insincere gifts that Israel offered to God. It was their very lack of outrage, the lowering of standards, that were tantamount to saying “The LORD’s table may be despised.” The priests should have called out Israel’s blasphemous conduct. They should have been outraged. They should have chastised. They should have rebuked. Instead, both the priest and the worshipers were complicit in dishonoring God.
How about you? Every Sunday is Father’s Day, for it is the Lord’s Day. Do you offer to God gifts that cost you time, effort, and resources? Or do you give God the leftovers of your life, if it does not otherwise cost you? What gifts will you bring to your Father this Sunday? Paul tells us the answer. We must offer up to him our “bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” You say that God is your Father. Do you honor him? You say that he is your Master. Do you fear him? Let us bring to him an acceptable offering of our body and soul wholly devoted to him.
Call to Worship
‡ Malachi 1:6–11 (p. 801)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #98 “Now Thank We All Our God”
‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Shorter Catechism Q. 39
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
Romans 12:1–2 (p. 947)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10 ESV)
Trinity Hymnal #107 “Praise Ye the Father!”
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Luke 24:13–35 (p. 885)
Every Road Leads to Jesus
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 #647 “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #108 “What’er My God Ordains Is Right”
Family Devotion for the Week
The June 9, 2019 sermon, Luke 24:1–12. “Jesus Rose Again from the Dead” is available on our church website. You can also catch up on older sermons from our Sermon page and subscribe to sermon podcast here.
Upcoming Events and Notices
Join us for “12 for 19” as we read 12 great books in the year 2019. For June we will read “Honest Evangelism: How to Talk About Jesus Even When It’s Tough” by Rico Tice and Carl Laferton.
Please note that the catechism lessons will resume in the fall.
June 16 (Lord’s Day): Due to Father’s Day, there will be no refreshments after the service.
June 23 (Lord’s Day): Please join us as we discuss the book “Honest Evangelism: How to Talk About Jesus Even When It’s Tough.”
June 16: Liza Beede
June 23: Michelle Kay