July 7, 2019

Before We Worship

When we think about idolatry, we think of ancient people who made figures of deity out of wood, stone, metal for their religious devotion. That is certainly a form of idolatry, a form which we often find in the Old Testament. But today most people do not engage in this kind of idolatry any more, especially not Christians.

But the Bible’s teaching of idolatry is actually quite sophisticated. Not all forms of idolatry are simplistic and crass like the kinds mentioned above. See, for example, Paul’s teaching in 1 Cor 10:6–12. Paul warned the Corinthian believers of idolatry. But, surprisingly, the OT precedents he cited for them were not always incidents of Israel bowing before things made with hands! Rather, the idolatry that gripped the people of Israel was a far more subtler, and therefore more dangerous, type.

This insidious idolatry will have us find our joy and satisfaction in any thing other than God. Idolatry of this kind often masquerades as life-vision, harmless entertainment, or even as a blessing from God. In this regard, not only are Christians not exempt from this temptation, but may even be more susceptible to it. Think about that for a moment. Ask yourself what really makes you happy? What is the consuming passion in your life? What are the things without which you will never be happy in this life? What things, if God withheld them from you, would make you doubt his goodness? What would finally prove to you that God loves you?

Some of us will answer with “success.” We can idolize relationships. We think unless he or she returned our love, we will never be happy. We can idolize what people think of us. We feel fulfilled and happy when people think well of us, but feel miserable when we are criticized. Idolatry of this kind is subtle because we can justify our desire for these things as things good in and of themselves. And they may be, properly contextualized, good things. The problem is we make them the “bottom line” of our lives, the thing that grips our heart, motivates us, and drives us. Idolatry is the One Ring that binds every thing - good things - in darkness.

In other words, with good reasons the Ten Commandments begin with idolatry. For if our hearts are taking delight in who God is, if we find security in his will for us, if we live by his word, then the rest of the Ten Commandments will seem natural. But if our heart is not in the right place to begin with, then we may even find ourselves trying to keep the Ten Commandments not in grateful service to God, but in pursuit of idols.

It seems that at least in some Christian circles talks about idol and idolatry have become trendy. People talk about it, maybe even read books about it, but without the kind of self-introspection that leads us to cry, “Lord, have mercy on me!” Paraphrasing C.S. Lewis a little bit here, Trendy words come and go. They mostly go. May the Lord have mercy on us, that idol and idolatry are not just another passing thought of the moment. But that we find lasting delight in God, find our satisfaction and contentment in him who said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Call to Worship

‡ Isaiah 66:1–2 (p. 625)

‡ Trinity Hymnal #457 “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”

Prayer of Invocation

The Reading and Exposition of the Law

Exodus 20:3 (p. 60)

The Shorter Catechism Qs. 46–48

Prayer of Confession

The Proclamation of the Gospel

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13 ESV)

No. 6 “The Lord Will Provide”

Presentation of Gifts and Offering

Pastoral Prayer

The Proclamation of God’s Word

Psalm 27 (p. 460)

Seeking the Face of the Lord

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 #607 “Thy Loving-kindness, Lord, Is Good and Free”



Growth Resources

Family Devotion for the Week

The June 30, 2019 sermon, Luke 24:44–53. “Worship the Risen and Ascended Lord” 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 July we will read Philip Ryken’s “When Trouble Comes.”

Please note that the catechism lessons will resume in the fall.

July 14 (Lord’s Day): In lieu of our regularly scheduled potluck lunch, you are all invited to the Han home for lunch and fellowship. Everyone is welcome!

July 28 (Lord’s Day): We look forward to welcoming the MTW missionary to Germanry, the Rev. David Stoddard. He will preach for us, and following a potluck fellowship lunch after the service, will give us a report of his work in Germany. Please join us and help us welcome him.

Nursery Volunteers

July 7: Kelly Rogers

July 14: TBA