August 18, 2019
Before We Worship
Recently, two very well-known people publicly announced their falling away from God. One is a former pastor of a mega church, who became a prominent figure in the Christian community as a young man. He wrote a best-selling book, and was a frequently featured conference speaker. Now he has made a public and well-publicized statements about his apostasy, including his divorce from his wife. He has tried Christianity, and has found it wanting, professionally, spiritually, and morally. And now the whole world must learn this from him!
The other man is a very-well known “worship leader” of a mega church that numbers in the tens of thousands, who has enjoyed tremendous fame and influence over many churches and Christians. He, too, thought it appropriate to inform his vast social media followers about his imminent departure from the Christian faith. Among his chief complaints is what he perceives as the fatal weakness of Christianity, that the Bible cannot answer the challenges of the culture, and that no one is talking about them!
But is that true? This complaint is not so much an indictment of the failure of Christianity, as much as it indicts his willful blindness. Christians have been thinking deeply from the Bible about how to answer the challenges of culture and unbelief for 2000 years. There are literally countless books, lectures, and other resources available to “give the reason for the hope we have.” It is strange, both that this man, by countless people considered to be one of the most important Christian leaders, does not know this, and second, that he felt the need to announce his impending spiritual wreck to the whole world.
What is going on? What can we learn? These two cases are but the latest examples of a perennial problem, pride. They were both more interested in what they had to say about God rather than listening to what God has to say to and about them. And social media gives them just what they want, a platform to continue to inflict upon the world what they think about God. They cannot go quietly into the night. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” They must have misheard him, because they live by every word that comes from their own mouths.
What we need is to learn silence. Job was severely tested. At first he was wise in his trials. But increasingly he began to accuse God of both failing him and perverting justice. At last God began to answer Job and humbled his pride. Then Job finally learned wisdom: “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.” This must be our attitude also. When we are in love with the sound of our voice, we cannot hear God. We need to listen in humble silence. Whose words do you live by? Yours or God’s? Let us think over Ecclesiastes 5:1 as we prepare to worship. “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil.”
Call to Worship
‡ Job 38:1–11 & 40:1–5 (ps. 443 & 445)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #562 “All to Jesus I Surrender”
‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
Exodus 20:12 (p. 61)
The Shorter Catechism Qs. 67–69
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:13–14 ESV)
(Insert) #14 “Hallelujah Praise Jehovah”
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
1 Corinthians 1:18–31 (p. 952)
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
Upcoming Events and Notices
Join us for “12 for 19” as we read 12 great books in the year 2019. For August we will read Christina Fox’s “Idols of a Mother’s Heart.”
Please note that the catechism lessons will resume in the fall.
August 25 (Lord’s Day): Please join us as we discuss the book “Idols of a Mother’s Heart” by Christina Fox.
August 18: Michelle Kay
August 25: Yoori Han