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    ReadPreparation for Worship
    November 28, 2021

    The Darkness Deepens

    What do you long for? What do you find lovely? What brings you real joy? As our Scripture call to worship for this Lord’s Day confesses, God alone is the joy of his people:

     

    How lovely is your dwelling place,

           O LORD of hosts!

    My soul longs, yes, faints

           for the courts of the LORD;

    my heart and flesh sing for joy

           to the living God.

    - Psalm 84:1–2

     

    The Psalmist has no greater joy and longing than to be the dwelling place of his God. He longs to know the one who alone is the living God. He longs to commune with him. He longs to gather with God’s people in the courts of God and sing to God. This is the affections that make the saints of God. If we by faith believe Christ’s promise that we as a church are his dwelling place (1 Cor 3; Matt 28:19-20), then for us, “going to church” is more than something we “have to do,” it ought to be something we love.

     

    This coming Sunday, we will meet three times: Sunday School at 9:15 AM, the Morning Worship service at 10:30 AM, and then at 6:00 PM for our evening worship service. I hope you’ll be here at each service.

     

    Sunday School

    In Sunday School, I will be continuing to talk about Christ’s authority in the church, this time with respect to the church’s worship.

     

    Worship Service

    The sermon this Sunday is from Psalm 4. Psalm 3 is a morning psalm. Psalm 4 is an evening psalm. Verse 8 says: In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. The Psalm teaches us about God’s grace, prayer, evangelism, and the peace of knowing God. Psalm 4 has ties with Psalms 2 & 3. I selected Psalm 84:1-2 as the call to worship for this Sunday because of its similarity to verse 7 of Psalm 4: You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.

     

    Call to Worship: Psalm 84:1-2

    Hymn 229 [Majesty] O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

    Hymn 147 [Majesty] Amazing Grace

    Prayer & Offering

    Hymn 88 [HMA] My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness

    Prayer of Confession & Assurance

    Congregational Reading: Psalm 4

    Hymn 440 [Majesty] Abide with Me If you know this sublime hymn by Henry Lyte, you’ll recognize that the title of my sermon comes from the first verse of this hymn. “Abide with Me” is an evening hymn in its own right (Fast falls the eventide…). At the same time, it confesses the truth that God is the only one to whom we can turn. This is what David says as Psalm 4 opens: Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! So the last two lines of this classic hymn: When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me!

    Sermon: The Darkness Deepens, Lord with Me Abide from Psalm 4

    Hymn 296 [Majesty] Be Still, My Soul

    Prayer

    Benediction

     

    Evening Service

    I will begin preaching through 1 Corinthians in the evening service. This is such a wonderful book, full of relevance for our church and our families. I hope you’ll join us! 

    1. Nov
      28
      Sunday, November 28th  •  6:00–7:30 pm (EST)
      Every Sunday
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        ReadPreparation for Worship
        For the Lord's Day, Nov 21, 2021

        We Gather Together

        This Sunday is an important day for our church. The installation service at 3 PM will formally acknowledge and commence my ministry as pastor of CBC. The guest speaker for this Sunday is Pastor Steve Thomas of Huron Baptist Church of Flat Rock, Michigan. Steve has a been a friend and great encouragement to me. He is an excellent, faithful expositional preacher. He will be teaching adult Sunday School, preaching in the morning service, and then speaking at the installation service itself. (Be sure to read more about the installation service later in this email.)

         

        The call to worship this Sunday reminds us that God’s great purpose in the gospel and in the church that the gospel forms is his own glory.

         

        Now to him who is able

        to strengthen you according to my gospel

        and the preaching of Jesus Christ,

        according to the revelation of the mystery

        that was kept secret for long ages

        but has now been disclosed

        and through the prophetic writings

        has been made known to all nations,

        according to the command of the eternal God,

        to bring about the obedience of faith—

        to the only wise God be glory forevermore

        through Jesus Christ! Amen.

        Romans 16:25–27

         

        Paul’s monumental epistle is concluded with a monumental doxology. There is much in these words of praise to consider. At core, it is the exaltation of the gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ which brings God’s saving strength or power (remember Rom 1:16-17?) to sinners. The Word of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ is what creates and empowers a church. This is God’s saving and sanctifying power in us, with the result that he gets all the glory. We have no strength in ourselves (Rom 5:6!), so God gets all the glory. All that we are as a church, all that we are in Christ, is for the eternal glory of the eternal Triune God.

         

        Here is what is in store for this Lord’s Day:

         

        Sunday School

        In Adult Sunday School, Pastor Steve Thomas will be teaching on 1 Tim 2:1-4 and The Kind of Worship that Makes a Strong Church.

         

        In the worship service, Pastor Thomas will be preaching from Ephesians 3:20-21: Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

         

        Worship Service

        Call to Worship: Romans 16:28-27

        Hymn 55 [Majesty] Sing Praise to God

        Hymn 46 [Majesty] Crown Him with Many Crowns

        Prayer & Offering

        Hymn 147 [Majesty] Amazing Grace

        Prayer of Confession & Assurance

        Congregational Reading: 1 Timothy 3:14-16

        Hymn 496 [Majesty] We Gather Together

        Sermon: God's Plan for Eternal Glory from Ephesians 3:20-21

        Hymn 6 [HMA] All People That on Earth Do Dwell This hymn is an old English versification of Psalm 100. I love it when we sing the Psalms in our services. I chose this hymn (and We Gather Together, above) because this week is also the week of our national Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States of America. According to the heading on Psalm 100, it is a “Psalm for Giving Thanks.” That is to say, “All People that on Earth Do Dwell” is a Psalm for Thanksgiving. Yet it also picks up some of the themes of Sunday morning’s message, for we as a church are something of a fulfillment of this Psalm. We are among those nations who fill “all the earth” (Psalm 100:1) who are now devoted to the God of Israel because of the salvation that is ours in Israel’s perfect Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. And in Christ we are surely among those who can gladly sing the words of verse 4: Because the LORD our God is good, His mercy is forever sure; His truth at all times firmly stood and shall from age to age endure.

        Prayer

        Benediction 

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