MISSION WOODS CHURCH
Worship May 29, 2022
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      • Matthew 5–7ESV

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        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.
      • Bible Trivia
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      • Matthew 5–7ESV

      • Bible Trivia
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      • Download

        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.
  • Let There Be Praise
  • Praise To The Lord The Almighty (Lobe den Herren)
  • Sing Unto The Lord A New Song
  • Lord I Lift Your Name On High
      • Habakkuk 3.1-2ESV

      • Habakkuk 3.3-5ESV

      • Habakkuk 3.6-7ESV

      • Habakkuk 3.8-9ESV

      • Habakkuk 3.10-12ESV

      • Habakkuk 3.13-14ESV

      • Habakkuk 3.15-16ESV

      • Habakkuk 3.17-18ESV

      • Habakkuk 3.19ESV

  • Habakkuk writes:
    Habakkuk 3:17–19 (ESV)
    Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
    yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
    God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
    Given what’s been on our national conscience this past week, I’m going to stray from our text for a few minutes.
    For the last week we have tried to process the shooting that happened in the school in Texas, preceded by the one in Buffalo and in Laguna Woods, the previous weekend. Such tragedies are heart wrenching and in our minds should never happen. But it’s not just in Texas, and it’s not just in schools. It’s on our national and local news every night. It’s not just the big cities, it’s in towns and small hamlets across this country. People of all persuasions decry such violence and rightly call for something beyond the seemingly trite words of “thoughts and prayers”, though these words are perhaps more profound than we realize.
    Our culture’s festering anger continues to rise, in all its forms. In the public square, hate is decried in the very protests demonstrating the same venom. In our schools we have anti-bullying campaigns applauded by leaders at every level to the highest offices in our land; yet these same leaders then step up to their microphones to demonstrate the same behavior they decry, and their supporters cheer. Such modeling is not limited to any particular segment of our culture. Sadly, there is not any segment of our culture that is not tainted by this darkness.
    Blame the politicians. Blame guns. Blame mental health. Blame the parents. Blame the breakdown of families. Blame, blame, blame, blame…Truth is there is plenty of blame to go around.
    Stop! Stop blaming others. Stop the deflecting.
    We learn from an early age to say, “I didn’t do it,” or “it’s not my fault.” By the time we’re adults we’ve become experts at deflecting.
    Deflection is nothing new. Way back in the beginning, in Garden of Eden, when God asked Adam if he’d eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil said, “It was the woman You gave me.” Adam not only blamed Eve, he blamed God! In his mind, it couldn’t be his fault.
    The violence we see in our culture is a matter of the individual and corporate heart. There is plenty of guilt to go around; we’re all guilty. It is not helpful when agendas are more important than personal responsibility. It is not helpful when scoring political points is more important than actually working together to create a solution. It is not helpful when winning the argument is more important than the relationship with the one with whom you argue.
    It seems it takes a mass shooting like this to get our attention, and yet every night on our local and national news we see violence ending lives. Yes, it is true that much of the violence involves guns, but it’s not just guns; the violence we see is the natural outcome of the violence we see every day. It begins with words. When one no longer sees their adversary as an image bearer of their Creator, this is the outcome. Too many in our country have determined that physical violence is warranted to solve disagreement. Guns then become a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
    Many have said we have to move beyond “thoughts and prayers” and end the violence. I believe we need to redouble our thoughts and prayers. Jesus gave us a formula when he said, “Ask and it shall be given; seek and you will find; knock and the door shall be opened to you,” (Matthew 7:7).
    Ask - this is where we turn to God and we verbally ask for the very thing we need. It reminds us of our dependence upon our Creator Lord, it reminds us that God is the one who is in control, it reminds us that God is sovereign as the message of Habakkuk has made so clear. Seek - this is our thoughts. This is reminding oneself in whose image you, and your adversary, are created. In Habakkuk, God uses the Chaldeons - the enemy as his judgment on Judah. In this part, as we seek, we need to be spending some serious time thinking, brainstorming as individuals, groups, and as a culture, seeking out the solutions available to us. Considering the violence in our culture. This is also where we must seek and weed out the violence in our own hearts evidenced by our actions and language. We need to recognize how we personally add to the anger in our culture.
    Knock - this is the part that we miss in making the words “thoughts and prayers” trite. Prayer is not passive; it does not end with a simple lifting up to God our wish list. No. It includes looking at God’s provision and then doing something with it. It is recognizing the anger dwelling in us against our brothers and sisters and choosing to go be reconciled with them - even when we still disagree. It is working for solutions. It is holding our leaders accountable to more than pontificating about issues to score political points; and instead working together to create solutions that benefit everyone.
    Prayer is active in spirit, mind and body. Spirit is asking, mind is seeking, and body is knocking.
    In our lives we have a circle of concern, and we have a circle of influence; where these two circles overlap is the area in which each of us can work and change the world. Central in our circle of influence is our own heart, it needs to be in that circle of concern as well. When you ask God to end the violence, what has God shown you in your own heart? How will you change to stop violence in your own sphere of influence? Go and do it.
    In our passage this morning, Habakkuk is praying in a time when judgment has been pronounced on the people of Judah.
    Habakkuk recalls hearing of God’s saving acts, Habakkuk 3:2
    Habakkuk 3:2 ESV
    O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.
    Each of us this week is crying out, Lord, have mercy. Yet Habakkuk recognizes that the fact that God is bringing judgment is righteous, because God is righteous, and the people of Israel are guilty.
    Habakkuk can say with the Apostle Paul of the New Testament, Romans 3:23
    Romans 3:23 ESV
    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    As we cry out, Lord have mercy, we must not only take the gaze outward around us, but also within, asking our Lord to “revive His work within us, and to make his work known to us.”
    In the midst of this tragedy, in the midst of all that is evil in this world, we must as image bearers of God renew our commitment to live for God.
    Habakkuk in the midst of God announcing his judgment on the people of Judah prays this prayer. In the midst of all that he sees around him, he proclaims, Habakkuk 3:18
    Habakkuk 3:18 ESV
    yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
    and closes with,
    Habakkuk 3:19 (ESV)
    God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
    God calls each one of us to be holy as He is holy! In my introspection this week I recognize that I’m not holy, and I know in my heart none of us are.
    This is a time to redouble our thoughts and prayers and to take that to its conclusion of action.
    It’s not just pray and be done, it’s not just platitudes of thoughts. It’s serious prayer recognizing God’s sovereignty. It’s serious thoughts, seeking solutions. And it’s serious time to take action in eliminating the anger in our own heart that leads to violence in words and actions, and calling others into account for their words and actions as well.
    God, the Lord, is our strength.
    To God be the glory.
    AMEN!
      • Habakkuk 3:2ESV

      • Romans 3:23ESV

      • Habakkuk 3:18ESV

  • The Lord Is In His Holy Temple
  • Battle Hymn Of The Republic
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