A Worship Guide for Sunday, May 10
We hope that you will find this guide helpful as you worship alone or together with others.
Call to Worship
Psalm 34:1–3, 8-10
 I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
 My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
 Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Our good Father, we fear you and at the same time take refuge in you. You are magnificent in your power and greatness, thus we stand in reverent awe. And you are full of goodness, so we run to you not away from you. As we sing and pray and hear your word preached this morning, may we taste and see that you are good.
The playlist to all three worship songs:
If you would like to give online CLICK HERE.
We enter your gates with thanksgiving and into your courts with praise, for you have made us, we are your people, the sheep of your pasture. You are good and your steadfast love endures forever, your faithfulness to all generations. (Ps. 100:1-5)
[If you are alone, take a momement of silence to reflect on two or three of God's attributes (eternity, goodness, holiness, sovereignty, graciousness, power, omnipresence, etc.) and praise him for these.]
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities who could stand? (Ps. 130:3) We are born in sin, meaning we have a sinful nature. Corrupt and broken hearts, wanting sinful things, thinking sinful thoughts. And we act in sinful ways. We transgress your holy and just law. We sin against others. We fail to love you and others as we ought. We commit sins and omit what is right. Both in our nature and in our actions we are sinful. And as much as try we cannot be otherwise.
[If you are alone, take a moment of silence to reflect on ways you have sinned this week; confess these sins to God.]
But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. (Ps. 130:4) You have seen all of our sin, and yet you have graciously and freely offered forgiveness through Jesus Christ. He was punished in our place, so that we need not face your judgment but only your mercy. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (Gal. 3:13). We give thanks to you God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
[If you are alone, take a moment of silence to reflect on how God has shown his kindness to you this week.]
Bring these requests to God along with any others you may have.
Pray for Imago Dei Church. We give thanks to you God for this church's faithful gospel work and proclamation. And it is our prayer that their love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that they may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Phil. 1:3-11).
Pray for the Druze of Syria, of whom less than half a percent claim to be Christians. These isolated mountain dwellers are a sect of Islam with unique beliefs. Father, open the eyes of the Druze, that they may turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to the power of God. May the Druze receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith (Acts 26:18).
Pray for Refugee Hope Partners, that the staff and many volunteers would reflect the love of Christ in all the ways that they are serving the refugee families there. Pray that there would be many open doors to speak of Christ with boldness and clarity. Pray that as physical needs are met, that spiritual needs we would be met as well.
Pray for our government. We are told to pray for kings and all who are in high positions (1 Tim 2:1-3). God, give our leaders wisdom as they make decisions for the good of our whole society. May they govern in a way that honors you, not with selfish motivation, but for the greatest good for the greatest number. May they recognize you as the true Lord and Ruler over all things.
Pray for our church and its leaders. That we would have unity through differences as we look to reopen in the weeks ahead. Pray that the leaders would have wisdom in guiding the reopening transition.
Pray that as you hear the word preached this morning, the Spirit would give you ears to hear, and would bring conviction and encouragement, that you might not be a hearer only but a doer also.
Read the Bible
Ecclesiastes 12:9–14,  Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care.  The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.
 The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.  My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
Watch the Sermon
Summary: The preacher ends his sermon with a final piece of wisdom. As you remember, Ecclesiastes sits in the heart of the Bible to express God’s wisdom to his people to lead them to a meaningful life in a disordered world. Over these few months you have heard over and over that meaning in life cannot ultimately come from the things of this world, even the good things of knowledge, success, wealth, pleasure, power or achievements. The harsh realities of our world provide no avenue for meaning in life as a final investment. In fact, the reality of this difficult world only raises the need for redemption and deliverance. Has not God set eternity in the heart of men and women giving us desires that ‘stretch infinitely beyond the horizon’? Why do we have desires and longings that cannot be satisfied in the things of this world? The book of Ecclesiastes is part of God’s story which points forward to a restoration and deliverance from the frustrations of this world. This is his point in our passage and the reason he says, the end of the matter, or the whole duty of man and woman is to fear God and obey him. To live with joy and meaning in this chaotic world, we need to seek the wisdom of God and fear the majesty of God.
Review and Apply
After reading the whole book of Ecclesiastes, how has your view changed?
How diligently have you been pursuing wisdom?
Give an example of the last time the words of scripture were like a goad prodding you to make a change in life?
How does it change your view of scripture to know that truth and grace come from 'one Shepherd?
In your own words, what does it mean to 'fear God?' How is that evidenced in your life?
In what area do you find it hardest to obey God or 'keep his commandments?'
What are some of the reasons we need the 'judgment of God?'
How does fearing God make life more meaningful?
How are you preparing to see God?
How can your brothers and sisters help you for this day that will come?