A Worship Guide for August 2
We hope that you will find this guide helpful as you worship at home if you are not able to join with us.
Call to Worship
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!
3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
6 And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!
9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the Lord!
O Lord, you are infinitely worthy of our worship. All creation bows before you in humble submission. We, your sons and daughters, bow in great joy. For our King reigns over all he has made and it is good and right that you receive all honor and power and might and glory. You have only to speak and it is done. Your authority is supreme. Your majesty is above earth and heaven. And you have raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of your servant David, the Lord Jesus Christ, who sits at your right hand. Praise the Lord!
God, the heavens declare your glory, and the sky above proclaims your handiwork. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world, declaring your glory, revealing your power, making it known that there is a Creator who is sovereign.
God, you are holy and good, and it is our privilege to come before you as your children, as your redeemed. You created all things, and you created us in your image, to know you and have fellowship with you, and you said it was all very good. But Adam sinned, and we are born under his sinful headship, born into sin, and in life pursuing sin, and rightfully destined for punishment. And though we did nothing to deserve your mercy, you sent a Savior to us, a Redeemer for us, to restore us to you. As Paul preached, the Scriptures from the beginning explain and prove that it was necessary for Christ Jesus, whom we proclaim, to suffer and rise from the dead. It was necessary because we could not earn our forgiveness. We could not even come to you on our own; we had to be called by you. Thank you for calling us. Thank you for new life and a certain hope for eternal joy in your kingdom. Our lives are yours, and we willingly bring you all that we are and have, that you would be glorified.
Lord, we continue to walk in patterns of sin, and we have sinned this past week. We follow the way of our old nature and of the world, walking in fear of threats around us, showing disdain of those with different political or social views, seeking our self interest over others’, not loving our neighbors as ourselves, not loving our wives as Christ loved the church or submitting to husbands as accountable leaders, not laying down our lives for our brothers and sisters. Please forgive us. Continue your refining work in us, that we might bring you glory in our lives.
We pray also for your refinement of, and the joy of, Harvest Raleigh Church. We pray for unity and love for each other, and growing love for you, as they continue to worship in limited capacity gatherings and online. Please guide their lead pastor Mike Willis and the other elders. Give them wisdom and a grounding in the truth of your Word and the leading of your Spirit.
As we at Christ Covenant continue to worship in the midst of COVID and move through staff transitions, would you provide a growing unity and love for each other. Please bless the work Nik and Stacy will do in Nashville, and lead us in our steps of bringing in new staff. We pray for Tyler Johnson as he starts his internship here this week. May he grow in his delight in you, as he gains firsthand experience in the daily work of the church in seeking to glorify you and equip your saints for the work of ministry.
We pray for the gospel to be known and people to be drawn to you in all nations and people groups. As Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy shared the gospel and planted churches around the world, may the gospel be known and churches be planted among the Audich Brahmin in India, and may the ministry of Hearts and Hands for Haiti bear the fruit of salvation, and of physical needs being met, and of families and the country of Haiti being strengthened. We thank you for bringing the Perdues safely back from a time of faithful, sacrificial, and yet joyful ministry overseas. They shared your truth among people that you have created and love, and they shared your love for the people they served. Your word will not return void, so we pray for fruit from the seeds they sowed. We pray for physical rest now, and that they would experience the love of their welcoming church body here, and refreshment and joy in you as they trust you for their next steps.
Finally, we pray for your Spirit to move in Tom and in us as we hear your word preached this morning. Give us ears ready to hear and hearts ready to respond in worship and obedience. May Tom’s preparation result in clear teaching that bring you glory and is to our joy.
We pray all of this in the name of Christ, our Redeemer and Lord, Amen.
Read the Bible
Acts 17: 1-9, 1Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” 8 And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. 9 And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. (ESV)
1 Thessalonians 1:1, 1Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace. (ESV)
Watch the Sermon
The sermon is available on audio HERE.
Summary: We start a new series in 1 Thessalonians this week. It is one of Paul’s earliest letters and also his most personal letters. In this series, we get to peer into the life of a newly planted church. We will see how it came into being, the challenges of opposition and how to endure with hope in Christian love while waiting for the return of Jesus. To better understand this letter, I thought it might be helpful to see how the church was birthed on Paul's second missionary journey found in Acts 17. You get a front seat view of how the church was born in Thessalonica, one of the greatest cities in Greece at the time. In this short book, we hear encouragement of their faith, hope and love, some personal remarks about the nature of his ministry, and then a call to a life together as Christians, securing a right hope in the coming of the Lord Jesus. If you can, it would be helpful to read through the book in one sitting. It should take about 15 minutes.
Review and Apply
How does God make his name great in the world through the church? Why is the church essential?
Describe the last time you shared, reasoned, or explained the gospel to a friend or family member who was not a Christian? What would you do differently?
What is new to you about how Paul preached the gospel?
Give an example of opposition that you have faced from following the gospel? How does this passage in Acts help you?
What did you learn about the nature of the church from verse 1 of 1 Thessalonians? How has this changed your view of the church?