A Worship Guide for August 9
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
Psalm 131, A Song of Ascents. Of David.
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.
Father, we come before you as your children. We are like needy children, but we praise you and thank you that you satisfy our souls. Teach us to be humble and satisfied in you alone. We worship you and praise you this morning because we have been rescued by our Savior and Redeemer. May we look more like him this morning. Our hope is in you to accomplish this sanctifying work. Help us, we pray.
Father, thank you for allowing us to worship you today. It is possible that many of us approach this worship distracted and discouraged by the world around us. As our security or comfort is threatened by outside forces, we often feel as though our faith is under siege as well. And in the face of these obstacles, maybe suffering, perhaps even persecution…we come back to your Word and find hope. Paul wrote, “for it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God.” And this hope is secure, because it depends not on our wavering faith, but on you, the eternal, all-mighty, never-changing, Rock of Ages.
Lord we pray for the Uyghur people group in China. As we hear of the immense suffering taking place among these people, we cry out for your mercy. We know that you are the holy and sovereign and that there will be sure and decisive judgment on the evil that has been done. We pray that in your grace you would reconcile to yourself many from among these people.
Father, we pray as well for DLSN. We have been encouraged having them among us again. As they transition now to Tennessee, may you continue to grant them grace through uncertainty. May you give them join in this next phase, and let us be faithful in our prayers for them.
We pray for Southbridge Fellowship and Pastor Scott Lehr. Thank you for building up this Gospel-preaching church in Raleigh. May this congregation remain faithful to the ordinary means of grace, the normal ways you have designed to change our hearts and lives. Give Pastor Scott great boldness and energy in his proclamation of your Word.
Lord, we pray for continued unity here among our body. We know that current events and political issues lead to varying opinions among us. However, none of this compare to the bond we have through being redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus. The gospel demands unity, and it demands our humility and we need to be urgent to pursue unity of the body over our own preferences.
We pray as well for Refugee Hope Partners. And we are thankful for the individuals who have sacrificed time and energy to pour their lives into this ministry. Please continue to bless those efforts and use this ministry to add many souls to your kingdom.
Farther, we pray for Tom as he preaches from 1 Thessalonians this morning. Strengthen him and refresh him with the truth that your Spirit is active and working through him. And may we prepare now to hear your Word. May we focus and receive this message, and may you use it to continue changing us into the image of Christ.
In your name we pray, Amen.
Read the Bible
1 Thessalonians 1:2-10, We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. 9 For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (ESV)
Watch the Sermon
The sermon is available HERE.
Summary: Paul gives thanks to God for all the saints in Thessalonica. 1.2-3: We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. The success of this church plant was remarkable in terms of all that was accomplished in such a short time, and yet his concern was over if the gospel had taken root to withstand the opposition they would face. This concern of Paul prompted him to send Timothy back to the city to check on this young church (1 Thess 3.2). Timothy's report testified of their work of faith, labor of love and steadfastness in hope which led Paul to deep gratitude to God for his mercy. Consider for a moment your practice of giving thanks for the work of God in the lives of your family and church members. Does it need to change?
Review and Apply
What is your practice of giving thanks to God for his salvation? How can it improve?
Explain how salvation is a work of faith, a labor of love and steadfastness of hope?
Share with the group how the gospel came to you not only in word but in the power of the Spirit?
Whose life of faith has been an example to you? How can yours be an example to others?
What are the various loves in this life that distract you from serving the living and true God? Confess these to one another and seek grace to overcome.
How is the Christian to wait for the Son from heaven?
How often do you think about the doctrine of the wrath of God? Explain the nature of wrath from which Jesus has delivered you.