A Worship Guide for July 19
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
 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
 For the LORD is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
 For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
Lord, you are the great King above all gods, and we come before your presence now with thanksgiving for your goodness to us. You have graciously displayed your love for us by sending your Son to bring us forgivness. You have shown us that you are not only great and majestic, but also full of love and mercy. Help us to worship you rightly. Amen.
I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your saints shall bless you!
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations
Father, we come to you this morning confessing our sin this week. We have given in to pride, anger, and lust while at times neglecting to love our neighbor or boldly speak the truth of the Gospel to those around us. Please forgive us and help us to consider the weight of our sin against your perfect holiness. Help us to fully repent, to turn away from our sin and look towards Christ, who for our sake you made to be sin when he knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
We lift up our Seniors here at Christ Covenant to you in prayer this morning. Thank you for their faithful service in your body, where they use their years of wisdom to disciple younger men and women in our midst. Through the Spirit, would you strengthen them to continue to run the race set before them? Help our senior men to teach what accords with sound doctrine, to be sober minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and steadfastness. Help our senior women to be reverent in behavior and to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children.
Please bless our brothers and sisters in Christ at Refuge Church this morning as they gather to worship you. Let their time of worship and fellowship together be pleasing to you and enable Pastor Jonathan Brooks to boldly preach the Word in Spirit and Truth. We pray that the body there would receive the word with open hearts. We also ask that you would be at work in their student and lifegroup ministries and enable the body to build up one another during these challenging times.
Father, we know that you will call people to yourself from every nation, from all tribes and languages to stand before your throne. We ask that you would enable the Gospel of Christ to go out among the Bania people of India. We pray for the salvation of the Bania and that you would send several Christian workers among them to share with them the beauty and wonder of Jesus Christ.
As Pastor Tom preaches your word today, strengthen him through the Holy Spirit, give him wisdom and clarity; edify the body through his words. Prepare us to hear the word preached, let our minds and our hearts be open to receive it so that we may treasure you and respond in repentance, faith, and obedience. Amen.
Read the Bible
John 3:1–8,  Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.  This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”  Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?”  Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (ESV)
Watch the Sermon
The sermon is available on audio HERE.
Summary: Since 2004, I have preached one biographical sermon per year on a saint whose grace marked life has had an impact on the church and the world. I do this for it is helpful to our faith and perseverance. The grace of God in the life of a faithful saint is instructive and encouraging. Paul seems to point in this direction in how the OT narratives are helpful to faith and hope. Romans 15:4, "For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."
Our saint this year is Charles W. Colson. Those under 50 may not be familiar with the name but those over are most likely aware of his rise to the pinnacle of political power as a special counsel to Richard Nixon, the President of the US. Yet from the heights of power he would fall, landing him in prison, as a convicted felon. You will hear is a true story of a man, broken by pride, with life in the ashes and yet out of it rose a life, redeemed and restored in ways beyond imagination.
Review and Apply
What was most encouraging to your faith from his story?
What similarities do you find in his time and ours?
In what ways are you encouraged toward evangelism?
How do you deal with pride in your life?
What person in your life have you considered out of God's reach? Can you ask others to join with you in prayer?
What aspects of faith in the life of someone in your care group or family encourages you?