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A Worship Guide for June 14

We hope that you will find this guide helpful as you worship alone or together with others.

Call to Worship

Psalm 95:1–7
[1] Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
[2] Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
[3] For the LORD is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
[4] In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
[5] The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

[6] Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
[7] For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.

Pray

LORD, you are a great God and a great King above all gods. We pause now ot humbly worship you. We come with thanksgiving because you have redeemed your people through the blood of your Son. You have show great mercy by offering the hope of forgiveness and reunion into your eternal family. We ask that as we worship now you would move our hearts by your Spirit to love you more wholeheartedly so that we might walk in greater obedience and joy before you. We pray in the wonderful name of Jesus. Amen.

Sing

Give

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For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. (1 Chronicles 29:10-18)

A Prayer of Lament

Father, You are near to the brokenhearted and you save those who are crushed in spirit.  Yet with the sad events that are taking place in our nation and our world, we feel so distant from You. We feel a sense of abandonment. All the evils we see obscure the signs of Your goodness and our spirits are overwhelmed. We’re saddened and worried. And we call on you Lord to restore, to revive, to manifest your steadfast love and to let the days of your dark providence pass.

God, our world is dealing with this pandemic that has brought so much sadness and so much loss. People are severely sick, and many have lost their lives. People have lost their means of livelihood and see no relief in sight. People struggle with loneliness as this disease has brought isolation, separated us from each other and deprived us of the warmth and joy of fellowship. We call upon you God, have mercy on us and hold back this virus and bring restoration to all the destruction it has caused. We are powerless; You and you alone can bring an end to this by whatever means you ordain, and we ask that you look upon your world with Your abounding compassion. Please end this Lord, end this, we plead.

But our sorrows are not confined by the ravaging effects of this virus. We grieve also for the many unjust killings that have taken place in our nation that are symptoms of a deep, sinful racial hatred. God, you have made men and women to be bearers of your image regardless of skin color. You do not set one ethnicity above another yet in our sin we have done that and have become judges of each other, bearing hatred and disdain for other image-bearers. And we confess that even we in your church, your children can descend into this dark way of thinking and we grieve over this.

We also grieve, God, for our sin of indifference, our lack of compassion, our failure to feel the pain of those who are suffering among us even as we are cognitively aware that this is an everyday reality for many. Suffering people ask, “Where is God? Why does He stand far off and let evil have its way?” And evildoers show contempt for you by denying and defying your judgment on their deeds. Lord, manifest your righteous wrath by executing your swift justice on those who kill, those who steal and destroy, and those who incite others to evil. Lord, we plead that you do not stand far off.

You have given us a vision of people from every tongue and skin color gathered around your throne singing your praises for eternity and we cling to this hope in the midst of our the racial hatred we are seeing in our nation. You are our only hope to bring healing to the wounds brought about by racial injustice. Please bring healing, Lord, bring healing we plead.

God, you have made us to glorify you and enjoy your forever. Yet all around us we see the many ways that men and women have rejected You. Entire nations raise their clenched fists against you and blaspheme Your name. Leaders that you have appointed scorn You and hold you in contempt. We know that you are patient, longsuffering and abounding in mercy but those who revere Your Holy name have had enough of the continued defiance of evil heads of nations who, in their positions of power are capable of bringing widespread death and destruction.

We especially grieve for our brothers and sisters who suffer torture, marginalization, discrimination at the hands of evil governments. These precious souls endure hardship for the sake of Your name. Lord, these are Your children, our brothers and sisters. They cry out to you and so we ask, how long, oh Lord how long will you let your children endure their pains? God, You sit on your throne and laugh at the folly and insignificance of the kings of this earth but all we hear is their proud laughter. Lord, take hold of the hearts of these leaders and deliver your children from evildoers in high places and positions of power. Deliver them, we plead.

We groan as a people because of these things and much, much more. And we can’t even perceive the groanings of all your creation, decrying a fallen world that has been ravaged by sin. Hear the groanings, Lord and consider the cries of your people. All of humanity longs for our world to be better. Despair and grief abound. But we who are called by your name do not grieve as those without hope. Hope does not disappoint us because You are our hope.

Lord, let these days pass and don’t prolong them we ask. Have pity on your servants that we may rejoice in your steadfast love. And as we seek relief and respite, we rest on your goodness, we rest in your abounding mercy and grace, we rest in your love, we rest in your righteous judgment, we rest in the certainty of your promises. And now give us rest in your word as it is broken for us. Your word is everlasting as you are everlasting, and we ask the Holy spirit to attend to its preaching.  Amen.

 

Read the Bible

Matthew 18:21–35, [21] Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” [22] Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

[23] “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. [24] When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. [25] And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. [26] So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ [27] And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. [28] But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ [29] So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ [30] He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. [31] When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. [32] Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. [33] And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ [34] And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. [35] So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” 

Watch the Sermon

The sermon is availalbe for listening HERE

Summary: Have you ever said, “I will never forgive you for that”? Perhaps you tend to agree with the philosophy of J. F. Kennedy: “Forgive your enemies but never forget their names.” What do you do when someone hurts you? Do you have trouble forgiving those who’ve wronged you? Do you carry a list of past hurts with names attached? Consider your relationships for a moment. If married, are there unresolved conflicts that continue to leave a residue of mistrust and fear? If unmarried, is there disharmony and long-simmering bitterness over past hurts? Have you tried to reconcile? Has it been too difficult? Do you realize how unnatural forgiveness is? Yet there is nothing more important than forgiveness in marriage and in all relationships as we will inevitably continue to sin against each other. What does Jesus have to say about forgiveness? We find the answer in Matthew 18:21-35. Please read the passage and consider the radical truth of forgiveness in the kingdom of heaven.

Review and Apply

What is Peter asking of Jesus?  How does the context help you answer the question? 

What answer does Jesus give?  

Repeat the story (vv. 23-34) in your own words. How does this story give greater clarity to Jesus's initial answer?

When do you find it hard to forgive?  

What are some ways to cultivate a heart that forgives?

Where do you need to pursue seeking or granting forgiveness?

How does extending forgiveness reflect the forgiveness that you have received?