Resources on Ecclesiastes

March 23, 2011

On Sunday I said that I would post the resources I’ve been using in our study of Ecclesiastes.  Well, as my English teacher used to say, here they is. Read the rest of this entry »

One Pound of God, Please

March 19, 2011

Preparing for Worship – March 20, 2011

Note: I’ve been putting these notes on the website each Saturday, but I’m going to begin occasionally putting them on the blog. I hope a few more people find it helpful to be nudged in the right direction for Sunday morning.

Infinite worth. That’s a hard value to imagine, but that is the value of Christ to those who trust in him for their lives and hope. It was not hard to imagine for the men who found a treasure hidden in a field or a pearl of unmatched quality. (Mt 13:44-45). They reoriented their lives around the value of the treasure they had found. That’s harder for us when we consider the treasure of Jesus. We can sometimes respond like the poet, Wilbur Reese:

I would like to buy three dollars worth of God, please.
Not enough or explode my soul or disturb my sleep,
But just enough to equal a cup of warm milk, or a snooze in the sunshine.
I don’t want enough of Him to make me love a black man, or pick beets with a migrant worker.
I want ecstasy, not transformation.
I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth.
I want a pound of the eternal in a paper sack.
I would like to buy three pounds of God, please.

None of us would claim to portion out God in such a prideful way. And yet, we can be quick to set our expectations of what we want from God and limits on how we will respond to Him. But God is not impressed by our directions. The reality is this: we desperately need all of God, and we need to revel in all His worthiness. Will you prepare yourself to marvel at the treasure of Jesus with us this Sunday morning? I look forward to worshiping with you.

Pastor Drew

WELCOME and PRAYER

CALL TO WORSHIP               Worthy of Worship #3

SINGING THE GOSPEL         He is Jesus
There’s a treasure great in beauty, far surpassing earth’s great wealth
He is Jesus, Prince of Glory, source of all grace, peace, and health
There’s a fountain ever flowing, satisfying all who drink
He is Jesus, spring of joy to all who hail Him as their King

There’s a power, holy power, breaking bonds of captive men
He is Jesus, mighty Jesus, holy warrior and sinner’s friend
There’s a Savior rich in mercy, quick to pardon all our sins
He is Jesus, great Redeemer, reconciling God and man

There’s a glorious Lord returning, and all will bow to Him alone
He is Jesus, King of nations, reigning from His gracious throne
There is one to whom our praises will through every age ascend
He is Jesus, King forever, whose wondrous rule will never end

Before the Throne of God Above
Before the throne of God above I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest whose name is Love who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands, my name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands,
No tongue can bid me thence depart, no tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free
For God the Just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there the risen Lamb, my perfect spotless Righteousness
The great unchangeable I Am, The King of glory and of grace
One with Himself I cannot die, my soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high with Christ my Savior and my God
With Christ my Savior and my God

WORSHIPING GOD WITH OUR OFFERINGS
Above All Else Sanctuary Choir

WORSHIPING GOD THROUGH HIS WORD
Out of Control and Loving It: Living Life Palms Up
Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:12                David King

RESPONDING TO GOD’S WORD AND SPIRIT        As Long as You Are Glorified
Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings yet not welcome any pain?
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine yet grumble in days of rain?
Shall I love You in times of plenty
Then leave You in days of drought?
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt?

Oh, let Your will be done in me – in Your love I will abide
Oh, I long for nothing else as long as You are glorified

Are You good only when I prosper and true only when I’m filled?
Are You King only when I’m carefree and God only when I’m well?
You are good when I’m poor and needy
You are true when I’m parched and dry
You still reign in the deepest valley
You’re still God in the darkest night

POSTLUDE

_________________________

He Is Jesus © 2003 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)
Before The Throne Of God Above © 1997 PDI Worship
As Long as You Are Glorified © 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)
Songs used by permission. CCLI #79621

Greatest End

March 18, 2011

It usually takes a while for a song to work its way into our minds and hearts. The first time we listen, it may strike us as pretty or poignant. We’re just beginning to learn the song. On the second or third exposure, we are learning it, getting the words in our mouths and the rhythm in our minds. We are finally able to sing it. That’s when a carefully chosen song really begins to serve us. The melody keeps the words in our mind, and we are able to meditate on them, reflect on their meaning, and make the song our own expression. That happened for a lot of folks this past Sunday.

I’ve had several family members ask about the song we sang after the sermon. The song, Greatest End, was written by a member of the music ministry at Grace Community Church in Nashville, TN. The only recording I know of is available at Amazon.com as an mp3 download. The whole recording is good, but Greatest End has been the high point of the CD since I first heard it. Maybe its because I fear man more easily than I fear God at times, and maybe it’s because I desire Christ to be my great treasure and greatest end. If the song is helpful to you, I encourage you to purchase it yourself and reflect on the lyrics.

Greatest End
May I fear You greater than I fear man; I fear man.
May my love for You be measured by obedience, by repentance.
And in that moment humbly bow; teach my heart, show me how
To fear You more my Lord, my God! Faithful Friend, greatest End.

May I want You greater than earthly things, worldly things.
May I find my greatest treasure hid in You, bound in You.
And in that moment sell my all, gladly trade all I own
All to gain the priceless pearl! Truest Friend, greatest End.

May I love You greater than my own will, my own will.
May I seek my greatest pleasure from Your hand, from Your hand.
And that moment lift my eyes to the cross, up to Christ
Die to self and gain Your life, Savior Friend, greatest End
Greatest End.

©2005 Leeandred Music and Manicotti Music (ASCAP)

By the way, we’re going to begin learning another song this Sunday night at our Members Meeting. Come listen and begin learning this week so we can be ready to sing it together with all our hearts and minds on Easter morning.

Very helpful, biblical post about the dark cloud that has settled over Japan.

When love has wept and worked, it must have something to say about God. It doesn’t need to have all the answers. Only God does. But it has the Bible, and the Bible is not silent on this matter.

Forget the leprechauns and Lucky Charms.  Move over corned beef and cabbage.  Put away your pinchers, all you people who are eager to see someone not wearing green.  (By the way, if you’re an adult, you should know that pinching people was okay back in middle school.  Now it’s just creepy.)  Despite the silly fun that we manage to import into all of our holidays, you might be surprised at what would more fittingly dominate our thoughts on St. Patrick’s Day: Read the rest of this entry »