This weekend, we focused on John 14, examining the Holy Spirit and how He changes the way we live and face reality in this life. You can listen to the entire message here. Because of the focus of the message this week, our call to worship came from selections from Psalm 107 (an awesome psalm!), which helps us to remember all the ways God has been with us and for us. It helps us to recall the faithfulness of our God. He is so good to us. I challenged our congregation to focus on things that the Lord has done in our lives, from redemption to walking with us through a difficult time, and to dwell on those moments as we sang out to our God. This was something that the Lord laid on my heart as we were rehearsing. As we were singing "You Never Let Go" and "Never Once," I found myself recalling God's faithfulness in bringing my family and I to this church. I remembered God's faithfulness in our journey after Hurricane Katrina moved us out of New Orleans. As these things were at the front of my mind, I was overwhelmed with thanksgiving and praise because of what the Lord had done. He is faithful. This became the focus of our time of worshiping through singing together. Psalm 107 ends by saying, "Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord" (Psalm 107:43 ESV). Here's our service plan from this weekend:
Time of Preparation/Prayer "Jesus, You" (E) [original] Welcome/Greeting Time Call to Worship - Psalm 107 "Happy Day" (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] "God Is Able" (Bb) [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding] "Never Once" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Jason Ingram, Tim Wanstall] Prayer Message - John 14 [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Video/Announcements Response/Closing Time "'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" (E) [Louisa M. R. Steed, William James Kirkpatrick] Dismissal
"Jesus, You" - We opened our preparation time with this song again this week. I want our congregation to know it, because at the very least, it is helpful for us to focus on the gospel and to remember clearly what the Lord has done for us. As the book of Romans lays out clearly, we were dead and without hope--enemies of God--yet Jesus came to rescue us by dying in our place and rising again victorious over sin and death. Because of what He has done for us, our song for eternity will be one that sings the name of Jesus, our redeemer.
"Happy Day" - This song is a great opening song that helps to put the focus immediately on the gospel of redemption. It is very familiar for our congregation, and I think it resonates with many of us.
"You Never Let Go" - This song remains one of my favorites. We haven't sung this together in a while, so it was good to pick it back up this weekend. I love the reminder in this song of Jesus' promise to believers, recounted in Hebrews 13:5, "I will never leave you or forsake you." There is great comfort, peace, and assurance in that promise, and it is one that we really need to remember as we make the journey through our lives with Jesus. Because
"God Is Able" - We taught this song a couple of months ago, and I think it was a great fit for this weekend's focus because of it's repeated emphasis on God's continual presence with us. I really enjoy this song, and I think our congregation has connected well with it, so we will continue to sing it together in the future.
"Never Once" - Similar to the previous two songs, this song emphasizes God's presence with us and His faithfulness to us as His children. When we look back on our lives in Christ, we will be able to look back on our lives and see that God was always with us, and never, at any point, did we walk alone.
"'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" - We responded to God's Word with this song. This is a favorite hymn of mine, because it sings about the blessing of the relationship we have with Jesus when we are trusting Him fully. The benefits of knowing and trusting Jesus are the same that the Spirit provides in us, and that is why we sang this song as the response. We will only experience the blessing of truly knowing Jesus through His Spirit when we trust Him.
All around, this was a great weekend of worshiping our Savior. Our team did a fantastic job, and I'm thankful for what the Lord is doing in us.
I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were.
In the Son,
p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!