This weekend, we continued our Romans series, and focused on Romans 8:31-39. In his message, Joe talked through the five rhetorical questions in this passage, and reminded us all of God's amazing and unfailing love. I was really challenged to let go of my past and my old slavery to sin, and to move toward Christ and trust in Him will every area of my life. We have a new life because Christ has loved us, and we don't need to look back. We need to look to Christ. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:
Time of Preparation/Prayer "Healing Is In Your Hands" (C) [Daniel Carson, Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin] Welcome/Greeting Time (Child Dedications - at 5 PM and 10:45 AM services only) "Desert Song" (D) [Brooke Fraser] "Unchanging" (G) [Chris Tomlin] "Our God" (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin] "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman] Message - "Romans 8:31-39" [Joe Hishmeh] "It Is Well" (Bb) [Philip Paul Bliss, Todd Fields, Horatio G. Spafford] Offering/Announcements Dismissal
"Healing Is In Your Hands" - We sang this song as our preparation song this weekend, as we focused on how we are held by the promise of Jesus' powerful and unconquerable love. He is faithful, and nothing will ever separate us from His love (Rom. 8:35). This is such a beautiful song (originally sung by Christy Nockels on the album, Passion: Here For You.), and it does a wonderful job of calling out our trust, faith, and confidence in Christ's unending love for us. Becky Tindell did a great job of leading us on this song.
"Desert Song" - We opened the second music set with this song, and Becky led us here as well. This song declares our faith and trust in the Lord no matter what we are facing in this life. In good times and bad, He is with us, and He is worthy of our praise. This song continues to be a staple of our congregation's worship vocabulary, and our church sings it well together.
"Unchanging" - We sang this song this weekend because it also stands firm on the fact that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Heb. 13:8 ESV). In we declare the unchanging character and love of God. We can trust and depend on who He is, and that flows out into how He cares for us and interacts with us. Because He never changes and never fails, we can trust the word which He has spoken, saying that He will love us "with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31:3).
"Our God" - This song tied directly to our passage from this weekend, particularly in the bridge where we sing, "And if our God is for us/ Then who could ever stop us?/ And if our God is with us/ What could stand against?" We abbreviated this song for the services with the child dedications, but we wanted to keep this declaration in our services, as we sing out the truth of the scripture passage from this week.
"10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" - This is a song that we began teaching our congregation last weekend as Erik and Sarah Oldberg led our congregation. I LOVE this song. When you hear it for the first time, it feels like you've heard it before. It has a sort of timeless melody to it, and it makes me want to sing it out. The chorus is simple and strong: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul/ Worship His holy name/ Sing like never before, O my soul/ I'll worship Your holy name." Our congregation is singing it well, and I think this will remain a part of our worship vocabulary here at Fellowship.
"It Is Well" - This was our response song this weekend. I have written a lot about this song previously, so I'll keep this short. I love how this song ties a timeless hymn with a new declaration of trust and praise in an added chorus. I think it helps to connect a new generation with a beautiful expression of trust in God's faithfulness - no matter the circumstances.
This weekend was a good weekend overall. We celebrated child dedications with many young families in our church, which was a beautiful thing of which to be a part. We also celebrated baptisms after each service. In one of these baptisms on Saturday evening, a young man baptized his dad after leading him to Christ. What a powerful moment! I love being a part of this congregation and seeing how the Lord is moving.
We had a few technical gremlins show up on Saturday evening with our in-ears and some other things. During most of the service at 7 PM, I was getting shocked every time my lips touched the microphone. Not fun. I have no idea what was happening there. Everything was worked out on Sunday morning, so it's all good.
The bottom line is that Jesus was glorified and exalted because of His great love with which He loved us. He is faithful and unchanging, and we can trust in Him and in His love. He is so good to us!
I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were!
In the Son, Bill
p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!