PREPARE YOUR HEART FOR WORSHIP ON APRIL 1, 2018
I hope you are all anticipating the celebration of our Lord’s resurrection this coming Lord’s Day. Allow your mind to wander into the complexities of God’s grace and feel your heart delight in him and worship him. Rejoice! God chose to save sinners and that alone is enough to occupy our minds and hearts for trillions of years. How glorious and delightful is they way in which He pursued us – by means of the gospel in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus! Amidst all the “Jesus is alive!” chatter that seems to come and go with the Easter season, it would be easy to hear nothing more than repetitious phrases and words. But, let us guard our hearts and never grow tired of hearing the gospel story. May you never cease to rejoice at the news that God sent his Son to die and be raised for us sinners. Amen! Alleluia!
“Next comes the resurrection from the dead. Without this what we have said so far would be incomplete. For since only weakness appears in the cross, death, and burial of Christ, faith must leap over all these things to attain its full strength. We have in his death the complete fulfillment of salvation, for through it we are reconciled to God, his righteous judgment is satisfied, the curse is removed, and the penalty paid in full. Nevertheless, we are said to ‘have been born anew to a living hope’ not through his death but ‘through his resurrection’ [I Peter 1:3 p.]. For as he in rising again, came forth victor over death, so the victory of our faith over death lies in his resurrection alone. Paul better expresses its nature: ‘He was put to death for our sins, and raised for our justification’ [Rom. 4:25]. This is as if he had said: ‘Sin was taken away by his death; righteousness was revived and restored by his resurrection.’ For how could he by dying have freed us from death if he had himself succumbed to death? How could he have acquired victory for us if he had failed in the struggle? Therefore, we divide the substance of our salvation between Christ’s death and resurrection as follows: through his death, sin was wiped out and death extinguished; through his resurrection, righteousness was restored and life raised up, so that–thanks to his resurrection–his death manifested its power and efficacy in us.” ~John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, II.xvi.13
WORSHIP IN SONG :: Christ The Lord Is Risen Today
Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!
GOD CALLS US TO WORSHIP :: 1 Peter 1:3-5 (ESV)
 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (ESV)
CONFESSION OF FAITH :: Heidelberg Catechism, Question 45
45. Q. How does Christ’s resurrection benefit us?
A. First, by His resurrection He has overcome death, so that He could make us share in the righteousness which He had obtained for us by His death.
Second, by His power we too are raised up to a new life.
Third, Christ’s resurrection is to us a sure pledge of our glorious resurrection.
GOD’S WORD PREACHED :: Philippians 4:4-9
 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (ESV)