PREPARE YOUR HEART FOR WORSHIP ON OCTOBER 1, 2017
“Sincere friendship towards God, in all who believe him to be properly an intelligent, willing being, does most apparently, directly, and strongly incline to prayer; and it no less disposes the heart strongly to desire to have our infinitely glorious and gracious Friend expressing His mind to us, by His word, that we may know it.”
The fact God Himself would choose to put on human flesh, walk among those he created, and experience every emotion we experience is such an incredible testimony of His grace, compassion and friendship with us. We are not only able to love because He first loved us, but we can only befriend others because He first befriended us.
Below are some of the elements that will be a part of the worship service this coming Lord’s Day. I encourage you to use them to begin preparing your heart and mind to hear from God. I hope they help you find delight in Him because of what He has done through Christ on our behalf.
WORSHIP IN SONG
Jesus, What A Friend For Sinners | Lyrics
The whole of our worship service centers around the theme of this song. We will hear a lot about friendships within the church in the sermon, but Jesus calling us friends and befriending us is what should stand out most.
GOD’S CALL TO COME WORSHIP AND DELIGHT IN HIM :: Exodus 33:7-11
 Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp.  Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent.  When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses.  And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door.  Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. (ESV)
CONFESSING OUR FAITH :: Belgic Confession, Article 17: The Recovery of Fallen Humanity
We believe that our good God, by marvelous divine wisdom and goodness, seeing that Adam and Eve had plunged themselves in this manner into both physical and spiritual death and made themselves completely miserable, set out to find them, though they, trembling all over, were fleeing from God.
And God comforted them, promising to give them his Son, born of a woman, to crush the head of the serpent, and to make them blessed.
GOD’S WORD PREACHED ::
Mark 2:1-12 (OP Sermon Text)
 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home.  And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them.  And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.  And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.  And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”  Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,  “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”  And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’?  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”  And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” (ESV)
John 15:9-17 (SE Sermon Text)
9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another. (ESV)