Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, March 9

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, March 9

I apologize for getting this blog post out late today. A number of responsibilities took longer than I expected, and here it is past 7:00 PM! I greatly appreciate the opportunity to reflect on the coming Sunday’s sermon and look forward to continuing to do that. In the mean time, please contemplate this word from Dr. Harold J. Ockenga concerning the power of God’s word, the topic of this Sunday’s sermon.

“This authoritative revelation of God provides comfort for us in tribulation. Sickness, bereavement and death are awaiting us all. The truth about prayer, about healing, about the redemption of our bodies must be gained from the Scripture. Hence, triumph over such troubles comes from revelational knowledge about death and life after death.

Discouragement, loneliness and heartache are the lot of most human beings. The Bible has much to say about the “discouraged,” the “cast down,” the “feeble knees,” and the antidote to this in being of good courage (Joshua 1. 6; Deut. 31. 6; Isaiah 40. 31). We all have the compensation of God’s presence when He says, “I am with thee… be not afraid.” The Old Testament saints became heroes of the faith because of this presence, and it is the New Testament experience for every believer through the Holy Spirit. God’s comfort (2 Cor. 1. 4-10) can make us courageous and more than conquerors in every detail.

Temptation, trial and trouble constitute the great triumvirate facing men daily. Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. Trouble besets him because of sin, of the world and of the devil. It is declared that by great tribulation we are to enter into the kingdom of God, but by our knowledge of the Word of God we may win out in all of these difficulties of life.

Light is yet to break from the Word of God. The Bible is the Word of the Lord, the revelation of God. It speaks to-day. Through it, God speaks.”

THE WORD

Scripture: The Kingdom-Building Word
Sermon: Luke 8:1-56

SONGS

Oh For a Thousand Songs To Sing (arr. David Crowder)
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Father of Mercies, In Thy Word (arr. Traditional)
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How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds (arr. Indelible Grace)
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O Word of God Incarnate (arr. Bobby Guy)
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Song of Preparation: Speak O Lord (arr. Getty Music)
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Song of Response: Oh For a Thousand Songs To Sing (arr. David Crowder)
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RESPONSIVE READINGS

Confession of Sin:

Your Word tells us that we should not be ashamed for the gospel for it is the power of salvation to everyone who believes, yet we often doubt the power of your Word. Your Word is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart, yet we act as if it is a dulled blade capable of little.  Your Word is like cold water for a dry and weary soul, yet we refuse your provision and wither in a barren land. Father, we confess our unbelief and ask that you restore the power and comfort of your Word to us, that we might see Christ more and with greater confidence proclaim your Word to others.

Confession of Faith:

WLC Q. 155: How is the Word made effectual unto salvation?

 A. The Spirit of God makes the reading, but especially the preaching of the Word, an effectual means of enlightening, convincing, and humbling sinners; of driving them out of themselves, and drawing        them unto Christ; of conforming them to his image, and subduing them to his will; of strengthening them against temptations and corruptions; of building them up in grace, and establishing their hearts in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation.

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