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Feb 2011

Sunday Rhythm | February 20, 2011

Every week we prayerfully and purposefully compile a Sunday pre-service iTunes playlist to enhance our Sunday gathering. These are artists that you should definitely consider listening too, and if you feel so inclined, purchasing their music through the link provided. We hope that this becomes an avenue for discovering new gospel-centered art and music. This week’s pre-service music featured selections from Page CXVI.

Sunday Rhythm

Continuation of Worship

    The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
    Psalm 103:8-13 ESV

Song Service

1. O Worship the King by Robert Grant, Johann Michael Haydn, and Chris Tomlin. Our call to worship hymn yesterday is a musical setting of Psalm 18 and 104. Its expressive descriptions of God (King, Shield, Defender, Ancient of Days, Maker, Redeemer, Friend), as well as the vivid imagery (such as, His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form and the references to His attributes, power, might, grace, bountiful care, love) all combine to describe the majesty and praiseworthiness of our God.

    O worship the King, all glorious above
    O gratefully sing His wonderful love
    Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days
    Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise

Sundays are a day that we unite together to proclaim the glory and majesty of our God. But it’s not the songs that we will sing, or the prayers that we will pray this morning that reconcile us or make us right before God. These things are simply humble responses to the reconciliation and forgiveness that God has already extended us through the life, death, and resurrection of his son, Jesus. Here is the way Paul says it in Romans:

    [Jesus] was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God. Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
    Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
    Adapted from Romans 4:25, 5:1-2

Join with us now as we celebrate the all surpassing gift of righteousness that was bestowed upon us through Jesus.

2. Knowing You by Graham Kendrick. This modern hymn comes from words penned by the Apostle Paul while in jail, waiting execution (Philippians 3:7-11). It touches the head and heart of the follower of Jesus Christ, because it lifts up our best friend as the most important “thing” in our lives.

    All I once held dear, built my life upon
    All this world reveres and wars to own
    All I once thought gain I have counted loss
    Spent and worthless now compared to this

    Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
    There is no greater thing
    You’re my all, You’re the best
    You’re my joy, my righteousness
    And I love You, Lord

Responsive Reading

    For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
    I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him,
    not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—
    that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
    Adapted from Matthew 16 and Philippians 3 ESV

Community Commissioning

For the past few weeks, and all way through Easter, we’ve been introducing the people that make up the Communities of Redemption Hill, and listened as Community leaders talk about how they understand where they fit into God’s mission for Richmond. Now at this point, you may be thinking, “I don’t have time in my life to do anything else!”

In our Communities, we spend time working on this challenge, primarily in two ways. One, I’ll talk about this week. We know that moving from being self-centered people to gospel-centered, grace-driven, mission-minded people will affect everything we do. Jesus in Luke 14 Jesus says something preposterous: that in order to follow Him, we need to RENOUNCE all we have. Now, If we look at how demanding this is, it becomes a deal killer.

But take a step back and look at what Jesus is promising here. We read Jesus’ words from Matthew 16: For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. That means that life lived for Him and through Him for the sake of God’s mission is greater than anything else we could ever have or do. What an amazing promise this is! It’s this promise that compels us and frees us to reorient our lives around community and around mission.

We feel this tension of limited time and resources, but instead of letting it be a deal killer, we dive in and deal with it and wrestle with it. In our Communities we take time to be honest about our sin and at some point we look at the riches of Christ that come to us in cross. These riches that cause us to let go of ourselves and lose our self-centered lives. Then we work out how can we be faithful and joyful to live like Family, Ambassadors, Servants and Disciples. Who are we sent to? How can we engage with them? How can we serve them? How can we communicate the gospel to them?

Each Community lives out this mission in different parts of the city and in different ways. So yesterday we took time in our service to recognize and commission David and Dana Barrow, and the rest of the Arboretum Community that gathers in their home. David shared how they have been living everyday life with gospel intentionality. Leaning into their natural relationships with neighbors, friends, co-workers, and looking to cultivate new ones. If you would like to get involved in a community close to you, or would simply like some more information on the communities out of Redemption Hill, please go here, or email Pastor Chris DeRoco.

Sermon

Pastor Robert continued with our journey through The Book of Acts: Enjoying God and Engaging His Mission. Yesterday’s text was Acts 9:32-43, Luke 5:17-26, and Luke 8:40-54. The message was entitled Jesus Hasn’t Left the Building. You can hear the sermon audio by clicking here. Some of the reflection questions included:

    What is your only comfort in life and in death?

    That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head with- out the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

To download the entire Reflection guide, click here.

Song Service Continued

3. Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace by Daniel Herbert. Based on Hebrews 4:14-16, our confessional hymn yesterday is a passionate and comforting call to all who feel the weight of their sin to come and find mercy at the feet of Christ. The arrangement we sung yesterday is based on Red Mountain Music’s version included on The Gadsby Project album.

    He makes the dead to hear his voice
    He makes the blind to see
    The sinner lost he came to save
    
And set the prisoner free

Prayer

    Heavenly Father,
    You have opened a new and living way by which fallen creatures can approach you with acceptance. Help us to contemplate the dignity of your Person, the perfectness of your sacrifice, the effectiveness of your intercession. O what blessings accompany devotion, when under all the trials that weigh us down, the cares that corrode us, the fears that disturb us, the infirmities that oppress us, we can come to you in our need and feel peace beyond understanding! The grace that restores is necessary to preserve, lead, guard, supply, and help us. And even here, your saints gathered together encourage hope; for we were once poor and are now rich, bound and are now free, tried and now are victorious. Every new duty calls for more grace than we now possess, but not more than is found in you, the divine treasury in whom all fullness dwells. To you we rely for grace upon grace, until every void made by sin is replenished and filled with your fullness. May our desires be enlarged and our hopes emboldened, that we may honor and depend solely on you, with great expectation. Be near to us, Lord Jesus, and prepare us for all the smiles of prosperity, the frowns of adversity, the losses of substance, the death of friends, the days of darkness, the changes of life, and the last great change of all.
    May we find your grace sufficient for all our needs.
    Adapted from “Grace Active” from The Valley of Vision

4. Your Grace Is Enough by Matt Maher and Chris Tomlin. Our sending song yesterday is one that celebrates the generous grace that was poured out at the cross on our behalf, and continues to be poured out to the people of God. It is God who “leads us in the song of [His] salvation,” and our response should be to proclaim His goodness and mercy.

    Great is Your love and justice God
    You use the weak to lead the strong
    You lead us in the song of Your salvation
    And all Your people sing along

Sending on Mission

    Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
    Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV

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