Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Abide in Jesus Series: Turning from Our Slothful Indifference to Our Zealously Righteous Savior + Saturday, February 11, 2017

Previous Sermons and Liturgies in Abide in Jesus Series:

Jesus Is Our Gift and our Goal + Winter 2017
Turning from Our Disgraceful Pride to Our Gracious Savior + Winter 2017 

Welcome! Bienvenido! Akwaaba! Mirë se vjen! خوش آمدید Bem-vindos! 歡迎光臨!

We have the privilege to love and serve this city as His Church – His family of servants and ambassadors – in multicultural communities who are learning how to humbly follow Jesus in every area of life, to graciously love our neighbors, and to generously serve our city for the glory of God and for the life of the world.

Emmaus City welcomes you and invites you to hear and respond to the gospel, the history-altering, world-changing, life-transforming good news that Jesus is King – our Savior, Healer, Redeemer, Reconciler, Champion, Friend – and that He is bringing the joy and justice of God's Kingdom to Worcester.

Sloth is Resistance to the Demands of Love

Sloth is the old sinful self-resisting transformation into the new self in Christ. We are trying to make ourselves content with being less than we really are. Sloth is the vice of those who want the security of having God’s love without the real sacrifice and ongoing struggle to be made new. Slothful people want the dream of being unconditionally loved without having to condition their own selfish desires in return, or who want a perpetual honeymoon, not fifty years of married faithfulness. Sloth is resistance to the demands of love.Think of parents caring for a newborn infant. Their weariness results from their love and devotedness. Sloth is opposed to the great virtue of diligence – that powerful sense of responsibility, dedication to hard work, and conscientious completion of one’s duties. (Latin diligere, “to love’). 

+ Rebecca K. Deyoung, Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies

Happiness is a By-Product of Being Rightly Related to God and Neighbor

There is a principle at the heart of the Christian life that is expressed by two famous sayings of Jesus Christ: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be satisfied" (Matt. 5:6) and "Whoever finds their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for My sake will find it" (Matt. 10:9).

In the first Jesus is saying, "Happy is the one who seeks not happiness but righteousness." Happiness is a by-product of wanting something more than happiness – to be rightly related to God and our neighbor. If you seek God as the nonnegotiable good of your life, you will get happiness thrown in. If, however, you aim mainly at personal happiness, you will get neither. The same principle is conveyed in the second saying. If you are willing to lose your life for His sake – if you are willing to set aside personal safety, comfort, and satisfaction in order to obey and follow Jesus – then in the end you will find yourself. You will discover who you really are in Christ and finally come to be at peace.

How does Jesus' principle work? Seeing and embracing God as He truly is makes us wise, for it gets us in touch with reality. Just as turning the lights on in a dark room enables you to walk without bumping into things, seeing the justice, greatness, sovereignty, wisdom, and love of God in Christ prevents you from stumbling through life in bitterness, pride, anxiety, and discouragement. If, then, we seek not our own benefit but God's glory, it will lead paradoxically to a development of our character, humility, hope, love, joy, and peace.

+ Timothy Keller, 
Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering

Union with Christ is Needed to Rightly Love Others

God's vision of justice and human flourishing is relational on every level; we need to be restored to union with Christ in order to rightly love others and the rest of God's created world. By offering our lives to God with gratitude and by living lives suitable for God's people, we can seek the Kingdom of God right where we are, which means loving others and seeking the flourishing of those around us in whatever ways we can. When we love others with justice and righteousness in the name of Christ by addressing both physical and spiritual impoverishment, we are bearing witness to God's Kingdom.

+ Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson, The Justice Calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance

Eucharist | Thanking God for Communion with Christ and His Church

Jesus’ Prayer for His Disciples

Matthew 6:9-13

Our Father in heaven, 
May Your name be kept holy.
May Your Kingdom come.
May Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread
And forgive us our sins
As we have forgiven those
Who sin against us.
And don’t let us
Yield to temptation,
But rescue us
From the evil one.
(For Yours is the Kingdom,
The power and the glory forever. Amen.)

All Creatures of Our God and King
By West Coast Revival
Original by St. Francis of Assisi
Early 1200s A.D.

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
“O praise Him! Allelujah!”
Thou, burning sun with golden beam,
Thou, silver moon with softer gleam.
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Allelujah! Allelujah! Allelujah!

Let all things their Creator bless
And worship Him in humbleness.
O praise Him! Allelujah!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
And praise the Spirit, Three-in-One.
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Allelujah! Allelujah! Allelujah!

All the redeemed washed by His blood
Come and rejoice in His great love.
O praise Him! Allelujah!
Christ has defeated every sin.
Cast all your burdens now on Him.
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Allelujah! Allelujah! Allelujah!

He shall return in power to reign
Heaven and earth will join to say
O praise Him! Allelujah!
Then who shall fall on bended knee?
All creatures of our God and King
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Allelujah! Allelujah! Allelujah!

By Sojourn Worship

2015 A.D.

Forgive us Lord, for passing by 
When children cry for bread.
Forbid it Lord, that justice lies
In tatters, cold and dead.
Outside these walls run desperate streets 
Where greed is law and life is cheap.
We bar the doors, refuse to see, 
Or hear the words You said:

Let justice roll like a river,
Like a river, let it roll!
Let justice roll like a river,
Like a river, let it roll!

Convict us Lord, we dance and laugh 
Ignoring those who weep.
Correct us Lord, our golden calf
Has lulled our hearts to sleep.
The gap between the rich and poor
Grows ever wider, shore to shore.
There’s racial hate, religious war
And wolves among the sheep.

Indwell us Lord, and purify 
Our hands to work for You.
Enlist us Lord, to serve nearby
And ʻcross the waters, too.
Your image-bearers on the earth
Will never know how much theyʼre worth
Unless we love and help them first
And show the way to You!

The Feast
By City Hymns
Original by William Gadsby
1838 A.D.

With wondering eyes, Lord we admire 
The feast prepared by grace;
Come, Lord, and set our souls on fire,
And fill each heart with peace.
These emblems of Your precious love,
By faith may we receive.
And with a solemn pleasure prove,
We in Your name believe.

We eat this bread,
We drink this wine,
Come give Yourself to us.
We know You’re here,
That’s why we’ve come,
To feast on You with love.

No goodness of our own we bring; 
We’re sinners vile and base;
Christ is our all;
Of Christ we sing,
And long to see His face.
O may we each with heart and tongue
Sing, “Worthy is the Lamb!”;
To Him alone the praise belongs,
And we’ll adore His name.

Before the Throne of God Above
Charitie Lees Bancroft
1860 A.D.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea,
A great high Priest whose name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands!
My name is written on His heart!
I know that while in heaven He stands,
No tongue can bid me thence depart,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free!
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me,
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace.
One with Himself I cannot die,
My soul is purchased by His blood!
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God!
With Christ my Savior and my God!
(Climb This Mountain)
By United Pursuit Band
2010 A.D.

I lean not on 
My own understanding,
My life is in the hands
Of the Maker of Heaven.

I give it all to You, God, 
Trusting that You'll make
Something beautiful out of me!

I will climb this mountain 
With my hands wide open,
I will climb this mountain
With my hands wide open!

There is nothing I hold on to,
There is nothing I hold on to,
There is nothing I hold on to,
There is nothing I hold on to!

Build Your Kingdom Here
By Rend Collective
2012 A.D.

Come, set Your rule and reign
In our hearts again.
Increase in us, we pray.
Unveil why we’re made.
Come set our hearts
Ablaze with hope
Like wildfire in our very souls.
Holy Spirit, come invade us now!
We are Your Church.
We need Your power in us.

We seek Your Kingdom first.
We hunger and we thirst.
Refuse to waste our lives
For You’re our joy and prize.
To see the captive 
Hearts released,
The hurt, the sick, 
The poor at peace,
We lay down our lives for 
Heaven’s cause.
We are Your Church.
We pray, “Revive this earth!”

Build Your Kingdom here!
Let the darkness fear!
Show Your mighty hand!
Heal our streets and land!
Set Your Church on fire!
Win the nations back!
Change the atmosphere!
Build Your Kingdom here!
We pray!

Unleash Your 
Kingdom’s power
Reaching the near and far!
No force of Hell can stop
Your beauty changing hearts!
You made us for 
Much more than this!
Awake the Kingdom seed in us!
Fill us with the strength 
And love of Christ!
We are Your Church.
We are hope on earth.

Our World Belongs to God: The Mission of God's People
2008 A.D.

41. As we join Your mission, God,
send us as Your Church
with the Gospel of the Kingdom
to call everyone to know and follow Christ
and to proclaim to all
the assurance that in the name of Jesus
there is forgiveness of sin
and new life for all who repent and believe.
Spirit, You call all members of the Church
to embrace God’s mission
in our neighborhoods
and in the world:
to feed the hungry,
bring water to the thirsty,
welcome the stranger,
clothe the naked,
care for the sick,
and free the prisoner.
We repent of leaving this work to a few,
for this mission is central to our being.
Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:45-49;
John 17:18; 
Matthew 24:14; 

Acts 13:1-3; Matthew 25:31-46; 
Luke 4:18-19; John 20:21


Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. + Ephesians 3:20-21

Next post: Abide in Jesus Series: Turning from Our Exiling Envy to Our Welcoming Savior of Sorrows and Joy

+ Sully

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