Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Abide in Jesus Series: Turning from Our Exiling Envy to Our Welcoming Savior of Sorrows and Joy + Saturday, March 4, 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 
Turning from Our Slothful Indifference to Our Zealously Righteous 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.

Both Envy and Mourning are Responses to What We Lack

Everything is needful that He sends; nothing can be needful that He withholds. + John Newton

Envy has the deadly ability to distract my heart and mind from the daily bread God puts in my hands each morning, focusing me instead on the gifts, status, talents, and joys He gives to others. This is not only a rejection of the good that God has given to me; this is a desire to become someone I’m not, was never made to be, and will not enjoy becoming if my envy ever were to consume me. Envy points to the good things that other people have while hiding the difficulties these people face. Envy insists that everyone but me is happy – that no one else hurts or struggles or wants like I do. And when envy has shown you and me these images, it yells into our minds that our lives are not valuable.

While the exiled are abandoned, the comforted are drawn close. While the exiled are unknown, the comforted know love. While the exiled are alone, the comforted are at peace. Whether our pain is due to tragedy or our own failure, we must share our hurts with others. Hiding is suicidal. This is why Jesus’ brother James wrote: “Confess your sins to each other … so that you may be healed.” In both grief from loss and bereavement from failure, the return from exile is always about confession – sharing where we hurt, sharing where we fail.

Envy and mourning are both responses to the places we lack. Both those who envy and those who mourn are in positions of want. But those who mourn expose their pain. They allow others with ointments and bandages to see it. They open themselves up to receive help and they receive it. “Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground,” Oscar Wilde.

+ Jeff Cook, Seven

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.)

Come People of the Risen KingBy Stuart Townend
2007 A.D.

Comepeople of the Risen King,
Who delight to bring Him praise.
Come, all and tune your hearts to sing
To the Morning Star of grace.
From the shifting shadows of the earth
We will lift our eyes to Him,
Where steady arms of mercy reach
To gather children in.

Rejoice! Rejoice! 
Let every tongue rejoice!
One heart, one voice,
O Church of Christ, rejoice!

Come, those whose joy is morning sun
And those weeping through the night.
Come, those who tell of battles won,
And those struggling in the fight.
For His perfect love will never change,
And His mercies never cease,
But follow us through all our days
With the certain hope of peace.

Come, young and old from every land,
Men and women of the faith.
Come, those with full or empty hands,
Find the riches of His grace.
Over all the world, His people sing,
Shore to shore we hear them call
The Truth that cries through every age;
"Our God is all in all!"

Jesus is Better
By Austin Stone Music
2013 A.D.

There is no other
So sure and steady.
My hope is held
In Your hand.
When castles crumble
And breath is fleeting,
Upon this Rock I will stand.
Upon this Rock I will stand!

Glory, glory,
We have no other king
But Jesus Lord of all!
Raise the anthem,
Our loudest praises ring –
We crown Him Lord of all!

Your kindly rule has
Shattered and broken
The curse of sin's tyranny.
My life is hidden
'Neath Heaven's shadow,
Your crimson flood
Covers me!
Your crimson flood
Covers me!

In all my sorrows,
Jesus is better
– Make my heart believe!
In all my victories,
Jesus is better
– Make my heart believe!
More than any comfort,
Jesus is better
– Make my heart believe!
More than all riches,
Jesus is better
– Make my heart believe!
Our souls declaring,
Jesus is better
– Make my heart believe!
Our song eternal,
Jesus is better
– Make my heart believe!

By Hillsong
2012 A.D.

Man of sorrows, Lamb of God,
By His own betrayed;
The sin of man and wrath of God
Has been on Jesus laid.
Silent as He stood accused,
Beaten mocked and scorned.
Bowing to the Father's will,
He took a crown of thorns.

On that rugged cross,
My salvation,
Where Your love
Poured out over me!

Now my soul cries out,
Praise and honor unto You!"

Sent of heaven God's own Son
To purchase and redeem,
And reconcile the very ones
Who nailed Him to that tree.

Now my debt is paid,
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled!
Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me;
Whom the Son sets free
Oh, is free indeed!

See the stone is rolled away,
Behold the empty tomb.
Hallelujah! God be praised!
He's risen from the grave!

By Planetshakers
2013 A.D.

By His stripes we are healed,
By His nail-pierced hands we're free.
By His blood, we're washed clean,
Now we have the victory.

The power of sin is broken,
Jesus overcame it all.
He has won our freedom,
Jesus has won it all. 

You have won the victory!
You have won it all for me!
Death could not hold You down!
You are the risen King
Seated in majesty,
You are the risen King!

Our God is risen!
He is alive!
He's won the victory!
He reigns on high!

Abide in Me | In My Weakness Gospel Medley
By Urban Doxology and Stephanie Robinson
2012 A.D., 1994 A.D.

Abide in Me, 
Take rest in Me,
Apart from Me,
You can do nothing.
It is My will
That you bear much fruit.
Abide in Me,
Take rest in Me
There’s work to do!

I am the Vine,
You are the branches.
You’re qualified to be a blessing.
You are the clay,
I am the Potter.
Through you,
I will do great things!
(Chorus and Verse

In my weakness
You my God are strong.
In my trials, You are my song.
I fall on my knees, I can’t go on,
But in my weakness,
You my God are strong.

By Page CXVI
Original by Thomas Ken
1674 A.D.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Glory to Thee my God this night
For all the blessings of the light.
Keep me, O keep me King of kings
Under the shadow of Thy wings.

Lord, let my soul forever share
The bliss of Thy paternal care.
‘Tis heav’n on earth, ‘tis heav’n above
To seek Thy face and sing Thy love.

Amen, amen.

Our World Belongs to God: 
God's New People (34-35)
2008 A.D.

Q. How does God respond to us
in our brokenness, sin, and need
through Christ and His Church?

A. In our world,
where many journey alone,
nameless in the bustling crowd,
Satan and his evil forces
seek whom they may scatter and isolate;
but God, by His gracious choosing in Christ,
gathers a new community—
those who by God’s gift
put their trust in Christ.
In the new community
all are welcome:
the homeless come home,
the broken find healing,
the sinner makes a new start,
the despised are esteemed,
the least are honored,
and the last are first.
Here the Spirit guides
and grace abounds.
The Church is the fellowship of those
who confess Jesus as Lord.
She is the bride of Christ,
His chosen partner,
loved by Jesus and loving Him:
delighting in His presence,
seeking Him in prayer—
silent before the mystery of His love.

1 Peter 2:4-7, 5:5-7; Matthew 10:32-33, 11:28-30; Ephesians 2:6; 5:21-33; 1 John 3:11-17, 4:13-21; Revelation 21:9


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 Blinding and Destructive Lust to Fully Seeing Our Powerfully Pure Savior of Relentless Love

+ Sully

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