Tuesday, November 14, 2017

James 4:1-12 | Get Low, Jesus Will Lift You Up + November 11, 2017

Book cover for Luke Timothy Johnson's Brother of Jesus, Friend of God

"Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven." + Lucifer, Milton's "Paradise Lost" 

Bible Passages | James 4:1-12

Old Testament Scripture Reading | 

Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully. The humble will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise Him. Make us rejoice for as many days as You have humbled us, for as many years as we have seen adversity. For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He adorns the humble with salvation. The humble will have joy after joy in the Lord, and the poor people will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. + Psalm 10:17, 22:26, 90:15, 149:4; Isaiah 29:19

Previous sermons and liturgies in James

James 1:1-4, 12-18: Count It All Joy with Jesus
James 1:5-8; 3:13-18: Ask for Jesus' Wisdom  
James 1:9-11; 2:1-13; 5:1-6: Pour Out Jesus' Generous Justice  
James 1:19-27; 4:13-17: Be Quick to Hear and Slow to Speak in Light of Jesus
James 1:18-22; 2:14-26: Reveal Faith in Jesus' Grace Through Works of Faith that Require Jesus' Power  
+ James 3:1-12: Rein in Your Enflamed Words and Release the Reign of Jesus' Fresh Words

The Bible presents sin ... in an array of images (and concepts): sin is the missing of a target, a wandering from the path. Sin is a hard heart and a stiff neck. Sin is blindness and deafness. It is both overstepping of a line and the failure to reach it – both transgression and shortcoming. Sin is a beast crouching at the door. In sin, people attack or evade or neglect their divine calling. Sin is disruption of created harmony and then resistance to divine restoration of that harmony. Above all, sin disrupts and resists the vital human relation to God. ... Sinful life, as Geoffrey Bromiley observes, is a partly depressing, partly ludicrous caricature of genuine human life. + Cornelius Plantinga, Not the Way It's Supposed to Be

... Do I believe my enemies are too far from grace? My idea of a safe space is just blow them all away. Pray to my Savior, middle finger to my neighbor, create a theology that helps promote that behavior. I'm an activist who hates change (cynical). I'm a doctor who wants pain (cynical). I'm a charity who profits off the generous. I am Jonah who wants the fall of Nineveh. … + Sho Baraka, "Cynical"

You cannot have power for good without having power for evil, too. Even mother's milk nourishes murderers as well as heroes. + Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara

Give me the grace to do as you command, and command me to do what you will. + St. Augustine, Confessions

... You have your Daddy's eyes. Stop being so traitorous. ... To love hard is hard living, but it's life. It's who we are, it's messy and uncomfortable and complicated, But so is a star, parenting, childbirth, love, and us. (May we be refuge for the complicated.) ... + Propaganda, "It's Complicated"

James has already referred to Jesus' royal (or Kingdom) law the friends of God are to be judged by. But in their arrogance, they want to be able to judge the royal law rather than be judged by it. In so desiring, we betray that we want to be in the place of God. Margaret Aymer, Diaspora Rhetoric of a Friend of God

So self-sufficiency dies hard, right? But when rightfully humbled, God shows up in burning bushes. ... If I could bottle the feeling where every morning's a blessing 'cause every breath could be your last one man, that's the answer. Be patient with one another, be gracious 'cause our time is short.  Remember you too were once in darkness before He brought forth Christ, the hope of glory, sealed our eternity; purchased permanently, by only Him worthy. ... + Propaganda, "Made Straight"

Lord's Prayer | Praying for Jesus' Kingdom Impact in Us and in Worcester

Corporate Prayer of Confession and Assurance

One: God, our Creator, Redeemer, and Righteous Judge,
You resist the proud and give grace to the humble.
Yet we rarely listen, speak too quickly,
and rush into anger and pride.
Cause us to be still, repent, and weep.

All: Humble us today, Jesus. You show us the Way.
May we die to our pride so we can live in Your humility.
May we live in Your Truth and Your Life.
Make us meek like You, Jesus. Forgive us by the riches
of Your grace. Redeem us from our friendship
with the world that has made us enemies with You.

Silent Personal Reflection and Confession

One: Jesus, our Rescuer and our Champion, 
You are faithful. You draw near to us. You pursue us.
May we pursue You and others for Your glory
and for their salvation. And when we fall short, help
us to remember the Good News:

All: In You, our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, 
we are forgiven!

By Urban Doxology, Liz Vice, and Latifah Alattas (Page CXVI) 
2017 A.D.  

Hallelu! Hallelujah! 
Father, let Your Kingdom come! (x4)

May the works of my hands 
Bring You joy. (x4 + Chorus

May the words of my mouth
Speak Your peace. (x4 + Chorus

You make all things new,
You make all things new
In places we don't choose,
You make all things new! (Chorus)

Humble Thyself / Amazing Grace Medley
By Bob Hudson and John Newton
1978 A.D., 1779 A.D.

Humble thyself 
In the sight of the LORD
And He will lift you up.

Amazing grace,
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost
But now I'm found.
I was blind but now I see.

When we've been
There ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun.

We've no less days
To sing God's praise
Then when we've first begun.

By John Mark McMillan
and Sarah McMillan
2015 A.D.

Let the King of my heart
Be the mountain where I run,
The fountain I drink from;
Oh He is my song.

Let the King of my heart
Be the shadow where I hide,
The ransom for my life;
Oh, He is my song!

You are good, good, oh!

Let the King of my heart
Be the wind inside my sails,
The anchor in the waves;
Oh, He is my song.

Let the King of my heart
Be the fire inside my veins,
And the echo of my days;
Oh, He is my song!

You’re never gonna let,
Never gonna let me down!

We Are Not Overcome
By Bifrost Arts Records
2013 A.D.

Flesh will fail, bones will break,
Thieves will steal, the earth will shake.
Night will fall, the light will fade,
The Lord will give and take away.

Put no trust in the earth,
In the sod you stand upon.
Flowers fade into dust,
The Lord will make a place for us.

Because of His great love
We are not overcome.

Because of His great love
We are not overcome.

Have no fear for your life,
Turn your cheek, turn your cheek.
Bear the yolk of love and death;
The Lord will give life and breath.

You Are God and You Are Good
By Austin Stone Worship
2014 A.D.

For the fatherless,
We pray be the Father.
Let those who lost their way
Be understood.
For the widow and the broken
Be the Lover who will hold them.
We know that You are God
And You are good.
Yes, we know that You are God a
And You are good.

For those who mourn today,
Be the comfort,
And who hunger after You,
Be satisfied.
You bless the poor in spirit
For heaven is their Kingdom.
We know that You are God
And You are good.
Yes, we know that You are God
And You are good.

You are God, 
You're the risen King!
You are good, Lord of everything!
No mountain, no valley 
Could ever separate us from Your love.
You are God and You are good!
Yes, we know that You are God 
And You are good!

As we look upon Your Word,
God give us vision!
Restore us by
The power of Your blood!
Come now, Holy Spirit
When You whisper
Let us hear it!
We know that You are God
And You are good!
Yes, we know that you are God
And you are good!

So come now in power!
And let our chains be broken!
Pour out Your Spirit!
Jesus, our hearts are open!

You are God, 
You're the risen King!
You are good, Lord of everything!
No mountain, no valley 
Could ever separate us!
No power, no darkness,
Could ever stand between us!

No mountain, no valley 
Could ever separate us
From Your love!

You are God and You are good.
Yes, we know that You are God
And You are good.

By Kristian Stanfill
2010 A.D.

Your love never fails,
It never gives up,
It never runs out on me!

And it's higher than
The mountains that I face,
And it's stronger than
The power of the grave,
And it's constant in the trial
And the change;
This one thing remains!

And on and on and on
And on it goes!
Yes, it overwhelms and satisfies
And I never, ever,
Have to be afraid!
This one thing remains,
This one thing remains!

In death, in life
I'm confident and covered by
The power of Your great love!
My debt is paid,
There's nothing that can separate
My heart from Your great love!

New City Catechism Q & A 1
Q. What is our only hope
in life and in death?

That we are not our own,1
but belong, body and soul,
both in life and death2
to God and to our faithful
Savior Jesus Christ.3

 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
2 Romans 14:7-9
3 1 Corinthians 3:23; Titus 2:14  


May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. + 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Next post: James 5:7-12 | The Main Ingredient is the Patience of Jesus

+ Sully

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