Sunday, January 14, 2018

Matthew 3:12 - 4:11 | Receive Your Identity from the Father and Resist the Accuser's Lies with the Word of the Father + January 13, 2018

"Baptized When the Levees Broke" by Brandan "Bmike" Odums

Baptism and Repentance in Jesus and with Jesus Makes Us Know We are Seen, Valued, Identified with, and Loved

At the close of Exhibit BE at Degaulle Manor, a 360 unit apartment complex abandoned since Hurricane Katrina, yet transformed by 35 street artists into a powerful display of beauty, justice, and transformation, 10,000+ people filled the parking lot. Erykah Badu addressed the growing crowd on a platform stage in front of a 5-story painting of murdered teen George Carter: I got love for my folks, baptized when the levees broke. ...

God our Father Almighty and Jesus God the Son and God the Holy Spirit move into our tragic stories when the levees of life break. The times we were exploited and the times we exploit others. The times we were enslaved by others’ anger, fear, or pain, and the times we enslaved others with our anger, fear, and pain. The times we wandered and the times we repented.

Man is a sinner before the Almighty God. That is one of the basic facts of the universe and one of the basic facts of life. Now, we’ve tried to get away from this in the modem world, we hate to hear this word 'sin.' We try to run from it, and we try to talk about it in other terms. … man was evolving from a lower state to a higher state and eventually he would move on up the evolutionary ladder and throw off all of the evils and sin of his nature. Then, we came back to see that even after all of that man is still a sinner. ... At bottom, the conflict is not between the id and the superego but the conflict is between God and man. And the universe stands with that glaring picture of the reality of life – that man is a sinner in need of God’s redemptive power. We can never escape this fact. + Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Those who in repentance and faith follow Jesus through baptism and along the road He leads us will hear that same voice from heaven speaking to us as well, our loving Father, affirming us as His children, equipping us with His Spirit so that our lives are made clean and ready for the wilderness journey ahead. + N.T. Wright 
The devil is another name for our impatience. We want bread, we want to force God’s hand to rescue us, we want peace – and we want all this now. But Jesus is our Bread, He is our salvation, and He is our peace. That He is so requires that we learn to wait with Him in a world of hunger, idolatry, and war to witness to the slow Kingdom coming. … But have we become like the Pharisees and Sadducees, leaders who assume that our task is to protect ourselves and others from the demands of the Gospel? Do we really believe that the Father’s love in God’s Word can sustain us? Stanley Hauerwas

Old Testament Scripture Reading

“‘For I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave your fathers; you will be My people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness." + Ezekiel 36:24-29a

New Testament Sermon Text Matthew 3:13 - 4:11

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

Eucharist | Thanking God for Communion with Christ and His Church

Corporate Prayer of Confession and Assurance
Isaiah 6:5-8; Daniel 9:4-19; Nehemiah 1:5-10; Luke 23:34

One: God, our Creator, Redeemer, and Righteous Judge,
You resist the proud and give grace to the humble.
Turn us to You, Father, wash us by Your Spirit and fire,
and clothe us in Jesus' righteousness.

All: Humble us today, Jesus. Show us Your Way.
We confess that we have made Your straight ways crooked.
May we die to our pride so we can live in Your hope.
Forgive us by the riches of Your grace.

Silent Personal Reflection and Confession

One: Jesus, our Rescuer and our Champion,
You are faithful. You draw near to us.
Help us to remember our baptisms
and our identity in You.
And may we share in more baptisms
because of how You are bringing
new life to individuals and families.
Jesus, You are the Good News:

All: In You, we are forgiven!

Come People of the Risen King
By Stuart Townend
2007 A.D.

Come people 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!"

By Ike Ndolo
2013 A.D.
My bones are weak in me

And my eyes are closed
Because of what they've seen.

I'm stuck in smoke and fire

And it's getting hard to breathe.

My spirit chokes in me

And now I cannot stand,

I'm on my knees.

Hope is coming again!
Come on down to the riverside!
Come on down and get baptized!
Come on down to the riverside
'Cause we've got to die
To make it out alive.

This water brings me life,

Renews my soul

And returns my sight.

My heart was cold as ice

But you made it beat again.

My days had turned to night

But You called my name

And gave me back the Light.

You're bringing hope back again!
I've seen the sum of my tragedies,
Cripple me,
So come and set me free!

'Cause everyone needs a remedy

Love can bring,
Let it wash us clean!
God I Look to You
By Bethel Music
2013 A.D.
God I look to You
And I won’t be overwhelmed.
Give me vision
To see things like You do.

God I look to You,
You’re where my help comes from.
Give me wisdom,
You know just what to do. 

And I will love You, Lord, my Strength!
And I will love You, Lord, my Shield!
And I will love You, Lord, my Rock!
Forever all my days, I will love YouGod!

Hallelujah! Our God reigns!
Hallelujah! Our God reigns!
Hallelujah! Our God reigns!
Forever all my days, Hallelujah!

Great Are You LORD
By All Sons and Daughters
2013 A.D.

You give life, You are love,
You bring light to the darkness.
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken.
Great are You, LORD.

It's Your breath in our lungs,
So we pour out our praise,
We pour out our praise.
It's Your breath in our lungs,
So we pour out our praise to You only.

All the earth will shout Your praise,
Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing,
Great are You, LORD!”
By Tasha Cobbs & Will Reagan
2013 & 2015 A.D.

There is power 
In the name of Jesus;
There is power 
In the name of Jesus;
There is power 
In the name of Jesus
To break every chain,
Break every chain,
Break every chain!

All sufficient sacrifice,
So freely given,
Such a price 
Bought My redemption,
Heaven's gates swing wide.

There's an army rising up!
There's an army rising up!
There's an army rising up
To break every chain,
Break every chain,
Break every chain!

I hear the chains falling!

You provide the fire,
I'll provide the sacrifice.
You provide the Spirit,
I will open inside.

Fill me up, God,
Fill me up, God,
Fill me up, God,
Fill me up.

Love of God,
All my soul!

Fill me up
Until I overflow!
I want to run over,
I want to run over!

By Ike Ndolo
2013 A.D.

My hands shake with guilt and shame,
Still You love me, love me.
Your eyes are bright
And shine so full of mercy, mercy.

Jesus, Bread of Life, Bread for all.
This is my offering, this my everything,
The Son of God who bled and died
And rose again for me.

Your flesh You gave for all
So we could see You, see You.
Your blood poured for all
So we could know You, know You.

Heidelberg Catechism
Q&A 1, 1563 A.D.

What is your only comfort in life and death?
A. That I am not my own, 1 
but belong with body and soul,
both in life and in death, 2
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. 3
He has fully paid for all my sins
with His precious blood, 4
and has set me free
from all the power of the devil. 5
He also preserves me in such a way 6
that without the will of my heavenly Father
not a hair can fall from my head; 7
indeed, all things must work together
for my salvation. 8
Therefore, by His Holy Spirit
He also assures me
of eternal life 9
and makes me heartily willing and ready
from now on to live for Him. 10

1. 1 Cor 6:19, 20.
2. Rom 14:7-9.
3. 1 Cor 3:23; Tit 2:14.
4. 1 Pet 1:18, 19; 1 Jn 1:7; 2:2.
5. Jn 8:34-36; Heb 2:14, 15; 1 Jn 3:8.
6. Jn 6:39, 40; 10:27-30; 2 Thess 3:3; 1 Pet 1:5.
7. Mt 10:29-31; Lk 21:16-18.
8. Rom 8:28.
9. Rom 8:15, 16; 2 Cor 1:21, 22; 5:5; Eph 1:13, 14.
10. Rom 8:14.


Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus—the great Shepherd of the sheep—through the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip you with everything good to do His will, working in us what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. + Hebrews 13:20-21
Christ is all,

Rev. Mike “Sully” Sullivan

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