Friday, May 11, 2018

Sermon on the Mount Series | Matthew 5:38-48: Bless, Love, and Flourish for Your Enemy + Saturday, May 5, 2018

Jesus prescribed aggressive, nonviolent, rehumanizing retaliation. They are overt acts of love to awaken the humanity within the opponent who has fallen under the power of sin. + Jeff Cook, Seven: The Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes

Old Testament Scriptures | Isaiah 33:17-24
New Testament Scriptures | Matthew 5:38-48

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

Call: Jesus, Your forgiveness for us is astounding.
We slapped Your face. We stripped You naked.
We made You walk the road of Calvary.
We took Your life and take advantage of the life
You give us. We crucified You.

 Please forgive us again, Jesus.
Thank You that You loved us when we
were Your enemies. Pray and intercede for us
to receive Your forgiveness and to give it
to others as freely as You give to us.

Silent Personal Reflection and Confession

Call: King Jesus, continue to powerfully ignite in us
Your forgiveness by the command of Your Word
and by the power of Your Holy Spirit
so that we become image bearers of You.
Empower us to do the work You've given us as we pray:

Response: Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil for Thine is the
Kingdom and the power and the glory
now and forever. Amen.

Spirituality Questions

Are you curious? Consider asking someone a question or two about Jesus and Christian spirituality even if you don't believe.

Are you open? Consider your emotional and spiritual needs, and step into asking if Jesus can meet them and help you.

Are you searching? Consider exploring more about Jesus even if you are not sure who He is; example: "If I could ask Jesus one honest question that would help me trust Him, what would I ask?"

Are you beginning to believe? Consider how your life would be transformed if you followed Jesus. Ask God to help you understand the Good News that through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, He is restoring everything sin has ruined in your life and in the world.


Malachite and azurite are strikingly beautiful in the form of rock, but to use them for nihonga one must pulverize them, shatter them into small prismatic pieces. They are to be layered, sometimes over sixty layers, to create a refractive surface. It is a laborious, slow process. Nihonga is slow art. The layers take time to dry, and in the act of waiting an image is revealed. … The surface of this slow art is prismatic, so at first glance the malachite surface looks green. But if the eye is allowed to linger on the surface – it usually takes ten minutes for the eye to adjust – the observer can begin to see the rainbow created by layer upon layer of broken shards of minerals. Such a contemplative experience can be a deep sensory journey toward wisdom. + Makoto Fujimura: Nihonga Art Process

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

Eucharist | Thanking God for Communion with Christ and His Church

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.

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!

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
By Matt Redman
2012 A.D.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul,
Oh my soul,
Worship His holy name!
Sing like never before,
Oh my soul,
I'll worship Your holy name.

The sun comes up,
It's a new day dawning.
It's time to sing Your song again.
Whatever may pass,
And whatever lies before me,
Let me be singing
When the evening comes!

You're rich in love
And You're slow to anger.
Your name is great
And Your heart is kind.
For all Your goodness
I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons
For my heart to find!

And on that day
When my strength is failing,
The end draws near
And my time has come,
Still my soul will
Sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years
And then forevermore!

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!

May Your Power Rest on Me
By Isaac Watts; Sojourn Music
Early 1700s A.D.; 2009 A.D.

Let me hear my Savior say
“Your strength shall return.”
Then I’ll rejoice in my weakness
As I lean on Your grace,
As I lean on Your grace.

May Your power rest on me.
You are strong when I am weak.
I can bear all things
When temptation springs
For You sustain me all my days.

Let me know my Savior’s face.
Let my hope be secure.
Then I’ll rejoice in my weakness
As I lean on Your grace,
As I lean on Your grace.

Once from the Lord withdrawn
I thought that I could live my life alone.
Leaving the solid ground,
I sank beneath His wisdom.
The harder I tried to climb,
The closer I was to find
How great is my weakness.

Though the trial still goes on,
Your grace will be my song!
For I can bear all things
When temptation springs
For You sustain me all my days.

The Rock Won't Move
By Vertical Church Band
2013 A.D.

When the ground beneath my feet gives way,
And I hear the sound of crashing waves,
All my world is washing out to sea.
I'm hidden safe in the God who never moves,
Holding fast to the promise of the truth
That You are holding tighter still to me.

The Rock won't move and His word is strong,
The Rock won't move and His love can't be undone!
The Rock won't move and His word is strong,
The Rock won't move and His love can't be undone,
The Rock of our Salvation!

My hope is in the promise of Your blood,
My support within the raging flood,
Even in the tempest, I can sing!
I'm hidden safe in the God who never moves,
Holding fast to the promise of Your truth
That You are holding tighter still to me!

Woah, Woah, Woah, the Rock of our salvation!

On Christ the Solid Rock we stand,
All other ground is sinking sand,
The Rock won't move, the Rock won't move!
When darkness seems to hide His face,
We rest on His unchanging grace,
The Rock won't move, the Rock won't move!

Our World Belongs to God Q&A 41
2008 A.D.

Q 41: What is the mission of God’s people?
A: To join Him in the world as His Church,
being sent with Jesus' 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. The
Spirit calls all members to embrace God’s
mission in their 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

Sermon on the Mount Benediction 
Based on Matthew 5-7

King Jesus, please bless us to embrace the joy
You give us in our brokenness and mourning,
eternal blessing that humbles the might,
intellect, and comforts of this current world.
Transform us into Your Kingdom community
through the crucible of Your way of the cross.
Write Your Kingdom rule and reign on our hearts
making us pure by Your perfect love, mercy, and justice.
May a watching world see Your light, taste Your salt,
and be welcomed into Your city on a hill through us.
Embolden us to be Your Kingdom ambassadors,
change agents who display the Good News You offer.
Make us decrease so that You might increase.
Stir in us Your grace, compassion, and sacrifice
for those who would seek to marginalize
and silence us because of You.
Everything we need is Yours to give us.
You are the treasure that we desperately seek.
You invite us home as prodigals
returning to our Father’s embrace;
Your prayer for the Kingdom coming
provides the answer to all our longings.
Free us of any fear, distraction, craving, or anxiety
that would keep us from fully following You
and building our lives on the Rock that is Your Word.
By Your Holy Spirit, keep us on
Your path of justice and righteousness.
It is with You, King Jesus, that hope is secure,
for us and all of creation, now and forever.

Now go in the blessing and name of King Jesus
by the power of His personally-transforming
grace and world-restoring peace. Amen.

Next post: Sermon on the Mount | Matthew 6:1-8: Our Father Knows

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike "Sully" Sullivan

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