image :: The Sower, Jean-François Millet (1850, French)
Preparation for Worship on June 18 2017 :: His Inexpressible Gift
“Through the work of the Spirit, the heavenly Father gives you to Jesus and gives Jesus to you. You have Him.” (Sinclair Ferguson)
“Every time I give, I declare money does not control me. Perpetual generosity is a perpetual de-deification of money.” (Kent Hughes)
Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for June 18 include ::
:: God is Love Let Heaven Adore Him (Timothy Rees, 1922) CHART :: Jesus, Lover of My Soul (Charles Wesley, 1740) CHART :: How Deep the Father’s Love for Us (Stuart Townend, 1995) CHART :: Arise My Soul, Arise (Charles Wesley, 1742) CHART :: Doxology (Thomas Ken, 1709) CHART :: Sovereign Grace O’er Sin Abounding (John Kent, b.1766) CHART
Call to Worship :: Isaiah 55:10-12
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
Confession of Sin
Father in heaven, we thank You for the freedom You have given us through the life, death, and resurrection of Your Son. But we confess today that we often live like slaves. Instead of living like You delight in us, we avoid You in shame and guilt. Instead of receiving Your favor as a gift, we try to earn it with our efforts. Instead of accepting Your freedom, we prefer our chains. Instead of pursuing Your purposes, we cling to our short-sighted agendas. Forgive us. Restore us. Cleanse us. Heal us. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Words of Encouragement :: I John 4:9-10
This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Old Testament Reading :: Psalm 112
Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor. The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish!
Sermon :: II Corinthians 9:1-15
1 Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints, 2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3 But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction.
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!