Author Archives: Kevin Greene

June 18 2017 Worship Recap :: His Inexpressible Gift

::  Download the 6.18.2017 Worship Study Guide and Sermon Notes
::  Download the 6.18.2017 Bulletin
::  Download the 6.18.2017 Sermon Audio 

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, 1995CHART :: 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, 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. 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. 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. 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.

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 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. 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!

June 11 2017 Worship Recap :: This Grace of Giving

::  Download the 6.11.2017 Worship Study Guide and Sermon Notes
::  Download the 6.11.2017 Bulletin
::  Download the 6.11.2017 Sermon Audio

image :: The Harvesters, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1873, French)

Preparation for Worship on June 11 2017 :: This Grace of Giving

“Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.” (II Chronicles 29:14)

“Giving… is the action that was designed into us before our birth. Some of us try desperately to hold on to ourselves, to live for ourselves. We look so bedraggled and pathetic doing it, hanging on to the dead branch of a bank account for dear life, afraid to risk ourselves on the untried wings of giving. We don’t think we can live generously because we have never tried. But the sooner we start, the better, for we are going to have to give up our lives finally, and the longer we wait, the less time we have for the soaring and swooping life of grace.” (Eugene Peterson)

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for June 11 include ::

:: And Can It Be That I Should Gain? (Charles Wesley, 1738) CHART :: Gloria Patri (2nd Century Hymn) CHART :: Give Me Jesus (African-American Spiritual) CHART :: We Will Feast In the House of Zion (Sandra McCracken, 2015) CHART :: When I Survey The Wondrous Cross (Isaac Watts, 1707) CHART :: Doxology (Thomas Ken, 1709) CHART :: Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness (Nicolaus von Zinzendorf, 1739) CHART

Call to Worship :: I Chronicles 29:10-13

Blessed are You, O Lord, the God of Israel our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is Yours. Yours is the Kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all. In Your hand are power and might, and in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank You, our God, and praise Your glorious name.

Confession of Sin :: The Book of Common Prayer

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us.

Words of Encouragement :: II Corinthians 8:9

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.

Gospel Reading :: John 10:10-11

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

Sermon :: II Corinthians 8:1-24

1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.

I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

16 But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. 17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord. 18 With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel. 19 And not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of grace that is being ministered by us, for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will. 20 We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, 21 for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man. 22 And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men.

June 4 2017 Worship Recap :: Godly Grief

::  Download the 6.4.2017 Worship Study Guide and Sermon Notes
::  Download the 6.4.2017 Bulletin
::  Download the 6.4.2017 Sermon Audio

image :: Old Man In Sorrow (On The Threshold Of Eternity), Vincent van Gogh (1890, Dutch)

Preparation for Worship on June 4 2017 :: Godly Grief

“We do not grieve as those who have no hope.”  I Thessalonians 4:13

“The repentance that accompanies salvation is a continued act, a repentance never to be repented of (II Corinthian 7:10). Repentance is a continual spring, where the waters of godly sorrow are always flowing… The work of repentance is not the work of an hour, a day, a year, but the work of this life. A sincere penitent makes as much conscience of repenting daily as he doth of believing daily… The penitent soul never ceases repenting till he ceases living. He goes to heaven with the joyful tears of repentance in his eyes.”  Thomas Brooks

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for June 4 include ::

:: Come Ye Sinners (Joseph Hart, 1759) CHART :: Help My Unbelief (John Newton, 1791) CHART :: Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior (Fanny Crosby, 1868) CHART :: Rock of Ages, When the Day Seems Long (Sandra McCracken, 2005) CHART :: Doxology (Thomas Ken, 1709) CHART ::  Kindness  (Giglio, Reeves, Tomlin, 2000) CHART  //  AUDIO

Call to Worship :: Jeremiah 31:10,12-14

Hear the word of the Lord, you nations;
proclaim it in distant coastlands:
He who scattered Israel will gather them
and will watch over His flock like a shepherd.
They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion;
they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord.
“I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
I will satisfy the priests with abundance,
and my people will be filled with my bounty,”
declares the Lord.

Confession of Sin :: Psalm 51:1-12

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You may be justified in Your words and blameless in Your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, You delight in truth in the inward being, and You teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Words of Encouragement :: from Isaiah 53:4-5

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed.

Gospel Reading :: Luke 19:1-10

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Sermon :: II Corinthians 7:5-16

For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 11 For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. 12 So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. 13 Therefore we are comforted.

And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 14 For whatever boasts I made to him about you, I was not put to shame. But just as everything we said to you was true, so also our boasting before Titus has proved true. 15 And his affection for you is even greater, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice, because I have complete confidence in you.

May 28 2017 Worship Recap :: Overflowing with Joy

::  Download the 5.28.2017 Worship Study Guide and Sermon Notes
::  Download the 5.28.2017 Bulletin
::  Download the 5.28.2017 Sermon Audio 

image :: The Moon Over A Waterfall, Hiroshige (d.1858, Japanese)

Preparation for Worship on May 28 2017 :: Overflowing with Joy

“Christ came chiefly for this reason: that we might learn how much God loves us, and might learn this to the end that we begin to glow with love of Him by whom we were first loved, and so might love our neighbor at the bidding and after the example of Him who made Himself our neighbor by loving us.”  (Augustine)

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for May 28 include ::

:: Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing (Robert Robinson, 1758) CHART :: Psalm 147, Praise the Lord, O Zion (Wendell Kimbrough, 2015) CHART :: Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting (Jean S. Pigott, 1876) CHART :: Blessed Be Your Name (Matt Redman, 2005) CHART :: Doxology (Thomas Ken, 1709) CHART :: How Can I Keep From Singing? (Robert Lowry, 1868) CHART 

Call to Worship :: Psalm 34:1-5

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together! I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.

Confession of Sin

Heavenly Father, loving King, all of our sins are laid bare before Your eyes: We promote ourselves, and overlook those around us. We have nursed anger and envy, and have forsaken Your humility, gentleness, patience, love and unity. We tie our joy to our circumstances, rather than to Your Gospel. We repent of our fruitless wanderings, and ask that You renew us in Jesus Christ. Let us hear Your voice saying: “Awake and rise! His blood is your peace, His death is your life, His Spirit is your power.” Restore to us the joy of Your salvation and persuade us that a life lived in Your service is a life of perfect freedom. Amen.

Words of Encouragement :: Acts 10:43

All the prophets testify about Jesus Christ that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.

Old Testament Reading :: Isaiah 62:1-5

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch. The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

Sermon :: II Corinthians 7:2-4

Make room in your hearts for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

WEPC Summer Fellowship Every Wednesday at 7:30PM

Peace & Reconciliation
7:30PM Wednesdays in June, WEPC Chapel

WEPC’s Visiting Theologian, South Sudanese Bishop Bismark Avokaya, will lead us through several passages to consider Biblical themes of conflict, peace, justice, reconciliation & their fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

Questions? Contact Kevin Greene, kevin@wepc.org or Shangwok Deng, shangwok@wepc.org

God Created: A Study of Genesis 1-3
7:30PM Wednesdays in July & August, WEPC Chapel

Join us this summer for God Created!  We’ll walk through Genesis 1-3 and consider who God is and what it means for us to be made in His image. Outspoken skeptics, new Christians, and long-time believers are encouraged to attend.  Feel free to bring others, and drop in whenever you are in town!

Led by Kevin Greene & Shangwok Deng.

May 21 2017 Worship Recap :: We Are The Temple

::  Download the 5.21.2017 Worship Study Guide and Sermon Notes
::  Download the 5.21.2017 Bulletin
::  Download the 5.21.2017 Sermon Audio

image :: Temple Garden, Paul Klee (Swiss, 1920)

Preparation for Worship on May 21 2017 :: We Are The Temple

“Only humanity in its entirety– as one complete organism, summed up under a single head, spread out over the whole earth, as prophet proclaiming the truth of God, as priest dedicating itself to God, as ruler controlling the earth and the whole of creation– only it is the fully finished image, the most telling and striking likeness of God. Scripture clearly teaches all this when it says that the church is the bride of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit, the dwelling of God, the new Jerusalem to which all the glory of the nations will be brought… a kingdom of God, a holy humanity, in which God is all in all.”  (Herman Bavinck)

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for May 21 include ::

:: My Jesus, I Love Thee (Featherstone, 1864 CHART :: Jesus Paid It All (Elvina M.Hall, 1865) CHART :: All Ye Refugees (Scott, Haddock & Paris, 2015CHART :: Doxology (Thomas Ken, 1709) CHART :: Lord I Need You (Matt Maher, 2013) CHART :: Sovereign Grace O’er Sin Abounding (John Kent, b.1766) CHART

Call to Worship :: Psalm 99:1-3, 5

The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! The Lord is great in Zion; He is exalted over all the peoples. Let them praise your great and awesome name! Holy is He! Exalt the Lord our God; worship at His footstool! Holy is He!

Confession of Sin

Heavenly Father, not one day of our lives has passed that has not proved us guilty in Your sight.  We have sinned against You in our thoughts, words and deeds. All things in us call for rejection. Yet, all things in Christ plead our acceptance. And so, You have claimed us as your own. Though we were guilty, in Jesus we are forgiven. Though we were wandering, in Him we are found. Though we have sinned, in Him we are cleansed. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, You shattered the power of sin and death.  Help us to live for You as dead to sin and alive to righteousness through Jesus our Redeemer.  Renew us continually in His grace.  Amen.

Words of Encouragement :: I John 1:5-9

God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Old Testament Reading :: Zephaniah 3:14-19

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Sermon :: II Corinthians 6:14-7:1

6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”

7:1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.