Today’s service opened with a reading of Psalm 8, presented by Deacon Wally Jeffries. He followed this with a prayer, asking God to forgive us for not reading His Word as often as we should, and praying for those who could not be with us today for health or travel reasons.
Minister of Praise and Worship, Johann Kim, spoke about how the short passage from the book of Psalms gives mighty proclamations of God’s glory and majesty, then led the gathered through a set of songs that focus’ attention to that same glory and majesty:
- Crown Him with Many Crowns
- I Stand Amazed in the Presence
- When I Look Into Your Holiness
- Resurrection Hymn
After a time of fellowship and greetings, Kim testified about God’s mighty hand. Kim reminded everyone about the orchestrated Biblical passages which were presented over a period of about 10 weeks. Kim told the congregation that these presentations were part of his Doctoral Dissertation in order to graduate from his current program. While he was composing this work, Kim started thinking that it could be used my missionaries all over the world because the music is set for each passage, and the dialog could be read in any language. Kim started to pray about different languages that could be recorded, but he knew the distribution of the work could be a limited due to distribution expenses. This past week, the Lord answered that prayer by providing a grant of $10,000 towards the duplication of the CDs and distribution. Kim gives glory to God for providing this, and prays that His kingdom is furthered though the readings of The Word.
Next, the choir ensemble sang the first two stanzas of Love Lifted Me, then was joined by the entire congregation for the last stanza. Interim Pastor, Ben Dockery, reviewed last week’s message and began to set mind of the gathered to this week’s lesson from Mark. Dockery then led the congregation in a pastoral prayer, including moments of silence to focus on His presence and His magnificance.
Prior to the weekly time of tithes and offerings, Mickie Bainter read Romans 8:1-17, then the entire body sang Glory Thy Name.
Dockery opened the teaching time with an explanation of why he likes everyone to stand for the reading of the weekly sermon passage — it is to honor the Word and recognize the power that It contains. He encouraged those who can stand again to do so, but understands that some are not able to. Today’s sermon opened with a brief overview of the events of the last week of Jesus life and some details from the Feast that celebrated Passover.
After Jesus told the parable of the Tenants last week, the religious leaders were furious with Jesus and were plotting to arrest him. This week, we looked at three traps that they set for Jesus to incriminate him. First, they asked him if they Should pay the citizenship tax to Caesar. Jesus confounds them with his answer by asking them to give him a denarius (implying that he, though King, had no money) and tell them whose image is on it. He says, “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”. Jesus isn’t setting up a counter kingdom to Caesar that would try to refuse payment of taxes. He is establishing a kingdom that demands not just your silver coins, but all of you- every part of you that bears the image of God. In the same way that they give Caesar the coins that bear his image on them, they should give their lives that bear the image of God. We were challenged to see if our lives reflected the nature and character of God.
The second trap came from the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. They asked about a woman who had 7 husbands die, and then said Whose wife will she be in the resurrection? Jesus explains that there is a definite resurrection and that they do not understand because they don’t understand the Scriptures. We discussed how even though we will not be ‘given in marriage’ after the resurrection, we will be fulfilled in Christ and experience full joy with those we have known on earth. This highlighted the last trap and the conclusion: What is the greatest Command? Jesus said that the Lord your God is one and we should love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and second, to love our neighbor as ourselves.
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After a time of response with the singing of Hymn 207, Name of All Majesty, announcements and a benediction reading of Psalm 50 were presented.