March 8, 2020
This is the seventh week of our series in Matthew. In the scope of the whole book (and our greater, three-part series), this week marks the end of the introduction to the story (Matthew 1:1–4:11) and the beginning of the first grand section (Matthew 4:12–7:29), which we’ve titled “The Upside Down Kingdom”. This week we see Jesus begin to invite people into His kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven.
As a reminder, the Gospel According to Matthew is one of the earliest biographies of Jesus, presenting Jesus not as a mere historical figure, but as “good news” for the world that should reshape every part of life. As we continue to engage with this book this Sunday, here’s how you can prepare your heart in advance:
1. Read our text, Matthew 4:12–25.
This story marks the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry and introduces us to the core message of Jesus: “Turn to me, The Kingdom of Heaven is here.” Jesus is announcing to the world that He is God’s chosen King, and He has come to establish God’s reign on Earth as it is in Heaven. The message is profound, and it demands a response. Either people will believe that He is the King and turn to Him, or they will reject Him as King and continue going their own way. In the story, we see the powerful transformation that is experienced by those who believe His message and follow Him. The arrival of Jesus and His Kingdom is good news for the world, and His invitation continues to extend today through His people to all nations and all generations, “Follow me.”
2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:
CALL TO WORSHIP: Joel 2:12–13, Greeting:
To those who feel half-hearted
and to those whose hearts are full;
To those who sin and need a Savior
And to those who wonder if God is really good.
May we together hear the gracious and merciful voice of Jesus
calling out to us today:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Yet Even Now (Joel Limpic)
You Keep On Getting Better (Dante Bowe, Jonathan Jay, Majesty Rose)
CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Book of Common Prayer:
Most merciful God
whose Son, Jesus Christ, was tempted in every way, yet was without sin,
we confess before You our own sinfulness;
we have hungered after that which does not satisfy;
we have compromised with evil;
we have doubted Your power to protect us.
Forgive our lack of faith; have mercy on our weakness.
Restore in us such trust and love that we may walk in Your ways
and delight in doing Your will. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON: Isaiah 55:1–3
O Come To The Altar (Brock, Brown, Furtick, Joye)
GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE & COMMUNION
Jesus, Strong And Kind (Buchanan, Farren, Robinson, Thompson)
Revive Us Again (Hall, Husband, Mackay, Ragland) / Sometimes By Step (Rich Mullens, David (Beaker) Strasser)