September 27, 2020

We continue this Sunday in our Matthew series, discussing “Jesus and Generosity.”

Why are we in Matthew? 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.

Additionally, this Sunday, September 27, we’re joining with thousands of churches across America in what’s being called “Repentance Sunday.” During each of our services we’ll take time to pause, repent, and pray for revival across our cities and world. More on that below!

Here’s how you can prepare for this Sunday:

1. Read our text, Matthew 6:1–4.

See passage

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

This teaching marks the beginning of a new section in the Sermon on the Mount. The focus of this section is the call to pay attention to your inner motives for good works. Jesus is teaching that His Kingdom people ought to be driven by a healthy desire to please their Heavenly Father rather than by cravings for public notoriety and human approval. To work out this teaching in real life, Jesus gives three examples of core spiritual practices that marked Jewish religious life: giving to the needy, prayer, and fasting.

Jesus assumes that giving to the needy is a part of the life of His listeners. He doesn’t expand on the practice here, but instead focuses on the heart motivation. He says that those who perform good works like giving to the needy in order to be seen by people are like performers who may receive applause from people, but they won’t receive anything from God. On the other hand, those who freely give out of love for people will be rewarded by their Heavenly Father.

2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:


Don’t use Spotify? Click the song title below to see song on YouTube.

CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 121:1–3:

See passage

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.

Fall Afresh (Jeremy Riddle)

PRAYER OF CONFESSION: Adapted from The Worship Sourcebook:

The phrases below in regular text will be read by the leader. The bolded text will be read all-together.

Lord, You said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
Forgive us our lukewarm love and our disobedience.

Lord, You said, “You may ask for anything in my name.”
Forgive us when we think we need to solve our own problems.

Lord, You said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
We confess that our lives are often consumed by worry and anxiety.

Lord, You said, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.”
Forgive us our barren lives, Lord.

Lord, You said, “You must testify, for you have been with me.”
We confess, Lord, that we have been too often silent.

Lord, You said, “Love each other as I have loved you.”
We confess that we are quick to anger, contempt, and division.

Lord, You said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”
We confess that we often seek first our own little kingdoms of material comforts, human approval, and personal glory.

In these and in so many other ways, we confess our failures and shortcomings. Amen.

PRAYER FOR REVIVAL: Reflection on Ephesians 3:14–21 (NIV):

The phrases below in regular text will be read by the leader. The bolded text will be read all-together.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from Whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

Father, today we kneel with our brothers and sisters around the nation, and we confess that we need You. We need Your Spirit to revive our hearts, our churches, and our cities.

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Father we pray that You would pour out Your Spirit of power on us so that we would truly and experientially know the immeasurable love that You have for us in Christ. And we pray that You would fill us up with Your fullness, that we would be a fresh and radiant reflection of Your glory to the world around us.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Father, just like You brought revival to communities and cities and nations of old, we pray that You would do it again. We can’t do anything apart from You. Let us be a generation that seeks Your face! Give us a blazing passion for Christ and His Kingdom—and do in us and through us more than we could ever ask or imagine. For the sake of Your Kingdom and Your glory. Amen.

Give Us Clean Hands (Charlie Hall)
Rock Of Ages (Augustus Montague Toplady arr. Page CXVI)

PASSING THE PEACE

What is Passing the Peace?
(Click to Read)

When we’ve met as a large group on Sundays, we’ve always had a time of greeting one another after singing. Many churches call this time “passing the peace.” In some church traditions, one person will say to another, “The peace of Christ be with you” to which the other person responds, “And also with you.”

While potentially unfamiliar for some, we felt that “passing the peace” during greeting times at home could be a powerful act in this age marked by very little external peace. In Isaiah 9, Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace. He wants His kingdom to be marked by this very peace! We want to “pass” to one another this peace that only Jesus can give, especially at a time like this.

It might feel a bit cheesy, but we encourage you to actually pray the peace of God over each other during our times. We encourage you to look into each other’s eyes as you say, “The peace of Christ be with you!” and have others respond with, “And also with you.” Be open-hearted to Jesus, asking Him to fill you with His peace.

SERMON & COMMUNION

Take My Life And Let It Be (Frances Ridley Havergal, Henri Abraham Cesar Malan)

BENEDICTION

Related:

November 29, 2020

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

November 22, 2020

Thursday, November 19, 2020

November 15, 2020

Thursday, November 12, 2020