Psalm 30:1-5 1 I will exalt you, LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths… 2 LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. 3 You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. 4 Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
The first section of this psalm is the summary praise for deliverance from dying. The word “heal” more than likely includes the idea of forgiveness. The rest of the psalm will confirm this idea here because the psalmist will acknowledge that his presumptuous attitude was met with God’s anger. The deliverance is explained more clearly in verse 3: God prevented him from dying.
The psalmist turns to exhort the congregation to join him in praising the LORD. The people are addressed as God’s “beloved,” a word related to “loyal love.” The substance of their praise is the lesson of verse 5. The English translations usually read smoothly, but the Hebrew is… as if the ideas were being proclaimed ecstatically: “For a moment his anger, a lifetime in his favor; in the evening weeping may lodge, but in the morning a ringing cry.” (Ross, Allen P. Kregel Exegetical Library. A Commentary on the Psalms. P. 668)
Prayer: I will exalt you, Lord, for I called to you, and you forgave me. Thank you for your favor that lasts for a lifetime and into eternity! Fill me and your beloved church to worship you today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship the Lord in song with “Living Hope” by Phil Wickham (click here).
Let’s read aloud together the following passage and prayer:
Lamentations 3:21-26, 55-58 (ESV)
This I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
I called on your name, LORD,
from the depths of the pit.
You heard my plea.
You came near when I called you,
and you said, “Do not fear.”
You have taken up my cause, O Lord;
you have redeemed my life.
Thank you, Lord, for who you are and all you have done! Thank you that I can live in hope today because of your ways. Your love never ceases. Fill me with your Holy Spirit to live a life of passion and love for you and for those around me. Your mercies never come to an end. Help me to be merciful today, and to live in forgiveness with my brothers and sisters whom you love. When I called on your name, you heard my plea and redeemed my life. Fill me with your Spirit to proclaim to my own heart and to my world what you have done. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship the Lord in song with “I Have a Savior” (click here).
5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 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 through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8.5-9)
“Without [the Spirit] you can do nothing. It is the Spirit of God who raises dead sinners at first into a divine life, and he puts all the languid springs of life into new motion… [It is] he who awakens our fear, who excites our hopes, who kindles our love and desire to things holy and heavenly and [it is] he who exalts our spiritual joys.” (Isaac Watts, Discourses of the Love of God, p. 273)
Let’s pray: Lord, influence me through your Spirit. May the breath of your Spirit blow through me, that your love in me would be rekindled. May I have a burning passion for things that are holy and heavenly. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “Holy Spirit” (Brian & Katie Torwalt). Click here.
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. […] 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18.10, 21-22)
“Matthew 18:10-14 addresses how we view those that God cherishes. They are his little ones, his sheep worth finding, who he is happy to bring back from going astray. He is not willing that they should perish. Their angels always see the face of the Father in heaven. We must watch ourselves—see that—we do not despise—but rather see God’s little ones as he does. This is our starting point for all that follows.
“In Matthew 18:21-22, it seems to be dawning on Peter that this kind of life then will mean there will be much forgiveness going on within the body of Christ. Just how many times is adequate before you ‘give up’ on someone? Or just how much sin is too much?” (Brenda Rapp)
Let’s pray: Father, help me to love my brothers and sisters with your love; to see them as you do, to cherish them as you do. Out of love for you, may I freely forgive any offenses. May your Spirit help me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “Living Hope” (Phil Wickham). Click here.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11.27-30)
“Jesus offers a new invitation to ‘soul rest,’ a rest deeper than just a physical or mental break. Jesus speaks of a life that is at rest—which speaks to the purpose and plan of God for his people. He desires us to come alongside him, to be yoked with him in his direction, to bear his burden and find that it is a lighter load than we could imagine.” (P. Nate)
Lord, thank you for inviting me into your true rest. I need this so much. You are the only one who can truly restore my soul. To rest in you, to trust your purpose and plans for me, this is where I belong. Jesus, I want to learn from you, to be gentle and humble in heart. In Your name, amen.
Let’s sing “Invitacion Fountain” (Michael J. Pritzl). Click here.
11 “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-4 NIV)
“This is the message that Moses gave the Israelites as an instruction on how to return and remain in God’s purpose and plan—where his favor, compassion, and blessing are to be their experienced reality. However, all this blessing and favor was contingent upon their obedience to the Lord… This understanding of God’s word being in our mouths and in our hearts has the echo of Ezekiel 36 and Jeremiah 31… where God’s word will be written upon our hearts by the very finger of God. Hence our obedience to the Lord is not based upon our abilities or willpower, but upon the obedience to God’s word that has been written upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” (P. Gus)
Let’s pray: Father God, we proclaim, “Jesus is Lord”! Help us to remain in your purpose and plan. We trust in your Spirit who dwells in us. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “In Christ Alone” (K. Getty and S. Townend) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=est8VHSaJcE
Let’s read aloud together the following passage, confession and prayer:
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12.9-12 NIV)
29b “‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12.29b-31)
Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people, that bringing forth in abundance the fruit of good works, they may be abundantly rewarded when our Savior Jesus Christ comes to restore all things; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer, 2019)
Lord, we belong entirely to you, body and soul. Let every part of our being praise you, our Creator, our heavenly Father. Our lives are not our own, for you have redeemed us. Fill us now with your Spirit, empowering us to do your will. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “Consuming Fire” (Tim Hughes). Click here.
1 Cor 15:51-52 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
“People often think that ‘resurrection’ simply means ‘life after death’ or ‘going to heaven’, but in the Jewish world of the first century it meant a new embodied life in God’s new world; a life after ‘life after death’, if you like. But the new body which will be given at the end is not identical to the previous one. In an act of new creation parallel only to the original creation itself, God will make a new type of material, no longer subject to death, out of the old one. In Jesus’ case, of course, this happened right away, without his original body decaying, so that the new body was actually the transformation of the old one. For the rest of us, whose bodies will decay, and whose bones may well be burnt, it will take a complete act of new creation. The new body – and this is the point – will belong in both the dimensions of God’s world, in both heaven and earth.” [Wright, Tom. Luke for Everyone, 300]
The bodily resurrection of Jesus gives us a preview of our own bodily resurrection on that final day. We will receive new bodies that are suitable for the presence of God in the new creation, free from decay and bondage, free from sin and death. What a hope we have! May this living hope change our entire outlook on life. May it lead us to greater generosity, hope, and love for others because our future is secure.
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, what an incredible inheritance I have in the resurrection of the saints! May my present insecurities and discouragements flee in view of this living hope. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Endless Hallelujah” by Matt Redman (click here).
Luke 24:30-33 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
“Only with him at our side will our hearts burn within us (verse 32), and lead us to the point where we see him face to face.” [Wright, Tom. Luke for Everyone, 295]
The resurrected Jesus is alive and still showing up when we gather. His presence can be felt. It is recognizable. There is a kind of “heart burn” we experience when he speaks. Do we not sense him in our Bible Study? Is he not present as we worship on Sunday? Let us be the people of his presence. May those who gather with us also experience the “heart burn” of hearing Jesus speak, opening the Scriptures to us.
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the presence of our risen Lord. Attune our hearts even more to the voice and presence of Jesus as we gather and seek your face. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song “King Jesus” by Matt Redman (click here).
1 Cor 15:20-23 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
“Just as the ‘first fruits’ or the first taste of the ripening crop show what the rest of the harvest will be like for that crop, so Christ as the ‘first fruits’ shows what our resurrection bodies will be like when, in God’s final ‘harvest,’ he raises us from the dead and brings us into his presence.” [Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, 615.]
As the first fruit, Jesus is the ultimate pattern breaker. He is writing a new kind of human story, one which does not end in death. If Jesus can break the pattern of death in the human story, what other patterns can he break in our lives? There is no pattern too great for Jesus to rewrite.
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, I believe that Jesus has broken the pattern of Adam through the resurrection. By your Holy Spirit, break and rewrite the patterns in my life today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Old for New” by Bethel (click here).