I have heard various references – meant seriously as well as joking – that 2020 will be a year that will never be forgotten. In saying that, the people reference Covid-19, social distancing, cash shortages, murder hornets, murderous police officers, destructive and murderous riots, monuments, social justice, economic collapse, the Anti-Christ, the mark of the beast – the list keeps on going and grows in intensity as it continues.
I cannot speak of where exactly this year is going. So much information and misinformation goes out in volumes that one cannot keep up. Social media allows for people to share their fears and bias without reading or regard for what is going on outside of one’s heart – or at least their thumbs and smart phone. BUT I can assure you of something: God is still on His throne.
Psalm 119:92 says, “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”
It is a time for the Church to pull back on the reins of our fear and remember that our fears and we are not Lord! We need to stop looking at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, the Grenada Star, the Clarion Ledger, the governor, or the president to be our Savior or to settle the fear in our hearts. None of them from Zuckerberg to Trump can save you. None of them can settle your fear. BUT, if we focus our hearts on the Savior and make His Word our delight, we will move from fear to hope.
Look at Titus 3:1-7 and see if the Word of God does not cover where we are and what we need to remember:
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. BUT when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
It covers the spectrum of emotion and fear and puts it all at the feet of the Savior. We need a reminder that we need less screen time and more knee time. We need a reminder that we do not need a phone to keep us connected but that we need to be connected to Christ (John 15:5). We do not need another report from the media but to repent to the Most High God.
And that’s what we are going to do as a church this Sunday. We are going to lift up our voices together to the Most High. We are going to worship Him in His triune splendor and ask Him to fill us with His Spirit, love us with His Father’s heart, and lift our eyes to our Resurrected King Jesus – to cast all our anxieties and fear on Him.
These verses were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:
- Titus 3:1-7 (above)
- Matthew 11:28-30 – [Jesus said] “Come to me, all you 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
Here are our songs:
- Holy Spirit – We are going to start our musical worship off with a prayer. We so often forget that God came and dwelt among us as Emmanuel – God with us – and that He is still with us today. If we are saved, we have His Spirit with us always and at all times. This prayer will be a reminder that, whether we are worshiping at home via Live, in the parking lot through a speaker, or in person, we need to God to flood us with His mercy and the power of His presence.
- Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: Matthew 13:44-46, Psalm 86:8, Proverbs 3:15, 1 Peter 1:3, Psalm 114:7, Psalm 34:8, 1 Peter 2:3, Galatians 5:1, Romans 8:1, Galatians 5:5, Romans 5:5, Psalm 105:3, Psalm 97:5, 2 Peter 1:3, Galatians 5:22-23
- The Father’s House – This song is new to us, but I think it will be a powerful reminder Sunday. I can remember, as a kid, singing a lot of songs about getting a mansion one day in Heaven. But the more I read and study the Bible I realize I will get a room in the Father’s house (John 14:1-6). When I am afraid – even as a large-sized adult man, my first longing is for the comfort I had with my daddy as a scared little kid. But there’s not a lot he can do with my grown-sized fear – I need my Father! This is a reminder of the care and forgiveness that only comes from Him!
- Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: John 21:15-19, Isaiah 57:10, 2 Corinthians 12:9, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Matthew 11:28-30, Ephesians 5:27, Hebrews 12:2, John 14:6, Hebrews 9:15, Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 64:8, John 3:16, Romans 5:6-8, Genesis 50:20, 1 John 4:8
- What a Beautiful Name – There’s just something about the name of Jesus! It is beautiful, wonderful, and powerful. Speaking His name goes a long way toward relieving our fears. My favorite part of this song is in the bridge: “You have no rivals / You have no equals / Now and forever, God, You reign / Yours is the Kingdom / Yours is the glory / Yours is the Name above all names.” Amen, and so it is! Nothing can compare to the glory and power of King Jesus. And it would do us all well to be reminded of it!
- Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: John 1:1, John 10:30, John 1:14, John 1:3, John 1:10, Matthew 6:13, 1 Timothy 6:15, Isaiah 40:18-20, 1 Timothy 2:3-4, John 14:6, Philippians 2:5-11, Romans 6:23, Romans 8:36-39, Isaiah 9:6, Revelation 1:18, Matthew 27:51, Romans 6:9, Revelation 19:1-6, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:16, Deuteronomy 11:25
- w/ Break Every Chain – We are going to mix a bit of this song in with “What a Beautiful Name”. This song is a stark reminder that Jesus has already done a great miraculous work in our lives when He saved us – He brought us from death to life! If He can make the dead live, what hold does this world have over us! (The correct answer is none, by the way.) May we remember that “for freedom Christ has set us free” and that we need to “stand firm, and…not submit again to a yoke of slavery” through our sin (Galatians 5:1).
- Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: Acts 4:12, Psalm 107:13-14, Romans 6, Ephesians 2:10, Titus 2:14, Hebrews 10:12, Romans 6:23, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Hebrews 9:12, Colossians 1:14, Romans 3:24, John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10
- What a Beautiful Name w/ Break Every Chain
- (invitation) It is Well – The same God that spoke all the universe into existence is the same God who spoke “Peace be still” to the wind and waves of the Sea of Galilee. He is also the same God who speaks to His people through the Word of God today. That’s good news! And we definitely can use some!
- Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: Joel 3:16, Luke 8:22-25, Hebrews 12:2, 3 John 2, John 20:29, James 1:12, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 11:28-30, 1 Peter 5:7
Social Distancing & Concerns for Sunday