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"Thy Will Be Done" - Preparing for Worship, Jan 8 2017

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Morning Worship- “Thy Will Be Done”

We are back in Acts, and Paul is determined to head to Jerusalem. No one can stop him. He has been warned by friends, by leaders, and even a prophet of God, but Paul will bring the aid that he has been collecting, come what may. Paul is willing to suffer in order to complete his task, and so he puts his destiny into the hands of his creator.

Passages for Meditation

  • Luke 22:42. How are the situations of Paul and Jesus similar?
  • Acts 21:1-16. Is Paul being stubborn or faithful? Why does he want to go to Jerusalem? What cause has he for fear? (By the way, Paul provides some of his thoughts on his trip to Jerusalem in Rom. 15:22-33.
  • Acts 21:17-36. What do you think of the advice James gives Paul? What do you think of Paul’s decision to take it? Is Paul betraying his commitment to the gospel that he so passionately argued for in Galatians?

Questions for Consideration

  • Paul is aware of the consequences of his actions—God Himself has told him he will suffer in Jerusalem. We usually make decisions based on expected consequences; “if I do this, it’s going to result in heartache, so I better not do that.” Paul is obviously working with a different logic. What motivates his decision?
  • If you operated with a similar logic as Paul, how would your thinking and decision making change? What specific actions might result from that change?
  • What does it mean to trust the will of God, even if we know it will bring us into suffering?

Hymns for Proclamation

  • 302: Come Christians Join to Sing
  • 648: My Jesus I Love Thee
  • 32: Great is thy Faithfulness. Where has Paul seen the faithfulness of God?
  • 108: Whate’er my God Ordains is Right. How is the Christian view of God’s providence different than the world’s idea of “fatalism” or “destiny?”

Evening Worship

“Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
Rose out of Chaos” (Milton, Paradise Lost).

We return to Hebrews this evening, turning now to the “payoff” of Hebrews 1, the exhortation of 2:1-4. We have already examined the veracity of the word of God, and the power of the Son in his ministry on our behalf, so we will focus this week on the power of testimony. Think about how much you know because someone was willing to testify? I was reading this article about Elie Wiesel and was reminded that bearing witness is profoundly costly, and often not something we choose on our own. And yet someone must testify, or truth is lost. That’s the message of Hebrews 2; the word that we have heard is delivered to us by those willing to testify: Moses, the NT prophets, and God Himself.

  • Hymn of the Month: 384: Lord Dismiss Us with Your Blessing. This is a new one for us and I’m looking forward to learning it! How does it reflect a God-centered approach to worship?
  • Sermon Text: Hebrews 2:1-4
  • Final Hymn: 94: How Firm a Foundation.

Tags: acts, hebrews, providence, testimony, witness, word

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