The Adult Sunday School class looked at a small excerpt from the full video below. This is the same video Pastor Ron recommended to us in this morning's Worship Service.
Please share your comments.
Remember Pastor Ron's exhortation Sunday:
"Spend some time memorizing, reciting, and meditating on the Lord's Prayer everyday... Use it as the tool that Jesus intended it to be to assist us in proper self management and embracing the presence of the Father."
Here is an excerpt from an excellent book originally published under the title "I Want to Be a Christian" now titled and available as "Growing in Christ" by J.I Packer.
Three venerable formulae, as we are seeing, together add up to Christianity: the Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer, summarizing respectively the Christian way of believing, behaving, and communing with God. The Lord’s Prayer in particular is a marvel of compression, and full of meaning. It is a compendium of the gospel (Tertullian), a body of divinity (Thomas Watson), a rule of purpose as well as of petition, and thus a key to the whole business of living. What it means to be a Christian is nowhere clearer than here. Like other Reformation catechisms, the Anglican Prayer Book Catechism centers on the three summaries. On the Lord’s Prayer it says:
Question: What desirest thou of God in this prayer?
Answer: I desire my Lord God our heavenly Father, who is the giver of all goodness, to send his grace unto me, and to all people, that we may worship him, serve him, and obey him, as we ought to do. And I pray unto God, that he will send us all things that be needful both for our souls and bodies; and that he will be merciful unto us, and forgive us our sins; and that it will please him to save and defend us in all dangers ghostly (i.e., spiritual) and bodily; and that he will keep us from all sin and wickedness, and from our ghostly enemy, and from everlasting death. And this I trust he will do of his mercy and goodness, through our Lord Jesus Christ. And therefore I say, Amen. So be it.
What these words give us a glimpse of, the following studies will try to spell out.
Pastor Ron encouraged us this past Sunday to read and meditate on the Lord's Prayer this week. What follows is a paraphrase of that prayer by Dallas Willard. After the prayer there is a link to a video by Dallas discussing seeking and knowing God's presence with us. I found these helpful to me.
Dallas Willard’s Version of the Lord’s Prayer
When his disciples asked, “Lord, teach us to pray,” Jesus gave them what we affectionately call, “The Lord’s Prayer.” Its words are both intimate and wide-reaching in their scope. All of life is involved, and so is every relationship. We can’t get away with loving God and living indifferently towards those around us. Or vice versa for that matter. To live this prayer, is to live a robust life with God. It helps enable us to pray into what we hope to live.
Sadly, though, the “overfamiliarity” we have with this prayer, can lead to its “unfamiliarity.” This is why I’m grateful for Dallas Willard’s work in paraphrasing each line of this prayer. I believe these words capture the feel and tone of how Jesus might teach us to pray if he spoke in our everyday, American-English vernacular. I encourage you to read these words slowly, pausing after each line. Let this prayer guide you to be with our God who is “always near us.”
Dear Father always near us,
may your name be treasured and loved,
may your rule be completed in us-
may your will be done here on earth in
just the way it is done in heaven.
Give us today the things we need today,
and forgive us our sins and impositions on you
as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us.
Please don’t put us through trials,
but deliver us from everything bad.
Because you are the one who is in charge,
and you have all the power, and the glory too is all yours-forever-
which is just the way we want it!
Originally posted by Dave & Erin Ripper on Tumbler
The link below is to a video of a lecture given by Dallas Willard at Westmont college which discusses the topic that Pastor Ron has been preaching about. The presence of God with us.
Your comments are welcome.
What is your favorite or most helpful quote about God's Grace. I am starting us off by contributing the quote below from John Piper and the video conversation and song by Rick Muchow with Rick Warren.
“The only life I have left to live is future life. The past is not in my hands to offer or alter. It is gone. Not even God will change the past. All the expectations of God are future expectations. All the possibilities of faith and love are future possibilities. And all the power that touches me with help to live in love is future power. As precious as the bygone blessings of God may be, if He leaves me only with the memory of those, and not with the promise of more, I will be undone. My hope for future goodness and future glory is future grace.”
― John Piper, Future Grace
Please feel free to post your favorite or most memorable quote about Grace from your reading, your own thoughts, scripture or the sermon series we are currently in.
In this mornings Sermon on God's sustaining Grace Ron referred to Paul Tripp's "Tweets on Grace" compiled into a single document by Timmy Brister. These are fantastic helps in focusing on God's amazing Grace and useful for preaching to ourselves. Click the "Read More" link below to see the whole list here on the blog or you can download them as a pdf file for your own off-line use by clicking here. As always your comments are welcome.
Paul Tripp Tweets on Grace
You have real hope when your hope is rooted in grace. Grace forgives your past, empowers your present and secures your future.
Since sin lives inside of you and you cannot escape you, your only hope is powerful redeeming grace.
This is the blog post by Paul Trip that Ron read this Sunday and printed on the back of the sermon outline bulletin insert. I can't think of anything to add. It is worth re-reading and chewing on this week.
Do you understand the majesty and practicality of the grace you have been given? If you don't, in subtle and not so subtle ways, you are looking to other things to get you through. You don't need to go out searching for hope and help, because they are already yours in the resources of grace that you have been given as God's child.
Grace is the most transformational word in the Bible. The entire content of the Bible is a narrative of God's grace, a story of undeserved redemption. By the transformational power of his grace, God unilaterally reaches his hands into the muck of this fallen world, through the presence of his Son, and radically transforms his children from what we are (sinners) into what we are becoming by his power (Christ-like). The famous Newton hymn uses the best word possible, maybe the only word big enough, for that grace—amazing.
So grace is a story and grace is a gift. It is God's character and it is your only hope. Grace is a transforming tool and a state of relationship. Grace is a beautiful theology and a wonderful invitation. Grace is a life-long experience and a life-changing calling. Grace will turn your life upside down while giving you a rest you have never known. Grace will require you to face your unworthiness without ever making you feel unloved.
Grace will make you finally acknowledge that you cannot earn God's favor, and it will once and for all remove your fear of not measuring up to his standards. Grace will humble you with the fact that you are much less than you thought you were, even as it assures you that you can be far more than you had ever imagined. You can be sure that grace will put you in your place without ever putting you down.
Grace will enable you to face shocking truths about yourself that you have hesitated to consider, while freeing you from being self-consciously introspective. Grace will confront you with profound weaknesses, and at the same time bless you with new-found strength. Grace will tell you again and again what you aren't, while welcoming you again and again to what you can now be. Grace will make you as uncomfortable as you have ever been, while offering you a more lasting comfort than you have never before known .
Grace will work to drive you to the end of yourself, while it invites you to fresh starts and new beginnings. Grace will dash your ill-founded hopes, but never walk away and leave you hopeless. Grace will decimate your little kingdom of one as it introduces you to a much, much better King. Grace will expose to you the extent of your blindness as it gives you eyes to see what you so desperately need to see. Grace will make you sadder than you have ever been, while it gives you greater cause for celebration than you have ever known.
Grace enters your life in a moment and will occupy you for eternity. You simply cannot live a productive life in this broken-down world unless you have a practical grasp of the grace you have been given.
Are you living out of this amazing grace? Does it shape the way you respond to your personal struggles, your relationships, and your work? Does your trust in this grace form how you live with your husband or wife? Does it propel the way you parent your children? Does it give you comfort when friends have disappointed you? Does it give you rest when life is unpredictable and hard? Does it make you bold and give you courage in places where you would have once been timid? Does it make the idols that tempt you less attractive and less powerful? Do you wake up and say, "I don't know what I will face today, but this I do know: I have been given amazing grace to face it right here, right now."
May God help you to understand and rest in the grace that you have been given!
Paul David Tripp is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries, a nonprofit organization, whose mission statement is "Connecting the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life." Paul is an international conference speaker, Pastor (Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, PA), seminary professor (Redeemer Seminary, Dallas, TX), Executive Director of the Center for Pastoral Life and Care, and the author of many books.
Paul David Tripp is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries and works to connect the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life.
“After the Bible the next most valuable book for the Christian is a good hymnal. Let any young Christian spend a year prayerfully meditating on the hymns of Watts and Wesley alone and he will become a fine theologian. Then let him read a balanced diet of the Puritans and the Christian mystics. The results will be more wonderful than he could have dreamed.” Man: The Dwelling Place of God, 150-151 Author: A.W. Tozer
All three of the following songs were mentioned in this morning's message. Each lyric puts into song biblical truths that if meditated on and often remembered will serve to support the foundation of a healthy faith walk with God.
Encourage One Another... (I Thess 5:8 ESV). Please share your thoughts by adding comments.
Friday January 17, 2014 - Our Purpose, Goals and Intention for 2014... Making Him Known and Making Disciples
For several weeks we have been looking at the idea that it is essential for us to know our purpose, our goals and to be very intentional in our pursuit of them. Without these we will not succeed at making and maturing new disciples and our own spiritual health will falter. I found the two videos that follow very insightful and convicting in light of our recents sermons and Sunday school classes. The first one is by David Platt and you may find it a little sharp edged (convicting) but that can be a very wonderful gift from God if it causes some soul searching that leads to positive change and a more effective God honoring life. The second video is of David Platt and Francis Chan and provides some very helpful insights on how and possibly why our disciple making efforts may be missing the mark.
As always your thoughts and comments are welcome and encouraged. For those in the Adult Sunday School class we will probably watch and discuss this content Sunday morning.
In less than 24 hours we begin a new year. Starting a new year is always a good time to do some evaluation, looking back at the previous year as well as anticipating the coming year. This Sunday Ron had us recall recent messages about abiding in the vine from John 15 suggesting that looking back we need to ask, “Have I done that?” or “How has that gone”. Has it been a successful year of walking with God…abiding in the vine? Like driving a car, we need to look in the rear view mirror once in awhile. But then, even more importantly we best look forward to see where we’re going.
As we begin the new year take some time to think about your walk with God. Does the kind of devotion and righteousness that God’s word described as characterizing Simeon and Anna’s lives characterize your life? Ron gave us three things needful if we are to make progress in abiding in the vine and growing more like those saints whose devoted faith is recorded for us in Hebrews 11.
We must know our Purpose - to glorify God by loving and serving Him
We must share God’s Goal – the consolation/salvation of others
We must be Intentional – Doing whatever it takes to serve God and bring salvation to others.
New Years resolutions can be good but instead of making self-serving resolutions why not make this a year where we intentionally rearrange your lives around our purpose and God’s goal, doing whatever it takes to make it a daily reality in our lives.
Jim had suggested that if anyone wanted to write on the church blog, just send him our thoughts. So I decided (anonymously) to do just that.
There was no outline this week since we had a guest speaker. But looking back over the Adult Sunday School Class, music, and message – God already had an outline.
This week was the 3rd Sunday in Advent. Pastor Ron asked what the significance of the pink candle is in the Advent wreath. The season of Advent at its origin, was to be a time of repentance and recognition of our need for salvation. The purple candles (purple also being a color representative of Lent), are meant for contemplation of our penitence. The pink candle, as we look forward to the coming Savior, is one of Joy. It has also been called the Shepherd candle.
Randy Williams (Gideons) brought us a message full of expectation. Those in the past and the present waiting for their Savior. Mary expecting a miracle child from God, shepherds hearing the angels proclaim their newborn King, and Simeon holding the child Jesus and seeing the fulfillment of God’s promise.
And our music in the same vein. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, and Joy to the World.
I left the morning service with a renewed sense of the joy of life in Christ, and more importantly with great expectation of His return. The Christmas season sometimes leaves people with unmet expectations, but we come with hope. Advent prepares us for eternal things, the hope of things not seen.
God’s outline was pretty awesome.
Blog posts may be authored by a variety of individuals including but not limited to Pastor Ron, Church Elders, Sunday School Teachers, Small Group Leaders and Ministry Leaders.