Drawing Near to God:
We are delighted that you joined us for ToGather.church. (Find out more.) What follows is our home worship guide for you to use on your own or to share with your friends, family, home group, or house church.
Our theme today comes from Matthew 8:16-17. Our focus is on Jesus, our upside-down Messiah — that is, a Messiah who was nothing like people expected. He will never forsake us. He will walk beside us when we are discouraged and weary. When we can't walk on, he will carry us until our strength returns or we go home to God!
What Jesus did for people in the days he was on earth, he longs to do for us today:
When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:He took up our infirmities
and carried our diseases.
Let's affirm our faith in this promise by singing, "We Are Not Alone"!
The hope of that song, the promise that we are not abandoned, is built on the apostle Paul's promise that nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is ours in Christ Jesus:
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31-32, 35-39).
Welcome to the Table of the Lord:
Joining Jesus in this simple meal of remembrance should be an exciting time for us as the body of Christ. Today, Robert Reagan, a long-time servant of God in Thailand, reminds us of the importance of remembering Jesus during the Lord's Supper. Robert also invites us to celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the dead and what it means for us as his disciples. Jesus can promise us that we are never alone because he has been where we are and he will not abandon us wherever our road takes us as his disciples:
As we reflect on Jesus' victory over sin, hell, and death for us, let's remember that Jesus' past victory is our future victory with him. Let's sing, "I Will Rise" with Chris Tomlin:
When Life Crushes Us, Who Will Carry Us?
God has promised never to forsake us, even in life's most difficult moments. Let's declare our faith in that truth with the Zoe Group as we sing, "You O Lord Are My Refuge"!
Phil leads us into a deeper understanding of our Verse of the Day, Matthew 8:16-17. Matthew tells us that Jesus came as the upside-down Messiah who chose to carry others' burdens and infirmities rather than be carried or served himself. Phil challenges us to trust that Jesus longs to carry us through our challenges today:
Isn't that a comforting message? Let's declare, along with Bethel Music, that this upside-down Messiah from Nazareth is "Faithful to the End." He is not only Lord of all; he is Immanuel, God with us, who will never forsake us!
Our identity has been determined by God's adoption of us into his family as his beloved children. He places his Spirit within us to make his own. He will never leave us. His love, adoption, and presence with us determine our identity and future! Let's declare this truth with Hillsong Worship as we sing, "Who You Say I Am":
Our closing Scripture blessing is shared with us by Jan Reagan. This passage ties in with Robert's Communion devotional thought, all the songs we have sung, and Phil's message to bring us assurance. Because Jesus has gone through life and death like us, then conquered death for us through his resurrection, we can be assured he will not abandon us as we make this same journey. We will share in glory with him!
Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:He appeared in the flesh,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.
(1 Timothy 3:16)
We pray that you are blessed as you face the challenges of this week. Always remember that you are never alone, Jesus will go with you, and Jesus will carry you when necessary — all to ensure you arrive safely at home with him in glory!
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