We're thankful that you joined us for this week's ToGather.church! May today's time of worship in song, prayer, Communion, and Scripture bless you. Whether you are alone or with friends, family, home group, or house church, please know that God's people from all around the world are joining you in worship. (Find out more.) This week we remind each other that, as God's children whom Jesus has made blameless, the Lord longs to give us good gifts.
As we begin our special time of worship to our loving Father who has poured so many good things into our lives, let's join Phil Wickham in the song "Great Things":
Jesus' half-brother, James, taught that every good and perfect gift we have received has come from the Father (James 1:17). Our loving Father does not withhold his gracious goodness from us. Every gift that he gives is for our best good. So, we will use an adaption of James teaching as our opening prayer:
We recognize that every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. These gifts are rivers of light cascading down from you, the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in you, O God. There is nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. You have brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all your creatures.
(This prayer of thanks and praise includes an adaption of James 1:16-18 MESSAGE.)
Sharing the Supper:
We recognize that the greatest of all of God's good and perfect gifts is Jesus. As we share the Lord's Supper, we come to Christ Jesus, our source of living water — just as the Lord promised to the woman at the well if she sought him:
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water" (John 4:10).
This living water is the Holy Spirit, like a river of clear, clean, refreshing water for all who are thirsty (John 7:37-39). Let's sing "All Who Are Thirsty," led by the Zoe Group, and come to Jesus and drink of this living water:
When we come to the Lord's Table, we come to more than living water. We come to share in the bread and cup, the body and blood of Jesus. Rubel Shelly reminds us in today's Communion reflection of the importance of being with each other to share in this holy meal. No matter how many "us" might be or how we gather together, Communion is a holy family gathering. We come together to remember Jesus. As we do, we are part of a worldwide community of faith and an unbroken family of faith that stretches back to the Last Supper where Jesus gave us this gift of Communion to remember him and join together as a family:
What a wonderful gift God gave us in sending Jesus! Let's honor our Lord with the song "Wonderful, Merciful Savior," led by the First Colony Church praise team:
Yes, our hearts satisfy their hunger and our souls slake their thirst in God's greatest gift, Jesus! He is the one we adore and praise!
Opening the Scriptures:
Phil's message today is on our Verse of the Day, Psalm 84:11:
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
As Phil reminded us in his message, God is present in our lives and working for our good. Through every high and low moment of our lives, God is present and at work in us to work things out for our best good (Romans 8:28; Philippians 2:13). He does not let go of his children. He is present even when we feel abandoned or forgotten (Hebrews 13:5-6). Let's celebrate this truth with Matt Redman in his song, "You Never Let Go":
Foretaste of Glory:
We rest in the assurance that God will never leave us or forsake us but is working to give us the good things we need (Romans 8:28-39). Let's sing "Never Once," with the Zoe Group, as we remind each other of God's abiding presence and grace:
We close with a statement of commitment and reassurance for our times of trouble and challenge, followed by a short prayer of praise:
I will listen to what God the LORD says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants —
but let them not turn to folly.
Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
The LORD will indeed give what is good...
blessed is the one who trusts in you. [Amen.]