Welcome! We're glad you joined us for ToGather! We pray that today's time of worship in song, prayer, Communion, and Scripture blesses 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.)
Our focus this week is on the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives as our assurance that we belong to the family of God. Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit on us when we came to him in faith and were born into God's family by the Spirit's power (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:3-7). We are children of God because of the Holy Spirit's work to cleanse us (1 Corinthians 6:11) and live inside us as God's gift to us (Acts 2:38-39). The Holy Spirit is our assurance that we belong in the family of God (1 John 4:13). Let's join Meredith Andrews in singing "Spirit of the Living of God" as we celebrate the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives:
Let's pray for the Spirit to empower each other as God's children and release the power and grace of the Holy Spirit into each other's lives. Paul prayed this prayer for Jesus' followers in Ephesus. "You" and "your" in Paul's prayer have been changed so that the prayer is more personal for us.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen [us] with power through his Spirit in [our] inner being, so that Christ may dwell in [our] hearts through faith. And I pray that [we], being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lords holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that [we] may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:14-21).
Opening the Scriptures:
Phil's message on our Verse of the Day is based upon 1 John 4:13:
This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.
Phil digs deeper into this wonderful promise and the Holy Spirit's work to assure us that we are in God's family as his beloved children:
Let's celebrate the Spirit's presence in our lives with the song, "Your Spirit," by Tasha Cobbs and featuring Kierra Sheard:
Sharing the Supper:
The old hymn "O Love that Will Not Let Me Go" is now often combined with a simple but powerful new chorus to remind us that we are God's children. Since God's love for us sent his Son to die to save us, we know he is going to bless us and hold onto us as beloved children because of that love (Romans 8:31-39). As we prepare our hearts to share in the Lord's Supper, let's remind each other of God's steadfast love as we sing, led by the Zoe Group:
But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you (Romans 8:10-11).
Today's Communion reflection comes from five months ago, shortly before Phil's step-father of 37 years passed away. Phil is tired but hopeful, as he leads us in these thoughts about the Lord's Supper. He invites us to remember Jesus' crucifixion but in light of the Lord's resurrection. Our resurrected Lord poured out the Holy Spirit on us. The Spirit is our assurance that the grave never has the final word for us. Life with the Lord awaits us (Philippians 1:18-26), and this guaranteed future for us changes everything. The Lord's Supper reminds us of victory and that our Lord is coming back for us to take us home with him!
Jesus is our good and gracious King who never lets us down. He walks with us, pours the Holy Spirit into us, and is going to return for us. Let's rejoice in our Savior with the song "King of My Heart" with Steffany Gretzinger & Jeremy Riddle of Bethel Music:
Concluding with Joy and Blessing:
We rest in the assurance that God has made us his children through the work and presence of the Holy Spirit. We celebrate this blessing by singing Sylvia Rose's joyous hymn, "Holy Spirit (Dwell in Me)":
Let's read our closing blessing out loud as we bless each other and live for Jesus this next week:
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. [Amen.] (2 Corinthians 13:14)