Welcome! We're thankful that you joined us for ToGather. We pray that our special time of worship in song, prayer, Communion, and Scripture will 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 virtually in worship. (Find out more.)
Opening with Praise:
Our focus today for ToGather is on trusting that God, our "Abba Father," will never leave us or forsake us. Because we are God's children by the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:3-7), we can cry out to our Father and know that he hears us no matter where we are or what we are facing! How can we not praise such a gracious Father? So, let's begin by praying an adaptation of Romans 1:19-23 as our opening prayer of praise:
An old, beautiful hymn helps us celebrate the truth of God's creative splendor and abiding graciousness woven into our world. Let's sing "This Is My Father's World":
Focusing on the Scriptures:
Since God so carefully created our world with splendor, how much more will he not also care for us as his beloved children (Luke 12:22-34)? Our "Abba" will not abandon us when trouble comes. We can look to him to be with us and deliver us. Let's sing "God I Look to You" with Jenn Johnson as we prepare to embrace our message of hope today:
Phil leads into a deeper appreciation of what it means to be able to cry, "Abba, Father" when we pray to God. Because we are children of God, born into God's family by the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:3-7), we can speak to God as our "Abba"! But why is this so important? Jesus demonstrated the importance of addressing God as "Abba," and Paul declared it is our right as children of God. Let's dig into this incredible promise with Phil as he addresses our Verse of the Day which is found in Romans 8:15:
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him, we cry, "Abba, Father."
We are children of God. Jesus demonstrated the importance of this truth. Paul declared it. Our faith can triumph over our fear because we know that our "Abba" will not abandon us. We can sing that we are "No Longer Slaves" with Jonathan David and Melissa Helser, of Bethel Music:
Sharing in Communion:
What should our response be to our "Abba Father"? Thanksgiving and praise! Let's sing "Father I Thank You" with Jeremy and Adrienne Camp as we prepare to share in the Lord's Supper, together, as the family of God:
Today's Communion reflection is led by Rubel Shelly as he reminds us that the Supper is both a holy meal and a time of family reflection and appreciation:
Our prayer of thanks for Jesus' atoning sacrifice is an adaptation of Romans 5:15-17 by Eldon Degge found in Praying with Paul.
You created a good and wonderful environment for humankind. But for our first mother and father, it was not enough. Sin came into the world through them, and death through sin, and so death spread to all because all sinned.
Your free gift was not like the trespass. It was greater! If many died through one man's trespass, how much more will your grace abound! How much more will that free gift abound for the masses of humanity in the grace of that one man, Jesus Christ!
Thank you that in him we receive all the more abundantly from your grace! How grateful we are for receiving the free gift of righteousness to reign in our lives!
Thank you, Father, in heaven. In the name of Jesus, our Savior and Justifier, I offer this thanks and praise for your wonderful grace. Amen.
Closing Blessing and Song:
Our final song is the "New Doxology," led by the Zoe Group. This powerful song of praise lets us celebrate the greatness and graciousness of our great God and "Abba Father"!
We close with an inspiring prayer of praise adapted from Romans 11:33-36. Once again, we take this prayer from Eldon Degge's devotional series, Praying with Paul:
How great your mercy is! How deep your riches and wisdom and knowledge are! How unsearchable are your judgments! How inscrutable your ways!
No one can know your mind totally! No one can be your counselor! No one can give you a gift! Because from you and through you and to you are all things!
May my faith never falter, and may my belief never fail. Continue your process of reconciliation among all your people, Jews, and Gentiles.
In the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior. Amen.
May God bless you as you offer your life as a sacrifice of praise as your daily worship this week (Romans 12:1-2)!