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Opening with Praise in Word and Song:
We begin by reminding ourselves of this important exhortation from Scripture:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).
We deal with an important but challenging subject today: controlling our speech when we are angry. Our power to use our words wisely and to deal with our anger appropriately rests in our dependence on the Lord. We join Phil Wickham in singing "Battle Belongs" to remind each other of our source of strength:
Focusing on the Scriptures:
Our Verse of the Day and Phil's focus comes from Proverbs 14:29 NIV84:
A patient man has great understanding,
but a quick-tempered man displays folly.
We want to be people of great understanding who bless others by what we say and do!
Christy Nockels reminds us of the greatness and holiness of our God as we sing "A Mighty Fortress" with her. God's holiness and grace call us to live our lives to bless others with what we do and what we say. For us to effectively be a blessing, we need the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us, and we need to keep our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2):
Because God is holy and gracious, our Father calls on us to be holy and gracious in our broken world, which is so full of angry, hateful, and destructive speech. God's character and importance to us mean that we guard our hearts and choose our words carefully as we speak with others and seek to influence them to find the grace of Jesus:
The song "Angry Words" is a prayer for each of us to use our words in ways that bless and redeem, not harm and wound. Let's join the McCoy Family Singers and sing this prayer to God and admonition to one another:
Sharing The Supper:
Kari Jobe helps us prepare our hearts for Communion by reminding us that "Love Came Down" and rescued us and set us free to live for God and share his love with others:
Fred Spain reminds us that, because of Jesus' love, there was great drama in the Last Supper he had with his disciples. The Lord wanted his disciples to know that he loved them and would give his life for them despite their weaknesses and failures. In return, he called on them, and on us as we share in this sacred Supper, to love each other as he has loved them:
Closing with Praise:
Jeremiah spoke of YHWH, the LORD God, as Israel's "true place of rest" (Jeremiah 50:7 NLT). As we sing the song "Still," we are declaring with the Zoe Group that God is our place of rest, grace, peace, and calm — our strength to bless others:
Isaiah spoke of a time of grace and peace for God's people:
My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.
With this in mind, we conclude ToGather with this special blessing-prayer from Romans 15:13 that we will pray for each other:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. [In the name of Jesus, we offer this blessing-prayer of grace. Amen.]