We're glad you joined us for ToGather.church! (Find out more about ToGather.) This is a do-it-yourself virtual guide for worship with YouTube worship songs, a Communion reflection, scriptures, and a message focused on our Verse of the Day.
We pray you are drawn closer to the LORD and are challenged to share God's Good News with your world. Jesus commanded his disciples to reach people here (immediately around us), near (in nearby cities, counties, regions, states, provinces, and whatever district identifications there may be where you live), and far (to the ends of the earth). He gave his disciples this commission (Acts 1:8) because our heavenly Father loves all people (John 3:16) and wants them to be saved (2 Peter 3:9).
Opening with Praise in Word and Song:
The apostle Paul's words in 1 Thessalonians 1:3-10 inspired our opening prayer:
May our faith in Jesus move us to invite others to know your Son as Lord and wait for him to return to deliver his disciples into your presence, forever. Father, we believe you raised Jesus from the dead. We joyfully changed the direction and purpose of our lives to follow Jesus, the only one who can deliver us from the destruction ultimately coming upon our self-destructive, unrepentant, and rebellious world.
Thank you for your love that reached down and delivered us and re-created us as your people. We long for our new life in Christ to be characterized by good works of faith, redemptive efforts inspired by love, and our enduring steadfastness — even in the face of opposition and suffering — prompted by our hope.
We know that the grace we received was not just for us. We believe you made us new in Christ to proclaim your love, grace, and mercy. Thank you for redeeming us, making us holy through your power, and saving us into your eternal kingdom. With thankful hearts, dear Father, we live for the message of Jesus to sound out from us to our lost world so that many who are lost can know the joy of being found by your love.
O, LORD, you are God, full of faithful lovingkindness, consistent in your righteous character, and abounding in gracious compassion! We love you and praise you for who you are, what you have done, and the future you will bring us when Jesus returns in glory.
In his name, we pray. Amen.
Who will share God's message of love and grace in Jesus? We sing "Send Me Lord" with Matt Redman as we accept God's mission to love the world and see the lost become saved:
Focusing on the Scriptures:
Jesus came to demonstrate the power and love of YHWH Jireh, the LORD whose love delivered us (Genesis 22:13-14). God showed us his grace through his Son, God in human flesh (Matthew 1:23; John 1:14-18; Hebrews 1:1-3). Jesus, as Phil's message will explain, is "God with skin on!" He shows us God's love, grace, and mercy. Let's sing "Jireh" with Elevation Worship and Maverick City as we celebrate our LORD, who is our provider and deliverer:
Our message is based on Acts 1:8, from our Verse of the Day:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Phil's message centers on Jesus' commissioning of his disciples after his resurrection (John 20:19-23). Jesus commands his followers to share the Good News of his life, sacrifice, and victory to people here, near, and far. The Lord wants them to know that they are sharing much more than a message; he is also calling them — and us — to be his presence in the broken world:
Our response to this message? We join Hallal in singing to our Lord, "If You Say, Go," we will go:
Sharing The Supper:
We share a message. That message is not about us but about Jesus, who has transformed us and lives through us. We join with Chris Rupp in singing "I Love to Tell the Story" because Jesus' story has captured our hearts and freed us to discover purpose and hope in this life. (Activate the closed captions — "CC" — to display the lyrics. It may be necessary to use full-screen mode to read the lyrics.)
Closing with Praise:
Lisa Ware shares a praise-blessing to prepare us for the challenge of sharing Jesus with our lost world:
Let's close ToGather with the song, "Send Me," with Jenn Johnson and featuring Chris Quilala, as we re-commit to reach our broken world with the grace of Jesus:
May God bless each of us with grace, and empower each of us with the Holy Spirit, so that we can powerfully share the love of Jesus until our Lord returns in glory to take us home with him!