We're delighted that you joined us for this week's ToGather.church! (Find out more about ToGather.) This week, we focus on the good gifts God gives us, especially the gift of wisdom that God gives us when we ask.
Opening with Praise and Prayer:
As we begin our special time of worship, let's sing "Great Things" with Phil Wickham:
Jesus' half-brother, James, taught that every good and perfect gift we have received comes to us from our Father in heaven; this is especially true of heavenly wisdom. Our loving Father does not withhold his gracious goodness from us. Every gift that he gives is for our best good. We adapted James 1:16-18 for our opening prayer:
Looking into the Scriptures:
Phil's message today is based on our Verse of the Day, James 1:5-8:
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
God promises to not withhold his heavenly gift of wisdom from us. He wants us to ask him for this gift in faith, without doubting his desire and ability to give it to us. Let's dig deeper into his wonderful promise and what it means for us as his spiritual children:
As Phil reminded us in his message, true wisdom is about God, about his generosity to share it and our eagerness to gain it, and about his character being formed in us. God is gracious and longs to give us heavenly wisdom. The Father will never abandon us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6) but does want us to seek him and ask for this wisdom in confident faith. Let's celebrate God's grace and faithfulness with Matt Redman in his song, "You Never Let Go":
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. The Spirit is our internal spring of clear, clean, consistent refreshing water for our thirsty souls (John 7:37-39). The Zoe Group invites to come to Jesus to find this living water as we sing "All Who Are Thirsty":
Rubel Shelly reminds us in today's Communion reflection of the importance of being with each other to share in this holy meal. It obviously is best when we can be together physically to share this Communion, but even when we are physically alone, we still are together in our faith, our commitment, and our thanks for all that Jesus gives us. 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. 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 when Jesus gave us this gift of Communion to remember him and join together as his 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:
Concluding with Confident Faith:
We can be confident that God will never leave us or forsake us and is working to give us the good things we need to live productive lives of faith (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:
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...
And with another verse from the Psalms as a short prayer of praise:
blessed is the one who trusts in you. [Amen.]
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