Welcome to our special time of worship in this last episode of ToGather.church, and it's all about GRATITUDE to God for all he has done! Our focus comes from our Verse of the Day, Colossians 3:16:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

While our verse for this week emphasizes several aspects of music and singing, we looked at the importance of singing in last week's episode of ToGather. This week our focus is on having hearts full of gratitude as we respond to God's generosity to us in Jesus. We want to be thankful and hopeful people who realize all that God has done for us in Jesus. We want to respond to God's graciousness with heartfelt thanksgiving and worship.

Phil's message video includes some very personal reflections on the purpose of ToGather for almost three years as the world has dealt with COVID-19. Despite many challenges in the last thirty-plus months, we want to be people who are grateful. We appreciate all God has done for us by sending Jesus and for the blessing he has given us in this life.

In our full worship video, Demetrius' choice of songs invites us into a rich worship of thankful praise. Andy Johnson shares a Communion reflection that reminds us of the special "one another" time we have at the Lord's Table. Phil's message on gratitude is included in our worship. Our closing blessing reminds of our great blessings in each other. Wherever we are, let's worship together with gratitude!

Phil's Message for This Week

Grab a cup of coffee and spend time with us today thanking and appreciating our great God. Our Father has blessed us so richly in Jesus. We want our treasure to be wealth that lasts and won't spoil or decay (Matthew 6:19-21). For us, the message about Jesus and the presence of Jesus are our greatest riches. These riches should open our hearts to worship with praise, thanksgiving, appreciation, and gratitude as we speak to each other and remind each other of our blessings in Christ.

Phil shared several key points in his video message rooted in phrases from our verse for today. Let's remember those phrases and remind ourselves what we need to do in response to them:

  • "Let the word of Christ dwell in you..." — In the New Testament, the word of Christ usually means the message about Jesus — all he did, how he did it, and what he taught. As we obey Jesus' teachings and follow his example of how to treat people, God — as Father, Son, and Comforter (Holy Spirit) — comes to live inside us (John 14:15-23).
  • "...dwell in you richly..." — We want our chief treasure to be Jesus, not some alternate source of temporary wealth, purpose, and meaning (Matthew 6:19-21).
  • "...teach and admonish one another..." — Our worship often leads us to speak and sing to each other as we share in worshiping God. We can teach, correct, and stir each other to action through our songs and as we speak with each other (Ephesians 5:15-21; Hebrews 12:28-13:16).
  • "...with gratitude in your hearts to God." — Our worship should be full of gratitude to God for all he has done to bless us (2 Corinthians 4:15, 9:11; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 2:6-7, 4:2).

Phil summed up the core truth of our verse for today in this statement:

We will pursue Jesus until our hearts overflow with thanksgiving for who he is and what he has done for us. Then, we can share Jesus out of our gratitude and hope.

Several resources mentioned in Phil's video:

  • Heartlight.org app...
    In the iOS app store.
    In the Android Play Store.

  • VerseoftheDay.com app in both app stores.

  • Link for the infographic showing the "one another" and "each other" passages in the Bible.
  • A few churches with different styles of virtual worship services are given below:

    Pleasant Valley Church in Little Rock, Arkansas — please check the website for times for the live stream or archived worship services. (Phil is good friends with their worship minister and preaching minister. Contemporary, upbeat, praise-focused acapella singing with good preaching with a strong presence in local and world missions.)

    Westover Hills Church in Austin, Texas — please check the website for times for live stream or archived worship services. (Demetrius is a leader in their worship ministry, and Phil preached there for 22 years. Westover Hills has both singing with instrumental accompaniment and acapella singing with good preaching with a strong presence in local and world missions.)

    Let's thank God for the gift of Jesus!
    Village Bible Church in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. The video for the latest worship service is currently about half way down the web page. (Phil knows the preacher well and has friends there. An older Evangelical Free style worship with a strong emphasis on world mission.)

Full ToGather Worship Video

The full worship video leads us to open our hearts to God and respond with gratitude as we sing, share the Lord's Supper, and share a closing blessing. We pray the Holy Spirit fills and empowers you as we worship!

Special thanks for the use of the New International Version (NIV), New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), and English Standard Version (ESV) for use in our videos and graphics for Bible verses. Each translation is used with the permission of the publisher under their fair use stipulations. They maintain all rights reserved on their translations.

Special thanks for the use of images related to Jesus' ministry from The Lumo Project and Free Bible Images for use in both ToGather videos.