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Christ Church Sunday Morning Service (8:30 am & 10:30 am)
November 13, 2016 @ 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Announcements & Meditation
– Call to Worship –
Minister: Grace, mercy, and peace to you, from God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Congregation: And also to you.
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!
– Confession –
Chide Me, O Lord, No Longer…………………………8
Confession of sin
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
+ Assurance of Pardon
Minister: Your sins are forgiven through Christ.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
+ Confession of faith: Apostles Creed
Minister: Christian, what do you believe?
Congregation: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the virgin, Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hades. On the third day He rose again from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
+ Responsive Reading: Heidelberg Catechism: Question 61
Minister: Why do you say that you are righteous by faith alone?
Congregation: Not because I please God by virtue of the worthiness of my faith, but because the satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ alone are my righteousness before God, and because I can accept it and make it mine in no other way than by faith alone.
– Consecration –
+ Scripture Reading
Isaiah 49:8-16; Revelation 7:9-17
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
Admission of New Members
First Service: Eric and Sylvia Engerbretson
Opening: Isaiah 40:21, 22
Thanksgiving: Isaiah 61:10
Petitions: Isaiah 25:6
First Service: Themes in Proverbs: Work and LazinessSermon
One of the things we must recognize is that work does not exist in the world because of the Fall. Work got a lot more difficult because of our sin, and it labors under a curse, but God gave the cultural mandate to mankind, a mandate which involved an enormous amount of work, before the entrance of sin. We therefore need to recover a distinctively Christian work ethic. It is an essential part of the process of salvation and sanctification.
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; He shall not stand before mean men” (Prov. 22:29).
Summary of the Text:
As we will see in a number of texts from Proverbs, work has consequences. And laziness also has consequences. Because God gave us the ultimate “gold standard” called time, and everyone has exactly the same amount of it, and it is a resource that the government cannot print. This means that work over time signifies, and no work over time signifies. This is why Scriptures say: “He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster” (Prov. 18:9). Laziness is a destroyer. But how, when it didn’t touch anything, didn’t consume anything? It did—it burned daylight.
In our text, a man is set before us, a man who is diligent in his business. The word for diligent is mahir—experienced, skilled. Do you see a man who is on top of his vocation? The word rendered business is a broad term, and trade, craftsmanship, wares, are all included. That man will stand before kings. This is simply Solomon’s way of saying that cream rises. Taking one thing with another, all things considered, diligence is recognized and honored and laziness is recognized and shunned.
Hurt Christian Feelings
We are involved in building community. This means that we do business with one another, and so one great challenge is the cheap grace approach to work, the one that constantly argues that “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.”
Contractors who can’t even come close to their estimate. Wives who manipulate their husbands into doing half their work. Husbands who fail to provide wives with the wherewithal to do their work. Students who dither at their assignments. Entrepreneurs who risk all the wrong things. Web designers who flake. And in case any of this stepped on any toes, there is no solidarity between a competent contractor and an incompetent one, or a competent wife and an incompetent one. There is solidarity between a competent contractor, web developer, and auto mechanic. Draw the lines of solidarity in the right places.
A job evaluation is not gossip. It is part of the cost of doing business, and we have to learn how to provide honest feedback without quarreling, and that feedback must not be fanatically over-precise, and it must not inflict a terrible craftsman on the next unsuspecting saint. If you get together with a friend and talk about how so-and-so is having trouble in his marriage, and you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. You are a gossip. But if you tell a friend who asked about it that your brother in Christ installed the cabinets upside down, that is not gossip. People who do not want public evaluation of the quality of their work are people who have no business being in business.
The Hard Way is the Easy Way:
There is a way of avoiding work that multiplies work, and there is a way that embraces work that saves work in the long run. “The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: But the way of the righteous is made plain” (Prov. 15:19).
Work and Desire:
The right kind of work, because a particular result is desired, quenches the wrong kind of desire. “A worker’s appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on” (Prov. 16:26, ESV). A refusal to work enflames the wrong kind of desire. “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: But the soul of the diligent shall be made fat” (Prov. 13:4). “The desire of the slothful killeth him; For his hands refuse to labour. He coveteth greedily all the day long: But the righteous giveth and spareth not” (Prov. 21:25–26).
Diligence and Laziness Are Visible:
Professionalism begins in the heart, but it does not remain there.
“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: But the hand of the diligent maketh rich. He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: But he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame” (Prov. 10:4–5).
Lazy men are good talkers. “In all labour there is profit: But the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury” (Prov. 14:23).
Part of the reason is that he has to be ready with the excuses. They are on the tip of his tongue. “Aliens kidnapped me. What year is it?”
“The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; A lion is in the streets. As the door turneth upon his hinges, So doth the slothful upon his bed. The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; It grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth. The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit Than seven men that can render a reason” (Prov. 26:13–16).
What Salvation Looks Like
Remember that proverbs are proverbs, and that they do not give us truths about triangles having three sides. But they are still true, overwhelmingly true. And the book of Proverbs talks about laziness and work a lot. We may be justified in thinking that it is a perennial problem.
“I went by the field of the slothful, And by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, And nettles had covered the face thereof, And the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; And thy want as an armed man” (Prov. 24:30–34).
The issue not whether we are saved by works. Of course not. The issue here, rather, is what salvation looks like.
1. Exodus 4:18-28 brings Moses’ exile in Midian to a close.
2. Exodus 4:29-31 Moses and Aaron return to Egypt and the people believe.
1. Exodus 4:18-28:
So Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, “Please let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” (4:18)
– This verse marks the closure of the conversation that began in 3:1 and ended somewhat frustratingly with Moses remaining hardened/reluctant towards the call of God. It is this lack of closure that helps situate the strange story found in vv. 24-26.
– v.19 Moses reassured that those who seek his life are dead.
– vv.21-23 Further instructions from the LORD
– Signs given to Moses in 4:1-9 are to be performed before Pharaoh.
– vv.22-23 First time in scripture of the prophetic address: “Thus says the LORD…”
– Israel is, “My firstborn son”
– Pharaoh’s treatment of God’s firstborn will result in God’s judgment falling on
Pharaoh’s firstborn son.
– The LORD’s declaration that Israel is His firstborn son strikes at the very heart of Moses complaint to God in 3:1-4:17.
v.24-26 Text with many difficulties…
– Who is the LORD attacking?
– Who is circumcised?
– Why did the circumcision stop the attack?
– What is the reason for this attack and what has it to do with the larger narrative?
2. Exodus 4:29-31
Moses and Aaron arrive in Egypt, perform the signs given by God and the people believe.
+ God the Lord Is King…………………………………138
– Communion –
Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior……………………208 (CR 78.1)
Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior……………………209 (CR 78.1)
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Gloria Patri………………………………………………..436 (SM 13.1)
Charge & Benediction
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. Amen. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17