The Father’s love and strength becomes real to our hearts when we turn our focus from circumstances to cultivating an inner life with Him.
Message title: Songs of Strength (Psalms 23-29)
First week of Summer Psalms coincides with the fourth week of #RenewSummer with the Story Catechism
Scriptures: Psalms 23-29; Ephesians 3:14-21; Micah 4:1-5
Preacher: Jeff Patterson
Listen or download:
We began the worship gathering with corporate lament:
Father, we come to you today with heavy hearts.
The killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and the subsequent killings of five police officers in Dallas, Texas unite our hearts in grief.
We grieve the death of Alton Sterling, Philander Castile, as well as Dallas transit officer Brent Thompson, and Dallas police officers Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens, and Michael Smith.
These deaths unite our hearts in grief.
Lord God, heal our broken world.
We look to our own hearts and see indifference, ignorance, and fear.
We are hopelessly lost apart from your Son.
Lord God, heal our broken hearts.
Today, Christians will gather in many local churches: Asian churches, black churches, Hispanic churches, and white churches, while you have called us to be one Church, one Body of Christ.
Let us be Your people, one Church.
Lord God, heal our broken churches.
Father God, through your Son Jesus Christ and your Holy Spirit, move in our hearts and minds to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.
(—adapted from Micah 6:8)
Additional quotes shared during message:
“Do not rest until love and faith in Jesus are the master passions of your soul.” —Charles Spurgeon
“We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God.” —A.W. Tozer
The sixth chapter of the Story Catechism is focused on the adversary who wants to thwart our close relationship with God:
Everything was good but everything was about to change.
The most deceitful, crafty, and tricky animal in the garden was the serpent.
The serpent was the enemy (Satan means ‘adversary’).
The serpent deceived Adam and Eve into thinking that they didn’t need God anymore.
But that wasn’t true was it?-that’s called a lie.
- Learning Together for July 10th outlines the fourth week in the Story Catechism
- Renew Summer: For ten weeks we’re journeying with the Story Catechism as a tool to use as a church family “on the go” this Summer, taking our identity as God’s children with us.
- Audio for instruction for using the Story Catechism this Summer can be found here. Enjoy! #weareintheStory
Psalm 23 (ESV)
The Lord Is My ShepherdA Psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Ephesians 3:14-21 (NLT)
Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
Micah 4:1-5 (ESV)
The Mountain of the Lord
4 It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and it shall be lifted up above the hills;
and peoples shall flow to it,
2 and many nations shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
3 He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall decide for strong nations far away;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore;
4 but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
and no one shall make them afraid,
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
5 For all the peoples walk
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
forever and ever.
This year we each of us are invited on an adventure to look up and love God first. What will be your plan to develop a new rhythm of seeking God each day? » Find some help here.