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Family Worship Sunday

Psalm 119:89-90  says: 

Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.
Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
 
As a parent, I feel like I'm on a perpetual pendulum swing on the spectrum from complacency to fear. Some days, I'm fully convinced that the Lord is totally in control of everything from my kids' health and safety to their sanctification, and that He's making significant progress in developing them into godly, productive future adults. On those days, my temptation is to get complacent and self-congratulatory, believing that I don't need to work at the task of parenting, but rather keep things on autopilot.
 
On other days, I'm discouraged about their progress, worried about their health, and frustrated at their immaturity. On those days, I'm tempted to give into condemnation about my past failures as a parent, complain about the difficulties of raising children in this world, and make grandiose and sweeping commitments to overhaul my parenting methodology in order to manufacture better results.
 
Can you relate to those swings? If you can, like me, you may be struggling with a core issue I'll call "Scripture Forgetfulness". 
 
On those days that I swing to the extremes, I am forgetting the truth laid out in Psalm 119:89-90....it's the Word of the Lord that is fixed firmly. It's His faithfulness that endures to all generations. He has established what is true, what is right, what is successful, and nothing I do can or fail to do will thwart his plans. At first reading, it may seem like these truths, while a guard against the temptation to fear and worry about our kids, would only reinforce the temptation to complacency on the other end of the spectrum. But that's the beauty of this simple reminder. 
 
It doesn't say, 'Your power, O Lord, is fixed firmly in the heavens". It doesn't say, "Your plan, O Lord, is fixed firmly in the heavens." It says, "Your Word, O Lord, is fixed firmly in the heavens.". When I put my trust in the Word of the Lord, I am fundamentally submitting to ALL of his Word. And the sure and steady testimony of the entire Word of the Lord is that there is a balance to be struck by parents. We are called to BOTH active discipleship of our children AND active trusting of the Lord for the outcomes of their lives, both physically and spiritually. It's in His Word, his unified, complete, sufficient Word, that we are to place our trust, and as we do, we can be confident that his faithfulness will endure to our generation, our children's generation, our grandchildren's generation, and on and on until He returns. This is good news! And it's a good reminder to get to work applying the Word in our parenting.
 
May the Lord help us all to put our trust in the Word of the Lord and all the promises it contains.
 
This Sunday, we'll celebrate both Family Worship and Baptisms. It's so exciting for our kids to get to witness others testify to the work of the Savior to bring them from death to life. Here are the songs and Scriptures that will make up our service this Sunday:
 
Psalm 119:137-138
Only A Holy God
Psalm 119:89-90
One Foundation
Psalm 119:171-175
Be Thou My Vision
Psalm 119:15-16
Look and See
Sermon from Psalm 1
None But Jesus
 
And here is a Spotify playlist with some of these songs, as well as some songs based on Psalm 1 that might help your family "Hide the Word".
 
Also, here is a devotional we developed in 2019 for Psalm 119. If you haven't gone through it before, this might be a great way get a jump-start in applying this Sunday's sermon.
 
Lastly, handouts will be available to grab on your way out, or you can grab a digital copy here.
 
Posted by Tim Payne with

Joy of Every Longing Heart

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
  O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.

-Psalm 130

The theme of our Advent series this year was from the the classic hymn, "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus". The song refers to Jesus as the "Joy of Every Longing Heart". 

I love that line because it so beautifully encapsulates the mysterious blend of joy and longing, hope and anxiety, darkness and light, waiting and celebrating that define the existence of Christians as we await the return of the Lord.

The Christmas season is full of reminders why we ought to be filled with joy. God came as a Baby to begin a rescue mission. The Father orchestrated even the stars in the sky and the motives and choices of earthly kings to announce the birth of the Savior. Symbols like the Christmas Tree, the candy cane, candlelight, nativities....whether our culture fully realizes it or not....all point to this wonderful event over 2000 years ago.

But at the same time, Christmas brings back to mind many of the points of darkness and pain in our broken world. It's a time when we remember those that sickness and death and sin have taken from us. We become acutely aware of those in need and the sadness and brokenness prevalent in so many lonely and suffering hearts.

This Sunday, we'll close our Advent series and kick off our week of Christmas celebrations, by again acknowledging and not rushing past the hard truths of a broken and waiting world, and then exhorting our own hearts and one another to place our cares on the shoulders of our Savior, and celebrate his perfect rescue mission and promised return to make all things new again! He, and He alone, is the source of joy for every longing heart.

Here are the Scriptures and Songs that will make up our Christmas Service this Sunday at 9am and 11am.

Psalm 130
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
O Come O Come Emmanuel
Prepare Him Room
Luke 1:68,78-79
Joy to the World
When Love Came Down to Earth
Sermon from Luke 1:26-38
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Sing  We The Song of Emmanuel
O Come All Ye Faithful
 
We are looking forward to worshipping the Lord with you in-person and online!
Posted by Tim Payne with

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