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Gathered in Praise

For months, we worshipped completely separate as a church. It was weird, to say the least. For the last few weeks, we've been able to partially gather, and though it's still not normal, it sure has been a wonderful reminder to me of the blessing of corporate worship. God's people, with all our hindrances and challenges, united with one voice to declare his glory and praise. What a sign of the Unity that only the Spirit can give! What a joy that can't be duplicated on our couches!

If you're like me, you get used to a routine pretty quickly, and forget how different it used to be. But as soon as we started gathering as a small percentage of the church, it was very clear - and as that percentage has grown, so has the clarity - I don't ever want to go back to regularly worshipping from my living room with just my family in the room. I want...I need to sing to God with the gathered local church.  I know for some of you, it's not wise to join with us quite yet...and we miss you, and we're confident the Lord will meet you and that he's not limited by the circumstance of you having to watch a livestream.

But if you've grown comfortable with "couch church" and aren't limited by circumstances that don't allow you to gather, I want to urge you to come and sing together with God's people this week.

This Sunday, that's what we'll get to do, yet again. We'll join together in declaring, from Psalm 117:1-2:

Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!

And then we'll sing as representatives from multiple nations and countless backgrounds. And we'll hear a sermon on the unity that the Spirit brings, and then we'll take Communion together as a reminder that we are united together in Christ. What a joy!

Here are the songs and Scriptures for this week's service:

-Call to Worship from Psalm 117
-All Creatures of Our God and King
-Sermon from Ephesians 4:1-6
-Come Praise and Glorify
And here's a Spotify Playlist so you can be singing those songs all weekend.
Posted by Tim Payne with

Praising the Glory of God Together

Ephesians 3:14-19 says,

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

The Apostle Paul is praying that God would strengthen the church through his Spirit, that Christ would dwell in our hearts, that we may comprehend God's immeasurable love, and that God would then fill us with Himself. 

Why does Paul pray this for the church?  Because God answers, hears, and strengthens the church through his Spirit.  As a result of growing in the Spirit we grow in love.  When God fills our hearts with the Spirit, there is an overflow of love in the response of praising God.  In verse 19, we see this end result of giving thanks to God. 

Our songs this week show our thankfulness to God as we praise him for his goodness.  They also are songs filled with requests we make of God:  For God to fill us with his Spirit and for him to be around us and in us. We can find refuge and comfort in God because of his love.

Here are the songs and Scripture that will be a part of tomorrow's service:

Call to Worship from Ephesians 3:14-19
Come Praise and Glorify
Holy Spirit
Christ Be All Around Me
A Mighty Fortress
Sermon from Acts 1:8
Give Me Faith
And here's a Spotify Playlist of the songs so you can listen to them today and tomorrow morning as you prepare to worship Him together with us!
Posted by Will Vogelsang with

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