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Preparing for Corporate Worship - When Satan Tempts Me to Despair

Written By Ryan Egan on 01/17/2019 | Posted in Congregational LifeDaily Christian LivingWorship

This coming Sunday we will be taking a look at the temptation of Jesus in Luke 4. Use the content below to help prepare your hearts and minds for worship as we gather together.

Call to Worship

Don't forget that this is a vital portion of the service to help reset our focus and point our minds to Jesus. We consistently start our service right at 9 am so if you can make it on time (or early!) be sure to do so that you don't miss out on this part of the service!

Songs of Praise

This week we will be singing the classic hymn 'Holy, Holy, Holy' and the song 'Let It Be Said Of Us' that we sang throughout the fall at Living Word. At first glance these two songs might seem to be in contradiction with each other. We will declare the glory, majesty, and holiness of God in the first and then respond with a call that our lives would be lived in a certain manner.

Ironically, without the holiness and guidance of God we can't live up to what we'll be singing. The beautiful thing about the second song though, is that the chorus reminds us where to go when we fall short, which will be a theme throughout the service:

Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song,
by mercy made holy, by the Spirit made strong
Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song,
'til the likeness of Jesus be, through us, be known
Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song.

I love how that song challenges us to live in unity and love but then ultimately reminds us that the cross, the mercy of Christ, and the Spirit are the only things that can accomplish this.

Confessions

We will take an extended look at Psalm 139 during our confessions (both confessing our sin and our faith through it) this week. One reason for this is that this Sunday is known as sanctity of human life Sunday. Portions of Psalm 139 tell the beautiful truth that God formed us and knit us together and planned our lives for us long before we were born. The whole Psalm is a beautiful testament to how God loves us and knows us despite our sin.

And not only despite our sin, but even because of it, He sent Jesus to die on our behalf so that He would return and sit at the right hand of God the father and plead on our behalf - that when God sees us He sees us through the lens of what Jesus has done for us. To that end, we will sing the beautiful re-tune of the 1863 hymn 'Before the Throne of God Above.' Pay attention to these incredibly powerful lyrics!

When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died my sinful soul is counted free
For God, the just, is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me,
to look on Him and pardon me.

Speak, O Lord

This week we will also be singing 'Your Word O, Lord,' before the Scripture readings and message. This is a new song we've been learning throughout this month and ties directly into our reading plan and this month's memory verse, which is Psalm 1. It's lengthier than past passages have been, but I'd encourage you to memorize it. Also - please use the song as the prayer that it's intended to be with these wonderful words:

Speak, O Lord, Speak, O Lord
We are ready to receive.
Speak, O Lord, through Your mighty word,
O set Your word in me.

That's a prayer that's good for any time we're about to hear from God's word!

I pray that this coming Sunday's service is meaningful to you and that God will clearly speak to you and give you grace upon grace.

Listen To and Learn This Week's Music

Be sure to listen to and learn the music for this week by visiting our music resource page as well.

Editor's note: Image courtesy of www.lumoproject.com.


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Ryan serves as Director of Worship & Creative Arts at Living Word. He is a follower of Jesus, husband, father of three, worshiper and creative.

Worship: Sundays at 9:00 AM | Christian Education: 10:30 AM