This Week’s Theme
Ransomed with the Precious Blood of Christ
1 Peter 1.17-21
Peter, in the first chapter of his first epistle, challenges his audience to rejoice in God for their regeneration to a lively hope of salvation through Christ’s resurrection. Even though, if need be, they suffer affliction today, they still have cause for great rejoicing for the trial of their faith would produce unspeakable joy, full of glory (vv. 6-9). This is the same salvation that the prophets spoke of, and the angels desire to look into (vv. 10-12). Peter then exhorts them for action and sober mindedness, to be accompanied by obedience and new living; because God is holy, we must be holy in all our conduct and character (vv. 13-16).
Peter challenges the believers that if they call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, they should conduct themselves with sobriety during their time as aliens here, since they were ransomed from futile ways to approach God by the precious blood of Christ, “like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” This is God’s longstanding plan, “foreknown before the foundation of the world,” now made plain in these last days for those who through Christ believe in God, who raised Jesus from the dead.
We are ransomed from our futile ways by the precious blood of Christ, that as of a lamb without blemish or spot. Christ is our Passover; now we are free, not by our own hand, but by God’s grace.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal Father, you have ransomed us and delivered us not by our own works and efforts, but by the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. We thank you for his gift, and now desire to honor you in our holiness, for you alone are holy. Be glorified in us, for Christ’s sake, amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Thursday: Luke 8.1-8, 19-21; Mark 3.20-4.20; Matt. 12.22-13.9
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 112
OT: Prov. 25.6-7
Gospel: Luke 14.1, 7-14
NT: Heb. 13.1-8, 15-16
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
Lord Jesus Christ, your precious blood has redeemed us to God. You ransomed our souls, exchanging your life for ours. Nothing can replace your love for us. We cling to you alone. In your name we pray, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
No perishable things are sufficient to ransom our lives before God.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
We have been ransomed to God with the precious blood of Christ.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Light of the Gospel
2 Corinthians 4.1-6
Finley, Reformation in Foreign Missions