This Week’s Theme
Live Worthy of the Gospel
Paul exhorted the Philippian believers to conduct themselves in a way that would bring honor to Christ. Whether he would be released or experience martyrdom, he challenged them to let their lifestyles and conduct be “worthy of the gospel of Christ,” especially so, if he were released and had an opportunity to see them or remain where he was, he might hear testimony of them “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind [literally, ‘as one man, with one soul’] striving [contending] side by side for the faith of the gospel.” The images here are of an athletic team, or a Roman army cohort. The Gospel must be contended for, and, in Christian community, this must be seen in the most unified, committed fashion, working and striving together with one mind and voice.
Indeed, Paul had great experience in contending for the faith. He challenged them to live courageously in the face of their opponents and their persecution, i.e., for them not to be “frightened in anything by your opponents” (v. 28), which was, in his mind, a sign of the their destruction, but of the Philippians’ salvation which God had supplied.
This opportunity to suffer while contending for the faith, for Paul, was a great honor. It had been granted to them for Christ’s sake to not only believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake. This was considered in Paul’s mind as an act of God’s grace and favor, with the word “granted” based on a word signifying grace. This conflict that they experienced is of the same kind as Paul experienced for Christ, the very kind that he was currently undergoing as a prisoner of Rome. Living worthy of the Gospel involves contending and striving for the Gospel and believing in and suffering for the sake of Christ.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God, thank you for the honor of representing your Son in this world. Grant us the grace to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ, that we may strive together side by side for the faith of the Gospel. Also, empower us to live faithfully as we both believe in him and suffer for his sake. For his glory we pray, 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: Eph. 4-6
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 145.1-5, 17-21
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
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the high honor of being associated with your great name in this world. Lead us as we let our manner of life be worthy of your Gospel, and as we stand firm in one spirit with one mind, striving together for the faith of the Good News. This is our honor in this world, to believe in and to suffer for your name. In your name we pray, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
Holy Spirit of God, teach us how to walk and please God, and to do so more and more, as you lead us day by day (1 Thess. 4.1).
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Let your manner of life be worthy of the Gospel of Christ.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
That We Might Live through Him
1 John 4.7-14
Our Corporate Disciplines
Book Discussion: Monday, November 4, 2019