Thursday, February 13, 2020

This Week’s Theme
The Secret and Hidden Wisdom of God
1 Corinthians 2.1-16

Paul declared to the Corinthians that when he came to them he did not come proclaiming God’s testimony “with lofty speech or wisdom” (1 Cor. 2.1). He had determined beforehand to know nothing among them except “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (ibid.). His outer appearance was not impressive at all; as a matter of fact, he came to them in fear and trembling. Nor did Paul deliver his speech and message to them in convincing words of worldly wisdom but rather in the demonstration of the Spirit’s wisdom and power. Why did he appear before them and present in such a humble way? His answer is revealing: “so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (v. 5).

Paul admitted that his message was the impartation of wisdom, but it was not a wisdom of this age or the rulers of this age, a wisdom doomed to pass away. Rather, he imparted to the Corinthians “a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2.7-8). The things God has in store for us cannot be known through human wisdom and reason; rather, God reveals his treasures to us through the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the very depths of God (vv. 9-10). God’s secret and hidden wisdom is made known to those who believe in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, the gift of God who alone can reveal God’s will and wisdom to us.

Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

Spirit of the Living God, only you know the heart of the Father; only you can truly make known the Son. Enlighten our hearts and minds through your wisdom so that we may have the mind of Christ.

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)

Gloria Patri

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: Deut. 13-16

Lectionary Readings

Psalm: Ps. 112.1-10

OT: Isa. 58.1-12

Gospel: Matt. 5.13-20


NT: 
1 Cor. 2.1-16

(Click here for all readings)

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
Benediction 

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith – to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

~ Romans 16.25-27

Affirmation for the Day
God imparts his own secret and hidden wisdom to us through the Holy Spirit.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Holy Spirit of God, make known to us the wisdom of God in Jesus Christ.

For Your Weekly Journey

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Salt and Light, Matthew 5.21-37

Book Reading
Packer, Knowing God

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