Wednesday, September 16, 2020

This Week’s Theme
The Faithfulness of God
Lamentations 3.19-26
(The Knowledge of the Holy [KOTH], Chapter 15)

Our God is faithful. All his words, all his actions and works, all his covenants and promises are consistent with who he is, what he has said and done, and what he will inevitably do. God is faithful, certain of his word, committed to his covenants, sure in his promise. Tozer says of God’s faithfulness, “God being who He is, cannot cease to be what He is, and being what He is, He cannot act out of character with Himself. He is at once faithful and immutable, so all His words and acts must be and remain faithful. Men become unfaithful out of desire, fear, weakness, loss of interest, or because of some strong influence from without. Obviously none of these forces can affect God in any way. He is His own reason for all He is and does. He cannot be compelled from without, but ever speaks and acts from within Himself by His own sovereign will as it pleases Him” (KOTH, p. 79).

How marvelously said. “God is his own reason for all he is and does.” He cannot be manipulated from his direction, and need not be reminded of his promise. He keeps his word, though no one else responds or keeps their word.

During the attack of the Babylonians on Jerusalem, Jeremiah the prophet wrestled with the meaning of God’s faithfulness to his people. In the wake of the destruction of the city, and the cruelty of Israel’s invaders, could it be said that God was still faithful? Jeremiah called on the LORD to remember his affliction and wanderings, “the wormwood and the gall!” He said that his soul continually remembered them, and as a result, it was “bowed down within me” (Lam. 3.19-20). In the midst of the confusion and misery, Jeremiah declared this: “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”

Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

It is a good thing to give thanks unto Thee and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High, to show forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning and Thy faithfulness every night. As Thy Son while on earth was loyal to Thee, His Heavenly Father, so now in heaven He is faithful to us, His earthly brethren; and in this knowledge we press on with every confident hope for all the years and centuries yet to come. Amen.
~ KOTH, p. 78

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

Wednesday: John 10; Luke 13.22-14.24

Lectionary Readings

Psalm: Ps. 103.1-13


OT: Exod. 14.19-31


Gospel: Matt. 18.21-35

NT: Rom. 14.1-12


(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 

Happy the man whose hopes rely
On Israel’s God; He made the sky,
And earth and seas, with all their train;
His truth forever stands secure;
He saves the oppressed, He feeds the poor,
And none shall find His promises vain.
~ Isaac Watts (KOTH, p. 81)

Affirmation for the Day
For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning (Ps. 30.5).

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with thee (Thomas Obadiah Chisholm).

For Your Weekly Journey

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
God’s Omnipresence, Jeremiah 23.23-32

Book Reading
Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy