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God’s Alternative To All Our Idols (mgpc 12/1/2014)

Tomorrow morning at MGPC:
Glory Of Glories and Holy, Holy, Holy begin worship.
The prayer of adoration and confession will praise God for His perfect being and love, thanking Him for providing a Saviour when we would settle for something so destructive and so much less.
We Are Heirs Of God Almighty (Trinity Hymn), Heidelberg Catechism Q&A1 and Praise And Honour To The Father will be our testimony of faith and assurance.
From God’s Word John 1:19-51 recounts the baptism of Jesus and calling of the first disciples.
We’ll respond singing You Sons Of The Gods (Psalm 29).
After reading Isaiah 42:1-9 we’ll consider God’s alternative to our idols, seeing how God doesn’t simply warn His people away from idols, but promises to send one who will give everything that people seek from idols, but without consuming and destroying them. The New Testament reveals that one to be Jesus.
After singing When I Survey The Wondrous Cross, we’ll share the Lord’s Supper.
Our pastoral prayer will continue to uphold Jozua, along with the needs of many others, then we’ll give our tithes and offerings and conclude worship singing As You Go.

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Reasons For Praise (mgpc 29/12/2013)

The people of God have plenty of reason to praise. As an old year closes and a new year beckons it is a wonderful time to take stock of all God’s blessings and express thanksgiving and testimony.

Great God, We Sing That Mighty Hand, I Praise You, Lord, and O God, Our Help In Ages Past are songs that focus on God’s preservation, provision and protection.
The prayer of adoration and confession will remember God’s love in sustaining us and taking our sorrows upon Himself.
In Christ Alone, Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 1 and Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow are our testimony of faith and assurance.
From the Bible, Lamentations 5:1-22 contains Jeremiah’s concluding lament and plea for the restoration.
Continuing our thankfulness to God, we’ll sing Through The Love Of God Our Saviour.
After reading Isaiah 63:7-10, in Reasons To Praise, the life of God’s people will emerge: those who recall and testify about the goodness of God, the Saviour who bears His people’s afflictions and carries them, and whose steadfast love never fails.
After the prayer of thanksgiving and for the needs of others, out tithes and offerings will be collected and then we’ll conclude our worship singing Not To Us (Receive The Glory).

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Immanuel (mgpc 22/12/2013)

To The LORD O Sing A New Song (Psalm 98) and Worthy Is The Lamb Who Was Slain (Revelation Song) prepare us for worship, which begins with Tell Out My Soul, a hymn based on Mary’s words in Luke 1.
After the announcements, the prayer of adoration and confession will focus on the promises of God and His enduring faithfulness in salvation.
From The Squalor Of A Borrowed Stable, Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 1 and Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow will be our confession of faith and assurance.
From God’s Word, Lamentations 4:1-22 provides a perspective drawing from the contrast between the suffering of God’s people and that which the enemies of God will endure.
Our song of preparation for God’s Word will be Did You Know?
After reading Isaiah 7:1-17 we’ll consider God’s provision of a sign to unfaithful Ahaz, and consider what that sign means and why Jesus is the fulfilment of what the sign promises.
After our pastoral prayers, which will include Jozua the Zwijnenburg family, we’ll give our tithes and offerings then conclude worship singing O Little Town Of Bethlehem.

And sometime during worship gifts of books will be given to our younger folk.
If you’re old, you’ll have to hang around Ian Touzel. You’ll get a book eventually.

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The Great Return (mgpc 15/12/2013)

All our best hopes for this life are frail and uncertain. God promises that the blessings we do know and experience now are not the ultimate expression of His saving purpose. There is more to come. Every tear will be wiped away.
In the midst of a very trying season, we stand alongside our friends the Zwijnenburg family and cry ‘Come, Lord Jesus, Come!’

O My Soul, Arise And Bless Your Maker and Praise The LORD, Let All Within Me (Psalm 146) are the songs of preparation.
We commence worship singing Blessed Be Your Name.
After the welcome and announcements the prayer of adoration and confession will recall the wonder of God’s nature and ways as we related in Isaiah 55 and our frailty as told in Psalm 103.
We’ll affirm our faith in the words of the song You Made Us To Reflect Your Glory, Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 1, and O Glorious God To You We Bring.
In God’s Word, Lamentations 3:40-66 sees Jeremiah conclude his third lament with pleas for deliverance from his enemies.
Our song of response is O Come, All You Faithful.
After reading Isaiah 35:1-10 we’ll consider the scope of a great return which God promises will bring wholeness, a transformation in creation and a greater vision of Himself. Though Christians experience this as a result of the events of Jesus’ first coming, there is still a greater realisation of all these promises which will occur at His second coming.
After our pastoral prayer, we’ll give our tithes and offerings then conclude singing Once In Royal David’s City.

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Isaiah’s Gospel (mgpc 8/12/2013)

Sometimes we try to create Christmas spirit through elaborate plans, expensive gifts and endless celebrations, only to remember again that sharing the love and presence of family is the best way to celebrate Jesus’ birth. The Bible reminds us that God’s salvation is like that, we can create all sorts of plans to ensure our peace and security, but His gift of Jesus is the only way to truly experience His presence and love.
Jesus Shall Reign Where’er The Sun and Humble Thyself In The Sight Of The Lord – Our God Is An Awesome God are the songs of commencement.
The prayer of adoration and confession will focus on God’s continuing purpose of working His saving grace for His people through humble and unexpected means, seeking His forgiveness for the times when we look to other means for peace and satisfaction.
Our song of assurance and testimony will be Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, followed by the Apostles’ Creed and Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.
In God’s Word Lamentations 3 continues Jeremiah’s complaint but turns into an affirmation of hope.
That essence of that hope is encapsulated in the song O Come, O Come Emmanuel.
Reading from Isaiah 11:1-10 we’ll consider Elijah’s Gospel and see that the purpose and promise of God to remake creation under a righteous ruler who would come from a most unlikely source has been long revealed and much anticipated. Though we now know that the Lord Jesus is that righteous ruler, we long for the time when He will return and all creation will be renewed.
As we prepare to celebrate the Lord’s Supper we’ll sing The Price Is Paid, then share the elements of bread and wine together.
After our pastoral prayer, we’ll give our tithes and offerings, then conclude worship singing Glory And Honour To The One Who Saved Us (See Him Coming).

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A Name Above All Names (mgpc 23/12/2012)

Some people feel the pressure to live up to their family names. Others know that their first or middle name represents a recognition of a forebear or someone notable and admired. It can be tough to be worthy of a name. In Isaiah chapter nine we learn about the hardest name of all to live up to, a name above all names, and then learn of the one who embodies all that name promises.
In a final nod to our advent theme we’ll begin our singing with the song When The Trumpet Of The Lord Shall Sound. Then we’ll continue to learn our new Christmas song Did You Know, in preparation for a full rendition on Tuesday. Worship will commence as we sing What Child Is This?
Our prayer of adoration and confession will praise the Triune God for who He is, for how we experience His being and nature through relationship, and confess our need of His continuing to embrace us in redemptive love.
There Is A Redeemer will be our song of testimony, after which we’ll confess our faith through the Apostles’ Creed and sing a new doxology, Praise to you, O Lord, we sing.
Listening to God’s Word from Jeremiah 9 brings the humbling experience of the prophet’s tears for Jerusalem’s destruction. This solemnity will contrast with our sung response, the joyous melody known as Siyahamba to which a paraphrase of Psalm 72, He Will Save The Needy, is set.
As we read from Isaiah 9 we’ll hear familiar words describing the name of the child who would be born. Reflecting on that promise we’ll take comfort and encouragement as we think about the one in whom that promise found its ultimate fulfillment.
Our prayers of thanksgiving and for the needs of others and offerings will then be given, and then the service will close as we sing The First Nowell, remembering the birth of the one who is the King of God’s people.

And tomorrow will also be the debut of our new Johannus 15 digital organ.
I think people will notice a difference.