Infinitely glorious Father, we come to you this morning in the name of your eternal Son, Jesus Christ. We come with full confidence of our salvation being secured by the seal and guarantee of the Holy Spirit. Triune God – Father, Son, and Spirit – we worship and adore you this morning. “Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain, Highest praises, honor and glory, Be unto Your name, be unto Your name!”
As your blood-bought, heaven-bound church, we praise you for your mercy and grace. We praise you for your sacrificial love shown to us in the cross of Jesus Christ. “This is amazing grace, This is unfailing love, That You would take our place, That You would bear our cross, You would lay down Your life, [That you would take it back up again,] That we would be set free” from the penalty of sin and the grip of death. Oh, how we praise your name.
We marvel at the love you have shown for and to us. And we’re convicted of our inability and lack of desire to love others as you have loved us. We confess our selfishness, treating others as pawns for our comfort rather than sacrificing to serve them. We repent of our selfishness. We confess prioritizing our personal preferences rather than seeking unity and humility in the gospel. We repent of our prideful preferences demanding others meet them. We confess loving convenience and the resulting anger when someone interrupts us. We repent of our harshness and anger. We confess our shallow, self-centered idea of love that prompts us to peruse romantic immorality, physically or virtually. We repent of our immorality. We confess loving our perceived influence and status and being more concerned about how others see us rather than using the gifts you have given us to give glory and praise to your name. We repent of our glory-robbing.
We repent and we rejoice. We rejoice that our sin does not define us. We rejoice that Jesus paid it all; that through him, we are pure and blameless and filled with the fruit of righteousness. We rejoice that you, our triune God who is love, enjoy our fellowship and did all that was necessary to reconcile us back to yourself. We rejoice that through the Holy Spirit, we can love as we have been loved.
Lord God, we praise you for this church body and the many acts of sacrificial love that take place among us. We praise you for the way members love each other in Community Groups seeking to help each other delight in Jesus. We praise you for the way so many among us sacrifice convenience and comfort to serve others. We praise you for the several families pursuing adoption and helping those who are adopting or fostering children. For the glory and praise of your name God, may our love abound more and more with knowledge and all discernment. Help us love those who are not like us. Motivate us with the affections of Christ – help us see others the way Jesus sees them. Give us the grace to love those who are impoverished, who are broken and burdened. Give us the grace to be interrupted and inconvenienced and listen at length so we can build a brother or sister up on Christ or share the gospel with someone who does not know Jesus.
This morning Father, we thank you for our sister E. We praise you for her contagious faith and zealousness for Jesus. Spur her on all the more we ask. We thank you for the C family. Give R and C a deepening love for Christ and each other. Grant them wisdom and patient endurance as they raise C and A in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. We thank you for our brother G. We rejoice in the many ways you have grown him during his time at Restoration Church. As he moves to Houston, provide a nurturing church family there that will serve him and that he can serve.
Father, you are so kind to allow us to labor with other gospel preaching and practicing churches in and around DC. For the glory and praise of your name, continue to advance your gospel through The Well in Silver Spring, McLean Montgomery County in Rockville, Del Ray Baptist in Arlington, Sterling Park Baptist, Anacostia River Church, Capitol Hill Baptist, Grace DC and Christ our Shepherd. Magnify your name through these local churches we pray.
Lord, some of us here this morning are hurting and confused; some of us are anxious and worried; some of us are downcast and feel hopeless. We look at the world around us and we’re especially aware of the brokenness, whether that’s in the form of tragic events, systematic oppression, prideful racism, intolerant bigotry, personal illness. Holy Spirit, minister to us this morning. Comfort our souls. Give us peace of mind and rest within our spirit. Use the Word of God to remind us of the hope we have – hope in this world, and hope of a better world. Create within us a deep longing for heaven where all sin and brokenness and misery will be no more. Do this we ask, not only for our good but for your supreme glory. And we are sure of this – you will do it. We look at an empty tomb and resurrection Christ and we rest assured the best is yet to come. Keep us faithful until that day, until the day of Christ, we pray. Amen.