ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
GOD IS PERSONAL
God is a self-conscious Being capable of thought, will, and interaction with His creation. We can see that God is personal especially as we read the Psalms. In the Psalms, David refers to God as “my shepherd” or “my portion” or “my light.” God is not just a portion or a Shepherd, but God is a personal shepherd to David.
Psalm 16:5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.
Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not be in want.
Praise the Personal God
Praise God that he can relate with you personally. He is infinite and all-powerful but he can also speak to relate with you. Praise God that he can personally lead you and shepherd you.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.
- Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
- Pray for the River Youth as a they go to Super Summer today. Ask God to use this week to challenge student’s in their walk with him.
- Ask God to speak to you as you read the scriptures.
2 Corinthians 9 New International Version
There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. 2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 3 But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
The “early” church was no more perfect than the “later” church is. There is a tendency to romanticize the past, particularly in regards to the first century Christian movement. While there were men and women of great faith who made great sacrifices the same is true today. Just like today there were men and women who had low character or were just wrong about some things in the early church. What we have in Scripture is both a description of what did happen and prescription for what ought to happen. It is sometimes difficult for people to know if a particular Scriptural passage was descriptive or prescriptive. Often principles and commands that are prescriptive are given in passages that are historical narrative, describing things that happened. What we have in Acts is a historical narrative of the spread of the church as Jesus said that it would. But this historical narrative is not just “data”…mere historical facts, it has a theological purpose. Luke, like every writer of history, has to filter out what he says because otherwise writing and reading history would be impossible. Luke gives us what God wants for us. In Acts 15 we find a council at Jerusalem where some key church leaders gathered to try and make sense out of the experiences of the evangelists and church planters in the new Christian movement. They came to some important conclusions regarding the gospel and it’s accessibility to everyone. Different Christians traditions come to different conclusions about what to make of this council. Some see a centralized command and control for the global church. Others, like our church, see a voluntary cooperation of autonomous churches with a willingness to work together to come to important decisions and to accomplish larger purposes. It is complex navigating the “descriptive” and “prescriptive” and all the various views on Scripture. But give thanks to God that he is the Lord of history, the divine author of Scripture, and that he has given us his word so that we do not have to “guess” as to what is real and valuable. Do the work to know the truth, it is worth the effort.