Sunday May 10, 2020

“Four Snapshots of Life in Christ”
Happy Mother’s Day!

Psalm 145:1-7

I will exalt you, my God and King,

    and praise your name forever and ever. 

I will praise you every day;

    yes, I will praise you forever.

Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!

    No one can measure his greatness.

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;

    let them proclaim your power 

I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor

    and your wonderful miracles.

Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;

    I will proclaim your greatness.

Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness;

    they will sing with joy about your righteousness.


“Your Name”


Verse 1

As morning dawns and evening fades

You inspire songs of praise

That rise from earth to touch Your heart

And glorify Your Name



Your Name is a strong and mighty tower

Your Name is a shelter like no other

Your Name let the nations sing it louder

‘Cause nothing has the power to save

But Your Name


Verse 2

Jesus in Your Name we pray

Come and fill our hearts today

Lord give us strength to live for You

And glorify Your Name


CCLI Song # 4611679

Glenn Packiam | Paul Baloche

© 2006 Integrity Worship Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music, David C Cook))

Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music, David C Cook))

For use solely with the SongSelect®. Terms of Use. All rights reserved.

CCLI License # 2015925


Psalm 145:8-13a

The Lord is merciful and compassionate,

    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love 

The Lord is good to everyone.

    He showers compassion on all his creation. 

All of your works will thank you, Lord,

    and your faithful followers will praise you. 

They will speak of the glory of your kingdom;

    they will give examples of your power.

They will tell about your mighty deeds

    and about the majesty and glory of your reign. 

For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.

    You rule throughout all generations.


“Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful”


Verse 1

Oh Lord You’re beautiful

Your face is all I seek

And when Your eyes are on this child

Your grace abounds to me (repeat)



I want to take Your Word

And shine it all around

First help me just to live it Lord

And when I’m doing well

Help me to never seek a crown

For my reward is giving glory to You


Verse 2

Oh Lord please light the fire

That once burned bright and clear

Replace the lamp of my first love

That burns with holy fear

CCLI Song # 14514

Keith Green

© 1980 Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publishing (Admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.)

Birdwing Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

For use solely with the SongSelect®. Terms of Use. All rights reserved.

CCLI License # 2015925

Psalm 145:13b-16

The Lord always keeps his promises;

    he is gracious in all he does.

The Lord helps the fallen

    and lifts those bent beneath their loads.

The eyes of all look to you in hope;

    you give them their food as they need it.

When you open your hand,

    you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.


“Great Are You Lord”


You give life You are love

You bring light to the darkness

You give hope You restore ev’ry heart that is broken

And great are You Lord



It’s Your breath in our lungs

So we pour out our praise

We pour out our praise

It’s Your breath in our lungs

So we pour out our praise to You only



And all the earth will shout Your praise

Our hearts will cry these bones will sing

Great are You Lord



CCLI Song # 6460220

David Leonard | Jason Ingram | Leslie Jordan

© 2012 Integrity’s Alleluia! Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music, David C Cook))

Integrity’s Praise! Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music, David C Cook))

Open Hands Music (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)

So Essential Tunes (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)

For use solely with the SongSelect®. Terms of Use. All rights reserved.

CCLI License # 2015925


Psalm 145:17-21

The Lord is righteous in everything he does;

    he is filled with kindness.

The Lord is close to all who call on him,

    yes, to all who call on him in truth. 

He grants the desires of those who fear him;

    he hears their cries for help and rescues them. 

The Lord protects all those who love him,

    but he destroys the wicked. 

I will praise the Lord,

    and may everyone on earth bless his holy name

    forever and ever.


“All Creatures of Our God And King”

Verse 1

All creatures of our God and King

Lift up your voice and with us sing

Alleluia alleluia

Thou burning sun with golden beam

Thou silver moon with softer gleam

O praise Him O praise Him

Alleluia alleluia alleluia


Verse 2

Thou rushing wind that art so strong

Ye clouds that sail in heaven along

O praise Him alleluia

Thou rising morn in praise rejoice

Ye lights of evening find a voice

O praise Him O praise Him

Alleluia alleluia alleluia


Verse 4

And all ye men of tender heart

Forgiving others take your part

O sing ye alleluia

Ye who long pain and sorrow bear

Praise God and on Him cast your care


Verse 5

Let all things their Creator bless

And worship Him in humbleness

O praise Him alleluia

Praise praise the Father praise the Son

And praise the Spirit Three in One

O praise Him O praise Him

Alleluia alleluia alleluia


Verse 9

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise Him all creatures here below

O praise Him alleluia

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts

Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost

O praise Him O praise Him

Alleluia alleluia alleluia

CCLI Song # 1503

St. Francis of Assisi | William Henry Draper

© Words: Public Domain

Music: Public Domain

For use solely with the SongSelect®. Terms of Use. All rights reserved.

CCLI License # 2015925


Scripture Reading  –  James 1:9-18

“’Tis A Gift To Be Simple”

Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be free

‘Tis a gift to come down where I ought to be

And when I am in the place just right

I will be in the valley of love and delight

When true simplicity is gained

To bow and to bend I will not be ashamed

To turn, to turn will be my delight

‘Til by turning, turning, I come ’round right.


Sermon “Four Snapshots of Life in Christ”

James 1:9-18


Scripture Reading  –  James 1:9-18

Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them.

And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them.

They will fade away like a little flower in the field.

            The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls,

            and its beauty fades away.

In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.


God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.”

            God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.

            Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

            These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow,

            it gives birth to death.


So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word.

And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.


Intro: It’s Mother’s Day and we think of those dear women who gave us birth and/or reared us.  Those who nurtured us and disciplined us and gave us gifts and met our needs.  And if we were blessed with a faithful one it is easy to give thanks.  And we can remember that faithfulness and what a blessing it is to belong to a Mother who poured her love into us.


I am aware that not every Mom out there has been able to do what a mother should. Some suffer from disease or mental illness or addictions and that makes it hard for them to care for their children as God intended.  I am truly sorry and I pray that God meets those needs in other ways. But I want to use as an example this morning, those Moms who were able to parent with love and grace and a whole heart for their children. I want to think about Moms who did their best for their children in the best of times and in the worst of times. I want us to think about what it means to belong to Mom’s like this because I think they give us a glimpse of what it means for us to belong to a Father like God.  Here’s why . . .


You know you belong to your Mother no matter what.  Whether you grew up with plenty or in want, your Mom claimed you and affirmed who you are.  She pumped you up when you were deflated and she put a hole in your ego when you needed to come back down to earth.  Amen?


You know you belong to your mother when you mess up and she loves you anyway.  Even when you blame her for your problems, she love you. She is quick to set you straight on that opinion and remind you know that you have personal responsibility to make right and wrong decisions that have particular outcomes for your life.  Have you ever heard from her lips, “You made your bed, now lie in it!” No? It means deal with the consequences you create for yourself because of the decisions you make.


You know you belong to your Mother when she blesses you with good gifts.  When she comes up with just the right thing at just the right time.  And when she consistently loves you and claims you as her own.


I want to use this idea of a good Mom to illustrate three snapshots of what it looks like to belong to a Good God.  We find these three snapshots in our reading from James.


One: Rich or Poor We Belong To God (9-11)

Whether we are rich or poor God claims us and has a purpose for us. James is making the point that no matter which heritage we have, God levels the playing field.  In Christ, the poor are honored to be invited to feast at the table of the Lord.  In Christ, riches are a tool to be used but they don’t buy you the best seat at the table.  Jesus spoke of this in parables as a warning for the rich not to seek the best seats at the table or they may be asked to move so a poor person could be seated in their place.


We come to Jesus as we are, rich or poor, talented and gifted in our unique ways and God uses what we bring as a tool to proclaim Him.  God is truly the best equal opportunity employer.  He takes what we have and uses it to be heard. He lifts up the poor and brings down the rich and we all have a seat at his table as equals.  Rich or poor, we belong to God.


Two: Trial and Temptation Come and We Belong To God (12-15)

How familiar are you with “The Blame Game”?  Have you played it a time or two? Are you old enough to remember the Flip Wilson skit on Laugh In.  Where he voices the character of Geraldine who buys her third dress of the week and when confronted by her Rev husband claims, “The Devil made me buy this dress” and tells a great story.  Look it up on YouTube and give yourself a giggle. 


Well that’s one way to pass on blame to another, but some try to blame God for tempting them.

We might say, “God made me this way with a love of spending or a love of chocolate or a desire for . . .”  The truth is that God gave us a desire for himself. Made in his image, made with a God shaped longing in our heart that only He can fill.  But we don’t pay attention to that and we pursue other things.  Our desire for even good things can take us far from God.  Wanting anything more than we want God will lead us away from him.  God would never tempt us away from himself.  The Devil would! 


When we are tempted to do anything we know is displeasing to our Father who loves us and made us, we need to own it.  We need to admit it without fear of thinking God will turn us away because we are tempted. That’s the moment in which he offers us rescue and release from the temptation.  And even if we choose to do the things we ought not to do, He stands ready to forgive us, to redeem us, to make things right between us.


James is giving us a really great anatomy of temptation and sin.  Let me re-read verse 18:

            Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

            These desires give birth to sinful actions.

            And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.


Friends, temptation comes.  Our minds are powerful things and our thoughts can lead us into some really dark places.  We get our mind set on something like the idea of ice cream and can’t rest until we’ve had it.  God is inviting us to set our minds on Him. What if every negative desire was replaced with the desire to seek God first? How would our lives be transformed? It will take training. It will be life transforming and it will be rewarding.  This is exactly what the God we belong to invites us to pursue because he claims us as His own and we belong to Him.


Three: Life Is a Gift because We Belong To God (16-18)

God does not tempt us to go astray.  Instead he gives us good and perfect gifts. When we sing “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” we recount the good and perfect gifts God gives: seasons, each day, all nature, pardon for our sin, enduring peace, God’s presence to encourage and guide, strength for the current day and hope for the next and blessing upon blessing.  All of these are a testament to God’s faithful love for us.  He loves us because He made us and we belong to Him. James tells us that God’s faithfulness includes that He will not change.


Just like your mother chose to give birth to you, so God chose to “birth us”.  Our “birth” into the family of God comes through the hearing and receiving of God’s true Word, who is Jesus. It is Jesus who is the best gift God gives and makes it possible for us to be born into belonging to God.  Will you receive this gift? Will you claim your gift of belonging to God?


The mission of RPC is this.  We exist to honor God by bringing an ever increasing number of people into a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. Another way we might say this is: We exist to seek those who have not yet met Jesus and connect them with the God who loves them, with a family of faith who will nurture them, and with a community to practice that faith through service.  If that is where you want to be, I invite you to write the word “in” in the comments.


Intercessory Prayer

Thank You – For wanting each of us to belong to You.

Mothers, flowers, a warming trend!


Sorry – Racism that still exists, the family of Ahmaud Arbery who experienced that hate first hand this week.  God cleanse us from the evil that makes some think they are better than others and have a right to kill them or even judge them.  Forgive us, Lord for arrogance, pridefulness and fear that would lead us to build walls of hate where we should construct bridges of caring.

Lord, we acknowledge that we can also build a wall between ourselves and You.  Would you help us to deconstruct any barrier that stands between us.  Would you heal all of our relationships but especially, let us first do the work of restoring our own relationship with You.


Please – Meet the needs of those in our community who need food, who need help. Make us each aware of what you want us to do. Open our eyes to see the needs and show us how we can help meet them.

For those who have unresolved hurts from their mothers, that you would heal and reconcile

For those healing from sickness and surgery (Geri)

For those still living in fear

For those who are in position to make decisions about reopening and how to operate on this side of COVID-19

For the leadership of RPC

The Lord’s Prayer




Closing Hymn           “Now Thank We All Our God”


Now thank we all our God

With hearts and hands and voices

Who wondrous things has done

In whom His world rejoices

Who from our mother’s arms

Has blessed us on our way

With countless gifts of love

And still is ours today


O may this bounteous God

Through all our life be near us

With ever joyful hearts

And blessed peace to cheer us

And keep us in His grace

And guide us when perplexed

And free us from all ills

In this world and the next


All praise and thanks to God

The Father now be given

The Son and Him who reigns

With them in highest heaven

The one eternal God

Whom earth and heaven adore

For thus it was is now

And shall be evermore

CCLI Song # 86638

Catherine Winkworth | Johann Crüger | Martin Rinkart

© Words: Public Domain

Music: Public Domain

For use solely with the SongSelect®. Terms of Use. All rights reserved.

CCLI License # 2015925