Sunday May 17, 2020

“Do It Already!”

Rome Presbyterian Church Worship

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Welcome

 

We gather to worship God!!

 

I Sing The Mighty Power Of God

 

I sing the mighty pow’r of God

That made the mountains rise

That spread the flowing seas abroad

And built the lofty skies

I sing the wisdom that ordained

The sun to rule the day

The moon shines full at His command

And all the stars obey

 

I sing the goodness of the Lord

That filled the earth with food

He formed the creatures with His word

And then pronounced them good

Lord how Thy wonders are displayed

Where’er I turn my eye

If I survey the ground I tread

Or gaze upon the sky

 

There’s not a plant or flow’r below

But makes Thy glories known

And clouds arise and tempests blow

By order from Thy throne

While all that borrows life from Thee

Is ever in Thy care

And everywhere that man can be

Thou God art present there

 

CCLI Song # 4046512

Isaac Watts | John E. Coates

© Words: Public Domain

Music: 2002 Curb Word Music (Admin. by WC Music Corp.)

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

CCLI License # 2015925

 

 

Call to Worship

Leader:           As we are called into worship today, it is sobering to remember
                        that when God appeared on earth in the person of Jesus, most of the                                              world did not recognize him and therefore did not worship him.
                        Today we ask for the faith that will open our eyes to see Jesus for who he                                      is, that we might worship him in truth.

            People of God, behold and see your God!

Response:   We open our eyes to see his glory.
                        We open our ears to hear his wisdom.
                        We open our hands to offer him gifts.
                        We open our mouths to sing his praise.
                        We open our hearts to offer him our love.
                        He is Lord!

 

 

I Choose To Worship

 

I choose to worship I choose to bow

Though there’s pain in the offering

I lay it down

Here in the conflict

when doubt surrounds

Though my soul is unravelling

I choose You now

 

Chorus

I will praise You through the fire

Through the storm

and through the flood

There is nothing

that could ever steal my song

In the valley You are worthy

You are good when life is not

You will always

and forever be my song

 

I build my altar right here and now

In the midst of the darkest night

It won’t burn out

For You are perfect no matter what

In the joy or the suffering

I sing it loud

 

Bridge

When the enemy says I’m done

I lift my praises

When my world comes crashing down

I lift my praises high

Till the darkness turns to dawn

I lift my praises

I choose to worship

I choose You now

 

CCLI Song # 7145862

Chris Llewellyn | Gareth Gilkeson

© Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

Rend Family Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

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

CCLI License # 2015925

 

 

Invocation

 

 

James 1:19-27

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen,

slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.

21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

 

22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.

25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

 

26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

 

Sermon  “Do It Already!”

Did you know that the Bible is not meant just to be heard or read, but is meant to be lived out and practiced?  It is not just an old book with some clever sayings and bits of history, but is actually the living Word of our living God?  Always and forever, the spoken Words of God have been purposefully spoken/written in order to be purposefully responded to. 

 

Finish this quote: The road to hell is paved with ______________ _______________.

Reflecting on your week, was there something you intended to do, but didn’t?  Maybe it was a letter to write, a phone call to make, a bill to pay, a kindness to a neighbor . . .

If we were in a different setting, like a small group or Bible Study, I would love to take apart this passage of Scripture – there is at least a week’s worth of things to look at! But because this is a sermon, live-streamed, I’m going to go for the big picture and offer a suggestion for living it out. 

 

That’s really what the big idea of this is. Maybe you even have the subtitle in your Bible: the summary is, “Don’t just hear the word of God, do it.”  Not quite like the Nike ad to “Just Do It”, we are supposed to listen first.  In fact, we are supposed to be quick to listen! Then slow to speak

 

 

James is speaking to the “traditonalists”. To those who have practiced religion their whole lives.  But now, instead of anticipating the coming of the Messiah, they have realized that the Messiah is Jesus who has filled all of the prophecies and has accomplished all that was promised on their behalf. 

 

The church is scattered. They can’t gather like they used to.  They are separate from their place of worship, (the Temple) and from all the pomp and celebration that would surround their times of feasting and celebration.  James is encouraging them not to get stuck in what isn’t and to live their faith in the new “now”. Hmm. That might be the situation we are finding ourselves in just now.

 

So here it is, James’ instructions for the Christians to live their faith outside their comfort zone in a land that does not automatically support or affirm their desire to live as Christ followers.  I’m telling ya, this seems like it hits close to home here!  His words here are very instructional and practical.  Let’s look:

 

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters:

            You must all be

                        quick to listen,

                        slow to speak, and

                        slow to get angry.

 

Well . . .  it doesn’t get any more practical than that! In this season when we are having a lot of words poured out on us, it is wise to listen quickly. Plus, things can change on a dime! But James tells the Christians that they are to listen quick but then do two things.

 

The first is to be slow to speak.  That makes sense.  I may be guilty of spouting off words I think I know are true based on what I just quickly heard.  And from time to time, I may get it wrong. Slow to speak, because sometimes my words are not needed in a particular situation. Maybe I have nothing new to bring.  Maybe its just more important for me to listen and shut my mouth.

 

The second thing Christians are to be slow at is getting angry.  Why is James needing to say that?  Let’s read on

 

 

20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.

            21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives,

                        and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts,

                                    for it has the power to save your souls.

 

Aha! We are not to be quick to get any because it doesn’t work in alignment with what God wants to cultivate in followers of Jesus!  And from what James tells us, anger is wrapped up in the junk and evil we invite into our lives that can distract us from hearing, receiving and acting on the Word of God.

 

Have you felt the battle in your own life? You have heard what the right thing to do is. You have intended to do the right thing, but then something makes you mad and you tend to do just the opposite.  You lose your temper. You lose your hope in good. You let go of what you know to be true and your react and it’s ugly and it’s out there for all to see.  Um, I totally can’t relate to that! Seriously. When we hang on to our rights, our will, our understanding and don’t listen to God’s truth, we will spout off things that are hurtful and mean and flat out wrong.

 

But now James kicks it up. 

                        22 But don’t just listen to God’s word.

                                    You must do what it says.

                                    Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

                                                23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey,

                                                            it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.

                                                                        24 You see yourself, walk away,

                                                                        and forget what you look like.

                         25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free,

                                    and if you do what it says

                                    and don’t forget what you heard,

                                                then God will bless you for doing it.

 

Can I get an “Amen!”  This is sooooo it! We can’t just hear and say, “that’s nice” or “that’s a good idea” or “that’s a helpful reminder” or “I hope my husband heard that”! This is speaking to all of us who hear the Word of God – we MUST do what it says! Why? Because if we just hear and our hearts are like Teflon and we don’t let it impact what we say or do, we may start to think that because we put ourselves in a position to hear the Word of God we are good with God and able to live our lives just as we please because we let the words of Scripture bounce off of our audial orifices. But to think that way is foolish!!

 

Are you aware that there are life-giving words in Scripture?  It’s not a rule book of dos and don’ts! It is the place where we discover that God loves us and sent His Son to prove that love.  It is the place where we discover what it means to live out social justice and what it means to truly love our neighbor.  It explains to us what it takes to follow Jesus and the great reward in doing so.  This word is life-changing! But only if we “hear” it and live it!

 

One last warning in this Scripture.  It is for those who consider themselves to be religious – practitioners of faith. Might be addressed to me, or to you:

 

26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue,

            you are fooling yourself,

            and your religion is worthless.

27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means

            caring for orphans and widows in their distress and

            refusing to let the world corrupt you.

 

Religion is so often portrayed on TV and the movies as so empty.  You get a shot of the family in church, saying their prayers, crossing themselves, and then going out and shooting people or stealing or doing whatever!  As Keith Green said (and perhaps he was quoting it from somewhere else) Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than going to McDonald’s makes you a hamburger. 

 

What makes us Christian is accepting Christ as Lord and Savior and then doing as He asks us to do. Making him the Master of our lives.  Living in obedience.  Will we be perfect? Naw. Will we be changed? Absolutely. If we commit to listen and to do what we hear, we will become followers of Christ and doers of God’s Word.

 

How about you? Where are you at with your listening? Where are you at with your doing? It’s a new week. A chance to begin again! What have you heard this morning that makes you think you want to do something different? Put it in the comment. Let’s see how we can encourage one another to grow in our faith!

 

Statement of Faith             “The Apostle’s Creed”

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

      Maker of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

      who was conceived by the Holy Spirit

      and born of the virgin Mary.

      He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

      was crucified, died, and was buried;

      he descended to hell.

      The third day he rose again from the dead.

      He ascended to heaven

      and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.

      From there he will come to judge the living 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.

 

Trust And Obey

 

When we walk with the Lord

In the light of His Word

What a glory He sheds on our way

While we do His good will

He abides with us still

And with all who will trust and obey

 

Chorus

Trust and obey

For there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus

But to trust and obey

 

Not a shadow can rise

Not a cloud in the skies

But His smile quickly drives it away

Not a doubt nor a fear

Not a sigh nor a tear

Can abide while we trust and obey

 

Then in fellowship sweet

We will sit at His feet

Or we’ll walk by His side in the way

What He says we will do

Where He sends we will go

Never fear only trust and obey

 

CCLI Song # 7056336

Daniel Brink Towner | John Henry Sammis | Russell Mauldin

© Words: Public Domain

Music: 2010 Belden Street Music Publishing (Admin. by ClearBox Rights, LLC)

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

CCLI License # 2015925

 

 

Intercessory Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Announcements

 

Benediction

Benediction Response

Trust and obey

For there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus

But to trust and obey