He, Me, We: Relationship
Thank you for joining us for our Digital Worship Gathering! You can use the worship guide below to follow along with songs, prayers and readings. This week is the third in our series He, Me, We: Community & Joy in Philippians.
Twice a year Discovery Church does Coffee & Conversations, a time of small group discussion before regular worship, and we’ve decided to base our new normal of digital worship on that format. So grab a cup of coffee or tea and join us in some thoughtful conversation led by Pastor Heather Stroobosscher.
Call to Worship
Turn your hearts to Christ, follow the way of Jesus;
For in Christ you are loved and forgiven.
Love and serve God, by keeping God first in your life;
Love Jesus, and know Christ’s love is with you.
When God is first in your life, all other desires fall away.
In this time of worship, focus your mind on Christ;
For the way of Christ leads us to eternal life.
Let’s worship God together:
Our dear heavenly Father, we come to you this morning to give you praise and honor and glory. You are the one who set the stars in the sky with a word, the one who chose a people for himself to call his own. We thank you that the righteousness you provide is not one earned but is one freely given. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, you are able to forgive sinful people such as us and bring us into the hope of eternal life with you.
And as we come before you now we would acknowledge that we still often go back to trusting in ourselves, in doing things our own way. Our sinful nature loves to bring us away from the amazing truth of complete redemption through Christ and instead to put our confidence in the flesh.
So we thank you for the provision of Jesus Christ. It is only through his death and resurrection that we can come before you. It is only through his obedience in living a perfect life, one that we could never live, that he atoned for our many sins. And we thank you that it is through faith in Him that we can enter into your presence, that we have a sure and certain hope that we are a part of your family.
We pray that you will help us, through your Spirit, to live lives which honor you. We pray that you will continue to be at work in our lives; that we may desire to ‘know you more’. And that in knowing you more, we might become more like Christ. Whatever gains we may have experienced in our lives, may we regard them as loss, compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus as our Lord. We pray that our boast would truly be in your mighty name and that other people would be able to see that we do indeed have a great and merciful God who has done everything for us.
We give you thanks and praise for all you have done and all you continue to do. In your holy name, Amen.
We welcome Pastor Heather Stroobosscher for this series. Heather, her husband Chris, and children Zoe, Phoebe, and Nick were members of Discovery Church. Heather is one of the pastors at Calvary CRC in Wyoming.
Feel free to read along with Heather as she begins her talk with this scripture:
4bIf someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Questions for discussion:
2. What does Paul mean when he says, “I want to know Christ” (v. 10)? Do you observe this attitude within the church? In your own life?
3. How does God strengthen and nourish your faith through Holy Communion? In what ways does participating in communion together as a church strengthen relationships within the community?
Scripture Prayers from Philippians
You may wish to use some of these to pray together as a small group. Find this in PDF form here if you’d like to download and use throughout the week.
“Gracious God, who began a good work in [name], we pray that you carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
“God of hope, we pray that [name]’s love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that [name] may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10).
“Generous God, we pray that you fill [name] with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:11).
“Father God, we pray through your provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, that what has happened to [name] will turn out for his/her deliverance” (Philippians 1:19).
“Gracious God, we pray that in humility, [name] will value others above himself/herself, not looking to his/her own interests but to the interests of others. And we pray that in [name]’s relationships with others, he/she will have the mindset of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:3-5).
“Righteous God, do a work in [name] that he/she may do everything without grumbling or arguing. Cause [name] to shine like stars in the sky” (Philippians 2: 14-15).
“God of Strength, we pray that [name] will strain toward what is ahead and press on toward the goal to win the prize for which you have called him/her heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
“Heavenly Father, we pray that [name] will rejoice in the Lord always. And we pray that [name] will let his/her gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:4-5).
“Lord who is near, we pray that [name] will not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, that [name] will present his/her requests to you, God. We pray that your peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard [name]’s heart and mind in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
This week, we are talking about putting God first and how we should value Him over other things in our lives.
Build a block tower or set up the game Jenga. Take turns removing pieces from the tower. Once a block or Jenga piece is free, share something that you would give up in order to spend more time with Jesus.
Print & color this page.
With your parents’ help, try this activity about putting Jesus first.
For financial gifts, use your bank’s online payment option to send a gift to Discovery, or have someone address an envelope (a good opportunity for digital natives) and place the stamp on it. Checks can be mailed to:
7245 Eastern Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
Please specify “general fund” or “missions fund” on the memo line.
Or, use this form to give online via the Christian Reformed Church’s site (our denomination). Be sure to choose Michigan- Grand Rapids- Discovery CRC from the drop-down list. You can give via credit card or automatic bank withdrawal. A 3% fee will be charged to Discovery.
For gifts of encouragement, write a note or draw a picture for someone who may need encouragement at this time. Have someone address the envelope and place a stamp on it. Or deliver it in person (keep that six foot social distance) to a neighbor or loved one.
For gifts of art, share a picture or video of your coloring page with us on Instagram (@discoverycrc) (parents permitting).
Go now in the righteousness of faith
and live by God’s commands.
Let nothing claim your devotion above the Lord,
and count nothing of value above knowing Christ.
Press on towards the ultimate prize, of being one with him.
And may God’s perfect word revive your soul;
May Christ Jesus be your Savior and your rock;
And may the Holy Spirit strengthen you to press ever onward.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
In the name of Christ, Amen.
Digital Prayer Pad
Prayer requests will be sent to Sara, our administrator, who will compile and distribute them to the congregation via email throughout the week as usual.
Thank you for joining us today! And thanks to Pastor Heather Stroobosscher, Pastor Mary, Kristi Stulp, Ahna Ziegler, and Bill TerHaar for creating this week’s service. Watch our Facebook & Instagram feeds for ways to stay connected throughout this self-imposed quarantine, including tips for making delicious coffee at home (so you’re well prepared for Coffee & Conversations). Social distancing does not mean social isolation!