DistractionsPresent Hope | week 3 | 06.07.20
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 Present Hope.
Call to Worship
Listen! God is calling!
Can you hear it?
Calling us to turn away from self-interest;
to put down the things that distract us,
to take up our cross and follow.
Can you hear it?
God, we long to follow You,
to walk in the way that You have shown us;
to know Your commandments, and to practice them whole-heartedly.
But we confess that we are easily distracted,
lured away by our own interests and desires,
enticed by the attitudes and practices of the world around us.
Turn our eyes away from the things that distract us from Your way—
from the attitudes and behaviors that sidetrack us
from our desire to know You better and follow You more closely.
Give us a hunger for Your Word and Your ways.
Show us where true life and joy are found—
in knowing and doing Your will. Amen.
Lord and Creator,
let us embrace the costly blessings which you desire for us,
blessings that confound the wisdom and strength of this world.
Teach us to be your agents of preservation in a world touched by death,
and beacons of hope in a world shrouded in darkness.
Transform us into your image through the crucible of the cross,
writing your mandates upon our hearts, made pure by your perfect love.
Embolden us to be your ambassadors,
Living as representatives of your holy kingdom,
stirring in us your love for others,
especially for those who would seek to destroy us because of you.
Make us decrease so that you might increase,
as a watching world sees you, not us.
Daily we declare that your priorities are ours,
even before our own needs and desires.
Every moment we live; we live for your glory—
the glory of a loving Father and a just King.
Free us of any distraction, craving or anxiety
that would keep us from fully following you.
For we acknowledge that everything we could possibly need
is yours to give us.
Remind us of our sinful brokenness and your gift of grace
as we encounter brokenness in others.
You are the answer to our every question.
You are the treasure that we desperately seek,
and it is you who invite us into your salvation,
as prodigals returning to the Father’s embrace.
Keep us upon your path of righteousness and justice,
bearing the good fruit of your Spirit,
for it is on you, Lord Jesus, that all hope is built,
For all of creation, now and forever more. Amen.
Feel free to read along with Paul as he begins his talk with this scripture:
1 Peter 1:13-22 (NET)
Therefore, get your minds ready for action by being fully sober, and set your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Like obedient children, do not comply with the evil urges you used to follow in your ignorance, but, like the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in all of your conduct, for it is written, “You shall be holy, because I am holy.”
And if you address as Father the one who impartially judges according to each one’s work, live out the time of your temporary residence here in reverence. You know that from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors you were ransomed—not by perishable things like silver or gold, but by precious blood like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb, namely Christ. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was manifested in these last times for your sake. Through him you now trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
You have purified your souls by obeying the truth in order to show sincere mutual love. So love one another earnestly from a pure heart.
Questions for discussion:
2. When you want to take time to read the Bible, or pray, or meditate, what is the biggest distraction you fight against that seems to keep you from doing these spiritual exercises?
3. Why doesn’t Peter instruct us to just “do good things” rather than to first “prepare your minds for action”?
4. Since the Triune God radically changes us in a new birth so that our desires and longings are now connected to God, can you identify what your God-centered desires are?
5. Why can it be so hard to stay focused on Jesus and be holy like Him when we see those who are living a selfish and even hurtful lifestyle having all the fun and getting all the attention?
6. When times are tough the Bible doesn’t give us a free pass on how we respond to others—in fact, it ups the responsibility to love. How have you recently experienced someone who, in this time of pandemic, really loves and selflessly serves others?
This week Pastor Paul encourages us to focus on living out hope in times of trouble.
Complete this coloring page and talk with your family:
- Share how God has given you hope.
- Share a time where having hope in God helped you through a difficult time.
When we are going through difficult times God wants us to always remember that we are never alone. Take a moment to watch recording artist and author Ellie Holcomb read her book Don’t Forget To Remember.” At the end, she performs her song that goes with the book.
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 artistic response to the talk or your coloring page with us on Instagram (@discoverycrc) (parents permitting).
May our holy and gracious God be the One upon whom our hope rests.
As we go about our regular daily lives,
may our hope in the grace we’ve been offered
propel us to take action on behalf
of the family of God that we’ve been invited into.
May that hope be displayed through holiness in our actions
as we seek daily to become more like our perfect role model,
As we look to the Savior who put on flesh,
who died on our behalf and rose again,
who also promises to raise us as well,
may we never settle for the ways of life
that are perishable and lesser.
May we walk in His eternal ways.
May this church be a house of overcoming.
May we be people who show what it means to be followers of Christ.
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.