|Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18||You can be sure of God's wonderful gift for you||336: Of All the Spirit's Gifts to Me
408: The Gift of Love
|Psalm 27||Be strong, take heart and wait for the LORD||118: The Care the Eagle Gives Her Young
169: In Thee Is Gladness
|God will do His work in His time
Listen to God's messenger
|130: God Will Take Care of
210: Toda la Tierra (All Earth Is Waiting)
|Philippians 3:17-4:1||Stand firm in the Lord||110: A Mighty Fortress Is Our
132: All My Hope Is Firmly Grounded
331: Holy Spirit, Come, Confirm Us
529: How Firm a Foundation
Words by Timothy Dwight
Music by Aaron Williams
Tune name: ST. THOMAS
Luke recounts one of Christ's temptations this way:
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered, "It is written: `Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'"
The devil didn't say, "Pick one of these kingdoms." He didn't say, "Take some of these kingdoms." He said "all their authority and splendor." Wow! But unlike the other temptations, this time the devil came right to the point. There were strings attached, and the devil laid it on the line--the deal was offered only "if you worship me." Christ's response was quick and clear. It was a matter of allegiance to a master, and in such matters there is only one answer. Serve God. That is it. It ends with a period. There is no more to say.
Such devotion and dedication can exist only when our focus and our values are clear. This week's featured hymn was written by Timothy Dwight, a grandson of Jonathan Edwards, one of the most famous preachers of the Great Awakening in 18th century America. Dwight lived his commitment to ministry throughout his life. In success, in leadership, in war, in hardship, and in pain, his life was an example of commitment and devotion for service to God. The hymn is a clear example of the kind of focus on THE KINGDOM that should be shared by all Christians. There may be kingdoms, authority, and splendor offered to us. But if attaining them costs our service to God, then the price is simply too high. Consider your commitment to THE KINGDOM as you read these words:
|1. I love thy kingdom, Lord,
the house of thine abode,
the church our blest Redeemer saved
with his own precious blood.
|2. I love thy church, O God!
Her walls before thee stand
dear as the apple of thine eye,
and graven on thy hand.
|3. For her my tears shall fall,
for her my prayers ascend,
to her my cares and toils be given,
till toils and cares shall end.
|4. Beyond my highest joy
I prize her heavenly ways,
her sweet communion, solemn vows,
her hymns of love and praise.
May we all follow the example of Christ with such passion and constant commitment.
God bless you--
Lection at HymnSite.com
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|