Order, Words, & Voices

Order, Words, & Voices
08.07.22

Order

Pre Worship Music

Opening Song        To God Be The Glory        Christian
Prayer                                Rick
Reading            Genesis 28:6-22            Segun & Steve M.

Song                Blessed Assurance            Christian

Message            Worlds’ Worst Inlaw        Rick

Song                Blessed Assurance            Christian

Community/Howdy                        Steve
For Howdy, Steve will be leading in online. Just put the screen to gallery view until he is finished. Then Community announcement will be put on screen

Closing Peace                            Rick

Benediction                                Rick

Post Worship Music

Words and Voices

Music 
To God be the Glory

To God be the glory great things He has done
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin
And opened the life gate that all may go in

Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the earth hear His voice
Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the people rejoice
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son
And give Him the glory great things He has done

O perfect redemption the purchase of blood
To every believer the promise of God
The vilest offender who truly believes
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives

Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the earth hear His voice
Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the people rejoice
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son
And give Him the glory great things He has done

Great things He has taught us
Great things He has done
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son
But purer and higher and greater will be
Our wonder our transport when Jesus we see

Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the earth hear His voice
Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the people rejoice
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son
And give Him the glory great things He has done

Prayer [Slides Midway through]
(Prayer comes from Micah 6:8 and Jesus’ prayer-Matthew 6:9-13)

LORD you have told you what is good. You have revealed to us that we are called to love mercy, to call for justice, and to walk humbly with you. May we passionately walk humbly with You. May we not be afraid to look critically at the sins of our forefathers to see how they have influenced us away from mercy, justice, and humility.  May we choose to let your sacrifice cleanse us of our arrogance, ignorance, and selfishness. Help us to listen and hear You clearly so that we will not longer walk by pride or self-sufficiency. God, may we walk with You.

[Slides Begin] [Join me as we say the Lord’s Prayer]

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our trespasses, 
While we learn to forgive those who trespass against us.
And, God, lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the glory forever.

Reading [No Slides]

[Steve M] Esau saw that Isaac had been tricked in blessing Jacob and that Isaac had sent Jacob away to Paddan-aram to take a wife from there and that as he charged him saying, “You shall not marry one of the Canaanite women,” and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and gone to Paddan-aram. 

[Segun] So when Esau saw that the Canaanite women were forbidden by his parents, Esau spitefully went and married Mahalath, the daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael and the sister of Nebaioth, Ishmael’s other wife, to be his wife in addition to all the wives he already had.

[Steve M] Jacob left Beer-sheba and stayed that night in the wilderness because the sun had set. Jacob was not yet to the homeland of his Father Abraham and mother Rebekah. Jacob put a stone from the ground under his head and lay down to sleep. During the night, Jacob dreamed that there was a stairway set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 

[Segun] As the dream continued, the Lord stood beside Jacob and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your grandfather and the God of your father Isaac. The land on which you now lie I will give to you and to your offspring, and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring.” 

[Steve M] God continued to speak to Jacob, saying, “Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!” Jacob was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

[Segun] Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that had been his pillow and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called that place Bethel.  Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you.”

Genesis 28:6-22
Music 
Blessed Assurance
Blessed assurance Jesus is mine
O what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation purchase of God
Born of His Spirit washed in His blood

This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Perfect submission perfect delight
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy whispers of love

This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Perfect submission all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest
Watching and waiting looking above
Filled with His goodness lost in His love

This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Message – World’s Worst InLaw [? Slides]
Genesis 29:15-28

A question that has haunted philosophers and theologians of most of humanity –  ‘Are we, as humans, at our most basic nature, good or evil? ‘

This past week we have heard about the countless individuals who have poured into Kentucky to inconspicuously assist in the aftermath of the historic flooding. In Oklahoma, many of us stood on the front lines witnessing the sacrificial acts of so many from around the nation and world following the OKC Murrow Building Bombing. During the recent Russian’s invasion and war against Ukraine we, along with many others, gave generously and many were able to do more, to help the displaced and wounded of the war. 

On the other hand, we have see the most evil of the evil. We are historical witnesses to the systematic racism and the impacts of past attempts entire cultures here, within in our own state. We have watched as those wearing the tags of prophet and Christian have sought, and still seek, to deny the truth of the ancestral trauma of people groups here in our own state, our neighbors. 

We consistently see evil and good in the same place, often the same times.

This has been a conundrum, no, it has been a battle, since thinkers began to think.

[Slide]5th century, theologian, and philosopher Augustine of Hippo, dove into Scripture, determining that there is no good in humans; there are only evil humans. That apart from God, man has no innate ability to be good or to do good because no good remains within. 

[Slide] Seventeenth century Philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, from his own experience watching the brutality of the British civil war,  determined that humans are fundamentally selfish creatures driven by a desire for power. Desires which lead to anarchy and hatred. 

[Slide] In the fifteen hundreds theologian, pastor, and reformer, John Calvin, penned called the church to reformation with the concept of Total Depravity saying ‘that sin affects every facet of our nature. It does not mean that sinners are as bad as they possibly can be. Nor does it mean that humans lack a conscience, or that the world is entirely miserable and incapable of making any progress or appreciating the beauty evident all around. Total Depravity does means that no part of our personality is uncorrupted: the mind, the emotions, and so on. (Dogmatic Theology, 2:257).

[Slide]13th century priest, Thomas Aquinas’ held that our original sin simply wounded human nature. He argued that it does not make us averse to virtue, although it weakens us in this pursuit and brings the penalty of death.

[Slide] And, contemporary Dutch historian Rutger Bregman, argues that, ‘despite our history of evil, humans are fundamentally good.’

The problem with the ponderence of these views of humanity is that they, themselves, often do more to negatively influence the manner in which we see and treat humanity than they do to prompt a Christ like compassion and mercy towards humanity. Even in the consideration of these theories, we must never cease to consider the very breath, the very life, within us is from God. Even in our rejection of God there is still breath that is life. 

Honestly, I’m not sure that the question is ‘Are we good or evil? ‘ but, instead, how does God, and how do we permit God to, guide us towards a life that is worth his exhaustive creative effort he God put forth in creating every single one of us.’

Before I allow my words to confuse this truth, let me state the point – We, with our evangelic fervor to lead others to accept Jesus, basically a moment to fill up heaven, we have forgotten that salvation, according to the apostle Paul, is a life long work, not to secure salvation, but to experience it, to live it. Salvation is a journey, it is not a prayer and it is not just about heaven and hell. Heaven and hell in a futuristic sense is not really the primary point of what Jesus did. The picture painted in the life of Jacob, in this week’s passage depicts what the Good News truly is – God takes us where we are, and who we are, and guides and leads us from there. It is never about the amount of our faith, or the extent of our belief, it is always totally about God. What God did, what God is doing, and what God will do in our world. It is a journey in which God guides us to life, full life, here on earth and forever. Jesus, addresses life here on earth than anything else, he even includes it in the prayer he teaches us. Salvation is our journey from evil to good, of unrighteous to righteous, of settling for unholy as opposed to living a life long search for the real and consistent holy that is God.

This is the journey of Jacob. Up to this point he has been horrible, however, now we see him stepping onto God’s path of change and transformation. It is not a one time moment of emotion but the beginning of a life of a willingness to change and learning, a life of sacrifice and patience, a life of looking for good, looking for holy, and looking for the acts and movements of God in his life now. It all begins now with Jacob facing the choice of his path – holy or self.

Jacob’s journey gives us a  glimpse of what it means to seek good, and holy,  to willingly allow God to lead and transform. Walking alongside God’s and his holy patience in the midst of our unholy existence, evidence that God is gracious and that God’s grace is lavished on humanity.

Jacob, to this point, battled for supremacy with his brother while still in his mother’s  womb. He deceived his father and stole his bother’s inheritance. Jacob ran away, to escape the consequences. This all took place before Jacob reached the age of twenty-five.  On his journey running away, Jacob apprehensively meets God and steps gently onto the path that is set before him.

Jacob had grown up learning of the God of his father, now it was time for his own faith to grow roots. On his escape God appeared to Jacob, introducing himself and reiterating the promise made to Abraham – a promise now given to Jacob.

[Slide] “Know that I am with you,” God said, “and I will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:13-15)

[Slide] Jacob’s response to God was tepid at best. He responded from a hesitant heart but an open mind, “God, if you will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go and if you will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then you shall be my God, and of all that you give me I will surely give back to you one-tenth.” (Genesis 28:20-22)

It’s an ‘if-then’ statement, it would be seem to be a very self centered, self protecting, commitment – “God, if you will continually do this for me I will give a percentage if my gain back to you.” However, if we think about it, Jacob had really just experienced his first personal moment with God, all he knew to do was to do what his grandfather had done. This was the fork in the road moment for Jacob. For the first time, Jacob makes a commitment to God that was a little less selfish than all his previous actions. Baby steps on his journey, but he was now willingly on the path. Moving from evil to good a small bit at a time under the tutelage of God.

Sometimes a less selfish step is our biggest step ever.

Jacob met his uncle Laban, the man who would become his father in law – the World’s Worst Inlaw. Soon, Jacob sought to marry Laban’s daughter. Laban calculated the price for his daughter as seven years of hard labor. After Jacob completed paying off that deft, Laban deceptively gave his daughter Leah to Jacob instead of Rachel. Laban, then, made a new financial arrangement with Jacob to actually sale his daughter Rachel an additional seven years of hard labor. 

Laban relegated his own daughters to being a commodity for his own gain. Jacob, who previously would have never allowed something like this to happen to him, incredibly, he stuck around for over fourteen years of slavery.  He didn’t angrily cut his losses and leave, but he stayed. This all began with his first less selfish step as thought beyond himself. Somehow, Jacob saw God’s constant presence and work. Jacob stayed the path, old Jacob would have run, but now, he was on the path of improving and transforming. Jacob continued to trust the God he was getting to know and, all the while, continued his role in God’s plan of redemption for all mankind. 

Jacob was not a full convert to God at this point, God still had much to patiently prove as he moved Jacob from evil to good. Jacob had food on his plate and clothes on his back, a daily proof of God’s prescence.

The sisters Leah and Rachel, were dumped deeper into a pit of worthlessness, bitterness, and isolation. Their sisterhood would be forever damaged as they fought for Jacob’s affection. They didn’t know it yet, but this was the kickoff for their journey, the widening of the river of God’s promise. It was through them, and their servants, that diversity would be a constant reality of the Israelites. They would all be part of God’s promise, and God’s promise would now be a part of them. 

Leah and Rachel, also were at the start of their own path, a journey of self-awareness, their own empowerment, their own journey – they would soon even stand up for themselves. They would not be forgotten by God, even this God they did not yet know.  They would not be forsaken, they would not be ignored, devalued, or even dismissed. God saw them, God heard them. God would heed the pain of Leah, and Rachel, meeting their needs and addressing their pain. Providing them purpose, descendants, and a place.

This is our bridge of understanding good and evil. The moment when God meets us, introduces us to himself, promises to remember us, and then, even with our own marginal promises, God sustains us leading us in our life path and purpose.

The Apostle Paul later put it into a nutshell.

“What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. You lived in responsive obedience to God. Now keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure. Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.” (Philippians 2:12-16)

Let’s Pray

Music

Blessed Assurance

O what a foretaste of glory divine

Heir of salvation purchase of God

Born of His Spirit washed in His blood
This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Community [Slides]

  • [No Slide – gallery view\ Howdy Moment – this week – gallery view of everyone online for inperson attendees to see
  • [Slide] Next Sunday, stealing god, Genesis 31:14-35
  • [Slide] Miserable Endings, Wednesday Lunch and Bible Study, Noon this Wednesday at Fellowship Center, schedule at gfnorman.com, bring your own lunch
  • [Slide] Kentucky Flooding Relief, Red Cross banner and link at GFNorman.com
  • Next Sunday short business gathering for bylaws insert.

Closing Peace [1Slide]
May the Peace of the Lord go with you.
And also with you.

Benediction [1 Slide]

“Depart now in the fellowship of God the Father and as you go, remember: By the goodness of God you were born into this world. And by the grace of God you have been kept all the day long, even until this very hour. And by the love of God, fully revealed in the face of Jesus, you have been redeemed and you are being redeemed. So go in peace.” 

Amen. 

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

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