In Luke 16:1-13, Jesus spoke to his disciples, warning them against following the example of the Pharisees. Unlike the Pharisees, his followers must invest in the eternal good of others, display their character by faithfulness in little things, and resist divided loyalties, which is idolatry.
The sermon text (Luke 16:14-18) tells us that the Pharisees heard Jesus’ teaching but ridiculed him. Jesus unmasked the true condition of their hearts. Despite all their talk about the message of the Law and the Prophets, they didn’t believe it. If they did, they would listen to Jesus and would thus enter the Kingdom.
The hymns for the worship service describe God’s people welcoming Jesus with a faith that produces obedience to the Word of God.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Psalm 1:1-6
Hymn 11 All Glory, Laud, and Honor
Notes: This hymn recalls the Lord’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem as the crowds spread palms before him—a moment that should have removed any lingering doubts about his identity as Israel’s King. Jesus’ first coming ended in crucifixion, but we who trust him anticipate the day when we shall honor him as “He comes, a King most glorious.”
Hymn 610 How Firm a Foundation
Notes: “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!” Jesus’ message is complete and sufficient; we need no other word. We build on him for this life and the next.
Scripture Reading: 119:1-16
Note: Psalm 119 is a great song that extolls the perfections of the Word of God. It falls into stanzas of 8 verses each, one stanza for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each verse refers to the Scriptures using one of eight descriptive terms. Therefore, the Word of God is the singular theme of all 176 verses.
Hymn (Insert): Approach, My Soul, the Mercy Seat
Note: John Newton’s heartfelt hymn is a prayer of confession set to a new tune by our friend, pastor Paul Hamilton. In the sermon text, the Pharisees trusted that their own works This hymn makes it clear that one can come to God only by trusting Christ and his sacrifice. Anyone who realizes this comes to him with a sense of desperation, “I must, I will, I can, I do believe.”
Message: Pressing the Gate of the Kingdom
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn Insert Here is Love
Notes: Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem for an appointed rendezvous with a cross. He called his disciples to follow him on that path without hesitation or qualification. The third verse expresses the disciples’ priorities, “Let me seek Thy kingdom only, And my life be to thy praise.” The fourth verse describes the evidence of saving faith, “In Thy truth Thou dost direct me, by Thy Spirit, through Thy Word.”
Prayer Response: Mike Towry
Benediction: John Miles