The sermon text for this Lord’s day explains Paul’s motivation for a life of service. The fear of the Lord undergirded and sustained his ministry. Such fear is not cringing terror, but rather a joy-filled dread of Christ’s quintessential majesty. Paul further explains that this same majestic Lord died to save a people who would live for him, rather than for themselves. This condescending love of Christ lay at the heart of Paul’s motivation for selfless service: “the love of Christ controls us.”
The hymns selected for our service begin with a proclamation of the majesty of Christ but then focus on the inexplicable love Christ has for those he came to save—a love seen most clearly in his substitutionary death.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship Psalm 36:5-7
Hymn 52 Crown Him with Many Crowns
Notes: The Lamb upon his throne (v. 1) is the Lord of love (v. 3). Even the angels are incapable of explaining the mystery of the love that caused the eternal King to die for us.
Worship through Giving
Congregational Response: Hymn Psalm 23b
Hymn 288 I Hear the Words of Love
Notes: The “words of love” we sing about are the words Jesus uttered on the cross. Horatius Bonar unpacks for us the significance of the death of Jesus and concludes that our peace with God rest on “his love, not mine.”
Scripture Reading Psalm 36:1-12
Notes: David begins this Psalm by identifying the fundamental problem with the wicked person: “There is no fear of God before his eyes.” How different are the Lord’s people! Those who fear the Lord know the joy of his steadfast love (5, 7, 10).
Hymn 249 O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus!
Notes: This hymn is an exuberant expression of wonder and joy at the love of Jesus. It is never ending, never changing, and never exhausted. He lavishes his love on all who belong to him:
How He watcheth o’er His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own!
Message Living for the One Who Loves Us
2 Corinthians 5:11-15
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn 335 And Can It Be?
Notes: We respond to the message with a hymn that declares wonder and amazement that we have been included in Christ’s great saving work. “Amazing love, how can it be?” The fourth verse shows the inseparable relationship between the Christ’s loving salvation and our resulting determination to serve him.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Prayer Response John Miles
Benediction John Miles