Jesus was the itinerant preacher who lacked all credentials but God’s approval. As he made his way toward Jerusalem, a lawyer put him to the test asking, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus in turn asked him his interpretation of the Law regarding that subject. The Lawyer responded correctly, citing the great Shema (Deuteronomy 6:5) and Leviticus 19:18. This call for unconditional, unreserved love for God lays the foundation for our understanding of the Gospel.
The hymns selected for the worship service express love for God manifest in full devotion to him.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Prelude: We Gather Together
Call to Worship: Exodus 20:1-6
Hymn 223: Come, We that Love the Lord
Note: Isaac Watts summons us to worship, a privilege that belongs only to those who love the Lord. Watts’ lyrics explain that our collective and public worship is a prelude to the perfect worship that awaits us in His presence.
Hymn 462 Be Thou My Vision
Note: The “high King of heaven” is the subject of this hymn. It is a prayer that he will fill our vision, will take his rightful place: “Thou and thou only, first in my heart.” May no other love usurp his place in our hearts because he is our inheritance, our treasure, our best thought.
Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:7-21
Note: The greatest commandment calls us to complete, unwavering, unadulterated love for God and our neighbor. Who can do this? True love for God originates in God’s love for us. In this life we will not love perfectly, but he enables us to love truly.
Hymn 141: Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed
Note: Isaac Watt’s timeless hymn begins with the humbling thought that the Lord of all would choose to die for “such a worm as I.” This language speaks of both the greatness of his love and the depth of our helplessness. We respond with an expression of unreserved love: “Here, Lord, I give myself away—‘Tis all that I can do.”
Message: Loving God with All Your Heart
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn 483: Let Us Love
Note: This hymn was written by John Newton and is sung to a familiar tune (cf. Once in Royal David’s City). In it, Newton calls us to love our Lord as we contemplate the rich tapestry of Gospel grace woven throughout the lyrics. Notice in v. 2 that this same Savior who achieved our salvation also “gave us ears and gave us eyes,” that is, he imparted life so that we can love the One who first loved us.
Prayer Response: Eric Hicks
Benediction: John Miles