Call to worship – Psalm 1
Hymn # 395 Come to the Saviour Now
Call to Confession – Ten Commandments
Words of Assurance: 1 John 1:9 (ESV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Hymn # 402 Amazing Grace
God's Will for Our Lives: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
Scripture: Hebrews 4:14-16
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Sermon: How to Keep Going.
Intro: Hiking up the hill Squeamish. It was a hard hike and Jim wanted to give up despite the encouragement that it was just a bit further.
Something similar happens in the lives of Christians as well. This was happening to the Jewish Christians that were facing persecution in this letter. They were being persecuted, imprisoned, property confiscated, and so much more.
They were tempted to give up in the face of all.
The author told them to HOLD on. He encourages them to hold fast to their faith in Jesus Christ.
They were tempted to go back to the old Jewish system. To give up on all that it meant to follow and trust in Jesus. They wanted to return to the old style of worship as it wouldn't be dangerous to them.
We face similar challenges today. Neighbours not understanding. Not seeing positive results of following Christ. Being tempted to fall into a sin that is hard to resist. Sometimes it just seems easier to stop and to not keep going on.
This is when we need the encouragement to keep going on, to keep striving to what God calls of us.
We need to hold on to our confession.
But we must not take on an "little engine who could mentality". We must realize that to keeping holding on to God that we can't do it. We need God to hold on to us as well. We are so prone to fail and to let go.
Jesus Christ, our high priest, knows full well our weaknesses. He is our High Priest and he stands for his people. He, the very son of God, is our High Priest. He stands for us.
He understands so well. He knows what it is to be tempted (though he sinned not). This means that he can stand in the gap for us, paying for our sins. He can sympathize with us in our struggles.
He was the sacrifice for our sins. He too felt like giving up, but he kept on, he didn't give up.
In knowing this we are told to just hold on. To not give up. So hold fast the faith.
So then why is it so hard to do so?
- A lack of trust
- A thought that you need to do it
- A lack of true realization that Jesus has already done it all.
Let us remember we can come with confidence before God. We can confidentially lean on God and his grace. He knows our frailty already. He won't be surprised.
Therefore we can come before God with confidence. Knowing that there we can Ind the grace to meet our need.
Jesus pleads our case before God. We don't need to plead our case before God. He (Jesus) has already pled our case for us. Nothing is beyond Christ's ability to handle.
Be confident. Hold on. Know that Christ has you covered. Realize it is not all on you. Christ has done it all already.
Hymn # 423 Approach, my Soul, the Mercy Seat
Hymn # 88—1,2,3 Father of Heav'n, Whose Love Profound (tune 101)
Hymn # 88—4 Jehovah! Father, Spirit, Son