SERVICE FOR THE LORD’S DAY
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Let me remind you quickly of our protocols for everyone’s safety.
· Attendance was taken by Ushers as you entered.
· Offerings may be placed in the plate by the doors.
· Please write your prayer request on the Yellow cards. An usher will pick them up during the 1st hymn.
· Please join us after service for fellowship in Calvin Hall
· Dr Dyke has started a Bible study on Wednesdays at 3pm sign-up sheet outside Pastor Study
Session has voted to open the church during the week once again from
Monday- Thursday; 9:30-1:30 PM.
Aug 8th Session Meeting
Aug 11th Ladies Lunch Bunch
Aug 11th Bible Study
Gary Iverson, all who are seeking Jesus, Bob Bock, Joan Boyd, Jack Braden, Wanda Hirl, Marilyn Neymeyer, Joan Pinkston, Maxine Wagner, Valerie Jerez, Annette Conzett, Jackie with difficult pregnancy, Jo Lefleur, Dr Dyke, Jane with upcoming knee surgery, Deb Weller death of father in-law and upcoming surgery, people of India, Amy Jacobs, Cornell Family two deaths in the past week, Bonnie Pillers, Pawlik Family in the loss of an infant, the Wynn family at the loss of Lamette, Mike Niles, Harlen Marx had a knee replacement and Tom Kelly who is recovering from surgery
WORDS OF WORSHIP (From Proverbs 15)
LEADER: A soft answer turns away wrath,
Response: but a harsh word stirs up anger.
L: The tongue of the wise dispenses wisdom,
R: but the mouths of fools pours forth folly.
L: The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
R: Keeping watch on the evil and on the good.
L: A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
R: But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
GATHERING PRAYER (Unison)
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and worthily magnify Your holy name. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
*HYMN How Firm a Foundation No. 361
CONFESSION AND PARDON (Unison)
Almighty and all-holy Father, we confess ourselves unworthy of Your unspeakable love. We have not loved You as we ought, nor have we been loving toward each other. We have lived in selfishness and worldly pride. We have not used the good gifts that You have given us to relieve the burdens of others. We pray that You would forgive our offenses through the incarnate life and willing sacrifice of Your holy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of Your great mercy has promised to forgive sins to all those who with true faith and hearty repentance will receive us unto Himself, we now commit our future days to Your service in obedience to Your Law. Amen.
*ANTHEM: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
The Wittenberg Choir – loaned by Jon Ryner
*THE PASSING OF THE PEACE
ITHE OFFERING AND OFFERTORY
We have made an offering of our finest gifts unto Almighty God. Now, we pray, send to each of us the power of Your Holy Spirit to cleanse our hearts, to hallow our gifts, and to perfect the offering of ourselves to You, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and King. Amen.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Master, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight. You are our strength and redeemer to open our perceptions of Your holy intent through the Holy Bible. Enable us to bring home at least one holy thought through what we hear and receive today. Amen.
Habakkuk 2: 1-4
2 I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. 2 Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald [may run with it. 3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; will certainly come and will not delay. 4 “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness --
Mark 4: 35-41
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Galatians 3: 5-14
5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. 10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
SERMON You Gotta Believe !!
Normally I say something like “welcome to the morning worship service of the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton, Iowa.” However, this week my Facebook account that we use to do the broadcast has been hacked and I am unable to broadcast any more. I am still Rev. Dr. Dale Dykstra, the interim minister here, and I have served the Presbyterian Church (USA) for 49 years in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Iowa.
We live in a time in our own country where one of the biggest questions we can ask is: WHAT CAN I BELIEVE??
As proof of that assumption, let me remind you that we are all to wear masks to prevent COVID-----WELL, no, now we don’t have to wear masks if we are Vaccinated, WELL, no, maybe it’s up to you whether to wear a mask or not- WELL no, maybe we should all wear masks again, WELL, no, you MUST wear A MASK TO GO TO WORK, Well-----JUST WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE??
Try something else – what do we believe about the classic figures of our nation’s history? Were Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and so many others really patriotic heroes---or we they evil slaveowners who profited greatly from subjecting other humans to indignities? Should their statue still stand, or be taken down in protest?
WHAT SHOULD WE BELIEVE about all this??
Well, what about the Olympic champions? Is it good to cheer for our American athletes or should we scorn them as if believing in American exceptionalism was an evil to be avoided at all costs?? HERE WE GO AGAIN , WHAT SHOULD WE BELIEVE??
Another question --- what about our police departments and law enforcement and courts? Are they good and necessary for our society or are the sworn enemy of certain groups of people? Is the policeman truly your friend as you were taught in school or are they your enemy. Should we cheer for them as they arrest wrongdoers---or should we feel sorry for the “victim” perpetrator? WHAT SHOULD WE BELIEVE??
There are many other questions just like these in our society right now, but you get the point---
HOW CAN WE BE CERTIN ABOUT ANYTHING NOW??
The immediate answer is that we cannot be certain about very much in our world. Belief becomes a choice—we choose what we shall believe. That choice is what we call FAITH. There are many paths to find faith, but we have chosen the way of the one true God and his Son, Jesus Christ. We have extremely strong reasons for doing so--like the unanimous witness of the Holy Bible to the truth we espouse; BUT AT ITS ROOT, IT IS STILL A CHOICE WE MAKE.
We come from a long line of patriarchs, prophets, and heroes of the faith! I took you to a little-known prophet – Habakkuk. (probably known as a rare word with 3 “k’s” in it!) How many of you have even READ Habakkuk? It is only three pages long, you know! In his time, Israel was facing one of the worst crises in its history. A string of sinful kings had led the nation farther and farther away from the worship of the one true God and into following the idols of their neighboring nations.
Poor Habakkuk! God spoke to him a message that was terrible for his peoplhear. God was finished with protecting those He had called His chosen people and was raising up an enemy which had His blessing to defeat and scourge the Hebrew nation. It was the new upstart on the world stage at the time—Babylon. It had just defeated the former world power of Assyria and was bent upon world conquest and domination. Habakkuk repeats that God described them as a “bitter and hasty nation.”
They would have God’s permission to punish Israel, destroy Jerusalem, and take the Jewish people captive back to their capital city. Surely those who heard and believed his prophesy thought that this was the end.
NOT SO FAST!!
Habakkuk’s prophesy said for them to believe in the one true God’s love for His chosen people even in this most desperate of times! The prophet declared that this was God’s [punishment for their sins and was fully deserved, BUT THAT GOD WOULD RESTORE them in time. Could anyone reasonably believe this as the Babylonian army was standing at their gates? HABAKKUK DECLARED “the righteous SHALL LIVE BY FAITH despite how bad things looked.
AND HE WAS RIGHT!!
God DID restore Israel – even within the lifetimes of some of the younger ones taken into captivity.
I brought you to the New Testament story recalling the scene in the boat. These were experienced, seasoned fisherman who would know every aspect of the Sea of Galilee. They were out among other boats when the squall came up suddenly. They KNEW that they were in serious trouble as they started bailing out the water that was coming in faster than they could bail it back out. They were swamping and in real danger of sinking---and they were far from any shore! That’s what they KNEW.
Jesus, when they woke Him, called for them to have faith in Him even in this extreme time.
AND HE QUIETED THE STORM WITH A WORD
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Believe in me no matter what the situation looks like. You may say in your mind- ok, Dyke, that’s all good back then, but our time is really in peril—that’s what we know for sure!
Paul addresses this in Galatians “Does He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the Law, or by the hearing with faith?” He mentions the faith of Abraham who believed God for a son when he and Sarah were far too old for childbearing. They knew their age for sure! But God made a promise that he kept in the birth of Isaac NO MATTER THEIR AGE! Paul declared that “men of faith” (and ladies too!) are the “children of Abraham BY FAITH.”
He goes on to talk about the mystery of the Gentiles – whom he was sent by God to minister to them. Now, if the Jews knew ANYTHING for certain, they knew that the Gentiles were lost in the eyes of God for they opposed the Jews and weren’t even circumcised! But God did a new thing in redeeming Gentiles by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ rather than by obeying the rules of the Law of the Jews.
I might point out that WE are most probably Gentiles (the perhaps is because some folks might have Jewish blood as well) That means that God REQUIRES us to have faith and believe Him more than any other factors indicate. I know this is hard to understand. It has been hard to accept in all the examples I have given and many, many more.
The truth for us to believe from God is our Rock. “God so loved the world (US!) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, bu have everlasting life.” This world and its troubles and confusion is not our permanent home. Our guarantee of eternal blessed life COMES BY FAITH in the God and Savior we cannot see, but certainly know. He will lead us in right paths if we seek His Will. Amen.
Hymn My Hope Is Built 379
*AFFIRMATION Apostle’s Creed, Ecumenical Version
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,
He is seated on the right hand of the Father,
And he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
MORNING PRAYER AND LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done in earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever. Amen.
HYMN My Faith Looks Up to Thee No. 383
CHARGE & BLESSING
And now, may the grace, mercy, and peace which proceeds from God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Son, and into the Holy Spirit within us, rest and abide within us, now and forever more.
*Stand as you are able.