WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Let me remind you quickly of our protocols for everyone’s safety.
· Attendance was taken by Ushers as you entered.
· The ushers will return to passing the bulletins out as you enter and social distancing is still is required in sanctuary
· 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
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, 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 Ephesians 6)
LEADER: Finally, be strong in the Lord.
Response: and in the strength of His power.
L: Put on the whole armor of God.
R: So that you may stand against the wiles of the devil.
L: For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh,
R: but against the spiritual forces of evil.
L: Pray in the Spirit at all times,
R: In every prayer and supplication.
GATHERING PRAYER (Unison)
O God, who makes Yourself known in the stillness: make us know Your presence in this sacred place. Help us to be the company of brave saints who have worshipped here in spirit and in truth. Through the voices of this people and our instruments of praise, lift up our hearts to You. Lord. Purify our lives so that going out into the world, we may go in the strength of Your love through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
*HYMN O For a Thousand Tongues To Sing No. 466
CONFESSION AND PARDON (Unison)
. Most holy and merciful Father, we acknowledge and confess before You our sinful nature which is prone to evil and slothful in good. We present before You our
Shortcomings and offenses. You alone know how often we have sinned. We have forgotten Your commandments, wasted Your plentiful gifts, and forgetting Your great love for Your people. We pray that You would have mercy on us who are ashamed and sorry for every way we have displeased You. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
Almighty God, who freely pardons all who repent and turn toward You, fulfill in every contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace. We ask You to remit all of our sins and cleanse us from an evil conscience, through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Amen.
*ANTHEM: Hymn of the Russian Orthodox Church
Moscow Theological School Chorus – loaned by Jon Ryner
*THE PASSING OF THE PEACE
THE OFFERING AND OFFERTORY
Almighty and most merciful Father, from whom comes every good and perfect gift, we give You praise and hearty thanks for all Your grace. We know that Your goodness created us, Your bounty sustains us, Your Fatherly discipline has corrected us, Your patience has borne with us, and Your love has redeemed us at the foot of the cross of Christ. Grant us to be able with these gifts, to show our love for You in return. Amen.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden; we pray that You would inform our spirits with the messages of Scripture that You present for our attention today. May we take the lessons of the day to heart and seek to align our pattern of living in accord with them. Amen.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. 10 The lions may grow weak and hungry but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. 11 Come, my children, listen to me I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. 14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; 20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. 21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. 22 The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
1 Peter 2:1-3
2 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
SERMON The Godly Life
Hello again! We are trying to broadcast the morning worship service of the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton, Iowa on Facebook. We have had transmission problems, so we HOPE to send this service to you.
I am Rev. Dr. Dale Dykstra, the interim minister here for the past five months. I have served a total of ten churches in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Iowa. I have
o been a Stated Clerk of a Presbytery in Pennsylvania for 10 years; swerving 58 churches.
For the past couple of weeks I have been talking to you about the fallen state of our society, country, and world. Last week I summed it all up by saying “You gotta believe” in the face of all the skepticism of our days. Who or what MUST we believe? In the God of the Bible and His Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ!
On reflection, it is not enough to encourage you all to “believe”. We also need to take action on what we believe. That means that I should do my level best to describe for you the kind of life that God wants you to live as well as the kind of life that He most emphatically DOES NOT want you to live.
Now, I know that you, by yourself, cannot transform the world, or nation, or even city, folks. I think it is much more possible to influence your family, and your friendship circle—even your workplace. All of these possibilities require direct PERSONAL contact and influence. We all have known people we would call Godly People. They might not agree with that description – being more humble and perhaps more aware of their own sinfulness – but you consider their lives a positive Godly influence.
Do you know what comes next, folks? I want YOU to live as a Godly person!
I will not leave you guessing about how to do this-the Bible is FULL of directions for us to follow. There are two ways to approach the question about how to live a Godly life.
You can list and describe all the traits that the Bible lists as being pleasing to God.
You can list all of the things that God finds unpleasant in our lives as described in the Bible
as things to be avoided.
I want to use the rest of my time this morning to do BOTH for you. Starting with the things to AVOID (the negative seems easier to list) in our lives takes us to Saint Peter. He only wrote two little letters, but he was bluntly direct. Remember that he wasn’t well-spoken; he wasn’t educated---he was a big fisherman—plain spoken and direct. His second chapter (out of only 5) starts with an imperative—A COMMAND from one used to giving orders to a crew.
You might well expect him to start listing a host of bad behaviors that must be abandoned---certainly that is the approach that occurred to ME. Others, most particularly James and Paul, DID take this listing approach; but not Peter.
He starts by attacking the sins of the mind and of our attitudes. He says that these must come for correction BEFORE the outward bad behaviors can be addressed.
He says, “Hey you! GET RID of a long list of behaviors – he doesn’t ask us to—he says God commands – and Peter repeats that God wants things OUT of our lives. He tells us that God will give us the strength to abandon such as:
MALICE – which is the desire to do evil –before you DO anything evil—just the evil thought needs to be rejected and forsaken.
GUILE – a sly and sneaky way to do bad things, but not APPEAR to be doing so.
INSINCERITY – not expressing genuine feelings – hiding our true intentions to mislead others into being vulnerable.
ENVY – resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck. Again, this is a FEELING rather than an action.
SLANDER – Finally all 4 of the above evils lead to a CRIME. – damaging another person’s reputation.
All of Peter’s commands deal with our intentions and feelings toward an evil thought – before they lead to evil deeds –these are the sins of the heart. We are to seek to control our feelings and intentions for a Godly life. Their absence will leave room for adding many positive attributes.
Paul leads us here with the command “Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.” He starts with avoiding deeds of darkness, but living with deeds you don’t mind being seen in the light. He reminds us that most “unfruitful” works are done in darkness or secrecy. We are to be open books – showing our true nature as Godly people in the light so anyone can see them.
Paul asks us to “be careful” of how we live – as wise people. We are to make the most of our days. We are not to be rash or foolish, but understand the will of God. I find it interesting – AND I AGREE that pure-hearted Godly people are MUSICAL – he lists psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs as things that Godly people naturally do!
Lastly, he tells us to lead a life of thanksgiving to God for the ability to reject evil and seek good.
I also took you to Psalm 34. David gives another list of Godly traits for us to model in our days.
Keep your tongue from evil – no lies, no cursing, no slandering.
“Depart” from evil –don’t just avoid it –RUN AWAY from it! Don’t associate with questionable behavior.
The full sentence is “Depart from evil and do good.” Not just avoiding bd, but working at doing good deeds.
If we follow these directions, David says that God makes promises to us:
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears.
The Lord is near to the broken-hearted.
He saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them all.
The Lord redeems the life of His servants.
You see?? God CARES how we act and WHO WE ARE, and WHOSE we are. Seek to avoid evil, do good, and live a life God can be proud of! Amen.
*Hymn O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee 357
*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 Sending
*HYMN Christ of the Upward Way No. 344
CHARGE & BLESSING
And now, may the grace, mercy, and peace which proceeds from God the Father, through Jesus Christ, the Son, and into the Holy Spirit within us, may it rest and abide within us, now and forever more. Amen
*Stand as you are able.