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.
July 28th Bible Study
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, Tom Kelly, and Harlen Marx had a knee replacement
WORDS OF WORSHIP (from Psalm 46)
LEADER: God is our refuge and strength, a present help in trouble.
Response: Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth should change.
L: Though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea.
R: Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble
L: There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God.
R: The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.
GATHERING PRAYER (Unison)
Almighty God, from whom every good prayer comes and who pours out the Spirit of grace and supplication on all who desire them, deliver us from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind when we come near to You. May we worship You in spirit and in truth with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
*HYMN Crown Him with Many Crowns No. 151
CONFESSION AND PARDON (Unison)
Most holy and merciful Father, we acknowledge and confess before You our sinful nature prone to evil and slothful in good with all of our offenses and shortcomings. You alone know how often we have sinned, in wandering from Your ways, in wasting Your gifts, and in forgetting Your love. May You, o Lord, have mercy upon us. We are ashamed and sorry for of our acts that have displeased You. Teach us to hate our errors and cleanse us from our secret faults according to the commandments of Jesus Christ, our Master. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
Search us, o God, and test our hearts to see what faithfulness lies there towards You. Try us, and know our thoughts and desires. See if there be any wicked way in us. We implore You to lead us in the way everlasting. Amen.
*THE PASSING OF THE PEACE
ITHE OFFERING AND OFFERTORY
O God, the Fountain of all good, we bring to You our gifts, according as You have prospered us. Enable us, with our earthly things to give You the love of our hearts and the service of our lives. Let Your favor and loving-kindness be upon us now and always, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Almighty God, who has placed into our ears the saving truth of Your Holy Bible, enlighten our minds to the full understanding of what we will hear spoken. May You deepen every serious impression, that we may be not only hearers of good words, but l do doers of good deeds, striving to lead blameless lives to the glory of Your Name. Amen.
Isaiah 26: 1-4
26 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. 2 Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. 3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. 4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
Romans 5: 1-5
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us
Colossians 3: 12-17
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
SERMON Peace With God
Boy! It is hard to believe that this is the last Sunday in the month of July already! Pretty soon our kids and grandkids will learn how to return to school again and all the Labor Day festivities will begin. Welcome to the Facebook broadcast of the First United Presbyterian Church of Clinton, Iowa’s morning worship for July 25th.
I am Rev. Dr. Dale Dykstra, the interim minister here for the past four months. We are busy seeking to re-grow this wonderful congregation! I have served for forty nine years as a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Iowa.
There are so many troubles and distresses in our world today. We are in the process of recovering from the global pandemic—though the Delta variant is stirring those fears again. The global situation seems to have our enemies strengthening and our allies in difficulties. All our personal information is more and more easily hacked; so that we have no peace about our privacy. Cities are dissolving with violence. There is rarely a day’s news broadcast without at least one shooting –usually more! Races are more at odds than during the past 50 years.
What do we need? We need to find PEACE in all these situations. And people have chosen a large selection of options to find peace in their lives—mostly to their ruin. Far too many try to find peace in the use of marijuana and ever more strong drugs. This se4ems to help them find peace temporarily; but soon leads to dependence and addiction—certainly NOT makers of peace. Another addictive “solution” is in the consumption of alcohol to excess---and addiction.
Others use physical discipline and exercise in pursuits like yoga. That can easily be related to meditation in some form or another. These are not as destructive as the chemical attempts at solution, but they lead people to withdraw from the existing world into their own thoughts and understandings.
Withdrawal from society is tried as a possible solution, but it doesn’t make the world any more peaceful. This person simply IGNORES what is happening around them. It seems that everywhere we look, we, and our area, and our country need to find PEACE.
Besides in the dictionary, where can we find or develop peace? I brought you to the prophesy of Isaiah in his 26th chapter. Now Isaiah lived during one of the most stressful and dangerous times in the history of Israel---when weak kings were making alliances with powerful enemies—especially Babylon. He saw the nation’s vulnerability as the consequence of its unrighteous living and disobedience to the laws of God.
Though very unpopular in his day, his message proved to be the correct one as many Hebrews were taken back to Babylon as slaves after Jerusalem and all Israel was destroyed in battle. It is heart-rending still to read the book of Lamentations- written by Jeremiah-and some of the later-written psalms speaking of Israel weeping beside her destroyed city and Temple.
Isaiah offered an alternative for them—and for us. There is another way to live and to discover peace in our lives. “Those of a steadfast mind You keep in PEACE.” He declares that God will open his gates of heaven for those people in the nation that are righteous and keep the faith.He goes on to say “in the Lord you have an everlasting Rock.” Here are the keys to finding and keeping the peace.
Is it any wonder that America is finding less and less PEACE in our lives? God’s standard is KEEPING THE FAITH—yet we cannot pray or read the Bible in our schools. Children are forbidden to pray there as well. How are they to learn of the way of God’s righteousness? Perhaps by going to Sunday School and church the way we used to? Not the younger generations! They have children’s athletic contests or practices to go to instead. Perhaps they feel like they deserve a rest after a busy week of work?
hopelessly out of date. Athletes or performers are ridiculed if they declare their faith. Is it any wonder that average citizens are shy about speaking about their faith and the principles of moral living it has taught them? In the interest of individual rights, no one has the right to criticize another person’s lack of peace or faith---that is their right to believe that way---EVEN IF IT WILL LEAD THEM TO HELL!!!
Violence is becoming commonplace not only in the big cities, but in towns like Kewanee, Davenport, and Clinton! The Bible clearly says that God himself will “lay the city low” for its sinfulness. What can we do? Verse 7 starts Isaiah’s answer to the dilemmas of his day. “The way of righteousness is level. The path of the righteous is smooth.”
We are called to be agents of righteous living in a rampantly sinful age and place. Can we, as a group of a few dozen change the whole world? OF COURSE NOT but we CAN change our part of the world. We can also influence others to stop sinful ways and encourage them to live in righteousness as well. As a result, “God will ordain PEACE for us. We can know that we are leading godly, moral lives and that we are seeking to expand that influence into our personal worlds.
I took you into Chapter 5 of my favorite book of the Bible. Paul starts out saying “Since we are justified by faith, we have PEACE with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ. It will not be easy, folks. We are to trust in our salvation by the grace of God through faith. But hat will lead to suffering!
We don’t want to suffer being made fun of as being hopelessly old fashioned.
Having arguments with friends and even family- perhaps even losing our relationships with them.
Quite possibly, some of the people who disagree with us may be in a position to harm our careers or occupations!
Paul says to “keep PEACE in our lives and endure this suffering as we continue to witness to God’s goodness and mercy TO THOSE WHO ARE RIGHTEOUS. That produces people of character; which creates hope for us and our worl; and hope leads to PEACE.
How do we do this? The list is almost exhausting! Oyr lives are to be:
Compassionate: caring for the less fortunate
Kindly – not the kind with animals—but with PEOPLE
Humble – giving all of the credit for successes to God, not ourselves.
Meek – resisting opposition with gentleness
Patient – the most difficult of blessings, inmy opinion.
We are to forgive one another—THAT will lead to inner PEACE. “Ane let the PEACE of Christ rule in your hearts –and be thnkful.
We can do all this if we let the word of God dwell richly in our hearts. Read and get to know your Bible! Comfort and PEACE can be found there. “And whatever you do in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Amen.
Hymn Near to the Heart of God No. 527
*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 I’ve Got Peace Like a River No. 368
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.