Our text is Acts 13:1-12. In our passage this week Luke reports of another time when the gospel triumphs over the forces of evil. This time it does not overpower another evil king like Herod, but it overpowers one sent by Satan himself to trouble the missionaries and their mission. And what we are going to see is that the holy Spirit overthrew the evil one, the apostle confounded the sorcerer, and the gospel triumphed over the occult.


Children’s Message: Pastor Chad Sadorf has been including a series of Children’s Messages. In this message series we are going to look at the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. Today’s message is provided as a video; this link appears just after the Gloria Patri in the service (where it would normally occur in our church service). Click on these links for a printable activity page and a children’s bulletin to accompany this message: Goodness coloring page and Children’s Bulletin.


Service for Family Worship:

Call to Worship: Psalm 9:1-2, 10-11

1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

2 I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. 

10  And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

11 Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds!  (ESV)

Prayer:

Almighty God, this morning we bow in your presence as your people and proclaim, “Worthy are you, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” [Rev 4:11]

You created all things seen and unseen. You sustain and rule over your creation with infinite precision.  You are holy beyond our comprehension.

You are the standard of perfection. You are all powerful, all knowing. You are utterly independent. And we, your people, are utterly dependent upon you.

And as we come this morning to present our worship as a sacrifice of praise, our gifts seem anything but sacrifices, compared to the sacrifice of your Son on the cross.

But Father, may each of these gifts truly symbolize the intention of the giver to honor and serve you in thought, word, and deed, not only in this hour, but also throughout the coming days of this week and year, wherever you might send us.

And Father, will you guide us today by the power of Holy Spirit and oversee every aspect of this service to bring glory and honor to the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Hymn #587, Who Is on the Lord’s Side?  (Click here for the text of the hymn), (Click here for the piano accompaniment), (Click here for the organ accompaniment)

This hymn was written in 1887 by Frances Havergal, a noted hymnwriter. Frances was very bright but often sickly. She was reading by age four, and began writing verse at age seven. She learned Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and memorized the Psalms, the book of Isaiah, and most of the New Testament. Miss Havergal had a thorough training in linguistics and music and was a pianist and singer. The hymn is related to the story of Moses when he returned and found the people sinning. Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come unto me.” (Exodus 32:26). In Matthew 12:30 Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” The question still challenges us all for an answer: Are you on the Lord’s side?

Corporate Scripture Reading: Luke 18:9-14

9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (ESV)

Confession:

Father in heaven, we need to be forgiven. We have often tried to deal with our sins on our terms instead of yours. Instead of trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ, we have tried to work off our guilt. We have tried so hard to pile up good deeds that outweigh our sins in order to earn your favor. When this doesn’t work, we quickly turn to denial and distraction.

Instead of trusting in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have tried to change through our own efforts. We have tried to change our hearts through sheer willpower.

This has left some of us arrogant. This has left most of us anxious and depressed. Forgive us for trying to heal ourselves. Forgive us for neglecting your grace. Forgive, heal, and transform us for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: : Romans 5:1

Hear the Good News: Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Glory to God!

Affirmation of Faith: Westminster Larger Catechism

Leader:
Q. 171 How are they that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to prepare themselves before they come into it?

All:
They that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper are, before they come, to prepare themselves thereunto, by examining themselves of their being in Christ, of their sins and wants; of the truth and measure of their knowledge, faith, repentance; love to God and the brethren, charity to all men, forgiving those that have done them wrong; of their desires after Christ, and of their new obedience; and by renewing the exercise of these graces, by serious meditation, and fervent prayer.

Response in Praise: Gloria Patri   (Click here for the text of the hymn), (Click here for voices and accompaniment), (Click here for the piano accompaniment), (Click for the organ accompaniment)

Children’s Message:

Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness (Click here to link to the video of the Children’s Message)

(You may want to take a moment to pray with your child or children for your family, your church family, our country and world.)

Offertory: Psalm 96:8-9

8  Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! 9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! (ESV)

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Response in Praise: Doxology   (Click here for the text of the hymn), (Click here for voices and accompaniment), (Click here for the piano accompaniment), (Click for the organ accompaniment)

Hymn #448, We Have Heard the Joyful Sound   (Click here for the text of the hymn), (Click here for the piano accompaniment), (Click for the organ accompaniment)

Priscilla Owens wrote this hymn in 1868 while living in Baltimore. As she sat down in the Union Square Methodist Church, she wanted this hymn that focused on Christian Missions to be a joyful sound. Missionary work is to be inspired. The hymn sees the spread of the gospel to a variety of places, given what she said in the song’s verses: ‘All around’ and ‘every land’ (v. 1), ‘far and wide’ (v. 2). Priscilla had a lengthy career in children’s education and she knew how to help students remember an idea – it’s best to repeat it, perhaps many times in a small space. She built that into this hymn with two repeated words: “Jesus saves.”

Pastoral Prayer: (Click here for the Pastoral Prayer)

Sermon: The Gospel’s Power over Darkness

(Click here to listen to the sermon) (Click here to watch the sermon)

              Acts 13:1-12

Hymn #449, We Rest on Thee (Click here for the text of the hymn), (Click here for the piano accompaniment), (Click here for the organ accompaniment)

The music for this hymn was borrowed from the tone poem Finlandia, composed around 1899 by the Finnish classical composer Jean Sibelius. The words to the hymn were written around 1895 by Edith Gilling Cherry, a remarkable young woman, and gifted poet. She died at the age of twenty-five and much of her poetry was written before she was fifteen. This hymn expresses passion and power, doctrinal depth and has many biblical allusions. But the hymn’s core idea comes from the phrase, “We rest on Thee” taken from the account in the King James Version of how King Asa of Judah sought the help of the Lord, when a huge Ethiopian army came against Judah: “And Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee.” (II Chron. 14:11).

Benediction (Click here to hear this week’s benediction)


Questions for Further Discussion

1.   What does it mean to be a self-exalter? How can we fight against the temptation to be one?

2.   How does Herod’s death highlight the centrality of the glory of God?

3.   How does this passage provide believers with hope?

4.   Read Romans 8:31-39 in light of this passage.


Children’s Message:
Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

Click on these links for a printable activity page and a children’s bulletin to accompany this message: Goodness coloring page and Children’s Bulletin.


Series:

We are looking at the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.

Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law”

Spiritual fruit isn’t fruit from the grocery store – spiritual fruit is a specific character quality that God creates in us through his Spirit.

Last week we looked at the fruit of kindness.

Goodness:

But what is goodness? How is it different from KINDNESS? Kindness involves being generous and thoughtful and considerate in helping others – BUT goodness involves doing what is right VERSUS WHAT IS BAD!

Goodness means both being good AND doing good, especially to others. God is Good! AND GOD WANTS US TO DO GOOD AND SHOW GOODNESS TO OTHERS!