Call to Worship: Psalm 100:1-5
Opening Hymn: 80 “Lord, with Glowing Heart I’d Praise Thee”
Confession of Sin
Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred and strayed from Your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Your holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done. And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and there is no health in us. But You, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent; According to Your promises declared to mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father; For His sake; That we may hereby live a godly, righteous, and sober life; To the glory of Your holy name. Amen
Assurance of Pardon: Psalm 86:12-15
Hymn of Preparation: 162 “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”
Old Covenant Reading: Psalm 41:1-13
New Covenant Reading: John 13:18-30
Sermon: Night Fall
Hymn of Response: 248 “Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended”
Confession of Faith: Heidelberg Catechism Q/A #1
Doxology (Hymn 732)
Closing Hymn: 426 “Till He Come”!
OT: Psalm 132:1-18
NT: 2 Peter 1:5-11
A Confirmed Call
Adult Sunday School: Reformation History
Shorter Catechism Q/A #106
Q. What do we pray for in the sixth petition?
A. In the sixth petition, which is, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, we pray that God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.
Monday (7/31) Read and discuss John 13:18-30. N.T. Wright comments:
The present passage places side by side the two disciples who, in this gospel, are at the opposite extremes. Here we have ‘the beloved disciple,’ the one who many still think was John himself, the writer of the gospel. The picture we get is of a young lad, perhaps the youngest of them all. If he was indeed John the son of Zebedee, he may have been a cousin of Jesus on his mother’s side. He may not yet have been twenty. He had looked up at Jesus all his life, had followed him with joy and devotion (if not always, yet, with total understanding). Jesus had, as we say, a special affection for him, a soft spot. The others didn’t resent it, perhaps because he was, after all, only a lad. They didn’t find him a threat.
So close was their relationship that he was able to ask Jesus the question the others all wanted to put. People celebrating the Passover reclined on couches as a symbol of freedom (free people reclined to eat; slaves sat or stood). The beloved disciple was reclining close beside Jesus. He could whisper to him, and hear what was whispered back. It is one of the great pictures of friendship in all literature. And it is side by side with one of the greatest pictures of friendship betrayed.
When, so soon after that marvelous moment of the foot washing, Jesus came out with the shocking statement that one of them was going to betray him, nobody had any idea who he was talking about. The medieval paintings of the Last Supper get it wrong; they tend to show Judas as a very obvious traitor, with his clothes, his face, his money-bag and his body language all telling us that he’s the one. But the eleven others around the table didn’t know. Judas was simply one of them.
Jesus had washed his feet, too. That in itself is worth pondering deeply. Even when Jesus spoke cryptically to him, and he went out, the others didn’t understand what was happening.
Read or sing 80 “Lord, with Glowing Heart I’d Praise Thee” Prayer: Ask the LORD to work the genuine strength of true humility into your character.
Tuesday (8/1) Read and discuss John 13:1-17. Jesus has brought doctrine and life together. On the one hand, Jesus had simply taking the lowest place at the meal … the place of the servant … the place of a slave. Jesus has given us a profound example of how we are to serve one another in the household of faith. But Jesus has also given us far more than an example. Jesus has given us an enacted parable that explains His incarnation, His life, His Death, and His glorification. Consider these words which the Apostle Paul writes to the Church in Philippi:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Isn’t that the very thing that Jesus has illustrated through this enacted parable? When Jesus lays aside His outer garment that corresponds with Him laying aside His visible glory and all the prerogatives of Deity when Almighty God chose to be born in a manger. Jesus took on the form of a servant in order to cleanse filthy sinners like us – ultimately humbling Himself by choosing to die the shameful death on a cross. Jesus dreaded the agony and shame of the cross – but He also knew what was on the other side. So, He took off the servant’s towel and put on His outer garment and sat down once again. Nothing of the essence of Christ’s divinity was lost through the Incarnation. Jesus knew that soon He would once again be clothed in the glory He had with the Father before the ages began. Through this enacted parable, Jesus is telling us the story of His Incarnation, Death, Resurrection, and Glorification. Then, astonishingly, Jesus tells us to apply these truths in our daily life by taking on the lowly servant’s job of washing each other’s feet. According to Jesus, the most profound doctrinal truths and His call for us to serve one another are inextricably bound together. To be a Christian is to embrace both! Read or sing Hymn 162 “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” Prayer: Ask the LORD to give you both a mind for truth and a heart for His people.
Wednesday (8/2) Read and discuss Psalm 41:1-13. “This psalm has elements in common with an individual lament (vv. 4-10). Yet the introductory (vv.1-3) and concluding (vv. 11-12) verses set the mood of thanksgiving for the psalm in such a way that I see it, with the majority of modern commentators, as a thanksgiving of the individual (Willem VanGemeren).” The central lament of the psalm is most familiar to us because it is referred to by Jesus to describe His coming betrayal at the hands of Judas Iscariot (John 13:18). This psalm speaks vividly of the profound pain caused when friendship is betrayed. The psalmist, perhaps King David, had enjoyed a time of being at the pinnacle of popularity. Such popularity and power always draws a crowd of followers but it also draws enemies. Anyone who envisions his enemies triumphing over him must do so with a heavy heart. How then can one describe the anguish caused when not only your enemies but your intimate comrade raises his heel against you in betrayal? Jesus knew this pain. He not only had commissioned Judas to ministry and shared meals with him, at the Last Supper Jesus had stooped to wash Judas’ feet. Yet we should not think that the pain of such betrayal led our LORD to despair. The very psalm that Jesus quoted expresses absolute confidence in Yahweh. This is not merely a general confidence expressed in a vague manner. It is a personal confidence that Yahweh will vindicate His wrongfully betrayed Servant:
By this I know that you delight in me:
my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.
But you have upheld me because of my integrity,
and set me in your presence forever.
Prayer: Ask that the LORD would bring visitors to our congregation.
Thursday (8/3) Read and discuss Psalm 132:1-18. Calvin writes:
We see how God confounds the proud and boasted enterprises of the children of this world. They run the full course of their wild career, they turn the earth upside down at their pleasure, and put forth their hand in every direction; they are filled with complacency at the thought of their own talents and industry, and, in a moment, when all their plans have been fully formed, they are entirely overthrown, because there is no solidity in them. There are two different forms which the presumption of those takes who will not submit to the humble followers of God, but must needs run before him. Some rush forward with a reckless precipitancy, and seem as if they would build to the skies; others do not so openly exhibit the inordinateness of their desires, are slower in their movements, and cautiously calculate upon the future, and yet their presumption appears no less from the very fact, that, with a total oversight of God, as if heaven and earth were subject to them, they pass their decree as to what shall be done by them some ten or twenty years from now. These build, as it were, in the deep of the sea. But never shall it come to the surface, however contented may be the term of their lives; while those who, like David, submit themselves to God, keeping in their own sphere, moderate in their desires, will enjoy a life of tranquility and assurance.
Read or sing Hymn 248 “Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended” Prayer: Please pray for our brothers and sisters in the Presbyterian Church of Cape Cod.
Friday (8/4) Read and 2 Peter 1:5-11. Doug Moo writes:
In the last part of Peter’s mini-sermon [verses 10 and 11], he does what a good preacher should do: motivate the listener to take action based on the truth shared in the message. Peter therefore builds on the warning he has implicitly expressed in verse 9, but he now takes a positive track. “Therefore” may relate to the danger of spiritual blindness (v. 9), but more likely it refers back to all verses 3-9. “Be all the more eager” picks up the basic exhortation in verse 5: “Make every effort.” That effort is to be directed toward making their “calling and election sure.”
“Calling” and “election,” words closely related in the Greek, probably work together to emphasize the single concept Peter has in mind: god’s, or Christ’s effective drawing of the sinner to himself for salvation (see v. 3). The Christian must earnestly seek to grow in Christian virtue in order to “validate” this calling of God. Some theologians have difficulty with the idea that Christians must work in order to validate their election and to ensure that they will not fall away. And we must carefully nuance just what this means – and more importantly, what it does not mean. But we must not evaporate [Prof. Moo probably meant to write “we must not evacuate”] Peter’s language of its seriousness and strength: Striving for spiritual maturity is not an option for in the Christian life.
Prayer: Ask that the LORD would make you even more diligent in living out your life before God.
Saturday (8/5) Read and discuss John 13:18-30. Chuck Swindoll writes:
Verse 27 is one of the most chilling verses in all of Scripture. Just as willing hearts receive Christ, so willing hearts receive Satan.
Secret sin inevitably warps the mind and twists one’ values. Embezzlers like Judas rarely steal much at first. But as the pilfering becomes habitual and then ritualized, the thief must learn to rationalize his sin or face the awful prospect of repentance. Driven by shame, he must keep his sin a secret. Meanwhile, the cycle of compulsion and shame drives a wedge between his private thoughts and a fastidiously maintained public – and often pious – persona. Eventually, the sinner accepts his public façade as his true self in a desperate attempt to escape the relentless pursuit of shame. When caught in sin, an embezzler almost always appears shocked. And in some ways he is surprised by the accusations because he has convinced himself that no one can see the true person he had long ago concealed.
Judas had been cultivating a double life for much of his time with Jesus (6:70-71). His charming religious façade kept seething resentment safely concealed from others. No one suspected his secret sin, much less wondered about his loyalty. Even as he received the morsel from Jesus and departed into the night without explanation, no one suspected anything.
Read or sing Hymn 426 “Till He Come”! Prayer: Please lift up tomorrow’s morning and evening worship services.