Call to Worship Psalm 111:1-2
Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them.
Confession of Sin Psalm 119:9-16
Leader: How can a young man keep his way pure?
All: By guarding it according to your word.
Leader: With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!
All: I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes!
Leader: With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.
All: In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.
Leader: I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.
All: I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
Assurance of Pardon adapted from Ephesians 1:13-14
Leader: When you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Jesus, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
The Lord’s Prayer
Old Testament Reading Exodus 19:4-8
4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” 7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD.
New Testament Reading James 1:19-27
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. 26If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Questions for Reflection
- What is religion? How do you define it? How does secular society define it?
- How does the Bible describe religion? Some hints: Deuteronomy 6:1-2; Romans 1:25
- Are you a ‘religious’ person? How would you describe your own religious practices?
- Why is it important for Christians to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger?
- Why is ungodly anger dangerous?
- Does James teach that doing outward good is all God wants?
- What are some practical ways for you to put off all filthiness and rampant wickedness?
- Do you visit widows and orphans? If not, could you find some to begin visiting? There are widows at Peace who could use encouragement.
Prayer of Reflection on what you’ve learned/discussed
Benediction Philemon v. 25
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.