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Preparing For The Lord's Day

preparing

Preparing for the Lord's Day

Gifts Given

I often find myself saying that May is like the second December. May brims with so many events and activities that it feels just as bustling as Christmas. We're attending recitals and concerts, cheering at spring sports, and celebrating graduations. We also mark Mother’s Day and, in our family, birthdays for both April’s dad and my father. It seems almost every day features a recognition ceremony or an end-of-year party. This month, we buy gifts and cards for teachers, graduates, mothers, fathers, and newlyweds. And just as December brings us Christmas, May brings us Pentecost—the time when we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This Sunday, we will delve into the significance of Pentecost, reflecting on it as a time of divine gift-giving that surpasses even our most generous moments during the holiday season.

Historically, Pentecost marks the beginning of the Jewish festival called the Feast of Weeks. Here again, we see the work of Jesus aligning beautifully with the Jewish festivals. His crucifixion aligned with Passover, his resurrection with the Feast of First Fruits, and now the outpouring of the Holy Spirit with the Feast of Weeks. The connection is important because this feast began the wheat harvest season in Israel. Yet for the Church, Pentecost marked the great harvest of God calling His people into salvation through Christ. It was on this day that the ascended Christ gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to His people. 

In our passage from Ephesians 4 this Sunday, we will reflect upon the gift-giving of Jesus through His life, death, resurrection, and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We will see how Jesus earns gifts, how He gives gifts, what gifts He gives, and finally why He gives gifts. To come prepared for the sermon, take time this week to read and to meditate upon Ephesians 4:7-16, Joel 2:28-32, John 14:26, Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Peter 4:10, and this article on Pentecost

As we gather to worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit this Lord’s Day, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise “Come, O Come, Thou Quickening Spirit,” the Acclamation of Praise, “Spirit of the Living God,” and the Hymn of Response “Jesus Shall Reign.” Let us come to worship this Sunday prepared to hear God’s Word, to receive it in faith, to love and treasure it in our hearts, and to practice it in our lives that we may continue to glorify and enjoy Him!

Sermon Information 

Text: Ephesians 4:7-16 

Title: Gifts Given 

Outline: 

  1. Christ Wins Gifts Through Humiliation and Exaltation (vv. 8-10)
  2. Christ Gives Gifts According to His Purposes (v. 7)
  3. Christ Gives Gifts By the Spirit (v. 11)
  4. Christ Gives Gifts to Build-up the Body (vv. 12-16)

Sunday's Bulletin

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