The Fifth Sunday after Trinity    July 09, 2023   

The Seventh Sunday of the Pentecost Season

The Gift of a Thorn

            We’ve all had bad days before – those days when nothing seems to go right no matter how hard we try. I’ve had some pretty bad days, but I’m not sure that many of them come close to the experience of a man I will simply call Joe.  Joe was having a decidedly bad day.  Here’s how he described that day in the Workmen’s Compensation accident report form that he filed.  Joe wrote:

            “Dear Sir: I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block #3 of the accident report form. I put “Poor Planning” as the cause of my accident. You asked for a more complete explanation and I trust the following details will be sufficient.

            I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work, I found I had some bricks left over which, when weighed later, were found to weigh 240 lbs. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor.

            Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out, and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 240 lbs of bricks. You will note on the accident reporting form that  my weight is 135 pounds.

            Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building.

            In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel which was now proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed. This explains the fractured skull, minor abrasions, and the broken collarbone, as listed in Section 3, accident reporting form.

            Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley, which I mentioned in Paragraph 2 of this correspondence. Fortunately, by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of the excruciating pain I was now beginning to experience.

            At approximately the same time however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel only weighed approximately 50 pounds.

            I refer you again to my weight of 135 pounds.  As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and severe lacerations of my legs and lower body.

            Here my luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.

            I am sorry to report, however, as I lay there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move and watching the empty barrel six stories above me, I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope……..”

            …….I don’t know about you, but the vast majority of my bad days don’t seem bad at all when compared to Joe’s experience, which is almost certainly a bit of fiction — and something of a parable with a message for us.  Making this all a bit more personal, I don’t doubt for a moment that you’ve also been a stranger to having a bad day.  Now, an occasional bad day is one thing – they come and go.  But what about when they come and stay?   What happens when that one bad day turns into a bad week, and a bad week turns into a bad month, and a bad month turns into a bad year or a bad decade…maybe even into a lifetime of bad days?   What happens when that “one more test” the doctor wanted to run comes back with bad news that is going to affect the rest of your life?  What if those tough times in marriage end in broken trust and shattered dreams?   What if you try your hardest, but you still fail in school, or you don’t pass that qualification exam that you have to have to  get a better job?   What if you lose a child to death, or to anger that distances you from your offspring, or if you lose your child to the Devil?   What if your home or your business is foreclosed upon because you can’t make the payments?     What if the stock market crashes and all of your investments become worthless pieces of paper?  What if your employer replaces you with someone else….and you can’t find other employment anywhere?    What if….what if….what if?    Sometimes the “what ifs” actually do occur, don’t they?   Then what do we do?  And getting to the main emphasis of our service and Scripture study today, how do those “what ifs” affect your relationship with God?

Today’s Scripture Lessons

            This morning’s Old Testament Lesson is the “introduction” to the story of Job.   In these two chapters that we’ll be reading, we will be reminded how abundantly blessed by God Job was….with a strong faith, with material wealth and with a wonderful family — 10 children, plus a wife.  We also see Satan appearing before God, challenging God’s goodness to Job with an intriguing question:  “Does Job fear God for nothing?”  Satan was suggesting that Job’s faith was only as good as his earthly happiness and prosperity.   “Take away his things” implied Satan, “and Job won’t love You, God.”   So the LORD allowed Satan to affect Job in whatever ways he chose….provided Satan did not physically harm Job.  In a day’s time, Job lost nearly everything:  his material wealth and his children…..but not his faith in God.   Even then, a thoroughly frustrated Satan challenged Job’s faith in God’s grace.  “Material things don’t matter,” suggested Satan, “but if Job is challenged physically, he’ll surely deny You, God.”   And so the LORD allowed Satan to “touch” Job physically in whatever way he deemed fit…..provided Satan did not take Job’s life.  Excruciating sores would cover Job’s entire body.  In all likelihood, no one (with the exception of Jesus) has ever suffered physically like Satan made Job suffer.  Nevertheless, Job would not curse, deny, become angry with, or reject God.   His faith stayed true.

            So must our faith as we face life’s challenges and hardships.   And your consolation and mine in such situations is not that Job suffered even more than we do….as if the greater sufferings of others should somehow make us grateful.  Like Job was (please read the rest of this book this week…), we might be confused as to “why” we’re being challenged….perplexed about what purpose God might have behind the pain, disappointment, loss, or hurt that we’re experiencing.   As Job would learn, the LORD doesn’t owe us — and doesn’t usually give us — the answer about why He chooses to deal with us as He does.   What Job needed to realize…and what we must realize too….is that the LORD Who created us, Who cares for us, and Who has redeemed us through His Son, has the absolute right to do with us as He chooses.  We find our consolation (and here’s where “faith” takes over) in the fact that the God Who loves us enough to save us from our sins through His Son (Romans 8:32) also loves us enough to do what is best for us in life…..whether  or not we understand (or approve of) what He does.   Job “got that” in the end.   May you and I “get it” too.  Oh, one last thought……two of the “interesting” places where God’s grace to Job can be seen are:  1) that the LORD keeps on communicating with Job throughout his ordeal;   and  2) that the LORD continued to protect both Job’s soul and physical life from Satan — particularly denying the Devil the permission to end Job’s life.   Ultimately, Satan and Job would both learn — by experience — what God already knew in His gracious omniscience:   that Job’s God-given faith was more than strong enough to stand up against whatever Satan threw at him.  Our solace in suffering is that we have the same God-given faith, and it is more than strong enough to sustain us through whatever you and I face in life too!

            For our Gospel Lesson today is one of this pastor’s favorites:   Jesus’ words from His Sermon on the Mount about our Heavenly Father’s provision for His entire creation….and especially for us humans….and His encouragements not to worry about our physical lives, but to make spiritual matters (particularly our faith) our highest priority.   Christ put it so simply and clearly:   “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”   May each of us believe firmly (because it IS true!) that our Heavenly Father knows exactly and always what we need….spiritually and materially….and that He has the love and determination to provide for us in the ways that are best for us for today, and for eternity!

            Our Children’s Lesson comes from a sad chapter in David’s life….one dealing with the loss of his infant son, as a discipline from God, following David’s sins of adultery, deceit and murder.   Through the prophet Nathan God has previously announced this discipline to David.   Nevertheless, David prayed for a different outcome….right up to the moment when — as God had indicated — the child died.   But, amazingly, instead of being angry with God, which many people then and now – maybe us, included — would be, David properly chose to worship God!   In this, the repentant king gives us an outstanding example of how to deal with what we perceive to be life’s losses, disappointments, and defeats:   Always praise God in all things — since, as the inspired Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 8:28….”In all things God works for the good of those who love Him.”

            And, finally this morning’s Sermon Text  is a good companion lesson to the story of Job.  Here the Apostle Paul reflects on a special blessing that God gave him:  a glimpse of heaven.  Now, Paul wasn’t sure if what he experienced was a vision of heaven, or an actual visit there.  He said it didn’t matter which it was…it was obviously a tremendous privilege. The Apostle then adds that any man with such a blessing naturally might boast about it…and a little about himself in the process.   “But,” says Paul, “I’m only going to boast about God’s grace to me….the same grace that you Corinthians (and the rest of us Christians) have.”   He then shifts the conversation from the vision God gave him to a “thorn in the flesh”/burden that he carried for years.  Paul was convinced that if God would remove the burden he would be a more effective servant for the Lord, and so he prayed frequently that God might take it away.  “No,” said the Lord.  “You need that burden so that you can trust more in Me, instead of in yourself.”  Finally Paul “got it” — just like Job “got it.”  The choice about whether or not to endure his burden belonged — not to him, but — to the LORD, Whose grace was sufficient for Paul…..the LORD Whose power was made perfect in Paul’s weakness.   2000 years later, in our lives (including in our hardships) our God blesses us with the same grace with which He blessed Paul….and, through faith, it is always sufficient for us!  

A Word Of Welcome To Our Guests . . . Good morning and welcome to Grace Lutheran Church.  We’re pleased that you’ve chosen to be a part of our worshiping assembly  this morning.  Whether you are a guest today or a member of this Christian family, your presence at this service is sincerely appreciated.  It is our wish that the time you spend here will be enjoyable and spiritually edifying, and so it is our desire to serve you in the best way we can.  If there is anything that we might do to assist you in your worship today, please speak with one of our ushers or our Pastor.  They will be pleased to serve you in any way they can.

     Following the worship service this morning, we invite you to join those around you for some coffee, refreshments, and good conversation during our fellowship period.  If you are able, we would also be honored to have you remain after today’s fellowship time in order that you might further hear and study the Scriptures with us in one of our Bible Classes or Sunday School classes. And, we hope that you will come back soon to again praise the Lord with us.  May God bless you and your worship of Him today.

About Our Worship Service . . . . . The order for our worship service is printed in this service bulletin.   You will find that our worship is made up of three essential ingredients:  praise, instruction from God’s Word, and prayer.   We sing our praises to God for all of His gracious blessings.   We receive instruction from His Word in our various Scripture Lessons and through the Sermon.  Our prayers consist of expressions of our repentance for our sins, plus requests for God’s forgiveness, guidance, and continued blessings.  

            A few additional brief explanations of how we worship might be helpful.   The congregation in worship (we are not part of an audience, but participants in the action of worshiping) generally are seated to listen to God’s Word and sing the regular hymns.   The pastor faces the congregation when he is serving as God’s spokesman.  He faces the altar both when he is serving in the capacity of the congregation’s spokesman, and when he joins the congregation as a fellow worshiper.   One final note:  Because Jesus is our Lord and King as well as our Savior and Redeemer, we customarily stand out of respect for the words of Jesus during the reading of the Gospel Lesson.

About Our Congregation . . . . Grace Lutheran Church is a fellowship of individuals and families who have found the Jesus Christ to be the only safe and reliable answer to all of life’s critical problems and questions.   We are members of the WELS, or the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.  Wisconsin indicates the geographical origin of a group of Christians (organized in Milwaukee, WI in 1850) who believe, teach, and confess that the Bible is the inspired and error-free Word of God, and who are united in their efforts to proclaim Christ crucified and risen for the forgiveness of sins.   Evangelical declares that we believe and proclaim the great Gospel principles of the Bible that sinners are saved by Grace alone,  through Faith alone,  in Christ Jesus alone,  on the basis of Scripture alone.     Lutheran indicates that we hold to the historic Christian faith of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, almost lost to the Church at one time before God restored it through the Lutheran Reformation.  Synodstates that we are part of a gathering of 1200 Christian congregations through-out the United States plus congregations in 26 other nations, all of which “walk together” for the express purpose of serving and sharing the Good News about our gracious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The portions of God’s Word used in this worship flyer have been taken from

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version 

Copyright 2019,   The Wartburg Project, Inc.   All rights reserved.

Used with permission.     Music and lyrics, as needed, are used with permission via #A712831




Prayer Upon Entering Church    Heavenly Father, You showed Your grace by bringing me to faith in Christ through the work of Your Holy Spirit, and then by giving me the blessing of being called Your child.  Though what I offer You today is so small, compared to all You have done for me, please accept my humble offerings of praise and thanksgiving, as well as my gifts.  Also, Lord, help me gladly hear and take to heart the Good News of salvation from sin for me and all people through faith in Your Son, my Savior.  Renew and invigorate me with Your Holy Spirit today and every day, that I might live a confident life of faith and love to Your glory,  and that I might share, by all possible means, at every opportunity, the same Good News of salvation through Christ which has filled my life with peace and purpose.  Amen.

Silent Prayer                                                                                                                           Pre-service music


We Praise Our God

The Welcoming and Introduction to Worship

at the Pastor’s invitation, the Congregation will please rise for the invocation

The Invocation

Pastor              We begin this service in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Today’s Psalm Reading                                                                                           Psalm 22, selected verses

Pastor:             My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?


Congregation              My groaning does nothing to save Me.  


P:         My God, I call out by day, but You do not answer,   I call out by night, but there is no relief for Me.

C:         Yet You are seated as the Holy One; praised by Israel.


P:         In You our fathers trusted.   They trusted and You delivered them.

C:         They cried out to You and they were rescued.   +    They trusted in You, and they were not disappointed. 


P:         But I am a Worm and not a Man, scorned by men and despised by the people.   All who see Me mock Me.   They sneer.  They shake their heads:

C:         They say, “Trust in the Lord.   +   Let the Lord deliver Him. +  Let Him rescue Him, if He delights in Him.”

P:         But You are the One Who brought Me out of the belly.  You made Me trust when I was at My mother’s breasts.

C:         I was cast on You from the womb.    +   From the belly of my mother, You have been called My God.


P:         Do not be distant from Me, for distress is near and there in no one to help

C:         Like water, I am poured out.   +   All My bones are pulled apart.  +    My heart has become like wax.    + It has melted in the middle of my chest. 

P:         My strength is dried up like broken pottery, and my tongue is stuck to the roof of My mouth.  You lay Me in the dust of death.

C:         For dogs have surrounded Me.   + A band of evil men has encircled Me.   + They have pierced My hands and My feet.


P:         I can count all My bones.   They stare and gloat over Me.

C:         They divide My garments among them.    +   For My clothing they  cast lots.


P:         But You, O Lord, do not be distant.   

C:         O My Strength, come quickly to help Me.

P:         I will declare Your name to My brothers.

C:         In the midst of the congregation, I will praise You. 


P:         You who fear the Lord, praise Him!   For He has not despised nor detested the affliction of the Afflicted. 

C:         He has not hidden His face from Him   +    but when He cried out to Him, He heard.

P:         All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before You.

C:         For the kingdom belongs to the Lord,  +  and He rules over the nations.   +   Descendants will serve Him.  + For generations people will be told about the Lord.   + They will come and proclaim His righteousness to a people yet to be born,  + because He has done it.


After which the Congregation will be seated for

The Opening Hymn                                                                       “Dearest Lord, While You Are Watching”

                                                                                                       sung to the melody of “Unser Herlicher” (CW 255)

Dearest Lord, while You are watching   O’er Your universe today.

Pause a moment as we’re praying,    Hear the words we have to say.

Bless us, please, oh Friend so dear,   As to You we now draw near.


We have thrived on Your attention.   We have prospered at Your hand.

Gifts too numerous to mention,   You have showered on our land.

Earth and heaven sing Your praise,   Mighty Ancient of all days!


Though at times we groan and grumble,

Though our sinful deeds You see,

Though our prayers we often mumble,    You forgive us constantly.

Could we find a friend so true,    As the Friend we’ve found in You?


If You see some tear-drops falling,    Lord, You know the reason why.

We are saddened at recalling,    How You sent Your Son to die.

Such a wond’rous gift of love,    We are so unworthy of!


Gracious God, oh please direct us,    Every day and every night.

Send Your angels to protect us,    From the Tempter’s evil might,

‘Til the day when we can see   You in heav’nly majesty!       Amen.



After which the Congregation will rise as

We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God

Pastor  God, our Heavenly Father, invites us to come into His presence and to worship Him with humble and penitent hearts.  Therefore, let us now turn to Him, acknowledging our sinfulness and seeking His forgiveness for all our sins.


Congregation  Holy and merciful Father,   I confess that I am by nature sinful   and that I have disobeyed You in my thoughts, words, and actions;    I have done what is evil in Your sight   and have failed to do what is

 good.    For this I know that I deserve Your punishment, both now and for eternity.     But I am truly sorry for all my sins,   and trusting in the perfect life   and innocent death of my Savior,   Jesus Christ, I plead:   God have mercy on me, a sinner.


Pastor              Our gracious Lord and Master has shown us His mercy:   He has given His one and only Son to save us from all our sins.     And now, carrying out my office as a called servant of Christ,  and according

 to His command and authority,   I forgive you all your sins   in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. May the peace of God rest upon all of you.    Amen.

The Order of Matins                                                                                             

Pastor            O Lord, open my lips.

Congregation – (sung)             And my mouth shall show forth Your praise



Pastor            Hasten, O God, to deliver me.

Congregation  (sung)   Hasten to help me, O Lord

Glory be to the Father and to the Son

And to the Holy Ghost

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be

World without end.  Amen.   Hallelujah


Pastor            O come, let us worship the Lord.

Congregation     (Sung)    For He is our Maker


Oh come, let us sing to the Lord

Let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving.

Let us make joyful noise to Him with songs of praise.

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

The deep places of the earth are in His hands;

The heights of the hills are also His.

The sea is His, for He made it.

And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh, come, Let us worship and bow down.

Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker

For His is our God.

And we are the people of His pasture

and the sheep of His hand.

The Prayer for Today

O Almighty God, our Heavenly Father  +  as we meditate on Your Word today   +   move us to repent of all our sins  + particularly the sins of worrying,   +   of being worldly, +   demanding,   +   weak-willed,   +   complaining,   +   and indifferent toward Your Word.   +    Enable us,  +   through Your Spirit’s aid,   +   and motivated by the Gospel,   +     to resist all of the Devil’s temptations,   +   the evil influences of this  godless world,   +   and the deceitful desires and wicked ways of our own sinful nature.   +   Empower us to grow in our faithfulness to You  +   and increase our trust in You, O Lord, +   that we might daily bring honor and glory to Your holy name,  +  no matter what our circumstances or challenges in this life.   +  All this we ask  in the name and for the sake   +    of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Savior,   +   Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,   +   One God, for ever and ever.  +  Amen.

after which the Congregation  may be seated

We Hear God’s Word

The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                                            Job 1:1-2:20

1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright, a man who feared God and turned away from evil. 2 Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. 3 His possessions included seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred female donkeys. He also had a very large retinue of servants. This man was the greatest of all the men of the East.

4 His sons would regularly arrange feasts, each one in his own house on his assigned day, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 When the days of the feast were complete, Job would send for them and consecrate them. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them. Job would say, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Job did this regularly.

6 There came a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came into their midst. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming the earth and walking around on it.”

8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a man who is blameless and upright, who fears God and turns away from evil.”

9 Satan answered the Lord, “Is it without cause that Job fears God? 10 You have put a protective hedge around him and his household and everything that belongs to him, haven’t you? You have blessed the work of his hands. His livestock has spread throughout the land. 11 But just stretch out your hand and strike everything that is his, and he will certainly curse you to your face!”

12 So the Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then. Everything that he has is in your hand. But you may not stretch out your hand against the man himself.” So Satan left the presence of the Lord.

13 One day when Job’s sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their oldest brother, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the female donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 when the Sabeans swooped down and took them away. They put the servants to death with the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

16 While he was still speaking, another servant came and said, “The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the flocks and the servants and consumed them, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

17 While he was still speaking, another servant came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and plundered the camels and took them away. They put the servants to death with the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

18 While he was still speaking, another servant came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and were drinking wine in the house of their oldest brother. 19 Suddenly a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it collapsed on the young people, and they died, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

20 Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshipped. 21 Then he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. May the name of the Lord be blessed.”

22 In all this, Job did not sin or blame God.

2:1 Another day arrived when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came into their midst. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming the earth and walking around on it.”

3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a man who is blameless and upright, who fears God and turns away from evil. And he still maintains his integrity, even though you incited me against him to destroy him for no reason.”

4 Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for skin! A man will give all he has for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand and strike his bones and flesh, and he will certainly curse you to your face!”

6 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hand, but preserve his life.”

7 Satan then went out from the presence of the Lord. He struck Job with very painful sores from the sole of his foot to the top of his head. 8 So Job took a piece of broken pottery to scrape himself as he was sitting among the ashes.

9 Then his wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

10 But he said to her, “You are talking like a woman who lacks moral judgment.   If we accept the good that comes from God, shouldn’t we also accept the bad?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.


after which, the Congregation will rise in respect for our Savior’s words

The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                 Matthew 6:25-34


25 “For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

27 “Which of you can add a single moment to his lifespan by worrying? 28 Why do you worry about clothing? Consider how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin, 29 but I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will he not clothe you even more, you of little faith?

31 “So do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the unbelievers chase after all these things. Certainly your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”


The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.  And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;   Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost;   Born of the Virgin Mary;  Suffered under Pontius Pilate;   Was crucified, dead and buried;   He descended into hell;   The third day He rose again from the dead;   He ascended into heaven And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;   From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Ghost;   The Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints;  The forgiveness of sins;   The resurrection of the body;    And the life everlasting.  Amen.



after which the Congregation will be seated for



The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                        II Samuel 12:19-20

19 When David saw that his servants were whispering together, he understood that the child was dead. So David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “Yes, he is dead.”

20 Then David got up from the ground, washed, put on lotion, and changed his clothes. He went to the House of the Lord and worshiped.


Worshiping the Lord….Even When We’re Sad



Sermon Hymn                                                                      Hymn 420   “God Moves In A Mysterious Way”


1 God moves in a mysterious way   His wonders to perform;

He plants his footsteps in the sea   And rides upon the storm.


2 Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,   But trust him for his grace;

Behind a frowning providence   He has a smiling face.


3 Blind unbelief is sure to err   And scan his work in vain;

God is his own interpreter,   And he will make it plain.


4 You fearful saints, fresh courage take;   The clouds you so much dread

Are big with mercy and will break   In blessing on your head.

after which the Congregation will rise for

The Pre-Sermon Salutation


Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, our Lord!  Amen.


The Sermon Text                                                                                                           II Corinthians 12:1-10


I must go on boasting, although there is nothing to be gained. So I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago, was carried up to the third heaven (whether in the body, I do not know, or out of the body, I do not know—God knows). 3 And I know that such a man (whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know—God knows) 4 was carried up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words that a man cannot possibly speak.   5 On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except about my weaknesses. 6 Indeed, if I wanted to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from doing this, so that no one will think more highly of me than what he sees in me or hears from me.

7 Therefore, to keep me from becoming arrogant due to the extraordinary nature of these revelations, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me, so that I would not become arrogant. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that he would take it away from me. 9 And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, because my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will be glad to boast all the more in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may shelter me.

10 That is why I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For whenever I am weak, then am I strong.


The Gift of a Thorn


after the Sermon, the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED

 for the post-sermon blessing

The Post-Sermon Blessing


May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, Who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.  Amen.

We Offer Our Gifts and Prayers to the Lord

Our Offerings of Love to our Lord

Offerings will be received this morning through offering plates passed among those who have gathered here for worship.     However, for those viewing this service online,  we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:     

1) You can mail a check (no cash, please) to our church address

 (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745); or

2) You can donate through our website:


After which the Congregation rises for prayer

The Prayers for this Day     


In our Prayers this morning we include:

Prayers of Intercession for the following brothers in Christ:

Kent Swogger (who is hospitalized at Mercy Hospital)

 and for Mike Outlaw (weakness from anemia)

The Lord’s Prayer


Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name;   Thy Kingdom come;  Thy will be done    on earth as it is in heaven;    Give us this day our daily bread;    And forgive us our trespasses,    as we forgive those who trespass against us;     And lead us not into temptation;     But deliver us from evil;  For Thine is the kingdom,  and the power,  and the glory,   forever and ever.  Amen.


We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing

The Benediction

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  Amen.


The Closing Hymn                                             Hymn 321     “Savior, Again To Thy Dear Name We Raise”


1 Savior, again to thy dear name we raise    With one accord our parting hymn of praise.

Once more we bless thee ere our worship cease,    Then, lowly bending, wait thy word of peace.


2 Grant us thy peace upon our homeward way;    With thee began, with thee shall end the day.

Guard thou the lips from sin, the hearts from shame,    That in this house have called upon thy name.


3 Grant us thy peace, Lord, through the coming night;   Turn thou for us its darkness into light.

From harm and danger keep thy people free,   For dark and light are both alike to thee.


4 Grant us thy peace throughout our earthly life,    Our balm in sorrow and our stay in strife.

Then, when thy voice shall bid our conflict cease,    Call us, O Lord, to thine eternal peace.



Silent Prayer


Post-Worship Music