As we continue to pursue discernment, we remember that it is the skill of understanding God’s Word and God’s world so as to love what God loves. Psalm 19 beautifully combines God’s world and God’s Word, and Isaac Watts compares and contrasts both in his hymn “The Heavens Declare”. We begin with this psalm, pray, and sing this excellent hymn.
Our first reading takes us to the centre of the Bible, Psalm 119, which is in so many ways the key to the rest of the Bible. We are reminded both of the attitude we should have when seeking to gain understanding, and of the fact that this understanding is given graciously by God when we seek it out. We then sing part of this psalm, as Scripture commands us to sing psalms to God (Col 3:16, Eph 5:19).
Our second reading gives us an example to follow: a man whose discernment in the Word was mighty. We have much to pray for, and do so in obedience to 1 Timothy 2:1-4. Since God gives good gifts to those who ask in prayer, it is appropriate for us to then respond with our gifts. We sing of our unfettered love for God in “My God I Love Thee”, knowing the discernment does not come apart from a loving relationship with God.
Our study in discerning the Word begins in 2 Timothy 2:15. We close with the reminder to make our God known, singing “Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim”, and depart with the blessing of 2 Thessalonians 2.
Call to Worship: Psalm 19
Prayer of Invocation
Hymn 51 The Heavens Declare (GERMANY)
Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:33-40
Hymn 268 Teach Me O Lord the Perfect Way
Scripture Reading: Acts 18:24-28
Offering: Congregational Hymn 234: My God I Love Thee
Sermon: Learn to Discern (3): Discerning the Word
Hymn 297: Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim
Benediction: 2 Thessalonians 2