Scriptures with Songs

Swimming With the Tide?

living sacrificeThis month is the month of merriment to most people.  It is a happy occasion with all the gift giving, parties here and there, shopping, some presentation depicting the so-called birth of Jesus Christ in schools.  With all the merriment we see, we are, especially to the young, are tempted to celebrate with them. Anyway, what is just 1 week or 1 day celebration? It is just a get-together with co-workers and friends. 

The whole world says ‘it’s the season to be jolly!’ ‘Express your love!’ ‘Give gifts!’ ‘It is the birth of the Savior!’ And so people go shopping, go to parties, celebrate with people and has forgotten that the essence of their celebration is the birth of the Savior. 

Should we swim with the tide? Should we celebrate with them? Should we spread “love” by giving gifts and just bear in mind that it’s actually the birth we are celebrating and not the partying?  As one twitter reply said “Jesus was not born in December BUT he was born and we REJOICE!” 

But God says “be pure and undefiled”. That’s the question we are facing in this time of the year or in every festive celebration the world offers.  And we, who know the truth, know that everything the world celebrates is futile. Even the ‘so-called’ Christmas - birth of the Savior, doesn’t even come close to the true birth of Jesus Christ.  It is of pagan origin as well as other celebrations celebrated by people and God hates these pagan celebrations because He has ordained Feast days to be celebrated, not man-made celebrations.  It will be that people who don’t celebrate these man-made festivals will be hated. As Jesus Christ said in John 15:18-19 "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”

And true enough, the twitter reply further said: “don’t be like a Muslim/Jew hating Christmas.”

So, what do we do? Should we swim with the tide or hold fast to what we believe is true as written in God’s words?

Let’s start with Romans 12:2 - And do not be CONFORMED to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

What is conformity or conform?  To conform means be similar, be in line with; adapt oneself to new or different conditions.  Conformity is the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of groups that serve as guide to interactions with others. This tendency to conform occurs in small groups and/or society as a whole, and may result from subtle unconscious influences, or direct social pressure. People often conform from a desire for security within a group—typically a group of a similar age, culture, religion, or educational status. Unwillingness to conform carries the risk of social rejection.

The verse says “do not be conformed to this world”.  Why shouldn’t we be conformed to this world? What is the world?  Let’s have our first set of bible readers to give us a background of the world as we see and live in now, at this time and age.

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Family of God or Children of Men

fern frondPrelude Music

Joyful Sabbath, brethren! Thank you for the melodious sound, ushering in the start of our worship service. May we call on Mr. _______________ to lead us in the opening prayer.

Opening prayer

Opening hymns

Hymn 1: All His Children – page 147

Hymn 2: What Shall We Children Bring-page 171

Hymn 3: God’s Family – page 108

Introduction:

In today’s Scriptural Readings and Hymn Singing, we will focus on the most foundational plan and desire of God – to create a “Family”.  Do you still remember what was taught to us in Social Studies /Araling Panlipunan /Sibika about family? Our teachers told us that family is the ‘microcosm’—the basic unit and building block of a society, the foundation of any community, country or nation.

This is parallel to the will of God for mankind. As it is written in Genesis 1:27 , God’s mandate to Adam and Eve is to be “fruitful and multiply” and also in Hebrews 2:10 where God’s desire is to bring “many sons to glory”.  God desires to have a family relationship with mankind, share His glory and His righteousness. 

What is in a family that is based on God’s will? Is it sufficient to have a father, a mother and a child to be called a family?

In our study today, we will look back on some of the families mentioned in the Bible and learn from their characteristics that will make us closer to God’s definition of family. These families are not perfect, but God chose them to be included in His word for us to take heed and learn. As it is said, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition (1Cor. 11:10).

But before we direct our focus to our first family, let us first take into consideration God’s foundational truth about marriage and raising children in the fear of the Lord.

The first set of Bible readers will read verses that will introduce us to the importance of marriage, roles of parents in nurturing their children from generation to generation.

Bible Reader 1: Purpose of Family

Genesis 2:18-24

Mark 10:1-10

Malachi 2:15

Bible Reader 2: Guidance and Exhortations

Deuteronomy 6: 4-9

Deuteronomy 21:18-21

Proverbs 24: 3-4

Ephesians 6: 1-4

Facilitator: Thank you Bible Readers. Brethren, let’s please stand as we offer our praises through the following hymns:

Hymn 4:  One Generation Will Call to the Next – page 2.55

Facilitator: Please be seated brethren.

1. Adam's Family: Two Ways of Life – Righteousness (Seth) and Rebellion (Cain)

Our first biblical family, the family of Adam opens up two ways/directions in which families can be raised:  1. The Way of Cain—the way of Jealousy, Rebellion and open defiance against God; and 2) Way of Seth—the way of Faithfulness and Righteousness.

Bible Reader 3: The Way of Cain/The Way of Seth

Genesis 4:1-7,9-12; 16-17; 1John 3:11-12; Jude 1:11

Genesis 4:25-26; 5:1-8; Hebrews 11:4-5

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Psalms of Praises

praisePrelude Music

Joyful Sabbath, brethren! Thank you for the melodious sound, ushering in the start of our worship service. May we call on Mr. ___________________ to lead us in the opening prayer.

Opening prayer

Opening hymns

Hymn 1: On the Sabbath Day, p.2.3

Hymn 2: Daily Praise Him with a Song, p.2.19

Hymn 3:  Praise My Soul O King of Heaven , p.8

1. Introduction: In today’s Readings of Scripture, we will be focusing our meditative readings on the subject of Praise contained in the last seven (7) Chapters of the Book of Psalms which is our fitting doxologies of hymns as we approach this fall feasts season (Feast of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and Eighth Day).

As one of the greatest collections of songs, prayers, and meditations, the book of Psalms expresses the deepest passions and reverence of man to an awe-inspiring and the most Awesome God of the Universe. In the verses of Psalms we can read man’s desperate cry for help in the midst of despair, pouring out his soul in confession, but also his ecstatic praise to his great Comforter, Provider and Deliverer.

Many of the psalms can be identified or classified according to their specific theme/subject.  Certain types of psalm are called “Royal psalms” this selection of hymns emphasizes on God as King and of His Sovereignty; other verses are called “Psalms of Zion” because of their focus on Jerusalem’s future restoration; “Confessional psalms” are prayers of confessions of sin, asking God for forgiveness; “Wisdom psalms” present the sharp contrast between the righteous and the wicked; another theme is called “Torah psalm” as these hymns describes the beauty, truth and sufficiency of the Law of God. Also foremost among these is the last cluster of verses at the end of the book. These are the “Hallel” psalms, named for the principal Hebrew word for praise, hallel. As their name suggests, these psalms praise God for His character and saving works for man.

The Bible enjoins all living creatures to always praise the LORD (Psalm 150). Our praises are very essential as we approach and pray to our God or come to Him in worship as a body or Church. Our praise is what makes our worship complete and whole at the throne of our loving Creator as we bid Him to accept all our offerings and sacrifices.

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The Covenants of God

marriage-covPrelude Music

Joyful Sabbath, brethren! Thank you for the melodious sound, ushering in the start of our worship service. May we call on Mr. ___________________ to lead us in the opening prayer.

Opening prayer

Opening hymns

Hymn 1: Come, Rejoice Before Your Maker, p.216

Hymn 2: Rejoice In God, p.210

I - Intro: What is a covenant? Today, in our ‘Scripture with Songs’ we will take a close look on the subject of covenants in the Bible. Somewhat unrealized by most people today, God in His infinite wisdom provided man since the beginning (of his creation) a way to establish a deeper and meaningful relationship with Him through a series of covenant. By understanding these covenants we will know God in a better way, His will, and eternal plan for everyone. The Bible records a number of covenants, or agreements, between God and humans. To understand each of them, we must first understand what a covenant is.

So when we speak of a covenant, what does it really mean?

Simply stated, a covenant is a an agreement between two or more parties. By definition, it is a contract that binds two or more people; it is a promises to do and fulfill certain acts or actions based on agreed terms, hence, the word “covenant” (Heb. Ber-ith, a reference to “a cutting” or ratifying of covenant).

Like in a marriage, inherent in any covenant is the idea of a lasting commitment to a predetermined or defined relationship. Generally speaking, a covenant is a life-long agreement between two (or more) parties that formalizes a binding relationship between them. It establishes their essential obligations and commitments to each other.

In the Bible, it is through a covenant that God has chosen to communicate to us, and reveal the kind of relationship He wants with us. A covenant provided us a glimpse of what God intended for man and the provisions and promises contained for its fulfillment. The covenant is what defines our growth and intimacy in our relationship with God.  Therefore, the Bible is that history and record of a covenant document.  The Old and New Testaments speak really of God’s provisions of Covenants (Hence, the misnomer “Old” and “New” Testament).  The word "testament" is Latin for Covenant.

The Bible records a series of covenant between God and His people. It is for this purpose that we will read and study each of these covenants and learn how in each case God always responded with provision of grace and man’s utter failings through unfaithfulness and disobedience. 

It is to be noted that when God began to establish His covenant, He carefully chose to reveal this to specific families for a special purpose. Our first set of Bible readers will be reading covenants that God established with the families of Adam, Noah, and Abraham:    

Bible Reader 1 - Covenant with family of Adam (Adamic Covenant)

Genesis 1:26-28

Genesis 2:1-3, 7-9, 15-18, 21-25

Genesis 3:1-19

Bible Reader 2 – Covenant with Noah (Noahic Covenant)

Genesis 6:9-22

Genesis 8:15-22

Genesis 9:1-17

Bible Reader 3 – Covenant with Abraham (Abrahamic Covenant)

Genesis 12: 1-3, 7-9

Genesis 15:1-7, 12-28

Genesis 17:1-16

 Facilitator: Thank you Bible Readers. Brethren, let’s please stand as we offer our praises through the following hymns:

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The Light of the LORD

light-worldScriptures with Songs: The Light of the LORD

Prelude Music

Joyful Sabbath, brethren! Thank you for the melodious sound, ushering in the start of our worship service. May we call on Mr. ___________________ to lead us in the opening prayer.

Opening prayer

Opening hymns

Hymn 1: page 71 Gather Us In

Hymn 2: page 6 Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee

Hymn 3:  page 2.51 The Light of the Lord

Introduction:

Today, we will study the concept of Light in the Bible. The word “Light” has a positive notion, not only in biblical terminology but also as man understands it.

We can find in dictionaries that light is something that makes things visible or affords illumination.  A footnote even said that “all colors depend on light.” It means that without light, we would not have known and seen the colors red, yellow, green, blue, purple etc. Another definition is, it is “an illuminating agent or source, as the sun, a lamp, or a beacon.”  Our sense of sight or the eyes is that amazing instruments from which we perceived light. Our sense of touch can also feel and distinguished light.

 In the Bible, the word light appeared 177 times in the Old Testament and 95 times in the New Testament. It does not include yet the words “lights”, “lighted” or “day”, “shine”.

It is even a great wonder that God’s first account of re-creation is “Let there be light”. At the onset, light was already in its proper place. Our first Bible reader will be reading verses concerning God’s creation of light and its use as symbol for God’s appointed times and seasons.

Bible Reader 1 – Light as symbols and beacon for God’s appointed festivals or holy Sabbaths

Genesis 1:3-5

Genesis 1:14-19

Psalm 136:1,4,7-9

Job 9:4,7,9-10

Our second Bible reader will be reading verses that pertain to God as the pillar of light that guided the Israelites during their journey in the wilderness:

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Pentecost: Counting on God’s Holy Spirit

ruth-naomi-fbPentecost: Counting on God’s Holy Spirit

Prelude Music

Joyful Sabbath, brethren! Thank you for the melodious sound, ushering in the start of our worship service. May we call on Mr. ___________________ to lead us in the opening prayer.

Opening prayer

Opening hymns

Hymn 1: In Your Image, p.162

Hymn 2: Come Thou Almighty King, p.78

Hymn 3:  Behold How Good It Is, p.149

Introduction:

Today, Sabbath of May 9 is day thirty-five (35) of the count toward Pentecost. There are fifteen (15) more days to go until Pentecost.  One defining promise Jesus gave His disciples is the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit that empower everyone on the day of Pentecost, some 2,000 years ago today.

The book of Acts records,

“But you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8  

God’s people are still counting on this same promise today, as we count each day to Pentecost. We are supposed to let the Spirit of God work in us in order for that power to be unleashed just as it did with Christ’s disciples and followers.

But how do we do this? What is this Holy Spirit of God?

For many people, the identity and works of the Holy Spirit raise many questions. What is the Holy Spirit? What is its role(s)? Why do I (or we) need the Holy Spirit?

When Jesus Christ was about to leave His disciples, He said that he would pray that the Father would send them the Holy Spirit. “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, [it] will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”John 14:25-26. So the disciples needed the Holy Spirit as a reminder of what Jesus had said to them when He was with them.

One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to speak to us through the Bible—the Word of God. That’s why it is so important to read/meditate the Bible as we do it today. The Holy Spirit helps us to understand what we read, then convicts us to change (repent) and follows what it says. And later, in many situations, the Holy Spirit will teach and help us in everything.

As we continue to count for the coming Feast of Pentecost, these readings and inspiration should provide us clear and real understanding of God and His will. In today’s verses, we will discuss four (4) categories and distinctive roles or activities of the Holy Spirit as it is revealed from Scripture. The categories of our readings are based on:

“The Promise of the Holy Spirit”

“The Gift of the Holy Spirit”

“The Fruit if the Holy Spirit”

“The Power of the Holy Spirit”

The first set of Bible readers will read verses that will introduce us to the role of the Holy Spirit from the beginning as it unleashes the creative handiworks of God with all His creation.

Bible Reader 1: The Holy Spirit of God was involved in creating mankind and all the rest of the world.  It is the Holy Spirit of God that keeps us alive.

Genesis 1:1-3, 2:1-7

Job 26:7-14

Job 33:4 -and- Job 34:11,14-16

Psalm 104: 24-30

Bible Reader 2: The Holy Spirit of God personally works in the lives of His people, their calling and mission.

Genesis 41:37-39

Exodus 35:30-35

Numbers 11:16-17,25,29

1 Chronicles 28:9-12,19

Daniel 4:1-9,18

Facilitator: Thank you Bible Readers. Brethren, let’s please stand as we offer our praises through the following hymns:

Hymn 4:  God Speaks To Us, p.128

Hymn 5:  Blest and Happy Is He, p.88

Facilitator: Please be seated brethren.

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Feast of Passover Through Time

dub-colJoyous Feast and a glorious Sabbath, brethren. Today is a double Sabbath as we are celebrating the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread coinciding with the weekly Sabbath. Welcome to our Scripture readings and hymn singing for today’s Feast service. May we call on Mr. _______________________ to lead us in the opening prayer.

Opening prayer

Thank you, Mr._________________. Let us open our hymnals on:

Hymn 1: Let Us Keep the Feast, page 203

 Hymn 2: Joyful at the Feast p.225

Hymn 3:  O Day of Rest and Gladness, p.159

Introduction:

In 1 Corinthians 5: 7, it says: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ, our Passover is sacrificed for us.”

During this period, we are asked to examine ourselves, that we may be found worthy in the presence of God. How do we do this?

One aspect that we should learn is to understand the mind of God through an element that He created for man-TIME. The Almighty God, who created the vast and limitless universe also created certain times and seasons so that man will rejoice and worship Him. He has given us 365 days a year, composing of 52 Sabbaths a year.

He desires intimate relationship with His people that is why He set apart a day in a week where we can come to Him. God knows the tendency of man to forget so He codified the Sabbath in His Law (Exodus 20:8-11). The word He used is “Remember”, which means “to keep in your mind,” to not forget”; “bring to mind or think of again”.

In addition to the weekly Sabbaths, He has given man seven (7) Feast days on which we can come to know His overall plan of salvation –the Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles and the Eighth Day.

Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread have a very significant meaning to God’s people.

In today’s Scriptural Readings, we will study how the people of God were enjoined to celebrate this Feast in the right way.

The first set of Bible readers will read verses that will give us a glimpse of the First Passover, a memorial event that was instituted by God to be observed by God’s chosen people.

Bible Reader 1:

Exodus 12:1-28

Bible Reader 2:

Leviticus 23:1-8;

Numbers 9:2-14

Deuteronomy 16:16-17

Facilitator: Thank you Bible Readers. Brethren, let’s please stand as we offer our praises through the following hymns:

Hymn 4:  Great God Who Made the Universe, p.13

Hymn 5:  How Great Thou Art,  p.10

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