Service Times: Sundays at 9:00 & 10:45   Directions

Sun, May 14, 2017

Beauty and Brokenness

The brokenness of creation is readily obvious and universally pervasive, overtaking the physical world, our relationships and, most especially, our spirituality. We aren’t designed for this curse we’ve earned, which leaves us scrambling for a cure. The good news is that, in the middle of our darkest, God’s hope breaks through in two ways. Firstly, He gives everybody “common grace” where he gives us “rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” as a gracious blessing to us as well as a witness to draw us to the gift-giver and the offer of the second and deeper hope: God’s “Saving Grace.” Common Grace is the temporary appetizer and witness for the fully satisfying permanent Saving Grace where the Father put our curse on Jesus in order to utterly reverse the brokenness and re-create us to himself.
Duration:30 mins 57 secs
Worship Order

Call To Worship: 1 Peter 1:3-8;13 ESV

5.14.17 Songs

Grace Band: Piano & Vocals - Tonya Hudson, Percussion & Vocals - David Hudson, Guitar & Vocals - Jeff Whisenant, Bass - Jeff Hinkle, Drums - Andrew May

Reading: Galatians 3:13-14 ESV

Sermon Title: Beauty and Brokenness

Central Text: Acts 14:8-23 ESV

5.14.17 Slides

Illustration: True Detective - Pain

Illustration: Common Grace

Response: Grace In Trials (Adapted from The Valley of Vision)

Music Special: Carry Me Home (Written by The Sweeplings, Arrangement by Tonya Hudson)

Benediction: Revelation 21:1-5a ESV

Scripture Readings

Call To Worship: 1 Peter 1:3-8;13 ESV
LEADER: 1 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.


ALL:  8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,


Reading: Galatians 3:13-14 ESV
LEADER: 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—


ALL: 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.


Central Text: Acts 14:8-23 ESV
8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them. 19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and tto Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.


Response: Grace In Trials (Adapted from The Valley of Vision)
ALL:  O Father of Mercies, and Giver of all graces. We look to you for strength for it can be hard to practice what we believe.
LEADER:   Give us assurance that in Christ we died and in him we rise.
ALL:  In his life we live, through his sufferings we are healed and his victory we triumph.
LEADER:  May your Spirit continually preserve and increase your good works in us, walking humbly in dependence upon You.
ALL:  Your death is our life, your resurrection our peace, your ascension our hope and your prayers our comfort.   


Benediction: Revelation 21:1-5a ESV
LEADER: 1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.”


ALL: 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”


Post-Service Text: Acts 14:21-22 ESV
21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.


Related Scriptures:
“every good and perfect gift comes down from above . . . from the father of lights” (James 1:17)


The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1)


Romans 8:35-39 ESV - 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


2 Corinthians 4:7-12;16-18 ESV
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

 Discussion Questions

  1. Describe how different parts of creation (nature, people, relationships etc.) are a frustrating mixture of beauty and brokenness.

  2. God’s “common grace” is how he loves and blesses everybody (14:17). Why does he do this? What’s the ultimate point of him showing Common Grace?

  3. What are ways you struggle against the brokenness? How do you medicate to ease the pain of it? How do you try to “fix” it?

  4. Above God’s Common Grace is His Saving Grace, his promise to utterly unbreak, restore, recreate creation. How can this give us actual, real-life hope to live in the painful brokenness in our lives?

  5. How did Jesus’ brokenness unbreak us?


Book Resource

What is Common Grace? Keller

Related Sermons

The Gospel for the Pagan by Timothy J. Keller

Acts 14:8-23


Called to Suffer and Rejoice: For An Eternal Weight of Glory by John Piper

2 Corinthians 4:7-18 ESV

Related Media

 5.14.17 Album
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