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Two Special Brothers

At the Duluth Church of Christ this coming Sunday morning, Thomas Reid will be speaking to us about two brothers in Christ who were very special to the apostle Paul: Timothy and Epaphroditus. As we look at the characters of these two special men, we can learn how we can model our character after them.

The following songs are from the book Praise for the Lord.

Seek Ye First – 883

The words to this song come straight from Jesus’ mouth, quoted from Matthew 6 and 7. And although you might not think of this as a song of praise, notice that each phrase ends with the word “Alleluia,” a Hebrew interjection meaning “Praise the Lord!” As we think about the providence of God, we can praise Him for taking care of us as we seek His kingdom first, just as Timothy did: “For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 2:21 NKJV)

God’s Family – 855

This spiritual song was written in the 1970s, shortly after “Seek Ye First,” and paints a beautiful picture of what Christians should be as children of God. Paul may not have been married, but he knew his true family was his brothers and sisters in Christ. “When a brother meets sorrow, we all feel his grief.” This is how the Christians in Philippi felt when they heard that Epaphroditus was sick: “he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.” (Philippians 2:26 NKJV) In the same way, Paul knew they would rejoice to see him again. As children of God, we are family, and we should act like it!

There’s a Royal Banner – 671

Before the sermon, we will sing this rousing spiritual song from the 1880s that encourages us to serve as “soldiers of the king.” One of the descriptions Paul gives Epaphroditus is “my fellow soldier” (Philippians 2:25), and when we realize that being a Christian means being at war, and that it is a matter of life and death, things suddenly become more serious! As a soldier of Christ, Epaphroditus understood this, and almost died as a result of his service to God (Philippians 2:30). We should follow his example and “For Christ count everything as loss.”

Come Unto Me (O Heart Bowed Down With Sorrow) – 107

We will sing this song after the sermon to invite those who are burdened with the sin and troubles of the world to come to Christ and make their life right. This song emphasizes what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, that the way of salvation is so much easier than the life of sin. “His peace is like a river, His love is like a song…”

Oft We Come Together – 511

As we begin turning our minds towards the Lord’s Supper, we will sing this beautiful spiritual song by brother Tillit S. Teddlie. Notice the first line: “Oft we come together, oft we sing and pray.” This should be true for all Christians, but sadly, for some it might be more accurate to say “Sometimes we come together, every now and then we sing and pray.” Let us be more devoted to worshiping our God and being with the saints every time the door is open!

God Will Take Care of You – 191

Before the closing prayer, we will return to the thought introduced by the first hymn, that God will take care of us if we seek Him first. And although not specified in this song, one of the ways that God takes care of us is through other Christians like Timothy and Epaphroditus. As we go through life, let us always “beneath His wings of love abide.”

Hymn of the Week – Shout for Joy

My own recording of “Shout for Joy” (MP3)

I don’t know who composed the music for this rendition of Psalm 100, but it’s beautiful. I only have the music in my head, so I thought I would make a recording of it this afternoon for anyone who would like to learn it. The second echoing voice would be sung by the ladies. Praise the Lord!

Know that the Lord is God;
it is He who has made us,
and we are His.
We are His people,
the sheep of His pasture,
and we are His.

Shout for joy!
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Shout for joy!
Come before Him with joyful song!

Enter His gates with thanks,
and His courts with praise,
for we are His.
Give thanks unto Him,
and bless His holy name,
for we are His.

For the Lord is good,
His love endures forever,
and we are His.
And His faithfulness
lasts to all generations,
and we are His.

Hymn of the Week – Though Your Sins Be as Scarlet

Music by William Doane (1876)
Poetry by Fanny Crosby, first verse from Isaiah 1:18

Though your sins be as scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though your sins be as scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they be red like crimson,
They shall be as wool!
Though your sins be as scarlet,
Though your sins be as scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow,
They shall be as white as snow.

Hear the voice that entreats you,
O return ye unto God!
Hear the voice that entreats you,
O return ye unto God!
He is of great compassion,
And of wondrous love;
Hear the voice that entreats you,
Hear the voice that entreats you,
O return ye unto God!
O return ye unto God!

He’ll forgive your transgressions,
And remember them no more;
He’ll forgive your transgressions,
And remember them no more;
Look unto Me, ye people,
Saith the Lord your God!
He’ll forgive your transgressions,
He’ll forgive your transgressions,
And remember them no more,
And remember them no more.

Hymn of the Week – Wayfaring Stranger

Music: Traditional American hymn, arr. John Dye (1935)
Poetry: Bever’s Christian Songster (1858)

I am a poor, wayfaring stranger,
While journeying through this world of woe,
Yet, there’s no sickness, toil nor danger,
In that bright land to which I go.

I’m going there to see my father,
I’m going there no more to roam;
I’m only going over Jordan,
I’m only going over home.

I know dark clouds will gather o’er me,
I know my way is rough and steep;
Yet beauteous fields lie just before me,
Where God’s redeemed their vigils keep.

I’m going there to see my mother,
She said she’d meet me when I come;
I’m only going over Jordan,
I’m only going over home.

I want to wear a crown of glory,
When I get home to that good land;
I want to shout salvation’s story,
In concert with the blood-washed band.

I’m going there to meet my Savior,
To sing His praise forevermore;
I’m only going over Jordan,
I’m only going over home.

Hymn of the Week: Take Time to Be Holy

Poetry by William Longstaff (1874)
Music by George Stebbins (1890)
Listen to audio recording

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.