"We Just All Need to Get Back to the Bible!" (But Whose?): What I Believe about the Bible (Part 1)

Preacher: Pastor Thomas

Theme For the Week beginning October 4th, 2020:  “The Christian’s Understanding of the Bible, Part 1”

  • An EXCITING video service just for children (and kids at heart) is found at the end of this service. Just scroll down!  (Thanks, LifeChurch!)  


The Prelude:  We Prepare Ourselves to Worship God


 We Gather Together
  • If you have family worshipping with you, give everyone a hug. 
  • If you are alone, take a moment and imagine the arms of the Loving Lord wrapped around you.  Send thoughts of love to those most important to you. 
  • Then, find a spot at your chosen place of worship.  Light your candle(s). 
  • Be silent for a moment, asking God to open your hearts to every good gift that God has for you today.


We Open with Prayer (inspired by Psalm 119:2-18)

(If possible, please pray out loud):

O Lord, how can we live our life the way we should?
    By carefully reading the map of your word.
    Don’t let us miss the road signs you’ve posted!

We delight far more in what you tell us about how to live
    than in gathering all the riches of the earth.
Be generous with us, and make our lives full.

Help us keep our eyes on the road you set before us.

Open our eyes so we can see by your word
    all the wonders you have in store for us.

We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, the Word Made Flesh.  Amen.


We Sing a Song of Praise: “How Firm a Foundation”

(UMH #529; 1787; First United Methodist Church, Houston, Jan. 27, 2019)

(Please sing along or just listen to this inspirational song)


We Call Each Other to Worship (inspired by Psalm 119)

(If possible, read out loud.  If you are not alone, take turns reading the light and the bold lines)

O God, you are righteous:

Transform us by your Word!

Your judgments are upright:

Transform us by your Word!

Your precepts are unforgettable:

Transform us by your Word!

Give us understanding and we will live:

Re-form us, reconcile us,

Transform us by your Word!

We Pass the Peace of God to Others

If you are with others in your home, give each other a hug, and pray for those who will not have any human touch today.

If you are alone, ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind at least one person who needs a call or email or card.  Commit to following through on this as soon as this worship service ends.  (If you have others in your household, they can do this, too).

 We Read the Bible:  2 Timothy 3:16-17;  Jude vv. 9, 14-45

(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)

2 Timothy 3:16-17

There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

Jude vv. 9, 14-45

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;

How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

And of some have compassion, making a difference:

And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

We Testify to God’s Grace:    “Echoes of God’s Word

(Øystein Brinch, Oslo, Norway; The Upper Room, September 24, 2020)

Many years ago our family went on a holiday trip to continental Europe. One day we went on a sightseeing trip on the famous Königssee near Berchtesgaden in Bavaria, Germany. Königssee is a deep lake surrounded by high mountains that create an enormous echo. The guide on the electric ferry was also a good trumpet player; so as we reached mid-sea, the ferry stopped and he played a short song. Seconds after he finished, the music was thrown several times back and forth among the mountains.

This experience has made me think about how the word of God can be like an echo in our hearts and thoughts — not just for seconds but through many years. Matthew 6:33 is one of my favorite verses (“Seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well? [NIV]). Another verse that has become an anchor for me is Acts 2:21: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” These verses and many others have brought me hope for this life and the next. My prayer is that I will allow these verses to speak through me so that they may echo in the lives of those I meet.

(Do you have a testimonial you’d like to share here during future services?  Send your story to thomas@hopefortulsa.com)


We  Sing a Song of Devotion: “Wonderful Words of Life”

(UMH #600, Word and Music by Phillip P. Bliss, 1874; First United Methodist Church, Houston, Feb. 16, 2020)

Please play the music video and sing along or just reflect.


We Hear the Sermon from Pastor Thomas
“We Just All Need to get Back to the Bible! ” (But Whose?)
“Confessions of a Church Pastor:  What I Believe about the Bible, Part 1

(NOTE:  A blog post that well-summarizes the United Methodist understanding of scripture can be found attached to the end of my written sermon.  There is a download link at the lower right of my video sermon at the top of this webpage.)


We Pray to the Lord

To receive the prayer email, please reach out to healing@hopefortulsa.com

(If possible, please pray out loud)

 God, today I (we) pray . . .

    • for the people of Hope United Methodist Church, and especially …
      • We pray for Elinor Bartleson, admitted to hospice care, and for Sheila and the family
      • We pray for the continued recovery of Skip Hurst following surgery
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Gail Arnold and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Brenda Stage and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Barbara Roderick and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Richard Bachelder and we pray for his family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Jerry Robison and we pray for his family and friends.
      • We pray for our members and friends who are in nursing homes and rehab centers.
    • for those who suffer and those in trouble, and especially…
    • for the concerns of this local community, and especially…
    • for the world, its peoples, and its civic leaders, and for the earth that you have given to our care.
    • for the battle we are facing with COVID-19, and especially those who are suffering and those who are responding, and for …                  
    • for the Church universal—its leaders, its members, and its mission. We especially pray for Bishop Nunn and for our new Superintendent, Connie Gibson.  We also pray for those churches that are now opening up and ask that those who gather would be wise and caring for each other.  We ask that you would protect all your congregations from harm and disease, and give us a mighty dose of your Spirit.  We pray for these and for other Christian leaders, including…
    • in communion with the saints, remembering all those who have gone on before us, and now form part of the Great Hall of Faith which encourages those of us who remain on earth.  Today we especially remember . . .
    • For my (our) needs today, which include…

Help us remember, Lord, that you are merciful and good, and quick to act in times of need.  We thank you for all of your many blessings that you graciously give to us and to the world you love.

Therefore, as your children on earth, we pray the prayer that our Brother Jesus taught us to pray:

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, 
for ever and ever. Amen.

We Give Gifts to the Lord

Even during COVID-19, the work of Hope United Methodist Church continues!  Please take a moment to remember all the many blessings God has given you, and then go to www.hopefortulsa.com/give to make an online donation.  It’s simple to sign up–just have your checkbook, debit card, or credit card ready to provide the requested information.  You just have to do this one time.  You can continue to use this online portal in the weeks ahead to bless your church and your Lord. 

If you’d like to mail a check instead, please make it out to “Hope UMC” and send it to:  Hope UMC, 12424 E. 31st St., Tulsa, OK  74146.  All donations are tax-deductible.  And thank you in advance!

Closing Hymn: “Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet” (UMH #601, written by Amy Grant, tune by Michael W. Smith)


Benediction (adapted from a 1698 hymn)

(Please read together aloud):

Through all the changing scenes of life,
in trouble and in joy,
may the praises of our Lord and God
our heart and tongue employ.  Amen.



Enjoy this LOOP Show Worship-at-Home-for-Kids Video from LifeChurch!

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