I enjoyed a full day of fellowship on Sunday 5th May 2019, spent almost entirely with brothers and sisters who are members of my church. It was lovely to see new faces in church and to know non-Christians were present and heard the gospel being preached!
The service began with a call to rejoice by an Elder and we sang some wonderful songs, parts of which I have shared below:
Praise the Lord, my soul!From Psalm 146
O praise him!
I’ll extol him all my days
While I live, to God my Saviour
From my heart I will sing praise.
A mighty fortress is our God,From A Mighty Fortress
A bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He amidst the flood,
of mortal ills prevailing
for still our ancient foe,
ill seek to work us woe
His craft and pow’r are great,
and armed with cruel hate;
On earth is not his equal.
We are currently going through Deuteronomy for our Reading the Bible Together (RBT) as a church. Our Pastor shared some thoughts. This is one of them:
The people of God in the old testament faced a very daunting challenge in driving out giants living in fortified cities from the land of Canaan. Regardless of the glaring dangers and disadvantages, God promised them victory because they had him. God is all we need. Our attitude should be like that of Caleb:
Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.Joshua 14:12
Our hearts should be fixed on the Lord and the strength He gives, not on the difficulty of our situation or challenge.
Before the sermon, we sang two songs. Here is a part of one:
There is power in the finished work of JesusFrom Flee From Sin/Run to Jesus
To change helpless sinners just like me
There’s contentment where nothing else can satisfy,
So I’ll flee from my sin, to Christ The Lord;
Put my faith in the promise of His word;
Preached from Deuteronomy 6, we were blessed to hear God’s Word declared to us powerfully. I will share a few from the many truths I noted:
- The history of the Israelites recorded in the Old Testament is our history too as Christians. By faith we are children of Abraham. We need to know this history and learn from it.
- We need to be mindful not to forget what The Lord has done for us. If we forget what the Lord has done, it has great implications especially for our kids. This is a massive responsibility for us. We need to fix our hearts on what the Lord has done for us and make sure that the younger ones among us know too.
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.Deuteronomy 4: 9
- God wants the gospel to be heard and lived out by everyone, including our kids (Deut. 12:11-12, 31:12-13).
- We need to be aware of the ‘silent communication’ our lives make. The kids are watching and learning. Unless our church life and personal walk with Jesus is genuine and firm, it does not matter what we say. It’s not just about our words, it is about our life. What impressions are we giving the kids in church?
- We all have a shared responsibility to impress the kids by showing them what a Great High Priest Jesus is! We need to show them his glory, love and sufficiency. They will be confronted by many evils in school and society. They should reach a conclusion in their hearts, seeing our commitment to Jesus, that life in Him is exceedingly better.
- With every opportunity and in every way, we need to be proclaiming Jesus to the kids. To do this, our lives have to be about Jesus.
I was greatly blessed by the sermon. We ended the morning service with this wonderful song:
I stand amazed in the presenceFrom I Stand Amazed
Of Jesus the Nazarene
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.
How marvellous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be;
How marvellous! How wonderful!
Is my Saviour’s love for me!
Yesterday was a Hospitality Sunday (which means members cook lots more to have people over to their homes and enjoy more fellowship!). My wife and I had the pleasure of having a Brother and Sister spend the afternoon with us. We had lunch and played games!
Just before the evening service, we gathered to pray that the Holy Spirit would come with power to open hearts to receive Jesus. I was struck by a prayer one of our Sisters prayed. It was simple, but moving. She prayed:
“Lord, help us see what we’ve been redeemed from and what we’ve been redeemed for”.
That we have been redeemed is well acknowledged. But we often loose sight of what we’ve been redeemed for. God’s treasured possession, chosen and set apart to be holy as He is Holy.
We had a wonderful visual aid showing how our lives were cursed under the bondage of sin, how Jesus took the sins of the whole world on himself on the cross and conquered sin and death, victoriously saving us and giving us new life, if only we would accept him.
We sang two songs after this visual aid, one of which greatly expresses how Christ’s sacrifice has given us life!
There in the ground His body layFrom In Christ Alone, My Hope is Found
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine,
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
The sermon was based on the word ‘Redeemed‘. In continuance of a series tagged “Christianese” our Pastor is trying to concisely explain some common terms we use as Christians, for the benefit of the unbelievers who would often be invited to our evening gospel services.
I was greatly encouraged when our Pastor asked what the word redeem means, and one of the kids having being taught it last week during the youth group, answered:
It means getting back what was once yours by paying a price!
Amazing! We all inherit a lostness and emptiness from our first Parents – Adam and Eve. Trapped and enslaved by sin, God paid a great price to redeem us. For our rebellion, we deserve to be punished! God set the penalty, yet he paid the price for us. He was punished in our place!
We have been redeemed! Being redeemed goes beyond being saved. We have become God’s possession. Jesus’ goal was not simply to write off our sin, but to bring us into a relationship with The Father. Living with Jesus truly changes us.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,Psalm 130
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
Thanks for Reading!
I hope you were blessed! May your times in fellowship with your church be deeply engaging too!