SundaY4tH september 2020
Transformed Living (01) Living Worthy
OPENING WORSHIP: LED BY DAN LITTLE
HYMN: How Deep The Father's Love For Us
This week as we begin a new series in the book of Ephesians we’re going to read the last few verses of Ephesians 3 and then into chapter 4 -
Once we know that God is for us, and wants us to have a relationship with him, the danger then is that we take it for granted. We have access to the Lord of the universe, and we don’t bother to meet with him. There are some simple ways to centre ourselves on God, which can make a big difference to our outlook on the rest of life. Have a listen to this simple thought.
So how do you begin your day? What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you wake up – What am I going to do? How am I going to get through the day? What’s for breakfast? How would it be if every morning the first thing you did was to say; “Good morning Jesus”. Can’t make any difference or can it? How about for the next ten days trying to make that they first thing that you think?
Place a “prayer object” next to your bed, something big enough that you’ll notice it and use this as a reminder, just to say “Good morning Jesus”. Don’t assess it – is this doing anything? – just do it for ten days, and after that ask if it makes any difference.
How much does God love us? This week we’ve seen pictures of storm Alex and the huge waves it is creating on the coast. In the summer we paddle in the calm sea and enjoy its gentleness, but we always take the sea for granted at our peril. It is powerful beyond our understanding, gnawing through huge cliffs and making them crumble to sand. It is mysterious beyond our comprehension – its average depth is only 2.5 miles, but we know more about the surface of the moon than we do of most of the oceans.
Our next hymn compares the love of God to the oceans, as it surges around us and envelopes us.
This morning I want to look at the first chapter of the book of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah’s story takes place in a time of Exile, but a time when God wants him to do something to change that situation, to restore his people.
So, we begin our new study series in the book of Ephesians. This study will take us into the New Year – which more than ever is an unknown country. We have no idea what life will be like this time next year. However it looks God has a plan for it, and he wants us to live as a part of that, living our transformed life for him.
For most of us the hardest thing in what I said was the first step of accepting what God has done for us. “Royalty? Who me?” I’m much more likely to believe the opposite. If you complement me, I’ll probably shrug it off, if you criticise me, I’ll accept it and take it to heart. Wee need to hear what God says about us, and who we are rather than the world – after all it’s God’s opinion that counts.
Lord God, you are our protection, you are our complete Saviour; we see the love you have for us in the mighty acts of Jesus Christ. There are times when we are harassed and overwhelmed, when we feel that our pilgrim path is full of thorns and briars, and we are walking in blindness with bare feet.
Help us to know your comfort to be sure that if we have pain, you share it; to reflect that if the path is difficult, there is some reason because all things work together for good in those who love you, that with you we are safe and our wounds are only temporary. By your dealings with us deepen our faith, convince us of your kingship in our lives, and strengthen our service; that you may have the glory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
HYMN: In Heavenly Love Abiding
Once we know who we are in God then we have a security that nothing can shake. Whatever may happen to you, it is not random chance. However much the enemy attacks we know that our Lord has already won the victory. We are in Christ. We are sons and daughters of the king.
May the Lord free you from everything that weighs you down. May he seal you with his Spirit as the promise of salvation.
And the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen