Sunday 31st May 2020
How blessed have we been with the weather during the lockdown period? I’ve never known a run of decent weather over the March to May period like this and the timing is great to just allow people to go out for exercise or make the use of any garden space they have.
I can honestly say I have probably only watched the sun set from New Brighton front a handful of times in my life but these last few weeks in the glorious sunny evenings I have done it a number of times with the extra time we now have. It is just stunning and another reminder of this breath taking planet that God created.
Every day without fail the sun rises and the sun falls and we don’t even question it as we know it’s all part of God’s design. My daily reading for today as I write this funnily enough is Jeremiah Chapter 31, verse 35 says…..This is what the Lord says ‘he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the seas so that’s its waves roar – the LORD Almighty is his name’
The Psalms are full of the writers praising the Lord for all he continues to do and even though they were written thousands of years ago the God he is in awe of is exactly the same God who continually answers our prayers and never lets us down today…
Keep all the above in your mind as you go through the prayer points below, listen to the worship and hear God’s word on Psalm 84 through Col.
Hallelujah what a Saviour
Let's give thanks and praise for answered prayer both nationally as infection rates fall and locally as a church as we have seen answered prayer.
Pray for real breakthroughs where scientists are working so hard to find a vaccine for Covid 19 . For real wisdom for the decisions that will need to be made in research and use.
Pray for the protection of so many children in difficult situations, and for all they struggle with during the ongoing restrictions of social distancing as well as no school.
Let's pray for the Holy Spirit's working in our lives individually, that we will become people whose hearts "cry out for the living God". That our walk will be deepened and purified that we may be filled and able to overflow into the lives of others.
As we have considered Psalm 46 during the week I’ve been reminded of the words in
the following songs.
Psalm 46 V 1: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.
Psalm 46 V10: Be still and know that I am God
We have spent lots of time praying for lots of different people during the last couple of months and we have seen the faithfulness of God in many of these situations. God doesn’t always answer in the way that we would like or expect, but he does always answer. Pam reminded us during our prayer time on Wednesday that God is a Good, Good Father to us. We can testify to this from our experiences over the lockdown period. He is a good father to us, and we are loved by Him.
We can echo the words of Psalm 46 v 2 “Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
1 How lovely is your dwelling-place,
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young –
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
listen to me, God of Jacob.
9 Look on our shield, O God;
look with favour on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favour and honour;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose way of life is blameless.
12 Lord Almighty,
blessed is the one who trusts in you.
this week's sermon
1. Many professing Christians say that they do not need the church. Is this a dangerous view? Why/why not?
2. Since the New Testament, believers (not buildings) are God’s temple, is it wrong to design church buildings to enhance worship?
3. Suppose that a Christian admits that they finds more pleasure in recreational pursuits than in church. How should they fix this?
4. If someone challenged you that verse 11 (“no good thing”) is not true, how would you defend it?
young people and children's resources
Here is week four in our 10 week series looking at the Bible. Today we carry on our 5 week look at the Old Testament looking at the question of who is God. This week we are thinking about God being a God who protects. To download the craft James shows us click here
The Bible Project - Gospel
This week’s video, reading and questions from the Bible Project look at the Gospel...the Good News of Jesus.
This week’s video and Bible readings focus on the Gospel of the Kingdom. A little while ago we celebrated Palm Sunday, when we remember Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem that kick-starts the week of events leading to his death and resurrection. The unjust trial of Jesus and his execution seemed like a tragedy to his friends and family. Yet for Jesus, his death was an expression of the love of God as he entered into our suffering so that he could overcome it.
In the story of Jesus, we are invited to see that even the most unwelcome and tragic events cannot stop God’s plan to restore our world.
Bible Reading : Luke 19:28-44
Jesus enters Jerusalem
28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” say, “The Lord needs it.”’
32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ 34 They replied, ‘The Lord needs it.’
35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’
‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’
40 ‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognise the time of God’s coming to you.’
Jesus is the King, despite the way the world looks right now. What questions does that bring up for you? What truths can you rely on at this time?
Write down or talk about where you see suffering and pain in the world and your community right now. Now pray about these things, thinking about the truth that God is present in those situations and suffers with us.