Notes of Meeting Sunday 16th May 2021

Lee Street Church

Notes of Meeting 16th May 2021

 

We welcomed Euan Menzies to bring the message today.

Worship led by Brian Legg

I wonder if any things have happened this week to make you say, either aloud or certainly in your heart “Praise the Lord!”?

Maybe you’ve met or heard of people recovering from illnesses, or getting good results from tests, or maybe you’ve just become more aware of the beauty of the world around you, and you’ve just said “Praise the Lord!”

Read Psalm 113 v 1 – 6

Let’s praise the Lord together by thanking Him, in the words of our first song:

SONG: 1241 Give thanks to the Lord

 

GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD,

Our God and King:

His love endures forever.

For He is good, He is above all things.

His love endures forever.

Sing praise, sing praise.

 

With a mighty hand

And an outstretched arm

His love endures forever.

For the life that's been reborn.

His love endures forever.

Sing praise, sing praise.

Sing praise, sing praise.

 

Forever God is faithful,

Forever God is strong.

Forever God is with us,

Forever.

(Repeat)

Forever.

 

From the rising to the setting sun,

His love endures forever.

By the grace of God, we will carry on.

His love endures forever.

Sing praise, sing praise.

Sing praise, sing praise.

 

Chris Tomlin Copyright © 2000 worshiptogether.com songs/Six Steps Music/Adm. by Kingsway Music

 

Prayer

What was special about last Thursday? Yes, it was Ascension Day

When I was in primary school, we would go to church for an hour or so, and then have the rest of the day off – in celebration of Ascension Day. I’m not sure if Radio 4 still manages to acknowledge the day with a hymn.

Let’s read Luke’s account of the Ascension in Acts 1 v 1 – 11.

What are you like at saying farewell to a friend who is going away for a while – you don’t know if or when you wlll see them again? Can be tearful times. I guess the disciples would have hoped Jesus would stay with them forever – but He had other plans.

As we’ve just read, Jesus had met with his 11 disciples on the mount of Olives, just outside Jerusalem; He had been speaking with them, giving them his final instructions, when he was suddenly taken away from them in a cloud. Imagine their reaction – He’s gone! What do we do now? Well, they had been given their instructions by Jesus  - last words which they would have treasured greatly.

But God didn’t just take Jesus away – He knew what they were thinking, and so he sent his messengers – two angels – to encourage them. “This same Jesus … will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven”.

He’s gone – but He will come back! I’m sure the disciples were encouraged by these words.

Let’s sing again and give honour to Jesus in our next song

SONG: Jesus is the name we honour

 

Jesus is the name we honour;

Jesus is the name we praise.

Majestic Name above all other names,

The highest heaven and earth proclaim

That Jesus is our God.

 

We will glorify,

We will lift Him high,

We will give Him honour and praise.

We will glorify,

We will lift Him high,

We will give Him honour and praise.

 

Jesus is the name we worship;

Jesus is the name we trust.

He is the King above all other kings,

Let all creation stand and sing

That Jesus is our God.

 

Jesus is the Father’s splendour;

Jesus is the Father’s joy.

He will return to reign in majesty,

And every eye at last shall see

That Jesus is our God.

 

Phil Lawson Johnston.Copyright © 1991 Kingsway’s hankyou Music.

 

Yes, He IS coming again, just as He said, and as the angels reminded the discples.

It’s interesting to see when and how angels appeared during Jesus’ life to explain what was going on. They appeared in a multitude to the shepherds to announce Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, one appeared to Mary at the tomb after Jesus had risen, and here we have them coming to bring comfort to the disciples as he departs back to heaven.

That song reminded us that Jesus will come back, and as Rev 1:7 tells us “every eye will see him”. Not only that, but Philippians 2: 9 – 11 says:

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.

Yes, everyone will bow down to the One they have either honoured or disregarded all their lives.

Song: 32 At the name of Jesus

 

AT THE NAME OF JESUS

Every knee shall bow,

Every tongue confess Him

King of glory now;

 

’Tis the Father’s pleasure

We should call Him Lord,

Who from the beginning

Was the mighty Word.

 

Humbled for a season,

To receive a name

From the lips of sinners

Unto whom He came;

Faithfully He bore it

Spotless to the last,

Brought it back victorious,

When from death He passed.

 

Bore it up triumphant

With its human light,

Through all ranks of creatures

To the central height,

To the throne of Godhead,

To the Father’s breast,

Filled it with the glory

Of that perfect rest.

 

In your hearts enthrone Him;

There let Him subdue

All that is not holy,

All that is not true;

Crown Him as your Captain

In temptation’s hour,

Let His will enfold you

In its light and power.

 

Brothers, this Lord Jesus

Shall return again,

With His Father’s glory,

With His angel-train;

For all wreaths of empire

Meet upon His brow,

And our hearts confess Him

King of glory now.

 

Let’s sing another song “Jesus is Lord”, which reminds us of the One who was there at creation, yet who came to this earth as a man, who suffered in our place, who rose again, who is with his Father in heaven , and who will one day return.

SONG: 1387 Jesus is Lord

'JESUS IS LORD' - the cry that echoes through creation;
Resplendent power, eternal Word, our Rock.
The Son of God, the King whose glory fills the heavens,
Yet bids us come to taste this living Bread.
 
Jesus is Lord - whose voice sustains the stars and planets,
Yet in His wisdom laid aside His crown.
Jesus the Man, who washed our feet, who bore our suffering,
Became a curse to bring salvation's plan.
 
Jesus is Lord - the tomb is gloriously empty!
Not even death could crush this King of love!
The price is paid, the chains are loosed, and we're forgiven,
And we can run into the arms of God.
 
'Jesus is Lord' - a shout of joy, a cry of anguish,
As He returns, and every knee bows low.
Then every eye and every heart will see His glory,

The Judge of all will take His children home.

Stuart Townend & Keith Getty Copyright © 2003 Thankyou Music

 

When Jesus went back to heaven, he didn’t just leave his disciples alone to get on with his work. He had spent much time in teaching them about the Holy Spirit who would indwell them and empower them to build up his kingdom here on earth. They would have to wait a little longer in Jerusalem, and when he (the Holy Spirit)  came they would be fully equipped to go out into the world and proclaim freely the name of Jesus to a sceptical world.

Our last song enables us to give thanks to God for His gifts to us – of both Jesus as our saviour, and of the Holy Spirit to be with us throughout our lives.

SONG: There is a Redeemer

 

 

THERE IS A REDEEMER,

Jesus, God’s own Son,

Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,

Holy One.

 

Thank You, O my Father,

For giving us Your Son,

And leaving Your Spirit—

Till the work on earth is done.

 

Jesus my Redeemer,

Name above all names,

Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,

O for sinners slain.

 

When I stand in glory

I will see His face,

And there I’ll serve my King forever

In that holy place.

 

Melody Green.Copyright © 1982 Birdwing Music/BMGSongs/EMIChristian Music Publishing/Adm. by CopyCare.

 

 

Summary Notes of Euan Menzies’ Message

The Unstoppable Gospel – an unfinished story

Euan began by reading the closing verses of Acts 28: 17 – 31.

Paul had just arrived in Rome after a long and arduous journey from Jerusalem, and these verses speak about his welcome there,  and briefly conclude in vs 30 &31 by saying what Paul did for the next 2 years while in prison there.

When reading books, do you ever “cheat” by looking first at the end of the book to see how things finish up? Will it be “happy ever after”?

The book of Acts (written by the same Luke who wrote the gospel account of Jesus’ life) has no really final ending – we don’t even read there about Paul’s death – but we do know the work he was doing was unfinished – and is still unfinished to this day, as the message continues to be spread around the world. It is as unstoppable gospel and an unending story.

The book of Acts records how the gospel message spread out over many countries in what we now call the Near East and eastern Europe. It was proclaimed to Jews and Gentiles, in temples and market- places, as God’s plans were being fulfilled.

It had not been easy for the apostles – some had been harshly treated, some even lost their lives as a result of proclaiming the good news of Jesus to crowds of people, some of whom were hostile to the gospel. But the message was still being shared in the new churches, as Paul had been doing for several years.

Paul himself was now in prison, and it’s clear he made good use of his time in prison. While he was chained, his guards heard the message that he shared with Jews and Gentiles alike. V31 says “Boldly and without hinderance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ”. Yes, Jesus was very clearly at the centre of his preaching and his writings.

Note how Paul kept going – “boldly and without hinderance” – nothing would stop him in his efforts to make Jesus known.

The story of Acts really continues until the present day – we can and should be part of the on-going story – where he has put us. Are we persevering?

We do know that God’s word will accomplish its purpose. It really is “an unstoppable gospel, and an unfinished story”.

Paul was in chains for some 2 years – he was innocent of any crime, he hadn’t broken any Roman laws, but he remained faithful throughout; his primary concern was to make the “hope of Israel” (see verse 20) known to his oppressors. So despite his lockdown, he kept going, with his focus on the kingdom of God. God’s saviour Jesus was the fulfilment of all the OT prophesies, he was indeed the promised Messiah. And He alone was the focus of Paul’s preaching.

Euan shared this quotation:

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”.

How important it is for us to stay focused  - on Jesus, king Jesus, our Saviour. God wants us to submit everything to him, to allow him to be the “main thing” in our lives. He wants a response by us – to keep Jeus at the centre. We can talk about many things, but the most important thing is to make Jesus the prime subject, in spite of opposition we may suffer.

Paul had suffered so much opposition, beatings, snake bites, ship-wrecks, but he kept going, engaging with those who really were his enemies.

In Acts 28:vs 26 & 27, Paul quotes from the prophet Isaiah, speaking about Jewish people  whose hearts had become hardened, they didn’t want to hear the prophet’s messages, and were closing their eyes to the truth.

How ready are we hear what God is saying to us – do we at times shut our eyes and close our ears, because we are afraid what he might call us to do? We need to be ready  - with ears tuned in to what God is saying to us each day.

There always has been, and always will be, opposition to God’s messages. Bur remember God has given us the Holy Spirit (as we thought about in our worship time) to enable us to spread the good news of Jesus.

Faithful in perseverance

We may at times feel exhausted, as no doubt Paul did, but he calls us to persevere – to press on with the task.

 

 

Closing song – 873 Jesus, Lover of my soul.

 

Jesus, lover of my soul,

All consuming fire is in Your gaze.

Jesus, I want You to know

I will follow You all my days.

For no one else in history is like You,

And history itself belongs to You.

Alpha and Omega, You have loved me,

And I will share eternity with You.

 

It’s all about You, Jesus,

And all this is for You,

For Your glory and Your fame.

It’s not about me,

As if You should do things my way;

You alone are God,

And I surrender to Your ways.

 

Paul Oakley.Copyright © 1995 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music.

 

Notices

  1. Next Sunday our speaker will be Peter Whitehead, and we will be having Breaking of Bread
  2. Wednesday evening Bible Study on Zoom – at 7.30pm.
  3. We apologise that we were unable to issue notes for the meeting on 9th May.