Notes of Meeting Sunday 28th February 2021

Lee Street Church

Notes of Meeting 28th February 2021

 

Worship led by Sue Clarke

We are here today solely because of God’s gift of salvation.

In our current situations, we need to grasp this message every day. We need to continue to trust in our God day by day.

Today we will be remembering God’s sacrifice, when we take the emblems of the bread and wine. We’ll be reflecting on the gift of His Son, sent for our salvation, leaving us with the promise of eternity with God.

I’m using 2 of the verses that the speaker used last week, as they kept coming back to me during the talk.

Psalm 13 v5-6

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD,

for he has been good to me”.

What a reason to celebrate. Celebrations have been few are far between, over this past year, yet today we can unitedly join together and rejoice in our salvation!

 

Come on and celebrate    73

COME ON AND CELEBRATE

His gift of love, we will celebrate

The Son of God who loved us

And gave us life.

We’ll shout Your praise, O King,

You give us joy nothing else can bring,

We’ll give to You our offering

In celebration praise.

 

Come on and celebrate,

Celebrate,

Celebrate and sing,

Celebrate and sing to the King.

Come on and celebrate,

Celebrate,

Celebrate and sing,

Celebrate and sing to the King.

 

Patricia Morgan & Dave Bankhead.Copyright © 1984 Kingsway’s

            Thankyou Music.

  

Habakkuk 3 v18

“I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Saviour”.

Psalm 9 v1-2

“I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High”.

Ephesians 1 v3-8

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding”

Psalm 105 v2-3

“Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name;

let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice”. 

Praise Him Praise Him Jesus our blessed Redeemer   465

 

PRAISE HIM, PRAISE HIM! JESUS, OUR BLESSÈD REDEEMER;

Sing, O earth, His wonderful love proclaim!

Hail Him, hail Him! highest archangels in glory,

Strength and honour give to His holy name.

Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,

In His arms He carries them all day long;

O ye saints that dwell in the mountains of Zion,

Praise Him! praise Him! ever in joyful song.

 

Praise Him, praise Him! Jesus, our blessèd Redeemer;

For our sins He suffered and bled and died.

He, our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation,

Hail Him, hail Him! Jesus the Crucified.

Loving Saviour, meekly enduring sorrow,

Crowned with thorns that cruelly pierced His brow;

Once for us rejected, despised, and forsaken,

Prince of glory, ever triumphant now.

 

Praise Him, praise Him! Jesus, our blessèd Redeemer;

Heavenly portals loud with hosannas ring!

Jesus, Saviour, reigneth for ever and ever,

Crown Him, crown Him! Prophet and Priest and King!

Death is vanquished, tell it with joy, ye faithful!

Where is now thy victory, boasting grave?

Jesus lives, no longer thy portals are cheerless;

Jesus lives, the mighty and strong to save.

 

 

Psalm 96 v1-2

“Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day”.

Psalm 103 v1-4

“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion”.

Psalm 36 v7

“How priceless is your unfailing love!”

 

We truly have an amazing God, who has given us and continues to give us, such amazing love!

“Amazing Love! how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me!!”

And can it be     21 (Omit verse 2)

 

 

AND CAN IT BE that I should gain

An interest in the Saviour’s blood?

Died He for me, who caused His pain?

For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above,

So free, so infinite His grace;

Emptied Himself of all but love,

And bled for Adam’s helpless race.

‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;

For, O my God, it found out me.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay

Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;

Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,

I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

My chains fell off, my heart was free;

I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;

Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!

Alive in Him, my living Head,

And clothed in righteousness divine,

Bold I approach the eternal throne,

And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

 

 John 3 v16

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life

.

We have the greatest gift we could ever receive.  With Him we have the greatest life we could ever have; a life of peace and joy that nothing else can bring. A life filled with the hope we have in our Saviour.

Isaiah 35 v10

“The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them”,

Revelation 5 v12

"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!"

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free. My God, my Saviour has ransomed me! And like a flood His mercy reigns. Unending Love, amazing grace!

 Amazing Grace- My chains are gone!

AMAZING GRACE! how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me;
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed!

My chains are gone,
I’ve been set free,
My God, my Saviour has ransomed me.
And like a flood His mercy reigns,
Unending love, amazing grace.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine.
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

 

John Newton (1725–1807), John P. Rees (1828–1900), Edwin O. Excell (1851–1921)Arr. & add. chorus: Chris Tomlin & Louie Giglio Copyright © 2006 worshiptogether.com songs/sixsteps Music/kingswaysongs.com

 

Breaking of Bread  (led by Ken Cowell)

2 Cor 5: 21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.

 

What kind of love is this

That gave itself for me?

I am the guilty one,

Yet I go free.

What kind of love is this,

A love I’ve never known;

I didn’t even know His name—

What kind of love is this?

What kind of man is this,

That died in agony?

He who had done no wrong

Was crucified for me.

What kind of man is this,

Who laid aside His throne

That I may know the love of God—

What kind of man is this?

By grace I have been saved;

It is the gift of God.

He destined me to be His son,

Such is His love.

No eye has ever seen,

No ear has ever heard,

Nor has the heart of man conceived

What kind of love is this.

 

Bryn & Sally Haworth.

Copyright © 1983 Signalgrade/ Kingsway’s Thankyou Music


Ken’s Message

God’ Purpose For My Life                 Romans 8.28-30

I’m often amazed watching University Challenge at the knowledge of some of those students answering such difficult questions about all kinds of different subjects.  But does that kind of knowledge help a person going through the trials and hardships of life?  There are many things we don’t know but if I’m a Christian and love God here is something we do know without doubt, and it makes such a big difference especially when I’m going through hard times that I don’t understand.  “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  What an encouragement and source of comfort and strength is this promise as we go through times of suffering.  This is a favourite verse for many Christians but it can be easily misunderstood.   

Often the first 6 words are quoted from the Authorised version “all things work together for good.”  Some have taken it to mean that everything that happens is good.  But we know as we are still in the pandemic which has caused such grief and suffering so not everything that happens can be said to be good.  Others would say it means “If I love God everything will work out for my good.”  What is meant by my good?  Is it being healthy, wealthy and having perfect relationships with family and friends?  That doesn’t work out all the time either.  Then there could the difference between what I consider good and what God sees as good.  In my life there were things I wanted to do which I prayed about and what I thought was good for me but God didn’t allow them to happen.  That reason being that God’s good for me was better than my good plan.  If God allowed me to have my good then probably I wouldn’t have done his good plan which I now know was to go to Japan as a missionary.  Let’s seek his good because it’s always the best.  His best doesn’t always mean it will be easy or doing something special like being a missionary but it will probably be doing His will where ever he has put you.

The real key to understanding what “good” means is explained by the phrase “according to his purpose.” It’s the good that fulfils his purpose. What is God’s purpose?  At the beginning of a new church year we normally think of a goal for the church to focus on and aim for. I thought and prayed about what should be God’s purpose for our church for the next 12 months.  Many things came to mind.  Let’s make it a year of evangelism.  Let’s focus on a year of prayer.  Let’s seek revival for Horley. 

Those are very good goals and I thought is one of these the good thing that God wants us to do this year?  Then as I read this passage which I believe God led me to, it became clear that God’s main purpose for the believer is stated in verse 29 which says “to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.”   Why should I consider that to be like Jesus is God’s primary purpose for every Christian?  Because that is the first thing God did even before He created the world: “For he chose us in him (Christ) before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.”  (Ephesians 1.4)  God’s purpose was not only to take me to heaven but to take me to looking like Jesus which will happen when Christ comes again as it says in I John 2.2  “But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him.”   What a wonderful purpose to be chosen  for!                                                                                                                                 

ecently I received a letter from the NHS to inform me that I had been randomly chosen to have a Covid vaccination.  It reminded me of our being chosen by God not just to be saved from sin’s judgement but to be like Jesus.  We weren’t chosen by lottery but by love.  God loved us before He made us.  We weren’t chosen by man but by our Maker.  Even though he knew the wretched sinners we would become.  We weren’t chosen because of our goodness but by his grace.  We had no good works to make us righteous but were given the righteousness of Christ by grace even though we didn’t deserve it.  So God chose us to be like Jesus before He made anything else.  That shows that we are His priority even before the universe he made.  That is awesome!                                                                                                                                         

But then we come to the next stage when of fulfilling God’s purpose “he called us according his purpose.”  That was the call to believe and receive Jesus and be saved.  It was God who took the initiative. If God hadn’t called we would have never come.  In that call wasn’t just an invitation but the drawing power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to come to Jesus.  So many are called, but don’t come to Jesus.  It is only by God’s grace that I came to Jesus.  The person who invited me to that Gospel Hall where I came to Jesus, heard the same message, but didn’t come to Christ, and as far as I know he never did become a Christian.  I’ll never forget that night when God called me and I was born again.  Some of you might say but I don’t have an experience where I can remember when I became a Christian. 

Does that mean I’m not saved?  No not at all.  Do you remember when you were born physically?  Does that mean you were never born at all?   Of course not, you know you were born because you’re alive today.    The main thing is not whether you remember clearly when you became a Christian, for many can’t, but that you know you’re alive in Christ now and He is your Saviour and Lord.   Having been chosen and called for the purpose of becoming like Christ do we just wait and do nothing until He returns when we will be changed into His image?  God chose and called us to be like Christ in this world now.  Just in the same way when Christ was in the world as the image of God revealing His Father, so God desires us to reveal Christ and his image in the world now.   How can we live like Jesus in this broken and fallen world?  It’s not a one off experience but a gradual process. 

The most important step is the work of the Holy Spirit within us. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3.17)  Our goal in living like Jesus is to reflect his image in the world.  You can only reflect something what you have first received.  The moon receives the sun’s light and reflects it.  The moon has no light of its own.  We can’t reflect Jesus unless we receive him. The more time you spend with a person the more you become like them.  We read of Moses when he had finished speaking with God the people noticed his face was radiant.                                                                                 

We too by the Holy Spirit are able to meet Jesus intimately with the result we will be transformed to reflect his image to the world.   We can’t reflect the image of Jesus to the world unless the Holy Spirit is revealing Jesus to us on our own. The old hymn says: “Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord, Abide in him always and feed on his word.”  Without spending time with Jesus we won’t be able to live like him and show him to the world.

The second step is dying to self so that the life of Jesus can be revealed in our body. “For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.”  (2 Corinthians 4.11)  The life of Jesus that Jesus wants to reveal in and through us is his resurrection life. He says that “whoever loses his life for me will save it.”  He’s calling us to give up our selfish lives for him in exchange for his resurrection life to flow through us.  To deny ourselves isn’t the same as self-denial. 

Self-denial in our modern thinking is giving up chocolate, cake and the like for Lent.  The denial of self is putting Jesus first before self, my possessions, any other person or anything.  What Jesus is saying is that if we want to live like him which is the very best life there is , we must let him take control of our life.  He calls us to take up our cross daily.  Our cross isn’t some trial, sickness or suffering I have to bear throughout my life.  It is the daily surrender of my life to him which results in Jesus living his life in and through me so God’s purpose for me of being conformed to the image of Christ can be fulfilled.

The last part of the process is the right attitude to the “all things” that God allows in my life to make me more like Jesus.  Of course that includes the painful things as well as the pleasant things.  I can’t control what happens to me but I can control by my attitude the outcome of them.  By complaining or by my unwelcome acceptance of them there will be little progress in becoming more like Jesus.  However, if I “consider it pure joy when I face trials of many kinds”  (James 1.2)  there will be growth and  blessing both to me and others through my trial.  How we face our trials is very important in relation to how effective we grow to become more like Jesus.   Joseph is a wonderful example of how he went through suffering and hardship to become Pharoah’s right hand man and saved a nation from famine.  God’s purpose was worked out in him because of his patience and trust in God through all his difficulties.

Are you ready for growth this year in becoming more like Jesus? By the power of the Holy Spirit, surrendering of ourselves to Jesus and seeking to grow through the trials we face we could see more of the fulfilment of God’s purpose of being conformed to the likeness of his Son.   Amy Carmichael was a missionary in India.  One day with her children they were watching a goldsmith at work.  He took some rough gold and put it in the fire to purify.  Then he took it out and put it back in the fire.  He did this several times, and she wondered how long it would take him for it to become real gold, so she asked him.  He replied “when I can see my face in it.”  God is at work to see the likeness of Jesus in us and to show Him to the people around us.  How much progress will he see in us this year.    

 

Closing Song:

JESUS, YOU ARE CHANGING ME,

By Your Spirit You’re making me like You.

Jesus, You’re transforming me,

That Your loveliness may be seen in all I do.

You are the potter and I am the clay,

Help me to be willing to let You have Your way.

Jesus, You are changing me,

As I let You reign supreme within my heart.

 

Marilyn Baker.

Copyright © 1981 Word’s Spirit of Praise Music/Adm. by CopyCare.

 

Notices

  1. World Day of Prayer – Friday at 2pm on Zoom
  2. Wednesday – 7.30pm Bible Study (on Zoom)
  3. Next Sunday – speaker Brian Legg