Notes of Meeting Sunday 31st January 2021

Lee Street Church

Notes of Meeting 31st January 2021

The Worship time was led by Ken Cowell

Reading Psalm 27: 1-3 

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?  2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.  3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.  

David was in a very difficult place with his enemies out to destroy him. (v2)  It wasn’t a case of if they would destroy him but when.  We too can’t avoid enemies, trials and suffering for they are part of life on this fallen earth.  We are facing a big enemy at the moment with the pandemic which is causing some devastation and destruction.  Despite the fierceness and strength of the enemy David was so confident of victory. (v2,4)  Was this false hope, trusting things will just turn out for the better?  No, his confidence was in the Lord who was his Light, Salvation and Stronghold.  Can God be the same for us at this time of coronavirus? 

To be confident we need to have light and hope for the dark way ahead.  During the pandemic people talk of the vaccine being “the light at the end of the tunnel.”  However, Jesus is the only light and hope for everything and for all time.  We don’t know the way ahead but we know Jesus our Saviour is with us and leading the way.   Our first song is “All the way my Saviour leads me.”  It was written by Fanny Crosby who at 6 weeks old had an eye infection that resulted in her being blind for the rest of her life.  She was in physical darkness for 95 years but was led by her Saviour into a full and active life of service for him.  She was a poet, composer and hymn writer, even writing as many as 8000 hymns and gospel songs.  May this song inspire us too as we walk the uncertain path ahead.

SONG: 1162   All the way my Saviour leads me.

ALL THE WAY MY SAVIOUR LEADS ME,

What have I to ask beside?

Can I doubt His tender mercy,

Who through life has been my guide?

Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,

Here by faith in Him to dwell,

For I know whate’er befall me,

Jesus doeth all things well.

 

All the way my Saviour leads me,

Cheers each winding path I tread.

Gives me grace for every trial,

Feeds me with the Living Bread.

Though my weary steps may falter

And my soul athirst may be,

Gushing from a Rock before me,

Lo! a spring of joy I see.

 

And all the way my Saviour leads me,

Oh, the fullness of His love.

Perfect rest to me is promised

In my Father’s house above.

And when my spirit clothed immortal

Wings its flight to realms of day,

This my song through endless ages,

Jesus led me all the way.

Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) 

When you are in a battle against the enemy you need a stronghold which is a fortified safe place to protect you from the enemy’s attack.  David spoke of the Lord as his stronghold being his shelter when the enemy came.  Where is our shelter in this fierce battle with the virus?  Proverbs 18.10 tells us The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.   That’s the theme of our next song.

 

SONG: 673   Blessed be the Name of the Lord

BLESSÈD BE THE NAME OF THE LORD,

Blessed be the name of the Lord,

Blessed be the name of the Lord Most High!

(Repeat)

 

The Name of the Lord is a strong tower,

The righteous run into it,

And they are saved.

 

Glory to the name of the Lord...

 

Holy is the name of the Lord...

 

Clinton Utterbach.Copyright © 1988
                Polygram Music Publishing Ltd

 

 

When we face the enemy it’s not enough just to know we have a strong refuge in which to shelter from the enemy but we need a deliverer to defeat the enemy.  David speaks of the Lord as his salvation.  On many past occasions the Lord had delivered him so that is where his confidence is now placed.  The Lord has saved and kept us till now so we can put our confidence in him at this difficult time knowing he will do the same for us again. 

Our next song is about putting our confidence in God.  This particular song became very popular in Christian circles in 1956.   5 missionaries from the USA went to Ecuador to bring the gospel to a cannibal tribe.  After many months of making contact through exchange of gifts they decided to meet them on a beach.  Before they went to the beach, they sang this song declaring their confidence in God and prayed for His blessing.  Sadly, all five of the missionaries were killed on the beach.  They were prepared for that possibility of sacrificing their lives to bring the message of Jesus to them.  It appeared their mission was a failure, but sometimes God’s victories don’t come at the time we want them.   Later through the work of two of those women who lost their husbands, some of the tribe that killed their husbands became Christians.  God’s victory came after the 5 men died. 

Also God’s victory comes in a way we least expect.  From the sacrifice of those 5 men to preach the gospel over 600 people attribute their call to become missionaries.                                      So the gospel reached many more countries through their sacrifice.  We haven’t seen the end of this pandemic yet but God is still working to fulfil his purpose and victory.  The victory will come.  Also in the midst of this pandemic, God has worked in amazing ways we never thought possible in touching people’s lives.  In the meantime let’s keep resting and trusting in his strength to bring us through.

 

SONG: 587   We rest on thee our shield and our defender

WE REST ON THEE, OUR SHIELD AND OUR DEFENDER!

We go not forth alone against the foe;

Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,

We rest on Thee and in Thy name we go.

Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,

We rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go.

 

Yes, in Thy name, O Captain of salvation!

In Thy dear name, all other names above,

Jesus our Righteousness, our sure Foundation,

Our Prince of glory and our King of love.

Jesus our Righteousness, our sure Foundation,

Our Prince of glory and our King of love.

We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling,

And needing more each day Thy grace to know:

Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing;

We rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go.

Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing;

We rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go.

 

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender!

Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise;

When passing through the gates of pearly splendour,

Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.

When passing through the gates of pearly splendour,

Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.

 

Edith G. Cherry.

 

Psalm 27.4   One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.     Even though David was going through a time of trial his focus was also on worshipping God in the temple.  His priority wasn’t on thanking God for what he’d done but on the beauty and glory of who he is.  That seems to be the essence of true worship as Mary shows when she anointed Jesus with expensive perfume.  Jesus exclaimed “She has done a beautiful thing to me”.  It is easy with all the trials and troubles of life to allow worship to be neglected and forgotten.  May God help us to keep worshipping him, for he is always worthy to be praised, no matter what trials or difficult circumstances we meet.    

                                                                                                                    

SONG: 440   One think I ask, one thing I seek

ONE THING I ASK, one thing I seek,

That I may dwell in Your house, O Lord.

All of my days, all of my life,

That I may see You, Lord.

 

Hear me, O Lord, hear me when I cry;

Lord, do not hide Your face from me.

You have been my strength,

You have been my shield,

And You will lift me up.

 

One thing I ask,

One thing I desire

Is to see You,

Is to see You.

 

Andy Park.

Copyright © 1989 Mercy/Vineyard

                Publishing/Adm. by CopyCare.

 

Romans 5.6   You see just  the right time, when were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. v 8.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While were still sinners, Christ died for us.   We read of two things that described our condition before we were saved.  We were sinners.  That means we were guilty of falling short of God’s standard with the prospect of facing judgement.  It also states we were powerless.  That means we were unable to save ourselves. 

Then we read of two actions.  God loved us despite our sin and demonstrated his love for us.  The other action was that Christ died for us when we were ungodly and took our punishment.  The result of that combined action was forgiveness and freedom from the guilt and punishment of our sin.  Not only that but we were justified which means we were declared righteous before God through God’s grace and Christ’s blood.  Before we break the bread let’s sing about the depth of God’s love and great sacrifice of God’s Son for our behalf on the cross.

 

SONG: 780   How deep the Father’s love for us

 

How deep the Father’s love for us,

How vast beyond all measure,

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss –

The Father turns His face away,

As wounds which mar the Chosen One

Bring many sons to glory.

 

Behold the man upon a cross,

My sin upon His shoulders;

Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished;

His dying breath has brought me life –

I know that it is finished.

 

I will not boast in anything,

No gifts, no power, no wisdom;

But I will boast in Jesus Christ,

His death and resurrection.

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer;

But this I know with all my heart –

His wounds have paid my ransom.

 

Stuart Townend.

Copyright © 1995 Kingsway’s

Thankyou Music

            

 

We then shared in the Breaking of Bread

Notes from David Witherall’s  message

Talk is based on 2 verses from Philippians, a letter Paul wrote from prison in Rome in 61 – 63AD, about 12 years after founding the church at Philippi. Little would he have imagined us reading it nearly 2000 years later!

Phil 2:12-13

12

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed —not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence —continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

13

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Working out our salvation – in the past, the present and the future.

David gave the analogy of a person being saved from a sinking boat.

  1. “I have been saved” – when he’s been picked up from the sea
  2. “I am being saved” – as the rescue boat takes him ashore
  3. “I will be saved” – as he looks to the harbour and land.

Look at the pattern by which God works – firstly, salvation begins with God, it comes from him. God gained access to us, because of the work of Christ on the cross. In our helpless state, God thought of us. He never leaves us, but he gives us tasks, and he wants us to learn and to grow.

Secondly, God works within us (v13) – we feel his joys and griefs. We’re moved from within – as he lives in us we want to live lives that are set free from sin.

Thirdly, in v13, “to will”  - God’s will is pleasing. Romans 12: 1 & 2

1

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God —this is your true and proper worship.

2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will

Jesus said that God’s will for him was his food – his food was to do what God wanted. Remember God’s plans really are the best – as we surrender our wills totally to His leading.

Psalm 34:4

4

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

God takes his will for us, and places this in our hearts, so his desires become ours.

Fourthly, again in v13, “to act” - in Mark 16: 20 we read that the Lord “worked through them (the disciples). In 2Cor 6:1 Paul describes the believers as “God’s fellow workers”. God, working through us to share his work in the world today.

David gave the illustration of a jig-saw, pieces all have different shapes and sizes, and need to be put together to make the puzzle complete. Similarly we need to trust him to put us together, to accept each other, so we can work “according to his purpose”. Remember God always has a plan – even before problems arise.

Proverbs 33:11 “The plans of the Lord stand firm for ever”

Psalm 40: 5 “Many are the wonders you have done,, the things you planned for us.”

Isaiah 46:11 “What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do”

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”

Yes, wherever we lack, he will provide. And he does it as part of “his good purpose”.

Ephesians 2: 10 “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”

Philippians 1:6 ”.. he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”

Our verse 12 said “continue” – it’s an ongoing task until Christ returns.

We may ask ourselves:

  • Where did we come from?
  • Why am I here?
  • What is right or wrong?
  • Where are we going?

The answers to these are all found in the scriptures.

Again in v12, we’re reminded we come before God with “fear and trembling” – putting him first in all aspects of our lives, our time, our money, our love. We are accountable to him, to honour him with our actions – and to ask him for his help and direction. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”.

We should live our lives in awe of the holiness of God – when he touches the ordinary it becomes extraordinary. We should be contrite – sorry for the things we wished we hadn’t done. We should honour him by giving him priority in our lives.

We are accountable to the Lord for our response to what he is doing in our hearts and lives each day. We need to walk in obedience, being sensitive to what he is saying.

We hope to one day hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”.

David closed with the words of John Wesley “The best with God is always yet to come”

 

Prayer Time

We gave thanks for answered prayers, and remembered some who are still in need of healing and support in hard times.

 

Closing Song: Purify my heart

 

PURIFY MY HEART,

Let me be as gold

And precious silver.

Purify my heart,

Let me be as gold,

Pure gold.

 

Refiner’s fire,

My heart’s one desire

Is to be holy,

Set apart for You, Lord.

I choose to be holy,

Set apart for You, my Master,

Ready to do Your will.

Purify my heart,

Cleanse me from within

And make me holy.

Purify my heart,

Cleanse me from my sin,

Deep within.

 

Brian Doerksen.

Copyright © 1990 Mercy/Vineyard

                Publishing/Adm. by CopyCare.

 

 Notices

  1. Wednesday Zoom bible study – 7.30pm
  2. Next Sunday – speaker Brian Legg