Notes of Meeting Sunday 6th February 2022

Lee Street Church

Notes of Meeting 6th February 2022

Worship led by Ken Cowell

Psalm 95: 6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture the flock under his care.

This invitation to worship comes from our fellow believers.  “Come, let us bow down and worship” Sometimes our motivation to church comes from our brothers and sisters.  There are three reasons in this verse why we should worship the Lord.  He is our Maker, our God and our Shepherd.  Our first song this morning is also an invitation to worship.  I like to think of it as God’s invitation.  Come now is the time to worship.  It also could be considered a command.  It’s an immediate call to us as God’s people to worship him now not sometime in the future.  The second song is the model response to that invitation towards Jesus.  Let’s worship with our hearts and our whole being.

SONG 1205  : Come, now is the time to worship

SONG : 851    I will offer up my life in spirit and truth

Prayer

Ecclesiastes 3.11 He has made everything beautiful in his time      

Recently I read this devotion and was really blessed by it, so I want to share it to you.

I am a professional lettering artist, and I still make mistakes every day! I misspell words, or I write an ugly letter. Not a day goes by that I don’t smear ink or make something I’m not really proud of. Early on in my business I would get frustrated when I had to cast the mistakes aside; the scrap paper bin beside my desk was overflowing with colourful scraps that were almost right, but not quite. 

One day I got the nudge to run my scrap paper through my office shredder. Out came the most beautiful confetti you’ve ever seen! Once it became confetti, you couldn’t see the mistakes anymore. All the scribbles and textures and colours worked together in a new way to make the confetti more beautiful. Confetti is just trash.  It’s the scrap paper, the broken pieces, the misfits, and the damaged goods that were cast aside. But then it was repackaged one day and given a brand-new job—a job that just so happens to make a lot of people very happy. Confetti is just trash that’s chosen a much happier life. 

Today I choose to find joy in the mess. I am not as hard on myself when I mess up in lettering (or in life) because I know that I can turn my mistakes into confetti. We all make mistakes. It’s how we bounce back from them that really matters. I give myself grace and take pride in everything I’ve learned along the way.

He has made everything beautiful in its time, even our failures and mistakes.  When we sin and fail God doesn’t cast us away, but forgives, restores, renews and recommissions us into His service.  Like the broken items they repair in the Repair Shop on TV.  The transformation back to its original condition takes time but the finished result is amazing.                                                                                                                                     

Peter had a miserable failure when he denied Jesus.  It was similar to the trip I had last week, it came suddenly and totally unexpected.  Sometimes we mess up when we think we’re okay.  I tripped once but he tripped three times.  No one could have imagined that within 50 days he would preach the gospel and see three thousand people saved.  Jesus took the broken pieces of Peter’s failure made his life into something beautiful and useful again. Our failures and mistakes are not the end but can signal a new beginning.  As we give the broken pieces of our failures to Jesus he can in his time remake us into something beautiful and use us once again.

SONG: In His time, in His time He makes all things beautiful in His time

 

In his time, in his time
He makes all things beautiful
In his time

Lord please show me everyday
As you're teaching me your way
That you do just what you say
In your time

 

In your time, in your time
You make all things beautiful
In your time

Lord my life to you I bring
May each song I have to sing
Be to you a lovely thing
In your time

 

The next song is about of a new commitment to be cleansed and surrendered to God.                                                                                    

SONG: 475     Purify my heart let me be as gold and precious silver

Breaking of Bread

Song: 1151 Above all powers  …….. you thought of me above all

 

1 It was alone the Saviour prayed
In dark Gethsemane;
Alone He drained the bitter cup
And suffered there for me.

Refrain:
Alone, alone, He bore it all alone;
He gave Himself to save His own,
He suffered, bled and died alone, alone.

2 It was alone the Saviour stood
In Pilate’s judgment hall;
Alone the crown of thorns He wore,
Forsaken thus by all. [Refrain]

3 Alone upon the cross He hung
That others He might save;
Forsaken then by God and man,
Alone, His life He gave. [Refrain]

 

Prayer Time

Please continue to remember the following needs:

  • Ruth Holmes – for peace as Colin’s funeral is held on Thursday
  • Peter (Covid-19) and Jan still suffering a harsh cough
  • Charmaine asks for prayer for her daughter-in-law Mary-Lou who is expecting a babe in March – for a safe delivery, as the babe is very small
  • Jacqueline Brewell, as she mourns the loss of her Father (funeral on Friday), and her Mother’s second husband who also passed away this weekend.
  • Situation in Ukraine – for wisdom for leaders, to bring peace between nations.
  • Liam – ongoing eye treatment, and plans for eye surgery at ESH
  • Thanks for a sunny day for Sally’s brother-in-law’s funeral
  • Sally and the carers looking after John
  • Tessa asks for prayer for Amanda as she begins 3 months of chemotherapy treatment
  • Celine – Covid-19
  • Chris tells us that Tilly’s operation went well, but she has been in hospital for 3 months; also Jacky as she awaits results of another scan

 

Euan’s Message

What lies ahead in 2022?

 

Bible demands we look/consider beyond this life/these bodies/these horizons to eternity & new world order

 

Much of what we can know about the future from Bible is in Book of Revelation – not given lot of detail – its possibly beyond human description & beyond understanding so we are just a glimpse of what lies ahead

 

Revelation

  • Last book in Bible – letter to churches – probably a circular
  • Written by one of disciples John; later in life, in exile on Island of Patmos (just off E coast of Turkey)
  • What God gave him -> show God’s people the things that must take place – “prophecy”

 

  • Different kind of literature to much of Bible – drama - symbols, strange creatures & momentous happenings
  • Picture book with colour, words & sounds – dazzle/shock – what John sees, hears & experiences
  • Called “Revelation” – “unveiling” of what God wants us to know about future
  • “Of Jesus Christ”- chief subject; without Him no fulfilment of God’s plans/purposes

 

Why read it? So people know how to live today

  • John calls himself your brother & companion in the suffering & kingdom & patient endurance
  • Then & now Christian life can be hard – persecution/life’s challenges -> encouragement & hope
  • offers a tremendous hope for the future for the Christian, the believer

 

Eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him & these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.

 

So much could be said but limiting ourselves to Ch21. I want us to consider 4 things

 

  1. All things will be made new

 

We associate new things with potential & opportunity. They generally bring fresh enthusiasm/delight

Out goes what is old, broken, grimy, dilapidated; in comes what is bright, shiny & ready to enjoy

 

Ch21

  • Cannot help but hear word “new” repeated 4x
  • New heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem, all things being made new
  • New world, new order of things because former things have passed away
  • Of a new kind/superior to what has gone before
  • Whether a 2nd creation or radical renewal or transformation of 1st – key thing is its NEW

 

This was always the plan & God will deliver on His plans and promises

 

Psalm 102 says Of old God laid the foundation of the earth, & the heavens are the work of His hands. They will perish, but God will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. God will change them like a robe, and they will pass away but God is the same and His years are without end

 

Apostle Peter writes of time when old creation will be purged by fire

Heavens will disappear with roar; elements will be destroyed by fire, earth & everything done in it will be laid bare

 

OT prophet Isaiah foretold time when God will create new heavens and a new earth, & the former things will not be remembered or come into mind

 

Not just old physical elements but old spiritual realities are swept away too

  • Ch 17-20 shown all God’s enemies defeated - evil people, evil systems & Satan Himself – comprehensively & finally & rightly judged – sin, death, hell all dealt with
  • Here is a new world without rebellion, ruin & brokenness that sin brings + sadness & suffering
  • v4-5 describes wonderful place of blessing without tears, death, mourning, crying or pain – because God will take these away
  • “no mores” - no hearses, no hankies, no hospitals – real comfort to so many who struggle with these -something to truly look forward to

 

Throughout Bible we see God in a sense always making things new

He restores

  • LJC restores sight to blind, ability to walk to crippled, hearing to deaf, & clean skin to diseased  bringing not just physical healing but  life, security, & hope to broken people.
  • God enables broken relationships to be restored – Jacob, Joseph, Ruth come to mind
  • Supremely God has restored relationship with mankind & himself through Jesus Christ death on cross

 

He renames

  • names carry significance in Bible & quite a number of people receive new names as a sign of new purpose & redeemed life – Abraham, Peter & Paul come to mind
  • Supremely all who trust Him are given a new identity – in Christ
  • if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself 

 

He resurrects

  • Jesus Christ literally brought people to life again –  Lazarus, Jairus daughter
  • God brought back his own Son from the dead – well attested accounts with many witnesses
  • God promises likewise to raise those who trust Him from dead  & give newness of life

 

2              God will be at the centre

 

v2-3 holy city comes down from God (repeated in v10)

v3 city is called - dwelling place of God – abode, residence

v3 the people are called His people & He is called their God (repeated in v7)

v3 God is one enthroned – displaying authority

v4 God is one who removes all crying & tears, pain & suffering

v5 God is one making all things new

v6 God is one delivering on his promises – trustworthy & true,

v6 God is A & O - beginning & end – accomplishes what He starts & brings assurance

v6 God is giver of the free water of life – which satisfies

 

To be very clear - God is Author of all, Sustainer of all, Owner of it all – at centre of it all

 

God will be at centre of new heaven & new earth

God ought to be at centre of our lives now

Easy to usurp his place – ourselves at centre or something else – work, family, leisure pursuit

 

  1. A place fitting for God’s glory

 

  • most developed image in chapter is that of city, mentioned in v2 & then extensively in v10-27 when John is taken up mountain to get panoramic view of city
  • is it a literal city? – no reason why not….but book of Revelation as genre might suggest it is symbolic
  • wonderful city - size & scale, beauty & glory – a city fitting for a very great God

 

  1. City as a welcoming home
  1. Dwelling place for God & His people – where they both will be, meet & live together
  2. Place of relationship, place of intimacy, of rest, of comfort

 

  1. City as a place of stunning beauty
  • described as a Bride beautifully dressed ready for husband
  • described as like a very rare jewel, clear as crystal – such is its radiance & beauty
  • walls built of jasper stone & studded with 12 others
  • city & streets built of gold, clear as glass
  • gates each made of a single pearl

 

  1. City as a secure stronghold
  • perfect cube but 1400 miles in each direction – size of Europe
  • great high walls, >200ft thick
  • 12 gates but open & never shut – freedom from threat & fear
  • 12 foundations/buttresses – solidly & permanently secured

 

  1. City as totally self sufficient place….because God is there
  1. own light – no need for natural light – ie sun/moon or lamp because glory of God gives it light
  2. no need for temple – as place to meet God or to bring any sacrifice for sin because God is dwelling there permanently & sin has been dealt with completely

 

4              A people who are ready

 

Although new world made for God to dwell with mankind, not everyone will be there

2 verses v8 and v27 are a stark & sombre reminder

 

Those who will not be there

v8 

  1. Fearful & unbelieving – lacked courage to put faith & trust in LJC
  2. Vile & abhorrent - lack of control of passions – murder & sexual immorality
  3. Those in error – magic arts, idolatry & lies cf wrong relationship with truth

v27  Impure, shameful, deceitful – those who have not sought forgiveness for sin

People whose names are not in Lamb’s book of life – see Ch 20 – record of those who have trusted work of Jesus Christ at cross

 

Those who will be there

  • Name is in Lamb’s book of life
  • People who will have God as their God & so called God’s people – OT covenant promise
  • Described as conquering/victorious ie pursuing a life consistent with trusting in God
  • Described as inheritors – enjoying what God has provided – beauty, safety, satisfaction of new world

 

CLOSING SONG: 1041  There’s a place where the streets shine

 

NOTICES

  • Wednesday 7.30pm Zoom Bible Study and prayer time
  • Next Sunday – speaker Ken Cowell
  • Saturday 19th Feb – 10.00am Church Cleaning
  • Sunday 27th February – 12 noon – Annual Church Members Meeting