Sunday Worship 29th March -Called, Enriched, Sustained, Faithful

Following the Government announcements our church will not be open on Sundays until further notice. We pray that the situation will be resolved as soon as possible and not be too prolonged, but we have a duty of care towards our friends and neighbours.

Mike Furborough's has prepared the service he intended for next Sunday which he kindly sent to Julie our Pastor.

May God keep you safe.

Blaby Congregational Church 29 March 2020 10:00

Call to worship

God calls you by name, and He calls me.

Jesus blesses you today, and He blesses me.

The Holy Spirit fills you today, and He fills me.

For we are God’s people.

We are God’s Church. Let us worship Him

Amen!

Man calling

Hymn: 93 Come let us join our cheerful songs with angels round the throne

The Bible speaks of cheerfulness, and it’s an interesting word. Centuries ago, it came from a word for the human face. Then it grew to mean the emotions and inner attitudes that often show themselves in our faces. “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance” (Prov. 15:13)

Prayers

Thank you, God, for your gifts of grace and peace –

which we celebrate today.

For your gifts of strength and courage –

which we celebrate today.

For gathering us together in this place –

where we celebrate today.

For welcoming us into your church family –

where we are united today.

In Jesus’ name.

Amen.

A Prayer of Confession

Forgive me, Lord Jesus, when I fail to recognise your presence in those around me and within my own heart. Give me the faith and the confidence to believe that I, and we, are your people, your saints – blessed and commissioned to do your work, to share your love, and to build up your kingdom in this place and wherever you inspire us to go. Forgive me and bless me, Lord Jesus.

Amen.

God of the Church,

you have put a new song on our lips.

You have raised us up and called us to be your people –

and our desire is to do your will.

So, with our whole heart

we proclaim your faithfulness, love and truth.

In Jesus’ name.

Amen.

Gracious God,

for ordinary people who do extraordinary things in your name:

we praise you.

For those who have encouraged us to use our gifts:

we praise you.

For those who have reflected your love

and drawn us to Jesus:

we praise you.

For those who have restored our dignity

and helped us to

feel connected:

we praise you.

For those who have opened the doors of your Church

and invited us in:

we praise you.

In Jesus’ name,

we praise you. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Bible Reading: Psalm 40 vs 1-5

Hymn: 333 In loving kindness Jesus came..

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians vs 1-9

Hymn: 32 An Army of Ordinary people

1. An army of Ordinary People

A kingdom where love is the key

A city, a light to the nations

Heirs to the promise are we

A people whose life is in Jesus

A nation together we stand

Only through grace are we worthy

Inheritors of the land

Chorus:

A new day is dawning,

a new age to come,

when the children of promise

shall flow together as one:

a truth long neglected,

but the time has now come,

when the children of promise

shall flow together as one

2. A people without recognition,

but with Him a destiny sealed,

called to a heavenly vision:

His purpose shall be fulfilled.

Come, let us stand strong together,

abandon ourselves to the King;

His love shall be ours for ever,

this victory song we shall sing.

Sermon: Called to be Saints ?

1 Co 1 1-9

When faced with Paul’s letter and sermons, I quickly look round for an alternative !

I know that Pauls says some amazing things which are designed to develop our faith ,but I often find them very confusing, hard to understand and hard to share in a sermon.

Paul’s letters to the early churches always seem to be designed to correct any problems and he often sounds like a nagging parent having a go at their distant children .

But this passage 1 Corinthians 1 vs 1-9 is the most brilliant passage to share that I can imagine

Three words in these 9 verses

Intro and greetings…apply to us today, especially in the light of present circumstance.

For the moment it’s An opportunity to shut the door on the outside,

Put aside the world

Just look at ourselves…concentrate on Christ and rejoice in all he has done for us .

In this Epistle.. the Corinthians faced false doctrines ,immortality, and all sorts of things in their society and within the church but these words are words of encouragement

Paul is exhorting these people to Revel in being a Christians.

Not escapism ..from vs 10…he asks them to face reality and tells them in no uncertain terms what’s wrong and what to do about it

But today I want us all to Rejoice in belonging to Christ and give thanks for all he has done for us.

Why ? Well four little words tell it all

The first word is found in verse 2....it is the word .........CALLED

When we come to God it is His action within us and upon us that makes it real.....

Not us action, words

God is Calling us before we know it.

The Hymn………In loving kindness Jesus came vs 2” He called me long before I heard, before my sinful heart was stirred and when I took him at his word through grace he lifted me …."

Paul says . Says God calls us to be saints ..

Saints Is used in NT times...simply means men or women .called to be Christians living in the world but set apart for God

Significance..... Set apart for God in this world from this moment on he belongs to God although he lives in this world on a journey no longer...... has lasting residence in this world but looks forward to all that God has prepared for him

Yes this is an individual response…..but it brings us into the family of God.. verse 2

Response is individual, yet the individual response brings us into the body of Christ we call. Church

Greek word for church Eclasia..means Called… The called out or called together people Vs 2

The church is a group of men and women called out by God and called together and

Christ has called us together and called us to himself…

The body of Christ….United with others…Persecuted church around the world……and make no mistake The church of god growing throughout the world

We are called to Local expression of Church..you here in Blaby

Paul talks about the … Church of God at Corinth....contradiction in terms !

Corinth………to corininthianise… language of the day …being immorality

Soho in London ……A trading city with imports from the known world It also Imported all sorts of ideas, attitudes and degrees of morality.

For example Temple of Aphrodite…1000 prostitutes walked down into the town as part of their Divine duty !

The miracle that God was able to redeem people from this cesspit of a city…

Lots of things wrong in the church in Corinth but the miracle is that there was a church at all.

And we can see a comparison with the society in which we live today

It seems that Christianity is under constant attack...in the wider world and even in our own country where our believes and values are constantly challenged by a society which claims to be about being tolerant of diverging views. , as long as it suits

The people in Corinth were called in these circumstances and so are we.

Yes the Corinthian church and the people in it were not perfect but Paul’s advice to the church is not to split up into holy groups often today’s reaction, but to work out things within the church..

We are Called, not just to Christ; not just to his kingdom; not just to his family but into being committed into commitment to a local church… not always be perfect things will always be wrong with the church…pastor, elders, you, me ?

You and me sinners…redeemed but still sinners…..no church is perfect…

A Woman complained to the minister...”this is wrong ,that’s wrong, so therefore isn’t doing things right.....I can’t find the perfect church .”

His reply...”when you find the perfect church...please don’t join it !..you’ll spoil it !!! “

God called us to work things out in the local church .

Mixed opinions, attitude, work it out together, laugh together, weep together, pray together give together; plan together; think and commit and evangelise together .

Commitment to the task ahead.

The Second Word Vs 5 ......Enriched

One of the Harry Potter movies. Dudleys birthday. How many presents have I got...36...I got 36 last year I want more !

As Christians we often say we want more of the love of God’s ,grace of God etc but.....

Tot up the benefits of what you’ve received by being in Christ The ways in which God has enriched you

We often Take things for granted But the.Old song “ Count your blessing…name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done “

Christ has plucked us out of darkness;

Given us eternal life

His grace,

His presence

His power,

and fellowship and purpose

Just consider for a moment

The Spiritual Gifts given to us for his kingdom…

The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all.8To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom.

To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge.

9To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing.10To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages.11All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit.

He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.

And what about the fruit of the spirit

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a person or community living in accord with the Holy Spirit, according to chapter 5 of the Epistle to the Galatians:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. ...

What sort of world would we live in if everyone exhibited these attributes?

The third word in vs 8…Sustained….

Our faith fluctuates……..hot and cold, keen and idle

But God will sustain us through all of this……….

As a new Christian we often say “How can I keep it up” ?…The answer is…… you don’t…He does….God will sustain you till the end

Sustained..Guiltless in Jesus Christ. God has called you to Himself….. In Greek the word guiltless contains the word Called..

You are called into the whole church of God..GOD has called you

So you will not be called to account on the day of judgement

Christ died, you are forgiven therefore no fear in the day of judgement………Romans’ 8 if God has called you and saved you ......who can condemn you

Conclusion: Called, Enriched, Sustained

Tremendous words to remind us of where we are at this very difficult time.

How do we get through it, how do we rest on our faith ?

Paul is centred on Christ… He names Christ 9 times in 9 verses

If we are to grow in Christ and be useful to him…it is not 9 times in 9 verse but 365 time in a year (leap year !(366 days ..a bonus for the world this year !

Vs 9 We are called into the fellowship of JC our Lord centred on him i

And when we think we can’t do all that we should REMEMBER

The 4th Word (…never good at Maths !!)Vs 9 God is faithful…

through our many ups and downs…..through them all our testimony is that God is Utterly faithful to the end

The God. Who Calls us, enriches us and sustains us to the end .

May our faith be so set upon God and JC that our lives might show forth his glory

The glory of the God who is faithful

A Personal Prayer

We thank you, Lord Jesus, that when we are afraid,

you will help us stand firm.

When we don’t feel that we belong,

you will help us stand firm.

When our faith grows cold and we struggle to feel your presence,

you will help us stand firm.

Whether we are young or old, new to church or seasoned saints,

you will help us stand firm.

We stand firm as your church and your people.

Amen.

Hymn: 200 Great is thy faithfulness

Prayer's of Intercession

God of all hope we call on you today. We pray for those who are living in fear: Fear of illness, fear for loved ones, fear of other’s reactions to them. May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace. We pray for your church in this time of uncertainty. For those people who are worried about attending worship. For those needing to make decisions in order to care for other For those who will feel more isolated by not being able to attend. Grant us your wisdom.

Holy God, we remember that you have promised that Nothing will separate us from your love – demonstrated to us in Jesus Christ. Help us turn our eyes, hearts and minds to you.

Amen

Living God,

In our hour of need we turn again to you, for we have nowhere else to turn.

We put our faith in you, because you have proved your faithfulness time and again.

We reaffirm our love for you because you have never let us go.

We thank you that you are not distant from us, but have drawn near, in your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

He has shared our life, tasted our death and defeated it;

He understands our worries and our fears.

Help us to respond as your children now.

We pray for this pandemic spreading across our world, remembering all who have lost loved ones.

and praying for those seriously ill at this time.

We uphold the National Health Service as it responds to this added pressure on its already overstretched services.

We pray for doctors and nurses and all in the caring professions, who work to help and support people as best they can.

We remember those working behind the scenes, testing samples, confirming results, giving information to patients.

We uphold others trying to understand this virus better, working to create an effective remedy.

We pray for our Government and Nations around the world as they work with the best medical advice.

to guide us on how we should respond, and what action we should take.

We pray that these guidelines might be taken seriously and that all would put them into action.

May this crisis bring out the best in us, not the worst.

Help us to live by faith and not by fear; to build bridges not barriers, and to resist all who would speak ill of any other group.

May we not forget our responsibility to one another, not least to the vulnerable and voiceless in our communities.

Help us to find ways of keeping in touch and offering reassurance to those with underlying health issues;

for any who feel particularly vulnerable or in danger at present.

As the virus spreads we pray for steadfastness during the disruption it causes to normal life,

bringing new fears and anxieties:

We pray for those who have been laid off as their work disappears; for financial hardship for individuals and businesses; for the impact on the economy and pensions, when austerity has already left its mark.

We pray for those whose trips, both for business and pleasure, have been cancelled and others where events, long anticipated and planned for, have been postponed; for those making contingency planning for home based work or child care or exams.

May our inconvenience not blind us to others’ loss.

We remember those. who cannot visit loved ones in locked-down care homes; for the elderly whose social contacts have been severely curtailed; help us to find creative ways of keeping in touch, of assuring them they are not forgotten or ignored.

May congregations find new ways of living though this time. May we not forget our faith, but draw strength from it.

So may our worship be heartfelt, our fellowship deepen and our service increase.

God of grace and God of mercy, hear our prayers at this time. Strengthen us, by your Spirit, so that:

we may carry on our lives as best as we are able, looking out for others, showing love in action,

being faithful in prayer and bringing encouragement, hope and peace; always trusting in you, our Rock and our Redeemer. These prayers we bring to you. in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Hymn: 770 Will Your Anchor hold in the storms of life

Benediction

May you know Jesus’ presence in your heart and in your life – whenever you gather here, whenever you leave here, wherever you go, whatever you do, whoever you meet. May you know God’s presence in your May you know God’s presence in your heart and in your life, now and always.

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ABOUT US

As a Church we have been worshipping in Park Road for over 90 years. Our Sunday morning service is from 10am to 11am.  

ADDRESS

Blaby Congregational Church

Park Road

Blaby

Leicester

United Kingdom

LE8 4ED

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