God's Love - Sunday Worship 10th January
This Sunday our Pastor Julie will be leading Enderby URC Church in worship via Zoom and Nigel Malka will be preaching at Blaby Congregational Church at 10am. For those unable to join us the service has been prepared and published in collaboration between him and Julie.
Call to worship
Hymn 560 Praise my soul the King of Heaven
Lord of our journeys, help us this day to have eyes to see your leading, ears to hear your guidance, and a heart of courage, that we may journey faithfully and find your way – even when the path may seem difficult and dark. Amen.
Father God, full of wisdom and power, whose mighty arm stretches over all the earth: we bow down in humble adoration.
Holy Saviour, full of grace, lighting up our world: we bow down in humble adoration.
Spirit of the living God, full of the boundless riches available to us in Christ: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; three in one: we bow down in humble adoration, open to your direction. Amen.
Glorious Lord, we your sons and daughters come together into your kingly presence. We lift our eyes to you, seeking your guiding light and offering up our gifts of worship and praise. Amen.
The Lords Prayer
Hymn 528 O worship the King.
Bible Reading - 1 John 4:7-end
Word to Church family
God is Love? Easy to say and easy to believe when things are going well.
When surrounded by a loving family, friends and when within a fellowship
People sharing their experiences, supporting one another
Love is one of the attributes that prove we are designed by God
Unfortunately many today don’t acknowledge God’s ways, his creation or his Love
Living in a comfortable society makes people think they don’t need God
Unable to understand why a loving creator allows so much illness & evil to occur
That’s our theme for today, how we can respond to that view?
What’s is God’s love and what isn’t it?
God’s love includes many things; caring for his creation, giving freedom
Setting down standards, providing judgement and justice,
Living in the real world we know that life does has it’s up’s and downs
For some the up’s are very good, and for some the bad is very bad indeed.
When it’s bad, life seems unfair and seems at odds with a ‘good God’ who created life
We ask in the Lord’s prayer, not to be led into temptation,
Yet life is a series of temptations and at times we all fail
But like a loving parent God wants to put us on the right track
Which is why we are given the Word of God, his direction his standards.
And with standards comes correction, with the object of showing the right way
Hymn 181 God forgave my sin in Jesus’ name
Bible Reading Luke 21:5-28
I start every service with this most important message, ‘God Loves you’,
But I was taken aback when a very good Christian friend challenged me.
Saying, “Can you substantiate that God does love us, and what is that love?
Considering all the pain and suffering that occurs in his creation?”
The trouble is there is a basic misconception of who God is and what love is,
Those of us who have been or who had loving parents have an insight into it.
Love is not just about just caring for someone, nor is it about control.
Accepting mistakes happen and that things that might hurt or create unhappiness.
Love sets standards, guidance, freedom and forgiveness or punishment as appropriate
At times we all have to deal with illness, pain, suffering, political upheaval, the loss of something or someone,
a, war, famine, disasters, and a pandemic.
Of course we would like to live in a world where none of these things happen.
Fortunately by making Jesus Lord of our lives, one day we will.
And to get there we are judged on how we use the greatest of God’s gifts - Freewill
Hate, greed, violence, war, these can be put down to the use of man’s free will
We use our freewill, for better or worse we have the ability to decide what we do