CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: God of grace:
All: We come with all we have;
bodies, souls, minds, all here to worship you.
Leader: We have come for a glimpse
of your kingdom of kindness--
All: a world where love rules over all,
a world where enemies embrace,
Leader: distinctions between friend and foe
evaporating in the light of your love.
All: We dedicate this hour of worship to you.
Inspiring God, you have given us the gift of scripture to teach us, correct us, and equip us to live faithfully in the world. Open us to hear the word that you have for us today, whether it is challenge or comfort, so that we may participate in your transformation of the world. Amen.
“Forgiveness & Reconciliation”
Fellowship, love, forgiveness, reconciliation, are beautiful words, but they mean something.
Have you ever been in love and enjoyed that person's company fellowship so much. Or had a best friend and you can trust and hang out with. There's nothing happening that fellowship that friendship, it's just peace and blessings. It's like your conversation just flows each of you are being encouraged by the other.
I would call that true fellowship with another person In the same way have you ever experience the love of God in a real and meaningful way, you're having sweet fellowship, communion with Him in prayer and in reading the word, in quiet reflection... It does happen. It should happen.
I would call this true fellowship with God.
But then something inevitably comes along and messes up that relationship, be it with a fellow human being or with God. Sooner or later this something raises its ugly head! We think maybe it's personality differences and disagreements, or conflict, or perhaps stress. We find all kind of catch phrases and words and excuses and reasons. I've got my reasons!
But those are just the symptoms, the manifestations of a sickness.
THE SICKNESS or PROBLEM IS SIN...
SIN The Bible says, destroys, separates, breaks fellowship, gets in the way, leads to loneliness, tears down, and ultimately leads to death! And it must be dealt with.
First on the vertical plane, and that is with God.
And secondly on the horizontal plane, that is with each other.
SIN the Bible says separates us from God.
But God himself provides the remedy for sin. It is something that every human being is commanded to do. Paul in epistle in 2 Corinthians ch 5 vs 20 and 21, implores us. Be reconciled to God.
Here's my my main text... first John chapter 1 verse 4 - 10
When reading scripture, if you want to understand it, ask yourself a couple questions.
Here's the first question... What was the purpose of John writing this letter?
The answer is found in ch 1 vs 4. That your joy may be full.
God The Holy Spirit does not want us to be empty miserable human beings.
Verse 5 . God is light there is no darkness etc.
Verse 7 . If we walk in the light there's fellowship with Him. And with one another.
Verse 6 . If we walk in darkness, we lie etc.
Verse 8 . If we deny sin etc
Verse 9 . If we confess, God is faithful etc.
Verse 10. Liar
OK ,so now what?
For believers we want to walk in the light. Not walk in darkness... Seems clear eh? Is that the message? What does that mean? Walk in the light... How do I ."walk in the light" ?
The answer is found in the text. Vs 9-11
Walking in darkness is defined by... Hating your brother... The remedy?
Confession and forgiveness, confession and forgiveness, confession and forgiveness.
Or if you really want to get done properly you can confess and forgive. Every time...
And when confessing and forgiving. Examine your heart and your head.
First John warning chapter 2 verse 15... Hear now the the command. Do not love the world!
What does that mean? Do not love the world! Let's look at the text.
Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
So far I have speed been speaking from the text that is I've been using scripture. The gospel, and that is the most important source of truth. It is the only source of truth. But now I would like to speak from my own thoughts and experiences. So it's just my opinion it is not "gospel".
Some questions thoughts and concerns we often have. Does forgiveness always lead to restoration? Unfortunately no What about abusive relationships? Should I look to restore a relationship that abusive?
Should people allow themselves to be a doormat? There's a lot of legitimate questions and concerns when it comes to forgiveness. Should we put ourselves in harms way, for the sake of forgiveness? These are difficult questions, and should be addressed.
Perhaps Christian May use the verse that Jesus said ''turn the other cheek" this would be a series of sermons and messages, but I know that Jesus was not referring to making yourself a doormat. Or putting yourself in harms way.
Jesus here I believe is referring to,,, what was about to happen to his followers, and that was that Christians were to be dragged into the synagogue. And forced to renounce the name of Jesus, to essentially deny their faith. Jesus was saying that faith in him was so worth it. That if that happens, and they strike your cheek, as was custom. To get you to deny your faith, to renounce Jesus, to reject the Messiah...
In that case if they stroke your cheek....The gladly turn the other cheek!
So we need Gods discernment. We can't take the easy way out. Always our first goal is to seek restoration with others.
How to address the other tough passage found in 1 John ch 2 vs 6 "Walk as He walked"..
I don't know about you but the first time I read that I said to myself. "How can I walk as Jesus walked "it's impossible! I'm not Jesus, He can do it,,,He's the son of God.
But the problem is I was assuming that that meant that I must walk since Leslie and perfect as our Lord Jesus did. But that's not what the text saying. It can't mean that. So what does it mean.
Well in what way did Jesus walk, and in what way are we to walk as our Lord did?
Our Lord Jesus walked, depending on his Holy father, depending on the Holy Spirit, when he resisted the devil when he was being tempted. He didn't call down flashes of light. Perform miracles, which she could've. No He quoted and used the Scriptures... in other words he used the same resources that are available to us. And in this case those same resources are to being a right relationship with God, and in a row right relationship with our brothers and sisters. And for us that means,,, confession and forgiveness.
If we only knew the love of God, how did settled in our hearts. Understood his nature, and knew that he had nothing but the best intentions for each and everyone of us. If we truly understand that Sin destroys, Teardowns, separates, kills. Then we would be wholeheartedly in favour and seeking a right relationship with God. We will want to "walk in the light as he is in the light" and consequently we will be in a correct fellowship with our brothers and sisters.
So what is the end to this matter.
1st Confess, first to God, and get an a right relationship with your lord and receive his forgiveness.
2nd do the same thing with your brothers and sisters, admit confess and seek forgiveness. And forgive those who trespassed against you..
God who calls,
We give thanks that through the ages you have spoken to your people,
calling them into the light, showing them the path of justice,
guiding them out of the bondage into freedom.
And in every age you have called leaders to guide and shepherd your people,
gifting them with courage and insight,
and speaking through them to offer comfort and challenge.
You promise to accompany your people at all times.
We give thanks for the ways Rockburn Church has heard and responded to your call.
We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit, who gives the gift of faith to us,
and for the ways that those who came before us responded
and handed that faith on to us.
Hear our prayers, O God, for your church in this place, and all around the world.
In this moment and for this particular time and place,
where you have called us all into ministry
may your will be done, Mothering and Nuturing God,
as we join our voices with the prayers of the faithful
across hundreds of generations and with people from all across the globe,
and with your Son Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray this family prayer:
Caring God, we humble ourselves today by returning the bounty you first shared with us back to your care. Without pretension or self-righteousness, we resolve to be slow to judge and ready to provide aid. We strive to increase our commitment to being thoughtful, generous people. Help us to be unassuming in our service but bold in our witness. We pray in the name of the one who served you here on Earth, Jesus the Living Christ. Amen.
May the Lord bless you and keep you;
may the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
My the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.
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