ELUDE: Nancy & Norm
PROCESSIONAL: Thy Word
CALL TO WORSHIP: We come as seekers, unsure of what we seek.
We come freely.
We come as followers, not understanding the One we follow.
We come freely.
We come to worship, even though we don't know how.
We come freely.
By Your grace, Lord, meet us where we are. Meet us here & now.
We come freely.
WELCOME & COVID RULES:
OPENING HYMN: #28 I Saw The Light (Mary's Songbook)
OPENING PRAYER & THE LORD'S PRAYER: Lord, we come before You this morning to pray and to praise. As the sun rises, may Your hope rise up in us. As the birds sing, may Your love flow out of us. As the light floods into this new day, may Your joy shine through us. We come before You, 0 Lord, and drink in this moment of peace, that we may carry something of Your hope, love and joy in our hearts, today and throughout the week. And now, as You taught us: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES:
OFFER1NG: There will not be the usual collecting of our offering. Instead, you can put your offering in the "Bentley" box.
Lord, as we offer our gifts to You today, we remember the questions Jesus put to His disciples, "Who do people say that I am? And who do you say that I am?" We pray that we might be ready to answer, not only with our voice, but also with our lives and our commitment to You, saying, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." In his name, we pray. Amen.
Amazing grace with Norm Rennie
New International VersionPsalm 25Of David.1 In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
2 I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
4 Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.
New International VersionSamaritan Opposition51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.
The Cost of Following Jesus57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
New International VersionThe Cost of Being a Disciple25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
#109 I Have Decided To Follow Jesus (Mary's Songbook)
PRAYER OF COMMITMENT:
Let us pray: You are my Lord and my God. We know from Your Word that a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart is a sacrifice, 0 God, that You will not despise. We come before You now to offer ourselves to You, our body, our mind and our soul. We are Yours atone. We confess that we are sinners and ask for Your forgiveness. We repent, and with Your help, we can turn away from sin and instead, turn toward You.
Lord, we freely submit ourselves to You and ask that only You will lead us. Lead us Lord upon that narrow path which You have chosen for us, so that our destiny may be fulfilled exactly as You have planned for us.
We submit ourselves to You and commit to doing everything we do, to saying everything we say, and to choosing everything we choose, for the sake of Your kingdom. This we pray in Your name. Amen.
Scraps, Shavings And Rags
Luke 14:28 --- "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't
you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough
money to complete it?"
Whenever I go shopping, whether it's for groceries, clothes, appliances or toner and paper for my printer, I always ask myself, "Can I afford it?" It's so easy to buy things. If you see something you like or want, you just give the cashier your credit or debit card, and the item is yours. You don't even have to leave your home to purchase things you can just buy it online, and have it delivered to your front door!
Sadly, this action has put a lot of people in debt. Items are repossessed, homes are foreclosed and lives are ruined. People are starting to realize the dangers of buying without thinking about the consequences. They think twice before buying a new car, new patio furniture or a big screen TV.
Jesus tells us to ask ourselves, "Can I afford it?" But it's not just a car or new TV that costs something. Being a Christian costs something too. In reality, it costs everything! Jesus told his disciples and He's telling us, to count the cost and always ask, "Can I afford it?" Think about the huge cost of following Jesus as one of His disciples. It's a wonderful gift from Him that Jesus allows us to follow Him.
I'm going to ask you a few questions and I'm sure you all know the answers. What is sawdust? Next, what are shavings? Then what are chips? Who knows what filings are? What do we call little pieces of cloth? What are ravelings? And lastly, what are crumbs?
Now that we have this collection words, I wonder what we can make of it. How much of a house can we make from shavings, chips and sawdust? How good a water pipe can be made from just filings? How much of a coat can be made from nothings but scraps and ravelings? How satisfying a meal can be made from nothing but crumbs? How much of an airplane can be built out of bits and junk and leftovers?
You can see where I'm going with this, right? We can't make something worthwhile out of leftovers bits and pieces. We need whole pieces to work with, whether it's lumber, yards of cloth, time or energy. When we want to build a house, or make a dress, or make dinner, we decide what it's going to take to complete the task. We look at our materials and plan how we can get it out to the best advantage, then we cut and fasten each piece into place. That just makes good sense!
"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?" Jesus is calling people to follow Him in discipleship and He's reminding them that it's like building a tower that you don't want to leave unfinished because you don't have enough commitment or enough resources to finish it.
Jesus says: "Be sure you count the cost before signing up for discipleship." He doesn't want you to sign up lightly and then be surprised when you find the cost is high. It's difficult to count the cost when you don't know what the future is going to bring. Jesus requires a commitment to the highest possible cost. If you can do this, then there will be no surprises. Just say to Jesus, "I am Yours at any cost!'
Jesus enjoyed spending time with His disciples and forging relationships with them. He also gave them important instructions about how they should follow Him. Sometimes they were misguided in how eager they were. They were all about serving Jesus. They were excited about the idea of following Him, but they didn't always realize the full extent of what that meant. Jesus knew His time on earth was almost done and He wanted His disciples to understand that they would have to make sacrifices too. But the disciples wanted to approach things with violence. Jesus silenced their enthusiasm, but they were still confused about how much it might mean to follow their Master.
Think about it this way: You have tickets to a concert that you've been looking forward to for weeks. But at the last minute, you're invited to another event which is also important to you. The two events are on the same day at the same time. You're going to have to choose the event that is most important to you and sacrifice or let go of the other event. In our Christian life, nothing should come before Jesus. We must be willing to make sacrifices in order to sincerely follow Jesus.
Remember the scripture reading this morning: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, even their own life "In. such a person cannot be my disciple. And whosoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything, you cannot be my disciple."
This sounds extremely harsh to us. After all, we know we shouldn't hate people, especially our family members. But Jesus isn't exactly telling us to hate our parents, spouses and children. He's just pointing out how important it is to follow Him. If we can't give Him our full attention and be willing to let go of other things, then it's difficult to truly obey Him. Following Jesus means reading His Word, recognizing what He has said and following His directions every day.
Yes, Jesus painted a very harsh picture for His disciples. It's a picture of difficult choices.. Jesus knows that we are too easily distracted by all the things we think are urgent in our life; our material desires and our physical comforts, and this often leads to failure in our whole-hearted commitment to Him.
Earlier we talked about scraps, shavings and rags, and that these things cannot make a solid or complete anything. We need whole pieces to work with. But more than that, we know that piling one board on top of another board, and another board on top of that only makes a pile of lumber. It doesn't make a house until we fit each board into its place.
During my lifetime, I've met people who think they can make a worthwhile life just haphazardly, without any plan toward which to work — just piling up scraps of time, ravelings of thought and a few shavings of energy. But that isn't the way to really make a life. It just makes a pile of days. We should plan our days to the best advantage. Take time to plan with the great master builder, Jesus Christ. Plan the sort of life we want to make out of our days and then we should fit each day into that plan.
Making a life is fitting together those things which make your character — your courage, your self-control, your fairness, your purity. Making a living is important, it's what helps care for the body. But making a fife, a life dedicated to Jesus Christ, that is a life that cares for the soul.
There is no cost that you can pay in following Jesus that won't be made up to you a thousandfold in the resurrection. Al! the so-called costs and losses are nothing compared to following Jesus and giving ourselves compkleteiy to Him. If we keep our hearts focused on Jesus and follow Him, it will guide us to God's blessings in our life. To truly follow Jesus Christ, we must consider the cost and put Him above everything else.
Let us pray: Lord, You call us to follow You, to put aside our own selfish interests even if the path is difficult or is heading in a direction we wouldn't have thought of choosing. Help us to see with eyes of faith rather than from our own human point of view. Teach us to follow You without fear, knowing that You are always with us, leading the way. This we earnestly pray. Amen.
As we take our worship and prayer from this place and into our daily lives, may our lives be sustained through Your love. May we continue to
know Your presence and power in the lives we lead. May we feel Your presence walking beside us and know the power of the Spirit in both our actions and our words. Keep us on the path you have shown us and help keep our faith in You ever present. Amen.
CLOSING HYMN: #103 Praise Him, Praise Him (Mary's Songbook)
BENEDICTION & CHORAL AMEN: May the Father's hand keep you from stumbling, the footprints of Jesus give you confidence to follow, and the fire of the Holy Spirit keep you warm and safe in your walk with God this day and every day. Amen.
SOLO: "Drifting Too Far From The Shore" Norm Rennie
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