CALL TO WORSHIP (in unison)
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Opening Prayer and The Lord’s Prayer
Mighty God of mercy, we thank you for the
resurrection dawn bringing the glory of our
risen Lord who makes every day new.
Especially we thank you for
the beauty of your creation ...
the new creation in Christ and all gifts of
healing and forgiveness…
the sustaining love of family and friends ...
the fellowship of faith in your church ...
Merciful God of might, renew this weary world,
heal the hurts of all your children, and
bring about your peace for all in Christ
Jesus, the living Lord. Especially we pray for
those who govern nations of the world ...
the people of countries where there is strife or warfare ...
all who work for peace and international harmony...
the church of Jesus Christ in every land....
Shall we now take a moment to silently pray our own personal prayers
and then conclude with “The Lord's Prayer”
O God, we gather to thank you
· the easy conversation between old friends
· the quick smile of a child
· the warm look of hello from across the room
· the caring phone call about our illness
· the cards sent which say, "Just thinking of you"
· the hymn book passed along
· the little things that say we matter.
All this, O God, you planned in your compassion.
Your Church is special to us.
Within it are people with so many different gifts.
Thank you God for providing us with this place of belonging.
In response we bring our own gifts to use in your Church,
and as we do, we want to say how grateful we are to you
that you have given us such friends.
Out of gratitude we give,
for you have given us so much.
Missing the Church Service
Father Lewis woke up Sunday morning and realizing it was an exceptionally beautiful and sunny early spring day, decided he just had to play golf.
So... he told the Associate Pastor that he was feeling sick and persuaded him to say Mass for him that day.
As soon as the Associate Pastor left the room, Father Lewis headed out of town to a golf course about forty miles away.
This way he knew he wouldn't accidentally meet anyone he knew from his parish. Setting up on the first tee, he was alone. After all, it was Sunday morning and
everyone else was in church!
At about this time, Saint Peter leaned over to the Lord while looking down from the heavens and exclaimed,"You're not going to let him get away with this, are you?"
The Lord sighed, and said, "No, I guess not."
Just then Father Lewis hit the ball and it shot straight towards the pin, dropping just short of it, rolled up and fell into the hole.
IT WAS A 430 YARD HOLE-in-ONE!
St. Peter was astonished. He looked at the Lord and asked, "Why did you let him do that?"
The Lord smiled and replied, "Who’s he going to tell?"
Treasures in Jars of Clay by Kevin Harvey
It is the expressed purpose of God for us that we be with Him in Heaven fully clothed, eternal beings. That this death we live in may be swallowed up by life. And it is our express purpose to be found willing to please our heavenly Father.
Cor. Ch 5 vs 1-10
2 Corinthians 5:1-10
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Temporal and Eternal
5 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. 4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what ismortal will be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.
6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord-- 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight-- 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
comments: on verse 1. This tent Paul refers to is our present body. It is temporary and weak. And like a tent, it sometimes leaks. Paul - tent maker
But on the other hand, in Heaven we have a building from God. A heavenly house, eternal, and this new building which is our glorified body will have a seal on it, built by God, built to last.
Meanwhile we groan, question, But why? Is it because we want to die and go to heaven this minute? I dont think so. I think it is something deeper. It's a feeling, or a groaning that somethings just not right. On one hand we know the truth that when a person receives Christ there is a void filled that only God can fill.
Marriage can't do it, friends, family, sex, drugs, rock and roll, wealth, none of these can fill that void. Only God can!! But this is something different than emptiness because this message is for believers. Why then this groaning?
For Paul says in vs 8 in Chap 4 "We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed, we are perplexed, but not in dispair, persecuted, but not forsaken, stuck down but not destroyed"
This groaning or emptiness, I believe has something to do with the very nature of this life. You have heard it said, "It's not fair!!" ....etc etc, but there is more to life than this life.
Paul says in vs 7 of Chap 4 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not us"
And the treasure is this: The truth of the Gospel. It is eternal life. The jar of clay or earthen vessels is Pauls temporary body, is our temporary body also. Here we see a paradox. Immortality housed in a mortal body. People in those times often put their valuables in clay jars to hide them, and Paul used this analogy to explain a principal.
Comment: vs 3 Here the analogy is when we are clothed, we will not be found naked; all that means is that we will have glorified bodies. We will not be ghosts, or spirits floating around.
"When Christ comes, who is our life, we will be like Him at the ressurection"
vs 4 Again we see groaning, and a burden Mortality swallowed up by life. Isn't that a beautiful picture? It's the opposite of what the world sees. Here we see life being swallowed up by death, but Paul says it's the other way around. And more than that, in fact God made us for this very purpose
vs 5 And we have the Holy Spirit as a down payment, or as a guarantee. God made you and I to live with Him. To have everlasting fellowship with His Son. He created you, and wants you to love him out of your own free will. God gives to the believer the Holy Spirit to help us to understand all this, and again the Holy Spirit is our garauntee of citizenship in Heaven.
vs.6 & 7 Therefore we are confident, assured, more than willing, whether here or there, even though we are away from the Lord in a sense, it doesn't matter. We walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, and pleased to be fully clothed with our glorified bodies, with him. So what am I going to do? What is my purpose right now? It is nothing more than to please God. It is our goal to please Him because of what He has done. Would you like to make it your goal to please Him?
How do we please Him?
A) Greet Him every morning when you rise up in prayer and thanksgiving; talk to him during the day; and when you go to bed at night.
B) Read His Word: study it to know who this God who we serve is.
C) Love others as yourself. Notice its the ten commandments summed up in two, which is love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength,
which is a vertical relationship, and love others as yourself, which is horizontal relationship with others.
The scriptures says we are going to give an account for this life. For the believer it's not to see if we get into Heaven or not; it is for rewards or loss of rewards, therefore let's keep that in mind and remember the God who we serve, and learn to be pleasing to Him. Our challenge then, this morning is nothing more than this; to love God, and love others. If you are a believer, you have a treasure inside of you; that treasure is the Holy Spirit; it is eternal life; right now it's housed in an earthen vessel, but one day it will be revealed. That is your true self. I am glad that that is our destiny and I am challenged by my purpose which is to please Him.
End of Service Prayer
God we thank You for meeting us here tonight, and for delivering Your Word through Kevin. May each soul in this place have been touched through the songs and the preaching, and may each take to heart the Word that came forth.
We pray that those seeking an answer received it, and that those who needed a special touch were granted that touch. Bless each of us and keep us safe until we are able to gather together again.
In Jesus' name we pray.
Now go into the world with confidence, trusting that Christ is walking with you. Amen -