WHO WILL CHANGE THE WORLD?

With the UK in lockdown and churches told to avoid meetings we are attempting to live stream our Sunday morning worship and teaching from our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CCFCumbernauld/ .

As we’re unable to meet and join together in worhip, Craig created the following praise setlist this week. He writes: “I know quite a few of the songs may be unfamiliar, however, I have tried to find songs that are kind of all-rounders and a bit more contemporary than we would sing on a Sunday morning. That is, songs that are great for driving to, good for in the background while pottering about the house and on your daily 30 minute walk, but also suitable for a time of worship and soaking in God’s presence. It wasn’t the easiest task in the world so I’m sure not all the songs will be to everyones taste but hopefully there will be a few that draw you closer to God.

“I’ve provided an Apple Music link, an Amazon Music link and a YouTube link below. If someone else out there has a Spotify account or another music subscription feel free to make the playlist up on that and send it out too. I’ve also attached a PDF of the words in case you want to sing along.

http://www.cornerstonecf.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Cornerstone_Praise_March_2020.pdf

“If you want to use the songs to deepen your faith, then use the words of the songs to spark prayers from your heart, investigate the words or theme of the songs and try to find scriptures to match or just listen and see what God has to say to you through the words.

“There is an instrumental song, I’ve included a couple of scriptures and a prayer that could be spoken over the top of it but feel free to praise in your own way.

Craig <>< “

Apple Music link:

https://music.apple.com/gb/playlist/march-2020/pl.u-76oNNy7FWkKDzB

Amazon Music link

https://music.amazon.co.uk/user-playlists/b53efc5e14904cabb9d3a5e00df93289engb?ref=dm_sh_Xqj905O9ydPfogypjjjCKNzyT

YouTube Playlist link

Transcript from teaching this week from our Pastor: Alan Welsh, Sunday 29TH MARCH 2020: Who will change the world?

THIS MORNING I JUST WANT TO SHARE A SHORT MESSAGE TO ENCOURAGE YOU, THAT WE CAN STILL DO CHURCH TOGETHER.

DURING THESE DAYS OF ISOLATION, WHO WILL CHANGE THE WORLD?

IN MANY WAYS THE CHURCH HAS BECOME MORE VISIBLE BEHIND DOORS (IF THAT SEEMS POSSIBLE), I WANT TO THANK SO MANY OF YOU FOR GIVING YOUR TIME TO CALL, TEXT OR EMAIL OTHERS, ALSO FOR THOSE ENSURING THAT FOOD AND MEDICATION FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT, IS RECIEVED.

AND FOR THE MINISTRY OF THE FOODBANK WHICH CONTINUES IN THESE TIMES WHERE RESTRICTIONS ARE PLACED UPON ALL, REMEMBER THEM IN PRAYER AS THEY CONTINUE TO SERVE WITH THE RISKS OF BEING IN CONTACT WITH OTHERS, PRAY THAT THE PROTECTION OF GOD WILL BE OVER THEM.

THE CHALLENGE FOR US TODAY AS A CHURCH, ENABLES US TO CHANGE THE WORLD AROUND US IN A VERY SIMPLE WAY. (WHICH I’LL COME TO IN A MOMENT)

WHILST FOR MANY THE ISOLATION IS STILL A NOVELTY, BUT FOR OTHERS IT IS FRUSTRATING, NOT SEEING YOUR FAMILY, OR IN SOME CASES PERHAPS SEEING TOO MUCH OF THEM, WHICH LEADS TO ANNOYANCE, BEING PICKY, ARGUMENTATIVE (THAT’S JUST GRACE AND I).

WHEN YOUR NORMAL DAY TO DAY LIFE IS HALTED, WHEN YOUR ROUTINE IS CHANGED AND YOU CAN’T GET TO DO THE THINGS YOU WOULD WANT TO, MANY OF THESE CIRCUMSTANCES CAN LEAD US TO BEING FEARFUL AND WORRIED.

I WONDER IF YOU ARE WEARY THIS MORNING, THINKING ABOUT ANOTHER WEEK AHEAD, PERHAPS DISSAPOINTMENT OF HOLIDAYS CANCELLED.

WHEN OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN WOULD NORMALLY BE LOOKING FORWARD TO ENJOYING THE EASTER HOLIDAYS, WITH WHATEVER ACTIVITIES YOU HAD IN MIND, THE PLANS HAVE ALL CHANGED.

SO, WHO WILL CHANGE THE WORLD WHEN IT SEEMS IN DISARRAY?

IT’S YOU AND I.

AT THIS TIME, GOD DESIRES US TO GIVE A WORD FOR THE WEARY.

THE PROPHET ISAIAH (CH 50:4) SAYS “THE SOVEREIGN LORD HAS GIVEN ME AN INSTRUCTED TONGUE, TO KNOW THE WORD THAT SUSTAINS THE WEARY.

HE AWAKENS ME MORNING BY MORNING, WAKENS MY EAR TO LISTEN LIKE ONE BEING TAUGHT”

THERE ARE MANY WEARY PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT NEED A WORD THAT SUSTAINS THEM, A WORD THAT GIVES THEM HOPE.

BECAUSE WE ARE SO BLESSED, HAVING EACH OTHER, WE CAN EASILY FORGET THAT SO MANY HAVE NO-ONE AND NO HOPE.

WE HAVE A GOD WE CAN LEAN ON, TALK WITH, WALK WITH, HE SUSTAINS US BY HIS WORD, HE LIFTS US BY THE BREATH OF HIS SPIRIT GIVING US HOPE FOR TODAY AND ETERNITY.

WE HAVE THE PRAYER SUPPORT OF ONE ANOTHER, WE RECIEVE STRENGTH KNOWING OTHERS ARE THERE, OUR WALK IS NOT ALONE, EVEN IN TIMES OF ISOLATION.

WE COULD ALL SO EASILY GET CAUGHT UP IN LOOKING AFTER OUR OWN AND BECOME COMPLACENT AND ACTUALLY FORGET THAT THERE ARE WEARY PEOPLE OUT THERE.

PEOPLE WHO NEED WHAT WE CAN GIVE, A WORD THAT SUSTAINS THE WEARY.

MATTHEW 9 TELLS US, WHEN JESUS SAW THE MULTITUDES, HE WAS MOVED WITH COMPASSION FOR THEM, BECAUSE THEY WERE WEARY AND SCATTERED, LIKE SHEEP HAVING NO SHEPHERD, HE THEN SAID TO HIS DISCIPLES, THE HARVEST IS PLENTIFUL, BUT THE LABOURERS ARE FEW, THEREFORE PRAY THE LORD OF THE HARVEST TO SEND OUT LABOURERS INTO HIS HARVEST.

WHO IS JESUS SPEAKING TO?, IT’S YOU AND I, THAT WE WOULD HAVE COMPASSION FOR OTHERS.

I READ A QUOTE THAT SAID “THE WORLD HAS YET TO SEE WHAT GOD WILL DO THROUGH YOU AND ME”

I’M NOT SURE WHY WE WAIT!

ONE OF THE GREATEST CHALLENGES WE HAVE AS DISCIPLES IS BEING CONVINCED THAT GOD WANTS TO USE US TO CHANGE THE WORLD.

NOT JUST TO MAKE A DENT, OR BE GOOD PEOPLE, RAISE OUR FAMILIES, HAVE A HEALTHY MARRIAGE, BUT TO CHANGE THE WORLD.

IT IS A CHALLENGE TO CONVINCE ANY CHURCH THAT THEY CAN PASTOR AND BLESS A COMMUNITY, I BELIEVE GOD HAS GIVEN US THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO JUST THAT.

WE DON’T HAVE TO GATHER TOGETHER TO GET THE WORD OF GOD OUT THERE, THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE VISIBLE IN A DIFFERENT WAY, TO BE HEARD, TO DISTRIBUTE HOPE WHERE THERE IS NONE.

WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING WE CAN SHARE WITH OTHERS, LET’S PERSONALISE THE SCRIPTURE I READ EARLIER,

ISAIAH 50: 4 “THE LORD HAS GIVEN YOU AND I AN INSTRUCTED TONGUE TO KNOW THE WORD THAT SUSTAINS THE WEARY…HE AWAKENS MY EAR TO LISTEN LIKE ONE BEING TAUGHT”

WE NEED TO PASS ON THAT WHICH GOD HAS GIVEN TO US, IT’S GOD WHO WILL CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT BY HIS GRACE HE WILL USE YOU AND I, THAT WE WOULD HAVE COMPASSION ON THE MULTITUDES…THOSE WHO ARE SCATTERED AND WEARY.

MY PRAYER FOR ALL OF IS, THAT GOD WOULD PROMPT US BY HIS SPIRIT, THAT WE WOULD HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPART HIS WORD, (HIS TRUTH)  WHERE HIS POWER LIES (NOT US).

BE ENCOURAGED.

THE WORLD HAS YET TO SEE WHAT GOD WILL DO THROUGH YOU AND ME.

THIS WEEK DURING THE FAST, I WAS REMINDED OF A SONG BY DON MOEN CALLED ‘GOD WILL MAKE A WAY, WHERE THERE SEEMS TO BE NO WAY’

AND THE SCRIPTURE THAT CORESSPONDS WITH THAT, WAS AGAIN FROM THE PROPHET ISAIAH 43: 19.

“SEE, I AM DOING A NEW THING!

NOW IT SPRINGS UP; DO YOU NOT PERCEIVE IT?

I AM MAKING A WAY IN THE DESERT AND STREAMS IN THE WASTELAND”.

GOD IS DOING A NEW THING IN THESE DAYS, WE ARE BEING CHALLENGED TO BE CREATIVE IN OUR COMMUNICATION, LET’S CONTINUE SEEKING HIM THAT WE MAY BE PART OF HIS ONGOING WORK TO ESTABLISH HIS KINGDOM HERE ON EARTH.

BLESSING:

THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU, MAY THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE TO SHINE UPON YOU AND BE GRACIOUS TO YOU.

MAY THE LORD TURN HIS FACE TOWARDS YOU AND GIVE YOU PEACE.

AMEN.

I LEAVE YOU WITH DON MOEN’S SONG TO ENCOURAGE YOU. ‘GOD WILL MAKE A WAY’

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU SAFE IN THE COMING WEEK,

WORTHY TO BE PRAISED

Due to problems with the central heating system, we met in Cornerstone Cafe on Sunday morning. This meant we could not record the teaching. Alan Welsh spoke on the topic of God as a father worthy to be praised. Alan’s notes are below and we hope you will be blessed by them. From 15th March 2020.

IN JOHN CH 4: 23 JESUS SAID “YET A TIME IS COMING AND HAS NOW COME WHEN THE TRUE WORSHIPPERS WILL WORSHIP THE FATHER IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH, FOR THEY ARE THE KIND OF WORSHIPPERS THE FATHER SEEKS”

THE FATHER SEEKS WORSHIPPERS!

PERSONNALY, I LOVE PRAISE AND WORSHIP, WHAT ABOUT YOU?

PERHAPS YOU DON’T, YOU MAY BE SOMEONE WHO PATIENTLY ENDURES THE SINGING ON SUNDAY MORNINGS UNTIL YOU HEAR WHAT YOU REALLY CAME FOR; THE MESSAGE.

IF THAT’S WHERE YOU FIND YOURSELF, LET ME SHARE WHAT MARTIN LUTHER SAID IN REGARD TO WORSHIP.

“WE NOTE WITH GREAT SURPRISE THE GREAT AND PERFECT WISDOM OF GOD IN MUSIC, WHICH IS, AFTER ALL, HIS PRODUCT AND HIS GIFT”

GOD HIMSELF IS PASSIONATE ABOUT SINGING, THE PSALM ARE FILLED WITH WORDS OF WORSHIP, IT IS A BOOK OF SONGS.

IN THE NEW TESTAMENT WE ARE TOLD TWICE, TO SING PSALMS, HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS TO ONE ANOTHER WHEN WE MEET (EPH 5:19, COLOSSIANS 3:16).

WHY DOES GOD SO OFTEN TELL US NOT SIMPLY TO PRAISE HIM BUT TO SING HIS PRAISES WHEN WE MEET, WHY NOT JUST PRAY AND PREACH?

WHY ARE GOD’S PEOPLE THROUGHOUT HISTORY ALWAYS SINGING? WHY WORDS AND MUSIC AND NOT JUST WORDS ALONE?

WHY DOES GOD WANT US TO SING, ONE REASON IS THAT GOD HIMSELF SINGS, ZEPHANIAH 3:17 TELLS US “HE REJOICES OVER US WITH SINGING”.

ON THE EVE OF HIS CRUCIFIXION, JESUS SANG HYMNS WITH HIS DISCIPES, MATTHEW 26:30 “WHEN THEY HAD SUNG A HYMN THEY WENT OUT TO THE MOUNT OF OLIVES”

PSALM 22:22 “I WILL DECLARE YOUR NAME TO MY BROTHERS, IN THE CONGREGATION I WILL PRAISE YOU”.

WE CANNOT DENY THAT NOT ONLY DOES GOD SEEK OUR WORSHIP HE IS WORTHY TO BE PRAISED.

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY GOD DESIRES HIS PEOPLE TO SING AND WHAT ROLE SHOULD SINGING PLAY IN THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN, WHY IS WORSHIP SO IMPORTANT TO GOD?

ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED IN SCRIPTURE.

READING: PSALM 96: 1 – 9

SING TO THE LORD A NEW SONG, SING TO THE LORD ALL THE EARTH, SING TO THE LORD, PRAISE HIS NAME.

PROCLAIM HIS SALVATION DAY AFTER DAY, DECLARE HIS GLORY AMONG THE NATIONS, HIS MARVELLOUS DEEDS AMONG ALL PEOPLES.

FOR GREAT IS THE LORD AND MOST WORTHY OF PRAISE, HE IS TO BE FEARED ABOVE ALL GODS, FOR ALL THE GODS OF THE NATIONS ARE IDOLS, BUT THE LORD MADE THE HEAVENS.

SPLENDOUR AND MAJESTY ARE BEFORE HIM, STRENGTH AND GLORY ARE IN HIS SANCTUARY.

ASCRIBE TO THE LORD, O FAMILIES OF NATIONS, ASCRIBE TO THE LORD GLORY AND STRENGTH.

ASCRIBE TO THE LORD THE GLORY DUE TO HIS NAME, BRING AN OFFERING AND COME INTO HIS COURTS.

WORSHIP THE LORD IN THE SPLENDOUR OF HIS HOLINESS, TREMBLE BEFORE HIM, ALL THE EARTH.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

I WANT TO SHARE A NUMBER OF REASONS WHY SINGING MATTERS IN THE LIFE OF AN INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIAN AND THE CHURCH.

FIRST: SINGING ISN’T AN OPTION IN SCRIPTURE, IT’S A COMMAND, THE PSALM WE JUST READ BEGINS WITH “SING!” IT’S NOT BASED ON IF WE FEEL LIKE IT OR YOU CAN BE BOTHERED OR WETHER WE LIKE THE SONG OR NOT (I CAN’T HONESTLY SAY I DON’T LIKE EVERY SONG THAT WE SING) BUT IT’S ACTUALY EXPECTED OF US, WHEN WE SING WE OBEY, WE ARE DOING WHAT GOD ASKS OF US.

WHEN WE WORSHIP, WE ARE BEING OBEDIANT, WE ARE TAKING THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS THANKFULNESS FROM OUR HEARTS TO GOD.

SECOND: WHEN WE SING, WE DIG DEEP ROOTS IN THE WORD, THE APOSTLE PAUL EXHORTS US TO LET THE WORD OF GOD DWELL IN US RICHLY, THEN FOLLOWS IT BY TELLING US HOW,

IN HIS LETTER TO THE COLOSSIANS 3:16, HE SAYS “LET THE WORD OF CHRIST DWELL IN YOU RICHLY AS YOU TEACH AND ADMONISH ONE ANOTHER WITH ALL WISDOM, AND AS YOU SING PSALMS, HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS”.

FIRST HE ADVISES TEACHING BUT THE SECOND IS SINGING, WE FIND THAT SINGING IS ONE OF THE CHIEF WAYS IN WHICH GOD’S WORD DWELLS IN US RICHLY.

OUR SINGING IS MORE THAN A WARM-UP FOR THE SERMON, WE DON’T SING TO SIMPLY FILL IN A GAP, SINGING STANDS ALONGSIDE PREACHING AS ONE OF THE WAYS WE LEARN GOD’S WORD.

E.G THE SONG “IN CHRIST ALONE MY HOPE IS FOUND” YOU FIND A BIBLICAL SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT TRUTHS FROM SCRIPTURE, THOROUGH THEOLOGY OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST WITH CLEAR AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS. (READ SOME LINES).

IN CHRIST ALONE.

In Christ alone my hope is found,

He is my light, my strength, my song[2] 

This Cornerstone, this solid Ground

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease

My Comforter, my All in All

Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! – who took on flesh,

Fullness of God in helpless babe.

This gift of love and righteousness,

Scorned by the ones He came to save

Till on that cross as Jesus died,

The wrath of God was satisfied[3] 

For every sin on Him was laid

Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,

Light of the world by darkness slain:

Then bursting forth in glorious day

Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory

Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,

For I am His and He is mine

Bought with the precious blood of Christ[4] 

No guilt in life, no fear in death,

This is the power of Christ in me

From life’s first cry to final breath,

Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man,

Can ever pluck me from His hand

Till He returns or calls me home

Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
[5] 

THIRD: WHEN YOU SING YOU BUILD UP FELLOW BELIEVERS, EPHESIANS 5:19 SAYS “SPEAK TO ONE ANOTHER WITH PSALMS, HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS, SING AND MAKE MUSIC IN YOUR HEART TO THE LORD”

WHEN WE DO WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS AND SING TOGETHER AS A CHURCH FAMILY, WE ARE HEARING CONFESSIONS OF FAITH ALL AROUND US,

MUSIC TOUCHES OUR HEARTS, THE WORD OF GOD STIRS US,

AND AS THAT HAPPENS WE ARE HELPING OTHERS WHO DO NOT BELIEVE AS THEY HEAR THE TESTIMONY OF PRAISE FROM GOD’S PEOPLE.

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN IN WORSHIP AND A TEAR RUNS DOWN YOUR CHEEK AS YOU HEAR THE PROCLAMATION OF WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US, FOR SOME THEY FALL TO THEIR KNEES IN WORSHIP, OTHERS STAND WITH OUTSTRETCHED ARMS.

WE PROBABLY DO NOT REALISE THE IMPACT OF GOD’S WORD THROUGH SONG, AS WE SING HIS PRAISES AND TELL OF HIS WONDERFUL WORKS, WE BUILD EACH OTHER UP.

AMERICAN PASTOR AND AUTHOR TIM KELLER SAID “GOOD CORPORATE WORSHIP WILL NATURALLY BE EVANGELISTIC”.

FOURTH: WHEN YOU SING, YOU ARE IN A BATTLE.

YOU MAY NOT CONNECT SINGING AND WARFARE TOGETHER, BUT IT IS A THEME VISIBLE IN SCRIPTURE, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE HABITS WE ARE TAUGHT IN SCRIPTURE.

WE FIND COMMANDS TO LOVE, PEACE, FORGIVENESS, TEACHING AND SINGING ARE ATTITUDES OF THE BELIEVER THAT WILL KILL SIN.

WHEN WE WORSHIP, THIS IS MORE THAN SIMPLY SINGING SONGS, IT MAKES TOTAL SENSE WHEN YOU CONSIDER WHAT POSTURE WILL THE ENEMY OF OUR SOUL DETEST.

A BELIEVER WHO SINGS WITH THEIR EYES, HEART, MIND AND VOICE FOCUSED ON THE LORD OUR GOD AND PRAISING HIS NAME.

YOU KNOW, IT’S VERY HARD TO LIE, BE GREEDY OR TO LOOK AT SOMETHING INAPPROPRIATELY WHEN YOU’RE SINGING AND MAKING MELODY IN YOUR HEART TO THE LORD.

A SINGING HEART WILL NOT EASILY GIVE IN TO TEMPTATION.

FIFTH: WHEN YOU SING YOU ARE SPIRITUALLY STRENGTHENED TO FACE TRIALS.

OFTEN WHEN WE THINK OF SINGING, IT’S WHEN WE’RE HAPPY AND TIMES ARE GOOD, BUT SCRIPTURE SHOWS THAT IT BRINGS STRENGTH FOR THE TRIALS WE FACE.

WHEN PAUL AND SILAS WERE UNJUSTLY PUT IN PRISON FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL, WHAT DID THEY DO?

THEY SANG!

THIS WAS AFTER BEING SEVERLY FLOGGED AND THEN PUT IN CHAINS.

ACTS 16: 25 SAYS “ABOUT MIDNIGHT PAUL AND SILAS WERE PRAYING AND SINGING HYMNS TO GOD, AND THE OTHER PRISONERS WERE LISTENING TO THEM”.

WHAT A WITNESS, AND YOU CAN STILL HEAR SIMILAR STORIES TODAY OF PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS.

I READ OF A PASTOR WHO WAS RECENTLY PUT IN PRISON, HE SAID “WHEN WE WERE IN PRISON WE SANG ALMOST EVERDAY BECAUSE CHRIST WAS ALIVE IN US, THEY PUT CHAINS ON OUR HANDS AND FEET, YET WE DISCOVERED THAT CHAINS ARE SPLENDID MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.

WHEN WE CLANGED THEM TOGETHER IN RHYTHM, WE COULD SING “THIS IS THE DAY (CLINK CLANK), WHICH THE LORD HAS MADE (CLINK CLANK) WHICH THE LORD HAS MADE (CLINK CLANK).

SINGING STRENGTHENS YOU AND HELPS YOU PERSEVERE IN THE FACE OF TRIALS. IF IT CAN STRENGTHEN THEM, WHAT COULD IT DO FOR YOU AND I?.

EVEN IN SUFFERING, SING!

SIXTH: WHEN YOU SING, YOU WALK A PATHWAY TO JOY.

THE PSALMS ARE FILLED WITH EXAMPLES.

“LET ALL WHO TAKE REFUGE IN YOU REJOICE” PSALM 5:11

“DELIVER ME FROM MY SIN…AND MY TONGUE WILL SING ALOUD OF YOR RIGHTEOUSNESS” PSALM 51:14

“I WILL SING ALOUD OF YOUR STEADFAST LOVE IN THE MORNING, FOR YOU HAVE BEEN TO ME A FORTRESS AND A REFUGE IN THE DAY OF MY DISTRESS” PSALM 59:16.

PERSISTENTLY IN SCRIPTURE WE WILL FIND THAT JOY AND SINGING ARE BOUND TOGETHER.

IF YOU STRUGGLE FOR JOY…SING.

IF YOU ARE JOYFUL…SING.

ALL OF THESE EXAMPLES ARE SUMMED UP IN OUR FINAL POINT: SEVEN:

WHEN YOU SING, YOU GLORIFY GOD.

HOPEFULLY, THIS IS OUR GOAL AND PURPOSE, SO THAT ALL THESE THINGS BRING GLORY TO GOD, HE IS TO BE THE OBJECT OF OUR PRAISE.

SINGING HAS SUCH A UNIQUE WAY OF BRINGING YOUR HEART, SOUL, MIND AND STRENGTH TOGETHER TO FOCUS ENTIRELY AND COMPLETELY ON GOD.

WE LIVE IN AN AGE OF DISTRACTION, WHEREAS SINGING GRABS THE ATTENTION OF ALL OUR SENSES AND FOCUSES US ON GOD.

THERE IS A DAY THAT LIES AHEAD OF ALL OF US, WHEN WE WILL BE ONE OF A GREAT MULTITUDE THAT NO-ONE CAN COUNT, ALL SINGING THE PRAISES OF GOD.

LET’S BE THE WORSHIPPERS THAT THE FATHER SEEKS.

CLOSE WITH WORSHIP IN SINGING TOGETHER, “IN CHRIST ALONE”.

FATHER TO ALL

Due to problems with the central heating system, we met in Cornerstone Cafe on Sunday morning. This meant we could not record the teaching. Alan Welsh spoke on the topic of God as a father to all. Alan’s notes are below and we hope you will be blessed by them. From 8th March 2020.

GOD WANTS US TO SEE HIS POWER AND TO KNOW WE HAVE ACCESS TO IT.

WE KNOW THAT GOD IS WITH US, BUT THE REALITY OF LIVING IN THAT TRUTH ISN’T ALWAYS AS EASY TO LIVE IN!

THE FATHER HAS ALWAYS REMAINED PRESENT WITH US FROM THE BEGINING, IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, WE ARE TOLD THAT GOD WALKED WITH THE FIRST HUMANS IN THE COOL OF THE DAY.

LATER WHEN HIS PEOPLE WERE NAVIGATING THE DESERT TO BE FREE FROM BONDAGE, GOD HAD MOSES BUILD A TENT OF MEETING WHERE HIS PRESENCE DESCENDED IN A CLOUD THAT COVERED THE TENT AS GOD SPOKE WITH MOSES FACE TO FACE.

IN TIME THE TENT WAS REPLACED BY A TABERNACLE, AND THEN A TEMPLE, AND IN EACH PLACE THERE WAS A PROMISE OF GOD’S PRESENCE.

BUT, ONE NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM THINGS CHANGED, WHEN CHRIST WAS BORN, GOD WAS NO LONGER IN A TENT OR A TEMPLE, NOT IN THE CLOUD OR SOME OTHER MANIFESTATION, GOD WAS NOW AMONG MEN IN THE PERSON OF JESUS, WHOSE NAME IS CALLED EMMANUEL – GOD WITH US.

WHEN OUR EYES ARE OPENED TO THIS REVELATION AND RECOGNISING THE MIRACULOUS WORK OF GOD WHEN DEATH WAS DEFEATED AS GOD CALLED FORTH HIS SON FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL, JESUS WAS ALIVE FOREVER, A VICTORIOUS CHAMPION OVER SIN AND DEATH.

WE SEE THE POWER OF GOD, IT IS LIMITLESS BUT WE DON’T ALWAYS SEE IT CLEARLY, THE APOSTLE PAUL RECOGNISED THIS WHEN HE SAID TO THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS (EPH 1: 18-23)

“I PRAY ALSO THAT THE EYES OF YOUR HEART MAY BE ENLIGHTENED IN ORDER THAT YOU MAY KNOW THE HOPE TO WHICH HE HAS CALLED YOU, THE RICHES OF HIS GLORIOUS INHERITANCE IN THE SAINTS, AND HIS INCOMPARABLY GREAT POWER FOR US WHO BELIEVE.

THAT POWER IS LIKE THE WORKING OF HIS MIGHTY STRENGTH, WHICH HE EXERTED IN CHRIST WHEN HE RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD AND SEATED HIM AT HIS RIGHT HAND IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS, FAR ABOVE ALL AUTHORITY, POWER AND DOMINION, AND EVERY TITLE THAT CAN BE GIVEN, NOT ONLY IN THE PRESENT AGE BUT ALSO IN THE ONE TO COME.

AND GOD PLACED ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET AND APPOINTED HIM TO BE HEAD OVER EVERYTHING FOR THE CHURCH, WHICH IS HIS BODY, THE FULNESS OF HIM WHO FILLS EVERYTHING IN EVERY WAY”

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

I WONDER, IN ORDER TO SEE THE POWER OF GOD IF WE NEED THE EYES OF OUR HEART ENLIGHTENED,

TO RECOGNISE THAT GOD IS STILL AT WORK THROUGH HIS CHURCH TODAY, THE POWER OF GOD IS REVEALED THROUGH YOU AND I WHEN CHRIST IS AT WORK IN US.

GOD WANTS US TO SEE HOW GREAT HIS POWER IS AND TO KNOW THAT WE HAVE ACCESS TO THAT POWER IN CHRIST.

GOD IS NOW AMONG MEN AND WOMEN, WE SEE THIS THROUGH THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND THE PERSON OF CHRIST, HE IS LIVING IN THE HEARTS OF BELIEVERS, CHRIST LIVES IN US.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Good News Translation (GNT)

19 Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God; 20 he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God’s glory.

ALTHOUGH JESUS IS NOT PHYSICALLY WITH YOU, HE HAS GIVEN ‘ANOTHER HELPER’ GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, GOD IS ACTUALLY EVERWHERE ALL THE TIME, AND WE BELIEVE THAT HE IS WITH US IN A POWERFUL WAY AS HIS SPIRIT TAKES UP RESIDENCE IN OUR LIVES.

AS THE SPIRIT FILLS US, WE GROW TO KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO SENSE THAT HE IS NEAR.

(ALPHA EXPERIENCE OF RECIEVING THE HOLY SPIRIT AND SENSING HIS POWER IN DIFFERENT WAYS, ALLAN, TRUDI & YVONNE).

IT ALL BEGINS WITH FAITH, THAT JESUS BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT LIVES IN YOU.

MARK GIVES AN ACCOUNT IN HIS GOSPEL THAT HELPS US UNDERSTAND FAITH.

READING: MARK CH 9 V 14 – 29. Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed.

14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.

16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.

17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you?

How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” (SOME MANUSCRIPTS SAY PRAYER & FASTING).

HERE WE FIND A CRISIS, NOT ONLY FOR THE BOY AND HIS FATHER, BUT ALSO FOR THE DISCIPLES.

It is amazing how quickly we can move from confidence to crisis, especially in regards to our faith. something that we believe so passionately today we are tempted to deny tomorrow. Let’s admit it, We are fickle people, this is the problem that Jesus encounters when he returned from the mountain of transfiguration.

The remaining disciples had attempted to heal this father’s son, who is described as being possessed by a demon. And this time the disciples, who were experienced at performing successful exorcisms (earlier Mark 6:13, tells us “they drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them”), but fail in their attempts to exorcise this demon.

Jesus confronts the situation head on. the problem in this passage is unbelief, but it’s not unique to the disciples, I wonder how many of us would agree with the father of the boy when he said “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief”

Jesus is troubled by the persistent unbelief of the crowd, After all he has done up to this point to display his power, there is still a question as to just how powerful Jesus could possibly be. Maybe there is something out there that he cannot do.

When the father cries out to Jesus, “If you can do anything, Jesus repeats the father’s words, almost sarcastically, “If you can!”

This father is uncertain of Jesus’ power in light of the disciples’ failure, but regardless of how much God’s people may fail, God never fails.

We make the same mistake of unbelief when we begin to doubt God because of the failures of God’s people. How many people today are convinced that God has let them down because the church or other Christians have let them down?

If our faith in God is the same as our faith in the church or your Christian friends or your’e looking for a pain-free life, then you will struggle to believe in the power of God.

In verse 23 Jesus says, “All things are possible for one who believes.”

The father was honest and said “I do believe, help my unbelief”.

That’s probably where we all are to one degree or another, somewhere between belief and unbelief, it’s why we need the eyes of our heart opened, that’s where our faith lies, faith should not come from evidence first, then I’ll believe!

If you compare this passage with its parallels in Matthew and Luke you will find that the conversation between Jesus and the father in verses 21 through 24 is unique to Mark. There must be a reason Mark includes this detail; what Mark wants us to see is that the kind of faith God requires must be rooted in who Jesus is, not in what Jesus can do.

When we express faith— no matter how little it is—in Jesus. You see, unbelief is a treatable condition if we will bring our unbelief to Jesus. The problem is that most people, when they struggle to believe, turn away from God.

Maybe this is why God lets others fail you, so that you will trust in him alone.

God demands faith because faith is powerful. It is powerful not because of what it accomplishes but because of whom it trusts. God demands faith because it directs us away from ourselves and toward him. And that is the essence of being a disciple of Jesus.

Nonbelievers are frequently asked what it would take to convince them about Jesus. But God is not waiting to fulfill the demands for evidence.

If we come to Christ expecting to find all of your questions satisfied before you will believe, I’m afraid God will not cater to your demands. But if we simply come to Christianity through Jesus, receiving him simply in faith that he is who he says he is, then you will find a compassionate God who is eager to strengthen your faith. That’s exactly what Jesus does for this desperate father.

It’s also exactly what he wants to do for each of us, as we believe that He is with us in a powerful way as His Spirit takes up residence in our lives, a shift happens, that’s when we understand that life is not so much about Jesus and me, it’s more to do with Jesus in me.

God requires faith from us because God wants to relate to you and I as a Father not as our personal miracle worker.

God wants to and will reveal His power when we ask. “Help my unbelief!” it’s an amazing statement of faith that Jesus will accept every time.

Each time we pray we are fighting for faith. And nothing pleases God more than to grant faith to those who desire it.

We do have access to the power of God, we need to reveal Christ in us that others would see the power of God in us for his glory.

As we seen in that story, the power of God attracts a crowd, just because I’m a disciple of Christ doesn’t mean others will automatically be attracted to Christ or his church.

Faith needs to be seen, faith lies in what Christ can do that we may be used to reveal Christ in us.

The power of God is in us.