Order of Service
G’day and welcome to Partakers Wednesday Worship on the 22th of July, 2015.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving and Joy
O Almighty God, great and wonderful are you!
We praise you God the Father that you cares for us!
We praise you God the Son, Jesus Christ, that you are our saviour and mediator!
We praise you God the Holy Spirit,
that you live inside us as a deposit and seal of our salvation!
We praise you Father, Son and Holy Spirit that You are the very givers of life!
We come now to worship you!
Old Testament reading
Our LORD, let your worshippers rejoice and be glad.
They love you for saving them, so let them always say,
“The LORD is wonderful!”
I am poor and needy, but, LORD God, you care about me,
and you come to my rescue. Please hurry and help.”
New Testament Readings
Luke 6:38 – “Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back-given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
Luke 12:33-34 – “Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bankrobbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
Song: Be thou my vision – Julie McMinn
How is your vision of Jesus Christ?
I wonder how your vision of Jesus Christ is? Practically everybody is comfortable with Jesus as a baby. Almost everybody is comfortable with Jesus as a great moral teacher. Just as they are with the Jesus hanging on a cross as the death of a tragic want-to-be hero. Most Christians are comfortable with the Jesus who rose from the dead to new life and then ascended back to the right hand of God the Father. Most Christians are comfortable with the hope that Jesus will come again and that they will be with Him forever.
But if that’s your vision of Jesus Christ, the most outstanding man in all of history, then I would suggest that your vision of Jesus is too small, too pre-packaged and preconceived! Let me ask a few questions and see how you respond to them!
- Are you comfortable with the Jesus that also demands you die to self and live to, and for, Him alone?
- Are you comfortable with the Jesus who demands that the poor, oppressed and the lonely are taken care of by you?
- Are you comfortable with the Jesus who is going to call you to account for every word you have spoken or thought and not spoken when you had the opportunity?
- Are you comfortable with the Jesus who is going to call you to account for every opportunity you have taken in His name or missed taking in His name?
- Are you comfortable with the Jesus who calls you to serve Him alone and commands that you serve others as part of your service of Him?
- Are you comfortable with the Jesus who calls you to give, keep giving and trust in Him to supply your needs?
How did you get on? How is your commitment to Jesus Christ? When Jesus Christ called you to follow Him, He called you to follow Him wholeheartedly and committed to only Him. How is your vision of Jesus Christ now?
Jesus Christ calls people to be totally committed to himself. Perhaps the greatest indicator of your commitment to Jesus Christ is in your giving? How is your giving? Jesus talked about giving quite a lot, as indicated by our readings in Luke 6 and 12. God gave everything so that you may have life and life in abundance. Not for its own sake, but for the sake of Jesus Christ. So by giving generously, you are reflecting that God has given abundantly to you. And a further suggestion is that you don’t make a big show of your giving but do it quietly and secretly if you can, so that all the glory goes to God and Him alone.
Giving generously is not just financial. It could be an email, a smile, a touch, a kind word or a phone call. These things too are valuable to the recipient, particularly the lonely and oppressed. Go and give what you can. We are to give generously, but not just to those we like. Just as we are not to love only those we like and get on with. We are commanded to love everybody, particularly our enemies, and give to those in need.
Imagine the impact for the spread of Jesus Christ, if Christians and churches gave like that in their communities! Many people speak that prayer we read from the Old Testament – Psalm 40-v17 – crying out to God for help. It may well be, that you can be God’s arms and legs for that person, crying it out to God in prayer. Ask God to expand your imagination to give and then be prepared to follow it and give to others. May your vision of Jesus Christ be enhanced through your imaginative giving!
Lord, in your mercy, expand our imagination to give to all others generously what we can, to be your arms and legs and to be the answer to the cries of somebody else. Amen.
May the love of God the Father, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore. Amen
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