Saturday, September 10, 2016

Preparing for worship on September 11 2016

Each Saturday I try to prepare us for the order of worship at Gastonia First Wesleyan 
Church for the following day.  Tomorrow will be a special day as we honor our Grandparents during the pastoral prayer, followed by a Legacy Luncheon at the close of worship. 

We make our plans, but God has the last word.   Here is the order of worship we have planned for tomorrow.

I plan to begin the worship with a responsive Call to Worship to include a tribute to all grandparents present. After a time of greeting, we will stand together to sing a great hymn of the church:

At the time of the offering - the Choir will present our offertory. 

We now draw our attention to the reading of God's Word in a responsive manner. Praise be to God for His Word!

We bless you for the gift of grandparents, and we ask your blessing on them, that their days may be filled with delight in their grandchildren.
May their giving and grace toward younger generations bring fulfillment to them
and may they be a blessing
to all they love and call grandchildren, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.                              Amen.

“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”                   Matthew 5:6 (NIV)

From my message tomorrow:

 The beatitudes are the building blocks to be like Jesus; they are the qualities and characteristics of the Christlike life. We should be “working up an appetite for God.” Hungering and thirsting for righteousness is at the heart and center of being like Jesus; it sustains you and motivates you to want more of Him.

Remember we can’t just pick and choose which of the beatitudes we would like to have put into our lives; its all or nothing. The beatitudes show us a process of spiritual growth; follow the process as the building blocks are placed in our lives to make us like Jesus.

First, the foundation of being poor in spirit is laid in our lives. The poor in spirit come to the end of themselves and daily die to self. With brokenness and humility we acknowledge our dependence upon God.

Next upon the foundation of being poor in spirit is placed mourning–to be brokenhearted over sin. This is not just a worldly sorrow, but it is to grieve with the heart of God for personal sin, the sin of other believers, and the sinful condition of the world.

As we die to self and are brokenhearted over sin we must then allow Jesus to place the building block of meekness into our lives. The meek are not weak, but have submitted their strength to God. We come to a full surrender and pray like Jesus, “Not my will but yours be done.”

What is the blessing Jesus promises for the poor in spirit, those who mourn and the meek? The poor in spirit receive the kingdom of God; those who mourn are comforted; the meek inherit the earth.

This brings us to the fourth building block hungering and thirsting for righteousness. Jesus promises to fill or satisfy our hunger and thirst, but notice the placement of this fourth building block. IT COMES AFTER THE WORK HAS ALREADY STARTED. Hungering and thirsting after righteousness does not come after a period of inactivity, but it follows a work which has begun!

Your desire for God and “His righteousness” is should be growing. Jesus says, “You will be filled,” but He does not mean you will be stuffed full and never want to eat again. You are satisfied and only want more of God, not the things of the world. He is the best food and drink you have ever had! 

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