God Loves You – Sunday Service – 19 July 2020

God Loves You – Sunday Service – 19 July 2020

Today, Vanessa shares what she feels God has been sharing with her and with us. God loves us, and we deserve His love, because He wants to give it to us!

Transcript

He loves you

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
John 15:9

He loves me.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.

    Before you were born I set you apart

    and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:5

He made me – on purpose.

He made me a girl – on purpose.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

He chose me.

He loves me.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

    my soul knows it very well.

Psalm 139:14

He made me unique.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

I am his masterpiece.

I am His special creation.

I am His finest workmanship.

He loves me.

He created me to do things only I can do. I created good things for me to do, and He created me to do them. He created me perfectly and gives me all I need – perfectly – to perfectly do what only I can do.

Mas-ter-piece

(n) a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship; something done with great skill

He knew me before He made me or anything else, ever. I was ALWAYS in His plan and no part of anything He has ever made has been a mistake.

I am His.

I am His special creation.

Deuteronomy 31:6,8 Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

I am strong because He has made me strong.

7 In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

Ephesians 1:7

 

I am redeemed because He has bought me back from the enemy and set me free from slavery to fear and sin and shame.

So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Gal. 4:7

 

I am a legitimate child, an heir of the kingdom. 

I was nothing, lost and sold and enslaved and worthless and meaningless and unworthy with no future and no past and purpose and He bought me and washed me and gave me a perfect past – His own! And gave me an unshakeable, incomparable, perfect future – WITH HIM!

I am a child of God. Not a god. THE GOD! The ONE Who created absolutely everything, everywhere, ever. That God. The Master of the Universe. The Lord of ALL creation for all of time and space. The High King of everything! The only one Who is entitled to make any laws and who makes all things good. The One who is worthy of all praise and all glory and is perfectly and ultimately and unmistakable LORD AND MASTER. Higher than any king or queen. More powerful than any lord or master. More worthy of respect and awe than any being that has ever breathed – greater than the mightiest sea monster, more massive than the largest mountain, more immense than the deepest ravine or all of the oceans or the furthest extent of space – all wrapped up together. All of that and more. He spoke it – with a single word, He breathed it all into being.

He made it all and He made us and of course He gets to make the rules and plot the course of time and space and all events and each of our destinies. Of course He does. He made us. Not only that, after we ran away from Him (how blind and foolish and misled and deceived we must have been to make such a devastating choice!) – after we ran away and lost and squandered everything He’d ever given us and every hope of blessings still to come – after all of that, when we’d sunk so low we’d sold ourselves in desperation to try and attain some degree of freedom, sold ourselves in foolish, wilful arrogance to the worst of the worst, to the devil himself, giving our futures to the hater of our souls simply to avoid being loved beyond understanding or belief – when we were in darkness and chains and rebellion, with our faces firmly turned away from our faithful living God, what did He do? Did He leave us to our fates, as we so clearly deserved? Stuck at the bottom of the endless, steaming, cess-filled abyss with no hope and filled with rage and rebellion against our loving Maker, did He turn away in disappointment and try again with a fresh, new, wiser race?

No.

Then, when we needed Him most and hated Him most and were most fixedly His enemies – then He came for us. He sought us out. He bought us back, even though we were actually always His own property. We were never ours to sell, yet we sold ourselves for nothing, to be destroyed. And He wouldn’t let us go. His precious pearls of creation – He fought for us and bought us back.

At what cost? What could we possibly cost, who had thrown away everything and deserved nothing and had shown ourselves worthless and insolent and hateful and rude? Surely it would be a small thing to buy back what was yours – especially when it was defective?

No.

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens…

4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Psalm 8:1;4-5

 

No small price for the crown of His creation.

For even though we ourselves do not see our worth and we so willingly throw away His rich gifts for the illusion of earthly freedom and the price of eternal bondage, even so, He values us more than all He has ever made. He values us. We have worth to Him, because He made us. Because we are His. Because He loves us. Because He wants us. He wanted to make us, because He is so completely LOVE that His deep love overflowed and became humankind. And He was not willing to lose those He loved.

No, not willing at all.

So He gave it all. Everything. More than any human mind or all human minds together could ever hope to fathom or understand or imagine or conceive. More – infinitely more than all of that.

He gave Himself.

That wicked schemer, hater of man, the devil, knew what we are worth to the One who deems us worthy, and in his malice and spite demanded it all.

He gave all He was and all He is for us, so that we could be all He made us to be. So that we could be free.

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

 

And He has set us free indeed.

And then, in great victory and triumph of good over evil, of love over hate, of life over death, the mighty lover of our souls conquered death forever and rose in triumph. He has freed us from our bonds and slavery – yes! But more than that, He has freed us forever from death and destruction.

Whatever may ever happen to our bodies, we ourselves are free, now and forever.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son [2] into the world that we might live through him.

John 1:7-9

Freed for love. Freed by love. Freed to love.

We are free indeed!

Praise God for His might and glory! Praise Him for His mercy and grace! Praise Him for freeing us forever from the evil one!

He made us on purpose.

He loves us on purpose.

He made us for love and He fills us with love because He is love. Not the happy bubbles of a freshly minted crush. Not the pleasant warmth of joy when we see a small kitten. Not the soppy sentimentality or even fired up action that comes from seeing or helping the less fortunate.

No.

Real love. Love that changes lives. Love that releases destinies. Love that heals the sick and frees the chained and speaks truth to power and the powerless. Love that roars with power. Love whose silence brings peace. Love that reflects the most needful things. Love that defines identities as we look to the One who IS love, who created each of us with a unique and purposeful, fearful and wonderful identity.

Who created each of us with purpose, on purpose.

Romans 8:31–32

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

 

He loves you.

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Yes, YOU.

You who swears. You who smokes. You who gossips. You who drinks too much. You who works too hard. You who wastes time. You who watches too much TV. You who lies or cheats or steals. You who hates your brother and seethes murder in your heart. You whose bitterness has devoured your hope like cancer in the bones. You who gave up on yourself so long ago you can’t bring yourself to believe in a God who would see anything in you. You. You who think, if God knew me – really knew me – He’d never turn to me again. He’d spit me out. He’d never hear my prayers (and He never does). You, who’s believed every lie the devil ever fed you about yourself and your future and your God. You.

You’re the one He loves.

You know who I’m speaking to.

You’ve heard Him tugging on your heartstrings. You’ve heard Him whispering to you at night. You hear Him now, promising you this is true. Pleading with you to believe He is speaking to you. He means you. He loves you. Yes, YOU. On purpose. 

Who are we that the God of the universe should plead with us for anything?

He made us and owns us and could just command us. Surely?

Yet He does. He pleads.

And what does He plead?

He whispers, pleading, hear Me. Believe Me. The one who hates you tells you lies about who you are and how I see you. Ignore him. Resist him. Don’t listen. Don’t believe. Don’t fall for his lies.

Jeremiah 31:3

3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

I am the One who made you.

I am the One who saved you.

I am the One who heals you.

I am the One who loves you.

Believe Me.

I love you.

Believe Me.

I made you worthy of my love.

Believe Me.

I bought you.

On purpose.

I WANTED you.

On purpose.

You are not a mistake.

My death was not a mistake.

I wanted you then and I want you now.

Because I love you.

You deserve My love because I want to give it to you.

I made you worthy of My love.

Stop doubting.

It’s true.

I love you.

I want you.

Believe Me.

Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.

Prayer

Father God, we give thanks to You, God of heaven, for your love endures forever. Thank You for making us and loving us and wanting us. Thank You, Jesus, for paying the price to buy us back when we’d run away and sold ourselves. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for teaching us who we are. Help us believe. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

 

Our Master Craftsman – Sunday Service – 12 July 2020

Our Master Craftsman – Sunday Service – 12 July 2020

God is the Master Craftsman

In today’s talk, Andover Vineyard pastor Hedley Munckton helps us understand the changes God is doing in us and how (and why) we can be transformed to be more like Him. His plans for us are perfect and as He transforms us, He brings out the best in us.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/2co.3.18.ESV

We don’t always enjoy the change, but it’s always good. Sometimes the change is the result of personal growth because of obedient, sometimes it’s the result of disobedience and important lessons learned.

Each one of us is a construction site, under construction by the Master. We should expect change. Part of the purpose of the church is to be with each other and there for each other during the difficult times.

The smart thing is to go with His plan and not resist, as resistance leads to more pain in the long run.

He is changing us by degrees to reflect His glorious image.

We are His masterpieces.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:10 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/eph.2.10.NLT

He has the best for us and will do the best. When He asks us to change, we need to allow Him to do His work. And we need to be there for each other and be one another as each of us is being changed.

We also need to be challenging one another: “What is God telling you? How are you going to respond?”

Pentecost 2020

Pentecost 2020

It’s Pentecost Sunday and we’re celebrating the fact that Jesus sent His Spirit, our Comforter, to fill and guide us.

Find out what Pentecost means for believers and the world in this talk by Vineyard leader Eleanor Mumford.

Peace and Hope during the Pandemic

Peace and Hope during the Pandemic

In today’s talk, Life Group leader Ed Morgan helps us find peace and hope during times of crisis.

Ed reminds us that this isn’t the first time the world has faced a pandemic. We feel stressed because the situation is out of our control. But this can serve as a useful reminder that things are never under our control.

God is in control. And when our eternal security is in Him, we are SAFE.

  1. We have a hope in heaven (John 14:1-4)

    Jesus is the way to heaven. When we know Him, we know the way to heaven and our hope is in our eternally secure home.

    Human beings are not an afterthought to God – our heavenly home belongs to us. He made it for us.

  2. We have a home in heaven (Phil. 3:20-21)

    We are citizens of heaven: we belong there. When things feel disordered or out of control, when we feel we don’t fit in or belong, we can rejoice in having a place – the perfect place – where we belong completely.

Even though we may not know what’s going to happen now, we do know what comes next. We have eternal citizenship and eternal security. We have a permanent, lasting, forever home in heaven.

And when our perspective is beyond the here and now, focused on forever, we can have peace and hope no matter what’s going on around us.

The Prodigal Son – Sunday Service – 19 April 2020

The Prodigal Son – Sunday Service – 19 April 2020

In today’s talk, Hedley unpacks the story of the Prodigal Son.

He shows how God so loves us that He accepts us just as we are, embracing us and loving us with all His heart – no matter how much we’ve messed up!

  1. We forget how much the Father loves us and is willing to welcome us, no matter what state we’re in.
    There’s nothing we can do to make Him love us any more than He does now… and there’s nothing we can do to make Him love us any less!
  2. We focus on our failures, but He focuses on our future.
    He’s longing to reveal to us how He sees us (the masterpiece of creation!) and what He’s got planned for us (good things, plans to prosper us and give us hope).
  3. He puts sandals on our feet to show that we’re no longer slaves.
    We’re free from the bondage of sin. We’ve been set free by the precious blood of Jesus!

If you’d like to find out more about the Immanuel Prayer Hedley mentions in this talk, we’d love to answer your questions or minister to you in prayer. Contact us to find out more.

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