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?”

Commit your way to the Lord – Sunday Service – 14 June 2020

Commit your way to the Lord – Sunday Service – 14 June 2020

Commit your way to the Lord and your will succeed.

Today, Vanessa shares what it means to COMMIT your way to the Lord.

She outlines the three steps to the success Solomon describes in Proverbs 16:1-5:

  1. Commit: resolve to follow God.
  2. Consider: listen to what He’s saying to you and consider how to take action.
  3. Complete: complete the tasks assigned to you. 

His plans for your unique life are tailored to who He created you to be. Living the life you were created to live leads to victory, fulfilment, and success.

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.

Raise an Ebenezer – Sunday Service – 26 April 2020

Raise an Ebenezer – Sunday Service – 26 April 2020

In today’s talk, Vanessa discusses the importance of a rock of remembrance – also called an “Ebenezer” in the Bible.

She shares the three Rs of Remembrance:

  1. Record it.
  2. Reverence it.
  3. Recount it.

Watch next:

Something to meditate on:

You can read the full transcript below.

Transcript

Good morning, Church. Welcome to another beautiful Sunday morning at Andover Vineyard online. It’s wonderful to be able to share God’s Word with you all today, to be able to meet online and to catch up with you all via technology. I’m so grateful to God for the incredible minds He’s given software engineers and infrastructure gurus and everyone who has made it possible for us to meet like this today.

We really are living in the future – and it’s amazing.

Before we start, let’s pray together.

Lord, thank You for all You have done – both now and in the years that have gone before. We praise You for all of Your great and mighty deeds, and we thank You for your infinite, boundless grace and love for each of us. Help us never to forget how great You are, all You have promised us, and how much You have already done for us. 

Amen.

Yes, we’re living in the future. As Hedley mentioned in last week’s talk, if this lockdown had happened even a few years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to meet online like this at all. That would have been terrible! The coronavirus crisis is very hard, but made so much easier to bear by the fact that it’s happening now, in this modern age.

What I want to talk to you about today, however, is the past. Specifically, remembering the past. I want to talk to you about stones of remembrance.

There’s a beautiful old hymn – Come Thou Fount, written by Robert Robinson – which includes these four lines:

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’m come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

“Raise mine Ebenezer” – that’s a weird sentence, right?!

What IS an Ebenezer?

That’s what we’re here to find to find out. Turn with me (or open your device) to 1 Samuel 7:3-13

Samuel Judges Israel

3 And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your heart to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 

4 So the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they served the Lord only.

5 Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” 

6 So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before the Lord and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah. 

7 Now when the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 

8 And the people of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” 

9 So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. And Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. 

10 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the Lord thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel. 

11 And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them, as far as below Beth-car.

12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.” 

13 So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 

The context of this passage is that the Ark of the Lord had just been returned to Kiriath-Jearim in Israel from the Israelites in Beth-shemesh, who had received it back from the Philistines. The Philistines had previously captured the ark and put it into the temple of their god, Dagon. 

Hilariously (at least to me), every night, Dagon would fall face down in front of the Ark. The Philistines would put him back upright again, but he kept falling down before the Ark of the Lord. Not long after the Philistines put God’s Ark in their pagan temple, their idol was found with his head and hands completely severed from his body. They removed the Ark of the Lord from their temple, but wherever they put it, the people of those towns were afflicted with haemorrhoids and plagues of rats until, eventually – in desperation – the Philistines returned the Ark to Israel. 

The Israelites celebrated the return of the Ark of the Lord and their priest, Samuel, gave them the injunction I’ve just read: turn from your gods and worship the one true God.

All of Israel agreed. They swore an oath to keep God’s Word. Then God gave them a mighty victory over the very same Philistines who’d just returned the Ark.

It’s what Samuel does next that God has been speaking to me about this week. 

Samuel sets up a stone of remembrance – an EBENEZER.

We need to do the same.

Now, this isn’t the first time we see stones of remembrance in the Bible. 

Interestingly, an earlier reference to stones of remembrance occurs at the very same spot – Mizpah (also called Galeed). 

Jacob flees Laban

This story involves Jacob, who was running away from his father-in-law, Laban, with his wives and children and flocks and all that he had. He was running to his brother Esau, to find shelter from Laban. But Laban tracked him down and demanded an explanation for his sneakiness. 

They nearly came to blows and things could have gone very badly for both sides. But God was with Jacob and brought peace. He appeared to Laban in a dream and warned him not to harm Jacob or his family, or take anything that belonged to Jacob.

Genesis 31:44-50 tells us what happened next. Laban says to Jacob:

44Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I. And let it be a witness between you and me.” 

45So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 

46And Jacob said to his kinsmen, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 

47Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed.

48Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” Therefore he named it Galeed (which means witness), 

49and Mizpah (which means watchpost), for [Labaln]  said, “The LORD watch between you and me, when we are out of one another’s sight. 

50If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.” 

May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are apart

May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are apart

 

Jacob flees Esau

Many years before this, Jacob’s sneakiness had gotten him into trouble again and he had to escape for his life from his brother Esau – the very man he was running to now! 

When Jacob was running away from Esau, he spent the night in Bethel. 

That night, he had a dream about a ladder descending from heaven and angels moving up and down on it – the famous “Stairway to Heaven”. 

In Genesis 28:18 we read,

So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it.

The name of the place – Beth El – House of God – was based on that vision.

How awesome is this place? It is none other than the House of God. Here is the Gate of Heaven!

Joshua leads the Israelites into Israel

Long before Samuel arrived on the scene, before the Israelites had a home, when Joshua led them into the Promised Land, they crossed the river of Jordan at Gilgal.

Joshua 4:1-6a tells us:

1 When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 

2 “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, 

3 and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” 

4 Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. 

5 And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, 

6 that this may be a sign among you. 

The story later goes on to explain that they didn’t only set up the stones on the shore of the Jordan, where they camped. They also set up twelve stones inside the river, at the place where the priests were standing, holding the Ark of the Lord, while the whole of Israel crossed the flooding Jordan on dry ground.

Be strong and very courageous

The rocks were reminders of what God had done.

It’s so important to remember and honour God and all that He has done

If you use the Bible app YouVersion, you may have seen the reading plan ‘Through the Bible in a Year, by Nicky Gumble (who founded Alpha). I’m busy working through it at the moment. This week, I was really struck by the observations he drew from Psalm 50. He says:

“When it comes down to it, there are only two possible attitudes to God. We can honour Him or we can hate Him. For God says, ‘Those who sacrifice thank-offerings honour Me’ (Ps.50v.23). 

He contrasts those who ‘hate My instruction’ (Ps.50v.17a).

Those who ‘hate’ God ignore him and ‘forget God’ (v.22). The twentieth century saw the terrible consequences of the actions of those who forgot Him and hated His instruction.

As the great Russian novelist, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, considered the great disasters ‘that swallowed up some 60 million’ Russians, he saw the principal trait of the twentieth century was that ‘people have forgotten God’.

The contrast to forgetting God is a life honouring Him – one full of thankfulness and praise: ‘It’s the praising life that honours Me. As soon as you set your foot on the Way, I’ll show you My salvation’ (v.23, MSG).”

Nicky Gumble

So today, I’d like to leave you with

Three Rs for Rocks of Remembrance

 

1. Record it  

In law, we have the concept of an eye witness: someone who saw an event and can provide credible testimony of what happened. In a trial, that eye-witness testimony is recorded and becomes something tangible, something official.

How do you steward the deeds and words and promises of God?

We need to treat our encounters with God as having that kind of weight. They are weighty, official, real Things, and we need to treat them as such. We need to record them in some meaningful way that we can look back on.

That is what a stone of remembrance is: it’s a physical embodiment of the mighty acts of God. Impossible to miss. The name given to one of the first places where a rock of remembrance was erected is Galeed, which means witness. It’s an official record of a solemn act. 

And that place’s other name, Mizpah – the name that survived history to Samuel’s day – means watch post. It’s a look-out spot. It’s a device that helps ensure we don’t forget. 

Think of a contract: you make a promise to do something, and set up a way to remind yourself of what you’ve promised and keep watch against infringement. A wedding ring is like that: a tangible, visible way of saying to the world: I have promised to be faithful to someone. It makes it so much harder to break that promise. In the same way, a rock of remembrance becomes a place to keep watch against any infringement of the contract.

2. Reverence it

Reverence what God does and says and shows you.

In Psalm 77:10, David says:

And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.” 

But then I recall all you have done, O Lord ; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations. By your strong arm, you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. When the Red Sea saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled! The sea quaked to its very depths. The clouds poured down rain; the thunder rumbled in the sky. Your arrows of lightning flashed.

Psalms 77:10‭-‬17 NLT

When we worship God – no matter what the circumstances – we find a new, deeper connectedness to the Father. 

Thanking Him, praising Him, appreciating Him – it unlocks something in us and sets us free.

3. Recount it

Over and over again in the Bible, God exhorts the Israelites: Tell your children.

It’s so clear from the passages of scripture that God really, really cares that our children see and know and experience our faith. From Adam to the end of Revelation, we’re reminded to pass on what we’ve seen and heard to our children – and that includes our spiritual children. It’s really clear that He LOVES our children. He has no grandchildren – our children are His children. And He’s given us the sacred duty and awesome privilege of sharing Him with them. In fact, He commands us to do it.

Just listen to what it says in Psalm 78:3-5 (this is The Passion Translation)

3-4 We’ve heard true stories from our fathers about our rich heritage.

We will continue to tell our children

and not hide from the rising generation

the great marvels of our God—

his miracles and power that have brought us all this far.

5 The story of Israel is a lesson in God’s ways.

He established decrees for Jacob and established the law in Israel,

and he commanded our forefathers to teach them to their children.

Three Rs of Remembrance - Record, Reverence, Recount

We’ve just finished Passover (about ten days ago). This year, our family followed a Passover devotional for each night of Passover, and what really struck me about this is how the entire festival is designed to draw questions out of our children – to encourage them to ask why? – so that we can create opportunities to answer and tell them why we do these things. 

We do these things to remember what God has done for us. To remember how great and powerful He is. He is able.

We need to record His mighty acts and wonderful promises – write them down, reflect on them, return to them again and again, ponder what He’s done and said and shown us, meditate on these things. So that we don’t forget. So that they become part of us. And so that we can tell others.

As we do this, we strengthen our faith. We spark faith in others. We ignite joy. And we overcome.

Let’s pray together:

O Lord, Who can be compared with You LORD our God,

who is enthroned on high?

6You stoop to look down

on heaven and on earth.

7You lift the poor from the dust

and the needy from the garbage dump.

8You set them among princes,

even the princes of Your own people!

9You give the childless woman a family,

making her a happy mother. 

Psalm 113:5-9

Yes Lord, You are great and mighty. You have done wonderful things – more wonderful than we can imagine! You are our God and our King, our Lord and our Father. You are our Saviour and our Brother and our Friend.

Help us never to forget. Restore the joy of our salvation.

We love You, Lord.

Amen.

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