I just want to welcome you today! You might be a member of our church family who meet together in normal circumstances, who are still one in The Lord despite our physical distance. Or maybe these very circumstances have caused you to look up church or want to know what this God thing is all about. You might be full of joy today, or weary and full of worries. Whatever your reasons for coming, you’ve come to the right place, because God wants all of our attention and he has something to say to us. May you hear his voice.
Let’s begin then with a song of worship to God.
Jesus, Name Above All Names.
Feel free to sing along. If you don’t know it, just listen to the words as we focus on The name of Jesus:
Jesus Name Above All Names
Let Us Pray
As you read this prayer, may your heart be opened up and may you know the presence of the Lord with you. Just read it in your head or aloud or add your own words to the Lord, if you feel comfortable with that. They don't need to be posh words, just how you would normally speak.
Father God, thank you that we can come into your presence. It doesn't matter where we are, who we are with or whether we are on our own.
Thank you that you have promised to be with us and never leave us if we know you. Thank you that you promise to save completely anyone who calls on your name. Thank you that you say, 'Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.'
Lord Jesus, open my heart today so I hear your voice. Help me to listen without being distracted or distracting others. Help me to worship you and give you glory from my heart in honesty because you have forgiven me.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
Here's an activity that you could try later! Or just be encouraged! Sorry I don't sound that joyful! But bear with, I was concentrating A LOT!!!!
Let's praise God for the everlasting, deep joy He brings. If you don't feel it, say it loud. And cling onto His promises. He WILL rescue you and bring you through.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8
The Joy of the Lord is my Strength
We are going to read from the Bible now: God's word for us.
We are going to read from the book of Mark, chapter 4, verses 1 to 24.
You can read the words below from the English Standard Version or listen to the dramatised audio clip which is from the New International Version. It is the whole chapter of Mark so just stop after verse 24, which says, '"Consider carefully what you hear," he continued. "With the measure you use, it will be measured to you--and even more.'
4:1 Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil.6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The Purpose of the Parables
10 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables,12 so that
“‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’”
13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?14 The sower sows the word.15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy.17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word,19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
A Lamp Under a Basket
21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand?22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light.23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.
Father God thank you for your word, the Bible; that it is alive and is as relevant to us today as when it was written. Please speak to us and change us as a result of what we hear. Help us not to go away and forget what we have heard. Help us not to ignore your voice.
In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Our speaker today is Kalev Ots. Give him a welcome!
Hear what the Lord has given Him to say to us.
Sermon (live from 6am on the 26th)
As we finish, let us sing:
As we think about what we have heard and our response, let's join together to sing or listen to Just As I Am.
Just As I Am
Please join me in a prayer:
Help us to consider what we have heard today. Help us by your Holy Spirit to be like seed planted in good soil that hears the Word and accepts it so that we are changed.
And if we don't yet know you as our own personal saviour and friend, open our ears and our eyes for the first time.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
I have included some links to help you reflect on Christ and his call to us after the service or at a later date.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Oh Church Arise
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