This week we're able to sing in church for the first time in over a year!
1 Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. 2 Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. 3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
Father God it's good to come before you with a song of praise on our lips and in our hearts.
We proclaim you as King - ruler over all the earth.
We pray that your kingdom would come on earth as it is in heaven; that you would reign in our lives.
Help us to glorify you in what we say and do.
The Olympics have started
Paul the apostle used the picture of athletes running a race to illustrate the Christian life.
It’s a good picture because
athletes need to work hard to run the race – so do followers of Jesus – its not always easy to put Jesus first in our lives
athletes have to run by the rules or they’ll be penalised – so do followers of Jesus – we don’t obey the rules for our salvation but because we want to please our coach – the key rule is to loving our neighbour as ourselves
athletes run for a prize – so do Christians – the prize of the crown that will last for ever, the crown of righteousness
and finally we run to finish – not just to start – just like John Stephen Akwari in Mexico.
It’s not just about starting the race, but keeping on right to the final finish line.
The next song is O Church Arise and put your armour on (79)
It starts off with the picture of the Christian as a soldier, but in the last verse we’re running the race, running with faith to win the prize…
1:1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,
2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.