A time to be humbled & then reassured in Christ

Let’s take a time to humble ourselves before God and confess our sins to Him. If you’re on your own, why not read this through in your head and then read it out again as a prayer to God. If you’re with others, perhaps one of you can read it and all join in the AMEN at the end.

Almighty and most merciful Father, we are thankful that your mercy is
higher than the heavens, 
wider than our wanderings, 
deeper than all our sin.
Forgive our careless attitudes toward your purposes,
our being slow or reluctant or even refusing to relieve the suffering of others,
the envy we have to those who have more than we do, or that we think have a better life than us,
our obsession with creating a life of constant pleasure,
The ease with which we are distracted from your wise and gracious ways,
our indifference to the treasures you have for us in heaven with You.
Through Your Son, forgive us our sin.
By Your Spirit, Help us to change from the inside out
so that we may desire what is good,
love what you love,
and do what you command.
In Jesus name. Amen.

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 

(Psalm 103:8-12)

Let’s pray together:

  1. That this ‘crisis’ wouldn’t be one that leaves us unchanged as a nation but rather we might be humbled, might see how fragile our lives and the things that day to day we value are.
    May many people be more willing to seek God and to hear the gospel.
  2. For Christian Doctors and Nurses (here are some great ideas for some things to pray for them) especially those we may know.
  3. For all healthcare professionals, whether Christian or not, for sustenance and competence at this time.
  4. For those among us, or that we know, who’ve been ill this week and those connected to them we're praying won’t get ill: e.g. Helen and Conor. Also Judith (Phil’s sister-in-law).
  5. For Ann and family grieving Frank’s death and getting ready for a funeral under government restrictions on 15th April.
  6. For Donna, that she’d recover from her operation and that results would come back quickly so that she and the doctors can know if further treatment is needed. Pray it wouldn’t!
  7. For those under particular pressure, those with homes full of young children and/or elderly parents as well as for those living on their own.
  8. For wisdom for us to know how we can be a witness to our neighbours, our streets, our town during this time of lockdown and beyond.

AND let’s not forget to give thanks:

"Social distancing is a privilege. It means you live in a house large enough to practice it. Hand washing is a privilege too. It means you have access to running water. Hand sanitizers are a privilege. It means you have money to buy them." (quote from an Indian Doctor seen on Twitter this week)

Also ... Donna’s operation went ahead and she was home the same day, Tammie’s flight made it to the UK, so many of us are well, and God’s promised to be with us and to use all things for our good to make us more like Christ.

Grace Kids (& those who like doodling while listening ... of any age!)

Today's passage has some very colourful things happening!

While I preach, listen in as you are able, but while you do that please can you draw or sketch a picture of Lot's family fleeing from Sodom (which is consumed by fire and sulphur) to the mountains?

Here are some ideas (for the little ones). Include: 

  • a few buildings (Sodom) with lots of red/orange and yellow coming down on it from the sky
  • some hills or mountains
  • and a few figures heading from the buildings to the hills. 

If you feel up to it, an extra level of detail is the angels who lead them and the fact that on the way Lot's wife turns and then is turned to a statue of salt. 

Once you've done that, why not take a picture of it and share it with the church WhatsApp group?
(we'd all love to see it!)

ADULTS: can you help your children to write John 5:24 [whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life] on the page (top or bottom)? 

Genesis 19

As we respond to God’s Word, we’re going to sing an old hymn and a new one.
Both speak of God’s judgment. It’s important we speak and sing of the reality of God’s judgment, whether in history or at the end of time because this his humbles us and it glorifies God, since He is right and is setting the world to rights. But even more these songs lift our eyes and hearts to the glory of God’s saving love for sinners through Christ, who came to earth, lived, died, was raised again for all who will repent and believe in Him. In other words, as the last song so beautifully expresses it, all who are joined to Jesus by faith!

[I’ve put all the verses below, though only 4 are in this version]

Day of judgment! Day of wonders!

Hark! the trumpet’s awful sound,

Louder than a thousand thunders,

Shakes the vast creation round!

How the summons wilt the sinner’s heart confound!

See the Judge, our nature wearing,

Clothed in majesty divine!

You who long for His appearing

Then shall say, “This God is mine!”

Gracious Saviour, own me in that day for Thine!

At His call the dead awaken,

Rise to life from earth and sea;

All the powers of nature shaken

By His look, prepares to flee.

Careless sinner, what will then become of thee?

Horrors, past imagination,

Will surprise your trembling heart,

When you hear your condemnation,

“Hence, accursed wretch, depart!

Thou, with Satan and his angels, have thy part!”

Satan, who now tries to please you,

Lest you timely warning take,

When that word is past, will seize you,

Plunge you in the burning lake:

Think, poor sinner, thy eternal all’s at stake.

But to those who have confessèd,

Loved and served the Lord below,

He will say, “Come near, ye blessèd,

See the kingdom I bestow;

You forever shall My love and glory know.” 

(John Newton)

I am sure that neither death nor life, 
nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come,
nor powers,
nor height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.       
(Romans 8:38-39)

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