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Leytonstone United Free Church Sunday 6th June 2021

Welcome

Today we are reflecting on 1 Corinthians 13:13 and thinking about Faith, Hope and Love.

Call To Worship

Psalm 57: 9-11

I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples;

I will sing to You among the nations.

For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens,

And Your truth unto the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;

Let Your glory be above all the earth.

Song

Our God Is A Great Big GoD

Prayer

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father,

who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

Amen.

Song

10 000 Reasons

Bible Reading

1 Corinthians 13:13
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

SonG

Daystar

Reflection

By Keith Ponto

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13 v 13

Today I would like to invite you to the LUFC Restaurant. We will be serving 3 mains and I’ll be your waiter for today. Enjoy, sit back and relax.

Have you ever entered a restaurant, checking the chairs and table before you sit down and then ask the waiter to drink the water before you drink it? no, a thousand times no! We operate by faith every day without even knowing. Sometimes fear steps in and doubt too.

A few weeks ago, like every morning, I take the rubbish out to the bin. This morning I did the same; lifted the lit and placed the bag inside. As I was about to close the lit, I heard a rattling and out jump a squirrel. I had a big fright and I heard someone laughing from another house to what just happened to me. I was glad it jumped out on the other side of the bin! It not only happened once but twice. I never used that bin again, thinking what if that squirrel would jump on me again. After sometime I build my courage to use that bin again.

The first serving will be Faith.

What is faith.

Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see

Real faith is more than just words, the emotions we feel and more than the idea we debate.

Real faith is expressed in visible ways and always produces change life.

For example, if I see someone I know who needs food or in desperate need for help. I can’t just say "have faith my friend and believe". I need to help that person. Faith is action.

Faith is essential to Believe in God.

Faith is absolute confidence in the wisdom, power and goodness of God.

And it is impossible to please God without faith.

Hebrews 11 v 16

The scripture says that God gave each one a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). Our faith is different from each other, we don’t have the same kind of faith. We might find ourselves in a situation that needs a lot of faith. If we speak to a person that does not have faith like we do, they might discourage us. Or if you speak to someone that has faith like you or even more faith than you, they will encourage you to keep on believing and trusting God. Yes, there are times when doubt and unbelief step in and we don’t have that faith to believe. We can grow and mature in our faith in God through the thousands of promises in the Bible and also asking God to help us.

Let have a look at the video clip of the Great Blondin.

It’s easy to say we believe until action is required.

Our second meal is Hope

I like to go to the same restaurant, hoping the food would be as great as the last time, like most of us. However, my wife likes to try something new and maybe so do you. Sometimes the new restaurant's food is not that good or small portioned. I've left fancy restaurants many times still hungry and looking for a McD’s and KFC nearby.

We hope the food would be great where ever we go.

What is hope.

Hope is the conviction that God will keep his promises about the future. It’s confident expectant and certain, that a desire in God will be fulfilled.

Never loose, hope in God. Luke 18 v 1.

This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our soul.

Hebrews 6 :19

I want to share 3 types of hope

1: Wishful hope.

Wishful hope is like standing in front of a cash machine with no money in your bank account, expecting cash to come out.

2: Expectant hope.

Expectant hope is when for an example you plant a seed in the ground which you expect to grow. This is not always guaranteed.

3: Certain Hope

Hope in Jesus Christ. A hope that is certain is strong, trustworthy and anchor. Certain hope is not based on feelings.

After I released my first CD, I send it to a radio station in Cape Town but did not hear from them for months and nor did they play my music. A friend of mine whose music was playing on the radio already was asking me, if there was something wrong with my music. To be honest I felt quite down and felt like my friend was bragging that the radio station accepted his music within a week. I felt discouraged. After many months I received an invitation to sing at a concert and to my surprise the presenters of the radio station where there. They loved my music and the following day, they started playing my music. I became a radio presenter myself afterwards. I kept on hoping that things would work out and they would play my music. Many might find themselves in a hopeless situation today where you feel alone or sad. Be encouraged, you can hope in God. Our loving Heavenly Father will never abandon us, even when life seems out of control. Don’t ever be afraid to reach out to someone.

Our third meal is Love

We all enjoy a meal made with love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13 v 4 - 8

There are 4 kinds of love expressed in the Greek language. In English we are limited to one word LOVE.

  1. Eros - This is passion love. Sensual or sexual love
  2. Phileo - Friendship
  3. Storge – Natural Love. Loving a family member or a parent for their child.
  4. Agape – The God kind of love. John 3 v 16 type of love, Sacrificial and unconditional. This kind of love we can’t work up on our own, we need God’s help.

The first 3 kinds of Love in Greek are natural to mankind, but the fourth, Agape does not come natural to mankind. We all need God’s help with this kind of love.

If we love each other for a reason then there are conditions to that kind of love. But God’s Love has no conditions.

He loves you and me. Let me say that again, God loves you.

I believe Love is forgiveness and we can’t say we love God and yet do not love our neighbour. Above all, love (1 Peter 4 v 8).

Our human mind will never be able to comprehend the love of God. God loves us.

-

In the early hours of one morning, my brother who was very ill asked my mother to call a brother from church to come and pray for him. My mother, my sister and my niece where in the room with him. My mother told him the brother is sleeping and that she will pray for him. She prayed for him and also said the salvation prayer. After the prayer my brother told my mother, almost looking through them saying, "they want me to go this way but I’m not going, I’m going that way", pointing to the other side. Then he told my mother not to worry about him, his going to have a good sleep. When he laid his head down, he was gone.

Because of his lifestyle living as a gangster, we as a family thought that we would get a call that Lionel is laying died on a street somewhere. But this was not the case, thank God for His love and grace towards us.

We need God to help us with our Faith, we need Friends to help give us Hope at times, we need Family to love.

We can’t have faith without hope and we need love.

God Love Us

Trust steadily in God, Hope unswervingly and Love extravagantly (1 Corinthians 13 v13).

Song

Let their be love shared among us

Intercessions

We pause to consider those people and situations that need our prayers at this time......

Heavenly Father,

thank for your Love and Grace towards us this day.

I pray your blessing on every family member of LUFC and our Nation.

We commit the week ahead, into Your hands

and pray for Your guidance and protecting.

In Jesus Name.

Amen

Song

What Kind Of Love

BENEDICTION

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

and the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with us all,

now and evermore.

Amen.

Credits:

Created with images by biancamentil - "heart leaves foliage" • TimHill - "tree sun sunshine" • Nambasi - "prayer africa people of uganda" • Hucklebarry - "bible scripture book" • SnapwireSnaps - "table chairs furniture" • ValeriaRodrigues - "worship praise singer" • congerdesign - "hearts clothespins clothesline" • Pexels - "christianity clouds cross" • Mbragion - "bible alliance blessing"