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Leytonstone United Free Church Sunday 11th April 2021

Welcome

Good morning. The theme for today is “Don’t give up”. We know we are going through difficult times right now, but let us hold onto the promise, that the Lord will never leave us or nor will He forsake us, because He is always with us.

Call To Worship

From Psalm 100

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!

Serve the Lord with gladness;

Come before His presence with singing.

Know that the Lord, He is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

For the Lord is good;

His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations.

Let's Listen And Sing

God Will Make A Way

Don Moen

God will make a way, Where there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see. He will make a way for me.

Way Maker

Passion ft. Kristian Stanfill, Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes

And You are Way maker, miracle worker. Promise keeper, light in the darkness My God, that is who You are

Prayer

Father, I humbly approach your throne of grace and mercy today, asking that You touch my life

Lord, as I’m struggling, battling and fighting with what I cannot even begin to comprehend.

Father, I rebuke illness and diseases, depression and anxiety in Your might name.

Be my guide, be my comforter.

Lord, please draw near, wrap me in Your warm loving arms, may I never give up.

Lord, I cling to You and feel strength and mighty power as it infiltrates my mind, body and soul.

I will emerge victorious from this darkness, and mount up on wings as the eagles.

I will soar high and as they do, I praise Your Holy name.

Father, You are that little glimmer of hope that I keep hanging on to.

I pray that all I am struggling with will vanish.

I will be an overcomer, in Jesus mighty name,

Amen

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.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

Bible Readings

1 John 1: 1-2:2

That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life (and the life was revealed, and we have seen, and testify, and declare to you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was revealed to us); that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us. Yes, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ. And we write these things to you, that our joy may be fulfilled.

This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and don’t tell the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we haven’t sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin. If anyone sins, we have a Counsellor with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.

Luke 22: 31 - 32

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Reflection

by

Keith Ponto

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.

It’s important to note, The Lord wanted Simon to hear, that’s why he called his name twice. Its almost like a parent, they call once and the second time you better listen. There were a few people who God called twice like, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Martha, Paul and even Jesus called My God, My God while he was on the cross.

Satan has been on this trip before, when he was allowed to test Job and said Job would turn away from God when he faces all sorts of trial and tribulation, even lost his children but Job continued to Worship God.

Now he asks to sift Simon as wheat. His main aim is to bring separation between Simon and God. Thousand years later Satan is still trying to separate us from God. It’s super important that we continue to grow our faith through scripture and prayer.

Simon was about to go through a trial. I can almost hear the Lord saying to him, (if I can paraphrase it). Simon, Simon you are about to go through this trial, but remember this, I've Got Your Back, don’t give up, have faith in Me, I have been praying for you.

It’s good to hear when you get a call or someone say they have been praying for you. There was an older lady back home in South Africa and whenever I called, she would tell me that she has been praying for me, that’s encouraging.

The Lord told him, after you get through this, when you come back to me, encourage your brothers. We need each other, someone might be going through the same thing you went through and now you are able to encourage them.

The past year has been difficult for all of us. None of us has been here before. The world went on Lockdown, almost everything shut down. Washing your hands 100 times a day. You should see, how my hand looked, and it still in recovery, I need more lotion.

Wearing a mask, which I don’t like. Standing in long queues and when someone coughs, everyone turns around or we want to walk faster away from the person coughing. It’s almost like we all have been sifted. But someone has been praying for us

I got this from Google: What is the meaning of sift?

1 : to pass or cause to pass through a sieve sift flour. 2 : to separate or separate out by or as if by passing through a sieve.

Sometime last year we started baking banana muffins. Just to let you know, it came out great. My kids enjoyed the muffins. I had to sift the flour to get out the lamps so that that it would be fluffier, lighter.

Sometimes there’s benefits being sifted. It’s separates the wheat from chaff, helps the flour to be fluffier and lighter

I think we only get stronger after we’ve been through some stuff and it makes as better and sometimes wiser. What the enemy meant for evil, God will turn it around for your good!

I love this quote: Things don't not happen to us but for us.

Millions around the world died due to Covid-19, jobs lost, companies closedown and so much more. It feel like we’ve been going through a sift. So many people emotionally effected. Myself was sick for almost a month, my wife was not well. I have been out of work for some time, not getting paid. Lost my mother in law who past away in January, I don’t have words, just sad.

Friends who died, a husband and wife. It felt like we were shaken to the core. So many questions why and it’s easy to say why me and blame God. I wondered how Job felt after he lost everything. Satan wanted Job to blame God and he wants us to do the same.

It’s important that we build our faith in God through scripture. I’m reminded about David, when his own people wanted to kill him, he encouraged himself in the the Lord and found strength. We can only do that if we continue to stay in the word.

My mom turned 80 last July, our flights were cancelled and we couldn’t go to South Africa to attend her 80th birthday. I was sad because I so much wanted to be there. I decided to celebrate my mom’s 80th birthday around the world. I contacted friends from South Africa, USA, Puerto Rico, Australia, Hong Kong, UK to send birthday wishes on video. My mom was blessed and friends, even people on social media were encouraged by the messages.

I could’ve felt sorry for myself and blame God and everything else and could’ve missed the opportunity to be an encouragement to my mom and others. Even Doen Moen sang Happy birthday to my mom and his song God will make a way. Someone has been praying for me and for you.

Even Christ was sifted on the cross and He called out My God, My God. He could’ve given up, what Satan wanted but He went through the crucifixion, for us.

Remember, Things does not happen to us but for us.

When we find ourselves it that valley of pain, hurt, lost and sickness, remember the Lord is with us and He will carry us through, Ps 23 . He said, He is with us always, Isaiah 41:10.

You will face many defeats in life but never let yourself be defeated.

Maya Angelou

The scripture says:

weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning,

Psalm 30 v 5

Don’t give up, someone is praying for you.

When we’ve been through tough times, being sifted, we can say the Lord has help us through. 1 Samuel 7:12

Now, we can go and be an encouragement to other.

We no more share out of the wounds, the hurt and the pain but from the scars of life that have been healed, to be a blessing to someone who is going through what we’ve been through.

Let us continue to grow in faith and prayer.

Remember, Life doesn’t happen to us, it happens for us, don’t give up. God has got your back. I’m praying for you.

Be Someone’s Strength, Be Someone’s Inspiration, Be Someone’s reason to Never Give Up.

Song

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Keith Ponto

When you're weary, Feeling small. When tears are in your eyes, I'll dry them - all I'm on your side.

Intercessions

We remember that although Easter Sunday was a week ago, we are still in the season of Easter.

Let us pray for those who do not share our Easter joy. We pray for those who live in the shadow of darkness and despair; for those who live with the hopelessness of shattered dreams, trust betrayed, opportunities, lost love denied;

For those who live without faith or hope or love; who see no resurrection, no hope of new beginnings for themselves or for the world.

If Christ be truly risen, let us show forth his resurrection so that all who meet us shall know that he is risen indeed!

Let us also remember our Royal Family here in the UK who mourn the passing of the family patriarch and devoted husband to the Queen; HRH Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh who passed away this week. We join with the all across the country, the Commonwealth and the world who mourn his passing at this time. We, of course, also pray for all who grieve the passing of loved ones close to them, where-ever they may be.

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayers.

Amen

Song

Raise A Hallelujah

Passion ft. Brett Younker

I raise a Hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies. I raise a Hallelujah, louder than the unbelief. I raise a Hallelujah, my weapon is a melody. I raise a Hallelujah, Heaven comes to fight for me.

Blessing

The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,

And give you peace.

And Now may the Love of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all.

Amen

Let Us Go In Peace And Servce The Lord.

Credits:

Intercession Prayer: — from Easter Reflections by Pat Baker from The Billabong: a worship resource following the Revised Common Lectionary. Images by kangbch - "barley field wheat agriculture" • geralt - "cross sunset humility" • 263582 - "candle light church" • Hucklebarry - "bible scripture book" • Pexels - "bible book open" • stux - "breakdown warning triangle car breakdown" • rottonara - "mask protection virus" • blickpixel - "gift made package" • jeffjacobs1990 - "jesus god bible"