Sunday 10th January

Service Transcript & Video

So ….  Good morning and welcome Everyone. So good to have you with us…We’re feeling quite alone in here this morning… but We feel that it’s right NOT have ‘in person’ services for the rest of January at least..

It’s part of loving GOD and loving our community and Not wishing to put anyone’s lives at risk when our hospital staff are under such immense pressures..

 

Announcements:

1.There will be no one in the church office this Thur morning… but please…if we can help you in any way… do get in contact with Sonya, myself, our youth workers, our elders… We are here for You and with you in all that you are struggling with .  

2.  Reminder from the Treasurer to all Groups and organization in SST… Need you accounts for 2020  and closing balance of 2019 should be the same as opening balance of 2020. 

4.  With great sadness we announce the death of Jim (China) Moore after a long struggle with illness… We feel so much for Amanda, David, Cheryl and Colin… as well as the family circle.. Jim’s brother Gary and sister Sandie Davies who works for Operation Mobilization in England.

Funeral is going to be here in SST on Thur at 2pm. Obviously it is restricted to 25 so we are going to livestream the funeral and you can pick it up just like you are picking this up on Youtube..

 

Think that’s all the Announcements…

 

If you thought that 2020 was bad…. 

What a start we’re having to 2021!!

Here we are.. 

Immediately into strict lockdown

Soaring covid rates going thru the roof

Hospitals overwhelmed and hospital staff exhausted…

Children and parents distressed and distraught by the whole uncertainty around AQE and GCSE exams….

Church closed for public worship…

 

And it’s only   the 10th January….

So what MORE are we to expect  in 2021?

 

And on top of all of this YOU as a congregation are facing the extra challenge and uncertainty of my retiring… a period of vacancy and then New leadership…

Hopefully … there is a sadness and a sense of loss with My going…

And yet I am so keen for you to see my retiring and the coming of a New minister.. Not as something that is a Negative thing…  

 BUT to grasp it as a glorious opportunity to see GOD do some NEW and wonderful things amongst us

 in this congregation and in this town community which we love…

I want you to approach this year with a real sense of  faith and expectancy.

Q. What if we were to step into 2021.. expecting so much MORE…

Longing for GOD to do so much MORE… than we’ve ever seen GOD do.. in our lives before…

SO those fabulous words of Ephesians 3v 20 are right at the centre of our worship to-day…

“NOW unto Him who is able to do…  exceedingly MORE…  super abundantly MORE… than all that we could ask or imagine…”

 

So  Let’s pray collectively as we gather to worship the LORD…

           Psalm 105 TP read…

 

Pray…..

 

Worship songs…. (Not bring in our band)

           2 songs:

Birthday Blessings… Aisling…

 

Children’s talk: 

 

Children’s song:    I love YOU… Gillian/Isla

 

 

Prayer for others:

We come very conscious of the grave challenges facing us as a nation… as a world…. Facing and fighting this pandemic…

And as well as that here in NI there is the distress of cancelled exams… 

There are huge challenges facing democracy in the US… and there are 

 the earthquakes that are causing HUGE distress to our friends in Croatia… some of us from SST were on teams there..

Hospital staff… medical profession… patients who are fighting Covid … those at home who need medical help for other conditions…

Children.. parents.. teaching staff… facing the whole uncertainty of exams… no exams…

Political leaders who need Your wisdom and guidance in an ever changing battle with covid 19

See the crisis in America… pray for good and godly leadership there…

Feel the pain of friends in Croatia… homes and lives are devastated by the earthquakes… reduced to rubble..

 

 

    Bible Reading:  Ephesians 3v 11-21

“ Because of Christ and our faith in Him we can now come fearlessly into God’s Presence, assured of His glad welcome..”       v11 NLT

 

 

Expect MORE…   Ephesians 3v 20…

Q. Hasn’t that always been..

 the cry of our hearts …   for MORE…

the longing of our hearts to see a new WAVE and new WORK of God’s Spirit in our generation..

We want to be the generation that sees the greatest wave and work of God’s Spirit that has ever been seen in Donaghadee..

Q. Isn’t it the passion of our hearts to see Jesus working so powerfully in our church, our town, our nation and the nations…

My deepest prayer as I leave you at the end of February is that You will see and experience MORE of a MOVE of GOD in the 27 years that lie ahead … than we’ve ever seen in the 27 yrs behind us..

Q. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

That’s why I love Ephesians 3v 20 where the Apostle Paul’s heart just bursts out into this wonderful doxology… 

This hymn of praise… his heart overflowing  in worship, Joy, faith and prayer… 

in praise of a GOD who is able to do immeasurably MORE…. than all we could ever ask or think, according to HIS power that is at work in our lives… in this generation and in every generation.. for ever and ever..

This is our prayer and our expectation for 2021….  MORE LORD MORE…

Look at this verse Ephesians 3v20

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen NIV

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen” ESV

Let’s pull this verse apart…. And feed on the riches of what the Apostle Paul is conveying to us..

 

NOW ..to HIM…     NOW!!

I love that… right here.. right   NOW

To-day… in this very service.. 

in these very dark and difficult days…

This is our God…He is here.. He is alive… He is working… He is answering prayer… and He’s doing all of this..

In the midst of a global pandemic  in 2021

Psalm 44v1

“We have heard with our ears, O GOD. Our fathers have told us what You did in their days, in days long ago…”

  We love the Bible stories… 

We love to read of the fantastic things that GOD did in those BIBLE days…

And we think of the 1859 Revival here in Ireland and 100,000 people convicted and converted to Christ …  in a massive MOVE of GOD… Fantastic…

But that was then… and this is …NOW..

Like Habakkuk we cry

“LORD I have heard of your fame. I stand in awe of your deeds O LORD. 

Renew them in our day, in our time make them known…” Hab 3v 2

Do it again LORD…  Do MORE LORD!!

 

This is our GOD… Willing to do MORE in 2021 than we’ve ever seen before… 

Let’s be expectant for GOD’S  MORE this year…

Let’s NOT settle for less when GOD is inviting us into HIS MORE..

NOW… HERE.. To-day… 2021

 

who is able to do…

Our Sovereign, glorious Father GOD… is the One true Living GOD…

Who has thrown galaxy upon galaxy into space

Billions upon billions of stars into the sky

Like Jeremiah we say…

“Ah sovereign LORD, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched hand. NOTHING is too difficult for YOU,” Jeremiah 32v17

There is Nothing our GOD cannot do… He is able.. He is capable.. He is powerful…

That’s why we pray to Him…

We pray MOST when we know there is Nothing more that we can do….

Q.  Isn’t that true??

 

Prayer is crying to GOD..

LORD we can’t do this.. we can’t change that.. We are helpless..

BUT YOU CAN..!!    YOU ARE ABLE..

I Love those 2 stories in Book of Daniel… where first Shadrack, Meshack and  Abednego are being thrown into the fiery furnace…  and then later when Daniel has been thrown into the den of lions..

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the GOD we serve is able to save us from it and He will rescue us from your hand o King,,, But even if He does NOT, we want you to know O King, that we will Not serve Your Gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”   Daniel 3v17-18

 

“When he came near to the den the King called in an anguished voice, Daniel, servant of the living GOD, has your God who you serve continually been able to rescue you from the lions?”  Daniel 6v20

 

 Answer… YES!!   absolutely…YES!!

Our GOD hears and answers prayer….and He is able.. He is capable… 

He is powerful… He is good…

I love when those 2 blind men come to Jesus crying for mercy… 

He asks them this beautiful question..

“Do you believe that I am able to do this?? Yes LORD they replied. (We believe)

 Then He touched their eyes and said, according to your faith will it be done to you and their sight was restored.” 

                                      Matthew 9v27-29

Q.Do YOU believe in 2021??

Let’s ask GOD as a church in 2021 for MORE….

Let’s pray expectantly as a church in 2021 for MORE…

“I am the LORD your GOD, who brought you up, out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.”      Ps 81v10

 

What mighty things might GOD do in 2021 if only we prayed 

believingly…

expectantly.. 

courageously…

relentlessly…

OUR GOD… Our Father GOD… Our great and powerful GOD… Is able to do wonderful, wonderful things.. for our good and HIS glory in 2021 through our believing prayers.. as HIS church!

 

immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…     SUPER abundantly more beyond (hyper GK) all we ask or think..

All the English translations are struggling in these words… because the Apostle Paul is piling words on top of words… 

in his enthusiasm to convey how GOD loves to answer the prayers of His people..

Incredibly more.. infinitely more.. super abundantly more.. MORE than all we’re asking for..

Q. DO you know what he’s trying to do..

He’s trying to fire and inspire within God’s sons and daughters….

 a much greater confidence.. 

a far deeper conviction… 

a way greater boldness…. in our prayers The Apostle Paul is  wanting to set your prayer life on fire…

We want to pray BIG prayers because we have a BIG GOD…a GOOD GOD… a Loving Heavenly Father.. a powerful GOD… 

an all powerful GOD.. 

the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY..

Nothing is impossible with GOD

With GOD all things are possible

Prayers are answered.. 

NOT by the strength of OUR Praying…

BUT by the POWER of HIS answering!!

 

Q. Why don’t we pray Bigger prayers…?? 

Why don’t we pray more expectantly…??

 

ANS: Because sometimes we don’t believe it’s possible.. 

Or perhaps…

We don’t believe we’re good enough… or

our prayers aren’t     … ‘good enough’

 

Q. Why don’t we pray for the conversion of 7000 people in Donaghadee??

 

Q. Is that too hard for GOD.. 

too Big for GOD… 

too much for GOD??

                Of course NOT…

God isn’t limited by our weakness…

He answers prayer..

 Not according to our weakness.. or.. our strength…  BUT according to HIS power that is at work in us…

In our weakness..

With all our struggles and failures and battles…

Apostle Paul 2 Corinthians 12

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to relieve me of this. But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” 

So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. 

For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.”  2 Corinthians 12v 8-10(TP)

 

I love that… 

I love that reminder that MY weakness is Not a hindrance to the Kingdom of GOD… in fact.. it’s NEVER a hindrance to the Kingdom of GOD….

the very opposite… 

weakness is a prerequisite for anyone to enter into and live in the Kingdom of GOD…

So  I pray….

 LORD don’t let my weakness and don’t let how I feel about myself… cripple me

Instead… let it drive me into the loving arms of Jesus.

I am NOTHING without You LORD… but… with YOU…. I am everything and have everything I can ever need as a believer.

That’s Why I need You LORD. 

By faith I know that YOUR power works best in my weaknesses. 

Indeed… When I am at my weakest… You LORD are at your strongest.. 

So all the glory goes to YOU.

 

to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Amazing… the truth is amazing..

 As GOD works in us His church… 

HE gets all the glory.. all the honour.. 

all the praise…

That’s true throughout all generations… says the Apostle Paul..

That’s the truth in this generation… 

in 2021… in Donaghadee… in a global pandemic…

through a wee church called Shore Street 

through ordinary people like YOU and like Me..

There’s a sadness in my heart to-day..

This building is relatively empty to-day apart from the small team of people livestreaming the service…

And the truth is .. YOU will NOT be fully back into this building before I leave YOU…

And we miss the buzz.. we miss the noise… We just  miss YOU…

But with all my heart I long and pray for a day to come in 2021… when this room will be so filled and flooded with the Presence of GOD… and the power of GOD…

 So that YOU as a congregation will be released from here .. full of JESUS.. on fire for JESUS… 

shining JESUS.. sharing JESUS.. spreading JESUS.. 

wherever YOU live your lives through the week…

and this town and this land will know that there is a living GOD in Heaven who is working in the lives of ordinary Christians in Donaghadee…

He is answering prayer.. working powerfully.. changing lives.. strengthening your hearts to face whatever difficulties and challenges that you face…in HIS strength and HIS power…

Q. Anyone for MORE

Q. Anyone expecting GOD to work more powerfully in 2021 than He’s ever done before?

 

              Let’s Pray…..

 

Worship song:  

 

 

Thank you so much for tuning in…

We’re very aware of the many challenges facing you so please do ring us if you’re struggling. 

We are here for YOU and with YOU…Please ring us if you need us.

 

Find the transcript of this talk on our church web site. Shorestreet.org

 

 

The Grace of our Lord Jesus, the love of GOD and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Now and forevermore Amen.

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