SUNDAY APRIL 19

OUR CERTAIN HOPE

WELCOME

What changes does God begin to work in our life when we start to follow Jesus? Time and time again in the Apostle Paul’s letters to the first churches we see him thanking God for the faith, love and hope God has produced in the lives of believers. In one of Paul’s earliest letters he writes this.

 

We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

1 Thessalonians 1:3  

 

Faith – is trusting Jesus as our Saviour from sin and as the Lord of our daily lives

Love – is learning to put other people’s interest above our own and showing this by our actions.

Hope – is the certain future that is now ours because of Jesus death and resurrection.

 

These three are closely linked. True faith will show itself in loving actions. And as these wonderful verses show us – IT IS OUR HOPE – that stands behind and energises our faith and love!

The faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. Colossians 1:5-6

 

In times of crisis our false hopes are often laid bare. Here is a prayer to enable us to say sorry to God for our putting other things in the place he rightfully ought to have in our lives.

 

A Confession Prayer 

Heavenly Father, 

you have loved us with an everlasting love,

but we have gone our own way,

and rejected your will for our lives.

We are sorry for our sins and turn away from them. 

For the sake of your Son who died for us, 

forgive us, cleanse us and change us.

By your Holy Spirit, enable us to live for you, 

and to please you in every way, 

for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Know this…

God is slow to anger and full of compassion. He forgives all who humbly repent and turn to his Son Jesus Christ, in whom there is no condemnation. Amen. 

Pray for this to be true in your life…

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15

SONGS

PRAYERS FOR CHILDREN

A confession

Our heavenly Father

thank you that you love us and care for us all the time.

We know that this week we have not always lived the way you tell us.

We have done wrong things 

and not done all the good things we should have done.

Only you can save us, so please forgive us

and help us to live as your friends.

We ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

A short prayer for God’s help at home 

 

Father in heaven,

Please bless our homes with peace and joy. 

Help Dad’s and Mum’s to teach about you and to be an example.

Please help children to respond with love and obedience. 

We ask for your help in Jesus name. Amen 

BIBLE READINGS

A prayer for hearing God’s word

Heavenly Father,

give us faith to receive your word,

understanding to know what it means

and the will to put it into practise,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

New Heavens and a New Earth (Isaiah 65:17-25)

 

17 ‘Behold, I will create
    new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
    nor will they come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice for ever
    in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
    and its people a joy.
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem
    and take delight in my people;
the sound of weeping and of crying
    will be heard in it no more.

20 ‘Never again will there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not live out his years;
the one who dies at a hundred
    will be thought a mere child;
the one who fails to reach a hundred
    will be considered accursed.
21 They will build houses and dwell in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
    or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
    so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
    the work of their hands.
23 They will not labour in vain,
    nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
    they and their descendants with them.
24 Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,’
says the Lord.

 

 

The City of God (Revelation 21:10-22:5)

 

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

 

15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.

22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honour of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

SONG

TALK

Reflection Questions:

 

  1. Do you find anything about new creation scary or daunting?
     

  2. What most excites you about the new creation?
     

  3. How does it encourage you to live for God?
     

  4. What about the new creation would you most love to share with someone you know?
     

  5. Think about someone in your life that doesn’t know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, who don’t have a certain hope to live for. Pray that they might come to know Him!

CLOSING SONG

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord God,

we rejoice in your greatness and power,

your patience and love,

your mercy and justice.

Enable us by your Spirit 

to honour you in our thoughts,

words and actions, 

and to serve you in every aspect of our lives;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

AMEN!

FINAL ENCOURAGEMENT

1 Corinthians 2:8-10

 

8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:

‘What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived’ –
    the things God has prepared for those who love him –

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

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