Mid-Week Worship - Our Transforming God
Words by David Hollows
Our Transforming God
'Make a joyful noise unto God, all the earth; sing forth the honour and glory of His name; make His name glorious'
(Psalm 66 verses 1 and 2)
Lord, help us to use honestly and well this new day all the talents which you have given us, that the gain may not be ours only, but yours, and your kingdom’s, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Now please spend as much time as you choose singing the hymns /songs which will help you praise our God. You could use CDs or YouTube. You might like to include;
Father God, I wonder how I managed to exist (Mission Praise 128)
Photo by Sam Mackulin
Prayers of thanksgiving
If you wish, please use the following prayer as a way into your time of offering to God your prayers of praise and thanksgiving;
Lord of all mercy and goodness, do not allow us by any ingratitude or hardness of heart to forget the wonderful blessings you have given us this day and every day. Help us to be mindful every day of our lives of the incomparable gifts that you give us through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Bible story; Matthew chapter 26 verses 6 to 13
Key idea from the Bible story;
She has done a beautiful and praiseworthy thing to me (verse 10b).
You may also want to read verses 4 to 28 in chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians with a focus on verses 18 and 27
Our society promotes the Cult of 1; The Individual. TV programmes such as ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and many other similar programmes across the world emphasise the idea of you as an individual being the epicentre of the universe. Even in North Korea, Christians are persecuted because their society has Kim Jong Un as its cultural god and the most important person.
Is the Bible any different?
The Bible is packed with stories of individuals who sometimes achieve great things; Noah, Daniel, Deborah, and others who perform a small act which has a massive impact; such as the woman with the perfume in the Gospel you have just read. However, the big difference is that in the Bible our God uses individuals for the greater good whereas the Cult of 1 is totally self-centred; how is this for me? The individuals chosen by God in the Bible are part of a bigger network; a tribe, a family, a societal group and each individual is selected to make a difference; Moses, Gideon, Timothy, Lydia. Sometimes these individuals have to be changed in order to complete the task requires of them; Paul, Peter, Jonah.
But the fundamental is that each one makes a difference.
In the Gospel story Jesus reinforces this act of sheer love by informing His hearers that the act will be remembered for all time. This is not to make His hosts even more embarrassed but to emphasise that this one act has made a significant difference in helping us to understand the depth and quality of love which He will demonstrate on the cross.
So, in the grand scheme of things, what difference can one person really make?
In the eleventh chapter of Hebrews this list of individuals is included to remind us that each person made a difference but collectively in God’s bigger picture, their impact is huge. God transforms the lives of individuals in particular situations through the life of one individual, for example, Philip and the Ethiopian.
So, what about you?
God values you for who you are, what you do and your relationship with Him. He has already transformed parts of your life so that you are becoming the person He wants you to be. In chapter twelve of his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul reminds us that we are individuals but in Jesus Christ. This means that we are each given unique spiritual gifts but collectively we are one community in order to grow the Kingdom of God. Each prayer, act of kindness, word of encouragement, gift of hope, your smile, all may come from you as your individual response but is used by God to make a difference and transform lives; yours and others. Be encouraged; keep on being who you are, knowing that God has chosen you to make a difference in His world.
A response; All through this day, O Lord, may I touch as many lives as you would have me touch for you; and those my life touches, bless them, Lord, either by the word I speak, the letter I write, the prayer I breathe or the life I live. In the name of Jesus, I pray.
Photo by Aaron Burden via Unsplash
Prayers for others
Please now spend as much time as you are able with God praying for those you know in need and those in our world. You may wish to use the following prayer as part of your prayer.
O Lord, in a world where may are lonely, we thank you for our friendships. In a world where may are captive, we thank you for our freedom. In a world where many are hungry, we thank you for your provision. We pray that you will; enlarge our sympathy, deepen our compassion and give us grateful hearts. In the name of Jesus.
Amen (Terry Waite)
Praise-time; please now spend as much time as you choose singing your praises to God. You may wish to include: An army of ordinary people (Mission Praise 32)
May the love of the Lord Jesus draw us to Himself; may the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen us in His service; may the joy of the Lord Jesus fill our souls; and may the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be with you and stay with you always.
Amen (William Temple)
If you have access to YouTube either online or TV, please try this new worship song;
Thank you for sharing your worship with us.
God bless you.