MISSION WOODS CHURCH
Worship September 5 2021
      • Bible Trivia
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      • Bible Trivia
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  • Humble Thyself in the Sight of the Lord
  • Here I Am , Lord
  • I Lift My Eyes Up
  • Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
      • James 2:1–10ESV

  • We’ve all heard those “how many (fill int he blank) does it take to change a light bulb jokes.
    Here’s a few you might enjoy about various christians groups:
    How many charismatics does it take to change a lightbulb?
    A: Only 1 - hands are already in the air.
    Pentecostals? - A: 10. 1 to change the lightbulb and 9 to pray against the spirit of darkness.
    Baptists? - At least 15, one to change the lightbulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad and fried chicken.
    Methodists? - Undetermined - Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved. You can be a lightbulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb. Bring a bulb of your choice to the Sunday lighting service and a covered dish to pass.
    Catholics? - None. They only use candles.
    Presbyterians? - There were a lot of versions for this one.
    The first I heard was: Change!?! to which a friend added, “My grandmother put in that lightbulb.”
    And another one:
    One to change it, another to remind the first that the policy regarding the changing of lightbulbs is a session matter. The session after a minimum of an hour of debate will then turn the matter over to a special committee to study the issue. But first, a nominating committee will be formed to recruit members to study the issue. Once the committee is selected and approved, the issue will be studied for 6 months, and a report will be presented on the churches policy regarding the changing of lightbulbs. When presented the question will be raised as to whether the lightbulb needed changing, which will be seen as an entirely different issue and the session will revert the question back to the committee for further study.
    A report is expected in the coming months.
    Change is hard. And it’s coming at us fast - well, for most people, unless of course your presbyterian. No, I’m only kidding.
    Think of where we’ve been in the past few years. 2019 seems so long ago - it was BC as they say, “Before COVID”. Much as changed. Yet, we’re still battling this virus pandemic. This has cause many of us to be at home more, and when we’re at home many of us have the radio or the television on and have access to a constant stream of news. Much of it isn’t positive.
    In 2020 in the midst of COVID we also had a new awareness of social justice issues thrust upon us. We were suddenly made aware or at least it was brought again into focus that there is so much to work yet to be done for racial equality. And so we continue to work in that area.
    With the vaccine now available, we began to open up again. Then the Delta variant of COVID raised its ugly head. Masks mandates came back, and some people had just had enough. The debates rage on.
    Then there was an earthquake in Haiti, followed by a hurricane. There was the fall of Afghanistan and then 13 of our troops and 100’s of Afghani’s killed and many more injured. Hurricane Ida left her mark not only on the Gulf states but throughout the south and even up into the Northeast. Fires burn out of control here in the west. Kids are heading back to school. And the world keeps moving.
    So, with all that is happening in the world, where can we find something, anything, on which to hold on? Where can there be a solace, a safe harbor for a person to anchor?
    This question has been on my heart as I pray for family, for you and other friends, for our country and for our world.
    Two weeks ago I preached on Ephesians 6, where we read these words:
    Ephesians 6:12 ESV
    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
    Spiritual forces of evil, that is true. Many have described these past couple of years like a heavy weight upon them.
    This week as I’ve been praying and to be honest working hard to lay burdens down. I seem to keep picking them up (I’m sure many of you can relate).
    I needs...We need a safe harbor.
    That brings me to a simple message from the Apostle Paul.
    Philippians 4:4 ESV
    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
    I learned it as a song that was sung in rounds and it found its way into my conscience this week as I was praying over all that’s going on in the world. As I turned to those words from Philippians I read the larger context:
    Philippians 4:4–8 ESV
    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

    Unchanging Change

    I’m sure that many of you have heard the acronym ACTS.
    It was a way of praying that uses the acronym to prioritize how we pray:
    A, C, T, S
    A - ADORATION
    C - CONFESSION
    T - THANKSGIVING
    S - SUPPLICATION
    It fits so well with what Paul is referring to in our passage.
    Philippians 4:4 ESV
    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
    Is Adoration. It’s recognizing that our happiness is not dependent upon the circumstances we find ourselves in, but it is a contentment that can only be found in the Lord, based on our trust in the sovereign, living God, and therefore is available to us always. Even in times when the world around us seems to be in chaos.
    God is our Rock.
    Philippians 4:5 ESV
    Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
    This is confession as a basis of faith. Reasonableness is crucial for community; it is the disposition that seeks what is best for everyone, not just for ourself. Recognizing that the Lord is at hand recognizes at once that Jesus is present as eternal Lord, and that Jesus will surely return as judge and will hold people responsible for their deeds.
    As we let our reasonableness be known, we recognize in ourselves that we are not judge and jury (though that judgement of others is often stewing inside of us). We confess it and turn it over to God.
    The next part is all about prayer and a couple of verses many of us have memorized:
    Philippians 4:6–7 ESV
    do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    Let’s break this part down.
    don’t be anxious
    pray
    humble yourself and recognize God’s sovereignty
    be thankful
    When we pray, and lay our request before God it is always with thanksgiving!
    What do we have to be thankful for when we’re in need of an answer?
    That we have someone to go to.
    That God is the one truly in control - no matter what it may look or feel like.
    That God loves us.
    That God doesn’t change.
    All that is good in our lives.
    And I love that this exhortation not to be anxious comes with a promise:
    Philippians 4:7 ESV
    And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    The God of all creation will guard your hearts and minds, giving you a peace that doesn’t make sense to our finite minds. And where is it located? In Christ Jesus.
    Finally, Paul closes the thought with these words:
    Philippians 4:8 ESV
    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
    These aren’t the focus of the media who make their living off crises. Don’t focus on the lies, the dishonor, the injustice, the impurity, the hatred, the reprehensible, the mediocre, or the shameful (note: Paul clearly knew this was all around his readers).
    it so easy to be drawn into the critique of everything. To always see the negative side of everything.

    Unchanging Change

    So how do we unchange, change?
    It comes down to recognizing the one who does not change.
    Hebrews 13:8 ESV
    Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
    It comes down to building our foundation on the rock, hearing and doing the words Jesus spoke:
    Matthew 7:24 ESV
    “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
    Jesus is our cornerstone:
    Isaiah 28:16 ESV
    therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
    Acts 4:11–12 ESV
    This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

    Unchanging Change

    To stop the barrage of change from impacting you negatively. Making you angry, change was happening throughout the Scriptures too. But there was one thing that was not changing, and that was and is our Sovereign God. God is the still on His throne.
    That is what we celebrate today. That is what we will celebrate tomorrow. That is what we will celebrate in glory. God is sovereign and worthy of praise.
    Amen.
      • Ephesians 6:12ESV

      • Philippians 4:4ESV

      • Philippians 4:4–8ESV

      • Philippians 4:4ESV

      • Philippians 4:5ESV

      • Philippians 4:6–7ESV

      • Philippians 4:7ESV

      • Philippians 4:8ESV

      • Hebrews 13:8ESV

      • Matthew 7:24ESV

      • Isaiah 28:16ESV

      • Acts 4:11–12ESV

  • In Remembrance
  • We Are an Offering
  • Lord Dismiss Us With Your Blessing

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