At this difficult and distressing time, we’re not able to gather with one another to worship the Lord in His house. In our own homes, we can come to the Lord and we can bring our praise to Him.
Let’s begin our worship with “We have come into His house and gathered in His name to worship Him.“
Here’s the link – http://youtube.com/watch?v=VEBmKvLDsWg
Let’s pray together.
“We trust in the Name of the Lord our God…Through the unfailing love of the Most High’ we ‘shall not be moved” (Psalms 20:7; 21:7).
Lord, we thank You that You are a solid rock for our faith. You are the only solid rock for our faith. Without You, Lord, the foundations are shaking. We’re about to collapse. You pick us up. We’re broken in pieces. You put us together again. Our life is going nowhere. You give us a new sense of direction. Without this input from You, our lives are empty. Everything we do is futile. When You are there with us, everything changes. It’s Your love that makes the difference. It’s Your love that changes us. Thank You, Lord, for Your love. When our future seems so uncertain, help us, Lord, to put our trust in You. Help us to remember Your Son, Jesus. Help us to remember that He is our Saviour. When we fear the worst, may we always remember that our Saviour is absolutely trustworthy and completely dependable. When our love for Him seems so weak, may we remember that His love is never weak. It’s always strong. When we fail Him, may we remember that He will never fail us. His love is an unfailing love. When we’re feeling down, may the love of Jesus lift us up. When we don’t feel like singing, may we look to You to fill our hearts with praise to You.
We’ve asked the Lord to fill our hearts with praise to Him. Let’s bring to Him our song of praise. Let’s sing, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.“
Here’s the link – http://youtube.com/watch?v=JEh7Vt9sxmc
“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1).
This was the Psalmist’s prayer. Often, it’s our prayer – it’s the way we feel, even if we don’t actually speak the words! More than that, it was our Saviour’s prayer (Matthew 27:46). On the Cross, “our sin was laid on Him” (Isaiah 53:6). When we’re suffering, help us to see Jesus – suffering for us. Help us to see Him – risen, exalted and returning for us. Help us to say, “Thank You, Lord. I am not forsaken. I am forgiven.”
In difficult and distressing times, we need to be reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul – “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
Let’s join together in joyful praise to the Lord our God: “Rejoice in the Lord always.“
Here’s the link – http://youtube.com/watch?v=hzyckxqXoZ4
In difficult and distressing times, we need to be reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul: “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
“His riches in glory” – May we never lose sight of this!
Lord, we thank You that You are preparing a wonderful future for us. It’s glory with You. It’s eternal life: “I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6). Fill our hearts, O Lord, with resurrection hope – the true and living hope, the sure and steadfast hope that comes from knowing You, the God who has raised Your Son, the God who raises us up, with Jesus, to everlasting life.
In Philippians 4:18, Paul speaks to us about “a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.”
Let us bring our worship to the Lord – as a sacrifice of praise, a sacrifice of thanksgiving and a sacrifice of joy.
Let’s sing, “We bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord.”
Here’s the link – http://youtube.com/watch?v=h2OmaKsVfxs
In difficult and distressing times, we need to have our thoughts lifted up to higher and better things. We need to have our thoughts lifted up to the Lord.
Knowing You, Lord, is more important than knowing a lot about this, that and the other subject. Where does the best education from? It comes from You. You teach us about the things that really matter. You teach us about eternal things. You teach us what life is really all about. You are “the God of our salvation.” You “lead us in Your truth” – the truth that changes us, the truth which inspires us to become all that You want us to be (Psalm 25:5).
“Your love is ever before me, and I will walk continually in Your truth” (Psalm 26:3).
Lord, it’s Your love for us that inspires our loyalty to You. You love us. This is what makes us want to walk with You. In Your love, You lead us in the way of Your salvation. We don’t begin with walking with You. We begin with worshipping You. We celebrate Your love for us, and we receive Your strength – strength for living the new life, the life that brings glory to You.
Lord, You are “the strength of Your people.” May each of us say, “You are my strength” (Psalm 28:7-8).
Your strength comes to us through fellowship. We receive strength from others, and we give strength to them. Your strength is more than human strength – the strength that comes to us through fellowship. It is the strength which comes to us through faith – faith in You, our Lord and our God.
When we turn our thoughts to the Lord, we see everything in a new light. Everything changes. In one sense, nothing changes. Our situation remains a desperate situation. In another sense, nothing remains the same. We know that we’re not alone. We know that the Lord is with us. We know that we can face whatever comes our way. We do not face it in our strength. We face it in the strength of the Lord.
We’re going to sing three songs which focus our attention on the majesty of God. As we listen to and sing along with these songs about the majesty of God, here’s something we must remember:
“I am the high and holy God, who lives forever. I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are humble and repentant, so that I can restore their confidence and hope” (Isaiah 57:15) .
God does not remain remote from us. He comes near to us. Jesus suffered for us. Jesus died for us. When we come, in simple faith, to Jesus, our Saviour, who “loved us and gave Himself for us” (Galatians 2;20), we catch a glimpse of the glory that the Lord is preparing for us:
“But we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, so that through God’s grace He should die for everyone. We see Him now crowned with glory and honor because of the death He suffered. 10 It was only right that God, who creates and preserves all things, should make Jesus perfect through suffering, in order to bring many children to share His glory. For Jesus is the One who leads them to salvation” (Hebrews 2:9-11).
Through Jesus’ death for us, we receive eternal life.
From the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, we look on to the future, and everything changes. We may have much uncertainty about our immediate future, but we can look beyond all of that uncertainty. We can place our eternal future in the hands of our Lord. We can receive, from Him, the assurance that we are “safe in the arms of Jesus.”
Think of these things, as you listen to and sing along with these three songs about the majesty of God. As you think of the greatness of God, never forget this: the greatest thing about God is this – He loves us with an everlasting love, a love that will not let us go, a love for us which is always so much stronger than our love for Him.
Let us sing to the Lord our God: “Majesty, worship His Majesty.”
Here’s the link – http://youtube.com/watch?v=OaRwD2Y7C0s
We sing, “You laid aside Your Majesty.“
Here’s the link – http://youtube.com/watch?v=Asy9EQSvrZ4
Now, we sing, “You are beautiful beyond description, Majesty enthroned above.
Here’s the link – http://youtube.com/watch?v=fbxOJ03wASo
“I will exalt You, O Lord” (Psalm 30:1).
Lord, You are not exalted because we exalt You. We exalt You because You are exalted. How do we come to the point where we exalt You? We realize our need of You – “when You hid Your face, I was dismayed” (Psalm 30:7). We look to You for mercy – “To You, O Lord, I called; to the Lord, I cried for mercy” (Psalm 30:8). You hear and answer our prayer – “You turned my wailing into dancing. You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy” (Psalm 30:11). You call us to worship You – “Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy Name” (Psalm 30:4). Help us, Lord, to worship You: “O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever” (Psalm 30:12).
“Into Thy hand, I commit my spirit” (Psalm 31:5).
As we read these words, Lord, our thoughts turn to Jesus Christ, crucified for us. In death, He gave Himself for our sins (Luke 23:46). Beyond His “affliction and the anguish of His soul”, there was the “spacious place” of His resurrection – and there was, for us, “eternal salvation” (Psalm 31:7-8; Hebrews 5:7-9). Lord, we look to Jesus, our crucified Saviour, and we say, “Praise be to the Lord, for He showed His wonderful love to us” (Psalm 31:21). We thank You for Jesus, our risen Lord. In Him, we are “strong and our hearts take courage” (Psalm 31:24).
We come to You, Lord, with our sin. You come to us with Your forgiveness. What a tremendous blessing this is – the forgiveness of our sins (Psalm 32:1-2). You give Your promise to us: “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We bring our prayer to You: “I made my sins known to You, and I did not cover up my guilt. I decided to confess them to You, O Lord. Then You forgave all my sins” (Psalm 32:5).
“Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous” (Psalm 33:1).
Lord, we have so many reasons for rejoicing in You. You have opened Your heart to us (Psalm 33:11). You have shown Your love to us (Psalm 33:5). Help us to trust in Your Word, and rest in Your faithfulness (Psalm 33:4). We rejoice in “Your unfailing love” (Psalm 33:20,22). Lord, we rejoice in Your salvation (Psalm 34:4-6). We say, “I will bless the Lord at all times” (Psalm 34:1). Help us to bring others with us, calling on them to worship You, with joy (Psalm 34:3,8). Help us to share Your Word with them (Psalm 34:11), and to lead them on to spiritual maturity (Psalm 34:14; Hebrews 5:14).
Our next hymn begins with a question, “Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?”, but it does not end with a question. It leads us on to a great confession of faith:
“We have an anchor that keeps the soul, steadfast and sure while the billows roll; fastened to the rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!”
Here’s the link – http://youtube.com/watch?v=UQQO8v-0VBo
Keep on praying! – A message from the Moderator of the Presbytery of Greenock and Paisley
As you read Jack’s letter, pray for the people he mentions – and don’t forget to pray for him, giving thanks to God for his much-needed and much-appreciated spiritual leadership.
Call to Prayer
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
As we face the uncertainty surrounding the present coronavirus pandemic and the fact that we cannot see, feel or touch the problem, it can lead us to become either sceptical about its seriousness or terrified of what it could do to us or our loved ones. There is no doubt that we face the greatest test that our nation has faced since the end of the Second World War. It proves, once again, that we really do not have all the answers to life’s problems.
However, even in the uncertainly and the need to listen carefully to the scientific and medical experts, who are seeking to help our nation get through these difficult times, I believe that there is One who does have all the answers, and we can pray to Him.
I have no doubt that we have all been earnestly praying in these days, but I have been led to believe that, although we cannot come together as a Presbytery, we can still pray together. I would like to suggest that we, as a Presbytery, endeavour to set aside time each day at the same time if possible to pray about the present situation; and I would suggest 11.00 a.m.
It may be that for some that is not possible, but let us pray every day at whatever time is suitable for each one of us.
Let us pray for doctors, nurses, scientists, emergency service workers and indeed all who would seek to respond in these difficult days. Pray for the vulnerable folk in society; let us pray for those who have had to self-isolate, and for folk who contract the virus that they will make a full recovery. Let us pray for families with children who are at home because our schools are closing, that they can cope with the need to keep the children interested and occupied.
Let us pray for our congregations and the folk in our Presbytery and nation. Pray for folk whose employment and income is adversely affected by not being able to work.
Pray for our politicians in Westminster and Holyrood that God will sustain them and inspire them with His Holy Spirit that their decisions will be in accordance with His will and purposes.
Let us all remember that God is Sovereign and that he has shown the depth of his love for us by sending His Son Jesus into our world to be our Saviour and our Lord. He will not abandon us now in our time of need.
God Bless you all.
In difficult and distressing times , what are we to do?
In Job 1:21, we read these words, “The Lord gave, and now he has taken away. May his name be praised!” May God help us to keep on praising Him.
How are we to keep on praising the Lord?
We must learn to look to Jesus, and we must learn to trust Him.
This will not mean that we hide our heads in the sand. Bad things are happening. We can’t get away from this – but there’s something else we must never forget: Jesus is with us.
Now, let’s listen to and sing along with two hymns which will help us to praise the Lord and trust Him – “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” and “‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.”
Here are the links – http://youtube.com/watch?v=bYrcrP1ysjw
We end with a different version of the doxology, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” – it’s worshipful, thought-provoking and inspiring.
Here’s the link – http://youtube.com/watch?v=tP3CsHfU7dc
God bless you all.
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