Week Commencing Sunday 6th September

Week Commencing Sunday 6th September 2020

 

 

Call to worship

 

God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us. Romans 5:5

 

Hymn

 

 

Holy Spirit, we welcome you,

Holy Spirit we welcome you!

Move among us with holy fire

As we lay aside all earthly desire,

Hands reach out and our hearts aspire,

Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit,

Holy Spirit, we welcome you

 

Holy Spirit, we welcome you,

Holy Spirit we welcome you!

Let the breeze of your presence blow

That your children here might truly know

How to move in the Spirit’s flow

Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit,

Holy Spirit, we welcome you

 

Holy Spirit, we welcome you,

Holy Spirit we welcome you!

Please accomplish in us today

Some new work of loving grace we pray

Unreservedly have your way

Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit,

Holy Spirit, we welcome you

 

 

 

Chris Bowater                   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUIXBmT-JNk

 

 

Prayer of Confession

 

‘Almighty God we confess that we have sinned against you: for we have denied your saving presence in our lives, and we have grieved your Holy Spirit. Come to us in the fire of your love, and set our minds on the things of the Spirit, that we may bear his fruit in love and joy and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

Reading Acts 2: 1-24, 36-41

2Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 “‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him………. 

36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

 

Hymn

 

 

How good is the God we adore!

Our faithful, unchangeable friend:

His love is as great as his power

And knows neither measure nor end

 

For Christ is the first and the last

His spirit will guide us safe home;

We’ll praise Him for all that is past

And trust Him for all that’s to come

 

Joseph Hart                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbLNVAIqumI

 

Sermon ‘Will you revive us again?’ Roy Connor

 

Hello to you all ABC. The Lord bless you and keep you.

 

I was supposed to be preaching at the Church all day on Sunday 6th September but most churches are not open for services yet. So, I’ve been asked to prepare another sermon for you. I thought that I would return once again to the great passion of my heart and mind for REVIVAL.

 

Someone said to me recently – “What do you look for in the next few years to come?” Many, many responses sprung to my mind, especially personal ones regarding my family and their welfare etc. But the answer that pressed its way out of my mouth was – “Apart from looking for Our Lord to return, I look for the church to be revived.” Yes, for me who was born and brought up in a Christian home; converted to the Lord at 18, ordained to the Christian Ministry in 1965; served Him in various Churches and countries for over 50 years – for me the answer is definitely – “Lord REVIVE Your Church, and begin with me!

 

A revival is more than a refreshing or an awakening – it is more of a total renewal – I know that many choose to spell revival like this – WORK! Certainly we must not give up working but revival always has 4 principles about it, if it is a time of spiritual renewal.

 

  1. Always Divine Acts.  The breath of God comes into the body (His Church) that is threatening to become a corpse. Zechariah the Prophet said – “Is it not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.”
  2. Always Gospel Acts.  The old unchanging truths of the Gospel take wings and penetrate men’s hearts again. Social attitudes are reformed. Hymns and songs about the basics of our Faith come to the fore – about forgiveness, the cross, the grace of God etc. Don’t forget though that Welsh revivals have largely been killed by singing, singing, singing. Singing that is to the exclusion of the reading and preaching and hearing of the word of God.
  3. Always Church Acts.  Holy Spirit “renewal” and “birth ”came” to a gathered community prayer meeting in an upper room. Matthew 18 and verse 2, and fellowship Church and meeting, and attendance, and worship all become infinitely more significant. The gathering together “unto Him” becomes really important.
  4. Always Mission Acts.  Believers become focused on the Evil opponent rather than infighting – and evangelise out into the world. Often this means that “the blood of the martyrs becomes the seed of the Church.

 

So that is what I look for in the coming years. Look for nothing, get nothing! Look for the best, get the best. Do you agree?

 

In the early 80’s, I read a Book by Arthur Wallis with this title – “A Radical Christian.” On the back cover he had written - 

 

God’s Holy Spirit is at work to change us into the likeness of Christ. Do we realise what a radical change this means?

 

This book challenges us to re-examine some of our cherished customs and beliefs. It shows how Scripture can guide us over such issues as church unity, water and Spirit baptism, and denominational loyalty.

 

The author confesses that this has not been an easy book to write. Nor will it be easy for us to receive. It calls for a verdict on God’s truth – and so for a verdict on ourselves. Each one of us must decide; am I a compromiser, or a radical?

 

The axe is laid to the root of the tree.

 

That book changed my thinking – and praying! In short then, I am looking for a RADICAL revival and Acts 2 v 5-41 seems to have it all.

 

So many stories around today can shape our lives – for good or bad! Often, sadly for the worse. Acts tells the kind of story that moulds us for the better. Martyn Lloyd-Jones declared – “Every revival has been in some sense a repetition of what happened at Pentecost.”

 

And Vance Havner adds, “We are not going to  move this world by criticism or by conformity to it but by combustion within it ignited by the Spirit of God”. This is revival.

 

What does it look like?

 

  1. Supernatural people (v 5-13).  New languages. Extravagant worship. Fear less testimony. Inebriated ‘drunks’. Revival is a people saturated with God. This can neither be explained nor explained away. Such joy attracts crowds of the curious, drawn by a power that no longer runs in the channels cut by human tradition but sweeps all before it. God doing with His people exactly what He likes, when He likes, and how He likes. The result v 47 – a daily increase in the Church!! What about that ABC?
  2. Dynamic Preaching (v 14-37).  Revival is the Church going into turbo-drive! When the Spirit fell the first thing that followed was a sermon! Preaching is at the heart of all revivals. It announces the essential facts of Jesus Christ and the Gospel, their occurrence and their significance in the power of the Spirit. Peter spoke like a lion, not a frightened rabbit. As he moved, lightening bolts flashed forth and pierced the hearts of his hearers – a kind of holy violence that both killed and resurrected people at the same time! Pray for David and for all who preach at ABC, Pray. Pray. Pray.
  3. True Conversions (v38-41).  The day of both the sickle and the combine harvester had arrived – personal and mass evangelism. Horror, weeping, fainting and deep distress gave way to new beginnings with God. Peter pressed home his call for response; detoxification; separation; total renewal; peace with God and man; i.e. repentance, faith, baptism in water and in the Spirit, then addition to Christ’s Church – the normal Christian birth. Nothing fresh and original or of man here then? Revival is doing all the things we’ve done before – only this time, it works!

 

So ABC dear friends, that is all very radical. And why should revival not break out with you? When Covid 19 is over and the churches open up again – I don’t want to go back to normal. I want, and hope for, and pray for, and expect – REVIVAL. Will you join me in all this?

 

Bless you and I look forward to seeing you soon.

 

If you want a bit more – look at v 41-47. THE RESULTS OF REVIVAL

 

  1. A Learning Church – v 42
  2. A Church fellowship
  3. A praying Church Acts 4 v 23-31
  4. A reverent Church  v 43
  5. A Church where things happened
  6. A sharing Church v 44-45
  7. A worshipping Church v 46
  8. A happy Church v 46
  9. A Church of people whom others could not help liking.

 

Go for it ABC

 

In Him – Roy Connor.

……………………………

A Prayer for Revival. 
Forgive us Lord where we your people have grieved your Holy Spirit. Where your church has become institutionalised and worldly, merely aping the thought forms and activity of the culture. By your Holy Spirit come to us afresh, purge every evil and wrong doing, flood the dry ground of our hearts with the living waters of your Spirit. Renew our first love for you. That we may be full of courage and devotion as those first believers were, and gladly declare Your Name and ways.

Father God. We live in such an age where people wander aimlessly to find something to give them meaning and life. What they seek they do not find, because they are not finding it in the true source of life itself-You. Father, today we come to you ardently asking for a revival of souls in this age.

We thank you for the work of revival you are carrying out through many parts of the world, but we pray for fresh visitations of your Spirit in our country. We are grieved at how many in their pride have turned from you and your ways to idols of their own hearts and minds, and pursued self- will at all costs. We see the degeneration that results. Have mercy Lord. Convict many that they may turn from the anguish and alienation of sin to the joy and assurance of knowing you live in them by the Holy Spirit.

It is only by Your Spirit that truth can be truly known (John 15:26) and so we implore this day for such revival of souls, of nations, and of hearts.  Amen 

 

 

 

Hymn

O God of burning, cleansing flame:
Send the fire!
Your blood-bought gift today we claim:
Send the fire today!
Look down and see this waiting host,
And send the promised Holy Ghost;
We need another Pentecost!
Send the fire today!
Send the fire today!

God of Elijah, hear our cry:
Send the fire!
And make us fit to live or die:
Send To burn up every trace of sin,
To bring the light and glory in,
The revolution now begin!
Send the fire today!
Send the fire today!

It's fire we want, for fire we plead:
Send the fire!
 

 

The fire will meet our every need:
Send the fire today!
For strength to always do what's right,
 

For grace to conquer in the fight,
For power to walk the world in white:
Send the fire today!
Send the fire today!

To make our weak hearts strong and brave:
Send the fire!
To live, a dying world to save:
Send the fire today!
Oh, see us on Your altar lay,
We give our lives to you today,
So crown the offering now we pray:
Send the fire today!
Send the fire today!
Send the fire today!

 

William Booth (1829 -1912)
Adpt. Lex Loizides

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7et6rFUJ68

 

 

Doxology

Praise God from whom all blessings flow, in heaven above and earth below; one God, three persons we adore- to him be praise for evermore!

 

David Barnes 2/9/20