by Jessica Wang
12 June 2011 Sunday
Worship song: Send me, Lord 差遣我
Zhu gao shu wo ru he xian shang wo di sheng ming
Dai xi wang ru ren qun zhong
Zhu gao su wo ru he fu chu wo di guan huai
Jiang wen nuan dai ru shi jie
Wo kan dao ling hun zhong de you shang
Gu du zhong ren di xin zai jiao luo chan dou
Chai qian wo, chai qian wo
Wo yuan fu chu wo suo you
Chao qian wo dao xu yao ni di ren qun zhong
Chong man wo, chong man wo
Yong ni ai lai chong man wo
Zai yi ci jin wo ta men di shou
|Verse|| Tell me oh Lord, how you want me to give your life
To the world where there's no hope
Tell me oh Lord, how you want me to give your love
To the world where love went cold
Do you see all the people sinking down
Don't you see people aching in the darkness alone
|Chorus:|| Send me Lord, send me Lord,
I am willing to give all
Send me out to those who need Your hand
Fill me Lord, fill me Lord,
Fill me with your love for all
Reach your hand to hold them once again
Scripture Reading: Genesis 15:1-7
1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. ”
2 But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?”
3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.”
5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
7 He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”
Good morning, my dear brothers and sisters, I am really happy to stand here and to share with you. Let us pray.
Dear Lord, our heavenly father, thank you so much today. Let us hear your voice and please tell us where we are going to go and what we are going to do. We just want to hear your voice and follow you. God, please guide us, let us know that every new chance, every new job and every new opportunity is the chance God you give us and to serve the new people that we didn’t notice before. God we want to lift up all my brothers and sisters here in your hands. And I want to lift up myself in your hands, please be with us. Let us be strong and courageous in you. Because God you have said to us whenever and wherever you go and you will be with us. Lord I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s video and the song “Send me Lord” reminded me the time of my graduation. 5 years ago, I graduated from Nanjing Theological Seminary. And at that time, I was very excited while worried. Because I was not sure if the work place God would send me was good for me or not, and I was not sure if I could handle it or not. Because I was worried about where I would stay, I did not know if I would have enough money to support my life…, so there was so much anxious in my mind. Actually in my deep heart, I did not want to leave my seminary, leave my old friends, leave my professor and go to a new place. But in the last Sunday, when I was in the Seminary and our whole classmates lead the service, and we share the gospel Matthew 28:19-20:
Matthew 28:19 "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
It said that go and make disciples of all nations. If we want to go and make disciples of all nations, we will have to leave our old friends and leave the place where we feel comfortable and go to another place. And God promises me that, be strong and courageous, because no matter where you are, he will be with you.
Today is for all our brothers and sisters that I am going to share with you: Live by God’s promise.
Live by God’s promise, we know that not only for all the brothers and sisters who are going to leave Beijing for their vocation, for their family reunion, for their further study or for their new job, but also for all of us ,each new day is a new journey for us. Thinking of the future, we all may worry about the difficulties, loneliness and darkness. Today I want to share with you according to the scriptures, and I want to encourage you that live by God’s promise. Would you mind to read with me loudly Genesis 15:1-7? If you didn’t bring a Bible, you can watch the screen.
1. As the father of faith, Abraham’s faith is from God
This scripture tells us a story. We may all know that there’s a famous person in the bible, whose name is Abraham. But most of us know that he is the father of Faith.
Actually, several months ago, if you still remember, I started to share with you “a journey of faith”, (see 2010-10-03 The Journey of Faith: Lord, You are My Portion) and I want to emphasize that the father of faith Abraham’s faith is not from himself but from God. He also has worries, fears and anxieties though he is called the father of faith. So let us focus on the scriptures, and we will see the problems he has to face: fear and childless.
2. Abraham’s problem: Fear
If we read Genesis chapter 12-15 and we will know that God has called Abraham to follow him and leads him to leave his family, land and country, and to follows God. God gives him promises and God protects him. Abraham starts his faith journey from the calling of God and keeps going by holding the promises of God. Because each time he feels fear, feels darkness in his life, God will appear in front of him. And speaks to him, encourages him.
So this is one time after the war we know in Genesis chapter 14. Abraham was involved in a war by rescuing his nephew Lot. We know that Abraham just had 318 people following him to fight against the 4 powerful kings. At the end by God’s mercy and by God’s power, he won this war. After this, at the beginning of chapter 15, we found that at this time Abraham feared something. And he worried about if the four powerful kings got anger, and no one could protect him, and he couldn’t fight against them. So at this time, God came in front of him, in vision God said that:
Genesis 15:1 Do not be afraid Abraham, I am your shield your very great reward.
3. Abraham’s problem: being childless
I think Abraham accepted what God promised him, but we find that he started to worry about another thing. And he started to talk about his another problem.
Genesis 15:2 But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless. and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?”
Genesis 15:3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
And this is his another problem and he worried the most. This is the matter in his life. Because he remains childless we know that at the beginning God called him and he had no children, but God promises that he will become a great nation. But later on, many years passed away. He still remained childless. So at this time, God said “I will bless you, I will be your very great reward”. I will protect you. At this time, Abraham said that: “God, how can you bless me? Because I still remain childless.” So this is Abraham’s problem.
4. God give Abraham promises
From this, we can know that many people not only us but also the person in the Bible are all have problems. And in the future they worry about so many things. This morning I am in the reception place very early before 7 o’clock. I was welcoming congregation coming into the church. I met a mom. And she was very happy because her daughter would go to America to study. After a while, she started to worry about her daughter. Because her daughter is not in good health and she is going to accompany her daughter to the States. But she doesn’t know anyone in the States. So she came to me and she told me her worries and fears. She worried about if there was a place she could stay; She worried if they could have a safe trip; She worried about if her daughter could handle the new situation and her new life. So it is same for all of us, maybe there are so many people are going to leave Beijing for their new journey. I want to know: If there is anyone who wants to leave Beijing and starts your new journey? Can you raises your hand please? Ok, not only for them but also all of us .every morning when we get up, it is a new journey. It is a new day. I do not know what is your feeling. Sometimes when I get up, I feel good and I am very excited to start a new day. Sometimes when I get up, I feel very bad. Because there are so many things disturbing me and I worry about many things that I can’t handle out. I can’t control myself.
At that time, what God did to Abraham? God came to him and answered him and talked with him and gave him his promise. At this time, I am sure God will come in front of you. Through this bible you can hear his voice. So let’s see God’s promises for Abraham. Concerning his problem of his fear God said:
Genesis 15:1 Do not be afraid Abraham, I am your shield, your very great reward.
And concerning of his problem of being childless, he said:
Genesis 15:4 a son coming from your own body will be your heir.
Maybe at this time, Abraham couldn’t understand, couldn’t believe that because he might think that” God, you know how old I am? Do you think it is possible that I can have children from my own body at my own age?” I know that God knew and was concerned about Abraham’s worries and fears. So God took him outside. Maybe at that time they talked with each other in the house. But later God said: “OK my dear Abraham, Let us go outside and walk for a while. Let us go out.” Maybe it is late at night, Abraham couldn’t sleep well because of his worries. At this time God came in front of him, and said that “Abraham, don’t worry. I will give you a son.” But Abraham still held his worries.
And God said that “OK, Let us go outside and have a walk.” When they all come outside, God said “please not look down on yourself, don’t look down on your own age, and don’t focus on your own situation. How about looking upon heavens?”
Genesis 15:5 He took him outside and said, ”Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
And at the heavens, I think, in the ancient time, at night there would be stars in the sky. I think it is not easy for us here in Beijing. In the midnight you worry so many things and God said “OK, Let us go out and look up at the heaven.” What are you going to see and count the stars? I don’t think God will do the same things for you because you can’t see the stars sometime in the night in Beijing. But in the ancient time, that’s sure when they look up on the heaven they will see the stars, many stars. When I was very young in my childhood, I live in the countryside. I still remember in the summer evening, I would stay in my yard with my brother and my grandma, and we would count the stars and I couldn’t count them. So dear brothers and sisters, you might not have this experience in Beijing, but you might have this experience in your past time. So Abraham said “Ok, I will count them.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7…and etc,” and God asked him, “Abraham, can you count them?” What did Abraham say? He said: “Oh, no, Lord, you know I couldn’t.” At that time, God said,
Genesis 15:5 …“So shall your offspring be.”
God did not come to him and promised him that Abraham:
“Don’t worry, trust in me, believe in me, you are going to have children.”
However, God showed him how he could feel and how he could experience the truly God is.
What he felt and what he experienced the faithful God and what he said is really true.
He will never change, his words will never change.
Genesis 15:6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Genesis 15:7 He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”
So this is God’s promise to him which Abraham was called by God at the beginning.
Genesis12:2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”
5. Abraham relies on God’s promise
By God’s call, Abraham starts his faith journey, his new journey. And by holding on God’s promise, Abraham is able to keep going whenever he meets challenges, whenever he is in darkness, whenever he is in bad situation; relying on it, holding on it, Abraham can keep going. My dear brothers and sisters, this is what I am going to share with you, when I start my new journey, there are so many things in my heart disturbing me. And when Abraham starts a new journey and he keeps going, there are many things, obstacles, on his road, but by holding on God’s promise, he can keep going.
6. Regard your future as a call from God
How can it apply to our life?
First of all, I want to encourage you to regard your future be as a call from God. This future doesn’t mean only for the people who are going to leave Beijing, it also means next minute, this afternoon, next day, all the things happening in your life. And this is what God calls you for! Whatever you did, wherever you go, no matter in your company, in your community, in your family that is what God calls you to do. When you think in this way you will know that, the place where you are now, the place where you are going to go is the specific place God sends you the Job what you are doing, the job you going to do is the specific job which God calls you to do. If you have this thinking, if you think about your new journey, your new job, your new day in this way, you will change your mind and you will change your attitudes to face the difficulties.
Come back to the story I share with you, before I graduated from college, I was almost the last one finding the church where I could go. It was very difficult for me at that time. But after I realized that this church was the specific church God called me to come. So I came here. But after the first three months I came here, I just felt very bad, not because the pastors were not good enough, not because the brothers and sisters were not good, but because I didn’t know the specific things which God wanted me to do. I couldn’t find my position even if I could preach on Sunday, but I didn’t know why God called me here. So I started to become frustrated, I started to miss my friends, my family, and my life in seminary. I really wished I could go back to them. I felt that I was not ready for this. But at that moment I remember:
Joshua1:9 Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. 你当刚强壮胆。不要惧怕，也不要惊惶。因为你无论往哪里去，耶和华你的神必与你同在。
So I started to pray to God:
What are you going to let me do for you? How can I give you my life in this church? Could you show me the specific things which I can do for you in this church according to the gifts which you give me?
After this prayer, a month later I was told to go to a program to train my oral English. And then half year later, we started English service. Here we are now.
My dear brothers and sisters, no matter where you are now, no matter where you are going to go, please take your future, your job, your days and your life, as a call from God. Even for now you cannot see. But God will make a way for you. At the beginning, we don’t have English service, but God made a way for me, so when I look back, it reminds me that all my life is not a waste; because at the beginning I just complained that “why God, you didn’t call me earlier, because I went to university to study English for three years and then I became an English teacher for four years, and then I was called to go to a seminary, at that time I just realized that the preparation which God prepared me for this position.
Dear brothers and sisters, I just want to encourage you: take your future, your job your days and your life as a call from God. You will change your attitude, you will pray to God, and God will show a way for you.
7. God’s call and God ‘s promise are together
Secondly, God’s call and God’s promise are together. Many saints in the church history have lived by God's promise when they believe that they are following God's call. But it is not easy, because when we surely know that this is God’s call for us, but we find that there are still many challenges and still many problems, crisis that we can’t handle. We started to discourage, we started to fear, but at this time, it is like Abraham, he knew that God would call him and he would follow God wherever God led him. But he was still facing the challenges and difficulty times.
So I want to encourage you that the God’s call and God’s promise are together.
God calls you and God will promise you. Holding on God’s promise you can live by, so the biggest promise which God gives us, I think, is God with us all the time, all day and all night. Some of you may still remember the Young worship leader. First worship leader in English fellowship. His name is Jason. And last week I email Jason, Rachel and Sophia to ask them that we are going to have a special service. And today what do you want to share with our brothers and sisters to encourage us how can we face our new challenges.
Jason told me that when he arrived at Atlanta. Actually he went to Atlanta for study for his PHD two years ago. And when he arrived there, he felt homeless. He was so passionately to serve God in the church here. He started to serve in the church of Atlanta, which is what we suggested him to do. That is what I want to encourage you to do, if you go to another city, another country, I want to encourage you to serve in the local church. So I encouraged him to do that. But unfortunately, in three months, he couldn’t find a church which he felt a sense of belonging, a church which he could serve for. And he asked me to share with you three points he has had. No matter what happens in your life, just choose God, the first point. Can we show the picture? Do not stop going to a church in your place. The second point, keep your private devotional time, read bible daily and meditate them; the third, think of God in your daily life, in your study time and work time. But I will tell you a piece of good news. Last month I went to Atlanta, and I met him and his wife, and his church elders. This is the picture we took there. This is the first time I visited our brother from Haidian church who went abroad and got involved in church service. He did a great job there; he was one of the chairmen there in his college fellowship.
Another sister wants to share with you that:
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Maybe many of us do not know her, her name is Rachel. And after the service, she will hand up the prayer signs, and pray for all of us. At the beginning of this year she moved to Los Angeles, and she said that there were so many things different from what she had thought. When she thought she could do many things in Los Angeles, but in fact, it was not as what she thought. So she started to worry. But God’s words comforted her. Trust in your Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own knowledge, but on our God.
The third one is Sophia, maybe you get to know her several weeks ago, and she came back from Phoenix and she became a presider. Sophia shared us the scripture in
Mark 5:36.Do not be afraid, just believe.
And this is what God told her. Dear brothers and sisters, there are so many promises that God has given to Abraham, to my brothers and sisters who used to serve here and went abroad to study now and to me. And I am sure there must be God’s promise for you in your situation. And God has many promises for each of us. And what shall we do? We just choose to believe in him, trust him, and hold on his promise. I know that many brothers and sisters maybe will have the vocation for this summer. And God promised us in:
Psalms 121:8 The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.
God will watch you coming and going both now and forever more. And I know that there are many brothers and sisters facing many challenges, they are discouraged and feared.
In Joshua 1:9 I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
I know that there are so many brothers and sisters sharing the gospels with your family, with your friends, but they just do not believe. They just do not receive Jesus as their own savior. But
Psalms 126:5 May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.
So may God bless all of us! Now is the time for you, my dear brothers and sisters, the main idea of today’s sermon is about “send me Lord”. I just want to ask you, if you are feeling the call from God, if you are going to start your new journey in this summer, if you are feeling that God calls you every new day, in your job, in your time, your gift is for God, I just want to encourage you, would you please stand up. I want to ask you very seriously. If you feel comfortable you can come in front.
If any of us who is going to start a new journey, if you want to stand and say “send me” and if you want to take your job, your time and your gift for our God. Give your life to him. But if you don’t have enough faith in him, and I encourage you to come to the front. And I encourage all of brothers and sisters who are sitting to pray for us, pray for all our brothers and sisters standing here on the platform; may we feel God’s call and God ‘s promise being together. We pray for all the brothers and sisters, in Jesus’ name! Amen!
Holy Communion Service
(2nd Sunday each month after English service）
Dear brother and sister, later on , we will take the holy communion ,and we do this to remember the love of Lord ,Jesus Christ for his dying for us in our place. So before we take the holy communion, let all of us confess our sins first, because we are not worthy for God calling us ,we are not worthy for God blessing us, we are not worthy for God promising so many good things for us ,we are not worthy to be as a servant for him, but God still love us, before we sin against him, God has already died for us and shed the blood for us .
So dear brother and sister, let’s all bow down and confess our sins, let’s pray :
Almighty God ,our heavenly Father ,Jesus Christ ,Holy Spirit ,we thank you for today you call us ,we thank you for today you washed away our sins and we thank you for today that God you call many brothers and sisters who want to give our lives to you to start a new journey, to serve you and to give all our hearts, all our minds , all our gifts which you give us to you and use in your kingdom toyour glory. God , we know that we are not worthy here ,we know that we are sinful . God ,we want to come to you and confess our sin which sin against you in our mind ,in our thoughts ,in our words and in our actions ,sin against to our neighbors ,to our friends ,to our family ,we know that God ,you are faithful God ,you are merciful God , when we confess our sins, you will wash them away ,you will make us purified and you will accept us . God ,thank you so much , we pray in Jesus name , Amen !
1 CORINTHIANS 10:23-28 Lord’s Supper
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.
Dear brother and sister, the holy communion is for the Christians. If you are a Christian, please stand up and take the holy communion , you can hold it first and then we will take it all together .(圣餐是为受洗的弟兄姊妹预备的，如果你已经受洗，是神的孩子，请你站立并接圣餐。拿到后先不要领受，最后我们一起领受圣餐。)
In any circumstance, we will give thanks to our God ,and today there is a good news that we run out our cup , so let’s give our thanks to our God . While we are waiting to prepare for the cup , let’s pray and give thanks to our God , God have his church day by day, and many, many people come to him and accept him. We can give thanks to our God that God bring more and more people to his church , give thanks to our God and also we still remember the brothers and sisters who stand outer and stand there , we pray for them , may God guides them , we can pray for them together while we are waiting for the cup preparation . You can pray loudly or you can pray in silent .
Dear Lord , thank you so much ,we know that you are the God who created heaven, earth and all of us ,God ,you are almighty God .God ,you are going to do amazing things in this church ,in each of our lives .God ,you have already done amazing things in this church and in each of our lives. Today we are going to give thanks to you for God you bring more and more people coming to you ,coming to this church , and accept you .We want to give thanks that God today we run out of our cups because we know that there are more and more people coming to this church than we can imagine .
For God ,we also want to give thanks to you that for many brothers and sisters ,you are going to send them out because we know that God you want all of us to go to all nations to proclaim your gospel and to make disciples .God ,we don’t know where they are going to go but we know that you will know specifically which person and where they will go .God ,we just want to ask you please to hold them and please get them and please strengthen them and please be with them .God ,thank you so much for today’s service and thank you so much for the lives which you give us and thank you so much for this opportunity that we can serve you and we can involve in your mystery ,your kingdom, on this earth in our life .God ,here we are ,send us out ,we know that after the service ,when we go out of this church ,and it’s the place which God you will sent us to and we will be salt and light of the world, and we will show your love ,your mercy and your power to all the people we will meet .So God ,please be with us ,we pray in Jesus name , Amen!
We all have the bread and cup, please all stand ,and we will take the bread and the cup with thankful heart.
Our God is God of Abraham, is God of Moses, and also the God of you and me, so let’s sing “God will make a way”:
God will make a way, Where there seems to be no way,
With love and strength for each new day
By a roadway in the wilderness, He'll lead me
Also ,I want to know if there are many newcomers who are the first time to come to Haidian English church, if you are today the first time to come to Haidian English Fellowship ,please don’t be shy ,please stand up, we are very welcome and we hope we can see you again .Our volunteer is going to give you delivery which show our schedule of Haidian English Fellowship .If you cannot receive it right now , you are welcome to take one at the gate of our church .
Also ,we have a tradition ,we want to give you a gift ,everyone please stand up ,we want to sing the “welcome song” to the newcomer.
Grace and peace in the name of Christ
We’re so glad you came today!
We hope you felt the glory of the Lord,
As we sing this song We just wanna say …
God bless you!
God bless you!
God bless you! Today and forevermore
This is the end of the service .If you are willing to stay and to share your faith with newcomers ,you are very welcome and I hope you all have a very nice weekend and God will lead your way , thank you !
Summary by Lois & Sunshine
Edited by Yu & Y.A. Liu
|Sermon Video: Live by God's Promise||video||audio|
|Sermon Video: Holy Communion||video||audio|
|Worship song: Lame Upon The Throne||mp3||lyric|
|Worship song: God Will Make A Way||mp3||lyric|
|Worship song: Send Me Lord 差遣我||mp3||lyric|