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2012-03-11 God of all blessing

Time: 2012-03-12 Click:

By Stephen
11 Mar. 2012 Sunday

 

 

 

Presider: Jessica’s prayer

Dear Lord, our heavenly Father, we are so thankful that today you let us know you are our Savior. You are Almighty God; you are the Creator. Not only have you given us knowledge to get to know you, but also eternal life. You give us new life, you change us and you save us from the darkness. Lord Jesus Christ thank you so much that on this special day, you call all of us here to worship you and to praise you. Lord Jesus Christ, please open our spiritual eyes and let us get to know how much blessing you give us spiritually and physically. God, please give us the heart so that we can thank you, and give us the mind then we can think of you and meditate on you everyday. And today God please give us hearts and we can worship you, and we can sing and praise you. Lord I want to lift up all these brothers and sisters who you called here in your hands. You know each of them even I don’t, you know their situation even I don’t, you take care of them, you walk with them and you'll be with them, God today we ask you please let each of our brothers and sisters here feel your presence, and  glorify your name. God, please heal the people who are ill, and please strengthen people who are weak, please guide people who are lost, God today we ask you please be with the speaker Stephen who is going to share the gospel for you, and speak to him and through him so that we can get to know you and you have already prepared a lot of blessings for us, God please get this church in front of you, and please strengthen us so we can stand in front of you, we can serve you, we can glorify you, God we lift up the worship team, host team and all the brothers and sisters who serve you in your hands, strengthen us and be with us, let us feel your presence. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

Worship leader:

Psalm100 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.

Worship song 1:Forever

Verse 1 Give thanks to the Lord, our God, our King
His love endures forever
For he is good, He is above all things
His love endures forever
Sing praise! Sing praise!
Verse 2 With a mighty hand, and an outstretched arm
His love endures forever
For the life that's been reborn
His love endures forever
Sing praise! Sing praise!
Sing praise! Sing praise!
Chorus Forever, God is faithful
Forever, God is strong
Forever, God is with us
Forever! Forever!
Verse 3 From the rising to the setting sun
His love endures forever
By His grace we will carry on
His love endures forever
Sing praise! Sing praise!
Sing praise! Sing praise!

 


 

Worship leader:

Yes, our God's love endures forever, for God’s so loved the world that He sent His only son Jesus Christ who died for us, because of Jesus’ Perfect Sacrifice, we can be God’s friends. Jesus, thank you.

Worship song 2:Jesus Thank You

Verse 1 The mystery of the cross
I cannot comprehend The agonies of Calvary
You, the perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son
Who drank the bitter cup reserved for me
Chorus Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You!
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You!
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You!
Verse 2 By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near
Your enemy You’ve made Your friend
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace
Your mercy and Your kindness know no end 
Bridge Lover of my soul,
I want to live for You

Worship leader:

Yes Jesus, thank you for taking our punishment, thank you for your precious blood, thank you for renewing our hearts. Lord, we are weak but you are strong. By the power of your love, we can rise up like eagles; by the power of your love, we can be strong and courageous to face tomorrow. The power of your love.  

Worship song 3: power of Your love

Verse 1 Lord, I come to You
Let my heart be changed, renewed
Flowing from the grace That I found in You
Lord, I've come to know,
The weaknesses I see in me,
Will be stripped away,
By the power of Your love
Verse 2 Lord, unveil my eyes,
Let me see You face to face
The knowledge of Your love, As You live in me
Lord, renew my mind,
As Your will unfolds in my life
In living every day,
By the power of Your Love
Chorus Hold me close, Let Your love surround me
Bring me near, Draw me to Your side
And as I wait, I'll rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with You,
Your Spirit leads me on in the power of Your Love

 

Worship song 4: 在 乎 你

Verse 1 祢的慈爱比天高 比海深
Ni de ci ai bi tian gao bi hai shen
比我的生命更好 祢怜悯受伤痛苦的人
Bi wo de sheng ming geng hao ni lian min shou shang tong ku de ren
Verse 2 祢的能力比风强 比山高
Ni de neng li bi feng qiang bi shan gao
没有难成的事情 覆庇软弱无助的生命
Mei you nan cheng de shi qing fu pi ruan ruo wu zhu de sheng ming
Chorus 祢的眼睛看着我 从来没有离开我
Ni de yan jing kan zhe wo cong lai mei you li kai wo
我是祢宝贝 重价赎回的人
Wo shi ni bao bei zhong jia shu hui de ren
祢伸出施恩的手 把我紧紧拥抱
Ni shen chu shi en de shou Ba wo jin jin yong bao
我平安 我生命 在乎祢
Wo ping an Wo sheng ming Zai hu ni

 

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:1-7
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, a the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

 

 
 

 

Sermon:

 

Good morning! Let’s bow in prayer:

God our Father, it’s with deep joy that we come humbly into your Holy presence. It is in the name of Jesus that we come to worship you the God of all blessing; the God who created the heavens and the earth for our enjoyment. The God who created the heavens and the earth is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and you are the Lord of our lives. Father, we pray that as we study your Word today, you indeed open our spiritual eyes that we may see the wonder of who you are, and we may see glory in your grace and your steadfast love, your unconditional love, your infinite love for us. Father please fill this place with your presence; fill our hearts with your Holy Power; fill us with your Spirit. May we connect heart to heart with you today and may we be forever transformed and become more and more like Jesus, the Lover of our souls. We will live for you, we will die for you and we will do whatever you call us to do, because you first loved us. So bless our time together and we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

 

Today’s the beginning of a new series: walking in the light as the children of light and we study the book of Ephesians. Our first chapter is about the God of all blessing. When I am asked about what is the most meaningful blessing in life, I have to respond the birth of our children. In the hospital, we had an opportunity to be in the room where our children were born and it’s a miracle; it’s totally amazing; it’s something that’s incomparable to see from your wife, the emergence, head first, and then shoulders and then body of a little baby who had been kicking inside for the last nine months and now out, shaking and singing its lungs out. I cannot tell you what a joy it is to experience birth; it is nothing like what you have experienced before. It’s a joy and a memory that is indelible and that has to be one of the great blessings from God. Now we know that physical birth is very exciting and spiritual birth is also very exciting! It is so exciting that the heavens hold a party! The heavens are filled with a great joy, singing and celebrating when one sinner repents and says: Jesus I’ve found you. You are mine and I am yours. You are my Savior and you are my Lord. The Father’s heart fills with joy and heavens celebrate. We are going to be talking about this—spiritual birth as we journey in this Book.

One way to know what this Book is about is to look at the repeated words, to see what themes or ideas are repeated. I did a very quick tabulation and not surprisingly, top of the list is “In Christ”, In Him, in the Lord, in the  spirit, and in God. Second is Lord, 22 times; Love, 16 times; Grace, 11times and Body and Church, 11 and 9 times. So we know that what God’s going to teach us in this Book is about new life in Christ, His love, and His grace and how we as children of Light can live together as a Body – His church! If I were to divide this Book up into three divisions, we can say: Wealth, Walk and Warfare. Our division for the first section of our study is also in three parts: Selected, Saved and Sealed. Let’s go into the Scriptures and see what treasures God desires to place in your life.

 

Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

 

Right off, we are told that the human author is Paul, he was formally known as Saul, the Pharisee and the persecutor of the Church. Right after Jesus died on the cross and rose again, we see Saul fuming: I don’t like those Christians! They are taking us away from the true faith. So he set off to the Damascus to arrest those Christians. On his way, God arrested Paul, threw him off his horse and blinded him with His glorious light and revealed Himself as Jesus—Lord of all. Jesus who died and Jesus who now is alive! Paul, through this conversion, moved from a persecutor to a preacher. Wherever he went, he would preach: Jesus is alive!! The One whom I persecuted, He is alive!! He is God! Not only did he become a preacher of the church and the gospel, but he became the prisoner. He said I am willing to be bound, not only bound, but I am willing to die for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

So we see that this is Paul, once a persecutor becoming a preacher and then a prisoner of Christ. He says that he is an apostle who is sent by God to preach the Good News. There are so much bad news, but now we have Good News! The best news ever that Jesus is God. He says I come with the authority of being an apostle, not because I chose to, but because God called me. It is by His will that I am an apostle. He was the one who arrested me on the way to Damascus; He is the one who entrusted the message of salvation to me.

 

So I am here by His will because that’s where I want to be—in the center of God’s will. There is no safer place than being in God’s will. He says I am writing to the church, the saints in Ephesus. Saints are holy ones, not perfect ones on earth, but ones who God has set aside, set apart for His purpose. Not to live for ourselves, but to live for Him. All things were created by Him, through Him and for Him. Our purpose is for Him.

 

He says Ephesus. Ephesus is located at the western coast in Turkey. It was a prosperous port, very rich and it was the fourth greatest city in the Roman Empire with a whopping 300,000 population, it was the largest in its province. Now by our standards, 300,000 is very small, isn’t it? But in those times, it made Ephesus a very large city and it had one of the seven wonders of the world. There was a temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis in Greek, Diana in Latin. And this is goddess’ fertility, the goddess who would give good luck for new life. We know it was actually the goddess of sexual immorality.

 

Paul, inspirited by the Spirit, writes to this church, where they live in the city which is prosperous and very religious and sexually immoral. And he says: they are the faithful in Christ Jesus. Faithful means full of faith in Jesus Christ. Not what we do, but what God does. It is not a relief? It is not about what we do, it is about what God Himself does, and has done and will do. It is all about God.

 

Ephesians 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

God, our Father, emphasizes our intimate family relationship with God. The Father and the Lord equates the divine nature in both Father and Son.

 

Ephesians 1:3, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

 

This is exciting! This is the best news! Isn’t it? Our Father and our Lord, they have chosen to bless us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. Heavenly realms as Paul’s earthly realms are to emphasize that these are spiritual blessings. Spiritual blessings don’t perish. Spiritual blessings are eternal. Spiritual blessings are the most valuable.

The verb, “has blessed us” is in the past tense, telling us that God has done this fact. It is a fact. It is reality. We have every blessing that we need for godly living, for living the spiritual life that God calls us to. Every spiritual blessing, not some, not a portion, but all! Our Father is gracious! Our Father is generous! Our Father wants to give you everything. And He does. He gives you everything. And He has given you everything. Because you no longer live in the earthly realms, but you and I who believe, we live in the new realm. Yes, we live on earth but we live in Jesus! We are now transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light--in Christ, a new era, a new kingdom with its new rules. We are new creation. All has gone and the new has come.

 

 

 

Ephesians1:4 For He chose us in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.   

 

One of the first blessings is His selection of us. Isn’t that amazing? Even before we came into the world, even before we had done anything, God chose you. He chose me. He chose us. I am not very athletic. And at school, I was always picked last for the soccer team. Who wants the fat guy? I was the fat guy on the soccer field. They could hear me coming: Pang! Pang! Pang! Here comes the fat guy. I was always picked last, because there is nobody else to choose.

 

But God does not choose you last. He has thought about you. And he says I want you. I have chosen you to be the object of my love. I chose you before the foundation of the world. That’s a long time. A very long time, he has been thinking about you. And you are not an accident. He has planned you. He knitted you together little by little, bit by bit. And he has brought you into the world. And you are who you are by the grace of God.

It says that he chose us for a purpose. He chose us to be holy, to be more like Jesus; to be more like Christ; to be so identifiable that people see Jesus in you. They say “Hey, I saw Jesus at work!” “I saw Jesus in the bus!” “I saw Jesus on the subway!” Because you live in Jesus and Jesus just overflows from you. He wants you to be holy one with Him. You see Jesus is the only one who delighted the Father perfectly. And he says: I want you to be my delight. I want to be delighted in you. And I want you to be like Jesus.  

He also says I want you to be blameless. This was the word that is used here and it is to describe the sacrifices offered to God.

Sacrifices without blemish, pure, clean. So He did not create us or choose us for ourselves but for His praise and glory. He chose us so that we would be holy and blameless in His sight, not our standards, not our measurements, but in His sight and His perfect standards.

 

Ephesians1:5 In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.

God dose everything in love. Isn’t it? God is love. He is perfect love, unfailing love, unending love, unconditional love, unlimited love. If you feel unloved, if you feel lonely, if you feel you know my mom or my dad, or my brother, my sister… they don’t love me. You have One in the heaven who says I love you. I love you. I love you.

He used the word “predestined” to show that it’s unshakable and it’s unbreakable. What I have chosen to do, no one can change. What I have done in eternality, nothing in time can change. What did He predestine us to do? To be adopted. According to Roman law, for what I understand, an adopted child had higher value than your natural child. You may have an unwanted pregnancy, but typically speaking, when you adopt someone, it’s deliberate; it is intentional. And God is saying I did not make a mistake. I adopt you. And I am going to bring you into my family. You were once a stranger, you were once an enemy, you once hated me. But I choose to adopt you to be part of my family. Not only do you become a part of the family but you become sons. You receive the full rights of sons. Everything that the son gets, you get. 

That’s right. You receive all that Jesus has. Everything! But I am not at the same level as Jesus. No, I am not. But Jesus’ Father says I am your Dad too. And since you are my son, you get everything too. All the rights, all the privileges that found in Christ are ours. I feel so unworthy. I feel so unworthy.

God is the one who makes us worthy. God is the one who qualifies us. Not we, not what we can do, not what we can say, not what we appear to be. He makes us worthy. And the reason for all of the choosing and adopting is verse six.

 

Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One he loves.

 

The principle for this section is found in

 

James1:17. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

 

Every good and perfect gift is from God. It comes from the father who created the stars, who created the universe, who created the sun. He says the shadows shift. But I who created the sun and the shadows do not change. What I have said is perfectly true. What I have promised is perfectly true. And it is impossible for me to lie. It’s impossible for God to lie and all His promises find for fulfillment in Christ. If you are in Christ, you will receive this wonderful inheritance.

 

So the question that I have for you then is: How will God’s innumerable blessings change the way you live? If God has given us so much, what is going to change?  

 

I’d like to see that, first of all, an attitude adjustment. We should be the most joyful people, the most thankful people in the whole world. We have been chosen, and we have been adopted, and we have eternal blessings that cannot be taken away from us, we are the most blessed people in the whole world; we are the most beloved people in the whole world; we are the richest people in the whole world.

 

An attitude adjustment. Will people call you joyful? Will people consider you a grateful  person? I believe that we should start looking at life and seeing each experience as a good and perfect gift from our loving Father.

 

So let’s pray together:

I adore you everlasting Creator and Father

I confess I have lovedYour gifts more than You

Thanks for personally selecting & adopting me

I pray for power to stand for the Truth at all cost.

Not only an our attitude adjustment, I believe we must be known as truth defenders. We must stand for the Truth, live for the Truth and die for Truth because Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. How do all of these happen? How do we get in Christ?

 

 

 

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.

In Him, in Christ, how did we get in Christ? How did we end up having a new relationship with God? When we were running away from God, when we were enemies of God, when we had no interest in God, when we loved the darkness more than light? How could this happen? Jesus willingly came and redeemed us. The word “redemption” has the idea of “buying back”, something that you owed; and the idea of deliverance, delivering a slave, freeing a slave. So when I think about redemption, there are two aspects in the Old Testament. One aspect is deliverance by power which we saw when God delivered the people powerfully out of Egypt, and then deliverance by payment, we see that in the book of Ruth where He pays for Ruth. So Jesus sees us as slaves, you might say: I’m not a slave. I’m a free man, I’m a free woman, a free child, and this is a free country, but there are two types of people: salves to the world system and slaves to God, which one are you? All of us were born as slaves to the world, enemies of God. But because Jesus says: I want to buy you back, because you are really my own, and I am going to pay the full price for you, and it will cost me my life, and it will cost me death on the cross; He willingly dies for you; he willingly dies for me. He says that’s how I will buy you back; that’s how I am going to give you a new life; that’s how I am going to transform you from darkness to light; that’s how you are going to become a new creation.

So He says without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness, and that’s how  we get in Christ. God says all the sins you committed against me, I forgive you, all! The dirty is canceled, you don't own me any thing and I have forgiven you; I not just cover your sins,  but I remove them from you, as far as east from the west, you have no more fear or condemnation when you are coming to my presence. You are now in Christ and you have been forgiven. So the blessing here is our redemption, free from slavery of sin, brought into the Kingdom of Light, and then forgiveness of sins. And He does this in accordance with the riches of God's grace which He lavished on earth through wisdom and understanding.

 

The principle for this particular section is: Present salvation does not remove the presence of sin in life but the power of sin over life. Salvation has three aspects, the past, God has removed the penalty of sin, the present, God has removed the power of sin, and then the future, God will remove the presence of sin. We no long have to sin, because we have Christ and all the blessing and power we need for Godly living.

So my question to you is: How will you deal with the sins you are struggling with? Even though we have access to all these powers, all this wealth, all these blessings, all these riches, if we go privately, we find in our hearts that we are not perfect, and we still continue to hurt, and grieve the one who loves us so infinitely. I believe prayer and the Word of God are our weapons.

2 Corinthians10:4-5 Our weapons have divine power to demolish strongholds…and every pretension…against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Do you feel struggling with sins in your life? Do you just want to know why it makes me fall so often? I believe the Lord has given us the power to overcome through prayer, speaking to God through His Word; His Word is power of God from salvation to all who believe. So let us pray the last four lines here.

I adore you risen and exalted Lamb of God

I confess prayer has become an empty ritual

Thank you for your infinite love and sacrifice

I pray I will love the lost and forgive my enemies

I just want to end with a little story herewe talked about birth, we talked about spiritual birth and love of God. Someone told me about a family and this family adopted a childNow we know that in China many people come here to adopt children, they spent a lot of time and a lot of resources to adopt children here, because children here are so lovable and adorable, and they want to participate in God’s plan to introduce the gospel to the children of China.

 

I remember a couple, who adopted a child, but the child was in a very severe health condition. This child had a mom overdosed on cocaine and because of the overdose, this child became blind, the child was deaf, the child could not speak or move. ?? pretty much, and this child you have to do everything for him, blow the nose, do the bathroom, activities. The parents never heard of the child singing, and  never received a hug from this child. This child was the object of their love; this child was the one they adopted. When I think about their love for this child, I'm totally blown away; I think who would adopt a disaster? Who would adopt a child that is blind? But you know, you and I are sinners. Wecan't see, we can't talk, we can't move, we can do nothing, we are just dead spiritually, and God says: I will adopt you, because I love you with the infinite love and unconditional love and unlimited love. I pray that today you will consider God's love and God's blessings  afresh and you will give your heart to Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, and you will know today will be your birthday, your spiritual birthday, and you will be born in Christ, filled with every spiritual blessing in Christ. May God bless you and see you next time.

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

Announcements:

 

1,  Ministry:
Talk Time (English) 12:30-1:30
Talk Time (Chinese) 12:30-1:30
Bible Study for Beginners 12:30-1:30
Prayer 12:30-1:30

 

2,Our small groups are starting again. This time we have 18 groups that are open to new members. We welcome you to join. Please visit here to sign up.我们的小组事工又开始了。这次我们有18个能接受新成员的小组。我们欢迎你来参加。请访问这里来报名您感兴趣的小组。

 

3, We will focus on Ephesians in the following 2-3 months, please pray for this, May God bless us. 各位弟兄姊妹接下来二、三个月内可以重点学习以弗所书的经文,以便加深对讲道内容的理解。求主保守我们的聚会、保守众弟兄姊妹在灵命上的成长,阿们!

 

4, Worship Choir is recruiting volunteers, especially musicians, please fill the form here. 英文诗班招募新成员,尤其需要乐手,请在这里报名申请。

 

Media Resources:

Sermon: God of all blessing video doc ppt
Worship song: Forever - Give Thanks to the Lord video audio lyric
Worship song: Jesus Thank You video audio lyric
Worship song: Power of Your Love video audio lyric
Worship song: 在乎你 Zai Hu Ni video audio lyric

 

 
 

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