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2012-04-01 The Heart of God

Time: 2012-04-02 Click:

 

By Pastor Wu
01 Apr. 2012 Sunday

 

 

 

Presider: Gloria Li

Beginning Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I want to give all the thanks to you. Thank you for sending your most beloved Son to us. Thank you for saving us. Lord, today we come to you, knowing that this week is Passion Week, please prepare us to remember your salvation. Please let us remember you love us so much. We want to run into your arms because the riches of your love will always be enough. Please let us give the love to the people around us. Lord, please help us to surrender our lives to you. We want to become the true followers of you. And may your Spirit lead us step by step everyday. Lord, may you be the center of today’s worship. I pray for the worship team, may they worship you with all of their heart. I pray for the congregation here, may you lead them so that they can participate in the service today. I also pray for the preacher, may you anoint him, may he be full of your grace and wisdom. May your Word be our comfort and satisfaction. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

Worship song 1 : Worthy is Our God

Psalm
95:1-7
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. 
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! 
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. 
诗篇
95:1-7
来啊,我们要向耶和华歌唱,向拯救我们的磐石欢呼!
我们要来感谢他,用诗歌向他欢呼!
因耶和华为大神,为大王,超乎万神之上。
地的深处在他手中;山的高峰也属他。
海洋属他,是他造的;旱地也是他手造成的。
来啊,我们要屈身敬拜,在造我们的耶和华面前跪下。
因为他是我们的神;我们是他草场的羊,是他手下的民。
Verse 1 Poor and wicked, Rich and righteous
All you nations rise and sing
Weak and needy, Sick and thirsty
Sing to Jesus - King of Kings
Chorus All the oceans roar
All the mountains tremble
Lord, all of creation sings Your praise
Worthy is our God
Respected, feared, exalted
We will lift our hearts
to worship You - King of Kings
Verse 2 CN 生命之水灌溉万物
sheng ming zhi shui guan gai wan wu
生命之粮我渴望你
sheng ming zhi liang wo ke wang ni
主的大能是我们福分
zhu di da neng shi wo men fu fen
将会一直到永久
jiang hui yi zhi dao yong jiu
Chorus CN 群海在喧啸 群山在震颤
qun hai zai xuan xiao qun shan zai zhen chan
世上万物都来颂扬你
shi shang wan wu dou lai song yang ni
主应受尊崇 万物敬畏你
zhu ying shou zun chong wan wu jing wei ni
高举火热的心灵敬拜你
gao ju huo re di xin ling jing bai ni
Verse 2 Living Water, come and fill us
Bread of Life, we long for You
God Almighty is our portion
And He will forever be
Witness(Original Songs & music by Jordan Wendt & Lily Wendt) The story behind this song is simple. I was in a small group, and the brother leading the group asked if I would be interested in leading the singing. It had been a long time since I had led music, and I was not feeling very confident. I was walking home one day and I prayed a simple prayer "Lord, give me a song for this group". To my amazement, when I got home and picked up my guitar the chords and melody just came to me. I started writing the words that day too. Over the next week or so, I would write some more words in English and my wife, Lily, would help make some small changes. When all the words were written in English, Lily helped translate them to Chinese. Many of the lyrics are borrowed from scripture, especially Psalms and the Gospel of John. It has been a joy to share this song with others, and tell of God's power in helping me write it. God's Spirit can help us to do many creative things for His glory. I was amazed when I heard the story of the Chinese woman Xiao Min in rural Henan province who has written over 1,000 hymns (迦南诗歌). I encourage everyone to ask God in faith, that He would use them to do new and exciting things to glorify His name. He deserves all the glory, honor, and praise.     --- By Jordan Wendt

 

  

Worship song 2: How Great Thou Art

Verse 1 O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Chorus Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Verse 2 C 当我想到,神竟愿差他儿子
dang wo xiang dao, shen jing yuan chai ta er zi 
降世舍命,我几乎不领会。
jiang shi she ming, wo ji hu bu ling hui.
主在十架, 甘愿背我的重担,
zhu zai shi jia, gan yuan bei wo de zhong dan,
流血舍身为要赦免我罪。 
liu xue she shen wei yao she mian wo zui.
Chorus C 我灵歌唱,赞美救主我神, 你真伟大,何等伟大!
wo ling ge chang, zan mei jiu zhu wo shen, ni zhen wei da, he deng wei da!
我灵歌唱,赞美救主我神, 你真伟大,何等伟大!
wo ling ge chang, zan mei jiu zhu wo shen, ni zhen wei da, he deng wei da!
 
Verse 3 When Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!
Bridge Sing, Hallelujah!
Oh-oh-oh, Praising!

 

 

Worship song 3: Jesus, all for Jesus

Verse 1 Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be. (x2)
 
Verse 2 All of my ambitions, hopes and plans
I surrender these into Your hands. (x2)
Verse 3 For it's only in Your will that I am free (x2)

 

 

 

Worship song 4: In Christ Alone

Verse 1 In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.
Verse 2 In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.
Verse 3 There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
Verse 4 No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

 

 

 

 

Pastor Wu:

“Jesus, all for Jesus. All I am, and have, and ever hope to be, all for Jesus.”

What a powerful song; what a powerful spiritual formation that we have this morning. I believe the worship team and the worship service for this morning really brought us to the spiritual banquet, in which we not only enjoy our time but also our relationship with Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father. So I would like to take this opportunity to give thanks to the Spirit, and also give my heart-felt thanks to our worship leaders. They are very special, and they are very committed Christians.

 

Explanation of Palm Sunday

Brothers and sisters, today is the Palm Sunday of 2012. On this day, a bit less than 2 000 years ago, Jesus was entering the Holy CityJerusalem. Before He entered that city, He knew what was going to happen to Him; and before that, He shared what was going to happen to Him to His disciples, Peter and the rest of the team. He was saying that He was going to be crucified on the cross, and He was going to die, and in three days, He would come back to life. One of His disciples, Peter, came to Him, “Wow, no, Lord, you are not supposed to do that. We are not going to let that happen to you.” And Jesus said to Peter, “Demon, come to my behind!” Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him, but He did not hesitate to face the death, to enter Jerusalem, and to be crucified on the cross. He did not hesitate to come into our world that was hostile to the gospel, hostile to the teaching of the Lord, and hostile to our Heavenly Father. He did not hesitate to do that. He just walked in; actually, He entered Jerusalem on a humble donkey.

 

 

  

Stephen Marbury’s Witness

Brothers and sisters, I am personally a big fan of basketball. I love basketball even though I am short (see I am short). But still, it does not matter if you are short or tall so long if you enjoy the game. I enjoy it very much. Last Friday, I had a wonderful time! Last Friday, I had a very good time! Beijing basketball team won the national championship! I was so happy that I came to tear. A man in front of his wife, my wife was surfing on the internet, was crying in front of the TV. And I was touched not only by the result, that result that I have been expecting and praying for so many years, but also by a man who did a wonderful thing. And what he was doing really touched my heart, my spirit. And the man is Stephen Marbury. When 18 000 people stood up, crying out, “We are the champion!” this man collapsed onto the floor. He did not stand up, he collapsed. He was on his hips, he was not on his knees, but he collapsed on the floor with two hands in front of his face, praising and praying, giving praises to the Lord. Later he was interviewed by media, and a media reporter asked him, “How could you have come this far?” What is the response he had for this question?

 

“I thank God! I thank God!” When 18 000 people did not know the Lord, standing and saying, “We are the champion!” This man was on the floor, praising the Lord, saying,

“I thank God…” in a hostile world towards Christianity.

 

And this story reminds me of my trip last February to one of the Christian universities in Ohio. The university is located in the middle of the state, a nice and quiet environment. And this school requires of all the students, one hour everyday of the study to go to the chapel to worship together. All the faculties and students worship together. Because one of the primary intention and purpose of this school, a key foundation of this school is to bring these young kids up in a Christian college within a more and more secularized world, a country that is getting more and more hostile and secularized, this kind of environment. And I was so blessed by the dean, and my relationship with that university. And I have been trying to persuade my daughter to transfer from the university she goes to now to that college, but that might take some time to do because the new situation is challenging, that is something you have to conquer.

 

Today, we are so blessed that the president of that college, that university is with us. The president who insists that a Christian college, who brings up young kids based on our Christian teaching, Jesus’ teaching, in the future could contribute to the healthy growth of this world. And that president is here.

  

Guest Speaker:

 

Thank you, Pastor Wu, my brother and my friend. It’s wonderful to be here with family. Christians all over the world and throughout the history are family. We’ve got this where we come from. Thank you for your nice words about Cillaville College.

 

The reality is of course that as Christians, regardless of what we do in life, we are called to be follower of Christ, and how we live, how we think, and how we treat the people around us. Because how we live tells the world that there is something more to life than merely making money and having fame. Stephen Marbury showed that. He was key to that victory, and yet he felled down to give thanks to God. Great testimony, don’t you think? And that’s for all of us; because people may not understand what we believe always. They may question what we believe. But when they see a life lived that honours Christ, then they will want to know what it is that you believe.

 

His Testimony

I have a degree in mathematics from university; my dream was to go into outer space, to be an astronaut. But I came to know Christ during that period of time. It was difficult for me because I had to decide science or God. In my mind, you could not have both; it was one or the other. Then I began to realise after I heard about Jesus Christ, the God who created the world also created science. And there are the greatest scientists throughout history even today who are followers of God, they know Jesus Christ. So when I heard that Jesus came and died for me, just as we are saying, I gave my life to Him. I did not know where my future was going to lead, but I knew that I was going to walk with Him.

 

In the passage that we looked at just a moment ago in Nehemiah chapter one, it’s an great example that what it means to be a Christian in a unchristian world, a follower of God in a world that can be antagonistic to God. It didn’t bother Stephen Marbury when eighteen thousand people cheering, because in his mind, he wanted them, in one way or another that, to know he gave thanks to God.

 

The Background of Nehemiah

Nehemiah was a man who knew God, and he lived in cultural that was antagonistic to God. He was the cupbearer to the king. The cupbearer didn’t mean that he was just a food taster, but rather nothing got to the king Artaxerxes unless it got to Nehemiah first. He was a man of profound power and authority, of great respect and trust. He was a man of excellence, that is why he had such a prominent position. He was not a prophet, not a priest, not a pastor. In fact you might say that he was not even a politician. But he was a man of God.

 

When you read the book of Nehemiah, you are actually reading the last book of the Old Testament, at least historically. Because the prophet Malachi actually delivered the prophecy during the time that Nehemiah was in Jerusalem. As we read through the text we realized Nehemiah was serving the king in Susa which was the winter palace. It was November and December; it was twentieth year of Artaxerxes’ reign, which made 445 BC.

 

The Heart of God: Nehemiah’s First Concern

One of his brothers, Hanani, had returned from Jerusalem, which was eight hundred miles to the west of Susa, through a long and treacherous journey. Nehemiah asked him about two things. He was concerned about two things. he said, “How are the people in Jerusalem? How is the city of Jerusalem?” Now why would Nehemiah be concerned about these two things? Because God was concerned about these two things. As you read the Old Testament, you find that God has chosen for Himself a people, through whom He would bring the Word of God, the written Word of God and the incarnated Word of God – Jesus Christ. The whole focal point of God’s blessings and promises were these people. That is what the heart of God is beating, and that is what Nehemiah’s heart is beating as well.

 

The Heart of God: Nehemiah’s Second Concern

And the second thing he asked about was the city itself, how is the city? Why was he concerned about the city Jerusalem? Because God was concerned about Jerusalem, the only place in the world where the law of God could be fulfilled. And if that was what God’s concern was, that was Nehemiah’s concern as well. Nehemiah has heart and mind for God; Nehemiah has a concern for the things of God.

 

Just reading this is a challenge, because for you and for me, we must ask the question, “What is that our heart concerns? What God is concerned about, is that the same thing that I am concerned about?” You must realise that Ezra has been living in Israel for twelve years; you also must realise that a hundred years before, Jerusalem had been destroyed, the temple had been destroyed; and all the dreams and hopes of God’s people were rubble. And when the Persians conquered the Babylonians, they allowed the Jews to begin to return to Israel, but there was nothing there. Ezra came, and they rebuilt the temple. Worship could be restored, but it was still very sad because Jerusalem itself was rubble; no one could live there. Ezra preached and read the Word of God, but to no effective was that as the Israelites came back, they began to realise that the hopes and dreams they had as God’s people were still rubble; the rubbles of those walls and the gates, which symbolized the rubble of their own faith. For the very first time, because what they have heard frightened them right. May God give us the courage, that strength to live what it is we believe. Amen.

 

Let’s pray,

Father, thank you for your good work to us. Thank you for the example of Nehemiah for all of us, for you. Give us minds that think with yours, eyes to see what you see and heart that breaks with yours that we may be made one in God. And the people who want to come before you because of what they see in us, not because they are perfect, only because we love as you have loved us. In Jesus’ precious name we pray, amen.

  

Pastor Wu

What a powerful message Doctor Brown has given us. It tells us how we, as Christians, live in a no-Christian world, even though it challenges us with many difficulties, so long we have heart of God, and we will be the champion. Thank you Doctor Brown, for many blessings this morning. I will try my best to persuade my daughter to transfer to your college. Let’s say what might happen. And my wife was, actually this morning, working on that.

 

Another Personal Testimony

And again, this morning we are very much blessed to have another special guest, who is going to sing in a very special way, a style, Mongolian minority singing style, a Christian song. About two years ago, he came to Haidian Church for the first time because of his girlfriend. His girlfriend’s father was struggling with cancer. So the girl was very sad, and she urged her boyfriend to come to church to pray together. So he was kind of very hesitant. Anyway, he came to the church, he was not sure if God was real or God existed. But at the end of the service, before he left church, he said to God,

 

“God, if you are real, I have a sister whom I have not seen, or spoken a single word with for three years because three years ago she was fighting with our father, and she left home. For three years, I did not know where she was; I did not know what she was doing; I did not know if she was still alive or dead. If you are real, please Lord, help her to contact me in whatever ways.”

 

The following morning, he was contacted by his sister, whom he had not been communicating for three years. Based on that testimony, he wrote a song, Great Love, based on 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, “The Lord is love, and love is the Lord”. So he is going to sing that Great Love now. Let’s welcome!

 

Transcribed and revised by Esther MA and Franz HONG with grace and patience from the Lord.

Announcements

 

1,  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, Recruiting Volunteers
if you are a Christian, and interested in serving, please fill the application form here

 

  •  Host Team
  •  Technical Team (PPT, Lighting, Video Ctrl)
  •  Sermon Transcription Team
  •  Worship Team
  •  Translation Team

You are very welcomed to join us!

3, This following week is passion week. So the church has different activities at 7:00-8:00pm from Monday to Friday. If you want to know more information and the schedule, please go to our church's website(www.hdchurch.org) or see the announcements next to the outside stairs leading up to the church. Welcome you to come to church to meditate on Jesus' death and resurrection during passion week.

4, Book of the Twelve Prophets has been published by Religious Culture Press. The launching ceremony is held at Haidian church on Easter Sunday.

5, Our church will have three special worship services to celebrate Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday. The time for each service is:
 6:00-6:30am;     5:00-6:00pm;    7:00-8:30pm.
 If you have non-Christian friends, we encourage you to bring them to the service that starts at 5:00pm. You are welcome to join in us.

 

Media Resources:

Sermon: The Heart of God video audio doc
Worship song: Worthy Is Our God video audio lyric
Worship song: How Great Thou Art video audio lyric
Worship song: Jesus, All for Jesus video audio lyric
Worship song: In Christ Alone video audio lyric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 1:1-4
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,
2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.

  

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