By Jessica Wang
05 Aug. 2012 Sunday
|Sermon: Loving & Serving each other||video||audio||doc|
|Worship song: Lame Upon The Throne坐在宝座上圣洁羔羊||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Still||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Draw Me Close To You||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Seek Ye First||video||audio||lyric|
Worship leader Carol’s prayer:
Jesus, thank you for this morning. Thank you for loving us first. Thank you for being such a good example to teach us how to love and serve one another. Lord, please draw us closer to you, to be more and more like you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Worship song: Lamb Upon the Throne坐在宝座上圣洁羔羊
|Verse 1||Lamb upon the Throne who is Holy !
We bow down and worship You!
Who is, who was, and who is to come,
The only True and Almighty God!
Lamb upon the Throne who is Worthy!
We bow down and worship You!
Blessing, honor, glory and power,
All unto You forever more !
|Chorus||The King of kings !
The Lord of lords !
You are worthy of all praises and honor !
The King of kings !
The Lord of lords!
We exalt Your Name on high forever more!
|Verse CN||坐 在 宝 座 上圣 洁 羔 羊 ，
Zuo zai bao zuo shang sheng jie gao yang
我 们 俯 伏 敬 拜 祢 !
Wo men fu fu jing bai ni
昔 在, 今 在， 以 后 永 在，
Xi zai jin zai yi hou yong zai
唯 有 祢 是 全 能 真 神!
wei you ni shi quan neng zhen shen
坐 在 宝 座 上圣 洁 羔 羊 ，
Zuo zai bao zuo shang sheng jie gao yang
我 们 俯 伏 敬 拜 祢 !
Wo men fu fu jing bai ni
颂 赞、尊 贵、荣 耀、权 势
Song zan zun gui rong yao quan shi
都 归 给 你 直 到 永 远!
Dou gui gei ni zhi dao yong yuan
|Chorus CN||万 王 之 王 ! 万 主 之 主 ！
Wan wang zhi wang wan zhu zhi zhu
唯 有 祢 配 得 敬 拜 和 尊 崇 ！
Wei you ni pei de jing bai he zun chong
Worship song : Draw Me Close to You
|Verse 1||Draw me close to you. Never let me go
I lay it all down again
To hear you say that I'm your friend
|Verse 2||You are my desire. No one else will do
Coz nothing else could take your place
To feel the warmth of your embrace
Help me find the way, bring me back to you
|Chorus||You're all I want. You're all I've ever needed
You're all I want. Help me know you are near
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:8-10
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
Good morning, my dear brothers and sisters. How about letting us bow down and pray together?
Dear Lord, thank you so much for you love us so deeply that we can be adopted by you as your children. Lord, thank you so much for your blood, so that we can be cleaned. Lord, thank you so much for your love, so we'll know and feel how we can love others and serve others. Lord, we want to lift up all the brothers and sisters here in your hands and myself in your hands. Please teach us, let us understand your love, your deep love. Let us feel this and let us act this out in our daily life. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!
Dear brothers and sisters, I accepted Jesus when I was very young, four or five years (old). Since I got to know Him and I know that he loves me so deeply, and I know that only in Jesus Christ, can I be satisfied. However, sometimes I still feel weak, especially when I think I am lonely, I am alone, I am very weak. So I want to share my own experience when I was single.
I remember three years ago, I was very struggling about my own situation. Because I thought I was old enough, but I couldn't find my Mr. Right. So one day, when I attended a worship service in Southern California, I felt very terrible. I felt I was alone. I felt that God could answer my prayer about Church, about others, but God could not hear my prayer about my own situation.
During that service, the pastor asked all of us to pray for each other even you did not know them. So I prayed for my neighbour. And after the service, one of the sisters came to me and I even did not know her. It's the first time I attended that church and also it's the first time I met her. I am sorry for now I could not remember her name, but she told me,
“During the prayer time, I prayed for you. And I know that Lord loves you, our Jesus loves you and He knows your thought, your situation and your feeling.”
So dear brothers and sisters, I was very touched by what she said. The Lord Jesus Christ drew me near to Him through that sister’s prayer and encouraged me. Let me know that He still loves me and cares for me and cares for what I need.
So dear brothers and sisters, today we are going to use I Peter 4:8-10 to share the topic – “Loving and Serving Each Other”. Last Sunday, we studied a Love sermon series. Gloria talked about “Falling in Love with Jesus”. So we must start by receiving God unconditional love for each other. We should let Him be our satisfaction and love Him with all our heart, our soul, our mind and our strength. I think this is the first step in preparation for dating and marriage. The important thing in our life is to love God. And our loving relationship with God will result in our loving others. So today we are going to go to the second step – loving and serving one another. No matter whether we are single or married, we need to know how to love each other and serve each other. So today is the second step for preparing for dating and marriage -- loving and serving each other.
I Peter 4:8 tells us that the important thing is to love others deeply. So it says that,
“Above all, love each other deeply.”
So the first point I will share with you is that "love each other deeply". But what is love? How can we love each other deeply? Before I started to date, I was expecting a romantic kind of love. For me, this meant that he, my boyfriend, would have to love me always, serve me always, buy me gifts always. So I don't know, dear sisters, what you thoughts are. And he will show his love in romantic ways.
I: Three Types of Love
But actually, in fact, love must be deeper than that. So there are many different ways to understand love and show love to each other on earth. Earthly, thinking about love and showing love to others or understanding love may have three types of thinking.
One is that, “If you love me, then I love you. If you hate me, then I hate you.” This kind of love has a weak foundation. If this foundation changes, love will change. It can not last very long. Second, “If you love me, then I love you. If you hate me, then I will not hate you. But I will not love you anymore.” This is much better than last one, but also this kind of love could not last either. Third, “If you love me, then I love you. If you do not love me, then I will still love you. I will love you unconditionally.” What do you think which kind of love is this? If you still remember, you will know that this is Christ’s love, in Greek, we call it agape love. Only Jesus Christ can love us unconditionally. And also, as a follower of Jesus Christ, we need to learn this kind of love, and also we need to practise this in our daily life by the power of our Lord.
II: Doxology of Love
So there is one scripture I love the most, it is I Corinthian 13:4-8. I call it the great song of agape love. It says that,
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
i: Love is Patient.
So it is talking about agape love. This song shows 15 characters of love. Because time is limited, I will just share with you two of them to understand what agape love is. First, agape love is patient. It means long serving. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is patience. Only when the Holy Spirit works in our heart, can we be patient. Otherwise, we could not have patience. So let our Lord Jesus Christ work in our heart, especially for those who are single .Be patient, waiting for your love, or loving others. And also let all married men or women be patient with your wife or husband. Only when the Holy Spirit works in our hearts can we be patient.
I remember one day one sister shared with me about her own experience about patience. I was very touched by what she said. We all have this kind of experience. But if I were her, I would not do that. But what she shared with me really touched my heart. She told me it took her more than 20 minutes to transfer from one line to another line in a subway station. Dear brothers and sisters, have you ever experienced this? We know that in Beijing, it is very crowded. Every morning and evening, we have to suffer from transferring in subway station, railway station or bus stop. She said, although there was such a huge crowd of people, she did not feel bored or tired. Guess! What did she do during that time? She told me that she prayed for those people around her and she gave thanks to our God for giving her that great opportunity. She said, “Even though I did not know those people, but I still thanked God for giving me these precious 20 minutes to walk with them and pray for them.”
Dear brothers and sisters, what is that? That is patience! Because our Lord Jesus loves us, so he has patience for all of us. Even though we sin against Him, He still loves us and waits for us to go back to Him. Because this sister experienced God’s love for her, she can have patience and pray for others she does not know even in such bad situations. Love is patient. Love can produce patience.
ii: Love is Kind.
Second, love is kind. Kind means gentle and merciful. Someone uses this acronym to understand what means to be kind. “K” stands for knowledge; “I” stands for investment; “N” stands for need; “D” stands for decision. What does that mean? That means we must start by getting to know others, especially, to know their needs.
Then, if we know that being kind requires us to invest our time, energy, and money in response to the needs of others. To be kind, we need to focus on others’ rights rather than ourselves’. In addition, to be kind is not only to have knowledge of knowing others’ needs, but also needs us to act it out through our decisions in our daily life. That is kind! Dear brothers and sisters, being kind is not something in your mind. We must be willing to know others’ needs and we must turn it into actions by investing our love, time, money and energy to fulfill others’ needs.
So dear brothers and sisters, before you start to look for your Mr. Right or Mrs. Right, I am praying for you that you prepare yourself in our Lord Jesus Christ to be kind, to be patient, to be good to yourself and to others and love others.
There are so many things about love in I Corinthians chapter 13. I cannot share all of them. However, it reminds us that we should know and understand what love is, we can love others, then we can find our love partners of our life. But how can we apply those in our daily life?
There is a way. Today, I would like to invite all of us to apply it using I Corinthians chapter 13. Please replace the word “love” with your name. Also, this is what one sister shared with me. She always checks herself (to see) if she loves others or not. Let us try together and check us if we really love others or not. And we can also check ourselves if we love God or not. Replace “love” with your name. Replace “I” with my name. Let’s read it together. After you read this passage, you will know what you need, and what you should be like? I was ashamed of myself when I read it (replaced “love”) with my name. But I want to check it myself and I also want to invite you to check it yourselves. Let’s start. Remember, replace “love” with your name, replace “I” with my name, Read loudly! One, two, three, begin!
“Jessica is patient, Jessica is kind. Jessica dose not envy, Jessica does not boast, Jessica is not proud. Jessica is not rude, Jessica is not self-seeking, Jessica is not easily angered; Jessica keeps no records of wrongs. Jessica does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Jessica always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. ”
Tell me your feelings. After I read this, I should confess my sins to our Lord Jesus Christ, because I am not patient, I am not kind, I do not always protect, I do not always hope, I do not always trust.
There is a scripture in the Bible which tells us that
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love to one another, for he who loves his fellowmen has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).
On our PowerPoint we have the scripture. I will speak it in Chinese for more to understand it.
Let us remember that we have a continuing debt to love each other.
III: Love Covers Sins.
Thirdly, love covers over a multitude of sins. When we read this scripture which is from I Peter chapter 4 verse 8 .It does not mean that our love can cover our sins against God, but the truth is that there is only one whose love can cover our sins against God. He is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ’s love covers our sins, and He paid for our sins by dying on the cross. That’s how He showed His love for us. Dear brothers and sisters, we are all loved by our Lord Jesus Christ, no matter who we are, no matter what kind of situation we are facing, no matter how bad we are, our Lord Jesus Christ covers all this, and He paid for all of us, and He loves and accepts us. He showed His love by dying on the cross for us, by adopting us to be His own children. He showed His love by forgiving and forgetting our sins.
In I John Chapter 4 verse 9-10, Bible tells us,
“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
We are human beings. We are always weak and we are limited. Sometimes, we would love the ones who are lovely, but we do not love the ones who are not lovely. Then how can we change our attitude? How can we love each other deeply? We should remember that how God loves us. Our Lord commands us, “You should love one another, because I have already loved you.” We love because our Lord Jesus Christ loves us first.
So dear brothers and sisters, let us love each other deeply in our daily life and understand what love is. After I read I Corinthians Chapter 13, I got to know that in my loving relationship, what I expected from my boy friend was wrong. So, I took some other actions.
Before I got married, I and my husband (to-be, fiancé) went to buy marriage rings. We decided to inscribe scripture on them. You could not see it, but the scripture is inside the ring, and also you will also see our names. So, guess what we inscribed on the rings? It is “LNE”, which means “Love Never Ends.” It reminds us that we could not make our love lasting forever just by our own selves. This scripture is from I Corinthians, “Love Never Ends”. It reminds us that we need to be patient to each other; we must be kind to each other; we must protect each other; we must trust each other and we must hope with each other even if we might quarrel with each other.
So, each time when I see the ring, it will remind me that “it is love”. So what I am expecting is not bad things, and I should learn from the Bible and change my mind and my attitude. And my husband will do this the same.
IV: Serving others and the Lord
Fourth, serve each other and serve the Lord together. 1 Peter chapter 4, verses 9 to 10 tell us that,
“9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
These words tell us that (we should) serve each other and the Lord with the gifts that He gives us. I believe that everyone has the special gifts that only you have, that you can use to serve others and the Lord. So dear brothers and sisters, think about it and pray about it, what kind of gifts does God give to you? So, do not admire others; do not say that “I am so weak. I am nothing. I cannot do this, I cannot do that.”; “I am not like Carol because she could lead the worship.” Do not think in that way, because the Bible says that the Lord has given each of us different gifts, we can use these gifts to serve others and the Lord together. The Lord works through us to meet others’ needs.
When we read the Bible and we will find out that in Ruth, there is a romantic loving account about Ruth and Boaz. Through this account, we know that Boaz was the one who loved to serve others for the sake of the name of God. If you know about this Old Testament account, you will know that Boaz became aware of Ruth when he saw her gleaning in his field. And after he learned that, he asked others to give her extra food and what she needed, not only physically but also emotionally. In the end, they got married. Their son is the grandfather of King David.
So dear brothers and sisters, when we get to know this, we should use our time, our precious time, not just waiting for the ones (in need) to come to us, not just waiting for your Mr. or Mrs. Right, but treasure your single time to equip yourselves and serve one another and the Lord. No matter if you are single or married, we must treasure our time to serve the Lord and to serve others, using the gifts the Lord gives us.
I also have this experience of serving the Lord and serving others together and getting to know my husband before he became my husband. I think this is the best way to get to know each other; this is the best way to build a very beautiful relationship and friendship.
Jessica’s sharing of her relationship:
I remember two years ago, on Christmas, I was asked to preach at one of our meeting places. My husband, his name is Li, was asked to take photos of me on that early Christmas morning. Before that, I just knew his name, but I did not know who he was, or what kind of person he was. But through that morning service together, I got to know that he was very kind, and also he was the one who loved the Lord so deeply, and he was the one who wanted to use his gifts to serve our Lord as a photographer. Through his serving, I had a good impression of him.
The next time we met together was when I was visiting a girl who was a leukaemia patient. She had to leave Beijing for a while to go back to her hometown. But because she was so weak, she could not take the public transportation to go to the Beijing Railway Station, and she needed to ask someone to take her there. But I was not a good driver, especially I do not have sense of directions. So I asked my real (biological) brother to take her to the railway station. But on the afternoon, he told me that, “Sister, sorry, I could not help her because I have some other emergency to deal with.” At that time, it made me think of Li. Only four hours left before I had to make a decision to ask him if he could come and serve in this way. I rememberat that time when he served with me, he told me one sentence that, “Jessica, if you have anything that you need help with, just let me know two hours earlier, then I can come.”
This made me think of him, so I called him, and he came. And we together took this sister to the Beijing Railway Station. When we got back home, it was later than 11pm. Through this, I got to know that he did not only treat me well; he did not only treat our God well; but he was also treating others well, even this very weak girl. So in the end, we got married. (Applause.)
So dear brothers and sisters, I just want to encourage you, use your precious time to serve the Lord and others. And this is the best way to get to know other brothers and sisters. I will try to make this church a place for all the singles, and try to make you serve together. But there is one thing that I want to remind you of. Dear brothers and sisters, when you start to serve the Lord and others, your purpose is not to seek your own desires. Like what we have learned today, “seek His kingdom and His righteousness first, and all these things will be given to you.” (Matthew 6:33) Dear brothers and sisters, this is what I share with you – loving and serving each other; loving and serving our Lord.
May God bless all of us.
Transcribed and edited by Hui Ren, Cuicui Wang, Franz and Liu Laoshi with the love from our Lord Jesus Christ.