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06.02.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY:

How do we find comfort in our suffering? How do we comfort others in a way that is genuine and heart-felt? Come hear what Paul says about the comfort God supplies in our first sermon in our series on 2 Corinthians.

 

REFLECTIONS:

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.

―C.S. Lewis

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy and shall break In blessings on your head.

—William Cowper

 

SCRIPTURE:

Acts 1:1-11

1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when [Jesus]  was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-11

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. 8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.  

 

CONFESSION OF SIN

Almighty God, you raised Jesus from death to life and crowned him Lord of all. We confess that we do not always bow before him or acknowledge his rule in our lives. We have gone along with the ways of the world and failed to give him glory. We have refused to see our suffering as a sharing in his own suffering.

(silent confession)

Forgive us and raise us from sin, that we may live as your faithful people, Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

SONG TO CONSIDER

1. Light after darkness, gain after loss,
Strength after weakness, crown after cross;
Sweet after bitter, hope after fears,
Home after wandering, praise after tears.
 
2. Sheaves after sowing, sun after rain,
Sight after mystery, peace after pain;
Joy after sorrow, calm after blast,
Rest after weariness, sweet rest at last.
 
Weeping may remain for a night
But joy arrives in morning’s new light
I’ll praise the God of merciful plight
Still I will praise him,
still I will praise him, my God.
 
3. Near after distant, gleam after gloom,
Love after loneliness, life after tomb;
After long agony, rapture of bliss,
Right was the pathway, leading to this.
 
You give and you take away
In darkness still I will say:
“A good God I serve this day.”
Still I will praise you, still I will praise you.
 
from Our Strivings Cease, released November 18, 2018 Words: Frances Ridley Havergal, 1879 (verses); Zac Hicks, 2008 (chorus & bridge) Chorus & Bridge based on Psalm 30:5 & Job 1:21 Music: Zac Hicks, 2009 (c)2009 Unbudding Fig Music (ASCAP)