Sunday 13th June 

Good Morning and welcome to Lapford Community Church.  Our worship, this morning, is being led by Mary.

Prayer  Thank you Lord for the technology that enables us to share worship during the Covid pandemic.  Thank you for the vaccines and the people who are delivering the roll out of vaccinations.  We ask that you will comfort those who have lost a loved one during these times, be close to them Lord, let them have a sense of your peace and upholding power to strengthen them.  We thank you for the wonderful sight of creation all around us, that remind us every day of your greatness and creativity, for only by your hand was the universe formed. We ask protection over the world and guidance for its leaders. We praise and thank you that you are the King of kings and ruler over everything.  Amen. 

 

Click here to read Philippians Ch2 v 1 – 11 (Life Application New living translation)

 

 

Many people – even Christians – live only to make a good impression on others or to please themselves.  But selfishness brings discord.  Paul therefore stressed unity, to love one another and to be one in spirit and purpose.  When we work together, caring for the problems of others as if they were our problems, we demonstrate Christ’s example of putting others first, and we experience unity.  Don’t be so concerned about making a good impression or meeting your own needs that you strain relationships in God’s family.

Selfishness can ruin a church, but genuine humility can build it. Being humble involves having a true perspective about ourselves.  It does not mean that we should put ourselves down.  Before God, we are sinners, saved only by God’s grace, but we are saved and therefore have great worth in God’s Kingdom.  We are to lay aside selfishness and treat others with respect and common courtesy.  Considering others’ interests as more important than our own links us with Christ, who was a true example of humility.

Jesus Christ was humble, willing to give up his rights in order to obey God and serve people.  Like Christ, we should have a servant’s attitude, serving out of love for God and for others, not out of guilt or fear.  Remember, you can choose your attitude.  You can approach life expecting to be served, or you can look for opportunities to serve others.

Christ has always existed with God.  Christ is equal to God because he is God.  Though Christ is God, he became a man in order to fulfil God’s plan of salvation for all people.  Christ did not just have the appearance of being a man – he actually became human to identify with our sins.  Christ voluntarily laid aside his divine rights and privileges out of love for his Father.  Christ died on the cross for our sins so we wouldn’t have to face eternal death.  God glorified Christ because of his obedience.  God raised Christ to his original position at the Father’s right hand, where he will reign forever as our Lord and Judge.  How can we do anything less than praise Christ as our Lord and dedicate ourselves to his service.

Often people excuse selfishness, pride, or evil by claiming their rights.  They think, “I can cheat on this test; after all I deserve to pass this class,” or “I can spend all this money on myself – I worked hard for it,” or “I can get an abortion; I have a right to control my own body.”  But as believers, we should have a different attitude, one that enables us to lay aside our rights in order to serve others.  If we say we follow Christ, we must also say we want to live as he lived.  We should develop his attitude of humility as we serve, even when we are not likely to get recognition for our efforts. Are you selfishly clinging to your rights, or are you willing to serve?

Prayer O Lord, give us a heart to serve you, help us to focus on Jesus and not ourselves.  Change our attitudes and instil a serving heart, more aware of others needs and not our own.  I live to serve your majesty.  Amen.

Death on a cross was a form of capital punishment used for notorious criminals.  It was excruciatingly painful and humiliating.  Prisoners were nailed or tied to a cross and left to die.  Death might not come for several days, and it usually came by suffocation when the weight of the weakened body made breathing more and more difficult.  Jesus died as one who was cursed.  How amazing that the perfect man should die this most shameful death so that we would not have to face eternal punishment.

At this point we will observe the Lords supper.  Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and said “Take it, for this is my body.” And He took the cup and gave thanks to God for it, and they all drank from it. Jesus said this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and His people.

At the Last Judgement even those who were condemned will recognize Jesus’ authority and right to rule.  People can choose now to commit their lives to Jesus as Lord or be forced to acknowledge him as Lord when he returns.  Christ may return at any moment.  Are you prepared to meet him?

Prayer Jesus is the father’s splendour; Jesus is the father’s joy, He will return to reign in majesty, and every eye at last will see that Jesus is our God  .I just pray that we are ready for your return Lord, that our eyes are focused on you, that you live in our lives daily, and that you guide and protect us all. We ask this in the name of Jesus your son.   Amen.


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