Sunday, 15th November 6.00pm Thanksgiving Service

THANKSGIVING

WELCOME

HYMN Seek ye first the Kingdom of God

1 Seek ye first the kingdom of God,

and His righteousness,

and all these things shall be added unto you.

Allelu, alleluia.

2 Man shall not live by bread alone,

but by every word

that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Allelu, alleluia.

3 Ask and it shall be given unto you,

seek and ye shall find;

knock and the door shall be opened unto you.

Allelu, alleluia.

PRAYER

READING – Matthew 13 : 31-35

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

“I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”

SERMON – Small Faith Great God

Two little stories: each saying something about the remarkable growth of God’s Kingdom.

The first speaks of the mustard seed. It was about the smallest seed commonly used in Palestine and yet it became the largest of the shrubs rising to 10 or even 15 feet. This incredible feat of nature, Jesus predicts, is but a picture of what was going to happen to the SIZE OF THE Church. It started with a baby, and then a man, and then 12, then 70, then 120, then 3000 on the day of Pentecost. It could have remained just a little Jewish sect – but, NO – the Gentiles came in (are they the birds which perch in the Mustard tree?) and the Church spread until today somewhere near one THIRD of the world’s population are nominally Christian and perhaps a tenth of those have a real lively faith. There could be a quarter of a billion Christians on our planet today. When Jesus utters a prophecy, you can be sure it will come true! Don’t feel, if you are a Christian, that you are the only one in the world – it is not true – you are one of a huge worldwide family.

The next little parable of yeast indicates the extent of THE INFLUENCE of the Church in the world. Just a very little yeast can influence a whole batch of dough. – it goes from pita bread to Mothers Pride!

And this is what the Gospel has done and can do again in any part of the world. Richard Baxter speaks about the town of Kidderminster where he went to minister in 1647:
when I came thither first there was about one family in a street that worshipped God and called on His name, and when I came away (1661 – 14 years later) there were some streets where there was not one family in the side of a street that did not so.

************************************************

Neither was it merely in Church attendance that life changed in Kidderminster; the pubs which had been full on his arrival were emptied. The cursing and swearing which was so common on the streets disappeared. Life in Kidderminster was altogether changed by the coming of the Kingdom of God.

What God has once done and repeated in many towns in villages throughout the world: revivals here, revivals there – He can do here in Glenurquhart & Glenmoriston and we pray He will. No town or village is too hard for God!

Now, what is true of the Kingdom of God in the world is also true of the Kingdom of God in your life and mine. What starts off as just a tiny spark of faith, can and will grow with the watering of the Holy Spirit, as we allow Him, to something very significant for the Living God. Yes, God wants us to grow and grow in faith and in godly stature. But He also wants that yeast of the Holy Spirit within us to influence more and more of our lives. We stupidly hold on to this and that area of our lives. We don’t allow God into our family life, our marital life, our work lives, our leisure time, our neighbour contacts. Sometimes we would even keep Him out of our Church – OR TRY TO! No, God wants to be involved in EVERY PART of our lives – there is no part in which He is not vitally interested and He longs to take the humdrum washing of dishes… and as we do it for Him, He makes it into the highest of Christian service – problem with that awful woman, the recurring nightmares, the bill that is due tomorrow. All of that and all else too. Your smoking, your drinking, your swearing, your anger, your bitterness, your temptations, your urges. God wants to relieve us of the burden of them all. Oh how we cling to this little part of our lives and that. Instead we could be released from fear and anxiety – we could have all our burdens carried by Jesus, we could find ourselves on the very highest plains in the Master’s service. Don’t be content to paddle about in the shallow waters – dive right in and swim with Jesus. Feel His glorious presence flooding through your entire life – changing you, shaping you, moulding you, using you – and all for the glory of His Name. Let’s look up to Jesus – place our faith entirely upon Him – our sweet Saviour.

PRAYER

Hymn Burdens are lifted at Calvary

1 Days are filled with sorrow and care,

hearts are lonely and drear;

burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near:

Burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Calvary, Calvary;

burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near.

2 Cast your care on Jesus today,

leave your worry and care;

burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near:

Refrain

3 Troubled soul, the Saviour can see,

ev’ry heartache and tear;

burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near:

Refrain

Benediction

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