Sunday, 6th March 10.30 am Order of Service

Live Stream Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUXqSPpmvi0FrIfSLUqiCEA

WELCOME

HYMN SOF 410 – O Come. O Come Immanuel –

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Chorus:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel,
shall come to thee o Israel!

O come, o come, Thou Lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law,
in cloud, and majesty, and awe.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny; From depths of hell Thy people save, and give them victory o’er the grave.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heav’nly home,
make safe the way that leads on high,
that we no more have cause to sigh.

PRAYER

Children’s Address

David says in Psalm 25:16–20,

Turn to me and help me. I am lonely and hurting. Take away the troubles of my heart. Set me free from my great pain. Look at how Im hurting! See how much I suffer! Take away all my sins. Look at how many enemies I have! See how terrible their hatred is for me! Guard my life. Save me. Dont let me be put to shame. I go to you for safety.

In these verses, David talks about his thoughts and feelings about all of the things that are going wrong in his life. Instead of letting his feelings of loneliness and suffering get him down, David chose to put his trust in God.

In the middle of his fear, David recognised that only God could save him. So he called out to the God of true peace and strength and trusted Him for safety.

Do you sometimes feel like everything is going wrong? Everyone goes through difficult times in their lives. Some situations—including some of the changes caused by COVID-19—can cause us to be anxious or afraid. But just like David, we can call out to God for help and safety.

We need to give our fears and worries to God. Ask Him to take away the troubles of our heart and allow us to rest in Him – He will look after us. He is our safe place—no matter what challenges we face.

SOF 1419 – Light of the World

Light of the world, You stepped down into darkness,

Opened my eyes, let me see

Beauty that made this heart adore You,

Hope of a life spent with You.

So here I am to worship;

Here I am to bow down;

Here I am to say that

You’re my God.

And You’re altogether lovely,

Altogether worthy,

Altogether wonderful to me.

King of all days, oh, so highly exalted,

Glorious in heaven above,

Humbly You came

To the earth You created,

All for love’s sake became poor.

So here I am to worship;

Here I am to bow down;

Here I am to say that

You’re my God.

And You’re altogether lovely,

Altogether worthy,

Altogether wonderful to me.

Here I am to worship;

Here I am to bow down;

Here I am to say that

You’re my God.

And You’re altogether lovely,

Altogether worthy,

Altogether wonderful to me.

And I’ll never know

How much it cost

To see my sin

Upon that cross.

(repeat 2 more times)

So here I am to worship;

Here I am to bow down;

Here I am to say that

You’re my God.

And You’re altogether lovely,

Altogether worthy,

Altogether wonderful to me.

Here I am to worship;

Here I am to bow down;

Here I am to say that

You’re my God.

And You’re altogether lovely,

Altogether worthy,

Altogether wonderful to me.

Here I am to worship;

Here I am to bow down;

Here I am to say that

You’re my God.

And You’re altogether lovely,

Altogether worthy,

Altogether wonderful to me.

Here I am to worship;

Here I am to bow down;

Here I am to say that

You’re my God.

And You’re altogether lovely,

Altogether worthy,

Altogether wonderful to me.

READING Isaiah 7

When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.

2 Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.

3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field. 4 Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood—because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah. 5 Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying, 6 “Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.” 7 Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘It will not take place,
it will not happen,

8 for the head of Aram is Damascus,
and the head of Damascus is only Rezin.
Within sixty-five years
Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.

9 The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all.’”

10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”

12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”

13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. 17 The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah—he will bring the king of Assyria.”

Assyria, the Lords Instrument

18 In that day the Lord will whistle for flies from the Nile delta in Egypt and for bees from the land of Assyria. 19 They will all come and settle in the steep ravines and in the crevices in the rocks, on all the thornbushes and at all the water holes. 20 In that day the Lord will use a razor hired from beyond the Euphrates River—the king of Assyria—to shave your head and private parts, and to cut off your beard also. 21 In that day, a person will keep alive a young cow and two goats. 22 And because of the abundance of the milk they give, there will be curds to eat. All who remain in the land will eat curds and honey. 23 In that day, in every place where there were a thousand vines worth a thousand silver shekels, there will be only briers and thorns. 24 Hunters will go there with bow and arrow, for the land will be covered with briers and thorns. 25 As for all the hills once cultivated by the hoe, you will no longer go there for fear of the briers and thorns; they will become places where cattle are turned loose and where sheep run.

SERMON Sermon 4 The Sign of a pregnant virgin

Isaiah has set the scene for us, and now he starts to get into the prophecy that God has given to him. Isaiah is looking at the threats that come our way in our lives – and also looking at the way God makes wonderful provision for us.

Here is chapter 7, Jerusalem in under a military threat. God says to His people in verse 11 – “Trust Me and ask for a sign”. The Israelites refuse to put their trust in God – and they refuse even to ask for a sign. And God says to them: “Well – I’m going to give you all a sign anyway! A virgin will conceive – and her son will be Immanuel – God is with us. And… because you want Assyria rather than ME, I will give you Assyria – and let me tell you – you WON’T like it!”.

So – that is the bones of the chapter. So… why would we choose this chapter out of the 66 chapters? Well, we see here very clearly the 2 options that all humans face. We can either side with Ahaz – his position is very clear “I will NOT seek God when the going gets tough”. And, sadly, that is the position taken up by many people – even in our little community here. It would seem that NOTHING will bring them to asking God for help – and therefore they will never receive God’s help – even in eternity.

The other option comes to us in the form of a virgin giving birth to God’s Son – Immanuel. At first glance it might seem that a mighty army like Assyria is a better bet than a helpless baby, but that baby turns out to be not only Almighty – but also the Saviour of the world.

So… what are the issues here? Well the big one is HOW do we respond to our fears? We may have a whole variety of fears – the fear of being disliked – or maybe a fear of flying – or a fear of running out of money – a fear of illness – some people fear having deadlines – some children have a dread of a playground bully – and some folks will say that they fear that their job is just too much for them

You may (or may not) know this – the commitments command in the Bible is…? Do not be afraid! Now, we all may be temped to fear at time. And we need to be alert to the fact that fears may just creep up on us un-announced. As God’s children, we must be prepared for this – and listen to the gentle voice of God saying to us – Do not be afraid.

It is in verse 9 that we get the key theme of the chapter:

If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.

Acts 14:21-22

Paul and Barnabus 21 preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.

Be sure, in YOUR faith, there will be many hardships. But remember what God is doing both in YOUR life – and in the working out of His wonderful Plan of Redemption in the world – THROUGH YOUR SUFFERING. It is in the FURNACE that precious metals are forged.

We are encouraged, in the midst of life’s ups and downs to look to that Son of a Virgin – that man of sorrows and acquainted with grief – that Man Who went through HELL to win us and save us and to keep us for eternity. We look to that glorious Saviour Who reminds us that if they persecuted HIM – they will certainly persecute US ALSO. But He promises to be WITH US in the midst of the lion’s den – or in the fiery furnace.

The latter half of the chapter speaks very clearly to us of the cost of unbelief. King Ahaz led the people of God into a dreadful place. It could all have been avoided, but the King and His people wanted nothing to do with God and they suffered the consequences.

We need to heed the warning – and at every opportunity in life – not least as we go through difficult times – we need to RUN TO JESUS.

PRAYER

Hymn SOF 1239 – From the squalor of a borrowed stable –https://youtu.be/YksTeR61O1I

From the squalor of a borrowed stable,

By the Spirit and a virgin’s faith;

To the anguish and the shame of scandal

Came the Saviour of the human race.

But the skies were filled with the praise of heaven,

Shepherds listen as the angels tell

Of the Gift of God come down to man

At the dawning of Immanuel.

King of heaven now the Friend of sinners,

Humble servant in the Father’s hands,

Filled with power and the Holy Spirit,

Filled with mercy for the broken man.

Yes, He walked my road and He felt my pain,

Joys and sorrows that I know so well;

Yet His righteous steps give me hope again –

I will follow my Immanuel.

Through the kisses of a friend’s betrayal,

He was lifted on a cruel cross;

He was punished for a world’s transgressions,

He was suffering to save the lost.

He fights for breath, He fights for me,

Loosing sinners from the claims of hell;

And with a shout our souls are free –

Death defeated by Immanuel.

Now He’s standing in the place of honour,

Crowned with glory on the highest throne,

Interceding for His own beloved

Till His Father calls to bring them home!

Then the skies will part as the trumpet sounds

Hope of heaven or the fear of hell;

But the Bride will run to her Lover’s arms,

Giving glory to Immanuel!

Benediction

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