Introductory Music: 'How deep the Father’s love for us'
Welcome and Prayer: (Andrew Frame)
Opening Reading: Psalm 103
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will He harbour his anger forever;
He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us ….
From everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him ….
Song: Over the Mountains.
Young People’s Talk:
How are you with tongue twisters? – Here are a few to try:
‘Red leather, yellow leather’ – ok said once, but try saying it a few times!
‘A proper, copper coffee pot’
‘Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?’
‘She sells sea shells on the sea shore’
‘The Leith police dismisseth us’
The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick.
(According to The Guinness Book of World Records this is the toughest tongue twister - so far!)
Today we are thinking about how important it is to control our tongue.
How often have we said something then wished we hadn’t?
The Bible has lots to say about taming the tongue and we really
need God’s help to stop and think before we open our mouth and put our foot in it!
Let’s pray every day that our words will be pleasing to God.
The song coming up from John Hardwick and his puppet friends reminds us of this:
Song: One or Two Words.
Song: I want to walk with Jesus Christ.
Open Doors Videos – Focussing on Our Persecuted Brothers and Sisters
1: The top 5 countries where Christians are in great danger:
2: A North Korean Christian prays for us:
A suggested framework for our prayers:
For Persecuted Christians -
For those suffering because of their Christian faith,
that the Holy Spirit may fortify them with the courage to remain strong in faith,
as well as with the charity to forgive their persecutors, we pray to the Lord.
For Christians Fleeing Persecution - For all our brothers and sisters fleeing persecution and war,
that they may find safe haven and protection, and that they may rebuild their lives in dignity, we pray to the Lord.
For Those Assisting Refugees - For those who provide assistance to refugees fleeing persecution and violence,
that they may continue to see the face of Christ in the most vulnerable, we pray to the Lord.
For Their Persecutors - For those who persecute Christians and other religious minorities,
that the light of God's truth and mercy may penetrate their hearts, and that they may come to recognise the common humanity of all peoples and cease committing acts of hatred, we pray to the Lord.
For World Leaders -
For government leaders worldwide, that they may recognize the grave responsibility
that comes with power and may protect the persecuted and work for an end to violence and war, we pray to the Lord.
Song: Lord make me a mountain.
Gospel Reading – Matthew 12:33-37
“A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
‘Those who guard their lips guard their lives’ Proverbs 13v3
Let us quietly ponder how we should respond to God’s Word as we listen to following choir piece –
Song: May the mind of Christ my Saviour.
A Prayer for forgiveness and for grace for the future
Heavenly Father, we thank you that you love us deeply.
We thank You that You correct us with our best interests in mind.
You know how prone we are to sin in word and deed.
We come before You now with repentant hearts.
For the words spoken that would have been better left unsaid,
For the words left unspoken that should have been said,
For the deeds done that would have been better left undone,
For the deeds not done that should have been done,
Loving Lord, we ask for grace to leave the past behind.
Enable us, if at all possible, to find ways to put things right and to say sorry to those we have hurt.
Cleanse, reconcile and restore us, we pray.
Thank You for making possible our peace with God and with each other through Your atoning sacrifice.
Help us to move forward in Your love, building each other up by what we say and do.
Lord, guard all our words and our actions that they may be guided by you.
Continue to transform us by Your Spirit, we pray.
We present these humble and earnest requests in Your Name, Amen.
Verses to inspire us to speak and act positively and thankfully: Colossians 3 vs16-17
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and instructing one another in all wisdom,
singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Amen.
Final hymn: Guide my O thou great Redeemer.
Romans 15: 5-6
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another,
in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Loving God, we thank You for hearing our prayers,
feeding us with Your Word,
and encouraging us in our meeting together.
Take us, shape us and use us
to love and serve You, and all people,
in the power of Your Spirit
and in the name of Your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.