2 August 2020
Updated: Oct 16
Acts 9:1-31 - Saul (Paul): Persecutor turned Preacher
Worship led by Katie & Christy; Sermon by Anne
The children's service can be found on www.hillsong.co.uk, or go to YouTube: "Hillsong kids online service". The weeks are no longer shown so check that it is the most recent online service posted - it is released each Sunday morning.
Lord, when we consider just how big and powerful and perfect you are, feelings of awe wash over us. Indeed, who are we to think we can call you friend? And yet this is what Jesus made possible when he died to take away the things we think and say and do that lead us so far away from your perfection. If there's anything at all, possibly even something we feel very justified about but that you have a different perspective on, would you reveal that to us now so we can enjoy the blessing of both giving and receiving forgiveness freely. (You might like to use the instrumental that follows to help you make space for the Lord to bring those things to mind that he wants to help you deal with right now.)
1“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.2He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.3You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
Lord, would you open our hearts to the message that Anne would bring us today so that your word can both cleanse us and cause us to bear good fruit for you.
Reading: Acts 9:1-30
(Lyrics below the next video)
CHORUS The wonder of Your mercy, Lord The beauty of Your grace That You would even pardon me And bring me to this place I stand before Your holiness I can only stand amazed The sinless Saviour died to make A covenant of grace VERSE 1 I only want to serve you Bring honor to Your name Though I've often failed You Your faithfulness remains I'll glory in my weakness That I might know Your strength I will live my life at the Cross of Christ And raise a banner to proclaim... VERSE 2 You welcome us before You Into this holy place The brilliance of Your glory Demands our endless praise The One the only Saviour Has opened heaven's doors We can enter in, free from all our sin By Your cleansing sacrifice
from Glory of the Ages, released August 1, 1998 Words and music by Don Wallace © 1997 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)
Father God, we lift the world into your arms, that you may work miracles and show your power over the current pandemic. We know you can heal and we trust in your mighty name. Please bless the key workers and all those serving on the frontline.
We pray for the ongoing migrant crisis and all those facing uncertainty about their future, and the poverty in this country and in others. We thank you for the provision you have made so that we can provide in some way for those in need, both on our doorsteps and abroad (please see the feedback in our notices below from those with ties to Africa).
Thank you, Lord, for our ability to worship even during these hard times, that there are people behind the scenes working to provide us with sermons, music and bible studies, using their giftings so freely to bring glory to you.
In celebrating our own worship we also bring to you those living under persecution for living their Christian faith, for those suffering, imprisoned, and even being killed. Protect them, provide for them, and grant them a joy that lies beyond the suffering this world inflicts.
Lord, we know that in the world today we are surrounded with those who need your help. We pray that you would use us to do your work however it may be needed, both in sharing the gospel message and in offering whatever aid you lead us to.
We ask these things in and through your mighty name, knowing that you are able to break every chain that binds our human lives in any way, Amen.
If you'd like to donate to the work of this church, you can do so at:
Hayling Island Baptist Church
Sort code: 53-50-33
If you would like to find out more about how and why Christians donate to churches this article provides relevant scriptures and some interesting history on the topic.
Feedback on our African links:
1) Uganda: Mutima (Mel)
Hi everyone, I apologise for not updating you sooner but much has been happening and it's been challenging trying to keep up. After my forced vacation in Waterlooville I am very pleased to return to my little home on wheels back on the island.
While I was in Uganda Jan/Feb I know many of you stored booty for me to sell at the boot sales again. Well over the last 2 weeks I have been collecting all this lovely booty from you and have already done 2 sales, raising £207. This is a great start, and as long as the weather is kind I shall continue to do so. Fortunately, Brenda has given me the use of her garage again which is such a blessing, enabling me to collect and store everything in one place. I did bring back with me a lot of craft work made by the ladies of Mutima which will all be up for sale when I have the time to arrange.
Our small crisis support group are still sending money out to Pastor Lilian every fortnight for food and soap to the 16 families of Mutima and we have enough in the fund to continue until mid September. However we will be reviewing this support in a couple of weeks as things do not seem to be improving in any way for them out there. With lockdown and curfew still in force they still have no income. Actually the situation out there is worsening. As the Coronavirus spreads, figures of registered cases reached 1103 and on Thursday 23rd July their first death was registered. Movement is also a worry for them. Public transport has become very expensive and the Boda Boda (motorbike taxi service) has been banned, only private motorcyclists and private car owners are allowed movement.
Over the past 3 weeks Pastor Lilian has had health concerns for her 2 boys. Preston her youngest was the first to be hit with ill health, going down with fever and gastric problems. They took him to a clinic and he received 5 days of treatment: intravenous antibiotics for a bacterial virus. I am pleased to add he has recovered well and is almost back to his cheeky self. Patrick on the other hand is recovering from cuts and bruises to his face after being hit by a motorbike when Lilian took him out for ice cream for his birthday. Poor little chap spent most of his birthday at the hospital.
All in all they are not fairing too well right now. As lockdown for them clocks up 5 months they are now behind with rent for their home and the church, but their landlords seem very understanding as long as they can pay something. My plans were to return again Jan/Feb next year to start another building project but obviously with things as they are this may not happen. So for now, I shall continue for as long as possible raising funds from the boot sales but this money will be sent out to them now to help with the present situation.
I want to end on a positive note though. My time spent with Lilian and her family earlier this year was a time of pure joy, I learned so much from her. She is such a strong resilient lady but its her faith that builds that strength. A true warrior of God, and whatever is thrown at her - her faith pulls her through. Coronavirus IS a stumbling block no denying, but when God has a plan for us we have to walk on the pebbles too sometimes.
Thanks everyone for all your support and I look forward to when we can come together again and not in the virtual world.
(Jesus is my living hope)
2) Zimbabwe (Millie):
Current reported numbers of COVID-19 infections are approx. 3200 infections and 55 deaths. While Millie's family are fine at this stage (many of the population are self-sufficient), there are many in the urban populations who relied on work for income and face the fear of how to provide for families as the government has deployed the army to keep people in enforced lockdown, going on for the 5th month, but with no government aid to counter loss of income. Attempts to protest government actions are also quelled by the authorities. People are still living in fear and relying heavily on foreign aid.
3) South Africa (Nick, Christy, Greg & Moira):
Currently number 5 in the world for COVID-19 infections (approx. 500 000 infections, 8000 reported deaths, and approx. 11 000 new infections per day). The excess death rate from "natural causes" is currently more than 17000, suggesting significant numbers are not reaching the necessary facilities to be tested or treated due to transport challenges and distance from hospitals. On a positive note, the reintroduction on the ban on the sale of alcohol has dropped the number of injuries and deaths by several thousand per month, thereby opening up a significant number of beds in hospitals, which are making every effort to supply the necessary treatment. Unions have forced government school closures, but private schools have been encouraged to stay open. This has brought about a high alert for the safety of those attending school from anticipated attacks by union members. Taxi unions have protested to be able to carry their full capacity of clients (minibus taxis are the main mode of public transport) and due to threats of significant violence, government have granted this permission, so long as they drive with all the windows open. The arrangement is obviously still very risky for the travellers. Thousands face a very uncertain future due to the failing economy and significant job losses. As in the UK, churches have remained closed since March.
In the Sitsha family that HIB assisted earlier this year, Zuki's mother and uncle have been lost to COVID-19 (the last two of this generation) in the last month. Zuki also seems to be infected after caring for her uncle before knowing he had the virus. She is currently not at home, so her children (age 21, 13 and 8) seem to be free of the virus, though their greatest threat is the increased gang/gun violence in the area and also lack of schooling due to current conditions. We continue to pray for their protection, and also for our families, who continue to minister in their local communities where possible.
When will services resume at the Community Centre?
These guidelines from the government make it clear that due to the fact we meet in a shared community facility, it is not yet safe for us to open:
However, we are closely monitoring the situation and will keep you posted!
Hayling Holiday Lunches & the Food Bank
Many thanks to all who assisted with HHL deliveries on Monday. The government has said they will only provide vouchers for the summer and not in future holidays, so we are putting HHL on hold and we will see what happens. Paul Dennison, from the Bridge Church, will continue to collect for the Food Bank at their facilities. Sarah and David are still happy to receive food for the Food Bank at their home and to organise its delivery to the Bridge.
Garden / WhatsApp bible studies
If you'd still like to join please email firstname.lastname@example.org
As you meet this week, begin by praying for the Holy Spirit to guide your discussion. Then read Acts 9:1-31 and discuss these questions:
1) Have you ever felt scared or resentful about a place or task God has called you to? How did you work this out and what happened in the end?
2) Have you ever had a “Barnabas “ in your life? How did that person make you feel and what support did they give you?
3) Can you share your “before & after” story: either when you became a Christian or when the Holy Spirit spoke to you or changed something in your life?
4) What one thing helps you to keep your identity in Christ foremost in your mind rather than focussing on your worldly identity?
End by praying for each other.