September 20, 2020 - Home Worship Service

Welcome & Announcements: Good morning church!

We continue to offer in person worship at Lightstreet. No reservations needed.

 8am contemporary service in the Lighthouse and 10:30am is our traditional service in the church sanctuary. You will need a mask and will be asked to be spaced apart from others unless you are sitting with those in your household. Both will have live musicians!

No children and youth Sunday School just yet.

Another alternative for worship is Sunday 9:00 am Zoom Worship & Prayer

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Worship:

I invite you to light a candle to welcome the Light of the World in your presence and prepare your heart for worship this day

 

Call to Worship

L: Come near to the Lord.
P: Lord, be with us this day.
L: Lift your sorrows and joys to the Lord.
P: Lord, hear the cries of our hearts.
L: Come, rest in the love and mercy of God.
P: Bless us, O Lord, that we may be blessings for others in Your name. AMEN.

 

Opening Song:  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms by Donna Farver & Linda Creasy

 

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/leaning-on-the-everlasting-arms-1

 

 

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,

  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!

What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,

  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!

 

Chorus: Leaning, leaning,

Safe and secure from all alarms;

  Leaning, leaning,

  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

 

O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,

  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!

O how bright the path grows from day to day,

  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms! Chorus

 

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,

  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!

I have peace complete with my Lord so near,

  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms! Chorus

 

Opening Prayer

Lord, who lifts us up, reside in our hearts today. Help us to listen closely for Your word to us. Remind us that You are always with us, throughout all of our lives. Give us confidence in Your presence, so that we may go into Your world ready to witness to Your love through our works and our deeds, for we pray these things in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

 

Children’s time: It's our children's time and I want to start with a question I ask you each and every week: Who are you? Children Respond: Special Gifts of God!

 

PJ: That's right, you are special gifts of God each and every day and I'm so lucky to spend time with you!

 

Today we are talking about the last fruit of the Spirit, and that is self-control. Let me share a video with you that explains what self-control is.

 

https://www.pursuegodkids.org/self-control/

 

Consider:

  1. What’s your favorite part of the video? What’s one thing you learned from it?
  2. Share a time you were so excited or mad that you did something you regretted. (broke your mom’s lamp, hit your friend)
  3. What is self-control? How does self-control protect us?
  4. Who helps us to have self-control?

 

Let’s pray: Thank You God, for the fruit of self-control. And Jesus in our heart, who helps us. Amen.

 

Pastoral & Lord’s Prayer

Lord, Your blessings abound in our lives and we lift our voices in gratitude for these lovely gifts from You. We also lift our voices as our hearts cry out our concerns for those who are ill, who mourn, who feel lost. We offer to You both our joys and concerns, so often intermingled in our lives. Be with each of us and for those whom we name with our voices and in our hearts. Dear friends, let us take a moment to share our joys and our concerns. [Sharing of joys and concerns; then a brief period of silence.]

 

Lord, You have heard our cries and our shouts of joy. Make Your presence known to us again through the love and forgiveness of others as we have loved and forgiven them, through the grace of Jesus who taught us to pray… Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen. [1]

 

Offertory Invitation:

In gratitude for all that we have received, let us offer our gifts and tithes to the Lord this day. AMEN.

 

Prayer of Dedication

Generous God, You have blessed us with so much. Take these gifts and cause them to work for You in this world which You have loaned to us. AMEN.

 

Sermon: The Fruit of Self-Control

 

If you ever got so angry that you wanted to hit a tennis ball, you might want to rethink that one.

 

On Sunday, September 6th, US Open player, Novak Djokovic was mad about how he was playing in a match against Pablo Carreno Busta, and so he threw the tennis ball down, that made contact with his racket when he went to the sideline for a changeover, but the ball flew right at a judge, and hit her on her neck. She dropped to her knees from the impact and pain. After that Djokovic was defaulted, for breaking the GrandSlam rule of "intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences."

 

Djokovic forfeits the ranking points and $250,000 in prize money that he earned in the tournament. As well as he was fined $10,000. Before that, he was ranked a top player, expected to earn 4th place. After that, he lost it all.

 

In an Instagram post, he apologized to the line judge, saying he didn't intend to hit her and that he is going to "turn all this into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being."[2]

 

Today we are going to talk about self-control as we wrap up our sermon series on Fruit of the Spirit.

 

So receive our Scripture lesson from Galatians 5.

 

Scripture Lesson: Galatians 5:16-25

 

Living by the Spirit’s Power

16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

 

Today we wrap up our sermon series on the fruit of the Spirit. During these last 7 weeks we have taken this list that Paul suggests to the church of Galatia, and we have looked at each spiritual virtue that Paul claims God gives us, so we may be more like Christ.

 

And if you notice, before he lists these spiritual practices, he writes of what he calls our “sinful nature” that is those things that are opposite of what God wants for us. Paul then goes on to list what the desires of that sinful nature are: sexual immorality (sexual activity out of wedlock), impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.

 

When we look at that list we can’t help but notice two things: first each act destroys community. Meaning, they are offenses to others, therefore the community as a whole is harmed by them. And second, those behaviors are revealed when we are out of control, giving into self-indulgences, that is ways that certainly do not build up our relationship with God or with others.

 

Which is why this last fruit that Paul lists, is needed, because the source of our strength to control those sinful natures, is God. As sin has a power to lead us not only against the will of God, but what is best for us, the Holy Spirit inspires and empowers us to control such desires and impulses. And it does so by helping us be more and more aware of God in our lives.

 

One of my favorite Biblical lessons of self-control is when Jesus saves the adulterous woman in John 8.

Jesus was teaching at the Temple in Jerusalem when some religious leaders brought a woman before him and said: 4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

 

And do you remember his first response? It wasn’t what he said, it was what he did. He paused. Verse 6 we read, Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. That’s an example of self-control, right? Not being dragged into a debate or quarrel in a reactionary way, but leading those around you to pause, possibly calm down.

 

I was always amazed how at a Scout meeting when the kids were getting a little rambunctious, the leader would stand up, and hold up their hand with the pledge sign. Then one by one, you saw the scouts doing the same, it was a pause to calm them and center their attention on the leader and what they were teaching.

 

Jesus attempts to do that with this crowd. However, it didn’t seem to work at first. Verse 7 we read, 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”

 

Whoa! Jesus asks for the one who has never sinned, and that would be hard to find. That means you never disobeyed your parents, or you never broke the rule of the sabbath by lighting a lamp, or you never wished you had something your neighbor had. Jesus got them there because he was talking about self-control. He pointed out that we all have those moments when we lose control of our thoughts, word, and actions.

 

Do you know what he did next? Verse 8, 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

Jesus led them to pause and consider what he just said, the truth we all should recognize. We are all sinful in nature, God knows that, but if we learn to stop, to think things through, it may prevent us from committing a sin ourselves.

 

The story ends, 9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

 

But wait, there is more, right after he says that to the woman, read what Jesus does and says next, 12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” If we follow Jesus, He will guide us, He will enlighten us, to the ways of life God wants to provide.

 

Friends, in this letter to the Galatians, Paul begins his list of fruits of the Spirit with love, which directs our thoughts and actions toward others, and ends with self-control, which directs our thoughts and actions inward, for the good of self and others. And sums it up with, There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. What Paul means is, our behaviors, our attitudes, can and will be positive, our way of living can and will improve not by keeping some laws, but when we allow ourselves to become more and more like Christ.

 

Look, I get it. I get that temptation is out there. We are tempted to throw or hit a ball when we are angry. We are tempted to speak ill of someone who provokes us, we are tempted to doubt our beliefs, to lose our patience, and turn away from being kind to others. Yet, what type of life does that bring? What does that show about the character of us? And in particular, as Christians, what do such actions reveal? Not Jesus.

 

Life is challenging, and yet the good news is, we are not alone in facing those temptations, we are not alone to strive to a better way. We have God within us, working around us, to find the strength and encouragement to go and sin no more, when we welcome the fruit of the Holy Spirit, who shines the light of Christ in our hearts.

 

Let us pray: Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me. All His wondrous compassion and purity. O Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine. Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.[3] Amen.

 

Closing Song: Lean on Me by LUMC Praise Band

 

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/lean-on-me

 

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain we all have sorrow
But if we are wise we know that there's always tomorrow

 

Lean on me, when you're not strong and I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on

For it won't be long 'Til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

 

Please swallow your pride if I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs that you won't let show

 

You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

 

Lean on me, when you're not strong and I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long 'Til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

 

You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

 

If there is a load you have to bear that you can't carry
I'm right up the road I'll share your load

If you just call me (call me)
If you need a friend (call me) call me uh huh (call me) if you need a friend (call me)
If you ever need a friend (call me)
Call me (call me) call me (call me) call me
(Call me) call me (call me) if you need a friend
(Call me) call me (call me) call me (call me) call me (call me) call me (call me)

 

Benediction/Sending Forth

Go forth bearing the fruit of the Spirit.  Go leaning on the self-control of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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