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SERVICE FEBRUARY 2020



HYMN: O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES TO SING
Introduction: Intro O for a thousand To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
Charles Wesley, M.A. was the great hymn-writer of the Wesley family, and some would say, taking quantity and quality into consideration, the greatest hymn-writer of all ages. As a hymn-writer Charles Wesley was unique. He is said to have written no less than 6500 hymns, many of which have stood the test of time. His feelings on every occasions of importance, whether private or public, found their best expression in a hymn. He wrote hymns for virtually ever occasion he experienced. Although the words in this hymn were written 1739, they still bring much blessing to us today

Audio file
O for a thousand tongues To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
1
O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer's praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of his grace!

2
My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
to Spread thro' all the earth abroad
The honours of your name.

3
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease,
'tis Music in the sinner's ears,
'tis Life and health and peace.

4 Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb 
Your loosened tongues employ 
Ye blind, behold your Saviour come 
And leap, ye lame, for joy 

5
In Christ, our Head, you then shall know,
Shall feel, your sins forgiven.
Anticipate your heaven below,
And own that love is heaven.

PRAYER
Audio Prayer To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
Almighty God, we reach out to you from a world which is struggling to cope with so much hatred between nations, a world in which selfishness and greed are commonplace and your love and compassion are ignored. Our attempts to share the gospel so often go unheeded. Yet we remain convinced that you are the only answer to the problems of the world. Grant us wisdom and courage, we pray, to continue to show Jesus whatever the circumstances may be. Help us to persevere! Remind us that you are the God of miracles and your omnipotence is capable of resolving all that we find impossible.Then we think of those who are suffering from illnesses for which, as yet, there are no known cures. Such illnesses cause so much anxiety and distress. We would continue to ask for inspiration and knowledge for the research scientists to discover the much prayed for cures.

We offer you through this service our thanks for your unfailing love and for your provision for us in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. By our act of worship we pray that you will see the depth of our love for you. These things we ask in the precious name of Jesus.
HYMN: PRAISE HIM, PRAISE HIM
Introduction: Intro Praise him To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
Frances Jane van Alstyne (née Crosby; March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915), more commonly known as Fanny Crosby who was an American mission worker, poet, lyricist, and composer. She was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing more than 8,000 hymns and gospel songs, with more than 100 million copies printed, despite being blind from shortly after birth. She is also known for her teaching and her rescue mission work.
Music: Chester Allen taught music in the public schools in the USA. He was also a composer and musical writer.

Audio:
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1. Praise him! Praise him! Jesus, our blessed redeemer!
Sing, O earth. his wonderful love proclaim!
Hail him! Hail him, highest archangels in glory;
Strength and honour give to his holy name!
Like a shepherd. Jesus will guard his children,
In his arms he carries them all day long.

Chorus Praise him! Praise him!
Tell of his excellent greatness;
Praise him! Praise him!
Ever in joyful song.

2. Praise him! Praise him! Jesus, our blessed redeemer!
For our sins he suffered and bled and died;
He our rock, our hope of eternal salvation.
Hail him! Hail him! Jesus. the crucified!
Sound his praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows,
Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong.

3. Praise him! Praise him! Jesus, our blessed redeemer!
Heavenly portals loud with hosannas ring!
Jesus, Saviour, reigneth for ever and ever;
Crown him! Crown him! Prophet and priest and King!
Christ is coming, over the world victorious;
Power and glory unto the Lord belong.

MALE VOICES: I WILL PRAISE THEE
Introduction: Intro I will praise To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
Thomas Olivers was born in Wales in 1725 and was a Methodist preacher and hymn-writer. Both his father and his mother died when he was four years old. He grew up to be an apprentice shoemaker and he became a profligate and reckless young man but he heard the great evangelist, George Whitfield preach on the text from Zechariah 3:2 "is not this a brand plucked from the fire?" and it so convicted Olivers it led to his conversion. And he too became an evangelist.
Because of his fearless preaching style he was invited to preach all around
Great Britain and Ireland. In addition, he was also a hymn-writer and
wrote 20 hymns. There can surely be no doubting his conviction when we
read the words of this hymn.

Audio
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1. O thou God of my salvation,
My redeemer from all sin,
Moved by thy divine compassion,
Who hast died my heart to win,
I will praise thee;
Where shall I thy praise begin?

2.
While the angel choirs are crying:
Glory to the great I AM!
I with them will still be vying,
Glory, glory to the Lamb!
O how precious
Is the sound of Jesus' name!

3.
Angels now are hovering round us
Unperceived amid the throng,
Wondering at the love that found us,
Glad to join our holy song;
Hallelujah!
Love and praise to Christ belong.

CHORAL: BE STILL
Introduction: Intro Be still To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.Words and Music: David J Evans. This relatively modern hymn has become a favourite across all denominations.

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Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here;
Come bow before Him now with reverence and fear.
In Him no sin is found, we stand on holy ground;
Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here.

Be still, for the glory of the Lord is shining all around;
He burns with holy fire, with splendour He is crowned.
How awesome is the sight, our radiant King of light!
Be still, for the glory of the Lord is shining all around.

Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place;
He comes to cleanse and heal, to minister His grace.
No work too hard for Him, in faith receive from Him;
Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place.

GOD’S TITHES AND OUR OFFERINGS
Audio file God's tithes To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.

For some reason the subject of financing God’s work can be a taboo subject, almost as though his work should be beyond such earthly considerations as
money! Yet for those who have been blessed by coming into a relationship with Jesus, there is a longing to see others enjoy a similar experience with their Saviour and we recognise that to present the gospel does require financial support. Many of us are not in a position to preach to great crowds or to establish educational foundations but all of us can support God’s work with our finance. If you are being blessed by a church or ministry, can I recommend that they would be much encouraged by your support. And as you give, may you know, not only the gratitude of an earthly church or ministry but the smile of approval from the Lord himself.

HYMN: I STAND AMAZED
Introduction: Intro I stand amazed To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
the writer of this song was Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (August 18, 1856 – September 14, 1932) was born in Wilton,  Iowa, and raised on a farm. Like so may hymn writers, his output was phenomenal because he is said to have written between 7,000 and 8,000 songs even though he never had any formal training in music. His musical talent was well recognized in his boyhood home of Wilton. There is one folklore story, that the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Wilton once saw Gabriel walking in town early in the week. He asked Gabriel if he knew a good song to go along with his sermon.  The pastor shared the sermon topic and by the end of the week the boy had written a song for that Sunday, words and music.
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1. I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how he could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

Chorus
How marvellous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvellous! How wonderful!
Is my Saviour's love for me!

2. For me it was in the garden
He prayed: Not my will, but thine;
He had no tears for his own griefs,
But sweat drops of blood for mine.

3. He took my sins and sorrows,
He made them his very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary.
And suffered and died alone.

4. When with the ransomed in Glory
His face I at last shall see,
'Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of his love for me.

BIBLE READING
John 13:33-14:6
Audio file
John 13 To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
Jesus said to his disciples:
3 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
Jesus Comforts His Disciples
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

CHORAL: AGNUS DEI
Introduction: Intro Agnus Dei To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
The Agnus Dei is a setting of the "Lamb of God" litany, based on 
John the Baptist's reference in John 1:29 to Jesus ("Behold the
Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world"):

The Latin we hear is:-
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

And the English translation

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

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VOCAL : BECAUSE HE LIVES
Introduction: Intro Because he lives To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
Here is a quite remarkable presentation of these words by vocalist Alyssa Hicks who was born and raised in Southern California. Born with a genetic disease that left her totally blind, her blindness has never held her back from doing the many things she believes God has called her to do. In 2014, Alyssa received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Vanguard University of Southern California, and today, she works as a professional vocal coach. In this presentation, Alyssa performs “Because He Lives accompanied by an orchestra, which is conducted by her close friend, Nick Vujicic who conducts by movement of his shoulders because he has no arms. Together they testify that because Jesus lives, they have hope and their combined testimony in this song is truly wonderful.

Audio file
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1
God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives

Refrain:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives

2
How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy He gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain day, because He lives


Refrain:

3
And then one day, I'll cross the river
I'll fight life's final war with pain
And then, as death gives way to victory
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He reigns

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives


TROMBONE SOLO: I WALKED ONE DAY WHERE JESUS WALKED
Introduction: Intro I walked one day To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.A musical setting of the words written by Daniel Twohig (1883-1961)

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Lyrics :
I walked today where Jesus walked,
In days of long ago.
I wandered down each path He knew,
With reverent step and slow.
Those little lanes, they have not changed,
A sweet peace fills the air.
I walked today where Jesus walked,
And felt Him close to me.
My pathway led through Bethlehem,
A memory's ever sweet.
The little hills of Galilee,
That knew His childish feet.
The Mount of Olives, hallowed scenes,
That Jesus knew before
I saw the mighty Jordan row,
As in the days of yore.
I knelt today where Jesus knelt,
Where all alone he prayed.
The Garden of Gethsemane,
My heart felt unafraid.
I picked my heavy burden up,
And with Him at my side,
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
Where on the Cross He died!
I walked today where Jesus walked,
And felt Him close to me.


HYMN: SOFTLY AND TENDERLY
Introduction Intro Softly and tenderly To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
The composer of this hymn, William Lamartine Thompson, was born November 7, 1847, in East Liverpool, Ohio, and is best known as the writer and composer of hymns and gospel songs, to which he increasingly devoted his talents after his teenage years. His most well known work is this classic gospel song which has been translated into countless languages.

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1. Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me!
Patiently Jesus is waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me!

Chorus Come home, come home!
Ye who are weary, come home!
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

2. Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not his mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?

3. O for the wonderful love he has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me!

VOCAL SOLO: WHEN ANSWERS AREN’T ENOUGH

Soloist: Sandra Entermann
sandra-entermann_20150325_0001-2


Introduction: Intro When answers aren't enough To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
Sandra who continually blesses us with her contributions whenever she is featured here in our services. We’re always privileged to share her Holy Spirit anointed ministry. Today through her solo she speaks to the hearts of those who long for answers..

Audio file
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You have faced the mountains of desperation
You have climbed, you have fought, you have won
But this valley that lies coldly before you
Casts a shadow you cannot overcome.

And just when you thought you had it all together
You knew every verse to get you through
But this time the sorrow broke more than just your heart
And reciting all those verses just won't do.


When answers aren't enough, there is Jesus
He is more than just an answer to your prayer
And your heart will find a safe and peaceful refuge
When answers aren't enough, He is there.

Instead of asking why did it happen
Think of where it can lead you from here
And as your pain is slowly easing, you can find a greater reason
To live your life triumphant through the tears.

When answers aren't enough, there is Jesus
He is more than just an answer to your prayer
And your heart will find a safe and peaceful refuge
When answers aren't enough, He is there.


SERMON

me0021-3-3
Dr Malcolm Westwood

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Over the past month I’ve had the privilege and the heavy responsibility of conducting the funeral of a cousin and next week I have another funeral service to conduct of another cousin.
As I look around the congregation at such times especially when it’s a family funeral, I see the inevitable grief and realise there is a mixture of beliefs. Some of the congregation will be committed Christians and will firmly believe that they will meet their Christian loved one in heaven. Others want to believe that, too, but they don’t have a relationship with Jesus and faith in him isn’t part of their lives. There are also those who are at the service simply to pay their respects to the one who has died but believe that there is nothing beyond death and seemingly have little interest in the religious nature of the service.
And it’s tempting to say to people who live in a country where there is ample opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel, ‘Well, the choice is yours. If you don’t want to go to heaven, no one is going to force you. That’s not the way it works!!’
But as we well know, some of the people in those congregations are members of our family who we love very much. And at such times, the thought that challenges us can be ‘What would heaven be like
without the family we love so much?’

Despite the speculation of what heaven will be like, all those who love Jesus and try to reveal him in their living here, all they want is to be like him and to be with him. Knowing how much Jesus loves us and remembering that he literally died for us, whatever he has eventually in store for us is fine by us!
Jesus reassures us that heaven is real-“If it were not so, I would have told you.” What a lovely song that would make-
Thank you for reassuring us, Jesus!

But it’s not unnatural for us to wonder just what heaven is going to be like.

We can recall that even the disciples of Jesus were puzzled at times about heaven.
It’s interesting that at the time Jesus was washing their feet, Peter certainly didn’t understand what Jesus was saying. Neither did Thomas or Philip. Jesus knew they didn’t understand what washing their feet meant. He said “You do not realise now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

How often Jesus must want us to hear those words when we come to him in despair when we feel he is not answering the prayers we’re praying! “You do not realise now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

All of us will admit that we don’t always understand how God works but we’re reassured by Jesus that later we will!
Jesus never promised that he would explain God’s ways in detail. Had he done so he would need a few centuries explaining such things as how the stars are held in space and how and why the answers to our prayers have been answered but not in the way we wanted-or even demanded!

When Jesus came to wash the feet of Peter, Peter was having none of it! He had yet to understand that serving God was through serving man and understanding the example Jesus was giving him would dawn on him later-and in this instance, the ‘later’ would be just 24 hours from then Jesus gave his life on the cross at Calvary to serve all mankind.

When Jesus had washed their feet, he told them the reason for what he had done. They had to remember that they must follow his example and live a life serving others. Jesus was God on earth. He had said ‘I and the Father are one’(John 10:30) Can you imagine the creator of the world washing people’s feet! It is not surprising that we do not always understand his ways. The love we have so often has limits! As we see in Jesus, God’s love has no limits.

I’m so glad that John included these verses showing how the disciples struggled to understand God’s plan because at times we still do.
In his gospel John in Chapter 13:34-35 quotes Jesus giving a beautiful sermon in miniature. And if the world would just heed these 2 verses, what a different world we would have.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

They are words that could change the world but there were a few words Jesus had said before those words about loving. And they were words which were preoccupying Peter more than loving people. As we know in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter was very handy with a sword. He had yet to learn the power of love. Peter was thinking what Jesus had said-
“I will be with you only a little longer’ (John13:33)
Peter asks him point blank, ‘Lord where are you going?’
Jesus answered ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.’
O there’s that word ‘later’ again! We do so want to have everything explained
now, don’t we!

It was only a day before the crucifixion and the disciples who had been with him as he ministered to people still didn’t understand what was to happen despite Jesus telling them
“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” (Luke 9:22-27) 
But Peter, typically, jumps in with both feet, ‘Why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’ He just wanted to be with Jesus, bless him.

Jesus had said,
33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.”
Now that didn’t fit in with Peter’s ideas at all.
Peter ignored the ‘love everyone’ bit. He’d follow Jesus with all his human strength and determination and if Jesus was going somewhere, then Peter wanted to go with him!
Jesus said, “No, you can’t –not now…..but you can later.’
We don’t much like that word ‘later’ when we’re trying to follow Jesus. We want answers now!
But I wonder if Peter would have been quite so keen to follow Jesus had he understood that he was returning to heaven via the excruciating pain of dying on the cross. Peter might not have been so rash in his conviction that he would lay down his life for Jesus. Despite his brave words that he would lay down his life, we know talk is one thing, action is another and when it came to the point Peter not only would not lay down his life for Jesus, he would not even confess he knew him!!
“You will go where I’m going Peter” said Jesus but Peter wasn’t ready for heaven yet.
Jesus gives a lovely insight of what heaven is like. Though we may not understand what God has in store in heaven for us in heaven, Jesus said:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:1-3)

Inevitably there are many questions about the hereafter which will be answered only when we arrive in heaven. Yet there are some basic facts which Jesus himself told us and reinforced his comments by saying ‘if it were not so, I would have told you.’
These verses give a really quite remarkable and simple insight into heaven which unfortunately various people from time to time have interpreted to the point of confusion!
Jesus said quite simply,
‘In my Father’s house are many rooms….’
The word that is used for rooms is ‘monai’ which implies ample space.
But in an attempt to clarify what inevitably must remain unknown until we get there, we find all sorts of interpretations which pose more questions than answers.
For instance, the early Jews held that in heaven there were different grades of blessedness which were available according to how they lived on earth and Clement of Alexandria who w
as a Christian theologian and philosopher in the 2nd century and was a convert to Christianity, believed that there were degrees of glory depending on a man’s achievement in holiness in this life.
They are interesting theories and I’m sure that the people who expounded them weren’t disappointed with what they found when they reached heaven even if what they’d worked out wasn’t entirely accurate but I suggest the words of Jesus were never intended to add confusion to our life. By saying that there are many rooms in his Father’s heaven, Jesus is telling us there is room for us all! Heaven will never be full! There’s room for you and me and all those we love, some of whom haven’t as yet come to faith in Jesus. And as I look at the congregation at my family funerals I so want them to know that.

But in speaking of the way to heaven he doesn’t hide from us that we might encounter some hardships. When Jesus said “I am the way” he’s reminding us of what may well happen when our aim is to be like him. The briefest look through the gospels reveal Jesus telling us what we may face, for instance, it’s not always a comfortable life style. That doesn’t just refer to having or not having a nice big house. It’s a reminder that all that we have we will use in his service. It may not always be convenient but our aim must be the aim of Jesus-to reveal God’s love to others.
So we read “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke 9:57/58)
Jesus said to his disciples:
16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:16-22)


Jesus told his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. ... (Matthew 16:24)
We can never say Jesus hid from us what following him could mean.
Which brings me back to my comments I made earlier about those members of our families who have not accepted Jesus as their Saviour. They are decent, kind, caring people but we are challenged-and yes, troubled, by
the words of Jesus to Thomas, ‘No-one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6) when we know that some in our family and our circle of friends do not even believe in God and the Cross of Calvary is something they seem to think is irrelevant to them. They live decent, honest lives and ask what more could be expected of them.

So as we consider the time we will all meet Jesus, and think of our relations and friends who do not profess or possess faith in Jesus, how can we persuade them to accept that to enter God’s heaven which has room for them they need to accept Jesus into their lives. And to explain what that means.
I look at my lovely relatives and friends and long to know that they’ll be sharing heaven with me. O for words which carry the power to convict, but where familiarity so often expects us to talk about end time life as more about care and nursing than their eternal future.
And Jesus gives us the answer to that situation, too. …….. ‘…the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you…..Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’ (John 14:26).
You and I if we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us,
can bring our relatives and friends to Jesus….
I pray you will have the joy of doing just that!


HYMN: SPIRIT DIVINE
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1. Spirit divine, come as of old
With healing in thy train;
Come, as thou did'st, to sanctify;
Let naught of sin remain.

Chorus Come, great Spirit, come,
Make each heart thy home;
Enter every longing soul;
Come, great Spirit, come.


2. Spirit divine, purge thou our hearts
Make us to understand
Thy blessed will concerning us,
And teach us love's command.

3. Spirit divine, cleanse thou our souls
With pentecostal flood;
Breathe into us the life that shows
The Father-love of God.

BENEDICTION
Audio file
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May the words of Jesus encourage you to know that your eternal future with him is secure in his Father’s house and by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in you, grant you the joy of bringing your loved ones and friends to Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life. Amen