Welcome Church! Thank you for setting aside some time today to deliberately focus on God. You have a made a choice in saying nothing is more important than him in this time and you are giving your undivided attention to him. There are many reasons to do this, but one is because we know he has good things for us, that he is for us, and that he will help us as we look to him. Let’s begin by reading Psalm 121…
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Lord Jesus, what peace this Psalm offers to us as we consider your sovereign reign over all of creation. You are able to do things we cannot do on our own and you offer to do them for our good. Lord reign not just over the earth as the one who has created, but reign in our lives as Lord and Saviour, for we need you. Amen
Over the last few weeks I have had many direct and indirect conversations with people about the topic of control. An understandable conversation these days as most people seem to feel they are lacking control and the natural reaction is to try to regain control. What is interesting though is we just sang a song and read a Psalm that speak of the one who we are called, as Christians, to give control of our life too, so that he can lead us.
We’re going to watch a short video from the “I Am Second” series. This time it is Clayton Kershaw sharing some of his story and you’ll hear him touch on this topic of control. While listening, I want us to be thinking of what it is that causes us to want control and then we’ll have a little discussion around that following the video.
- What areas of your life do you try to have control over?
- Why causes you to want control?
- What makes you feel in control?
- Is all control good? Bad? How do you differentiate?
- What kinds of things do you do to try and have control?
- Do you ever find yourself trying to take control over other’s lives or situations that are beyond your control?
Clayton Kershaw made this statement, “Giving up my life to God is what really puts my life in control.” Take some time now in prayer. Consider where you are feeling out of control in life. Being honest with yourself, is God being allowed to lead in that area of life for you? If yes, praise him and declare your trust that he is at work for good in this area of life. If no, give up that part of life to God, invite him into it as the one who can lead you through. Acknowledge the need for God’s leading in any area where you are feeling out of control.
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Before we close, I just want to share a few announcements:
- Tuesday Prayer Meeting – Join us for prayer this Tuesday at 7 pm. We will be both in person and on zoom prayer. Watch for more details and the Zoom link on Tuesday via email.
- Kids Zoom – a reminder that Zoom Kids Church is this Wednesday, 4-5 PM for those Preschool to Grade 3, and from 7-8 PM for those Grades 4-8. Keep an eye out for the link that will be sent out from the church office.
- Youth Zoom – Thursday at 6:30pm. Watch for further details to be emailed out this week.
- Office schedule – We are starting back to keeping office hours Monday to Thursday. Visits are by appointment only at this time, so be sure to call ahead or email. Katie can be reached at email@example.com, Pastor Greg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Pastor Dave can be reached at email@example.com.
I encourage you to do two things with your giving that may help a little.
- Do your giving each week as part of this devotional/worship time. I know it is not exactly the same thing, but it does help us view our giving as worship rather than simply a financial transaction
- Take time to pray as you give. Thank God for what he has given to you, acknowledge your trust in him for tomorrow, and tell him why you give to him and the work of his church.
- Best – E-Transfer (no fees)
- firstname.lastname@example.org is the email address you will need to make an e-transfer
- Please include your first and last name in the memo box
- If you know your envelope number please include it in the memo box (*Do not include the # sign as it will not accept that)
- Still good, but with fees – Canada Helps
- https://bayridgealliance.ca/give-with-canada-helps/ and click on the donate button to give
Thank you for honouring God by supporting the Church.
Prayer – Before the benediction, please take some time to pray for Dan & Bev Baetz, Joy Olding and family as they grieve the death of her dad, the ministries of the church, the reopening of the church, and the school year starting.
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’