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Thanksgiving and praise
In Psalm 100:4-5 we are encouraged to praise and give thanks to God:
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
We begin our service with a prayer of thanksgiving, followed by a song of praise.
Almighty God, creator and redeemer, we praise you for the beauty of the world around us and for every gift we enjoy.
Thank you for creating us to know you, to love you and to obey you. Most of all, we praise you for your amazing love in sending your Son to restore your world by dying for us and rising to give us new life. Accept our praise and thanksgiving, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
As we prepare to receive God’s word, let’s ask for God to be at work within us.
We thank you heavenly Father, for inspiring all Scripture by the Holy Spirit. Help us by your Spirit so to hear your holy word that we may be equipped for every good work, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”
27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”
30 Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”
34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointedJesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
Martin Kemp will now preach the sermon
We are the people of God, but Scripture reminds us that we still sin. We need to confess our failures, knowing that the Lord Jesus intercedes for us with the Father, who freely forgives us, through his infinite goodness and mercy.
So let us draw near to God with sincerity and confidence, and pray together.
Heavenly Father, you have loved us with an everlasting love, but we have gone our own way and rejected your will for our lives. We are sorry for our sins and turn away from them. For the sake of your Son who died for us, forgive us, cleanse us, and change us. By your Holy Spirit, enable us to live for you and to please you in every way; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In 1 John 1:9, those who confess their sins are assured with these words:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Allow Marty to lead you in prayer. Finish with the Lord’s Prayer.
Let’s conclude our time of prayer with the Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
As we conclude our service, let’s be encouraged by these words from the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it! Amen.
Thanks for sharing with us! See you next week.