We are delighted that you decided to join us for this week's ToGather.church. (Find out more.) We invite you to use our home worship guide on your own or to share with your friends, family, home group, or house church.
Today, we are committing our lives to passionately serving the Lord and growing his Kingdom while avoiding laziness and its disastrous results. Our VerseoftheDay.com verse comes from Ecclesiastes 10:18:
If a man is lazy, the rafters sag;
if his hands are idle, the house leaks
(Ecclesiastes 10:18 NIV84).
We are also applying this principle spiritually using Jesus' Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Lord's parable about the three servants and the bags of gold (Matthew 25:14-30). We don't want to be slackers in any part of life, but especially not in matters that involve the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33)!
Hillsong Young and Free lead us into a balanced prayer-in-song, "Sinking Deep." This song is thanks to God for his mercy and grace and is commitment to him while trusting his love to stir us and move us to be the children of heaven that our Father has created us to be.
Opening the Scriptures:
Phil challenges us in today's message to not be lazy — not in our daily lives, not in our work and school responsibilities, and especially not in our spiritual commitment to grow God's Kingdom:
Sharing The Supper:
As we prepare our hearts for the Lord's Supper and as we lean into Phil's message about living for God's Kingdom with passion, let's sing Pat Barrett's "Canvas and Clay." This song reminds us that God has been present in our lives from our conception through today and will be on into our future. We are called to offer ourselves to him as his canvas to paint his masterpiece and as his clay to form us for his perfect use and for our good!
We are blessed to be led in our Communion reflection by Serge Gasore from Rwanda and Vann Conwell from the southern United States. (Learn more about Serge and his ministry.) Vann and Serge are father and son in the Lord and partners in an incredible ministry called Rwanda Children. Serge's story is as incredible as it is intriguing. His love for broken, abandoned, and vulnerable children is deeply moving. The Lord is using Serge to do unbelievable things to bless his people and make disciples. Your heart will be pulled toward Jesus as you hear his love for Jesus and the children of Rwanda and his desire to communicate his love to you as his brothers and sisters:
Sometimes, I fear, we feel guilty because we can't live up to the example of someone like Serge and we give up on the opportunities we have each day to serve others. But, each of us has our personal calling from God to share his grace with others still trapped in darkness:
... for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9 NLT).
Instead of retreating from ministry because of our feelings of insufficiency, sin, or failure, God invites us to come let him clean up our messes and restore our lives and to live a life of worship that influences others. Let's confess these truths as we sing, "For All You've Done" with the Zoe Group:
Closing with a Blessing:
The only vessels Jesus has to use to save the world are broken ones, like us:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body (2 Corinthians 4:7-10).
We are broken vessels, saved by grace and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to make a difference in our broken world with the grace we have received. Let's proclaim this truth with Hillsong Worship in the song, "Broken Vessels":
We approach the conclusion of this ToGather.church with some powerful words we just sang, followed by Mark Hanner's insight about Serge and his ministry along with a prayer. Then we will close with a blessing from Scripture.
Our confession from the song we just sang is:
I'll be your vessel,
The world to see your life in me!
Mark's words about Serge and his prayer for all of us:
This is our closing blessing to share together out loud:
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
May God's grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Ephesians 2:10 NLT & Ephesians 6:24 NLT)
More about Serge and Rwanda Children:
We felt you might like to see more about Serge, RwandaChildren.org, and the leadership that are incarnational in serving like Jesus:
You can find out much more about this incredible ministry at RwandaChildren.org/what-we-do!
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