Gathering (May 16)
Gathering May 16, 2018
Gathering May 16, 2018
Worship Song #1
Welcome - Brad
purpose of the night, importance of the night, and hope of the night
if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
If my people who are called by my name
In the time of the prophet Joel things were in bad shape.
The people of God had rejected him in their words and their lives, worshipped other Gods and had come to point of complete devastation- they were on the brink of destruction..armies coming at them, and in the midst of this angst and fear.....God speaks through the prophet Joel...
12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 13 and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. 14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God?
At the beginning of this text we see the importance of a proper understanding of our own hearts, as well as the importance of understanding the character of the God we approach tonight.
So as a way of preparing our hearts tonight, I would like us to start by doing 2 things, first I am simply going to ask us to examine out hearts.
I. RETURN to God: Examination of our hearts (12-13a)
In this text God calls Israel to return to Him and to feel the full weight of our wandering.
“rend your hearts and not your garments”
in ancient Israel it was a common practice to tear your garments in anguish over your sin.
What the prophet Joel is inviting us into is consistency between our outer and inner life
So I want to ask you this evening.
Why are we here? (silent self-examination)
What do we expect from God?
What do we want from God?
What do we want to see in ourselves?
(quiet music for 3 minutes)
II. REFLECT on God’s Character (13b)
(in groups of 5 or 5---grab a bible and read these texts and use them as a spring board into prayer
you can read a text and respond in prayer between each, or read them all at first and then pray)
The God we pray to is...
LORD (YHWH): He is personal/near, yet the great I AM
slow to anger
abounding in steadfast (unshakable, unmovable) love
(, , , , )
Worship Song #3
Worship Song #4
you are not limited to these things
Keeping in mind that this is the God we pray to I want to now invite you to make our requests known to him
to pray that he will move on our behalf
there a handful of area we want to trust God and ask for him to be at work.
III. Make our REQUESTS known to God (14)
(same groups, 4 minutes each?)
we would be people of prayer
we would actively love our neighbours
we would share our faith with a broken world
we would be stirred to pursue Jesus more personally and corporately
Protection and wisdom for:
Pastors and staff
Life Groups Leaders
Those who are suffering:
continue in prayer together or alone
elders and shepherding elders up front
treats out back
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.