WCC 2020-04-05 Service 10:30
Good morning. It's so nice to talk to all of you again trust that you've made it through another surreal week and I've been hearing many of you are phoning each other and help each other where possible I know Jane and I have been enjoying getting out and visiting many of you and will continue to do so and don't forget to do driveway visits go out and visit and share a smile with folks. I got the following from Mark. I thought you'd appreciate this and he says the hope you are enjoying the sunshine and then a little article goes on to say just be careful because people are going crazy from being in lockdown. Actually, I just been talking about this with the microwave and the toaster while drinking coffee and all of us agreed that things are getting bad. I didn't mention anything to the washing machine as she puts a different spin on everything. Certainly. I didn't speak to the fridge as he's acting cold and distant in the end. The iron calmed me down as she said everything will be fine. No situation is too pressing. The vacuum was very unsympathetic told me just to suck it up. The FanDuel was more optimistic and hoped it would all soon Blow Away. The toilet looked a bit flushed when I asked its opinion and didn't say anything about the doorknob which told me to get a grip. The front door said I was unhinged and sew the curtains told me to yes, you guessed it pull myself together. March so let's let's start by wishing some folks a very happy birthday and a very happy anniversary and I want to start by wishing Suzanne. Happy birthday for April 5th today. Tim also is celebrating a birthday. Russ Phillip is celebrating on the 7th and our friends from Cambridge and Nelly Android has her birthday on the 9th. And of course Bob has his birthday on the 10th to all of you a very happy birthday and we have a very special anniversary coming up Carl and Judy are celebrating their 50th anniversary on April 10th. So thank you to the Lord for all these special people and may their birthdays have special meaning despite all that's going on. Like I said, we are going to have one honking big birthday anniversary cake when we all get back to Also want to just go through some news feeds with you. And as you know, this is the news update we get every week from Dave McKenzie out in Alberta. And so for this week, here are the following that for Evangelical churches were burned down this past week to Christians were killed by a combination of political unrest and Islamic violence in the West African nation of Guinea. And so you can know that I don't know if you saw the interview with the CEO of my fellow he was on with mr. Trump and they are shifting 75% of their production to work making medical mass and they can produce 50000 masks the day and mr. C a o had some excellent words to say about getting back to reading your Bible, headlines from China banned on preaching at home worship because the church is have been adapting to the social. Socialized isolation and they can't control that. Of course. They're also forcing Christians in unemployment by harassing companies who choose to employ them. And then the Baptist were encouraged in Northern Azerbaijan recently after 20 years of 25 years of waiting. They've been allowed by the state to actually be able to worship the Gathering Worship in the country. And so that is fantastic news for that Nation. Also, just there's been some riots down in Argentina. And what's interesting is the Evangelical Christians who were in prison acted as buffers. And so the violence was severely limited and even though five people were killed Christians really took their lives seriously in trying to stem those riots. Also, we've heard from a pastor in Belfast. He took he went to court because last fall he received a complaint from a single person who was Critical with regard to Northern Ireland accepting gay marriage, and so that is in the courts to in Northern, Ireland. And also we have 30 young Christian adults and their pastors who were beaten and detained in India this past week. They were falsely accused of forcible conversion. And what they were simply doing was feeding poor folks in the slum area in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Also, we have NBC at complaining about the field hospital that the Samaritan's Purse under Cars Franklin Graham's Ministry. They set up in Central Park in New York City. They make accusation was at the field hospital was run by Aunty Gaya by an indie gay event evangelist. We need to also pray the University of Copenhagen reported this week that Google searches for prayer reach their highest level in five years in the month of March the search in interest was detected in all continents of the world. I think that's fantastic news. People are searching for answers. So those are the newsfeeds now, I'd like to move on to our notes a praise and prayer request. First of all before we get into the actual notes of Praise many of you got the following email from Lee Ann our Treasurer we want to thank all of you who have continued to be faithful in your ties and givings. It's very much appreciated. I though we're not able to meet at this time Pastor John in the elders are still very much at work making sure everyone is still connected in this difficult time. If you have any needs or feeling lonely, please do not hesitate to reach out. If you have any ties or giving she would like to offer please contact myself or Sheila. We would be happy to make arrangements with you. And please remember that we do have financial needs that need to be covered and I want to say a special. Thank you to everyone who's not only praying for us is at church but continues to get faithfully and we just start real that what the Lord is doing in so many lies heard from the AA groups this week and they are telling me how much they were appreciated the use of our church and looking forward to being able to come back and and be here in our church in the in the midweek. Just a reminder to we have some notes appraised at Jenna and many of you know, we were praying for her the tests have come back negative. She's doing much better Shawn up is very thankful to the Britain family for providing a place for her ex-husband to stay for the next month and that it was very important. We got a note from calling and Mark they would like to thank the Lord as he's giving them so much peace and comfort and not to worry that he will supply our every need they go on to say that our church family have blown us away with their love and concern with cards phone calls supplying us with food and willing to go to the store for supplies. We want to thank everyone for their true love and faithfulness in the service of Christian Ministry and may the Lord bless every family represented by represented by the US a good Community Church. So that's a little note of thanks from margin calling and also just a reminder that we're all making it through each week and it's going to continue to to be tough but God With Us all and now let's move on to prayer Margaret has had some health issues this week and is going back on her steroid medications Mark's Sister Evelyn is 94 years old. She's having trouble with her eyesight hearing and understanding what is happening around her. She is in a Senior's home and no doubt finding that very isolating and the Bailey's are asking for prayer for that her heart in mine would be calm and the nurses would help to give her some cognitive understanding. Susan is asking that the Lord would continue to be in control over the situation with Vanessa her daughter and that the entire family would feel a great sense of comfort. Suzanne's friend her daughter Holly. He was in the UK has been diagnosed with covid-19 and she also has an underlying health issue of diabetes and her fever is not getting under control. So we'll certainly be praying for Holly and also Suzanne's brother and sister-in-law are heading home from the US on April 22nd and a trust that they'll be no issues when they get back into Canada. I got a note for prayer from David he and his friend are healthy. He's a friendly visitor with a retired Pastor here in the beach in the course not able to see him and so they do miss their chats together and also that we all do miss visits and we miss each other and our families. Monica has also had some minor health issues this week and this will be a continued to assess for her. And of course Dawn and burgers are continuing to pray for all of us that we continue to stay healthy and safe. I'll give you an update now on our missionaries just there's some concerns especially for the normal family. We had a lengthy letter from them and our secretary. Linda will be sending that out this week, but they are asking for prayer right now. There is a 21-day lockdown in India, and they're literally not able to go out. I made some notes from their correspondence with us. They are only allowed to shop between 7 and 9 in the evening and the stores have very limited supplies. They do they are able to get some food. They do have a roof over their head, but the government is not allowing cars or motorcycles on the roadways unless they have permission. For family or medical emergencies. So they're very concerned about what what is going to take place in these next days Kathy Gooch our missionary from South Africa has sent the following the lockdown is an opportune time to be less busy and more occupied with what occupies the heart of God and that is souls. Are we in surfing her family's our community? Our neighborhoods are cities in our leaders with our prayers are we occupying the other wise to Disturbed atmosphere with hope healing courage Grace Shalom peace courts. Are we locking up our entire being in the Prince of Peace during this lockdown? I think that's very interesting way that she put the words to that. Carol Of course with change your world they have not been able to bring the young ladies in from Africa to share and we will have more details as they make arrangements. Once the pandemic restrictions have been lifted lifted lifted and so continue to pray for Carol and her team as well. Okay, let's take some time and let's just go to prayer and let's pray for all of these issues this morning Father. I just thank you for what you are doing doesn't mean we see all that you're doing but we know you are at work and remind us again as we've been talking over these past three or four years all the life decisions that we have every day. We have two seconds. her faith or fear we choose faith. Father we thank you that you are helping and so many practical ways we take for granted certain in Canada the freedom to be able to still buy groceries to be able to go for walks to be able to visit at a distance with folks and and and live our lives without the restrictions of having to be locked in our homes father people around this world are in very close confines some areas that their concern is for even having enough food to eat. So we pray Lord that no one would starve to death in the midst of all that's going on. We also pray for those in authority over us the sense I get around the world as I look at leadership and hear them talking is again a continuous tense of fear. They don't know what's coming next. They don't know what to think. They're out of their elements. And so Lord, we are again reminding ourselves as we pray to you to stay that you are in charge as we have been thinking we do not know what to do Lord, but our eyes are on you and because her eyes were on you we could have gratitude is calling and Mark mention because our eyes are on you. You're going to look after Health situations like Margaret and Marge and this young lady Holly and Monica and others that I still need to make doctor's appointments or still require Emergency Care Lord continue to watch over us all in in bless those who are in positions of authority to help us in in terms of health father also want to say thank you for those unsung heroes that are often not seen in our society. I think of our food bank volunteers We've been working so Faithfully to get food out to folks on Tuesdays and Thursdays Even in our community and for all the commitment that our pastors are making to help and look for ways to help in this time of crisis in our community also for those that are feeling overwhelmed with with fear or confusion think of Evelyn margs sister. We we wait to see what you're going to do as you work in Vanessa's life and may Susan her mom have great. Peace in the family is well and Lord as is David has mentioned it is hard. I think for people who are alone who can't see their friends and and father we all miss hugs and we all miss the closer action that comes with being able to meet to worship and a sheriff a together so bless each and every person as we head into this new week. Lord would you go before us would you protect us and remind us again that you've not given us a spirit of fear but of power love and a sound mind. Thank you Lord. Amen.
Just as we start the certain portion of the morning. I just want to remind you of what we talked about 2 weeks ago from 2nd Chronicles 20. Where King Jehoshaphat in his prayer and statement, we do not know what to do. But our eyes are on you. I hope that you have been certainly looking at the Lord this week and that you're continuing to sing for all your worth last week. Of course, we looked at Psalm 33 the big picture and David made things. So Crystal Clear for us on this Palm Sunday. It is certainly a surreal time as much as I want to actually take a Palm Sunday theme, I believe that today we need to focus on a young man who lived in a surreal time because I think this will help us as we wait. For the passing of the pandemic and so I've title this sermon dare to be a Daniel. The time of course is 605 BC. A young 17 year old man is taken from his home from his City. And transported 2700 km to a Godless Royal Court. 475 + years this man was held in a foreign country against his will and you'll notice the map we have before you there. He was taken as the king remove groups of Jews from Jerusalem transported them up through a ram and then a course through Aleppo in that name. I'm sure rings a bell with you today and down the Euphrates trade route to Babylon. 2700 km How was Daniel going to survive?
I don't know how he could keep himself from going insane.
totally alone But what is interesting is that there were six things that this young teenager began to do? Immediately upon arriving in Babylon and I do believe these six things are very relevant for you. And I today so as I share them with you, I want you to apply them to your personal life. In the midst of all that Daniel was going through his name was changed eating habits were unusual. There was a religious focus on on godliness. There was so many things the list went on but he had a personal evaluation of his own life. That was very interesting and I want to point this out to you. He critically appraised what was going on and sew in Daniel chapter 1 verses 3 to 6, then the King Nebuchadnezzar commanded Aspen as his chief eunuch to bring some of the people of Israel both of the royal family and of nobility use without blemish of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom endowed with knowledge understanding learning coffin it to stand in a king's Palace and a teach them the literature and the language of the Chaldeans. The king of signed him a daily portion of the food that the king 8th and of the wine that he drank and they were to be educated for three years. And at the end of that time they were to stand before the king the mungo's were Daniel hananiah mishael and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. But here's where Daniel immediately did self evaluation. He resolved in verse 8 that he would not defile himself with the King's food or with the wine that he drank therefore. He asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow himself not to defile himself. In fact, he asked for vegetables in water and ask for a trial. To see if indeed there would be something that would be of an option and so he gave the unit this option. Let us eat these vegetables and drink the water. And of course what happened is God bless them and it was obvious in their actual body and face. As for these four used for 17 God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. So not only where they healthier but in verse 20 and every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them. He found them 10 times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in his kingdom in all this Kingdom. Family, this is a good time for personal evaluation. This is a personal time to allow the spirit of God to direct you that you might not only be healthier, but you might gain Supernatural wisdom. And the second thing that Daniel did which I would encourage you to do is to stand strong in your spiritual convictions notice in Daniel chapter 2 and verse 21 and end here is Daniel speaking directly to the king. He said God changes times and Seasons. He removes Kings. He sets up Kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding God reveals deep and hidden things. He knows what is in the Darkness and Light dwells with him. Daniel wasn't afraid to talk about his God. to a foreign King who followed a foreign God I do believe that when we have strong spiritual convictions. We can never keep quiet. Thirdly keep your spiritual Focus. If you read the book of Daniel, you'll find that in the 75 years that he served in this foreign court with more than four different Kings their their time passes and then we don't realize that until in Daniel sick. There's an issue that he had to face 45 years 45 years after he had arrived in Babylon. He's now serving the king of the medes king Cyrus. and the other leaders hate Daniel and so they have secretly presented a document to the king. That anyone who preys or petitions any God or man for 30 days except the king. She'll be cast into the Den of Lions. Until we have here in verse 10 when Daniel knew that the document had been signed he went to his house where his windows or he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem, and he got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God as he had done previously Oh you mean he didn't go to his room and go into a media pass know he went back to his spiritual Focus which was consistent day in and day out. And by the way while he was praying these men came by they found Daniel making petition and flee before is God. And of course turned it in.
Under King Darius several years later now King Darius when he was raining Daniel new of Jeremiah's worked and Jeremiah was a contemporary of Daniel. And God had made a pronouncement against Jerusalem that they would be in bondage for 470 years. And so again with regard to a spiritual Focus Dan began to pray for his Fallen Nation. Any Daniel 9 3 and 4. We have the following. Then I turned my face toward the lord God seeking him by prayer and please for Mercy with fasting and sackcloth and Ashes. I pray the Lord my God and made confession saying oh Lord the great and awesome God who keeps Covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments. So again in all the Daniel was going through. Where did he turn he turned back to his God no matter what you and I are going through on a daily basis. Where do we need to go immediately go back to the Lord. And then the fourth thing which is interesting and I want you to grab hold of this one is is Daniel had his testimony ready. And so have your testimony ready to give it any time.
You know, it's interesting. You cannot hold back. From voicing what you believe? And here and here is how Daniel did it course remember he was thrown into the the the Lion's Den and in the morning the king commanded and Daniel was brought at that evening. He was cast into the lions den in the king declared to Daniel. May your God whom you serve continually deliver you One, of course the next morning the king runs to the entrance of the Lion's Den. He calls down Daniel. Are you alive and replies my God sent his angels and shut the lion's mouth and they have not hired me because I was found blameless before him and also before you okaying. I have done no harm giving testimony and I don't think we should be afraid to give a word of that. Hope that lies within us. I was in the Super Store the other day and the meat manager was up on the second floor and he called out to me and he said I've had an epiphany.
And before he could even answer I blurted out what that the Lord is still in charge. Well people around me suck their one lady laughed with relief. And of course my friend smile. Yep. The Lord is still in charge. Keep up testimony ready. What does Peter say 1st Peter 3:15? In your hearts honor Christ the Lord Is Holy always being prepared to make a defense of what to whom anyone who asks you for reason for the hope that is in you and do it with gentleness and respect. The other thing that Daniel does that's important and you and I need to maintain this is keep our integrity. Daniel said my God in chapter 6 verse 22, it sent his Angel and shut the Lions mouths because they have not harmed me because I was found blameless before him and also before you okay, I've done no harm. I say we got first twice for emphasis. He spoke the truth of his belief, but he also showed the king that is integrity was proven in the miracle. 1st Peter 3 the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous. His ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil keep your integrity before God and finally, this is important. Remember you and I are human. Daniel was human. He got to the point in your read at the end of Daniel where Daniel is so upset. He had been praying for 21 days and came to the conclusion that God was not hearing his prayer ever been to that point. We all have any way the angel comes to him and says fear not Daniel for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humble yourself before your God your words have been heard and I have come because of your words. God hears us the moment we cry out to him. And then he said an interesting thing to Daniel because again God knows how human even Daniel was. And the angel said oh man greatly loved fear not peace be with you be strong and of good courage as he spoke to me. I was strengthened and said let my Lord speak for you have strengthened me. Daniel was instantly encouraged in that announcement and proclamation of who he was in God and then at the end of Daniel. The angel says but go your way till the end and you shall rest and stand in your lot of place at the end of the day's family. There's going to be a time when we will have peace and we will feel the presence of God and there won't be the stresses that we're going through now, so be strengthened let the Lord strengthen you when I was in my early teens I was learning to play the piano. My mom wanted me to get my grade 8 piano in my grade 2 Theory and so every afternoon after school I had to practice I didn't like practicing especially scales. I found the Royal Conservatory music was formal. And then one day my mom gave me this song to learn and I began to sing it. I began to pound the keys and it was this dare to be a Daniel. The song says this standing by a purpose true heating God's command honor them the faithful few all hail to Daniels Band. Mighty men are lost during not to stand hoofer. God had been a host by joining Daniels Band many Giants great and Tall stocking through the land headline to the Earth would fall if met by Daniels Band hole the gospel Banner high on to Victory Grand Satan in his host defy and Shout for Daniels Band and then the car s dare to be a Daniel dare to stand alone air to have a purpose firm. Dare to make it known and so I leave this challenge with you this morning dare to be a Daniel. You indeed may seem that you're standing all alone. But I've got to remind you God's got an army marching through the land. I want to remind you guys on his phone and he's supervising. This world's Affairs. The world's leaders me cringe in fear, but our God is working and so to each of you again the command as I give it from verse 19 old man or woman greatly love fear not peace be with you be strong and of good courage. And may you be strengthened as the Lord speaks to you? May you be strengthened by his words by his presence by his Reality by his love and may you be strengthened in your inner core? Amen? And amen. Let's pray father as we conclude this time together. My prayer is that you would remind us that though. We stand alone at times and this is us the real time in many of us very much are physically standing alone. You are with us and you're reminding us that your piece has been given to us that we are to keep our eyes on you we are to be of good courage. And so Lord me each and every person who hears the sound of these words today be strengthened by you be comforted by you. And may they find a burst of faith. Where there has been fear bless each and every person in our family those near and far we pray in Christ's name. Amen.