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Worship Sheet for Sunday 19 September Envy and ambition

James urges his readers to watch their step, not to become so attracted the world and its ways that they forget to align themselves with God. He highlights their fascination for jealousy, bitterness and selfishness and instead encourages Christlike qualities such as goodness, humility, wisdom and peace. We shouldn’t run away from the world as it is the place to love and serve but neither should we be dominated by its ways.
Call: Heaven sent—from God, of God! All that is good, worthy and honourable; all that represents the character and the goodness of God. Let it be that our wisdom, our nature, our words and actions reflect such a Heavenly Spirit. Let this praise and time of worship be received as heaven-sent: God’s gift to us of time, space, and opportunity. Let us come before God and raise our worship.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Gracious God, you give us the privilege of living in this world of yours and serving in it for the sake of Jesus, whom you sent, out of love, to its Saviour. Help us to hold in tension our need to avoid being dominated by qualities the world often prizes ambition, greed, power while being dedicated to work in the world to share Jesus’ love as we display his gifts of grace in love, kindness, goodness and service. Forgive us our failings and help us not to dwell on others failings but to receive your acceptance with grace and to live out that grace in our dealings with others. Enable us through the way we speak and live to convey the positive message of Jesus the word made flesh as together we pray saying: Our Father…

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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James 3:1-13-4:4, 7, 8a. Shun negative qualities, receive Jesus’ positive gifts.

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Thought- Are you interested in what is under the bonnet of a car or the ins and outs of a computer? Some people are but let’s face it, most of us are not – as long as the thing works! Too much detail and the majority of us are likely to become confused or our eyes glaze over. At times James goes into too much detail for some, but he is trying to help us understand not just the how’s of our faith but the why’s. On the surface he notices that relationships among believers were being spoiled by jealousy, bitterness and selfishness and taking too much of a lead from the world’s values. He doesn’t just want us to stop, he wants us to understand what’s behind the problem, so that it can be addressed. The issue is that we need to receive God’s gifts – his wisdom, love, compassion and kindness and allow that to work in our hearts and lives so that we are able to demonstrate the Christlike qualities which the world so desperately needs. These things show up outwardly but they come from within us and ultimately from God, as his gift. We’ve still to live and work in the world but we don’t need to take our lead from the world; instead we take our lead from God in Christ and share his love and serve our neighbour.

Praise: CH4 694 Brother, sister let me serve you. v 1-5.
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Lord, sometimes reading the scriptures is uncomfortable, for they can put their finger right on our sore bits – help us not to fight shy of the diagnosis but welcome it and with it your prescription and healing. And what we pray for ourselves we also pray for our congregations, our families, the organisations and institutions that impact on our lives – large and small, including national and local government. May the traits that dominate our world such as greed, envy, squabbling, unhealthy ambition and disregard for people’s welfare be recognised for what they are – pointless and harmful. Instead, help us to make room from qualities that are good and healthy – love, justice, kindness, compassion, generosity and service. Deepen our capacity to receive such gifts from your grace and mercy; help us to be less willing to point the finger and far more ready to lead by example in showing love and kindness. Hear us as we bring before you the needs of the world as a whole, the concerns of our nation, those on our hearts locally and in our prayer walk we pray for those who live or work in Victoria St, St John's Place & Cottages.
SILENCE

Lord hear our prayers spoken and unspoken and answer them for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.