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Worship Sheet for Sunday 28 February – Spending to save
Jesus spells out to his disciples the need for him to suffer and die. He rebukes Peter for his well intentioned efforts to get him to avoid the cross and teaches us that following him comes before self interest. What does it mean to take up our cross? It means allowing heavenly considerations to influence our lives now.

Call: Jesus says Take up your cross and follow me; the Christian life is not all struggle and effort though it won’t always be plain sailing. Jesus says whoever wants to save their life will lose it. Help us not to imagine that we know best, but to be willing to trust you to work out your purposes for good. Jesus says I will be with you always; help us to plan for the long term, to allow heaven to break through.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

Pray : Lord, you never ask us to do anything that you were not prepared to do yourself. Any hardship arising out of following you pales into insignificance with your sufferings and obedience. Remind us of your promise to with us always. Teach us that while putting you before self can sometimes seem hard, perhaps very odd to others it makes perfect sense when we take heaven into account, when we realise that you are our companion on the road. Draw near to us in our times of need, when faith is weak and the pressures mount, when we feel inadequate and ill equipped. Forgive us when we fail and pick us up when we are flagging. Bind us together with one another and with your Son that even in the little things we might shine a shaft of heavenly light upon a dark and needy world. Accept our worship and hear us as we pray together saying: Our Father…

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Mark 8:31-38 Peter is rebuked. Jesus says to take up cross and follow him.
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Thought- Spending to save has nothing to do with economics! Peter tried to save Jesus from his suffering and death not realising that that lay at the very heart of his ministry, indeed of who he was. Unwittingly, Peter found himself tempting Jesus to walk away from God’s plan for the salvation of the world. Jesus spent his life in service of others, laying it down in love so that we might be set free. The Christian faith isn’t always easy but we are called not to take the path of least resistance, but to be faithful to Jesus, ready to serve him and others for his sake, sometimes at cost to our immediate well being. However, Jesus promises that he will work everything out for good for those who love him. He never leaves us carry our burdens alone – he is there for us. But we do have to take in the bigger picture, to allow his plan and purpose for heaven as well as earth, for the spiritual as well as the material to be worked through. That isn’t to say that our earthly lives, our material well being isn’t important. He is often very generous in blessing us in that regard. But it isn’t the whole story – heaven is important too – and we’ve to make room for ALL his purposes, allow heaven to break through and encourage and bless us as we serve him here and now. Following Jesus isn’t always easy, but neither should it be a constant chore – it can be a joy if we walk with him. We can’t be forever protecting ourselves and our well being, sometimes being faithful will involve us “spending” ourselves – serving and loving Jesus and others.

Praise: CH4 513 Courage brother! Do not stumble v 1 and 3.
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

Pray: Lord thank you for the privilege of sharing in your ministry and mission, of being people who journey with you and are trusted to tell out and live out the good news of a loving Saviour, of forgiveness, peace and hope. Help us to have a healthy balance between the material and spiritual so that we are real and relevant to our neighbours, taking their needs seriously while allowing your heavenly love to impact and change us and our world. Bless all who struggle to cope with the pressures that face them, sustain those who battle to feed their families, who are victims of oppression and injustice; who find daily living wearing them down. Relieve, encourage and bless. Watch over all who are sick, those who care; guide those who lead and direct – give them wisdom, integrity and humility. Help us towards life free from the clutches of the coronavirus and open us to being more concerned for others, not merely our own self interest. Show us how we may put into practice Jesus’ call to take up our cross and follow him. Bless our congregation and the other churches in and around the town and help us to make a difference. . In our prayer walk we remember those who live or work in Waterside Road and Trail l Terrace. 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.