September 20, 2021

Spiritual Blessings in Christ 11-07-2021

11th July 2021 Pentecost 7 (Seventh Sunday after Pentecost)
Spiritual Blessings in Christ
(Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:3-13)
By Heeyoung Lim

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:2) This is Paul’s greeting for the saints of Ephesians. Our daily greeting can be transformed into a godly greeting of grace and peace when we are in Christ. May we have peace and comfort in Christ even though we are surrounded by the negative reality of the world.
We are confronted with so many things in the world that seem to be out of order. Many parts of it are broken and torn by human being. Reordering and fixing are necessary in God’s hands. God is at work, calls and uses us for His great ministry.
We have been born into and grown up in a fallen world, so we have learned the ways of the world, but we are in Christ when we become a Christian. We are no longer who we once were, but we often do not see who we really are. Ephesians1 helps us see who we truly are as Christians. If we could see ourselves more clearly as who we are in Christ, we would be able to live more consistently like Him.
May we live by the inclusive love and ways of Jesus Christ even in new forms of life. The prophetic words and actions that resists against injustice, on the other, works for communities of peace and justice, in the name of a gracious, righteous, and loving Christ, has led Christians to ministries and worship that witness reconciliation and restoration.
Paul tells the Ephesian Christians about praise be to God. God the Father chose us and adopted us as his spiritual children. (5) God the Son redeemed us, forgave us of our sins, enlightened us to know His will, and has given us an eternal inheritance. (7) God the Spirit sealed us, made us secure in Christ, and led us for our redemption. (13)
Christians need to be spiritually enlightened so they may understand the glorious plan of God for the whole world and the greatness of God’s power. God reorders and renews the universe through His encompassing plan of salvation. Everything is in His unconditional love and powerful control. Through the ministries of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Christians have been given every necessary spiritual blessing. God promised the riches of their inheritance in Christ.
Spiritual blessings lie on the will of God to provide grace and peace to His people, but we sometimes do not remember His grace or miss out His blessings. We have received the blessing of being chosen by God and adopted by Him as his spiritual children. An adopted child who is brought into a family has the same rights as a child born into that family. God did this through Jesus. All our sins are forgiven in Jesus because we have believed in Jesus as our Saviour.
However, this does not mean that true Christians never sin. It means our sin is paid for by the death of Christ. His death paid the price for our release from sin and death. This is our spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. This redemption and the forgiveness were accomplished by the death of Christ on the cross where He shed his blood and died to save us. Making forgiveness possible was a major accomplishment in God’s eyes, since it required the sacrifice of blood and the death of his Son, Jesus. (7) This decision for us came out of God’s grace which He lavished on us with all wisdom and insight. (8)
We are predestined to become Christian believers, but responsible for our action because of free will at the same time. We can take both rather than choosing or following one between these two theological perspectives.
Here we have some Bible verses about God’s salvation and human election.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
“First of all, I urge that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone. (1 Tim. 2:1)
“This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth”. (1 Tim. 2: 3-4).
“The Lord is not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
This is God’s will towards people and the world revealed throughout some Bible verses and spiritual blessings in Christ. The blessings need to be shared in our lives. We do not know the result, but we can commit ourselves to the spread of the gospel message. May we participate in the God’s plan of redemption for those who still do not believe in Jesus and forgive someone who has mistreated us in the love of Christ. Making it possible would be difficult, but I am sure it is time to lavish on others with all our wisdom and love God has given us.
God wants us to be holy and blameless in His sight as in verse 4. We are in Jesus who is holy and blameless. May we be holy and blameless in God’s sight.
In the Holy Spirit, we are sealed until the day of salvation if we believe in Jesus until the very end. This will be for when we are still alive on earth, after we die, or at Christ’s return. This spiritual blessing is to bring praise to God for His grace in our lives (12). We can see ourselves as someone very precious because of all God has done for us.
As we shared, the Bible tells us to praise God the Father who chose us and adopted us as His spiritual children according to God’s plan to receive an inheritance which will possess in full when we stand before God in heaven. In Christ, we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin; we have been spiritually enlightened and enriched. In the Holy Spirit, we were sealed and made secure. May we be enlightened to understand the significance of these spiritual blessings in Christ. I pray we who are the first to hope in Christ may be to the praise of glory.
How blessed we are! God has given us spiritual blessings in Christ. We do not always feel spiritually blessed, but we need to remember that we are truly blessed. God is to be praised by His creation. As in verse 6 and 12, may we be the praise of His glory. Our fellowship and love for God will be reflected in intimate love and complete unity among other believers. Our efforts through loving and caring in our relationship with God’s creation will be a good way to participate in what God wants us to do. It would be one of ways to share spiritual blessings.
I believe that we are glad and happy to live our lives as Christians. May we enjoy the Christian life more completely and to live like Christ more consistently. At the fulfillment of God’s plan, all that exists will live in the relationship with God. May we enjoy the fact that we belong to God and the family of God, participate in God’s loving plan for all creation. I hope we be grateful that God has forgiven our sins and given us eternal life. May we praise God, love others, take good care of God’s creation in the appreciation for spiritual blessings in Christ.
The church will always be challenged by God’s revelation in Jesus Christ to love and serve God and people to renew herself in worship, life, and mission. We are chosen for praise to God, destined for worship God, and appointed to the glory of God. Let us remember we have received the lavish blessings from God. It is time to share it with others. God is the one who is giver of all blessings and source of life.
May God’s abundant blessings will be shared in Christ.
Thanks be to God! Amen. 

(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)

Order of Service and Notices 11-07-2021

PLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP
WELCOME
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
PRAYER

TIS 156 Morning Has Broken  

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS Ephesians 1:3-14

TIS 10 The Lord’s My Shepherd  

CHILDREN TIME

SERMON: Spiritual Blessings in Christ
[Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]

TIS 447 Lord Your Almighty Word

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS, 
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
NOTICES – OFFERTORY

TIS 217(i) Love Divine

ENEDICTION God Be with You (v. 4)

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics

Leighmoor Uniting Church
Protection for Families and Friends
Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need
Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations
Culture of Discipleship
Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

Sunday School (No Sunday School during term break)

Meeting of Worship Leaders: Today 10.40 am

Messy Church: Sun 4.00 pm, 25th July (God’s Creation)

Collection of Favorite Hymns for Hymn Service (July)
(Notify Heeyoung by phone, email, text message or paper)

CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim
M: 0432 054 369 E: hyfilm12@gmail.com
Website: www.leighmoorunitingchurch.org

Zoom Service: Henry Wan (0403 150 404)
Closing time for Notices is 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Forward to Rohini Mendis (0421 318 545)

Jesus Shares His Ministry 04-07-2021

4th July 2021 Pentecost 6 (Sixth Sunday after Pentecost)
Jesus Shares His Ministry
(Scripture Reading: Mark 6:11-13)
By Heeyoung Lim
Mark 6 tells the story of Jesus’ hometown rejection and God’s mission through disciples’ teamwork. We are all individuals as well as members of groups or communities. A team player is someone who actively contributes to their group to complete tasks, achieve goals or win the games. Teamwork and team spirit are essential for all groups, communities, sports games, and nations. In many sports games, a good match or a win occurred when a team played well together, not when an individual does well alone. Team players listen to their co-workers and help other team members to achieve their common goals. They understand that their team’s success is their own success, and they share responsibility even when their team experiences difficulties.
Jesus spent most of his time in Nazareth before his public ministry. He went home to Nazareth with His disciples after many ministries, but he was rejected and mocked by his own people. It was not just family visiting, He was invited by a synagogue to teach. The listeners were offended, not at what Jesus said or what he did but at who he was. (3)
The people in his hometown considered Him as just Mary’s son, elder son, and carpenter’s son rather than the one who God sent. The power of God which Jesus possessed required the receptivity of faith, but they were in the absence of faith. It caused the hardening of people’s hearts against God. Verse 5 says, “He could do no mighty work there.” Lack of faith hinders Jesus’ power. Mark tells us about faith as a critical element in the healing mission of Jesus, but Jesus’s power and freedom cannot be limited by human faith. Jesus himself chooses when and how to use his power. He healed people through compassion not on demand or popularity. (5) One of theologian, Hendriksen said, “The spread of the gospel has the priority over personal likes and dislikes.” God’s mission has nothing to do with human popularity or demands, it has been given by God’s grace and love.
In Mark 6, Jesus sends out his disciples to travel the countryside and moves on the Gentile areas, to heal the sick, and to proclaim the need for repentance for the forgiveness of sins. In today’s text, Jesus tells His 12 disciples what not to take with them on their mission, rather than telling them what to take. The disciples were recognised for what they do not take with them on their journey. How about us? Many of us are probably interested in what we do take or possess rather than “lightness”. Jesus adds instructions on how they are to travel for their mission of testifying and healing. He tells them to travel light without bread, traveller’s bag, and money. The lightness of travel will show trust in the divine authority. (8-9)
If they meet the risk of hospitality and rejection in any place, they are requested to shake the dust from under their feet and then move on in accordance with Jesus’ commands. The experience of rejection from Jesus’ hometown could be a signal of what was to be faced in their work and ministry. Jesus prepared his disciples for potential rejection and extended His ministry first by sharing it with the disciples.
Jesus had already chosen the Twelve to be with Him, and to be sent out to proclaim the gospel, and to have authority to cast out demons. Now, he sends them out in pairs to be witnesses. Jesus sent them out in teams of two. The reason may be that in Israel, the law demanded two witnesses for any testimony. (Deut. 17:6) The sharing of a common mission by two people would help bind the disciples into a more cohesive group. The strength of two is more than doubled. They were Jesus’ beautiful teams.
Jesus gave the disciples authority over evil spirits. They did not go under their own authority but the power and authority of Jesus. The missions Jesus has given to them are inbreaking of the kingdom, empowering with Jesus’ authority to cast out demons, and anointing and healing the sick. Anointing with oil signifies the presence of the Holy Spirit. (12) It was a symbol of God’s grace being poured on them. It also signified that the one who applied the oil was a mouthpiece of God’s grace and healing power. The disciples’ mission was successful. (12-13) They carried out the command of Jesus. They brought first a message of repentance, forgiveness of sins, and the need for the people to turn to God. The second message they brought was that of physical healing. It was possible with Jesus.
Jesus calls us to follow Him. We go wherever He leads because He is leading us to a place where He is with us. And he has promised his presence even in the dark at times. The darkness, whether it be through difficulties or suffering, can be connected to the growth and the beauty of the life and faith within us. Jesus wants us to follow Him individually and collectively.
Jesus is aware of our needs and comes to us in our distress and our provisions always come from Him. Jesus calls us to be a part of His ministry to the world; He watches over us and prays for us. We may face the storms of life, but the waves will not overtake us because Jesus is with us. May we do not depend on worldly view but be confident in God’s power as Christians, disciples, leaders, stewards, and most importantly team members. Good stewardship demands that we do not waste God’s resources.
Our priority of mission is to tell people to repent and turn to God. May we also bind their wounds, feed their hunger, satisfy their thirst, and cast out demons. Do we have a “quiet place” to be with Jesus so He can restore our soul and help us cope with the burdens of ministry? There are hard decisions to make when we travel. How much luggage can we take? Some of us take too much luggage while we are traveling and living. But do we really need all that stuff? Do we have “lightness” on our faith journey? We are surrounded by the lack of faith and struggled between lightness and heaviness in our lives, but we do our roles and mission by taking care of people’s physical needs as well as their spiritual needs as team members.
Jesus extended his ministry by sending out the twelve disciples. Now, Jesus is on the move, and he calls us to move with Him. He is aware of our needs and comes to us in our suffering; He watches over us and prays for us. Jesus calls us to follow Him. May we be confident in God’s power as Christians, disciples, leaders, and team players.
God’s mission has given to us under God’s timetable, though crisis comes, and challenge is ongoing. Jesus is sharing of His mission with us, but if we are trapped by our past and current challenges, we will not be free to move forward into new ways of following Jesus. I expect Leighmoor Congregation can be identified as “Team Jesus” in the eyes of Jesus. May we be more beautiful and powerful team for the Lord. May we also rely on the strength and love of God in our all circumstances and always walk with Jesus with the name of “Team Jesus”.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)

Order of Service and Notices 04-07-2021

PLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP
WELCOME
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
PRAYER

TIS 129 Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound  

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS Mark 6:1-13

TIS 590 What a Friend We Have in Jesus  

CHILDREN TIME

SERMON: Jesus Shares His Ministry
[Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]

TIS 690 Beauty for Brokenness

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS, 
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
NOTICES – OFFERTORY

TIS 569 Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer

HOLY COMMUNION

BENEDICTION God Be with You (v. 3)

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics

Leighmoor Uniting Church
Protection for Families and Friends
Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need
Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations
Culture of Discipleship
Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

Sunday School

Friday Fellowship: Fri 10.00 am, 9th July
(Venue to be advised on Sunday)

Offertory: Turning the Offering Bowl (from 11th July)

Meeting of Worship Leaders: Sun 10.40 am, 11th July

Messy Church: Sun 4.00 pm, 25th July (God’s Creation)

Collection of Favorite Hymns for Hymn Service (July)
(Notify Heeyoung by phone, email, text message or paper)

The Recruitment of Stewards and Volunteers

CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim
M: 0432 054 369 E: hyfilm12@gmail.com
Website: www.leighmoorunitingchurch.org

Zoom Service: Henry Wan (0403 150 404)
Closing time for Notices is 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Forward to Rohini Mendis (0421 318 545)

Time to Get Up 27-06-2021

27th June 2021 Pentecost 5 (Fifth Sunday after Pentecost)
Time to Get up
(Scripture Reading: Mark 5:21 – 43)
By Heeyoung Lim

Jesus is our healer; He will always be by our side. He frees us from all sins and evil, and he tells us to go back and spread the gospel of God. Just like people who were healed in faith and obedience by the power of Christ, it is important that we too “go and tell”, share the words of Jesus, and live-in worship and gratitude. We can tell people how much Jesus had done for us.
Another gift of Jesus offers is consolation, and we are the ones receiving consolation and comfort by Jesus. The passage of Mark chapter 5 tells the story of Jesus’ compassion, genuine love, and healing. It tells us about a girl restored to life and a woman healed.
Crowds were gathered when Jesus and his disciples crossed back across Lake Galilee. One group asked Jesus to leave, while the other welcomed Him. Some denied and rejected Him, but some welcomed and followed Him.
Jairus was a synagogue ruler. This was a respected and honored position in the community. In the first story, Jairus threw himself down at Jesus’ feet for Jesus to save his daughter. Jesus went with Jairus to his house so that his daughter may be healed.
A woman touched Jesus’ clothes whilst Jesus was on the way. The woman said to herself, “If I can only touch his clothes, I will be rescued.” Immediately the flow of blood ceased, and she felt healing in her body from her disease. (29) The bleeding stopped when she touched Jesus in faith. Jesus was immediately aware the power had gone out of Him. (30) Only the woman knew what had happened to her when Jesus asked the crowd, “Who touched my clothes?” She came in fear and trembling, fell down before Him, and told Him everything. Fear and anxiety may accompany in our lives, but most important thing is “coming to Jesus” in faith anywhere, anytime. When our lives crowd in with all their pressures and uncertainty, there is still room for us to look at Jesus and lean on Him. One of the most remarkable things is the way in which the healing happened even when the healer was not expecting it.
Jesus did not rebuke the woman for touching Him. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you, go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” Jesus called her daughter and said that her faith made her well though itself powerless. Her faith was recognised by Jesus. He healed her and restored her to community. Jesus wants us to be made whole by His healing power; He wants us to be restored to our faith community and society. Jesus calls us daughters and sons in faith and peace.
While He was still speaking, some people came from Jairus’ house to say, “Your daughter is dead.” Imagine Jairus’ sudden grief and doubts at these words, but in verse 36, Jesus said to Jairus, “Do not be afraid, only believe.” Jesus comforted and encouraged Jairus, and He told him to just believe. Likewise, Jesus is telling us to have a continuous and ongoing faith.
Jairus walked to his house in faith with Jesus and three disciples, Peter, James, and John. These three disciples are also mentioned at the Transfiguration and in Gethsemane. (Mark 5) Jesus said, “She is not dead, she is asleep.” The crowd laughed at Him, but Jesus got on with what had to be done. Taking only six people, he went into the room where the dead girl lay. Jesus took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” Immediately the girl got up and began walking around the room. Jesus strictly ordered them that no one should know about this and told them to give her something to eat. Jesus is concerned about the physical dimension of her and our lives.
When I first read this, I was so impressed by the last verse that Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Life-giving moments were not the end but rather the beginning. Jesus showed His compassion, genuine love, and continuous care for the healed woman, resurrected chid, and grieving man. The words of Christ give us hope and strength in the reality that he does really lead us to go the extra mile in looking after others in His name. Wherever we are living, in a caring community or uncaring society, may we be people that can take the extra step in faith and obedience, by blessing and loving others one more time. I believe it can be one of ways to extend the kingdom of God.
We do not exactly know the reasons why He only raise Jairus’ daughter, the widow’s son in Nain (Luke 7), and Lazarus (John 11), or why He tells them not to tell anyone, but we know His aim goes much deeper; these things are some of His signs of salvation and healing through His death and resurrection.
It is time to get up from the darkness, emotional difficulties, and spiritual stagnation. The life-giving power of God is breaking into our lives, and the unconditional love of God is working through the world we face even in our suffering from illness, anxiety from uncertainty, and depression from long-term isolation or loneliness. May we turn on the switch of Jesus’ light by coming to Jesus and leaning on Him. Jesus is with us. May we get up and begin to walk with Jesus together.
Jairus who had a very sick 12-year-old daughter rushed off to Jesus and the woman who suffered for 12 years from severe bleeding touched Jesus’ clothes. They had faith in Jesus and Christ gave healing. Two stories are about fear and faith. Jesus turned fear into faith, showed His unconditional love for the sick and outcasts, and proved his authority over disease and death. Truly, Jesus is our healer and comforter. For Christians, even death is passage to eternal life.
We are often in all sorts of emotional, physical, social, and spiritual pain. But God is quick to comfort, and he always knows what we are going through. May we be people that search for the Spirit’s voice and listen out when He speaks. There are times in life, especially in our past that we are ashamed of. However, may we be people that continues to show love and faith towards Christ Jesus who gives us a peace of mind and comfort.
We live by the word of Jesus Christ, and it is what gives us strength and comfort. We read the word “immediately” three times in today’s text. Let us not postpone our love and action towards God and others. I believe our lives will be restored by Jesus’ healing and life-giving power. Our life cannot be the way it was before if we are with Jesus. May we live today as a gift from God, like it is the first day of our lives but could also be the last day too.
God has given us the gift of life, with the responsibility to look after the church. May we all be people that allow God to work within us by keeping a good balance with Church and our lives, to wisely mature through and to love one another by the love of Christ. It is time to get up in accordance with Jesus’ word! Let us spread Gospel so that more people can meet and believe in Jesus, and they will become Christians and more like Christ, believing that Jesus is our healer, comforter, lover, and Savior.

Thanks be to God. Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)

Order of Service and Notices 27-06-2021

PLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP
WELCOME
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
PRAYER

TIS 703 As the Deer Pants    

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS Mark 5:21-43

SRC 407 One Thing I Ask    

CHILDREN TIME

SERMON: Time to Get Up
[Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]

SRC 605 You Rescued Me

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS, 
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
NOTICES – OFFERTORY

SRC 346 Majesty

BENEDICTION God Be with You (v. 4)

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics

Leighmoor Uniting Church
Protection for Families and Friends
Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need
Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations
Culture of Discipleship
Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

Sunday School & Messy Church

Friday Fellowship: Venue to be advised on Sunday

Church Council Meeting: After Worship, Middle Room

Funeral Service for the Life of Marj Brownjohn
July 3rd at 10:00 a.m.
Kingston Funerals 146 Argus St. Cheltenham VIC 3192

Condolence: The Death of Erica’s Aunty Helen

Thanks: Defibrillator donated by Tennis Club

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim
M: 0432 054 369 E: hyfilm12@gmail.com
Website: www.leighmoorunitingchurch.org

Zoom Service: Henry Wan (0403 150 404)
Closing time for Notices is 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Forward to Rohini Mendis (0421 318 545)

God’s Plan and The Kingdom of God 13-06-2021

13th June 2021 Pentecost 3 (Third Sunday after Pentecost)
God’s Plan and The Kingdom of God
(Scripture Readings: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Mark 4: 26-34)
By Heeyoung Lim

Our pride, arrogance, and self-centeredness often hinder our trust in God. Today’s text invites us to ask God to show us where our pride and self-centeredness are and repent of it so that God can use us in His service.
God had rejected Saul’s leadership because Saul had rejected the word of the Lord. Saul’s disobedience grieved God that He had made Saul the first king, but Samuel mourned for him. One day God had a special plan and job for Samuel. God said to him, “I want you to find a new king.” It was the time for Samuel to stop mourning and start new task given by God in accordance with God’s commands.
When Jesse and his sons arrived at the sacrifice, Samuel was ready to anoint the new king of Israel, but he made a mistake. Samuel was impressed and was sure this was the LORD’s anointed when he saw the tall and handsome oldest Eliab. But he was wrong. Samuel struggled to perceive God’s choice for the one who will succeed Saul in his view, but He obeyed God’s word.
The Lord rejected 7 sons of Jesse. In verse 11-12, Samuel asked Jesse, are these all the sons you have? No, there was one who was tending the sheep. God provided Israel a king for the future through a child shepherd, David. The king should be the man after the Lord’s own heart but, Samuel did not know the intent of God’s heart. Samuel’s mistake leads us to consider that faithful leaders must have the right kind of heart.
Immediately, the Lord told Samuel to arise and anoint David, Jesse’s youngest son was the one. David is selected by the Lord through Samuel as the new king of Israel. Ancient Near Eastern societies generally gave special inheritance rights and leadership roles to the firstborn son. However, God often chose those overlooked and ignored in the society and culture. Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Solomon were younger brothers whom God blessed. The young David was selected from among all Jesse’s sons to be the new king After God rejected Saul as king; God told Samuel to go and anoint a new king, one after God’s own heart. Samuel took the horn of oil and poured its contents on David’s head in the presence of his brothers. (13) David’s anointing is reported in just one verse. David had an extended period of waiting and serving before he begins the reign as king, because there was already a king named Saul. David waited until it was his turn to be king for a long time even after the anointing.
God was not concerned with height or appearance; God’s ways are not our ways. God wants us to have the right kind of heart. God looks at our heart instead of appearance; He chooses us and has plans for our lives. God’s sight does not settle for appearances but looks at the heart. Everything belongs to the Lord. I hope we can trust God’s plans and seek the Lord’s heart on all matters.
Samuel did what the Lord had commanded him. I hope we can all listen to God’s word and live out the gospel. In fulfilling the vocation God has given us, we also have a time of waiting and service, but our sight needs to focus on the reign of God in all our circumstances.
In Mark 4, Jesus tells us the beginning of God’s realm that are like mustard seeds; He teaches a fact that God’s realm grows from the smallest like mustard-seed. Great potential resides in even the smallest. As we live in faith, we are invited to look upon ourselves and the world with spiritual eyes. Trust and faith result in growth.
This story is about a parable of the automatically growing seed and the mustard seed. The parable of the mustard seed is found also in Luke 13:18–19 and Matthew 13:31–32, but the parable of the growing seed is found only in Mark. The “seed” has been defined as “the word” in verse 14 and the expression of “on the ground” occurs three times in these two parables. It is also translated with three different phrases that are “on the soil”, “on earth”, and “throughout the world”. (26, 31, 31) That is, the meaning of God’s realm is deeply connected to our lives in the world. In verse 27, the verbs “sleeps” and “rises” signify a long process, but the one who scatters seeds does not understand the process and can only wait patiently. We do not know how the seed sprouts and grows because the seed grows in secret. Sleeping and getting up in the soil are hidden between seed time and harvest. It is unseen and unobserved but exists and grows.
In today’s text, Jesus describes what the kingdom of God is like. (26) The kingdom of God will come in its fullness when God reigns over the earth. We can also remind of a Bible verse, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). Like the parable of the Sower, this story about the kingdom of God also encourages those who will be sowing God’s word. God is working when we are sowing and scattering God’s word.
Mark insists that while humans are called to “sow” or to “scatter the seed,” the growth is completely up to God. We can be sure that growth is taking place by God’s amazing grace and that his harvest will eventually bear fruit. Verse 30-32 describes what the reign of God is like. The mustard seed was the smallest of all the seeds in Palestine, but it will grow until birds can take shelter in its branches. Small beginnings can yield great outcomes in the view of the kingdom of God. Even if it is small, our faith and love will grow wherever God reigns.
We live in a blessed place where God is found and works in unexpected ways and through unlikely people. Jesus continually revealed His divine power in the Bible, but the purposes and the reasons were totally different with humans. For instance, Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God when people expected that Jesus would overcome Roman’s rule and establish His kingdom on earth. Jesus wanted us to be saved and taught us about the kingdom of God. I pray that the kingdom of God is expanding through all of us.
I believe that we can all learn to trust that all our battle and struggles belong to the Lord. In Christ, strong wind is replaced by great calm and peace in the presence of God. We can ask God for courage to overcome unexpected difficulties we face today. I believe God’s work is happening all around us wherever we can faithfully sow the seed of Christ and where we repent our pride, arrogance, and self-centeredness.
The Word of God continues its dynamic work between individuals and communities. The world sees our appearances and conditions, but God looks at our heart. We can be rejected by the world, but we are chosen by God. That is our happiness and comfort. Let us worship God who looks at the human heart and through Christ Jesus makes all things new.

Thanks be to God. Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)

Order of Service and Notices 13-06-2021

PLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP
WELCOME
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
PRAYER

TIS 168 For the Fruits of All Creation    

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Mark 4:26-34

TIS 430 Your Words to Me Life and Health    

CHILDREN TIME

SERMON: God’s Plan and The Kingdom of God
[Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]

TIS 413 Holy Spirit, Come Confirm Us

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS, 
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
NOTICES – OFFERTORY

TIS 547 Be Thou My Vision

BENEDICTION God Be with You (v. 1)

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics

Leighmoor Uniting Church
Protection for Families and Friends
Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need
Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations
Culture of Discipleship
Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

Sunday School & Messy Church

Friday Fellowship: Venue to be advised on Sunday

Uniting Church Anniversary Service: Gathering for LCM
Leighmoor, Coatesville, and Murrumbeena
June 20, 2021, 10 a.m. @Murrumbeena Uniting Church
117 Murrumbeena Road, Murrumbeena & Zoom Service
(Parking at the rear of the property)
Guest Preacher: Rev. Denise Liersch
(The moderator of the VIC/TAS Synod)
Offering: During Service, Individual Envelops will be back to Leighmoor & The rest of offering (donation) from LCM will be used for those who are in need in the form of food vouchers.

God’s Will and Jesus’ Family 06-06-2021

6th June 2021 Pentecost 2 (Second Sunday after Pentecost)
Title: God’s Will and Jesus’ Family
(Scripture Readings: 1 Samuel 8:4-11; Mark 3: 31-35)
By Heeyoung Lim

We live in arduous times and try our best to discern how to be faithful to God. The Holy Spirit sometimes comes to us in unfamiliar forms. God’s will is achieved in unexpected ways. First thing we can do is asking God and bringing the matters to God in our all circumstances. In today’s text, we can figure out that Samuel asked God His will when Israel did not seek God’s will.
Samuel warns the people about the problems they can expect with an earthly king as their leader. Their immoral behaviour was a departure from God’s will, and the faithless seemed to deny the Samuels leadership. This might hurt Samuel’s feelings and he was unhappy. Complaints must have reached the ears of the elders who gathered in a ruling council, but there was no praying and seeking of the Lord’s face. There was no crying out to God. The elders just demanded that Samuel appoint a king to lead the nation just like the surrounding nations. They wanted a political monarch who would defeat oppressive enemies and a visible and tangible leadership.
The request of the elders for a king displeased Samuel, but he wisely brought it to the Lord. God’s response to Samuel’s prayer in verse 8 shows that the request of the elders was wrong, but God told Samuel to listen to the voice of the people. God wanted Samuel to know that Israel had not rejected him as judge, but they had rejected God as king. Israel had continuously rejected God from the day He rescued them out of Egypt until then. Despite Israel’s rejection of God’s plan for leading them, God’s grace was continued. Samuel did just what God asked and proclaimed the words of the LORD to the people. (10) Samuel anointed Saul as the first king of Israel because God allowed their demands. The Israelites under Saul’s leadership defeat the Ammonites. God gave them a king, but He did it in His way.
God wants us to grow spiritually so that we do not follow the crowd or worldly desires such as power, fame, and fortune. Sometimes people follow a collective unconsciousness without hesitation and blindly jumping on the worldly desires without reflection. There are lots of leaderships we need to follow or respect in our lives, but we can surrender completely to God as King and Jesus as Lord in our lives. The covenant of kingship is achieved through Jesus the Messiah.
God is working through His people. I hope we can ask God to show us God’s will every area of our lives and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us God’s way on our faith journey. We can list our worldly desires in our diary or journal and repent of the sin of rejecting God’s will even though God’s leading may not visible, audible, or tangible. Do we pray for the reign of God in our daily prayers? Do we still have many prayer topics regarding worldly desires? God listens to our prayers, but He also hears our praises. We can list ways we can praise God as King and share the ways with others. We can also ask God for the grace and love whenever we try to serve God and others. I hope we can pray more about the kingdom of God and the reign of God. God’s will be done when we choose to follow God’s lead in our lives. It can be started from our family and communities.
Family is the place where we feel safe and secure, where we learn to love and grow as a human being. But not all families are loving, and nurturing. Not all families are safe and secure. When I had a short-mission trip to Thailand, I met about 300 homeless people in a station, visited slum village and met many children who were suffering from their parents’ drug addiction and their various unsafe environment, and went to a refugee site there. On the other hand, I also met some missionaries and Thai Christians who so much loved and helped them regularly and dedicatedly. They did not have secure place or loving family, but they were with extended family with the name of Christians.
In John’s Gospel, when Jesus is dying on the cross, he looks at his mother and says to her, “Woman, here is your son.” And then Jesus says to the beloved disciple, “Here is your mother.” Even on the cross Jesus was building His family of followers. So, he gave His mother a new son, and his beloved disciple a new mother. We know that Jesus loved and cared for his mother, even on the cross. (John 19:27) In Matthew 3 and Mark 3, Jesus showed and taught us a new priority in family that transcend the normal blood relations known as “family”.
Jesus established a new family where all people can belong. His family is a group of people who believe in Him and follow Him in today’s text. When Jesus asked, “Who are my family,” He looked around him at the people sitting there in a ring and said that all who do will of God are his family. Jesus’ family is doing everything in the Holy Spirit who is connects the reign of God. God’s leadership seems to be a reversal of human ways, but the reign of God is always the best even in our torn environment with suffering and vulnerability. One of important messages of the Gospel is about the reign of God that displaces satanic reign or wrong worldly power. God’s work through Christ entails deliverance and mercy all the time. Jesus’ life and mission always revolved around the will of God. Jesus’ family is defined by commitment to doing God’s will. We are called to be around Jesus listening to Him. God wants us to cling to Jesus and stick with Him whatever the cost. I pray we can all be Jesus’ true family living from deep sense of love and belonging in Jesus.
There are big differences between God’s unconditional love and human limited love, but we can offer love and compassion to people in the love of God. We can ask for God’s wisdom and strength to enable us to do His will and submit our life to Christ. Jesus’ family is the one who does the will of God and those who believe in Jesus. Those who do God’s will are the true family of Jesus. I hope that we will come closer to Christ more and more, and I pray that God will prepare and offer close and intimate friendship in our faith communities. I believe we can discern God’s will in our faith and life with the grace of God’s kingdom and become Jesus’ family under the reign of God. Let us thank God and praise Him for His existence and awesome majesty.
What do we do when we cannot discern where God is leading? Surely, the longing for the word of the Lord and prayer to ask God’s will must be continued in our lives as Jesus’ family.

Thanks be to God. Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)

Order of Service and Notices 06-06-2021

PLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP
WELCOME
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
PRAYER

TIS 147 To God Be the Glory    

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS 1 Samuel 8:4-11; Mark 3:31-35

PRAISE Here I Am to Worship    

CHILDREN TIME

SERMON: God’s Will and Jesus’ Family
[Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]

TIS 228 Crown Him with Many Crowns

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS, 
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
NOTICES – OFFERTORY

TIS 745 Seek Ye First

BENEDICTION God Be with You (v. 4)

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics

Leighmoor Uniting Church
Protection for Families and Friends
Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need
Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations
Culture of Discipleship
Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

Sunday School & Messy Church

Friday Fellowship: Venue to be advised on Sunday
(Monthly in this stage)

Uniting Church Anniversary Service: Gathering for LCM

Leighmoor, Coatesville, and Murrumbeena
June 20, 2021, 10 a.m. @Murrumbeena Uniting Church
117 Murrumbeena Road, Murrumbeena
(Parking at the rear of the property)
Guest Preacher: Rev. Denise Liersch
(The moderator of the VIC/TAS Synod)

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim
M: 0432 054 369 E: hyfilm12@gmail.com
Website: www.leighmoorunitingchurch.org

Zoom Service: Henry Wan (0403 150 404)
Closing time for Notices is 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Forward to Rohini Mendis (0421 318 545)