FBCWest 536 | A Prayer for a New Year or Anytime
Recorded On: 01/01/2023
Hymn # 88 “Joy to the World”
SCRIPTURE READING – Psalm 132:7 - 9
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings
OFFERTORY MUSIC – Pru Hungate
Praise and Worship
“Raise a Halleluiah”
Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“A Prayer for a New Year or Anytime”
PRAYER TIME / Time of Reflection
“At the Criss (Love Ran Red)”
“There Is Freedom”
Ephesians 1:18 Paul’s prays that the eyes our heart will result in the knowledge of 3 things
Ephesians 1:18 One: The hope of His calling
Titus 3:7 The hope of eternal life
Psalm 39:7 Our hope is in God Himself
Ephesians 1:18 Two: What are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints
1 Peter 1:3 – 5 An inheritance that is imperishable, Undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you
Ephesians 1:19 Three: What is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe
2 Corinthians 12:9 – 10 Content in weakness because then the power of Christ may dwell
Ephesians 1:19 - 23 These three are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might, which He brought about in Christ when He was raised from the dead and seated Him at God’s right hand
Transcript of Service
Happy New year. New Year's is funny. Because we changed the date. January 1st and then a new year. You somehow think it's a new beginning. In reality, Saturday became Sunday. But we're always wanting to have a renewal and a start over because we usually mess up so much. It's nice to know that we have another new beginning to. Start all over. And So what happens usually during this period of time these people make resolutions. I've done it in the past. You make resolutions like I'm going to lose weight. I'm going to have more time efficiency and I'm going to to do things where my manage my time management is better and and you have all of these things that you're going to do and in each of you know I'm going to work harder in my job, I'm going to get a promotion and you have all these items. That that you plan to do. And usually around February 15th, 16th or so. You're not any thinner. Your time management is still terrible. Your time management is great and you're very efficient. But you're efficient and not doing anything consequential. And so. My goal for you today and for me today is not to give you some resolutions. But I have a prayer. For you and for me. It's a prayer for this New Year's, but I think it's a prayer that applies every day of the year, so that if on February 15th we're Not living up to the prayer we're requesting we can pray again and again and again because it's not a resolution now. This prayer that that I want for us. Is not original to me. It's for Paul. Prayed for the Ephesian church. And it's found in first in Ephesians chapter one, starting with verse 18. And so it has this particular prayer in mind. Is this. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. So his prayer is that I want you to be enlightened so that. You will know.
And then he's going to ask for three things. And so his prayer started off with is. I don't want you to be aware of something. I want you to be so enlightened in your heart and in who you are that you know this. So to kind of give you an example, we can read that God loves us. We can say God loves us. We can even sing as a part of our song every. Sunday last year, God really loves us. And you can say it and you can think it. But when it becomes real to you. When it becomes. As they say, Gestalt all of a sudden. Ah, a God really does love me. And it doesn't matter the circumstances. And it doesn't matter my position and it doesn't matter what everybody else thinks because God loves me. There's that knowledge there's not just that thought and so. His prayer is that they might know. Not suspect not believe, but know and he's going to have three things that he. Wants the church. At Ephesus, to know and something I want me to know. And for you. To know, and the first one is. What is the hope of his calling? What is the hope? Of his calling. We were told that. His calling relates to Eternal Life, says. So that being justified by his grace, we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The part of this hope that that he provides for us is that we have eternal life, that no matter what happens here on Earth, no matter how successful or unsuccessful, how painful. Or whatever, or the fact is that at one point, either. Way too early in in our estimation or a longer life, we're given eternal life. But there's more than that in his in his hope in in. Psalms 39 seven. It says this. And now, Lord, well, what do I wait? My hope is in you. The hope isn't that things will change. The hope isn't that I'll turn over and you leave. The hope isn't that I'll get strong enough. The hope is God himself. But there is more to this hope of his calling than just our eternal life or whatever. It is significant because he's called. In essence, to to kind of give it a. A more earthly idea to to picture it. It's like God assembling a championship team. Because I'm going to call out individuals for a championship team. Now, if you are. If you've ever been in a in a. Public school or or whatever where there's. People choose up teams. They usually take the two best players and then make them captains because they don't want them to be on the same team and then they have they come up with some way to choose and then they choose a team and the last thing you want. It's because last. Or you're so bad. We'll give that person and. You to the other team. You know now I have a very personal. Reminder of this. This the actual very beginning of the second quarter of my 7th grade year. We moved from East LA to Westminster. And I went to Johnson Junior High school. And we were there and we were playing during lunchtime baseball. And they chose teams and nobody knew me.
So you know I got one lesson I got put in the in the lease. Problem area out in right field. Because that's where you put. No good but. And so I'm and and I. I remember this, I can. I can still relive it. I was out in right field and a ball was hit up. To me. And I said this prayer. With as much meaning as I've ever said any prayer in my life. God help me catch the ball. Because I knew that if I didn't catch the ball. I would be relegated for the rest of my life there in Johnson as a. No one would ever want me to. Be on their team. Now I didn't know about theology of whether God cared about baseball or whether he cared about this particular game or even me catching the ball. I caught the ball. At least. I don't know whether he answered my prayer, or at least didn't. Work against me, but. Because I understood what the consequence was of that situation and the next inning I was put in third base. Because I didn't want. To be that guy who was. Picked last. But when God assembles a team. You start looking around at the people he calls. You wouldn't pick them and you wouldn't pick you. But you're not championship material. It's like saying OK. Our church. Is going to play the Super Bowl winners? This year I don't know if we could survive the first play. But that's God has called us to be on his championship team. And when he calls us. Let's say I wanted to. He says Joe, I picked you, I'm gonna go. But God. I can't what? Even at the even when I was young and at the best, I could never play against the Super Bowl winning team. And God will look at me and say, yeah? Remember this really old couple. Who were Baron? And I told them they'd have a child and they laugh. Not only did they have a child, they had so many children that nations. Came from there. And there was this other guy who was so afraid that he. Winnowed his wheat in a wine bath. And I took a few soldiers. And defeated an army. Then there was this other guy. Who I called. Who lead my people out of slavery? He was a deliverer and a lawgiver. He said he couldn't speak. Then I called the verge. Say you're going to carry them aside. But I've never known. The answer was nothing is impossible. We need to stop getting off of. What we can do? And start taking a look at what God can do. The problem is and why I am. Not a big fan of the purpose driven life. Is because usually the purpose in life is. What can I do significant? As opposed to saying God, you call me. And you do significant things now. Just be there watching you because you're the one doing it.
The hope of his calling is that when God does something, it has significance and it has eternal purpose as opposed to everybody might think I'm a wonderful whatever. The hope of his calling his calling is such that not only do they have eternal life. Not only is our hope in him, but our hope is the fact that he will do something. With us He has a second request. Also found in Ephesians. It says. What are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in this? That second thing that you might really know. What are the riches of the glory? Of his inherit. In the same. Now there are two ways to look at this verse, and usually we tend to look at the most. Personal to us. And that we find. That says this. Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy, has caused us to be born again through a living hope through the resurrection of Christ from the dead. To obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled, and will not fade away. Reserved in heaven for you. So God is not only building us a dwelling place that we might dwell with him. And that he has. Going to present us with Golden Crown, the crowns of life. Those types of things and that he has called us to that place that is imperishable, that it won't fade away that won't. That is such a place. Let me ask you this question and and this isn't a question I want you to actually raise your hand. If you're wearing. Now I want you to listen to the entire question first for you to raise your hand. If you're wearing either earrings. Or a necklace. Or a ring. Or a bracelet? Or a piercing? It's made of concrete or asphalt razor. Because it doesn't have much value, right? Where we're going? The streets. Or your goal? That's how much value gold has and it's St. We don't. Wear St. material. Because the beauty and the non fading away of heaven is not the goal. It's being in the presence of God. But there's also a sense of this value of the inheritance. But notice it says. Of his inheritance in the Saints. God values you. He has determined that we are going to inherit a place that the streets are of gold. And in a dwelling place that we are in and it will never fade away and will never. But he also says you're mine. And if we get that, we are his. The third thing that he asked for. And what is the surpassing greatness of his power towards us, suddenly? The surpassing greatness of his power towards us, who believe it's not his power towards the world, but it's towards us who believe. These are in accordance all three in accordance with the strength of his mind. Paul also says. Talking about. He says this and and 2nd. Corinthians chapter. And he said to me. This is after Paul. Pray three times that God would take away. A problem in his life. We don't know what it is. Some people say it's eyesight, but some people say different things. We don't know and I think it's good that we don't know because we say oh, that was about eyesight. God doesn't understand my problem.
No, no. He understands your limitations, so he doesn't give us an exact because it applies to everyone. He says so. And and I love it. After I prayed three times. Oh, I must have had such a great prayer life that. Ask God for something. Once I go praise, you know this in our in our prayer meeting we have a things that we pray for and we have phrases and we're supposed to tell people if there's been an answer to prayer, whatever will follow. In our first meeting, the first week we would say I'm praying for such and such the next week such and such happened. Now I'm praying for this because apparently it goes. I prayed three times. It hasn't happen. And he said to me. My Grace is sufficient. Now, so often we think about grace is that unmerited favor for salvation? But it is also unmerited, unmerited favor for life itself and all that happy. It says my Grace is sufficient for you. Or power is perfected in. Why God is calling us? To his championship team. Because in a purpose driven life we want to be the hero of the story. The team that God is calling together when we win and we win no matter what the opposition is. It's not. Ohh well they had a excellent quarterback or whatever. No no God was awesome. And they were there. Power is perfection more. Most gladly therefore I would rather boast about my weakness. So that the power of Christ may dwell. Maybe why we don't have power in our lives, maybe why we don't have power in our church? And maybe why the Christian Church in overall doesn't have power is because they're so worried about being strong rather than letting God be strong? Allowing us to be weak, allowing us to not necessarily have all the answers and say. I will let Bryce well in me. Therefore I am well content with weakness with insults, with the stresses with persecutions with difficulties for Christ's sake. All these things happen because I'm a believer. For when I am weak. Then I am. And if we understand all of those. The hope of his coming. The value. Of his inherit. And the power that he has given. Comes down to this. Which he brought about in Christ when he raised him from the dead. Was not just an event. It was a historical fact. And he is who he. That he is. He has risen, but all of these things that we have we have because of the resurrection of Jesus. False prayer. To understand that you know. That hope. That you know that rich. That you know that power in history.
So that we might live. According to his call. According to his. According to his war. And it starts. Notice it said. That I want those of you who believe. To see these. Not asking for the world to see. Because maybe if we see these. And maybe if we live these things and maybe. If we actually. Acted as if he was risen from the dead. Maybe the world might pay attention. But even if it doesn't. That's still our obligation. My request of me and of you. It's not that you make resolutions to be a better person, and I hope you do. You know I I don't have a problem with that. But I hope. In addition to those resolutions. You pray. That God would work in your life. In a way only he can. And that we would have. And that. And as I said. A lot of times we go well, God. I'm not really. Meant to be on a championship team. It reminds you. Not about. About him And he reminds you of all the Saints who have gone before. That have accomplished awesome things, not because they were great men and women. But because we have a great thought. A great God. Related out. On the frost. So that we might. Be on a winning team.
And all God's people said.