Weekly Devotional – April 16, 2018

Take My Life and Let It Be, part 1

Listen/watch: Norton Hall Band – Take My Life

I’ve decided to do a series of devotionals based on hymns. Not only are hymns beautiful songs rich in theology and therefore help us to speak well of God, they also have beautiful stories behind their writing.
On Sunday we sang the hymn, “Take My Life and Let It Be”. It was written by Frances Ridley Havergal.
I’ve cut and pasted a biography from Christianity.com

Frances was the youngest child of a Church of England minister. Though she was always in frail health, she led an active life, encouraging many people to turn to Jesus and others to seek a deeper spiritual walk.
Frances had begun reading and memorizing the Bible at the age of four (eventually memorizing The Psalms, Isaiah and most of the New Testament). At seven she wrote her first poems. Several of her mature verses became hymns. In addition to “Take My Life,” she wrote such favorites as “I Gave My Life for Thee,” “Like a River Glorious,” and “Who Is on the Lord’s Side?”
Because her voice was lovely, Frances was in demand as a concert soloist. She also was a brilliant pianist and learned several modern languages as well as Greek and Hebrew. With all her education, however, Frances Havergal maintained a simple faith and confidence in her Lord. She never wrote a line of poetry without praying over it.

“I went for a little visit of five days,” wrote Frances Havergal, explaining what prompted her to write her well-known hymn, “Take My Life and Let it Be.”
“There were ten persons in the house; some were unconverted and long prayed for, some converted but not rejoicing Christians. [God] gave me the prayer, ‘Lord, give me all in this house.’ And He just did. Before I left the house, everyone had got a blessing. The last night of my visit I was too happy to sleep and passed most of the night in renewal of my consecration, and those little couplets formed themselves and chimed in my heart one after another till they finished with “ever only, ALL FOR THEE!”
One of the lines of Frances Havergal’s hymn says, “Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.” In 1878, four years after writing the hymn, Miss Havergal wrote a friend, The Lord has shown me another little step, and, of course, I have taken it with extreme delight. ‘Take my silver and my gold’ now means shipping off all my ornaments to the Church Missionary House, including a jewel cabinet that is really fit for a countess, where all will be accepted and disposed of for me…Nearly fifty articles are being packed up. I don’t think I ever packed a box with such pleasure.”
It was on this day, February 4, l874, that Frances wrote the hymn that is still sung around the world.

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Weekly Devotional – April 11, 2018

Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen And Yet Have Believed

John 20:24-29

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Some commentators and scholars have added a question mark, an interrogative punctuation in Jesus’ remark towards Thomas: “Because you have seen me, you have believed?” As if to say, “Only now do you believe?” Since the original Greek has no punctuation, indeed this is more than plausible. And it would accentuate the next phrase: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed!”

And this is precisely the point. The disciples were quite the skeptics, even by today’s standards. Jesus repeatedly forewarned them of his death and resurrection. Yet they refused to believe the testimony of the women “because their words seemed to them like nonsense” (Lk24:11) meaning Jesus’ own prediction was treated like nonsense. Even Peter, after running to investigate the empty tomb couldn’t put two and two together. “He went away wondering to himself what had happened” (Lk24:12). On the road to Emmaus, the disciples were depressed and eventually rebuked because they were “foolish…and slow to believe” that the Messiah had to suffer and enter his glory (Lk24:25).
The disciples had all the advantage in the world to believe, yet they refused to, until Jesus appeared to them face to face, rebuked them, and in particular Thomas –as if scolding a child –“put your finger here…stop doubting and believe!”

Who is it then, that Jesus is speaking about when he says: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”? He’s speaking about the future church. You and me.
Do we realize then, just how blessed we are, as Jesus says, when we without this physical evidence, place our hand in the hand of Jesus?
Blessed are we, says Jesus, who have not seen him with our physical eyes, yet see him with the eyes of faith. As Peter says: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him…”(1Pet1:8)

The first blessing of believing is that of salvation. It is not by works, but by faith we are saved. But the blessing doesn’t stop there. We are blessed when we continue to believe; when we keep taking him at his word, via the Word of God. We are blessed when we count on his promises with childlike expectation. We are blessed when we wait upon him with faith, with the “assurance of the things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”(Heb 1:1). And we are blessed when we persevere in our faith, lest our faith be in vain(1Cor15:2). So we choose to “live by faith not by sight”(2Cor5:7).
As the hymn says:
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Lord, thank you that your blessing has reached me. May I keep believing. Give me the faith even of a mustard seed, so small yet so potent -that I may be truly blessed, and others too, in seeing the object of my faith.

Weekly Devotional – April 3, 2018

John 21:15-17

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Peter had denied Jesus not once, not twice, but three times. We need to remember that in God’s sovereign view, failure is a necessary part of discipleship.
And this is what Jesus offers to Peter, asking him “Do you love me?” The implication is: You failed me three times, but I am still choosing you –to love me, to be my disciple. But this time, by taking care of my sheep.

Jesus’ language is such that there is only a hint of Peter’s failure of denying him(the threefold question). The rest of the conversation is a re-instatement of Peter’s discipleship. As if he’s saying: That’s past. Shall we move on now? This was more than a second chance. This was by design.
The church would be built on someone who knew his failure all too well. And how appropriate. Only someone who’s failed can identify with, care for, and help those who are struggling, lost, and have failed as well. And such is the church -such is God’s design.

But let us remember Peter was also lifted up by Jesus. Jesus would not allow him to remain devastated and defeated by his failures. He was forgiven completely, given a glorious hope, and unbounded strength to move on, in a way as to depend on Jesus all the more. And so he would indeed “feed the lambs”, encouraging them to let their failures drive them to God’s enormous grace.

The apostle Paul called himself the “chief of sinners” but also one who was “called by Christ”. I often forget the place from which God called me. And when I do, I forget not only the grace given to me, but the grace I am called to offer others.

Lord remind me again that as often as I have failed and denied you, you have poured out enormous grace to me. And so you call me to embrace others not with shallow sentiment, but with a depth of identification and at the same time with relentless hope, joy, and encouragement.

 

OUTDOOR SERVICE on SUNDAY June 29, 2014

Throughout the summer, GMC will be conducting a few outdoor services at parks, and this Sunday will be the first one! Come join us to worship and fellowship with one another in the midst of God’s creation! Bring your favorite dish to share with everyone (potluck) for lunch after service, plus there will be BBQ as well!

*Meeting location: shaded circle shown on the map below. To best describe where it is- it’s right across from the washroom. If you get lost, simply ask people where the washroom is and you should be able to find us (we’ll be a large group of people so it should be easy to spot!)

TRANSPORTATION:
-If coming by car: various parking options are available; see “P” in the map. The paid parking is right across from the metro station, and it’s probably closer to where we meet. Parking fee is probably around $7 for the day. If you decide to park there, take the Boulevard des Trinitaires entrance (where you can see the metro sign). You can then either join the people at the metro station at 10:45am to go together, or simply follow the map. There is also a free parking lot (gravel ground) and is located at the de la Verendrye entrance. See map to get to the meeting location.

LUNCH: the church will provide the BBQ, but we’ll also need you to bring a dish to share with everyone! Thank you!

Lastly, just a reminder that though it is an outdoor service, it is still a full service, thus offering will be collected.

AngrignonPark_service_location2014

EASTER WEEKEND

Good Friday Service
Please join us for our Good Friday Service to reflect upon the suffering and sacrifice of our Lord.
Arrive by 6:30-6:45pm for quiet prayer/preparation. 7pm service begins promptly.

Please note:
1. There will be a children’s program downstairs.
2. Being mindful of those who are fasting, we will not be offering any refreshments.

 

Easter Sunrise Worship on Mt. Royal
Every Easter morning a group of us go to Mt. Royal before the sunrise. We watch the sunrise and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord by having a simple, but joyous time of worship. Usually we run into other believers from various churches and believing organizations around Montreal, and it can often turn into a time of corporate worship!

This year sunrise is scheduled for 5:58AM.

For those who want to join, please meet at the Main Look Out Point, where the chalet sits(not the cross), between 5:30-5:45am to make sure we can gather and watch the sunrise together.

Need a ride? Please contact Kamin (saintcayman at gmail.com) will arrange the rides.

 

Easter Service and Potluck Celebration
You are most welcome to join us on Easter morning to celebrate our risen Saviour at our Easter Service! Service begins at 10:30am.

To continue our celebration we will be having a potluck lunch following the service. If you are a guest please come as you are, but you are more than welcome to contribute to the potluck.

For those who are members, please look to your small group leaders or the google document to sign up for what you plan on bringing.

For any questions regarding the Easter potluck, please contact Joy Lim (joylim37 at gmail.com).

Upcoming Event

THANKSGIVING POTLUCK LUNCH : : October 13, 2013

Come join us for lunch this Sunday after service to celebrate and give thanks to God for the blessings that He’s so graciously given us! It will be a potluck style, and a sign-up sheet is provided here for those of you who plan to attend (Google document). So if you plan to attend, please sign-up and tell us what you will be bringing! For information or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Sungwon Ryun (ifeelryu@gmail.com) for assistance. Detail of this potluck is also posted on our Facebook event page (you can still access the site even if you do not have a Facebook account), so make sure to check it out and like our page if you haven’t already done so!