Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s Podcast at STC Sheffield. My name is Mick Woodhead, and with my wife Tricia we have the extraordinary privilege of leading this amazing church family. Actually, we don’t really lead the church, we lead a fantastic team who lead the church!
It’s Prayer Week at STC. A week when we look pray into the Vision, or Godly Purpose Jesus has given us as a church family in 2019. We all need vision/ purpose, for ourselves, our families and our churches; a time to ask ‘which way Lord? What do want our church to do in 2019 but also personally ‘ where are you calling me/ us/ our family?’ Our 2019 Vision as a church is to ask others to JOIN US and GROW. Check out our Vision 2019 video on the website for more details.
This year we are considering the Gospels in our daily Podcast – last week we heard Liam’s great reflection on Matthew 17 & 19 and next week Tom will pick up the baton as he begins Matthew 20. However, a slight departure this week as we focus on Acts 1, a bible passage preached on yesterday at STC, the story of the beginning of the church 2000 years ago. Building on that sermon, we will see in our reflections over these next five days how God gave a new purpose to the early church; a group of ordinary people became an amazing movement of love and goodness which changed their world. If happened then, it can happen now in Sheffield and beyond. So let’s go …
Our bible passage today is Acts1:1 – 5 and you can hear these verses after today’s prayer and our focus verse for the day is V4 ‘wait for the gift my Father promised’
Did you know that Jesus has gifts for you today? More than that, he has gifts for you and me everyday. Gifts are a sign of love; gifts are the language of love. We give gifts to show someone how much we love them and often the gift demonstrates our depth of love for that person. It was my birthday recently and I received gifts from my family; and may I say here, all well thought out and lovingly given – not a garden trowel or board game anywhere! We should all choose gifts carefully! Equally, it’s sometimes hard for us to receive gifts; often subconsciously asking ‘do I really deserve this?’
To be a follower of Jesus, a disciple, is to learn to give well – but also to learn how to receive well. As we begin this Prayer Week it’s good to remember today that our loving God gives wonderful gifts to us his children – here are three in this passage.
Firstly, God gives Jesus to us as a gift – his wonderful gift of love to this world. We receive Jesus through faith – we follow him, we become his disciples his apprentices, learning to live as he lived and do the things he did.
Secondly, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit – the gift Jesus refers to in today’s bible reading. The Spirit releases Godly gifts to us every day; faith, forgiveness, hope, love, wisdom, healing … which Godly gifts do you need today? Ask him; our Heavenly Father loves to give gifts to us his children – he delights in it. Remember, the Holy Spirit draws us each day to Jesus, as we pray, read the bible, worship, listen to this Podcast. The Holy Spirit enables us to do Godly good in our everyday lives – one smile, one good deed, one small act of kindness every day.
Thirdly, we receive the gift of Godly Purpose; a life with direction and real meaning as we will see this week in our daily reflections.
The gift of Jesus; the gift of the Holy Spirit, the gift of Godly Purpose; all we have to do is freely receive that which is freely given by our loving God!
Lord, thank you for Jesus our Lord; thank you for your Holy Spirit who fills my life every day; thank you for your Godly Purpose that gives my life meaning.
Bless me, those I love and all in our church family at STC this Prayer week.
READING: Acts 1:1-5
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’