[Did you miss last Sunday’s services? They can still be found at Worship Archive – April 18th 2021.]
Sunday Service from Connexion for April 25th 2021:
Sunday Services from Hillside Circuit for April 25th 2021:
Theme: By whose power or name do you do this?
Occasion: Fourth Sunday of Easter
Acts 4: 5-12
1 John 3: 16-24
John 10: 11-18
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Here are the songs for Sunday morning service. Click or tap on a song to open it in YouTube, or go to the Songs for worship webpage to find them embedded.
The Lord’s my shepherd.
Dear Lord and Father of mankind.
Be lifted up.
You can listen and join in with prayers from the English Methodist Service Book. They can be found at the Prayers for worship webpage.
Good morning boys and girls, our theme today boys and girls it’s more of a commandment, God wants us to do things the way He commanded. Anything we do as children God it has to please Him, see what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God and so we are.
Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness, sin is lawlessness. Children of God , let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as He is righteous. He who commits sin is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil ,no one born of God commits sin, for God’s nature abides in him and he cannot sin because he is born of God. By this it may be seen who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil
Boys and girls in 1 John 3: 16 – 24 God commands us to love one another not in word or speech but in deed and in truth, love is not love until you give it away. Amen
We thank you Lord for your love and kindness that you gave us your only Son Jesus Christ by His name we are saved and protected as children of God. Amen
[Click or tap here to jump down the page to see the text version of the above message so that you can read it for yourself.]
[Click or tap here to jump down the page to see the text version of the above message so that you can read it for yourself.]
1 You, LORD, are my shepherd. I will never be in need.
2 You let me rest in fields of green grass.
You lead me to streams of peaceful water,
3 and you refresh my life.
You are true to your name,
and you lead me along the right paths.
4 I may walk through valleys as dark as death,
but I won’t be afraid.
You are with me,
and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe.
5 You treat me to a feast, while my enemies watch.
You honour me as your guest,
and you fill my cup until it overflows.
6 Your kindness and love will always be with me
each day of my life,
and I will live forever in your house, LORD.
5 The next morning the leaders, the elders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses met in Jerusalem. 6 The high priest Annas was there, as well as Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other members of the high priest’s family. 7 They brought in Peter and John and made them stand in the middle while they questioned them. They asked, “By what power and in whose name have you done this?”
8 Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and told the nation’s leaders and the elders:
9 You are questioning us today about a kind deed in which a crippled man was healed. 10 But there is something we must tell you and everyone else in Israel. This man is standing here completely well because of the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. You put Jesus to death on a cross, but God raised him to life. 11 He is the stone that you builders thought was worthless, and now he is the most important stone of all. 12 Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone.
1 John 3
16 We know what love is because Jesus gave his life for us. That’s why we must give our lives for each other. 17 If we have all we need and see one of our own people in need, we must have pity on that person, or else we cannot say we love God. 18 Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it.
19 When we love others, we know that we belong to the truth, and we feel at ease in the presence of God. 20 But even if we don’t feel at ease, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if we feel at ease in the presence of God, we will have the courage to come near him. 22 He will give us whatever we ask, because we obey him and do what pleases him. 23 God wants us to have faith in his Son Jesus Christ and to love each other. This is also what Jesus taught us to do. 24 If we obey God’s commandments, we will stay one in our hearts with him, and he will stay one with us. The Spirit that he has given us is proof that we are one with him.
11 I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep. 12 Hired workers are not like the shepherd. They don’t own the sheep, and when they see a wolf coming, they run off and leave the sheep. Then the wolf attacks and scatters the flock. 13 Hired workers run away because they don’t care about the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and they know me. 15 Just as the Father knows me, I know the Father, and I give up my life for my sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them together too, when they hear my voice. Then there will be one flock of sheep and one shepherd.
17 The Father loves me, because I give up my life, so that I may receive it back again. 18 No one takes my life from me. I give it up willingly! I have the power to give it up and the power to receive it back again, just as my Father commanded me to do.
Text version of message for Hillside Circuit on April 25th 2021 in English, with Mr Ivan Chigwada:
Good morning Church of God, I hope I find you well. Our Bible readings for today are Psalm 25, Acts 4:5-12, 1 John 3:16-24 and John 10:11-18. It is from these Scriptures that we get our theme ‘Whose power or name do you do this?’ I feel we should change the theme a little bit so that it reads ‘In whose power or name do you do this?’ This way it will fall in line with the question ‘By what power or what name did you do this?’ directed to Peter and John when they were brought before the Sanhedrin for trial following their participation in the healing of the beggar they met at the entrance to the Temple! Interestingly a similar question had been directed to Jesus by the same religious leaders at the same Temple when at Matthew 21:23 they asked ‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ Jesus had just cleansed the Temple at Jerusalem! Some religious leaders are unbelievable!
Peter and John had been used by God to heal the man who used to sit at the entrance to the Temple begging. In response to the action of those who witnessed the healing, Peter had to explain via his second sermon to the people of Jerusalem how the man had been healed. For preaching about Jesus Christ, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead and claiming that the beggar had been healed through the name of Jesus Christ, Peter and John were arrested. The arrest of Peter and John was one of those rare occasions when the Pharisees and Sadducees saw eye to eye, as we know in both belief and action these two groups were always miles apart! Remembering that Peter and John had gone to the Temple for afternoon prayers and because the trial judges needed to be gathered, the two were detained in prison overnight pending their trial. It was at the trial that they were asked ‘by what power or what name did you do this?’ To the religious leaders of the day especially the chief priests, it was them and them alone who had power to authorise anyone to carry out all tasks connected to any form of work at the Temple. To Jesus after He had cleansed the Temple at Jerusalem, the religious leaders had asked ‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ Put another way they were saying ‘You are here preaching a new doctrine, where did you get a commission to do all this? Was it from Caesar, from the high priest or from God? Show us the proof!’ These men came to Jesus boasting in their own power as chief priests and elders, which power they thought authorized them to call Him to account, believing that he could have no authority because he had none from THEM! These men genuinely believed that no one should be involved in any form of action at the Temple unless authorised by them. Did they know who they were directing their questions to? They were directing their questions to God and to God’s first hand agents Peter and John who were part of the remaining eleven disciples. The religious leaders adopted the same view and stance that they had towards Jesus with Peter and John. You have no authority from us to do what you are doing, how dare you do so? In fact these religious leaders believed that what they perceived as a threat to them was a threat to God, and as such they took upon themselves the power and the right to defend their God! But the LORD God does not need man to defend Him in this manner. I am very certain that these religious leaders had not heard of Jesus’ words which were later written at Matthew 28 verse 18 ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure I am with you always to the very end of the age.’
Before the Sanhedrin Peter and John who were known as common, ordinary and uneducated fishermen from Galilee spoke so eloquently and confidently exhibiting that they knew the subject matter of what they were talking about. We know that Jesus had told them not to worry when brought before the law courts since the Spirit would give them what to say. Those who operate in the power and name of God shall overcome! Peter and John were released by the very jealous religious leaders who had ordered their arrest. You also can operate in the power and name of God, if and only if you have a living relationship with Him, no other power will prevail over you.
On so many occasions in the Church of God existing leaders are not welcoming to change especially when such proposals for change come from people who are not in positions of authority and whom these leaders view as persons who oppose them! Some ministers of religion feel very uncomfortable when what sounds like new doctrine comes to their ears and they will do all they can to stop its spreading. Like the religious leaders of Jesus’ time the misguided leaders believe that new ideas should only come from those to whom they have given a dispensation. What a way of leading the Church of God! When you say you cannot do what I have not authorised and agreed to, you are putting yourself in the position way above that of God! Such leadership traits do not spur the growth of the Kingdom of God!
When we contrast the attitude and behaviour of these religious leaders to that of King David we find a big difference. David starts by saying ‘O LORD I give my life to you.. The LORD is good and does what is right, He shows the proper path to those who go astray, He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them His way.’ Maybe instead of waiting for outsiders to ask us the question, we should ask ourselves this question, ‘By whose power or name do you do this?’ When we ask ourselves this question and proceed to answer it correctly, we will have reached the levels of the heroes of faith like David, Simon Peter, John the Disciples and others who went before us. The type of faith which inevitably involves the laying down of personal power in favour of a reliance on the very different power of God is what propelled those we now refer to as heroes of faith. You too can be listed with these if you opt to lay down personal power in favour of the very different power that comes from the LORD God. On many occasions children of God find themselves driven to act on the spur of the moment. Unless you take a deep breath before moving on you may be trapped by sin. Do not let anger, jealousy, self-centredness, show-off and peer pressure drive you into doing what comes to mind. When confronted by adversity it is always good to first of all seek the guidance of God in prayer. He has mountains of wisdom from which you can draw the correct strength to go through life! Amen!
The message in the passage from the epistle of John is about the power and love of God through which we were redeemed from the power and penalty of sin. A redeemed people must from that point when they realise and embrace the redemption of God learn to rely on the power of God. John tells us that the LORD God has put poor and rich people in His world so that the rich can exercise love and charity towards their brethren in the full knowledge that it is God who blessed them with that abundance so when they distribute part of what they own they do so in obedience to God. Within each one of us there is a power that condemns or praises us. Call it conscience or the power of moral self-consciousness but I know that that power can act as witness, judge, executioner of judgement and reminder where we go astray. This power is set and placed in us by God Himself. We dwell in God by a happy relation to Him and in spiritual union with Him through His Son. God dwells in us by His Word and by our faith fixed on Him and by the operation of His Spirit in us. When we allow His Spirit to lead us and work our way through life being led by Him we have no fear because God’s Spirit keeps the fear of God in our hearts. All who genuinely fear God in love shall always be happy and not be disappointed.
In the passage from the Gospel of John Jesus is teaching the people that He is the Good Shepherd who does everything that He does solely because He was authorised by the Father to do so. As the good shepherd Jesus assures us that he will lay down his life for his sheep. In comparison when a hired hand faces any strong challenge he will not withstand any danger nor defend the sheep but will run away. As the good shepherd Jesus knows His sheep and the sheep know Him! This is relationship He does not and will not abandon His sheep! There is a mutual acquaintance between Christ and true believers, they know one another very well and knowledge brews affection. Christ observes His sheep with an eye of favour and the sheep observe Him with an eye of faith. Christ knows who are His sheep, and who are not, He knows the sheep under their many weaknesses and He knows the goats under their most glaring disguises! But more importantly for you and I Christ says He has other sheep that He must bring into the pen. His hearers who predominantly were Jews believed that the LORD God belonged to them. This is not so. Both Jews and Gentiles upon their turning to the faith of Jesus Christ, shall be incorporated into the one church. One shepherd makes one fold, one Christ makes one church. In that one church there is life.
I cannot help myself as I take another look at today’s scriptures! The beggar was healed by the power and in the name of Jesus Christ. Simon Peter and John confounded their accusers in the power and name of Jesus Christ. God plants a spirit in the hearts of true believers which makes them not lose it as that power whispers into their ears as and when they are about to go astray. Jesus is the good shepherd who guides and guards all true believers the way a shepherd guides and guards his sheep. The Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ day were operating in their own power and in their name and could not see the presence of the love of God present around them. True believers are not only guided by the Spirit of God but are protected from relying on their own power and strength by the Spirit of God which surrounds them! In whose power and name would you want to operate? Choose to operate in the power and name of Jesus the Christ and His power and authority shall be yours to use because He was given all authority and power in heaven and on the earth! He gives His power and authority to His sheep!
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit Amen
Text version of message for Hillside Circuit on April 25th 2021 in Shona, with Mr Ivan Chigwada:
Masikati akanaka kwamuri mose vana vaMwari ndinovimba mamutswa zvakanaka. Muparidzi wenyu ndiBaba Chigwada veku Hillside Society. Zviverengwa zvedu tinozviwana pana Psalm 25, Acts 4:5-12, 1 John 3:16-24 and John 10:11-18. Mumashoko matsvene ataverenga aya ndimo munobva nyaya yatirikufamba nayo inoti ‘Wazviita musimba nezita raaniko?’ Kuti zvinakidze regayi tibvunze kuti ‘Nhayi iwe mutendi izvo zvawaita izvi wazviita musimba nemuzita raaniko?’ Dzokororo ine samba! Ndikabvunza ndichidayi zvinofambirana nomubvunzo wakabvunzwa Peter naJohn vadzidzi vaJesu mushure mekunge vashandiswa naMwari kuporesa murumo aigara pasuwo re Temberi achipemha sezvo akange asingagoni kuzvibatsira. Nyaya inondishamisa pamubvunzo uyu ndeyekuti vakuru vesangano vakabvunza Peter naJohn vachidayi, muchinguva chidiki chakanga chichangopera vakuru vesangano ivava vakanga vabvunza mambo Jesu mubvunzo mumwe chete iwowo vachiti ‘Munoita zvinhu izvozvi nesimba ripiko? Ndiyani wakakupai simba iri?’ Mambo Jesu vakabvunzwa mubvunzo uyu mushure mekutandanisa vaiita zvisizvo mu Temberi yepa Jerusalem vachichenura Temberi iyoyo! Vamwe vatungamiri vemasangano zvavanoita hazvina anozvinzwisisa!
Simon Peter nemumwe wake John vanoshandiswa naMwari kuporesa murume aitambura asingagoni kuzvibatsira. Nokuti izvi zvakaitika pa Temberi ye Jerusalem vamwewo vaivapo vakashamisika ndokunounganira Peter naJohn vachida kuvarumbidza. Asi nokuti Simon Peter akatsanangurira mhomo yevanhu iyi achiparidza nezva Mambo Jesu vakaroverwa pamuchinjikwa vakamuka, achitsinhira kuti vanofa munashe vanogona kumutswa uye kuti munhu ainge aporeswa akange aporeswa nesimba raJesu Mwanakomana waMwari, vakuru vesangano veJerusalem vakaita kuti Peter naJohn vasungwe, vachibva vavharirwa mutorongo vakamirira kuzotongwa remangwana racho. Panotongwa Peter naJohn vanobvunzwa kuti ‘Makazviita izvozvi nesimba rei, kana nezita ripiko?’ Tsika nemagariro evakuru vakuru vesangano zvakange zvakamira panyaya yekuti hapana munhu kana ani zvake aigona kuita basa pa Temberi kana ivo vasina kupa mvumo iyoyo kumunhu iyeye. Vakuru vakuru ava imiwe vaitonga. Kutonga kwavo uku ndiko kwakaita kuti vabvunze Jesu mushure mekunge achenura Temberi kuti ‘Munoita zvinhu izvozvi nesimba ripiko? Ndiyani wakakupai samba iri?’ Hanzi nevakuru vakuru ava ‘Usauye pano uchiparidza zvinhu zvitsva zvatisakambonzwa! Watumwa naniko kuzoita zvauri kuita? Watumwa na Kesare here, watumwa numutungamuri mukuru here kana kuti watumwa naMwari?’ Varume ava varikuuya kuna Jesu vachitozvitutumadza sevakuru vakuru vesangano vane simba rekubvunza Jesu kuti abude pachena, sezvo mutsika nemagariro avo ivo vakange vasati vapa Mambo Jesu simba rekubata basa pa Temberi! Asati abvumidza nevakuru vakuru ava haana mukana wekumira mira pa Temberi! Imi we vanhu ava vaiziva here kuti avaibvunza mubvunzo uyu akanga ambori aniko? Ungabvunza Mwari kana vatumwa nenhume dzavo kuti ndimi vanaani uye kuti kozvamunenge mune simba, simba irori maripuhwa nani? Mukusaziva kwavo vaiwona munhu aiita minana semunhu aimhura Mwari wavo, nokuti kwavari Mwari wavo akange akavapa simba rekutonga nerekutsvaka vavainge vada kuti vavabatsire. Pavaibvunza mibvunzo iyi vaitozviwona sevanhu vairwa hondo yaMwari! Kusaziva rufu we Mwari havadi vanhu vanovarwira hondo dzavo nokuti hondo dzavo ndedzavo! Kusaziva kwakainzana nokufa! Anoziva anoziva kuti Mambo Jesu vakanga vatotaura vachiti ‘Ndakapihwa simba rose kedenga napanyika. Endai naizvozvo, mudzidzise marudzi ose, muvabhabhatidze muzita raBaba, neroMwanakomana, neroMweya Mutsvene, muvadzidzise kuchengeta zvose zvandakakurairayi imi, tarirayi, ndinemi mazuva ose, kusvikira pakuguma kwenyika.’
Peter naJohn vaiva nemvumo nesimba raMwari rokuparidza, rokuporesa nerokudzidzisa. Vakange vasingadi simba nemvumo yevakuru vakuru vesangano vakange vasingafambi munzira yaMwari! Pavanomiswa pamberi pedare vanotaura vakasununguka, vakatsiga vachiratidza kuziva zvavaiita nokutaura zvakaita kuti avo vainge vava pomera mhosva vavasunungure. Peter naJohn vaiva vanhuwo zvavo vakanga vasina kudzidza sevakuru vakuru vesangano asi nokuti Mambo Jesu akanga avaudza kuti kana masungwa musatye nokuti Mweya Mutsvene achakuudzayi zvekutaura, tinovawona vachikunda! Imiwe vanotungamirirwa naMwari vanokunda havakundwi! Iwewe pauri ipapo unogona kuva mukundi kana ukava nehukama hupenyu naMwari mupenyu anopa vanhu vake simba rinokunda zvose!
Nguva dzakawanda mukereke yaMwari tinosangana nevatungamiri vasingadi kunzwa nenyaya yedzidziso itswa yavasingazivi ivo. Munhu asina chigaro chehutungamira akawuya nemuwono wakasiyana newavo havazvitambiri. Vafundisi nevatungamiri vemakereke varimo mudambudziko irori. Kana vasati vakupa mukana wekuti uratidze kuti ndivo vakutuma, hanzi ramba wakanyarara, usingataure! Ah imi we kugona kutonga huwona dzavamwe! Kukura kwe Kereke yaMwari kunobva mukuteerera nhumwa dzaMwari dzinotumwa kwatiri naMwari. Tikavharira nhumwa idzi panze humambo hwa Mwari hauzowonekera kukura kwahwo.
Kana tikatarisa tsika nemagariro evakuru vakuru vesangano ava ne tsika nemagariro amambo David tinoshamisika zvikuru nomusiyano wazvo. Mambo David anotanga achiti ‘Jehova ndinosimudzira moyo wangu kwamuri…..Jehova wakanaka, wakarurama. Saka ucharaira vatadzi panzira, Uchaperekedza vanyoro munezvakarurama, Uchadzidzisa vanyoro nzira yake!’ Hamheno kuti munozviwona seyi. Ini ndinofunga kuti ngatiregeyi kumirira kubvunzwa kuti zvatinoita tinozviita musimba nemuzita raani, asi kutoti isu pachedu ngatigareyi tichizvibvunza kuti izvo zvatiri kuita tiri kumbozviita musimba raani? Patinozvibvunza tega tichizvipindura tega muzvokwadi tichakwaniswa kutevedzera kufamba mutsoka dzemagamba ekutenda munaMwari akafanana naDavid, Simon Peter, John nevamwe vakatanga rwendo urwu kare kare. Wose anofamba murutendo rwunoita kuti azvininipise achimira nokuzembera musimba raMwari iro risina kufanana nesimba redu isu vanhu, achaitwa kuti agone magonero akaitwa nemagamba akatungamira. Pane nguva yekuti munhu anoita zvimwe zvinhu asina kuzvipa nguva yekufunga zvakanaka opedzesera apinda mukutadzira Mwari. Mwana waMwari usatungamidze hasha, ruchiva, kuzvida, kuda kuwonekera nekutevedzera gundamusayira murwendo rwatiri urwu. Kana kuyedzwa kukasvika taura naMwari avo vanoratidza vanyoro nzira yokufamba nayo.
Kutsamba yaJohn tinowana kuchitaurwa nokudzidziswa nezvesimba raMwari rakaita kuti tidzikinurwe kubva musimba rechakaipa kuti tisatongerwe kutadza! Hanzi wose akadzikinurwa ngaachitozvimisira kumira musimba nemunyasha dzaMwari. Munyori wetsamba anodzidzisa kuti sezvo vari ivo Mwari vakaita kuti panyika pave ne varombo vanoshaya pamwe chete nevapfumi vanowana, uyo anazvo anoshuvirwa kuti murudo nemunyasha agone kupawo kune vanoshaya achiziva kuti mupi wezvese ndiMwari anopa kuti tigogona kupawo. Hanzi ivo Mwari ndivo vakaisa moyo nemweya unotitsiura apo patinenge tasvika panguva yekuyedzwa. Vanogara muna Mwari, Mwari achigara mavari vanowana simba kubva kuMwanakomana waMwari naMambo wedu Jesu Kristu! Wose anofamba naMwari anoratidza huMwari maari. Tikazvimisira kutungamirwa naMweya Mutsvene tichazogara tichitya kutadzira Mwari zvokuti hana dzedu hadzizotiita kuti tivhunduke!
Chiverengwa chedu chekupedzisira chinotiudza nezve Mufudzi Wakanaka anoita zvaanoita akamira murudo nesimba raakapihwa naMwari Baba. Hanzi neMufudzi Wakanaka, makwayi angu ndichaafira asi nokuada ndigomuka ndichidzoka kuzofudza makwayi iwayo. Izvi hazingaitwi nemufudzi akapinzwa basa rehefudzi. Mufudzi Wakanaka anoziva makwayi ake, makwayi ake ano muziva wo zvakare. Mufudzi nemakwayi zvine hukama hwakakomba husingazoputswi! Mufudzi wakanaka anochengeta makwayi murudo, makwayi anomira nemufudzi murutendo rwakadzika. Mufudzi anoziva makwayi ake, uye anoziva vasiri vake. Zvingapingaidza makwayi zviri pameso pemufudzi! Zvinotutumadza vasiri makwayi ake iye mufudzi anozviziva kare! Pane zvose izvi chikuru ndechekuti Mufudzi Wakanaka anoziva kuti kune mamwe makwayi ake asati apinda mudanga, saka achatsvaka makwayi iwayo kudzamara aapinza mudanga. Ini newe takange tiri makwayi iwawo asi nhasi tavewo vemudanga. Kuti uve wedanga iri tenda kuMufudzi Wakanaka! Mufudzi mumwe ane danga rimwe chete, Mununuri mumwe anekereke imwe chete! Mukereke imomo ndimo mune simba nehupenyu. Amen! Mukupeta ranhasi regayi nditi Shoko raMwari rakanaka kusvikira pakuguma! Hanzi mhetamakumbo yakaponeswa nesimba raJesu, Simon Peter naJohn vakashayisa vakuru vakuru vesangano remuromo nesimba raJesu, Mwari vakaisa moyo nemweya wehuMwari muvana vavo, uye kuti Mufudzi Wakanaka akamirira kufudza nokudzora makwayi ake. Makwayi ake ndevaya vanotenda kwaari muMweya neMuzvokwadi. Nyangwe vakuru vakuru venasangano vakakuma iwe ratidza simba raMwari rakavakomberedza. Iwe uchamira nesimba nezita raaniko nhasi? Mira muzita nesimba raJesu Kristu nokuti ndiye ega akapuwa simba kudenga napasi rinokunda zvose! Nhasi chaiye tambira simba iri muzita raMwari Baba, Mwari Mwanakomana naMwari Mweya Mutsvene ushande! Amen!