The final Sunday Service of 2019 has been held at London Emmanuel Church with a sermon delivered by Pastor Andrew focusing on 1 Timothy 1:12-17 titled ‘The Grateful Faith’.
During the message Pastor Andrew spoke about remembering all the grace God had poured down on each one of us over the past year. In so many ways, and through all difficulties, God has been with us, sustained us and made a way for us. Just as the Lord has done from the start, He has done this even though we do not deserve it, and even though we are shabby, weak and often fall short and continue to battle with our sinful habits.
When we look back through the past year, and reflect on how God has blessed us personally, as a church, and as a worldwide community, what we feel more than anything else is the grace of God is so immense, and is truly immeasurable.
Pastor Andrew exhorted members to remember who God is: “He is the one who even before we knew Him, He knew us. Even when we were ignorant, lacking faith and just living for ourselves, He still loved us and came to us. He has now called us to live a new life; a life by faith – which is one where we get to experience His grace, mercy and love newly every single day. It is the life where we are being held so tightly by His immeasurable love through every trial and hardship and difficulty.”
When we remember how God has never left us, Pastor Andrew said, and we remember His grace, then we are filled with thankfulness. He is our God Immanuel, and He will never leave us nor forsake us.
In 1 Timothy 1, we are able to see Apostle Paul testifying the grace and love of God. He was someone who never forgot the grace that he had received. He gave such an honest confession, openly revealing how detestable and sinful his life was when he was called and embraced by the Lord. Even though he was someone fighting against God, and was stubborn, and quick to anger and violence, he always remembered how God did not hold this against him, but gave His love and grace to him still. Because he always remembered that grace, the thankful heart always overflowed in every and all situations he encountered.
Pastor Andrew urged members not to forget the grace they had received. Forgetting the grace leads to us losing our thankful heart, and when we lose gratitude to God we start to think only of what we have done, what we have sacrificed. We grow this heart of arrogance, and we can begin to complain and grumble all the time. Our heart becomes twisted into thinking that we are owed something from God for what we have done.
Congregants were told to always remember to fix their eyes not on what they had done, but what God has done for us. By remembering the amazing grace and love given to us every single day, even the frozen heart melts and tears of gratitude will flow. Pastor Andrew ended by asking members to reflect deeply on everything God has done for them through the last year, the last decade, and all the way back to when they received their calling. Let our hearts overflow with gratitude, and by remembering how God has never left our side for even one moment, let us be strengthened and filled with hope for the new year.