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Saint James United Church
Saint James United Church
Saturday, August 15, 2020, by Oluwatoyin Dorcas Adeniyi
The Compassionate God: Matthew 15:32-39

Key Verse: 33 ”His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”

In this passage, the feeding of 4000 is a separate event from the feeding of the 5000 confirmed by Mark 8:19, 20. Yes, nearly every detail is the same: a hungry crowd, Jesus’ compassion, his instructions to the disciples, Jesus’ thanksgiving to God for what was provided, the miracle of abundance, the remaining baskets. All quite similar. Of course, there’s one repeating detail I left out. Right in between Jesus’ instructions to the disciples and the miracle, the disciples doubt whether it’s possible to do what Jesus says.

That’s right even after witnessing the first feeding of the multitudes, even after watching Jesus walk on water, heal the sick, cast out demons and more, the disciples doubt whether what Jesus asks is even possible! It’s as if they’ve just forgotten everything they saw, or at the very least that they just haven’t learned anything from their time with Jesus. At this point, it might make sense to compare ourselves to those disciples. For we too have experienced God’s blessings throughout our lives and yet lose heart and hope when challenges confront us or wonder if what we feel God calling us to is possible and this is the real truth, we should know better.

How easily we throw up our hands in despair when faced with difficult situations. Like the disciples, we often forget that if God has cared for us in the past, he will do the same. When facing a difficult situation, remember how God cared for you and trust him to work faithfully again. The strength or weakness of the disciples’ faith does not limit Jesus’ intention to bless. So even in the face of the doubt of his friends and followers, Jesus just went ahead and offers God’s abundance…to those hungry crowds, to those disbelieving disciples, and to us. Thanks be to God.

Prayer
1. Lord forgive me in whatever way I have forgotten your care and blessings over me in the past
2. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your genuine love in providing for all my needs
3. Lord, thank you for even when I doubt your provision, it never stopped your blessing upon me
4. Lord from today, I cast all my care, worries and concerns upon you, take care of them in Jesus' Name.
Dear God, you are so generous with your blessing and so free with your love. Open our eyes to see your goodness and open our mouths to share what we have seen with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Saint James United Church
Saint James United Church
Friday, August 14th, 2020
Bible Reading: Matthew 15:21-28
Topic: Persistent Faith
Key Verse: 28 ”Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.”

Following His rejection by the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus took His disciples away from the land of Israel and withdrew to Tyre and Sidon. While journeying along the road, this Canaanite lady recognized the famous 'Jewish Rabbi', and began imploring Him to heal her daughter. "Have mercy on me Lord, Son of David", she wept. "Son of David, my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed."

Throughout His ministry we see many Gentiles putting their trust in Jesus, and in this passage we rejoice to find a Canaanite woman, from the region of Tyre and Sidon, being saved by grace, and having her demon-possessed daughter restored to full health and a sound mind. This distraught woman was brought into a deeper knowledge and understanding of Who Jesus was, when she cried out to Him as He walked along the dusty road, that day.

The woman persisted despite the Saviour's apparent coldness. Kneeling down before Him, she spoke simply, yet strongly, ”Lord, help me”(Matt. 15:25). In those three small words all her need was encapsulated. What a simple but clear glimpse into the heart of true prayer. Perhaps you have had long nights of silence, discouragement after discouragement, or have even felt like hell was breathing down your neck. I want to tell you that while there is life, there is hope, so don't give up asking and praying until your joy is full.
Prayers
1. Heavenly Father, thank You for the encouraging story of the Canaanite woman, whose faith in You has helped to teach others
2. Lord give me also a stronger faith that can withstand and overcome challenges
3. Thank You God for sending Your only begotten Son to be born as the Saviour of the world and that by faith in Him we have the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting
4. Lord, as I go forth today, release a miracle into my life and heal everyone who is in need of healing
5. Lord Continue to open my eyes to behold wonderful things in Your word and guide me into all truth, this and many more I pray in Jesus' name, AMEN.
Saint James United Church
Saint James United Church
Thursday, August 13, 2020, by Oluwatoyin Dorcas Adeniyi
Guard Your Speech: Matthew 14:34-15:20

Key Verse: 11 ”What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

The religious leaders were more concerned with the ceremonial washing of hands than the inner cleansing of their hearts from sin. The scribes and Pharisees put far greater emphasis on rules and regulations... such as what to eat, when to eat, and how to eat rather than what they spoke, what they thought and the motive behinds their thoughts, while Christ's great concern was truth and love, but His truth exposed their hypocrisy and His compassion unmasked a cold indifference to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and disgust for the gentiles who were dead in their sins and without God in the world. These critical hypocritical leaders paid great attention to exterior mischievous acts while ignoring the all-important need for inner cleanliness - and a heart that has been washed white and clean by the Blood of the Lamb.

The heart is the source of all evil; the pollution of it is very early, and very general, reaching to all the powers and faculties of the soul; which shows the ignorance of some, and folly of others, that talk of, and trust to the goodness of their hearts; and also the necessity of new hearts and right spirits being formed and created; and that the sinful thoughts of the heart, and the lusts thereof, are defiling to us; and that they are sinful in God's account, and abominable in his sight; that they are loathsome to sensible sinners, and are to be repented of, and forsaken by them; and need the pardoning grace of God or otherwise will be brought into judgment.

As we seek to live as unto the Lord let us never forget that it is not what enters into the mouth that defiles us but what proceeds out of our mouth that defiles them - for the words that stream forth from our lips is a far more accurate gauge of a person’s heart and life. Let us never forget that a wholesome tongue is a tree of life. Guard your mouth ”Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin”. – Proverbs 13:3

Prayers
1. Lord I repent of the many thoughtless things I have spoken, I am sorry for words I have spoken in anger or in gossip
2. Lord help me to be careful and responsible with my mouth, to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger
3. Father, change my heart, Oh Lord, for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks
4. Lord, put a watch guard over my mouth and keep me from trouble. Teach me to know when to speak and when to be still or pray
5. Lord help me to be a person full of good words, full of your Spirit, overflowing with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control
Heavenly Father, search my heart I pray and root out any hypocrisy and legalism You find there - and may the words of my mouth reflect a heart that honours you in thought, word and motive, in Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
Saint James United Church
Saint James United Church
We had an excellent training tonight for our ushers and live-streaming volunteers! This very capable and caring group of people are preparing to welcome you back safely on September 6th. Plan to arrive a few minutes early, we’ll be happy to see you!

Bring the whole family
and worship joyfully with us
10:30am Sundays

Saint James United Church 
120 Chapel St.
Woodstock, N.B.
E7M 1H1
 
Phone: 328-6114  
Fax: 324-9349  
Evenings: 328-3198
  Minister’s Office 328-3191
Email – stjames@nb.aibn.com
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Minister: Adekunle Benjamin Adeniyi
 Music Director: Amy Anderson         
Administrative Assistant: Mary Wheelan
Christian Development Coordinator: Joan Hall
 

For community use

Saint James United Church offers excellent facilities for community organizations, clubs, and events.  For more information on renting SJUC facilities, contact the church office.