SHELTER-IN-PLACE WORSHIP GUIDE
SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2020
Welcome to First AME Zion Church San Jose. Your presence brings us great joy. We thank God for you and pray that you are blessed by this worship experience.
The Call to Worship and Invocation
The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Bless us as we enter Your holy presence on this Pentecost Sunday.
Morning Hymn – Yield Not to Temptation
Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each victory will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.
Ask the Savior to help you, Comfort, strengthen and keep you;
He is willing to aid you, He will carry you through.
Shun evil companions, bad language disdain, God’s Name hold in reverence, nor take it in vain;
Be thoughtful and earnest, kindhearted and true, Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.
To him that o’ercometh, God giveth a crown; Through faith we will conquer, Though often cast down;
He who is our Savior, Our strength will renew; Look ever to Jesus, He will carry you through.
Scripture Reading (Jeremiah 31:31-34 )
31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord.
“ I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen, Amen.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried;
The third day he rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic* Church, the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of Sins, the Resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Altar Call/Pastoral Prayer -- Give Me a Clean Heart
We are praying for you,
Rev. Keith Johnson, Octavian Rodriquez, Angelikka Carter, James Spaulding, Rev. and Mrs. Braxton, Dwaine Giggans,
Johnie Mae Williams, Christine Ferguson, Rev. Michael Henderson, Rev. Veronica Buckner, Curtis and Faye Bomar, Jean Wilson and Family, Pinkie Westry, Paula Westry, and Brother Daniel
My Heavenly Father,
Thank you for another week of life and blessings. Many have suffered and died, yet you have seen fit to grant me another day. Thank you, Father. Please accept my humble plea to be forgiven for my sins against you. I come with a contrite spirit and a sorrowful heart for my shortcomings.
Master, we adore you and bless your name. We know that greater is your faithfulness toward us, even in this time of pandemic and confusion. We pray for strength that we may hold us the blood-stained banner and be a living testimony of your presence in our lives.
Now Father we pray for those whose names are on our payer list. We light them up to you. You know what they stand in need of and we are confident that you will supply their every need. Bless Pastor Rogers as he continues to lead us through our trying times.
We praise you, we bless you, and we thank you for being our shelter in these stormy days. Amen.
Song of Praise -- The Lord is Blessing Me Right Now
Tithes and Offerings
"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2nd Chronicles 9:7
Visit our Gift section on the Gift tab. You may give via credit cards, PayPal Givelify.com (Download Givelify to your Smartphone). If you prefer, mail your tithes and offerings to First AMEZ Church, 95 S. 20th Street, San Jose CA 95116
Givelify.com (Download Givelify to your Smartphone) or mail your tithes and offerings to First AMEZ Church, 95 S. 20th Street, San Jose CA 95116
Congratulations to Pastor Rogers on his appointment as Presiding Elder of the Bay Cities District. We thank God for his leadership at First Church and pray God's blessings as he leads the Bay Cities District.
Regarding our Church reopening, Bishop Staccato Powell sends this message:
“We concur with Bishop Kenneth Monroe’s message to encourage his people to embrace “A Place Called Wait.” . . . “A Place Called Wait” allows us time for reflection.
I am urging our pastors and people to not assemble indoors until further notice. . . We must acknowledge the sovereignty of God. Simply stated, God is in charge, not mayors, governors, presidents, presiding elders, pastors, or bishops, for which we are delighted. Thank you for adhering to these directives. Continue to stay focused, serve faithfully, and stand firm.
Please check your text messages and email for further updates on the events and news about the schedule for all local AMEZ services.
Sermonic Scripture Reading -- Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Song of Preparation -- That's When You Bless Me
Performed by L.A. Mass Choir
Performed by Chris Turner
Performed by First Baptist Church of Glenarden's
Sermon -- The Benefits of Delay
About 35 years ago, I heard Dr. E. K. Bailey from Concord Church in Dallas, Texas preach a sermon titled, “The Discipline of Delay.” I will never forget that sermon. He preached to a crowded noon-day service of the Bay Cities Baptist Ministers’ City-Wide Revival in Oakland. So, as I prepared this week’s sermon, the Spirit led me to bring to you the importance of understanding “The Benefits of Delay.”
Have you ever been on a freeway and got stuck in traffic? Sometimes it doesn’t bother you as much as others. For example, it rattles me if I’m stuck on the freeway at 9:00 and I have another hour to drive and my meeting starts at 9:30. I’m not so concerned if I’m stuck on the freeway and I don’t have any specific time to get to my destination. Well, that’s the way that most of life work. Some delays seem devastating, while others seem to hold no consequence.
Today we’re going to look at several passages that teach us about delay. I’m going to tag this text, “The Benefits of Delay.”
One of the benefits of delay is that it gives us an opportunity to stop and ask ourselves, “What is the reason for this delay? Why is God putting what I want to do on hold?
In today’s world, man has exalted himself to the point where he believes that he is above God. Man, in general, thinks that he is the all-and-all and that God is just someone he calls “the man upstairs,” or a “higher power.” But the truth is that God is God. In fact, he is a jealous God as found in Deuteronomy 4: 23, 24 says, “So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the Lord your God has commanded you. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
Man has such a big ego that he often takes all the credit for his accomplishments. You’ve heard people say, “I pulled myself up by my bootstraps” or “I made it because I didn’t let anybody, or anything get in my way.”
This kind of thinking is dangerous when it excludes the power and presence of God in our lives. God allows us to experience triumphs, victories, wins, and successes when we use those things to glorify Him.
Think about the story of Mary, Martha and their brother, Lazarus. They were all Jesus’ friends. Lazarus got sick. The Greek word for "sick", implies that his sickness was serious. Death threatened him, so the sisters immediately thought of the Lord Jesus, who had healed many strangers and certainly would come to the aid of one He loved.
Lazarus lived in Bethany about two miles from Jerusalem. Christ had returned to Bethany east of the Jordan; but Christ did not leave Jerusalem right away. The bible says, “ therefore" Christ did not go, not because He did not love them, but because He did love them.
They expected Jesus to come to them immediately because they knew that Jesus loved them. But Jesus knew that resurrection was a better testimony to the people than healing. He waited until Lazarus was dead so that His power and might to raise him from the dead would have a greater impact.
You say, "It’s a strange kind of love that waits for two days before going to heal a friend that's dying". But His delay did not mean He didn't love them. Can you imagine love on the basis of time? This is what you might say: " Lord, You have 20 minutes to meet this need and if You don't, it's clear You don't love me". That would be ridiculous. You don't measure love on the basis of time.
You wonder why the Lord lets time roll on as you rot in what seems like a dead situation – a dead job, a dead marriage, a financial grave – the reason for that is so that when he raises you above those situations, you will give him the glory. Your testimony ought to be that “all things work together for good to them that love God”.
In Acts 24, we find an account of one of God's delays that we often experience. We think that something we want to have happen is just around the corner. Then as we move toward it we find that it seems to move away from us, recede from us, elude us. Sometimes it takes us months or years to reach a point which we thought was right there. So we have to take time to revisit the circumstance in our mind, to reflect on these circumstances.
That is the way it was with the apostle Paul in Acts 24.
In this text, we find a man named Felix who was in charge of the financial affairs of Rome. When Felix, adjourned the proceedings against Paul, he could have set him free. But, instead, he commanded Lysias the centurion to take Paul to prison and to keep Paul under guard, give him some freedom, and permit Paul’s friends to take care of his needs.
Because of Paul’s open testimony about Jesus, Felix’s curiosity had been awakened and, as Luke tells us, Felix knew something about Christianity, and he wanted to hear more. So he keeps Paul in custody, even though he has every legal right to set him free. Felix had his reason for keeping Paul and God had His reason. God was using Felix as an instrument to carry out His purpose with Paul. This is the work of a loving, heavenly Father who is concerned with a beloved son.
Remember that Paul, by disobedience, despite the consistent warnings of the Holy Spirit, had chosen the pathway which led to bonds and imprisonment. He had disobeyed the direct command of the Spirit that he should not go up to Jerusalem.
While imprisoned, Paul had time to reflect on his situation. There is a very instructive lesson here for us. It is simply that when we disobey God and are later forgiven, as Paul was forgiven and restored, that forgiveness does not change the pathway we have chosen.
God doesn't eliminate the trials and the difficulties we have deliberately created for ourselves. He forgives us and what the forgiveness does is to restore to that pathway all the power and joy and gladness that was our experience before we walked in disobedience. You find that this is what happens here with Paul.
When he was restored to the fellowship of his Lord by the appearance of the Lord Jesus to him in prison in Jerusalem, that pathway of imprisonment was not canceled. He remains a prisoner, and ahead of him lie two long, weary years of waiting in Caesarea, and three more in Rome, as a prisoner of the Lord. God doesn't eliminate that, but he does transform it into a fruitful and profitable experience for the apostle.
The testimony here is that, even though he was bound as a prisoner, the fullness of God's power and glory is able to work in him just as freely through the channel of imprisonment as it did when he was free.
The imprisonment was not comfortable. It added a good deal of agony and heartache to the apostle's own experience. But he accepted it as God's provision for him and found it to be no less the instrument of God's working and power than anything else he had experienced before.
"God's delays are not God's denials". They are usually the means, which God uses to prepare us for something better. My God is always at work for the good of His people, and He is working in all things.
One of the reasons that we have so much trouble realizing that there are rewards to enduring delays is that we are always in a hurry and God isn’t. Without a doubt, one of the lessons in God's school hardest to grasp is the rewards of God’s delay in our lives. In 1 Kings 17, Elijah found himself in a horrible situation. Can you imagine how Elijah must have felt when the brook that carried a stream of water, dried up? Remember in another sermon I told you it was alright to ask God WHY? Well here is a perfect example. Elijah asked, "Lord didn't you tell me to come here?" "How can I be in the center of your will and have a dried-up brook?" Can you imagine the thoughts that must have raced through Elijah's mind "Has God forgotten me? Have I taken a wrong step? Should I begin to make my own plans?"
My, brothers and sisters, could it be that you're sitting by a drying brook today in the form of a diminishing business that is only a mirage? Are you wondering how you are going to exist after the water has disappeared? Then listen to these encouraging words,
"And the word of the Lord came unto Elijah saying. Arise and get thee to Zarephath, . . . behold I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee." (2 Kings 17:9)
Just sit tight! The testimony is that God's direction will surely come, guiding you to the next place of His provision, and proving to you that while the Lord never comes before His time, He never comes too late. As the old folks used to say, “He’s an on-time God, yes He is.”
Too often we worry when we should wait, and we resist when we should resign. Often God's delays are explained when we recognize that God is teaching us the need for patience. This includes the things that perplex us and that pain us. The way God teaches us to be patient and wait on His rewards is to test and try us. The only way we can learn patience is to surrender and let God have His way. Perhaps the hardest place to be patient is in the furnace of suffering.
A member who admitted that she had “many issues” asked her pastor, "Why has God made me this way"? He answered, "God has not made you. . . He is making you". Church, God continues to make us – to give us a better understanding of his will and of his way. God guides us through hard times and troubles. Every experience, every ordeal, every test, makes us more like His Beloved Son.
Are you frustrated about a delay that you are enduring right now? Maybe God is speaking to you as He spoke in Hebrews 10:36, “You have need of patience that, after you have done the will of God, you shall receive the promise”. God’s delay in my life is not His denial.
First Church learn to accept your delays, not as denials, but as opportunities for enrichment and advance. The ultimate reward is to be more and more like Jesus every day. To live this life so that we can sit at the right hand of the Father.
Our reward is more than temporal. Our reward for remaining steadfast and unmovable even in the time of delays is the reward of Eternal Life on that day when we shall hear our Father say, “Good and obedient servant, good and disciplined servant, good and faithful servant, well done.
Invitation to Discipleship
The door of the church is open. Now is the time when we offer Christ to you. If you want to be a living sacrifice unto God, now is the time to make that decision. Without discussion, dialogue or debate, take that step and unite with First AME Zion Church today. Call (408) 688-6980 and First Church will celebrate with you as you make the best decision of your life.
Benediction– Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Expect the Best, Pastor Rogers
Performed by Andre' Crouch and Marvin Winans
Performed by Pastor E. Dewey Smith