Ideas and experiences from our church members
Being of the congregation of God
Hymns and readings from Testimony Meeting November 10, 2021
We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing, / To sing of God's goodness as year turns to year. / We gather professing Your grace and Your blessing, / With thanks for the gospel that gathers us here.
Your Spirit consoles us. We're safe in Your keeping. / When roads are uncharted, Your love shows the way. / Where new hope is springing You fill us with singing; / Your presence delights us with each dawning day.
What, then, can we give You in praise for our journey, / When all the earth's treasures were Yours from the start? / We offer our labor, our love for our neighbors, / Our gifts and the worship of each hand and heart.
The Bible (New King James Version)
Exodus 35: 1, 2, 5-9, 20, 21
Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said to them, “These are the words which the Lord has commanded you to do: Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord.
"Take from among you an offering to the Lord. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the Lord: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate."
And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments.
I Corinthians 12: 1, 4-13
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.
Psalms 40: 8, 10
I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.
I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.
Matthew 15: 29-31
Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there. Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.
Mark 2: 1-5, 11, 12
He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
“I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Romans 12:1, 4-8, 10-13, 18
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
The Lord takes pleasure in His people.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy
Dost thou “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”? This command includes much, even the surrender of all merely material sensation, affection, and worship. This is the El Dorado of Christianity. It involves the Science of Life, and recognizes only the divine control of Spirit, in which Soul is our master, and material sense and human will have no place.
The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick.
While respecting all that is good in the Church or out of it, one's consecration to Christ is more on the ground of demonstration than of profession. In conscience, we cannot hold to beliefs outgrown; and by understanding more of the divine Principle of the deathless Christ, we are enabled to heal the sick and to triumph over sin.
Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear, — this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony. The purification of sense and self is a proof of progress. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
Self-love is more opaque than a solid body. In patient obedience to a patient God, let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the adamant of error, — self-will, self-justification, and self-love, — which wars against spirituality and is the law of sin and death.
The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of this asking? Do we pursue the old selfishness, satisfied with having prayed for something better, though we give no evidence of the sincerity of our requests by living consistently with our prayer? If selfishness has given place to kindness, we shall regard our neighbor unselfishly, and bless them that curse us; but we shall never meet this great duty simply by asking that it may be done. There is a cross to be taken up before we can enjoy the fruition of our hope and faith.
When the divine precepts are understood, they unfold the foundation of fellowship, in which one mind is not at war with another, but all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source, in accordance with the Scriptural command: “Let this Mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Man and his Maker are correlated in divine Science, and real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God.
Universal Love is the divine way in Christian Science.
Father, we Thy loving children / Lift our hearts in joy today, / Knowing well that Thou wilt keep us / Ever in Thy blessed way. / Thou art Love and Thou art wisdom, / Thou art Life and Thou art All; / In Thy Spirit living, moving, / We shall neither faint nor fall.
Come we daily then, dear Father, / Open hearts and willing hands, / Eager ears, expectant, joyful, / Ready for Thy right commands. / We would hear no other voices, / We would heed no other call; / Thou alone art good and gracious, / Thou our Mind and Thou our All.
In Thy house securely dwelling, / Where Thy children live to bless, / Seeing only Thy creation, / We can share Thy happiness, / Share Thy joy and spend it freely. / Loyal hearts can feel no fear; / We Thy children know Thee, Father, / Love and Life forever near.
Peace be to this congregation; / Peace to every heart therein; / Peace, the earnest of salvation; / Peace, the fruit of conquered sin; / Peace, that speaks the heavenly Giver; / Peace, to worldly minds unknown; / Peace, that floweth as a river / From th' eternal source alone.
O Thou God of peace, be near us, / Fix within our hearts Thy home; / With Thy bright appearing cheer us, / In Thy blessed freedom come. / Come with all Thy revelations, / Truth which we so long have sought; / Come with Thy deep consolations, / Peace of God which passeth thought.
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