FIRST AME ZION CHURCH VIRTUAL WORSHIP
SUNDAY, AUGUST 30, 2020
Call to Worship and Invocation
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. –Psalm 100:1-3
Song of Inspiration– What a Friend We Have in Jesus
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.
The Apostles' Creed
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.
Scripture Reading (Ephesians 6:10-20)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Altar Call/Pastoral Prayer – Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
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, Brother Daniel, Ernest Woodard, and Mrs.Georgette Gale and Family, Mrs. Kathi Pinkard and Family, and the Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church, Oakland, in the passing of Bishop Frank Pinkard; Bishops George D. Crenshaw and Staccato Powell, and Presiding Elder Rogers
My Heavenly Father,
I come before You today with thanksgiving in my heart. Oh, how I trust you. How I witness your grace and mercy. How I benefit from your love and forgiveness. I am so thankful.
Dear Lord, I beg you to forgive my sins against thee. I have failed to keep your commandments and show the same mercy to others and you have shown to me. Help me to be a better example of the Christ that lives within me.
As we are on the cusp of another month, help us to continue this journey with the knowledge that we are sustained, empowered, and loved by you.
We pray for those on our prayer list, we ask that you comfort those who have lost loved ones and those who are experiencing periods of depression and unbelief. We're putting all our doubts and troubles in your hands because we know that you've got all power in your hands to heal and make well.
In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.
Song of Praise - I Really Love the Lord
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
Faces of First Church
The Board of Bishops of the AME Zion Church has announced the assignment of Bishop George D. Crenshaw as Presiding Bishop of the Western Episcopal District. Welcome, Bishop Crenshaw to California and the First AME Zion Church, San Jose. Bishop Crenshaw will visit the California Conference in mid-September. More details will follow.
Sermonic Scripture Reading - St. John 14:8-9
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? (King James Version)
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (The Living Bible)
Song of Preparation - It's Good to Know Jesus
Performed by Mississippi Mass Choir
with Rev. James Moore
Performed by the Mississippi Mass Choir
Performed by ByFaith
Performed by Pastor Reginald Sharpe, Jr.
Presented by Mrs. Aletha Johnson
Click Icon for Sound
Faces of First Church honors those members, past and present, who dedicate their service to God, the church, their families, and the community. Faces began last year by honoring Mrs. Meridith Elizabeth Sheriff. This year's Faces honorees are Sister Elizabeth Holiday Leak and Brother Charles Quinlan Rigmaiden. We have precious memories of them, and are forever mindful of their sacrifice and love for First Church.
Sermon - Do You Know Him?
For many years I have found that I will often focus on a subject over the course of several Sundays because I believe that the message is critical to our spiritual growth. Today’s sermon is one of those that I am convinced stands between you and how you see your soul’s salvation.
It is a sad thing when people spend all of their lives going to church every Sunday, and yet they are only vaguely acquainted with the Lord. If you are going to make heaven your home, then you must be more than merely acquainted with Jesus. And that brings me to my sermon topic, which today is in the form of a question – Do You Know Him?
People often say that they know a person when, in fact, they are only acquainted with that person. “Knowing” someone implies an understanding of the person -- an intimate relationship. Let me tell you right now that you cannot know a person without first understanding that person.
When we think about understanding and tie it to the scripture, Proverbs 4:7 often comes to mind and is quoted. The scripture says,
“. . .and with all thy getting -- get understanding.”
Proverbs 9:10 also talks about understanding, saying
“. . . the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
As we can see from these scriptures, when applied to today’s message, if you are going to know something or someone, you must first get an understanding.
In most cases, we fail to understand people and as a result, we really don’t know as many people as we think -- We are simply acquainted with them.
Think about it! Many times we don’t know our neighbors. We live around them for years and only become vaguely acquainted with them. If the truth is told, a lot of us are snobs and really don’t want to get to know our neighbors.
Well, you say, “Pastor I’m not a snob.” Maybe not, but you “don’t want people in your business, so you only know enough about them so that you can pretend to know them on the surface.
Have you ever said – “So-and-so is a good person, once you get to know her”? But, down deep you don’t really know so-and-so, and you are merely acquainted with her. Even though you may think that you are speaking highly of the person, if your knowledge was tested, you would fail because you don’t understand or know the person intimately.
Now, many preachers will talk about this as if we are exempt from this flaw in our character. But, as your Pastor, let me set the record straight! Preachers are guilty of the same “perpetration.” We pastor in the same city for years, proclaiming that we serve the same God as the preacher down the street. But, the real truth is that many of us don’t know one another. Not only that, if your church is too small, some preachers, with large congregations, don’t want to get to know you.
This is the wrong kind of thinking – whether it is from the pew or the pulpit!
Our scripture lesson today lets us know that being acquainted with a person, but not really knowing him is nothing new under the sun! This was happening in biblical times.
In John Chapter 14, verse 9, Jesus says to Philip,” Man, you mean we’ve been together for over three years and you’ve seen me do all of these things, and still you don’t know me?”
I’m paraphrasing here, but I believe Jesus was somewhat perturbed with Philip. Listen as he talks to Philip.
You were there when I opened the eyes of the blind.
You were there when I cleansed the leper.
You were with me when I raised the dead.
And still, Philip you don’t know me? I’m in the Father and the Father is in me. So, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father also.”
Now, let’s not get too carried away in judging Philip, because my question to you today First Church, is “Do You Know Him?”
Let’s consider how someone with an intimate knowledge – who knows Jesus for himself -- responds when he comes in contact with Jesus.
We read in the book of St. John where Peter took six of the apostles and went fishing after Jesus’ death and resurrection. As they fished, Jesus appeared on the river bank and asked them if they had caught anything? They answered, “no.”
Jesus then told them to “cast out their nets on the right side.” And, the bible says that they did what Jesus told them to do and they caught many fish.
Seeing what had happened, John, said to Peter, “I know that man – it is Jesus, our Lord.” There is no doubt in John’s mind who Jesus is. John wasn’t fooled or baffled because he knew Jesus intimately. He knew Jesus for himself.
My brothers and sisters, you think that Jesus did not appear on your latest fishing trip, but he does appear. If you don’t believe that he shows up, just answer these questions:
Did he wake you up this morning or did you wake up on your own?
Is he responsible for your health and strength or are you just lucky to be alive?
If you think that you woke yourself up this morning, or that you are here because you have some supernatural power on your own, I’m here to tell you that you don’t know Jesus.
He is the one who woke you up. Jesus is the one who gives health and strength. You need to know Jesus because he is the Savior of the World. You need to know Jesus and you need to know him intimately, for yourself.
It is important for you to know Jesus because, when you are merely acquainted with someone, you are not sure what that person is capable of doing. You can only guess, hope, or assume. Now, you may argue the point saying,
“Well Pastor, I know my wife and she just won’t do anything to hurt me.”
“Rev. I’ve been with my husband for 25 years and he wouldn’t ever take anything from me.”
“I’ve known my parents all my life, and they will never forsake me.”
These are all sound and reasonable responses from your position when it comes to your intimate knowledge and understanding of another human being. But, let me tell you, your wisdom and knowledge are not fool-proof!
People are human. and you, in all your wisdom, are not capable of knowing – without a doubt – what another human being will or will not do. As I said before, you can only guess, assume, or hope!
Now, you may be able to vouch for another person with great faith in your heart; but there is only one you can come to know and understand without any doubt -- and that is JESUS.
It is crucial to your soul-salvation that you know Jesus for yourself because situations will arise in your life, where no matter who else you know, it will not help you.
Let me tell you a little story.
One day in the early 1970s, a Pastor was returning from a church conference in Denver. On this particular trip back to Oakland, the preacher went to sleep on the airplane. About two hours into the flight, the preacher was awakened by the captain’s voice over the loudspeaker.
The captain was telling the stewardess to take their seats and fasten their seat belts.
Everyone on the plane got a little nervous and on edge. But, as the preacher looked across the aisle from his seat he noticed a little girl. She looked to be about nine or ten. She wasn’t concerned about the plane dipping, and the turbulence. She was sitting humming a song and coloring in a coloring book.
The more the preacher tried to concentrate on the child’s calmness, the louder the thunder roared and the brighter the lightning flashed across the window. But, all of the commotion didn’t bother the little girl. Finally, the plane landed at Oakland International.
As the preacher got off the plane and headed for the baggage claim area, he saw the little girl skipping along, holding the pilot’s hand. Her voice was cheerful as she said, “Daddy, I enjoyed the flight. The lady sitting next to me was scared, but I told her, ‘don’t be scared lady, I know the pilot. The pilot is my father’.”
Church, it’s all about knowing the pilot!
Life is full of turbulence and storms!
Life is full of trouble.
Sometimes storms come when we least expect them. Not only do storms come our way, but they toss us about.
These storms make us question our relationship with Jesus.
Are you familiar with him?
Are you fairly acquainted with him?
Or, DO YOU KNOW HIM FOR YOURSELF?
Remember, knowing him is critical o your soul’s salvation.
When you know him, you understand that he is an anchor in the stormy sea.
When you know him, you are confident that he is a solid rock in the time of trouble.
When you know Jesus, you know the truth. John 8:32 says, “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
When you know Jesus, you have a sense of purpose. Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”
When you know Jesus, you have assurance. ‘For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens.”
When you know Jesus, you live with the expectation of seeing him for yourself. 1st John 3:2 tells us, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be – but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
The songwriter wrote, “It’s good to know Jesus, everybody ought to know Jesus. He’s the lily of the valley, the bright and morning star. It’s good to know the Lord.”
If you’re not sure whether or not you know him, let me give you some facts about him.
He is the only one who died on Calvary’s cross from the sins of the whole world.
He is the only one who was crucified, dead, and buried.
He is the only one who rose from the dead on the third day.
If you are only acquainted with Jesus today, then you need to get to know him. DO YOU KNOW HIM?
Invitation to Christian Discipleship
The door of the church is open. Now is the time when we offer Christ to you. If you need to make a tough decision, now is the time. 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.
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.
Performed by Jessy Dixon