Thank you all for your prayers and support for the work of the church throughout 2023. I know we all have been through varying difficulties and some through particular hardships. Once again we can thank the Lord that we have been brought through trusting in the Lord as our refuge and strength. As I encouraged the congregation at the start of last year it is vitally important to pray to keep close to God and continue faithfully in our Christian life. Alongside reading the Scriptures these should be our daily routine. There are various encouragements in the Scriptures to pray.
- Pray without ceasing (1 th. 5.17).
- Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Ep. 6:18).
- Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; (Col. 4:2).
These are a few verses of many that encourage us to pray and undoubtedly set before us a biblical mandate that we should be concerned to pray. Maybe you have fallen out of the 'habit' or relegated prayer to a part time practice; or you only pray when trouble or danger comes. May these verses challenge us all at the start of this new year to be a people of prayer. To that end I would ask the church to pray, if led, the suggested topics below so we might pray for the same things (roughly speaking) on the same day to encourage us.
Let us be prayerful people and realise we too need prayer. To say we are praying for someone should be an expression of concern but an indication of our own action to bring the matter before God before the throne of Grace through the believers mediator and High Priest, Jesus Christ. Paul even requests prayer for himself and those labouring for the Gospel with him twice in 1 and 2 Thessalonians saying 'brethren pray for us'. May we this be a prayerful church and prayerful individuals. knowing that we have a prayer hearing and answering God.
Prayer - Sunday
- God thanks to God for His character, perfect, unchangeable, the same yesterday today and forever.
- Give thanks to God that we can meet in the church and have fellowship with one another.
- Pray the Lord would grant the preaching of his word power and clarity, and there are ready ears to hear and believe it. (2 Thes. 3.1.)
- Pray we would be granted faithful ministry and good spiritual food from God's Word. (1 Peter 2.2.)
Sunday morning at 11:00am in church (also available online via Facebook)
(Sunday morning) Scripture reading; Psalm 106 v 1-22; Psalm 145 v 1-21
Sunday evening at 6:30pm in church (also available online via Facebook)
Bible study and prayer
Wednesday evening at 7:00pm in church (also available online via Facebook)
Lunch hour service
Thursday afternoon between 1:00pm and 1:30pm in church (also available online via Facebook)
Saturday morning at Victoria Street (outside the big Boots store) for 10:30am (across the road from Town Hall - No. 64). Afterwards we go back to church for prayer.
Preface - While the enemies are angry, and scoff, Nehemiah prayeth to God, and buildeth the wall. Understanding their secret plottings, he setteth a watch. He armeth the labourers and giveth instructions how to proceed in case of an alarm.
Preface - Paul and Barnabus are persecuted from Iconium by the malice of the unbelieving Jews. At Lystra they heal an impotent man, and refuse divine honours with abhorrence. Paul is stoned at the instigation of the Jews, but escapeth alive with Barnabas to Derbe. Having passed through various places, and confirmed the churches in faith and patience, they return to Antioch, and give an account of their ministry.
Daily Light - Morning
My Father is greater than I.
When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven. - I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. - As the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. - The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. - Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 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, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? - I and my Father are one. - As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
Jn. 14.28; Lu. 11.2; Jn. 20.17; Jn. 14.31; Jn. 14.10
Jn. 3.35; Jn. 17.2
Jn. 14.8-10; Jn. 10.30; Jn. 15.9-10
Daily Light - Evening
I will put enmity between thee and the woman,
and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise
thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men. - He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
This is you hour, and the power of darkness. - Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.
The Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. - He...cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.
All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. - in my name shall they cast out devils.
The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
Ge. 3.15; Isa. 52.14; Isa. 53.5
Lu. 22.53; Jn. 19.11
1 Jn. 3.8; Mk. 1.34
Mt. 38.18; Mk. 16.17
A Puritans Catechism
Q34 - What is Sanctification?
A - Sanctification is the work of God's free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.
BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH
Of Repentance unto Life and Salvation
This saving repentance is an evangelical grace,4 whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin, does, by faith in Christ, humble himself for it with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self–abhorrancy,5 praying for pardon and strength of grace, with a purpose and endeavor, by supplies of the Spirit, to walk before God unto all well–pleasing in all things.6
4 Zech. 12:10; Acts 11:18
5 Ezek. 36:31; 2 Cor. 7:11
6 Ps. 119:6,128
Robert Murray M'Cheyne - God Makes A Path - Daily Devotional Readings
...Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. - John 13 v 1
A mother's love is, of all creature-love, the most unchangeable. A boy leaves his parent's roof, he crosses a thousand seas, he labours beneath a foreign sky; he comes back, he finds his aged mother changed, her head is grey, her venerable brow in furrowed with age; still he feels while she clasps him to her bosom, that her heart is the same. But ah! far more unchanging is the love of God to Christ, and to a soul in Christ: 'I am the Lord; I change not.' The Father that loves has no variableness. Jesus, who is loved, is the same yesterday, today, and for ever. How can that love change? It flowed before the world was; it will flow when the world has passed away.
If you are in Christ, that love shines on you: 'I have loved thee with an everlasting love.' 'I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, not things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'