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 the 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 though 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.
-Give 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 - Philippians 4 v 4-13
Sunday evening at 6:30pm in church (also available online via Facebook)
(Sunday evening) scripture reading - Romans 9 v 1-16
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 - Hezekiah's good reign. He abolisheth idolatry, and prospereth. In his time Samaria is taken, and Israel carried away captive for their sins. Sennacherib invadeth Judah, and receiveth the appointe dtribute from Hezekiah. He sendeth Rab-shakeh, who insulteth Hezekiah, and in a blasphemous speech soliciteth the people to revolt.
2 Kings 18
Preface - The salutation. Paul declareth his joy in hearing of the love and faith of Philemon; earnestly entreating him to receive into his favour his once fugitive servant Onesimus, now become a faithful Christian. He desireth him to provide a lodging for himself, who was in expectation of a speedy release; and concludeth with salutations and a benediction.
Daily Light - Morning
Take thou also unto thee principal spices...
And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment.
Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you. - One Spirit. - Diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. - God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power. - God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
Of his fulness have all we received. - As the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. - He which...hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Ex. 30.23; Ex. 30.32; Eph. 4.4; 1 Co. 12.4
Ps. 45.7; Ac. 10.38; Jn. 3.34
Jn. 1.16; 1 Jn. 2.27; 2 Co. 1.21-22
Daily Light - Evening
The fashion of this world passeth away.
All the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: but the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. - For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. - The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. - When thy shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child: and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1 Co. 7.31; Ge. 5.27
Jas. 1.9-11; Jas. 4.14; 1 Jn. 2.17
Ps. 39.4; 1 Th. 5.3-4
A Puritans Catechism
Q46 - What is forbidden in the second commandment?
A - The second commandment forbids the worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his Word.
The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith
Of The Holy Scriptures
Chapter 1 - Paragraph 5
We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church of God to a high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, and the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, and many other incomparable excellencies, and entire perfections thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.
8 - John 16:13-14; 1 Cor. 2:10-12; 1 John 2:20,27
Robert Murray M'Cheyne - God Makes A Path - Daily Devotional Readings
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: -
Ephesians 1 v 4
So brethren, it was before the foundation of the world that Christ chose His own, when there was neither sun nor moon; when there was neither sea nor land - it was from the beginning. Ah, He might well say, you have not chosen me. It was before man loved man, or angel loved angel, that Christ chose His own. Now, I know the meaning of Paul when he says, That you may be able to know the length and breadth, the height and the depth of the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. Now, I am not surprised at the death of Christ! It was a love so great that it broke over the banks that held it in; a love that broke over a Calvary and a Gethsemane. O brethren! do you know this love.