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 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 - Ezra's pedigree from Aaron; he goeth up to Jerusalem. The gracious commission of Artaxerxes to him. Ezra blesseth God for this favour.
Preface - Stephen, called upon to answer the charge against him, relateth how God called Abraham, and gave him and his seed the land of Canaan by promise; how Joseph was sold by his brethren, and Jacob with his family went down into Egypt; how, when they were oppressed by the Egyptians, Moses was born, and sent to deliver Israel out of Egypt; that this same Moses witnessed of Christ, received the law, and experienced the disobedience and idolatry of their forefathers; who had the tabernacle of witness, till Solomon built the temple; he reproacheth his hearers with imitating their fathers' rebellion against God, and persecution of his prophets, by having themselves murdered Christ, and transgressed the law they had received. Stung with the reproach, they stone him, looking up with faith unto God, and calling upon Jesus to receive his soul, and forgive his persecutors.
Daily Light - Morning
Think upon me, my God, for good.
Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness. - I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. - I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you. - For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you anexpected end.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. - I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number. - Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
Ne. 5.19; Jer. 2.2; Ezek. 16.60; Jer. 29.10; Jer. 29.11
Isa. 55.9; Job 5.8-9; Ps. 40.5
Daily Light - Evening
I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass. - God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
The LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him. - He will ever be mindful of his covenant.
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
Jos. 1.5; Jos. 21.45; Nu. 23.19
Deu. 7.9; Ps. 111.5
A Puritans Catechism
Q27 - Wherein consists Christ's exaltation?
A - Christ's exaltation consists in his rising again from the dead on the third day, in ascending up into heaven, in sitting at the right had of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the last day.
BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH
This sanctification is throughout the whole man,7 yet imperfect in this life; there abides still some remnants of corruption in every part,8 wherefrom arises a continual and irreconcilable war; the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.9
7 1 Thess. 5:23
8 Rom. 7:18,23
9 Gal. 5:17; 1 Pet. 2:11
Robert Murray M'Cheyne - God Makes A Path - Daily Devotional Readings
Christ, the key to the Scriptures
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. - Luke 24 v 27
When you are reading a book in a dark room and find it difficult, you take it to a window to get more light. So take your Bible to Christ. I thirst for the knowledge of the word, but most of all of Jesus Himself, the true Word.