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 - Romans 3 v 10-24
Sunday evening at 6:30pm in church (also available online via Facebook)
(Sunday evening) Scripture reading - Mark 14 v 26-31, 53-54, 56-72
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 - Jehoahaz succeeding Josiah is deposed by Pharaoh-necho, and carried into Egypt: Jehoiakin is made king. Jehoiakim reigning wickedly is bound in fetters by Nebuchadnezzar, who carrieth part of the vessels of the temple to Babylon. Jehoiachin is made king, and after a year's reign carried to Babylon with other vessels of the temple: Zedekiah is made king in his stead. Zedekiah reigneth wickedly, despiseth the admonitions of Jeremiah, and rebelleth against Nebuchadnezzar. The sins of the priests and of the people cause the utter destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldees, and the desolation of the land for seventy years. The proclamation of Cyrus for building the temple.
2 Chronicles 36
Preface - The river and tree of life: the glorious state of the servants of God. John is forbidden by the angel to worship him; and commanded not to seal up the prophecy. Christ's coming and eternity. The blessedness of them that do God's commandments. Nothing must be added to or taken from this prophecy. The concluding benediction.
Daily Light - Morning
The LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear
his son, in all the way that ye went,
until ye came into this place.
I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. - In his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. - As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the LORD alone did lead him.
Even to your old age I am he; and even to hour hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. - This God is our God for ever and ever: he will be out guide even unto death.
Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee. - Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on... For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.
Deu. 1.31; Ex. 19.4; Isa. 63.9; Deu. 32.11-12
Isa. 46.4; Ps. 48.14
Ps. 55.22; Mt. 6.25,32
1 Sa. 7.12
Daily Light - Evening
There remaineth yet
very much land to be possessed.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Be ye therefore perfect. - Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.
Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit.
There remaineth...a rest to the people of God. - Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.
Jos. 13.1; Phil. 3.12
Mt. 5.48; 2 Pe. 1.5-7
1 Co. 2.9-10
He. 4.9; Isa. 33.17
A Puritans Catechism
Q20 - Who is the Redeemer of God's elect?
A - The only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God became man, and so was, and continues to be God and man, in two distinct natures and one person, forever.
BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH
Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification;6 yet is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love.7
6 Rom. 3:28
7 Gal.5:6, James 2:17,22,26
Robert Murray M'Cheyne - God Makes A Path - Daily Devotional Readings
My Master's time
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. - Ephesians 5 v 16
What right have I to steal and abuse my Master's time? Redeem it,' He is crying to me.
The time is short! - the season near,
When death will us remove,
To leave our friends, however dear,
And all we fondly love!
The time is short! sinners, beware,
Nor trifle time away;
The word of 'great salvation' hear,
'While it is called to-day.'
The time is short! ye rebels, now
To Christ the Lord submit;
To mercy's golden sceptre bow,
And fall at Jesus' feet.
The time is short! ye saints rejoice,
The Lord will quickly come:
Soon shall ye hear the Bridegroom's voice,
To call your spirits home.
The time is short! it swiftly flies,
The hou is just at hand,
When we shall mount above the skies,
And reach Emmanuel's land.