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 teh 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 amny 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 teh 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 mediatior 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.
Pastor Jonathan Arnold
-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 - Matthew 6 v 5-15
Sunday evening at 6:30pm in church (also available online via Facebook)
(Sunday evening) scripture reading - Romans 8 v 10-17
Bible study and prayer
Wednesday evening at 7:00pm online via Zoom (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.
Daily Light - Morning
God is my defence.
The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; the God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour. - The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. - We may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? - As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. - Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
For thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
Ps. 59.9; 2 Sa. 22.2-3; Ps. 28.7
Isa. 59.19; He. 13.6
Pe. 27.1; Ps. 125.2: Ps. 63.7
Daily Light - Evening
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. - O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. - Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. - You...blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. - Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Mt. 6.12; Mt. 18.21-22; Mt 12.32-35; Eph. 4.32; Col 2.13-14; Col. 3.13
Preface - In the extremity of the famine Elijah is sent to meet Ahab. Ahab and Obadiah go different ways in search of pasture for the cattle. Elijah meeteth Obadiah, and sendeth him to call Ahab. Ahab, after receiving a reproof, by Elijah's direction gathereth together all the prophets of Baal. Elijah proposeth to decide by a sign from heaven between the Lord and Baal. Baal's prophets invoke him in vain. Elijah praying is answered by fire from heaven: the people own the Lord to be God: Baal's prophet's are slain. Elijah giveth Ahab notice of rain, which he obtaineth by prayer, and runneth before Ahab to Jezreel.
1 Kings 18
Preface - After saluting the saints at Colosse, Paul testifieth his thankfulness to God for the good account he had heard of their faith and love; and his continual prayers for their improvement in spiritual knowledge, right practice, and thanksgiving to God for the benefits of redemption by his Son. He sheweth them the exalted nature and mediatorial office of Christ, by whom they, who were once enemies, were now reconciled, if they continued true to the gospel, whereof he Paul was made a minister to preach it to the Gentiles.
1 Thessalonians 1
A Puritans Catechism
Q25 - Wherein did Christ's humiliation consist?
A - Christ's humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross, in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time.
Robert Murray M'Cheyne - God Makes A Path - Daily Devotional Readings
The broken heart
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, who wilt not despise. - Psalm 51 v 17
No Psalm expresses more fully the experience of a penitent believing soul: - First, His humbling confession of sin, (vs. 3-5). Second, His intense desire for pardon through the blood of Christ, (v.7). Third, His longing after a clean heart, (v.10). Fourth, His desire to render something to God for all His benefits. 1.He says, I will teach transgressors the ways. 2. My lips shall show forth thy praise. 3. He will give a broken heart, vs. 16, 17. Just as, long ago, they used to offer slain lambs in token of thanksgiving, so he says he will offer up to God a slain and broken heart. Every one of you, who has found the same forgiveness, should come to the same resolution - offer up to God this day a broken heart.