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 31; Acts 8 v 26-40
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 - The rulers, together with every tenth man taken by lot, and those that offered voluntarily, dwell at Jerusalem. A catalogue of their names. The residue of the people dwell in other cities.
Preface - Paul journeying to Jerusalem calleth at the house of Philip the evangelist, whose four daughters prophesied. Agabus foretelling what should befall him at Jerusalem, he will not be dissuaded from going thither. Arriving at Jerusalem, he is persuaded to purify himself in the temple, where he is set upon by the Jews of Asia, and in danger of losing his life in an uproar, but is rescued by the chief captain, and carried to the castle in chains; he requesteth, and is permitted, to speak to the people.
Daily Light - Morning
Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it.
He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. - If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons... now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees.
Jn. 15.2; Mal. 3.2-3
Ro. 5.3-5; He. 12.7-8,11-12
Daily Light - Evening
Now we call the proud happy.
Thus saith the hight and lofty One that inhabit the eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. - Blessed are the poor inspirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look - every one that is proud in heart is an abomination unto him: a proud look - Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. - Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Mal. 3.15; Isa. 57.15
Pro. 16.19; Mt. 5.3
Pro. 6.16-17; Pro. 16.5
Phil. 1.2-3; Mt. 5.5
A Puritans Catechism
Q41 - What is the sum of the ten commandments?
A - The sum of the ten commandments is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbour as ourselves.
BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH
Of Good Works
We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come, and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom by them we can neither profit nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins;14 but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants; and because they are good they proceed from his Spirit,15 and as they are wrought by us they are defiled and mixed with so much weekness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God’s punishment.16
14 Rom. 3:20; Eph. 2:8–9; Rom. 4:6
15 Gal. 5:22–23
16 Isa. 64:6; Ps. 43:2
Robert Murray M'Cheyne - God Makes A Path - Daily Devotional Readings
A threefold grace
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for you sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. - 2 Corinthians 8 v 9
When Jesus washed the disciples' feet, when he came to Peter, Peter said, 'Lord, dost thou wash my feet?' Three things amazed him:
1) The glorious being that knelt down before him: Thou'.
2) The lowly action he was going to perform: 'Dost thou wash?'
3) The vile wretch whose feet were to be washed: 'My feet'. He was amazed at the grace of the Lord Jesus. So in this amazing work you may see a threefold grace:
1) The glorious being that undertook for sinners: 'He who was rich'>
2) The depth to which he stooped: He became poor.'
3)The wretches whose souls were to be washed: 'For your sakes'.
Ah! Well may you be amazed thisday, and cry out: 'Dost thou wash my soul?