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. Alogside 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 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 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.
=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 - John 1 v 1-14
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 - Solomon's labourers for the building of the temple. He sendeth to Hiram for skilful artificers and timber. Huram's friendly answer.
2 Chronicles 2
Preface - Christ is our advocate with the Father, and a propitiation for the sins of the whole world. Rightly to know God is to keep his commandments: the chief of which is to love one another. The apostle addresseth Christians of various ages separately, and warneth them against on inordinate love of this world: and against deceivers, who were many. He sheweth the means they had of knowing the truth, and of distinguishing false teachers; and pointeth out their obligation to abide in the truth which they had been taught. He that doeth righteousness is born of God.
1 John 2
Daily Light - Morning
I would seek unto God,
and unto God would I commit my cause.
Is any thing too hard for the LORD? - Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass, - Be careful for nothing; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. - Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD.
It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. - The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
I love the LORD because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
Job 5.8; Ge. 18.14; Ps. 37.5; Phil. 4.6; 1 Pe. 5.7
Isa. 65.24; Jas. 5.16
Ps. 116. 1-2
Daily Light - Evening
Our bodies washed with pure water.
Thou shalt...make a laver of brass...and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: when they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not...they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not. - Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you. - If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
In my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another. - There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth. - Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity. - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
He. 10.22; Ex. 30.18-20,21: 1 Co. 6.19; 1 Co. 3.17
Job 19.26-27; Rev. 21.27; Hab. 1.13; Hab. 1.13; Ro. 12.1
A Puritans Catechism
Q74 - How do Baptism and the Lord's Supper become spiritually helpful?
A - Baptism and the Lord's Supper become spiritually helpful, not from any virtue in them, or in his who does administer them, but only by the blessing of Christ, and the working of the Spirit in those who by faith receive them.
BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH
Of the Fall of Man, of Sin and of the Punishment thereof
Although God created man upright and perfect, and gave him a righteous law, which had been unto life had he kept it, and threatened death upon the breach thereof,1 yet he did not long abide in this honor; Satan using the subtlety of the serpent to subdue Eve, then by her seducing Adam, who, without any compulsion, did willfully transgress the law of their creation, and the command given to them, in eating the forbidden fruit,2 which God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory.
1 Gen. 2:16–17
2 Gen. 3:12–13; 2 Cor. 11:3
Robert Murray M'Cheyne - God Makes A Path - Daily Devotional Readings
Joy in religion
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. - Philippians 3 v 1
Some people are afraid of anything like joy in religion. They have none themselves, and they do not love to see it in others. Their religion is something like the stars, very high, and very clear, but very cold. When they see tears of anxiety, or tears of joy, they cry out, 'Enthusiasm, enthusiasm!' Well, then, to the law, and to the testimony: 'I sat down under His shadow with great delight.' Is this enthusiasm? O Lord, evermore give us this enthusiasm! May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing! If it be really in sitting under the shadow of Christ, let there be no bounds to your joy. Oh, if God would but open your eyes, and give you simple, childlike faith, to look to Jesus, to sit under His shadow, then would songs of joy rise from all our dwellings! Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice!