I want to thank all of you who have prayed and supported the work of the Gospel through the church in 2023 and this first month of 2024. It is a great joy to minister at Westminster Baptist and I love the church here greatly. Through this past year, there have been heart-wrenching tragedies alongside blessings too. This is often the case in Christian life and yet we are called to keep trusting and believing. We often bear the battle scars of past experience and circumstance, as we live in this sinful world and anticipate heaven. We see Mordecai, mocked and scorned for years in Esther and on the brink of execution, yet he latterly knew blessing from God. The most important thing was he was faithful in serving the Lord.
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful - 1 Corinthians 4:2. This verse especially applies to ministers, church workers, but to all Christians. We are stewards of the oracles of God and to us has the light of the gospel been revealed. We should therefore be striving to be faithful, not popular, faithful. May that be our aim by the grace of God.
In the beginning month in recent years we have spent a week praying together on each day for certain things. As a reminder that with continuing faith that prayer is essential. Key to our hope nd joy and endurance and love, and with new resolve to make time to pray regularly alone and with your family and with some group of fellow believers.
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 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 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 be a prayerful church and prayerful individuals, knowing that we have a prayer hearing and answering God.
Pastor Jonathan Arnold.
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 20; Matthew 7 v 1-29
Sunday evening at 6:30pm in church (also available online via Facebook)
(Sunday evening) Scripture reading - Psalm 116; Exodus 12 v 1-33
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 - Job curseth the day of his birth, and wisheth he had never been roused out of the quiet sleep of the grave: he complaineth of life because of his anguish.
Preface - No law having power over a person longer than he liveth, we therefore, being become dead to the law by the body of Christ, are left free to place ourselves under a happier dispensation. For the law through the prevalency of corrupt passions could only serve as an instrument of sin unto death; although it be in itself holy, and just, and good; as is manifest by our reason approving the precepts of it, whilst our depraved nature is unable to put them in practice. The wretchedness of man in such a situation, and God's mercy in his deliverance from it through Christ.
Daily Light - Morning
The LORD hath said unto you,
Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
Truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they cam out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly. - Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt. - The just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. - No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. - Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Deu. 17.16; He. 11.15-16; He. 11.25-26; He. 10.38-39; Lu. 9.62
Ga. 6.14; 2 Co. 6.17
Daily Light - Evening
They talk to the grief of
those whom thou hast wounded.
I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. - Comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
Let us not...judge one another any more: but judge this rather; that no man put a stublingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. - We...that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Charity...rejoiceth not in iniquity. - Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Ps. 69.26; Zech. 1.15
Jas. 5.20; 1 Th. 5.14
Ro. 14.13; Ro. 15.1
1 Co. 13.4,6; 1 Co. 10.12
A Puritans Catechism
Q54 - What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?
A - The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is , a promise of long life and prosperity - as far as it shall serve for God's glory and their own good - to all such as keep this commandment.
BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH
Of the Law of God
The moral law does for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof,10 and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it;11 neither does Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.12
10 Rom. 13:8–10; James 2:8,10–12
11 James 2:10–11
12 Matt. 5:17–19; Rom. 3:31
Robert Murray M'Cheyne - God Makes A Path - Daily Devotional Readings
A peculiar people
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord... - 2 Corinthians 6 v 17
Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people (Hosea 7 v 8). This was the peculiar character of the Jews: 'The people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.' But when they mixed themselves among the nations, then grey hairs began to appear. So it is with Christians, they are a peculiar people. Jesus said of them: 'They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.' We are as completely separated from the world as Christ was; we have got his blood upon us, and the Holy Spirit in us; we have peculiar joys and peculiar sorrows; we are a praying people, a praising people. But the moment we begin to mix with the ungodly, grey hairs begin to appear - our souls wither.