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 (1Th. 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 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 wiht 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 - The Epistle of Paul to Philemon
Sunday evening at 6:30pm in church (also available online via Facebook)
(Sunday evening) scripture reading - Romans 7 v 1-6
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 multitude of wives and concubines, who in his old age seduce him to idolatry. God threateneth to rend the greater part of the kingdom from his family. Solomon findeth an adversary in Hadad the Edomite, who had been entertained in Egypt; and in Rezon, who reigned in Damascus; and in Jeroboam, to whom Ahijah had prophesised the kingdom should be translated. Solomon's acts reign, and death: rehoboam succeedeth him.
1 Kings 11
Preface - Paul earnestly recommendeth to the Philippeans mutual love and union, lowliness of mind, and that charitable condescension for the good of others, exemplified in the life and death of Christ, for which God had exalted him to be Lord of all. He exhorteth them to carefulness in working out their own salvation, to obey the will of God cheerfully and universally, that so they might distinguish themselves from the rest of the world by a bright example of virtue; and by their steadiness give him cause to rejoice in the success of his labours, who would gladly lay down his life to serve them. He hopeth to send Timothy to them shortly, whom he greatly commendeth; as he doth the affection and zeal of Epaphroditus, whom he sendeth with this epistle.
Daily Light - Morning
I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Refoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is you reward in heaven. - None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy. - I will speak of they testimonies...before kings, and will not be ashamed.
He. 13.6; Ro. 8.35,37
Mt. 5.10-12; Ac. 20.24; Ps. 119.46
Daily Light - Evening
He....set my feet upon a rock.
That rock was Christ.-Simon Peter....said, Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said... Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it - Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Let us draw near....in full assurance of faith...faith without wavering. - Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering... He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?....Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ps. 40.2; 1 Co 10.4; Mt. 16.16-17,18; Ac. 4.12
He. 10.22,23; Jas.1.6;
A Puritans Catechism
Q18 - What is the misery of that state whereinto man fell?
A - All mankind by their fall, lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all the miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.
Robert Murray M'Cheyne - God Makes A Path - Daily Devotional Readings
Be found on the right side
Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, who is on the Lord's side? Let him come unto me. - Exodus 32 v 26
There are three things which Christ does as a king to every saved soul. The first is at conversion, see Acts 5 v 31: 'Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.' You will notice that the office of Christ as King is to give repentance and forgiveness of sins. It is His work to say, 'Love!' Ah! friends, has He done this to you? Observe, it is not the work of man: 'He will not give his glory to another, neither his praise to graven images.' It is from His throne at the right hand of God that he sends the Spirit, and makes three thousand cry out, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do to be saved? It is a most affecting truth I have shewn you, that you may be a member of His kingdom and not a member of His grace. Another kingly act of Christ over Hi Church is to forgive sins. 'The Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins.' Ah! dear friends, it is a kingly act to give pardon. The third work that Christ does as a King over His body is to sanctify them. It is written in Micah. 'Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgressions of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy,' (Micah 7 v 18). Those whom the king pardons he subdues. Ah! dear friends, enquire if Christ is you King, by his subduing you. How happy are those of you who can say, Christ is my King! Dear friends, enquire if you are under this third crown. The third is the sweetest of all. He wears all His other crowns for this one. It is interesting to notice that in the first ages of the Church, Christians we martyred for His prophetical office: and it is reserved, it may be, for us to be martyred for His kingly office: it was this, you remember the Covenanters were martyred for. How necessary then, to be found on the right side!