Sunday 26th June – Morning Service

Aaron

Character & Conduct

This morning’s worship was led by Aaron Davies-Whitfield who continued his study of Philippians, preaching from chapter 2 verses 14-16 – such a relevant scripture after what has happened in our nation.  The Word of God challenges us and changes us. Often the Word of God, which is ‘sharper than a two-edged sword’ (Hebrews 4:12), challenges us. It shows us things about us which do not line up with the Word of God. We must humble ourselves and acknowledges our shortcomings and confess. We need to repent and turn to someone we are in great need of, turning away from sin to Christ, asking for forgiveness and grace. The process of taking out sin in our lives is painful but necessary. This Word is a challenge to us all, it’s a good challenge.  Character is our reputation, conduct is our behaviour, and how we conduct ourselves. Paul is talking about a Christian character and conduct. He covers three areas:

  • Our relationship with God – This always comes first. Before we do wrong to anyone, we have first done wrong to God.
  • Our relationship with others
  • Ourselves

When Paul says, ‘Do all things’, this shows us that nothing is left out. God asks that our Christian life is one of affecting every area. We are born again, we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. Our life is to be different in every single aspect.

‘Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am Holy’ (1 Peter 1:15-17). Paul here is talking to believers. Our holiness first comes with Salvation, it is not just about morals, it is about being the people of God. We are set apart. Because we are His people, we are to be different. We belong to Christ, so we have to live as the people of God.

Verse 15 – we are the sons and daughter of God. The pulpit is not a place of politics. It’s the place of God. Whatever our views of the Referendum we must not fight. The body of Christ goes far deeper than our political views. Whatever we voted, we must love one another. We are one body, inextricably bought with the blood of Christ, we all belong to the same Father. We must come together as a Church.  If the people of God cannot come together, how can we be an example to others?

There is a greater ‘in or out’. Are people in the Kingdom? There is a greater cross to put by your name – the cross of Jesus Christ. The gospel still carries on, it is the greatest need, the greatest light and the greatest message. It travels throughout divisions. It has travelled throughout history. This gospel must carry on. It should be the most important thing in a Christian life. Glorifying Christ is the greatest work, the gospel is the greatest campaign.

‘Do all things, without murmurings and disputings’. Our delight is to please God.  The children of Israel were on a journey and murmured. Don’t murmur to God, He loves us, He is the sovereign. Remember the character of God and let it change you.

Our conduct should be ‘Blameless and harmless’ to others. We need to be different and love one another, serve and help one another. This is the beauty of the church. Manifest His love, care and compassion.

‘Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you’ (Matt 5:44). We can be one thing in church and something different behind closed doors.  In your whole life, in your very thought life and deeds, in private places, strive towards the Saviour. Don’t settle for remaining to be the same people, strive to be more like Jesus, wanting to be more and more a holy people. Strive for a closer walk with God, this is the path to glory. We are to be ever more increasing in our life to Christ. There is always a need to confess our sins, to grow in grace. What is on the outside should be the same all the way through, displaying Jesus on the inside and outside.

‘Crooked and perverse generation’ – we live in a fallen corrupt world. It is dark, it is evil. As the Church, as the people of God, in a nation that is split down the middle, we need to be an example. We need our light to shine before men, to show the light in a very dark time. God knows we live in a dark, evil world and this is why He asks us to shine. We are the light, we are different, we are changed, and we are the people of God. Our love is for God not the world. Our desire is not for ourselves but for God. We need to shine. The church must set the example, we must hold first to the Bible – the light. It is the truth in the midst of corruption and lies, it is the testimony we are to hold. We need to practice what we preach otherwise we are empty. Let people see unity and love in us, see something different in us.

‘I may rejoice in the day of Christ.’ Live this life for Jesus, whatever the cost, whatever the price, whatever the mockery and scorn. Be a light shining continually in the storm, in calm, but always shinning for the Lord. Let this message change us.

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Sunday Morning: 19th June 2016

Gaius-june16.jpgOur worship was led by Gaius Douglas who preached from 2 Timothy chapter 3. Gaius challenged us by asking what we are doing for the Lord. Are we warning the people of the dangers? The God of eternity, who stepped into time and in the person of His Son died for our sins. Are you concerned for the people of Pembrokeshire, those heading for a lost eternity?

We live in perilous times but it doesn’t matter where we are, God has His people everywhere. Yet there are those who say they believe in God but do not believe in the Word of God. True Christians stick to the Word of God, no matter what.

God has given us the greatest teacher of all, the Holy Spirit. Can you discern what is true and what is not? We need to be discerning. In the Scriptures we read about the hinderer. There is no mention of the ‘hinderer’ but we come across the word ‘resist’ –“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” There is a devil who is there to hinder us, to blind our eyes, to say there is no God. Satan sows the thoughts of confusion in our hearts.

2 Corinthians 4: 3-4 tells us there is spiritual blindness to those who are unsaved, even to those who are saved.

In our church today there are those who are masquerading as Christians. They are there to deceive, to falsely proclaim the Gospel. The devil masquerades as the angel of light. In 2 Corinthians chapter 11 verse 14 we read, “For Satan himself transforms himself unto an angel of light.” Arm yourselves with the mighty arm of God.

Exegesis allows the Word of God to lead you. However, there are those who call themselves ‘liberal’ Christians, those who dismantle the Word of God to make it socially acceptable to man, not God.

Isaiah chapter 59. When was the last time you quarrelled with God, when you questioned God? Psalm 121 tells us that God is listening to us, He will preserve us, He is concerned for us. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 we are told to “Pray without ceasing.” The Lord has not stopped praying for us.

We live in perilous times, heed the Word of God. Be witnesses for God, tell others what God has done for you. When was the last time you told others what God has done for you? If you know Christ, tell others. Stand firm for Christ.

 

 

Sunday Morning Worship: 12th June 2016

Ian-June16This morning’s service was led by Ian Middlemist who preached on Acts chapter 2 verses 37-38. Here Peter considers the person and work of Jesus Christ. He is not preaching to the marginalised, he is preaching to those who have crucified Jesus (v 36). He speaks to them directly, telling them they have killed Jesus. He accuses them of being complicit in killing a man – the Saviour, the one whom God had accredited as being the Lord of all, the Prince of Life. There is an element that each one of us placed those nails into Jesus’ hands. We are guilt of sin.

Peter tells us that the response of the congregation before him was that they were ‘cut to the heart.’ We want a response every time the gospel is preached. We want it to move us, to have a deep work in our lives, in our hearts. The heart is the seat of our fundamental faith, our belief. The crowd before Peter were evidently effected. Cut to the heart – the stabbing of conviction. My guilt is being spoken of here. Peter’s sermon was to convince them that Jesus is Lord and that every one of us is born with spiritual blindness. We need to come out of that blindness. No man is able to do this, only God can.

The second part of this response was they asked what they must do. It is the right knee-jerk reaction. It is a question each one of us must ask. They knew their situation was desperate. We are empty and helpless. It is important we all come to that point. We are not a good person before a holy God. This has consequences. There must be punishment. Where do we turn? Praise God we have an answer! Verse 38 tell us,

                “Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Baptism is a command. It shows the world you are a new person in Jesus Christ, you are coming to Him for cleansing, trusting in Him alone for Salvation. He alone removes guilt. The good news is we are guilty but Jesus took the guilt, He took the condemnation we deserve. He died in agony on the cross, shed His precious blood so we are forgiven – forgiven for yesterday’s sins, today’s sins and tomorrow’s. Hallelujah! Have you repented? Are you trusting in Jesus?

Morning Worship: 5th June 2016

Norman ReesWorship was led by Norman Rees of Bethany Free Church, Clarbeston Road, Haverfordwest, who preached Genesis chapter 32. Jacob was a problematic person who God used. In this passage Jacob has left home after stealing his brother’s birth-right and is now returning after twenty years away, expecting to face his brother’s wrath.

Jacob was blessed by God, who made a covenant with him. He had settled down and wanted for nothing at all. Now the Lord has told Jacob to return to Canaan, to the land of his kindred. This must have been a huge shock. He was very fearful, his life was now being turned upside-down. Sometimes our life is like that; everything is going smoothly then out of the blue something happens and we may ask, “Why Lord?” This is to make us realise we cannot be independent of God.

As Jacob heads back he makes a plan of action. He sent messengers ahead who were met by Esau, who was coming to meet Jacob with 400 men. Jacob was greatly afraid. We can have distressing, perplexing news which can make us feel fearful. We become worried and concerned. Why is this happening? It is to strengthen our faith. It is easy to be a Christian when things are going well but then something happens to break the nest, to teach us to fly:

          “As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings, so the Lord alone led him.” (Deuteronomy 32:11)

God breaks the nest of people so they may know God. Gidoen, Moses and Paul were all fearful. God brings us problems to send us to Him in prayer. When there are ripples in your life, there is action in your life. Come to God and rejoice in Him. Jacob had problems and he went to God in prayer. He went to the God who had blest him and now who is trying him. God knows when to allow the devil to attack you and when to take the devil off your back. Come to God in prayer.

How do you come to God in prayer? We come to a God who welcomes us, who knows the unworthiness of His children, but there is one who makes us worthy. The Lord Jesus Christ came from heaven in order that He might redeem us from condemnation, from Hell. The wrath of the Holy Father was poured on His head. We can never imagine His suffering. His righteousness has been given to us if we repent and give our lives to Him. Jacob is honest in his prayer to God. God knows our troubles but He wants us to tell Him, to voice our concerns and needs.

The best part of intercession Jacob receives is that God’s Word has come to Him. He knows there is a purpose to what is happening to Him. He is bringing God’s Word back to Him:

          “Remember the Word to Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort in affliction, for Your Word has given me life.”
                                                                                           Psalm 119:49-50

What is your comfort in affliction? Where do you go when trouble comes? Go to the Word of God, to God Himself. Be honest with the Lord, tell Him what is on your heart. Do not allow the things of this world to cloud your mind. We have the promises of God, don’t forget the Word of God. If a fear drives you to God thank Him for that fear. Jacob had a cloud of darkness but it burst into blessings. Wait on God. Are you content with what God has given you? Commit your situation to God. Things may be taken from us, but never our Salvation. We have a hope in heaven. Whatever we go through God does it for the best. Trust in His Word, take everything to Him in prayer. Faith without works is dead. Prayer, faith and working for God go together. God is a good God. Glorify Him wherever He takes us.