October 21st 2018: Peter Gleave

Peter Gleave-Oct182 Kings 6: 8-23:

Where are you headed this week? What difficulties lies ahead? What does the church look like? Today, the church seems to be more and more marginalised. It is becoming more under pressure. As we reach out, the more we reach out, the more the enemy will try to stop you and distract you. How will we handle it?

Elisha is an amazing character in the Old Testament, an exciting man of God. The Bible is all about Jesus, from Genesis to Revelation. We see Bible characters who are people like Jesus, a shadow of what is to come in Jesus. Elisha points the way to Jesus. There are so many similarities between Elisha and Jesus, but Jesus is greater by far. Elisha means God saves. Jesus is the Saviour who saves. Both began their ministry at the river Jordan. Elisha fed 100 men, Jesus fed 5,000. Elisha foreshadows Jesus.

In this reading we see:
God gives direction;
God gives power;
God gives victory.

God gives direction:

The King of Aram was at war with the King of Israel. The Aramean king had a powerful army. However, the king of Israel had an advantage – he had a man of God on his side, a man who knew everything the King of Aram was doing and gave the King of Israel direction from God. The King of Aram thought there was a secret agent telling the King of Israel all his plans, but he was told it was the prophet Elisha who knew everything he was doing.

As we look forward, we see Jesus gave direction to His disciples and the early church. He told them what the greatest commandments were. He also called them together and told them to go into all the world and tell. Jesus taught them our priority is to love and worship Him and to glorify Him in our lives and to tell others. He also taught them that we are to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. Look around at church this morning. These are your neighbours. We do God a great disservice when we show the world we don’t love each other. Sometimes, we only love people in church and not outside. They too are our neighbours. We are to tell others about Jesus. The direction for our church is to love Him, make Him our priority. This is borne out by loving each other, telling others about Him. This is what Jesus taught His disciples and us.

God gives power.

In the Old Testament Elisha and his young servant arrived in Dothan. The King of Aram told his servants to capture Elisha and his servant. All around him the young servant sees the King of Aram’s troops, horses and chariots. The enemy is all around. He cries out to Elisha, ‘What shall we do?’ Sometimes we experience that when personal problems come. When the enemy starts to attack we can feel a sense of panic. The servant had a choice – surrender or wait to be captured. Not great options! He had nowhere to turn, he felt like giving up, like the enemy was winning. Elisha’s response is, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ (II Kings 6:16). The servant was looking at the situation with human eyes. Elisha prayed for him (v17). Immediately, the servant’s eyes were opened, his spiritual eyes were opened. He can see what Elisha could see all along – all around them was the power of a heavenly host. He saw the power of the almighty God protecting him. Prayer is vital. The power of prayer brings peace.

Jesus prayed. He talked to His heavenly Father. If He did it, we too must do it. We need to soak ourselves in prayer. The power of prayer is available to you and I for all the circumstances we face. Faith begins where man’s power ends. When the difficulties come, use your spiritual eyes, fix your eyes on Jesus, not the enemy. Jesus stands with you.

God gives the victory (verses 19-20):

The enemy comes to capture Elisha and his servant. Elisha prays. Instead of asking for eyes to be opened, he now asks for eyes to be closed – the enemy’s eyes. When they were closed he then took them all the way to the stronghold city of Samaria. They were captured. The King of Israel became very excited. He didn’t know what to do with all the people who have been captured, whether to ‘strike them down’ or not. Elisha told the King that it was God who had captured the enemy, and the king should now feed and water them before sending them back home. Oh what grace! The young servant had had his spiritual eyes opened and seen the enemy captured. Victory had become a reality.

The spiritually open eyes look to Calvary – the victory has already been won. Jesus died for you and me, for all who put their trust in Jesus and confess their sins, God gives the victory. Eyes that are open to this, show us the direction we should go. The victory is won for you and me. Jesus wants us to tell everyone how He can make a difference. Share the good news. It is life-changing news for your friends and neighbours!

Our desire is to be like Jesus. Show others we love God. Summon God’s power so that eyes are opened. Serve God, the victor, in your life, the life of your church and the world. Revolutionise your community!

July 8th 2018: Dave Norbury

Dave Norbuy-July18Philippians 1:1-11

This is a significant book written to a significant church in Philippi. Paul knew this was the place God wanted him to be. He was about to plant the first church in Europe. God directed him here. This church has to grow and succeed. We are reading about our family history. This church in Philippi was set up against all the odds. Two people were converted here. Firstly, the Lord opened Lydia’s heart. It so happens that she was a business lady who had a big house which people could meet in (Acts 16). Paul is imprisoned. There again, God meets with the jailor who asks how he might be saved. He was converted.

The church at Philippi is established. From this seed, others are planted. Like every church it is fragile. Philippi was a strategically important church, light in a very dark place. Churches are strategically important. We are a vital, strategic church to our area, as Philippi was to its area. 95% of people in the UK know nothing about the gospel. Just as Philippi was fragile, so can we be too. The world, the flesh and the devil are out to destroy God’s work.

Paul is writing from Rome to Philippi. As he writes, he writes to you too. Timothy is probably doing the writing, Paul is dictating. It’s a servant leadership – just as Jesus was a servant. They are writing to all the saint in Jesus Christ, it’s a letter to the leadership and to every single person in the church. Paul wants us to see the hallmarks of Christianity – grace and peace (Philippians 1:1). Grace is kindness which we don’t deserve. We should ooze with this. We are trusted with inestimable kindness by God. We should have peace, even though we have rough edges, peace in our own hearts knowing we can trust the God we love. These are the hallmarks of God’s church. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). This is the outworking of grace and peace – the interest of others.

Paul looks back. He pours out his heart to the people he genuinely loves. He’s remembering them with great love and appreciation. He has joy when he thinks of them. He thinks of them and a smile comes to his face. Isn’t that what we, as a church, want to be? The Philippians have sent gifts to Paul and his fellows regularly. Epaphroditus risked all to reach Paul, to support and encourage him. We should be partners with others in the gospel, that’s what the Philippians were, sending support.

Paul also rejoices because God is at work in them. There is a real fellowship. Paul is speaking of a deep knowledge of God, he knows their faith is real, their lives have been turned inside out. He knew they had been born again, so he rejoices.

It’s when you go through personal challenges you grow. Be encouraged – this is when you will grow most! God will take you to a place you never wanted to go – and achieve things you could never achieve.

Paul looks up (Philippians 1:6). There’s an absolute certainty that the work God began will come to completion. He looks up and he rejoices. You and I were lost sheep, in darkness, dead in trespasses and sins. He, in His kindness, began a work in us and will bring it to completion. God works in us. He continues the work. Believe Him, trust Him. We are His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). This should give great encouragement. God is at work in you. Paul is delighted, we should be delighted too because of His glorious work.

Paul looks forward. What does he want for the church to succeed and grow? Love abounding more and more, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment” (Philippians 1:9). Biblical love is not sentimentalism – it’s anchored deeply in the love of scripture and Christ. It’s a wonderful thought that our churches should abound in love. Pray God will help you. Love abounding – with knowledge and all discernment. It’s a love that knows what’s right. Discernment – it is not blind love, it knows what is right and what is wrong. We are encouraged to know what is right and wrong and to prove the things that are excellent. There’s a testing going on. Growing in love is about maturity. We need to be blameless, our characters need to grow.
Don’t get distracted, have your integrity intact. When we make mistakes we should be the first person to say sorry. We should be humble, the first to admit we’re wrong.

We should mature and grow in Christian character, knowledge and discernment. Ask God to help you. Articulate this in your prayers. Be filled with the fruit righteousness produces. They’ll be many and varied. What joy it gives to God’s heart when fruit is produced in your life and mine. Praise God. Be a joy to others, have confidence He will complete the work He has begun, be mature, blameless, growing in maturity, full of integrity, growing in the work of the Holy Spirit.

August 27th 2017: Ian Middlemist

Ian-Aug 27th 2017Romans 5:12-21

Israel has two main bodies of water – in the North is the Sea of Galilee, 13 miles long, 7 ½ miles wide, a well-known fishing area with 22 sorts of fish, as well as lush vegetation on the side and a beautiful, fruitful shore. It is a beautiful body of water. In contrast, 60 miles south lies the Dead Sea, 47 miles long, 9 ½ miles wide, full of salt and mineral but with no life, no vegetation, even the shore is barren. This stark contrast is a portrait of spiritual humanity. One sea is full of life and fruitfulness, the other is death and uselessness. There are two classes of people – those in the person of Adam and those in the person of Christ. Adam represents death and uselessness, Christ leads to life. The two men represent the whole of humanity. It is essential we grasp the central message of the Bible. Believers used to be in Adam but now we’re in Christ.

We are all born in Adam:
Paul examines the consequences of Adam’s sin. Adam serves as our representative. He sinned and this sin was applied to every person who has lived or ever will live. Adam perfectly represents humanity. God chose Adam to be our representative. We are sinful. We should be glad God chose Adam, God always knows what He is doing. Some may say that they don’t want to be represented by Adam, they want to represent themselves. The truth is, if you and I had been in the Garden of Eden, we would have committed exactly the same sin.

Christ is our representative as well, He has acted on our behalf too. Adam sank our spiritual boat but God has thrown our life-preserver to us. Adam served as our representative; we are every bit as guilty as he was. But we’re also guilty sinners because we’ve sinned.

The results of sin:
Even before the 10 commandments, sin had exercised power over humanity. But sin is not imputed when there is no law. Imputed means to charge to one’s account. Sin is there but is not accounted as a legal matter. It cannot be punished if there is no acknowledgement. After Adam, God gave no more explicit commands until the time of Moses. Although people sinned from Adam to Moses, people died because they had sinned in Adam. They shared Adam’s punishment because he was their representative.

In Adam we can see a number of principles in Jesus:
       – Adam and Jesus were both real persons;
      – Adam and Jesus both served as representatives for the whole of humanity;
     –  They both drew the world for themselves, one for evil, one for good;
     – Both effected the course of humanity through one single act (Adam taking the                fruit, Jesus dying on the cross).

Humanity is either in Adam or in Christ, it can’t be in both. Death reigns for all mankind in Adam.

All believers are in Christ:
God’s grace is readily available to those who out their faith in Jesus Christ. The promise of eternal life is a free gift. 7 times grace is mentioned in verses 15-21. Salvation is a free gift, no strings attached.

God’s gift brought life to all who are in Him (v.15). Grace is always more powerful than sin. It is a free gift but it was purchased at infinite cost – it cost God the death of His only Son. To think we can earn grace is an insult. Salvation is freely given to you. What a great cost has been paid for you so you can be rescued from Adam’s domain.

‘For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.’ (Romans 5:17). ‘Reign’ comes from the word ‘king.’ We also think of authority, of influence. All of these words are to be applied to you – for you are in Christ and you are to reign in Christ. We have no idea of the sphere of influence we have. Justification is the beginning of salvation. Sanctification is to bring heaven down to earth, to live as God has called you to live in Christ. God is equipping us to rule the world to come.

Instead of us being condemned eternally for our sins, Jesus was condemned. We don’t realise just how much we have received. It’s been given to us at a great cost. Christ brought freedom to the human race, He signed our liberty with His own blood on the cross. Having trusted the Saviour we have the power to turn from sin and live in Him, to live in righteousness. He is our great emancipator.

October 9th 2016: Gaius Douglas

Our service was led by Gaius Douglas who preached on John 3:17, ‘For God did not send His Son into the world to, condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.’

So often we hear things which are disappointing and we get upset. None of us like to hear we’re wrong, we’ve failed or it’s our fault. We may have received a letter after an interview telling us we have been unsuccessful. Criticism is hard.

When we read this verse we see a different approach; we see a God who does something different. He is different. He doesn’t write us off. The best example in scripture of this is the Lord Jesus Christ saying, ‘Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil.’ (John 6:70). Judas Iscariot had an important position, he was treasurer. He even set out on one occasion to preach and to heal. Jesus never wrote off Judas Iscariot until the Passover. Yet still He knew Judas was a devil. All the way along the Lord showed His grace and mercy to Judas, even though He knew he was a devil. This shows that our God and Father will never write us off.

When we come to this verse it comes out of a conversation with Nicodemus, who wasn’t quite sure who Jesus was. Jesus’ wants to remind us that He is the Lord. Isaiah writes, ‘I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.’ (Isaiah 45:5).

He is the one who breathed the breath of life into man. We are sitting here today because He has given us the ability to sit here and listen. We can do what we do because of God, the Alpha and Omega.

God didn’t send His Son to condemn the world. In this life we see He came in the likeness of simple men, He came in the likeness of sinful flesh. Are we aware of the wonder of who God is? God made us. The God who came from heaven was like one of us, He went through the same problems we are going through. He bore our sins and sorrows, ‘He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.’’ (Isaiah 53:3-4).

He is hearing the comments others are saying, which we may not like. Jesus was despised and rejected by men, even His brothers and sisters didn’t believe Him. The people called Him a Nazarene because He lived in the poorest area. He was hated without cause. He knows what each of us is going through. We see an expression of great love and compassion. He came to us, bore our sin. We were headed for death, separation from God, yet Christ came to save us and take us out of our boxes, from our preconceived ideas, and be put in His box.

God has a path for each one of us to follow. People will despise us but God came for us. We need to trust in Him alone, to follow in His footsteps. Don’t worry about what others are saying about you. ‘The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.’ (2 Peter 3:9).  He will never give up on us.

In John 8 we read of a lady caught in the act of adultery, brought to Jesus Christ by the scribes and Pharisees. She was condemned but the Lord said, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.’ (John 8:7) We have to be careful what we are saying about others. How many stones have we been guilty of throwing? Matthew 7:1 reminds us, ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged.’ We should judge ourselves before we judge others.

We are still in a time of grace and love but one day He will return and judge. He is the judge of all the earth. We are sinners saved by the grace of God. Jesus had every right to cast us out and destroy us but He has saved us. ‘Go, and sin no more.’  (John 8:11). He came to save that the world through Him might be saved. ‘The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10)

Jesus came to reach the unloved, He came to heal. Trust in Him alone. God hears every prayer. One day He will deliver us all into His glory, into His kingdom.

‘Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.’ (Psalm 25:4-5).

Contentment in Christ – whatever our situation

Do you ever think ‘What if’, ‘if only’ or ‘why me?’ I know I ask these questions and all too often! It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking we ourselves can alter and shape the future. We evaluate our situation and if we are not completely satisfied the questions begin. As someone who is far too familiar with the ‘valleys’ in life, the doubts and questions can become burdensome. We’ve been taught that contentment is linked to our accomplishments or accumulation of satisfaction from the world. These questions can never be fully answered and since there is no end to our desires to acquire or do more, the horizon is always moving. We will never experience contentment following this line of thinking.

The true meaning of contentment is being satisfied with what you have and with who you are – right now, always being content that the Lord provides everything you need. Despite the many trials Paul went through he understood how to be content. In Philippians 4:11-13 he wrote,

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Contentment doesn’t have anything to do with external influences; rather it has everything to do with God and how He is moulding us and refining us all for His glory. The good news is that we all can learn how to become fully content with who we are, what we are, and what we’re doing.  Through our relationship with Jesus Christ, we can learn how to be content by thanking God for what we do have instead of focusing on what we don’t have.

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

The key is to be confident in the knowledge you can do all things through Him who gives you strength. This only occurs by faith, moment by moment.

The apostle Paul highlighted the importance of living life as we are called to do. 1 Corinthians 7 verse 17 states ‘Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.’  Paul emphatically states that God has sovereignty over all things and He has assigned each believer with a place in life, and it is from where we are situated now that the Lord will use us. Every day, God places us where we need to be in order to serve Him. Our ‘place’ in this world is not determined by chance, but has been carefully crafted and weaved into a grand design.

So what happens when we reach the valley and all looks bleak? In our own strength we crumble and cannot cope with the burdens of life, but with God everything is possible. We may feel unable to carry on, but the God of the mountaintop is still the same God in the valley.  He is able to remove us from the difficult situation, but that isn’t always helpful. There is always a reason for our circumstances – whether to learn something new or to remold us in Christ. But the most important thing, above all else, our circumstances are given to us to glorify the Lord and become trophies of His grace. God is Sovereign over all things – good and the not so good. The difficulties we experience don’t happen to us by chance, but we know that there is good in every situation. We may not see it immediately and we may ask. ‘Why is this happening?’ but during these times we need to thank God and trust in Him.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  – Jeremiah 29:11

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

Morning Service: Sunday 17th July 2016

Ian-Feb16Our morning service was led by Ian Middlemist who preached on John 4: 15-26, Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman.

The opening verses sought to show how this whole encounter seemed to be choreographed, controlled in some way. The Saviour seems to know more about the lady than He seems initially to let on. Everything that takes place in under control and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

On the surface the woman seems to be using diversionary tactics. Jesus knew she had had five husbands, but she avoids the issue by changing the subject: ‘Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship,’ Jesus is in control of everything and does not allow the woman to divert the conversation. He sees her with absolute compassion and gentleness. The Saviour knows what He is doing in our lives. Sometimes our circumstances seem out of control but the Saviour knows what is happening.

Look at the progression of the argument:
                   verses 1-15:           He shows her the living water
                   verses 16-19:         He shows her the prophet
                   verses 20-24:       The Saviour who makes true, just worship
                                                possible.
                   verses 25-26:       Jesus is indeed the Messiah.

From her perspective:
In verse 15 the woman sees the water is a gift. She didn’t understand the nature of the water the Saviour speaks of, yet she got the concept that if she wanted the water Jesus had to give it to her. In verse 10 Jesus mentioned it was a gift of God. She now asks for the water. She knew it needed to be given as a gift. Jesus now needs to show her two things: she is a sinner and Jesus is the Saviour of sinners. We need to realise that while the Saviour gives, it is a gift – we can bring nothing at all. Jesus is giving the water of life, we just need to be empty and have open hands.

Understanding the nature of the water. The woman must realise her true thirst. Jesus knows her past. Notice the time of day – the 6th hour, midday. It is not the time anyone would go to get water as it is the hottest time of the day. The woman is alone, possibly an outcast of society. It is a painful daily routine she longs to get over. It is right at this point of pain that Jesus meets with her. Jesus asks her to get her husband but there is no-one who will help her. Jesus is moving into her inner life – and that is what the Gospel must do for you. Behaviour and manners are important aspects but the Gospel is so much more interested in our inner life, our heart. Jesus is fascinated with us, what we fill our hours of the day with. The Word of God is cutting us open, exploring us, but not publicly – the woman is safe. Jesus is going to make her feel secure, to make her whole again, at peace, beautiful. Jesus is forcing her to deal with her inside. Her heart has been locked away for so many years. As we go deeper, the Father in heaven draws her, He is seeking her.

The conversation is then directed towards worship. Let’s be a prayerful people and ask that the Saviour does the same for us. Let’s pray that the searching light of the Gospel would search our life, grow in sanctification. Only Jesus Christ can give living water.

Worship. The woman wants to talk about worship but her she is focused on the location of worship, not worship itself. She has just been offered water that will last forever and forever but all she thinks about is the location of worship. This woman’s life has become a life built on externals – she is dead on the inside.

Are you putting the Saviour first or have we allowed other loves to take His place? The issue is not about where we worship but the direction of our worship. This woman found nothing in her husbands. Many people move in different directions, from church to church, from one person to another. Only drinking from the water of life will fill us. Let’s find our salvation in Him. Jesus showed the woman that the water wasn’t based on externals.

‘Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.’ (Revelation 22: 17)

Thoughts for a new month – March 2016

As a new month begins may be have a greater desire to know and worship our Heavenly Father. May we endeavor to  act as it is written in Ephesians 4: 2-3; with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 

We are to continue to grow in Grace. As Christians we will never understand the pain, suffering and humiliation we deserve for our sins as Jesus paid it all. He hung on a cross taking the wrath that was meant for us. We are expected to live holy and Godly lives despite the sinful world we live in.

God’s Grace is truly abundant and is translated as merciful kindness. We should forgive others no matter how painful and difficult, if we want forgiveness ourselves. Holding on to grudges is what Satan wants us to do; he has come to steal, kill and destroy – and we as Christians are his target.

In the race of life, Satan endeavors to rob us of our joy. We are reminded in Philippians not to give in or give up,  God will give us His strength to press on towards the goal. Running the race means growing in Grace.

Pride will keep us from growing because when you pretend that you’ve got it all together you won’t make an effort to become more spiritually mature. No one has it all together – we all need a Saviour!

We need to stop focusing on our problems, worries, and concerns and begin put all our focus on Christ. Pray through our difficulties, for we call out to a Father who listens and cares for us. His grace is sufficient to meet all our needs and more! Sometime our situation may not change immediately as we are being refined and He wants to change us for the better through  these circumstances.

No matter where we are or what happens in our life, what circumstances surround us or situation we find ourselves in, our goal remains the same. The most important reason for our living should be to know Jesus and experience his Grace and love deeper every day.

No one knows how much time we have left in this race on earth. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but what we do know is that we need to keep running and drawing closer to our God.

Here are a few verses to consider and think about this month:

Colossians 3:15 – And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Mark 11:25&26  -And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Psalm 20:4 – May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!

All verses are taken from, The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

 

 

Sunday 10th January 2016 – Morning Service

ian-august 15Sunday’s morning service was taken by evangelist Ian Middlemist who preached from Acts chapter 3, focusing on two of the blessings of God: sins blotted out if we repent and times of refreshing.

Sins blotted out if we repent:

There is no good deed we need to do to accomplish Salvation, we just need to be a sinner and know our need of Jesus Christ. God chooses people such as us, He holds out His grace for us and calls to us to turn and receive His blessings. They are not just one off blessings, they continue on and on. Our sins are blotted out. This speaks of total annihilation (Revelation 3:5). Our names will be in the Book of Life for evermore. God no longer recognises sin in us, it has been blotted out, covered in the blood of Christ. It is costly; Jesus’ death was the most costly (Isaiah 43:25).

We need to turn away from sin. God doesn’t blot out everybody’s sin, there must be repentance. We remember our past sins, the evils committed against us and from us. The devil uses this to dishearten us. When we are filled with doubts caused by the devil, look again to the cross. This is why we come regularly to the Lord’s Table, to remember again His precious love towards us (Psalm 32).

Times of refreshing:

This world makes us weary. We have to be refreshed. God has promised us times of refreshment as we hear the Gospel. The Lord is the source of our refreshment. Turn to Him and then you can face tomorrow. Trust in Christ alone, start trusting in Him. Refreshment is the recovery of breath after exhaustion, it is also the cooling and relief from heat. It is the sense of relief that comes from the knowledge of removal of sin, the removal of guilt. It is spiritual refreshment. Rest in Him. Seek His refreshment.

There is no greater burden on the soul than the feeling of guilt. God has seen our failings and dealt with it entirely appropriately. Hold onto Christ to know His blessings, the times of refreshment. Although the Author of Life was killed, we are still called ‘brothers.’ The Gospel tells us we have total forgiveness.

Sunday 1st November – Morning Service

DafyddMorrisVerse

The message this morning came from Dafydd Morris who preached from Genesis chapter 28 verse 12. He spoke about Jacob, who was born into the most important family on earth. Although a privileged man, prior to his dream of the ladder, Jacob was a godless man. Until the Lord comes into our lives we are ungodly. At this point in Jacob’s life he was spending his first night away from home in the darkness. The darkness outside is the reflection of the darkness inside – until we are saved. Jacob put his head to rest upon a stone, he sought comfort where there was none. He lay down alone, illustrating his vulnerability.

Yet whilst he was asleep Jacob saw a ladder going from earth to heaven. This ladder illustrates that Jesus perfectly spans the gulf between heaven and earth. At Calvary he brought reconciliation. The bottom of the ladder was on earth – it came right to where Jacob was, just as the Gospel comes to us where we are, not where we should be. We are dead in sins and trespasses, we can’t take the first step, it is all of Grace.

The top of the ladder is in heaven. Christ died to bring us to God. The salvation brings us to the place where we need to be, to be in fellowship with God, in the presence of God in prayer.


Jacob learnt by looking at the angels ascending and descending the ladder, that Jesus is the only way to come to God. We don’t come in our own merit, we come through Christ. The angels came down to serve, we also need to serve. Whatever we do we need to ask for the Lord’s help.