October 17th 2019 – Harvest: Alan Davison

Alan Davison-Harvest Oct 19Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.

Harvest is a time of year that means less to us as a society now than it used to. The easy access to food through supermarkets has removed us from the link with farmers. During the time the Bible was written most people depended heavily on farming. Jesus, in His ministry, used many illustrations that came from farming. There are 60 instances of the word ‘harvest’ listed in one concordance. Around half the references are concentrated in the gospels and spoken by the lord Jesus Christ Himself. The Bible speaks of harvest in four main ways; it can be:

  1. A physical harvest
  2. A moral harvest
  3. A spiritual harvest
  4. A final harvest

 

  1. God, as our Creator, knows what we need. Because of His love for us God blesses us with what we need to eat. Mark 4:26-29. We are to labour too. There are things the farmer needs to do – sow, wait and harvest. There are things also out of his control – the seeds growing, weather etc. The labour of men gathers the provision of God. The Bible is clear everything we do comes out of everything God provides.
  2. The Moral Harvest (Hosea 8:7)

Israel once again turned its back against God. The people abandoned the faith it once held. Psalm 73. People in positions of authority have gained illegally at others expense. Frustratingly, while evil may succeed here on earth, there will be a reckoning after death. Our actions will have consequences. We will be called to account before God’s judgement throne, then we will have a moral harvest.

  1. A Spiritual Harvest.

Jesus feeds spiritually. “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” (John 4:34-35). We want to follow our Lord’s command, yet we’re doing so in a culture that has largely rejected God. There is pressure not to evangelise.

  1. A Final Harvest

The Parable of the Tares and Weeds. Jesus tells this parable because He wants to make it clear to people that there will be a harvest at the end of time. The age He refers to is now. It will be the death of all we know now, but also a renewal, new heavens and a new earth. Hebrews 2:14-15. As human beings we should fear death unless we come to Jesus. The author Terry Pratchett was an atheist and advocate of euthanasia. He died in 2015. In 2007 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He includes death as a major character in his writing, portrayed as a rather serious character, the grim reaper. He was quite naïve. Coupled with death he has a portrayal of the afterlife, where everyone goes to the same place, a place of nothingless, where all go, regardless of beliefs. It is a place where there will be no moral harvest. Pratchett was knighted, therefore he needed a family motto. It was ‘Don’t fear the reaper.’ It shows us what the atheist hopes for – nothing. Yet he benefitted from all God provided. He tried to avoid the moral harvest and rejected the spiritual harvest.

Jesus makes it clear there is a final harvest coming. It is vitally important to be a child of God. In this parable the field is the world. What are the implications for the entire world? Jesus sows seeds of righteousness – those who believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour. The devil comes along and sows tares – a weed called darnel. Darnel produces a poisonous fruit. If you eat enough darnel it will be fatal. As it grows it looks just like wheat until the fruit comes. At that point it becomes distinguishable. While a weed, darnel needs to be cultivated alongside crops for it to grow.

Matthew 5:45. God sustains His creation so that even those who don’t believe, continue to live. There are those in our world today who mock God. Jesus continues the parable with telling us the angels (reapers) are to gather the crop. This is Jesus’ focus. At the end of time there will be a separation – only into two groups: one group, children of the wicked one, the other, children of God. The group you are separated to depends solely on your view of Christ. Too many people are convinced there is a third group – agnostics. Look again at scripture. There are only two groups. If you are not God’s, by default you are Satan’s. The children of the wicked one will be cast into fire, into hell. It is Satan who owns them (verse 39-41). They practice lawlessness. This simply means that they rebel against God and His Word. They choose to go their own way, or so they think. Our culture tells us of heaven but not hell. Jesus often spoke of hell, in fact He spoke more of hell than heaven. He tells us there will be a wailing in hell – suffering, and gnashing of teeth – eternal regret. If you have accepted Christ, you are one of the children of God – to be chosen by God, nurtured, kept, and protected by Him. You are adopted into His family, thus having a share in God’s inheritance. You are called righteous. On that final day we will be God’s harvest at the end of the age. Will you be gathered into God’s eternal barn?

Harvest Service: September 28th 2018 Steffan Jones

Steffan Jones Sept 18

Colossians 1:1-23

We take the vastness of the universe, food and all that it provided for us for granted. It is good to stop once a year and thank God for His sustaining provision of this Earth. There are all sorts of reasons to be thankful – for church and its blessings. But let us go deeper. The blessings of this earth will one day cease. We need to consider spiritual blessings.

In Colossians 1 Paul, in prison, gives thanks to God for the church in Colossae – that they love the saints (Christians) around them, they love the church. Give thanks to God for the people He has given you, the people here in Roch who still acknowledge Him as Lord and give light and hope to a dark world. Praise God there are a people here still clinging to the Word of God.

The church in Colossae loved one another. They didn’t just meet one another, they cared and supported one another in all the trials of life and rejoiced in all the blessings of life. They have all things in common. Paul gives thanks there is a church in Colossae and there is love for one another.

Give thanks for a book – the Word of Truth. Paul gives thanks the people have accepted the Word of Truth, the message of the Bible, the 66 books of the Old and New Testament. It is a book which we can all turn to, to find hope, love and forgiveness. The Word of God speaks to our souls and brings light. It makes us wise for salvation.

Paul gives thanks for a place. He gives thanks that the people realise there is a place beyond this world where God dwells – eternity, heaven. The Bible tells us of a place beyond here and now. Our world is a fallen world; there is drought, famine, poverty, death, disease, our bodies waste away, our time in this world will come to an end. We long for something greater. Paul gives thanks that the people know there is an eternity. There is judgement. They will see God face to face.

The people of Colossae have discovered a person. They have faith in Christ Jesus. Give thanks there is a Saviour. The Christians believe in the facts of Jesus’ life. It’s historically accurate, what Christians of the period believe. Jesus was born, grew up in Nazareth and was a teacher who drew crowds with remarkable things. They believe He was raised from the dead. But there is something deeper. They believe in Him and place their faith in Him, accepting spiritual and supernatural. Christ is the creator who was in the beginning, who created all, who created us. But it goes deeper. We acknowledge we need Jesus in our life. Without Him we are in a hopeless position. Christians know about Jesus Christ, they know the history, they know the creator. But there is even more; we know we are sinners who haven’t given Him the thanks that He deserves. We are sinking and need forgiveness. There is an eternal life – heaven and hell. And so we cry out ‘Help, I know who you are, you came into this world, Immanuel. Help, save me, rescue me.’

 Because we’ve asked Him to be our Saviour we know we’re going to heaven, we cherish His Word and worship Him together. Give thanks to Jesus Christ for forgiveness today and hope for tomorrow. We have so many things to give thanks for. Count your blessings. Give thanks for the church which proclaims Him, the Word of God, heaven and Christ Himself.

Contact The Elderly – 1st October 2017

Yesterday we had a wonderful time at our Contact the Elderly UK Afternoon Tea  We enjoyed delicious homemade savouries and scrumptious cakes 🍰 Ian Middlemist spoke on the importance of keeping in contact with the community we are placed in – just as Jesus was part of the community He lived in. At the end of the afternoon the senior citizens were all given Harvest gifts of fruit and vegetables 🍐🍊🌽🥒 

Children’s Club – 29th September 2017

We had a lovely time celebrating Harvest 🍓🥕🍂🌻 The children explored, with awe and wonder, the beautifully decorated chapel before singing and praying to God 🤔🙏🎵This was followed by painting cards before apple and blackberry picking 🎨🍏 Looking forward to all the exciting plans we have in the next few weeks, including a family fun afternoon on Saturday 21st October, 2 p.m. at Victoria Hall and our Light Party on Tuesday 31st at 5.00 p.m. 🎉🎈🕯️😃

Anniversary Service: August 6th 2017

Dave Norbury - Aug 2017

David Norbury

Penuel Chapel will be holding a mission weekend in October followed by a Mission Week next Easter. The EMW has helped 50 churches in mission weeks and all 50 have churches have said they have been felt blessed. It’s a big thing to reach out and go beyond your comfort zone. That’s what we’ll be doing. Everyday should be like a mission. It is challenging.

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The car manufacturer Volvo was the first to invent safety belts in cars. This invention could have made the company millions. However, they gave away the design and patent to everyone. The reason for this, the chairman explained, was that some things are too important to keep to yourself and somethings are too good not to give away. If it’s good enough for safety belts, it’s good enough for the gospel! You can be safe for eternity.

The woman of Samaria: John 4: 1-42

‘A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (John 4:7). When the Lord Jesus was speaking to the woman of Samaria, where were the disciples? Shopping! “For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.” (John 4:8). The Lord Jesus draws into conversation with the woman. Even more interesting, the disciples didn’t come back until after the conversation had taken place. When they returned they saw Jesus speaking to a woman – a woman of ill-repute and a Samaritan.

The disciples’ minds were focused on caring for Jesus, ‘Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” (John 4:31). Then He tells them He has other food, “Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34)

The disciples were not thinking about a Samaritan woman of ill-repute being converted. They couldn’t see the revival happening. Jesus says to them, ‘What are you thinking about? There’s something major happening and you just can’t see it.’ How often have we said, ‘Nothing can happen here.’ God is working in a remarkable way. Sometimes we make excuses – what can one person do? One person is the Samaritan woman and she leads the town! John 4-29 Come see a man

The gospel is the power of God’s salvation. We may say, ‘I’ll speak to someone tomorrow.’ Why not today? We can make excuses, go shopping. We may say, ‘It’s not my gift.’ But we are all gifted with the glorious gospel. 

‘Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.’ (John 4:35).

The Lord Jesus is very clear with the disciples. He understands where they are at. Our God knows what suffering is. He knows our concerns.

Jesus says four things to the disciples:

  • Do not say ‘Not now, in the future…’
    Something is happening today. Do not say Why? What we say is from our hearts. Jesus says, ‘Think differently, change your desire, there’s a harvest out there. Change the way you think.’
  • ‘Look can you see it?’
    You have to start looking in a different direction. The gospel is happening now.
  • ‘Lift your eyes.’
    Change what you see. The Samaritan woman came with all the people.
  • ‘The fields are white for harvest.’
    It’s happening now. The people are coming towards us. Look for God’s blessing.

‘Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.’ (John 4:36). There are wages. Wages are given and fruits are gathered for eternal life. Look at the blessings. In verses 37-38 we see there is a partnership between you, me and the Lord Jesus Christ. We’re not on our own, He is with us. There is a mutual partnership with God.

‘Many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” After listening to Jesus they declare, ‘We know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.’ (John 4:42). What a statement! They didn’t see it before, but they do now. The whole town has been converted. A woman of ill-repute has been converted and brought about a remarkable work.

Matthew 9:35-38: People are like sheep without a shepherd. The Lord of the harvest can change our thinking, change the way we see the lost, even those who despise and look down on us. Pray to the Lord of the harvest. ‘Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.”’ (Matthew 9:37-38).

Jesus speaks to the disciples in helpful ways. The Lord Jesus, as He spoke to the woman, did so in a winsome, loving and caring way. He is transcendent in the way He operates. We need to be winsome – full of grace and truth.

In John 4 verses 1-9 what does the Lord Jesus do?

  • He breaks down the cultural barriers. The Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. Who are the people you think you can’t talk to? He challenges us not to out up barriers. The Lord Jesus asks a simple question. He creates questions. Questions are wonderful. Use questions that you might find interesting. Change the way people think. Be winsome, use wisdom, desire to see people saved. Good questions are so useful – questions about eternity, questions about the gospel.
  • After breaking down cultural barriers, Jesus speaks of a spiritual dimension. The Samaritan woman heard something she had never heard before. Jesus steps into a spiritual relationship (John 4:10-11).
  • The Lord Jesus steps into the gospel (John 4: 10-26). He demonstrates the gospel and ends by gloriously declaring that He is the Messiah.
  • The Lord Jesus steps into a challenge – to the woman and her thinking (John 4:21). We should never be afraid of challenges.

This passage is so rich. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send us to reach out. Take one step to speak to the person across the room. The first step is the hardest. The gospel we have is too good not to give away, too good not to share.

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Harvest: Friday 30th September 2016

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Our Harvest service was taken by Roger Thomas of Aberystwyth, who preached from John 15:8, ‘By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.’

At this time of year we thank God for His goodness throughout the year, but especially now. We are gathered to say thank you, ‘While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease’ (Genesis 8:22). God has kept His promise, He has been good to us.

The portion of scripture this verse comes from is part of the Parable of the Vine, spoken in the Upper Room the night before Jesus was betrayed.

Notice Jesus says, ‘By this my Father is glorified.’ Look at how Jesus refers to God as ‘my Father.’ He is saying He is God’s Son – one of the fundamentals of Christianity. Jesus is God’s Son. Millions of people believe in Jesus – He was a good man – however, few believe He was God’s Son. Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet but not God’s Son. We don’t all worship the same God. The Baptism of Jesus declares Jesus to be God’s Son, ‘And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’ (Mark 1:11) The miracles of Jesus declare Jesus is God’s Son, ‘Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves’ (John 14:11). The transfiguration of Jesus declares Jesus is God’s Son, ‘And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ’This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to Him!’ (Luke 9:35). His resurrection declares He is God’s Son, ‘(He) was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Romans 1:4). It is essential we believe this.

John 3:36 ‘Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remain on him.’ If we reject God’s Son, we reject God the Father.  ‘No one who denies the Son has the Father’ (1 John 2:23).

‘By this my Father is glorified.’ This is our purpose in this world – to glorify God. To glorify God is to praise and to tell others how good God is, not to glorify ourselves or another person.  Matthew 5:16 ‘In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.’

Romans 15: 5-6 ‘May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’

The purpose of the church is to glorify God. Is this true of us? Do we live to glorify God? Are we seeking to glorify God? Psalm 90 tells us that it is the purpose of all creation to glorify God. The psalmist in Psalm 148 tells of the angels, sun, moon, stars and heaven itself all glorifying God. The psalmist calls on the earth to glorify God, including all creatures, even those in the depths of the oceans as well as the weather.

We are told that to glorify God we need to bear much fruit – to do good works and have a godly character. ‘And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God’ (Colossians 1:9-10). ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law’ (Galatians 5:22).

How do we bear this fruit? The Parable of the Vine answers this question. Jesus, as He walked, would often see something and use this to teach. He said, ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing’’ (John 15:5) Here we read of the branches that bear fruit. The branches are Christians, people who believe the gospel.

‘If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you’ (John 15:7). The person who has faith in Christ and who also keeps His commandments is like the branch in the vine, which receives sap and nutrients from the vine and produces grapes. By being in Christ we receive grace and His grace enables us to do the good works. We need to be in Christ by faith, believing in the gospel of repentance. We cannot bear fruit without Jesus Christ. It is the only way to bear fruit. Jesus refers to Himself as the only true vine. There is only one vine that can enable us to live a godly, fruitful life – Jesus Christ. Is there fruit to be seen in our lives? Do we see a godly character, a life of godliness? Are we in Christ? Have we believed the gospel message?

Jesus is God’s Son. He was in heaven with His Father, three in one. We are sinful because of what happened in the Garden of Eden. God has given us His law, yet we can’t keep His law. We deserve to be punished, God has to punish us. Punishment is Hell. But God loves us and doesn’t want us to perish so He sent His Son into the world. He kept the law we broke. On the cross of Calvary He took all our sin upon Himself and suffered the punishment of our sins. He died, was buried and rose again on the third day. This is the gospel message. Go to God, confess your sins. Have we asked God to forgive all our sins?

If there is no fruit in our lives we don’t see a life of godliness but a life where we live for ourselves. We are not in Christ. ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit’ (John 15:1-2).

‘If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned’ (John 15:6). This speaks of separation, of judgement and eternal Hell.

It we see fruit in our lives it is evidence, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come’ (1 Corinthians 5:17).

In the Parable of the Vine Jesus teaches us that God helps us to bear fruit. The Father actively works in us so we can bear more fruit. Our God prunes, cleanses the Christian. How does He cleanse us? ‘’Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you’ (John 15:3). The word cleanses us. This is an encouragement to read the word of God.

Another way He cleanses us is through trials. God allows trials into our lives to change us, to drive us to God in prayer, ‘For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it’ (Hebrews 12:11). ‘Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing’ (James 1:2-4).

‘By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.’ (John 15:8) Do we bear ‘much fruit’? Do we see a godly character in each other? If not, prayer is the answer. Read the word. Ask God for more of His Holy Spirit. Another blessing of being in Christ is answered prayer (verse 7).

In summary, we are to glorify God, bear fruit, indeed, much fruit, by being in Christ.

Why does bearing fruit glorify God? Through our character and deeds, the fruit shows people what God is like. So when people see our gentleness they see the gentleness of God. When they see the way we talk to others, how we behave, they see the character of God. Through God’s grace we become more godly. ‘By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.’ (John 15:8)

 

Harvest Thanksgiving- Thursday 24th September 2015

HarvestThanksgivingVere HarvestThanksgiving

Our guest preacher for this year’s Harvest Service was Reverend Dafydd Taylor of Zion Free Church, Pembroke Dock. He preached on Psalm 67, speaking of our Gracious, Great and Giving God. We were reminded that we are blessed abundantly, we should count our blessings and also be a blessing to others. It was lovely to have fellowship with members from local churches and churches from further afield, including Cosheston, Bethesda Tenby Road, Clarbeston Road, Hill Park, Calvary Haverfordwest and Emmanuel Newport.

DafyddTaylor  HarvestThanksgiving2 HarvestSunflower