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Be Strong in the Lord

Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6: 10-11). This is good advice from St Paul and we would all do well to take notice. The devil is always scheming against the church, trying to disrupt and harm us in our walk with God and each other. Has the devil been at you lately?

Our strength to overcome is not our own. We are to stand in God’s mighty power as we put on His armour. That means we let God rule in our hearts and minds. We put aside our own human will and let the Holy Spirit shape and mold us to be more like Christ. We don’t have to give in to the devil’s schemes, we can be strong in the Lord.

Scripture Readings

1 Kings 8:22-30, 41-43
Solomon’s prayer of dedication

Ephesians 6:10-20
Put on God’s armour

John 6:56-69
Jesus has the words of eternal life

He Chose You

King David celebrated with gusto when the “ark of the covenant” (not to be confused with Noah’s ark) was brought into Jerusalem. The “ark” was extremely important because it was the earthly throne of God, indicating that God was living among His people. But as David celebrated others looked on with disgust.

God always draws a reaction from us; either we love and worship Him or despise and reject Him. Jesus said whoever is not for Me is against Me, so there is no middle ground. David celebrated because he knew the Lord, and we too can celebrate because the Lord has made Himself known to us.

 

Scripture Readings

2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12-19
David rejoices before the Lord

Ephesians 1: 3-14 
Spiritual blessings in Christ

Mark 6: 14-29 
The death of John the Baptist

Love Comes to Life

Jesus was warning the disciples that the time of His crucifixion was near and He would be returning to His Father in heaven and would no longer be with them.

Jesus had taught His disciples so much during the time He was with them, but He had one last commandment for them, and us. Love one another, as Jesus loves you. If you love each other everyone will know that you are Jesus Disciples.

Every one claiming to be a Christian will be seen by others as a person who loves and cares.

Like the stained glass windows come alive with light shining through them, so do we with the love of Jesus in our hearts – for all to see.

 

Scripture Readings

2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10
David becomes king over Israel

2 Corinthians 12:2-10
Paul’s vision and his thorn

Mark 6:1-13
Jesus sends out the Twelve

Jesus Heals and Restores

Jesus was surrounded by a large crowd. People flocked to hear Him and receive ministry from Him. Among them was a man whose daughter was dying, and a woman who had been ill for many years. The man was able to speak to Jesus directly and ask for help but the woman could only reach out to touch His cloak. Both received healing and generous love from the Lord and their lives were changed for the better.

Generous love is God’s gift to each of us. St Paul calls it “grace” and he reminds us that this is what caused Jesus to become poor for our sakes, so that we, through His poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).  What sort of response do we give for such generosity?

 

Scripture Readings

2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27
David mourns for Saul and Jonathan

2 Corinthians 8:7-15
Paul encourages generous giving

Mark 5:21-43
Jesus heals and restores

Continue to live in Him

Jesus gave His disciples quite a few surprises while they were with Him. At different times He healed sick people, gave sight to the blind, helped the lame walk again, fed great crowds, and even calmed a fierce storm on a lake. No wonder they asked in amazement: “Who is this?” It’s also important that we too know who Jesus is.

The most important thing to know about Jesus is that He is our Lord and Saviour. He is the One who paid for our sin when He died on the cross, and He is the One who has given us new life by His own resurrection back to life. But even more important than knowing things about Jesus is knowing Him personally. He is real, and so is the life He gives us.

 

Scripture Readings

Psalm 103:1-17    God’s love for His children

Romans 3:21-26    God’s grace and our faith

Mark 4:35-41   Jesus calms a storm

God speaks to His people

Jesus often used parables to illustrate truths, and stimulate those who were listening to think about what He was saying. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God using parables of the growing seed and of the mustard seed. The truth behind these parables is that from a small beginning the kingdom of God would grow to be experienced by all the world.

The Lord still speaks to His people and we need to listen to what He says. God’s truth is timeless. The message of God’s kingdom and our salvation is as relevant today as it was when Jesus spoke to the crowds by the lake.  We are in the Word, being encouraged to learn it, love it, and live it.

 

Scripture Readings

1 Samuel 16:1– 13    David is anointed as king

2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17  We live by faith, not by sight

Mark 4:26-34  The growing seed

Listen to the Voice

One of the most popular shows on TV at the moment is called: “The Voice”.  It began with four judges listening to people sing without being able to see them, so that the singers were judged only by their voice.

In the Old Testament lesson today, the people of Israel demand to have a king rule over them. Even though God warned them against the idea, they wanted a king because they could see the nations around them had kings. Instead of listening to God’s voice, they could only see what they selfishly desired and it led to trouble.

God still calls us to hear His voice and to see life through His eyes. As we continue 40 Days in the Word, we are learning to listen, and then act upon His Word.

 

Scripture Readings

1 Samuel 8:4-10, 16-20
People demand a king

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
The glory to come

Mark 3:20-35
People question Jesus’ power

Trinity Sunday

The number 40 seems to hold special significance for God. On numerous occasions He took 40 days to prepare someone for a particular task or to achieve something quite remarkable. Think of the great flood – rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights and the earth was transformed. Noah’s life was certainly transformed as well. Or think of Moses who spent 40 days and nights with God on Mt. Sinai. Later he sent men to explore the Promised Land for 40 days.

Goliath taunted the Israelites for 40 days before David faced him, and Elijah spent 40 days in the wilderness after gaining strength from God through a single meal. The entire city of Nineveh was transformed when God gave them 40 days to change their ways. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness after His baptism, and the disciples had 40 days with Jesus after His resurrection. That’s quite a list.

 

Scripture Readings

Isaiah 6:1-8
Isaiah hears the call of God

Romans 8:12-17
We are God’s own children

John 3:1-17
Jesus tells the truth

“I tell you the truth…”

Pentecost 2012

I tell you the truth, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you (John 16:7). Jesus spoke these words to His disciples and it shows He knew that more could be achieved if He went than if He stayed. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit the disciples would take the saving gospel of Jesus to the world.

Today is Pentecost Sunday. We celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. Jesus kept His promise as He always does, and the good news has been proclaimed ever since. The Holy Spirit is still Christ’s gift to the church, leading and guiding us in the ways of the Lord. So we don’t just celebrate a past event, we celebrate a continuing reality.

Scripture Readings

Acts 2:1-21
The Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost

Romans 8:22-27   
The Spirit intercedes for us

John 16:5-15
“When the Spirit comes…”

 

 

What are you like at saying “good bye”?

What are you like at saying “good bye”?  Jesus knew that the time had come to say good bye to His disciples so He took them to the Mount of Olives, near the village of Bethany, and there He blessed them. While He was blessing them He was taken up into heaven to be at the “right hand of the Father”. In other words, He resumed His place as Lord of all creation.

But Jesus did not leave the disciples alone. He promised to send them the Holy Spirit and He also promised that He would be with them, watching over them to the very end of time. Jesus still sends the Holy Spirit and He is still with us in the same way today. What a privilege to know that the Lord cares about us so much.

 

Scripture Readings

Acts 1:1-11
Jesus returns to His rightful place

Ephesians 1:15-23
Christ is supreme Lord over all things

Luke 24:44-53
Jesus commissions and blesses His disciples

Come for a Chat & Cuppa

In the hall after each worship.
EVERYONE WELCOME

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