Thursday 26th January 2023

Romans 6:5-14

V5 we must die to self so we can live for Christ

V6 we are no longer slaves to sin – so we have power to change by the grace of God

In John 15:9 God loves us and wants to abide with us. v7 if we love him we will obey his commands and abide in him. In obeying and abiding there is fruitfulness and joy v7-8

The Christian who has assurance of sins forgiven. Who abides in Christ and through which has a firm and strong relationship with their heavenly Father can fully rely upon Him and his word to allow the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in their life are able to let go and trust God and wholly embrace Gods plans and purposes.

 We can then become the light of the world by;

Living and walking with the Holy Spirit Gal; 5:16-

  • The 7 priorities of Eph;4:1-16
  • The Christians character v1-2
  • The Christians unity v3-6
  • The Christians salvation v7-8
  • The Christians hope v9-10
  • The Christians leadership v11-12
  • The Christians earthly goals v12-13
  • The Christians security 14-16 

Choosing to live by Gods standards Eph; 4:17-32 

Choosing to live with a Christ like mind set Phil; 2:1-18

Choosing to put off and put on Col; 3:1-17

Choosing to be positive 1Thess; 5:16-18

Choosing to live in harmony 1 Peter 3:8-12 

Acts 10:38 tells us that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. And how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil because God was with him.

Is this not how we the Church, the body of Christ should be the light in our community’s. We should be setting the atmosphere not just measuring it. Be a thermostat not a thermometer. 

Thursday 19th January 2023

Romans 6:1-6

Paul is talking about sin and grace. 

What is sin, the word sin in the Greek is hamartia/hamartio, meaning to miss the mark, to be offensive, a tragic flaw.

Christ died on the cross to deal with sin once for all time. We find redemption from sin through Christs atoning death on the cross

In Gethsemane Jesus prays Father if it be they will let this cup pass from me, never the less your will not mine be done. It was not just the horror of the roman crucifixion that he was seeking to pass by him but the cup of sin the sins of all mankind concentrated into that cup. 

Christ the sinless son of God became the sins of all the world. He had to bear our sins on the cross to die in our place. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:22 

God made him who had no sin to be sin for that in him we might become the righteousness of God. niv

The thing about this verse is how we have, to help with the grammar inserted two words that are not in the original Greek. there is no ‘to be’ in its original text it reads …made him who knew on sin, sin for us….

He made him sin “period” it was not a token act. Christ took our sin and made it his very own.

We all sin even after we have come to Christ a true believer does no set out to sin but we are human and so fail. Jesus taught us to pray …forgive us our sins as we forgive others… he knows we will but his grace enables us to find forgiveness. 

In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says behold I stand at the door and knock if any one hears my voice and opens the door I will come in…

Notice the words …hears my voice… not hear my knock which we would think he would mean. So what is he saying? see in verse 19 …repent and do again the works you did at first.

When we get it wrong like the church in Laodicea, we need to repent the word means to think again, to think differently with remorse. We need to think the way God does and so we are enabled to live a Godly life. Repentance is an on- going process in our lives.

We must also Forgive. Jesus at the end of the Lords prayer in Matt;6:14 says …for if you will not forgive others their sin your heavenly father will not forgive you!

No matter how difficult it is, at some point no matter how hard, we must as Jesus says, forgive.

First we come to think Gods way (repent)

Then we chose to make the decision to forgive

The next step no matter how we may feel we speak out I forgive

This then starts a process that will by Gods grace and power we are able to let go. The word forgive means to cast off.

Corie Tenboom said unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Forgiveness is not letting the other person off or making out it did not matter. 

It’s about setting yourself free.




Thursday 12th January 2023

Seven pillars of the NT church

1 they were Christ centred

 Acts 1:1 all that Jesus began to do and to teach

The centre of everything the early church did was Christ focused – acts 4:33 with great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ

Is my faith Christ centred or me focused?

2 they were united

Acts 1 to 7 when Christ is central we become united around him. When we lose sight of Him other things bring division

Unity enables us to deal with difficulties Acts 6:1-7

Phil; 2:3 death to self-centeredness and alive to Christ Phil; 2:3- seek the fruit of the spirit Gal; 5:22

3 They were praise, prayer and worship driven

Acts 1:14; 2:1-2; 3:1; 4:23

How is my prayer, praise and worship life?

4 They answered the questions the people were asking

 Acts 2:12 The people asked what is this? What must I do?

The church has been good at answering questions no one is asking. 

What are the questions people are asking today?

5 They were people focused 

Acts 2:44-47; 4:32 they cared for the needs of people the church was the first to develop social care

How do we show care for those around us?

6 They had empowered living

Acts 3:1-

The holy spirit is more than spiritual gifts. He empowers our inner life and character Gal; 5:22

They were empowered to care for the world around them. (un wanted baby’s were taken and brought up as their own)

7 they were prolific in persecution 

Act 4 :1; 7:1- ; 8:1- after Stephens martyrdom the church was scattered and preached as they went

How do we cope with persecution?




Welcome to our Prayer Meeting

Today we are spending time worshipping the Lord and hearing from Him as we look towards 2023

It is our “Meet the Lord” morning !

Here are two devotionals to help us as we seek to draw nearer to Jesus in 2023 :

PSALM 27:4 ( Read )

This is a psalm that declares God's faithfulness as David writes about his confidence and trust in God ( v1- The Lord is… so there is nothing to be afraid of ). He was pursued, attacked, threatened Yet his trust was in God. 

 In the midst of fear and heartbreak, David has this one request : 

Verse 4- David as a worshipper expresses the ‘one thing’ he desires of the Lord. His ultimate desire is to be with God. This is what he craves from God.  

David understands that the relationship he has with God is not about duty. His relationship with God is about delight. 

It is so easy to become so busy or consumed with serving God that we lose sight of the One, Jesus, we are serving

*What David greatly longs for is to dwell in the house of the Lord so he can linger in awe,…to find that place of closeness and intimacy with the Lord. It's in this relationship of  putting Jesus first we find peace, protection and provision (v5)

*His heart's desire is to gaze or behold God's beauty - His splendour, grace - to say “God you are beautiful in Your holiness and majesty…” to worship the Lord. 

And because the Lord’s beauty attracts him, this causes him to respond.

*His response : David wants to seek God in his temple. He longs to be surrounded with God's presence… in close relationship with the Lord. 

This is what our hearts are designed for. We were created for this and therefore this is where we find ultimate fulfillment. It is the main thing

It's in His presence we receive godly wisdom, we learn of God's will and we see life from His perspective. This shows our total dependence on God and not our selves. It shows that we need God more than anything. He is all we need  

What is your goal for the New Year 2023 ? 

What is your one, single desire or request as you look forward to 2023? 

Are there idols of the heart that are trying to compete for attention ?

Prayer point :

May we echo these words of David. May we look to God, not as a means to an end, but as the end. 

May we actively worship Jesus, gaze upon His beauty and splendour and so find fulfillment and see things from His perspective.   


Galatians 5:16-26

 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[a] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

We live in a world of darkness, deception, disillusionment, depression and all the other negative Ds you can think of!  We know that Jesus is not only the reason for the (Christmas) season but the answer to life. John 10:10 abundant life as he promised.

The church is the light of the world and we are the light in the Church as we are the Church. The world is looking and seeking and we need to 

 walk by the spirit v16 

Led by the spirit v18 

Keep in step with the spirit v25 

Then we will produce the fruit of the spirit (see also 2 Peter 1:3-11)

Two key actions we can take to get in step with the spirit is Repentance, (choosing to think Gods way) and Forgiveness

As we start a new year maybe it would be a good opportunity to do some soul searching and pray into two areas of life

Lord are there areas of my life you would want to change? 

Lord are there people I need to forgive?

If you come up with none maybe you’re not being honest with yourself!!! 


BIBLE STUDY, Thursday 15th December 

The attributes that have travelled through time.

ISAIAH 9 1-7

  • When Isaiah stood and spoke his world was in darkness. 
  • The Assyrians had invaded and the people were oppressed, bankrupt and fearful. 
  • Matthew 4 tells us The people WHO SAT IN DARKNESS have seen a great light and upon those who sat in the region and SHADOW OF DEATH, light has dawned.
  • Those words are describing the world in which Isaiah addressed the people.
  • A child was the opposite of what they expected


The light is coming in the form of a baby “For unto us a child is born…”

Five words which describe this child. It builds up a picture.

  1. Wonderful……it’s about WHAT HE DOES

His birth was a miracle, miracles all around him, his resurrection…

His life was full of wonder…. The shepherds wondered, Mary wondered, the Kings wondered……  Luke 2 9, Luke 1 29  Matt 2 10

A: Do you have an example of when life was dark and  he did something wonderful for you?

(Find verses which promise you that).

  1. Counsellor  ……it’s about WHAT HE SAYS

He spoke to the storm, His words brought life to the dead, they gave freedom to the oppressed.

The world’s advice is often opposite to what really works. it’s fine for everyone to put themselves first, the victim culture, the offence culture

HE speaks the truth. He is the bottom line for us.

B: Do you have an example of when God spoke clearly to you to show you the way?

(Find verses which promise you that).

  1. Mighty God…….It’s about WHO HE IS

Jesus brought heaven to earth.  He is the Son but he was also mighty God.    Our mighty God walked the earth. 

If you saw the Queens funeral the last act was to remove her crown, her orb and her sceptre. She became one of us.

But HE will never become one of us. He will never lose his kingship.

C: When was the last time you became overawed with the mighty-ness of God?

(Find verses which fill you with awe).

  1. Everlasting Father……it’s about WHERE HE IS

He is eternal. He holds eternity in his hands.  Whatever is happening in this earth there will come a day when you will walk into heaven…..

D: When you arrive in heaven, when you’ve spent time with Jesus, what will you do next?

(Find verses which help you imagine heaven).

  1. Prince of Peace…’s about WHAT HE BRINGS

The world says get what you can. Me time. Put youself first. Look after number one, you deserve it…. Attitude of entitlement….

Jesus washed their feet, loved the outcast, had tea with the tax collector, saved a place in heaven for the thief. 

E:  In an atmosphere of war, He brought peace to people’s lives. 

     How has he brought peace to your life in a hard situation?

(Find verses which promise you that).

Conclusion: He is WONDERFUL and because of what he does you have life

He is COUNSELLOR and because of what he says you have life

He is MIGHTY GOD and because of who he is you have life

He is EVERLASTING FATHER and because of where he is you have life

He is PRINCE OF PEACE and because of what he brings you have life

These attributes have time travelled to today and they are for us to share.

They have come so many miles over so many years. 

Don’t waste them. SHARE THEM.        Amen. 

Thursday 8th December 

Bible Study 



Romans 5:12-21 brings a closing and compelling evidence that all mankind are sinners and fall under God's grace and therefore should seek salvation in Christ.

Who is responsible for bringing sin into the world (Romans 5:12)? See also Genesis chapters 2 and 3.

What sign or evidence is there that everyone has sinned (Romans 5:12)?

Romans 5:12, 16 “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned, the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.”

The Bible teaches that we were all born sinners and conceived in sin as David writes “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5) but again, the good news is that “the free gift following many trespasses brought justification” through His blood.

Was there sin before the Old Testament Law was given by Moses around 2000 B.C. (Romans 5:13)?

How do we know this (Romans 5:14)?

Who is Adam said to be a type for (Romans 5:14c)? 

How is the gift of God different than the result of the one man’s sin (Romans 5:16)?

Romans 5:17 “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.”

What does it mean that we reign in life?

Through this one man’s trespass or sin (Adam) death came even though God warned Adam that “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen 2:17b). Adam did die; not immediately but eventually because the wages of our sins is death (Rom 6:23a). Wages are paid for services rendered and the rendering of the wages we earned was death but the free gift of God allows us to receive eternal life (Rom 6:23b) and it is through, once again, the “free gift of righteousness…through the one man, Jesus Christ.”

Romans 5:18-19 “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”

It only took one sin to lead Adam into condemnation and this condemnation passed unto all men but then the one act of righteousness led “to justification and life for all men.” That one act was displayed at the cross and his life’s blood justified us and by this “one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”

If we know sin is all around us by the presence of death, what then is the mark or sign of God’s grace in a Christian’s life (Romans 5:21)?

2. How many times is the phrase ‘the many’ used in Romans 5:12-21? 

What is the significance of this? Please refer to Isaiah 53:1-12 (especially 10-12).

Bible Study

Thursday 1st December

ROMANS 5:1-5

Romans 5:1-5 NIV

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

The first word in this chapter is “Therefore”. According to the dictionary the word “therefore” means “consequently” or “for that reason”. Question: For what reason?

In the first four chapters of Romans, Paul announced that the gospel is a message about the righteousness of God being given to people because of Jesus Christ. First, Paul described the problem: Everyone deserves to die because we all fall short of what God wants.
Then Paul described the solution: The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a gift, not a result of us keeping laws. In chapter 4, Paul proved this with the example of Abraham, who was declared righteous by God on the basis of faith before the laws were given. Salvation is by grace and faith, not by law or works.

So, what are the benefits of being justified (in God's eyes “just as if I'd never sinned”) by faith?

Peace with God V.1

Why is peace so important?

People will never be at true peace with someone else until they can be at true peace with themselves, and we can never truly be at peace with ourselves until we are at peace with God. God gives us peace with Him when we come to Jesus for salvation. And this is true peace - not just a cessation of hostility or an inner sense of calmness. This is true harmony and actual well-being, more akin to the Hebrew idea of shalom (peace) - wholeness.

Grace in which we now stand V.2

What is grace and what does “in which we now stand” mean?

Grace (charis) is a powerful word in Greek. It refers to a beautiful quality in someone that brings delight to others. Over time, it came also to refer an actual favor or gift that was given to someone without expectation of anything in return. And that's the perfect definition of salvation! What could we possibly give God in return for the gift His Son Jesus?

To stand in grace means we are totally and irrevocably secure in Jesus Christ. It is our legal position before God to which we have gained access by our faith. When Paul says that we stand in grace, he implies that we can remain in this state.

Hope in the glory of God V.2

Paul says we can “boast” in this hope. (Some translations “rejoice”)

Isn't boasting something a Christian shouldn't do?

The concept of boasting is found frequently in both the Old and the New Testaments. The object of boasting determines its nature. If it is God or the commendable qualities of others, then boasting can be described as proper; if it is wrongly applied to oneself, then it is improper. The Hebrew word mahalal is sometimes translated "boast." The basic meaning of the word is "to praise," as in the English word "hallelujah, " which means "praise Yahweh." The Greek word kauchaomai [kaucavomai] ("to vaunt oneself") is used in the New Testament. Like its Hebrew counterpart, it is used in both a good and a bad sense.

Boasting about God is one of humankind's most profitable activities. Jesus told the woman at the well that the Father seeks our worship (John 4:23). Both anthropologists and psychologists tell us that human beings invariably imitate what they worship, so the end result of boasting in God is the sincere aspiration to be like him (2 Corinthians 4:18).

So what does it mean to boast “in the hope of the glory of God”?

When Paul uses the word "hope" in Romans, it's important to understand the term. He's not talking about something that might happen, something like, "I hope I get a present for my birthday." Instead, "hope" in a Biblical context means looking forward with

expectation to something, even though we can't see it, yet. It's a certainty. Therefore we can rejoice knowing we have the absolutely certain hope of participating in the glory of God forever. Paul wrote previously that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). God's glory is Himself and all that is His. Now that we have been justified and our sins forgiven, we will experience God's glory fully and forever. Hallelujah!

We can glory (or rejoice) in our sufferings V.3

This affermation could sound masochistic! Rejoicing in sufferings? Nobody wants to suffer, right? We spend all our time avoiding suffering.

In what way does suffering produce patience, perseverance, character, and hope?

Patience: The quality or virtue of patience is presented as either forbearance or endurance. In the former sense it is a quality of self- restraint or of not giving way to anger, even in the face of provocation; it is attributed to both God and man and is closely related to mercy and compassion.

Perseverance: Perseverance means being persistent despite the difficulties or delays we face. The Bible teaches us to persevere in faith, trusting God to fulfill his promises. When we face difficulties we can trust that God understands our situation and sees our distress.

Character: Character is who we are because of our relationship with Christ. It is something that can be built and learned as we follow Him. Furthermore, genuine Christian character is not just about our personality or our disposition. It is a description of who we are as Christians and what we are called to be in our entirety.

Hope: Hope does not imply uncertainty or lack of assurance. Instead, biblical hope is a confident expectation and desire for something good in the future.

Therefore we can rejoice not only in hoping for future glory, but we rejoice now, even when things are not going well for us.
We may not rejoice 
because of our sufferings, but we can rejoice in

them. Trials and difficulties help us grow in determination to endure, and in our character, our consistency in doing the right thing even in difficult circumstances. If we stay on the right path, we can be confident that we will get to the goal. Our source of confidence is not in ourselves, but in what Jesus is doing in us.

Love V.5

Love, as always, ties everything together. Here Paul is talking about agape love.
In Greek”agapē”. In the New Testament, this word refers to the fatherly love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God. In Scripture, this is the highest form of love. In John 3:16, agape is the word used for the love that moved God to send his only son for the world’s redemption. The term necessarily extends to the love of one’s fellow humans, as the reciprocal love between God and humans is made manifest in one’s unselfish love of others.

What does “hope does not put us to shame” mean?
Some versions translate “hope does not disappoint” which renders this verse clearer.
So why does “hope not disappoint”?

God's love (agape) has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. The word “pour” implies abundance – not just a trickle – and this comes through the Holy Spirit – the third person of the Trinity - whom God has given to us.

God did not stop with justification. That would have been enough (more than enough). But He went on to "overfill our cups" by then pouring His love into us by the Holy Spirit who now indwells every believer. When you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within you, reminding you of the unparalleled benefits of being justified in Jesus.

So, to sum up these verses, we have peace with God (V.1). This peace, as well as access to grace, has come through Jesus Christ (V.2). We can rejoice in our sufferings as they lead us to hope (Vv. 3+4). Moreover, God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (V.5). The Son gives us access to God’s glory and the Spirit pours out God’s love for us.


Welcome to our Prayer Meeting today 

Here are some devotional notes and prayer points to guide us in this precious time of prayer :

PSALM 1:1-3 ( READ)

We all long to be blessed - to be content and fulfilled. Yet we don't always experience this. And we then ask the “Why” question. Is it because we live in a fallen world ? Is it that the real enemy ( Satan ) is trying to bring defeat ? Is it because we tend to trip over our own sins and struggles as we strive to do things our way ? All these might be true for us  

Here we see the psalmist reminds us, as believers in Christ, how we can live out this blessed ( content and fulfilled ) life. This is especially relevant as you try to navigate through your circumstances and challenges and the cares of this world

The blessed life is not experienced by keeping company with or taking advice from ‘the wicked, sinners, and scoffers’. These are people who actively pursue evil and wrongdoing. Evil is their way of life. 

We can share God's love and point them to Jesus. As a believer in Christ, we must be careful that we are not tempted down the path of evil doers. We don't follow the standards of the world which is increasingly seeking to leave God out of their lives and mock the holy things of God 

The blessed life - the full, contented and happy life- is experienced in its fullness as we keep company with the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a vast difference between the blessed life we have in Christ Jesus and what the world offers for contentment. The truth is we we have a wonderful relationship with Him. We are to spend time with Him, talking and listening to Him.

In verse 2 the psalmist  says the blessed life is experienced when we DELIGHT in the God’s Word and MEDITATE on it day and night. The Word captures your attention and affection.

When we delight in the Word this means we find pleasure in it. You love it and live it !

We long to have a desire for more and more. It's like the Father giving you His child a refreshing drink every time you read His Word. You crave, are hungry/ thirsty for more because nothing else will satisfy. Your desire for more of Jesus who is the Living Word increases. You want to encounter Him more passionately. You are so close to your Saviour and His life radiates through you to others

And this nourishes, sustains, and produces spiritual fruit in every season. This brings spiritual maturity, stability and success according to God's standards. 

PRAYER POINT - that we will cease striving to experience a blessed life in our own strength 

                         -that Jesus will become our greatest desire, know Him more and to be satisfied/ fulfilled in Him


Matthew 5:10-12 NIV

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

What a wonderful prospect for us Christians (ironically speaking of course!)
But Jesus says that we are BLESSED when we are persecuted because of righteousness.

The persons labelled “blessed” by Jesus represent a counterculture exhibiting values not typically welcomed by people of the world at large. All the Beatitudes demonstrate God’s reversal of the world’s values, but perhaps none so markedly as this eighth one. How can being persecuted be “blessed”? Persecution is never pleasant but involves suffering and often severe pain. The key is Jesus’ qualification that the blessed persecution comes “for righteousness’ sake.”

Righteousness means more than just “being a good person.” It refers to a complete orientation of life toward God and His will. This kind of righteousness is highly visible: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14–16).
To endure persecution for the sake of righteousness requires uncompromising faithfulness to God despite every threat and pressure.

Matthew 24:9 NIV

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”

An even more wonderful prospect for us Christians!


We will be hated by ALL nations because of our faithfulness to Jesus.
A few years ago this situation was mainly seen in Communist countries, but nowadays it is everywhere – even in the UK, USA and Europe – so-called Christian countries.

Christianity is no longer seen as a way of life to be lived and respected, but more as a threat to all kinds of non-Christian behaviour – whatever that may be.

But we know that in certain parts of the world our brothers and sisters are really suffering for their living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, risking imprisonment, torture and death.
Let us pray for them today, being totally aware that the same thing could happen to us as Christians, even in the not too distant future.

4 ways to pray for the persecuted church. (World help)

1. Pray that the persecuted Christians will feel the comfort and encouragement of the Lord

2. Pray that their persecutors will come to know Christ

3. Pray that in the midst of persecution, the church will be strengthened and continue to grow

4. Pray that these believers will have access to God’s Word

and let's pray for ourselves that should we ever find ourselves in a situation of persecution we may rejoice and be glad, knowing that great is our reward in heaven.


Shine Your Light

“Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.”

‭‭John‬ ‭12‬:‭35‬-‭36‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 12:46, NIV).

Light is always stronger than darkness. Because of this, we don’t need to fear or condemn a dark world; rather, we need to go into that world and radiate the hope, grace, mercy, love, justice, and truth of Jesus!

It will take each of us personally rising up and shining our light to defeat the darkness. And the size of your audience isn’t significant compared to the weight of God’s calling on your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re speaking to one person or thousands. He just needs you to be available, ready to reveal His light to those around you.

Today we thank you Lord for hope

Jan Struther wrote the following in 1931

which was then turned into a well known hymn.

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,

whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy,

be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,

your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,

your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,

be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,

your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

As witnesses we need to be salt and light in our community, My prayer for us is found in Romans 15 v13 (NIV)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”


What is the story behind?

1 My hope is built on nothing less

than Jesus' blood and righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

but wholly lean on Jesus' name.


On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand:

all other ground is sinking sand;

Worship and Rejoice (2003)

Edward Mote was a pastor and hymn writer. Born in London on 21 January 1797, his parents managed a pub and often left Edward to his own devices playing in the street. Speaking of these childhood years he once said, "So ignorant was I that I did not know that there was a God." Wikipedia

What does the Bible say about hope?

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23). 

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19, NIV).

As Brian Johnson and Phil Wickham wrote, one of my current favourite hymns.

How great the chasm that lay between us

How high the mountain I could not climb

In desperation, I turned to heaven

And spoke your name into the night

Then through the darkness

Your loving kindness

Tore through the shadows of my soul

The work is finished, the end is written

Jesus Christ, my living hope

Who could imagine so great a mercy?

What heart could fathom such boundless grace?

The God of ages stepped down from glory

To wear my sin and bear my shame

The cross has spoken, I am forgiven

The king of kings calls me His own

Beautiful savior, I'm yours forever

Jesus Christ, my living hope

Hallelujah, praise the one who set me free

Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me

You have broken every chain

There's salvation in your name

Jesus Christ, my living hope

Then came the morning that sealed the promise

Your buried body began to breathe

Out of the silence, the roaring lion

Declared the grave has no claim on me

Jesus, yours is the victory

Let’s pray that God may use us in our community. 

I’ve been reminded of this Bible verse many times over the past 50 years. A young pastor shared it with us.

“There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.”

‭‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬-‭8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 May we be lights here in Playa Blanca. Amen

Thursday 17th November 2022 

Romans 4:13-25 Bible Study: A Picture of Salvation Through Faith amplifies how Abraham's faith saved him and believers from all nations.

What was the promise to Abraham and his descendants (Romans 4:13)?

What does the Law do (Romans 4:15)?

For what reason was salvation (God’s promises) by faith rather than by Law (Romans 4:16)?

How is God, the giver of promises, described in verse 17?

What was the promise given to Abraham, or at least the portion quoted here (Romans 4:18)?

Describe the steps of Abraham’s faith during the crisis time (Romans 4:19-21)?

Step #1 (Romans 4:19)

Step #2 (Romans 4:20) 

Step #3 (Romans 4:21)

To what degree was Abraham sure that God would accomplish what He had promised (Romans 4:21)? (Circle the right answer).

not sure a bit sure fully assured

What was the result of this kind of faith (Romans 4:22)?

For whom was the OT phrase written, “It was reckoned to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:23-24)?

What do they need to believe (Romans 4:24)? 

What promises of God have you received?

Which ones have you struggled with?

Why was Jesus raised from the dead (resurrected) (Romans 4:25)?

Thursday 10th November 2022 

Romans 4:1-12 Bible Study

Romans background. Who was Paul?

This is his gospel treatise. What is the difference between this and the 4 gospels?

Paul argues from the Old Testament. That is the Bible at the time. 

What are the salient facts about Jesus' life that Paul assumes we know?

Summary of Romans Chapters 1-4: Justification Is Necessary

After Paul gives his opening address, he gets right down to business with the remainder of chapter 1 to show how the Gentiles are in sin and require justification and salvation. Having established that the Gentiles are in sin, Paul in chapter 2 goes on to explain that the Jews also are in condemnation and sin because of their unbelief in the Gospel.

In chapter 3, Paul concludes that no one is righteous, if they are seeking justification on their own terms. He states that all have sinned, both Jews and Gentiles, and that all mankind requires justification because of their sins.

The Jew’s religion (at this point it was no longer the religion of God) had devolved into a system of salvation by works. They believed that in the outward display of keeping to the tenets of the Law of Moses they could merit salvation.

In chapter 4, Paul uses the example of Abraham to show proof that one does not have to be circumcised or be under the Law of Moses to be justified. Abraham’s obedience and faith – before he was under the covenant of circumcision – was accounted unto him for righteousness. God kept His promise to Abraham because of his faith.

This passage provides illustrations of Old Testament characters who were saved by faith thus demonstrating how salvation comes to us in the same way in both Old Testament and New Testament times.

Which forefather of the Jews is mentioned in verse 1?

Read the Genesis 15:6 Old Testament passage quoted in verse 3.

God counted Abraham as not just innocent, but righteous. In what ways is being accounted righteous being better than regarded as just innocent?

When one works, his wage is considered (Romans 4:4):(Circle the right answer.) a) a favor, gift b) what is deserved

The Bible tells us God is no man's debtor. Yet some people say they feel God owes them. What do you say to people like that? Allow God to search your heart. Do you feel God owes you something?

What kind of people does God justify (Romans 4:5)?

What famous Jewish ancestor is mentioned in Romans 4: 6? 

What word did David use to describe the benefit of receiving forgiveness of sin (Romans 4:6-8)?

Was Abraham considered or declared righteous before or after he was circumcised (Romans 4:10)?

What is circumcision a sign of (Romans 4:11)? 

What kind of people does Abraham become the father of because of their faith in Jesus?

Romans 4:11

Romans 4:12 

Bonus question on Romans 4:1-12

What do you answer those who say, “Salvation is too easy. It should cost something.”



Welcome to the meeting today. 

Two weeks ago we discussed the topic of  Loss and Grief

Today we are studying two passages from the Bible as a basis for the following  topic :  

‘Moving Forwards From Grief to Hope’

AIM - to encourage each other and find strength and embrace the hope we have as believers as we navigate through loss, grief and suffering. Whatever situation you find yourself in, it is worth looking at it through the lens of our ultimate hope in Christ.

Introductory comments :

Loss is inevitable and and nothing prepares you for it. With loss comes grief. Grief is the natural part of the healing process when a loss occurs. So it is a process that cannot be rushed. Yet in engaging in this process, we can move forward in life with hope

>1 Thessalonians 4 :13-18 ( READ )

The apostle Paul is encouraging the new church at Thessalonica as it thrives despite persecution. He writes this letter to encourage new converts in their trials and to give assurance concerning the  future of believers who die before Christ  returns. The Christians there were anxious about their Christian friends who had died - ‘would they miss the blessings of Christ's coming ?’

In this first passage, Paul is giving the Thessalonians ( and us too ) permission to grieve . It's ok to acknowledge the pain we feel in the face of death of a Christian loved one ( or other loss ). 

V13:  How are believers in Christ to grieve when death occurs ? Paul wants the believers to understand that how we grieve when a believer dies is different to an unbeliever. 

>Believers are to grieve with hope . Hope relates to what God says He will do in the future

**Note the phrase ‘sleep in death’ - a common metaphor relating sleep with death. Here it is a fitting illustration as sleep is a state where people are at rest but will eventually wake up. Believers will eventually awake to eternal life through faith in Christ.

Because of Jesus, we don't have to endure grief without the promise of hope. 

According to one Bible teacher, Christian grieving has three parts to it :

1- we look back with thankfulness for all that God has given

2- we look around with sadness because of what God has taken

3- we look forward with hope because of what God has promised ( unlike those non- Christians )

V14-17: What reasons for Christians to have hope are mentioned here that all believers in Christ can embrace ?

Jesus died and rose again 

Loved ones  who have died in Christ will come with Jesus when He comes in power and glory 

V17- What will happen to  believers who are still alive ? They will be caught up together with those who are already with the Saviour in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air/ to be with Him

Paul uses the truths of Christ's return as a means of comfort for those new Christians at Thessalonica 

What a marvellous reunion awaits when Jesus gathers us !

Christ’s return will bring relief from pain, sorrow and grief. 

Christ’s return will bring reunion in a supernatural, miraculous moment

>Revelation 21:1-7( READ )

 John the apostle shares the prophetic visions given by God to him . He receives breath-taking revelation of the new heaven and the new earth in the future ,unveiling God’s ultimate intentions for His people

V3-5 : How do these promises ( “the no mores”) give you hope, comfort and help you to persevere?

V3-God desires a relationship with us to the extent that one day He will make His home with us 

V4- God will bring about the change that will see no more tears, mourning and pain for example. V5- The One seated on the throne will make all things new, including you.

Conclusion - God's Word reminds us of a fundamental key to coping with grief : hope. Believers in Christ passes into eternal life and into God's presence. That hope is the foundation on which  we can encourage each other and ourselves when we struggle with loss, grief and pain in this life.


**1 Thessalonians 4:18 ..Let’s follow Paul's instructions here to encourage each other that Christ will come back for us 

**Tip to acknowledge your sorrow and focus on hope :- spend a few minutes and pray. Tell God how bad your pain is and thank Him for the hope of you have because of Jesus

There is no better remedy for a troubled heart than to remember that Jesus Himself will come and get us

**Live with a posture of expectancy and proper anticipation of Christ's return



Welcome to our Prayer Meeting today

Devotional thoughts :

In Mathew chapter 6, Jesus continues His teachings on the ‘Sermon on the Mount.” One of the most popular verses is found is v 33 . Jesus says, But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Jesus directs our focus and attention to what God the Father considers to be the most important goal you can have. 

Jesus’ clear command is that we should not worry about our life, as we read in earlier verses ( v25) Through a series of beautiful examples,Jesus shows how the Father cares graciously about the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. And then Jesus reminds the crowds that they are infinitely more precious to Him than birds and flowers

Jesus is saying don't fret about life and the daily needs. Rather ‘seek My kingdom first’. This kingdom is the rule and reign of God  AND exists where Jesus Christ rules and reigns in the hearts  and lives if His people. 

Gain God's perspective in all situations and see Him provide for every need as our focus is on His Kingdom purposes. So this is about His rule and reign and living in right relationship with God becoming our priorities. 

And when we seek God we are pursuing God relentlessly instead of other less valuable things

Jeremiah 29:11-13 - “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Prayer point - Pray that we will allow God to search our hearts even today. Let everything of self be dethroned so that Jesus will be enthroned and we will see how much we need Him as Saviour and Lord

                 Thank Him that as we obey His words, He promises to provide and graciously care for us as individuals, families and corporately as a church. 

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving 

be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, 

that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 

This is good, and pleases God our Saviour,

Who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 

For there is One God and One mediator between God and mankind, 

the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all people. 

This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.”

1 Timothy 2:1-6 NIV

3  Prayer Points :-

  1. To pray for all citizens.

  1. To pray in particular for the new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, the new cabinet, & for the government in the U.K. 

To pray for wisdom & discernment, as they seek to lead & guide the citizens of the U.K. through various crises. 

To also pray for their salvation & for godly counsellors to advise them. 

  1. To pray for King Charles 3rd, for wisdom & discernment on how to rule & reign. 

Pray for godly counsellors to advise him. 

Let us pray for the salvation of The Royal Family. 

Again we pray for The Royal Family, as they grieve the loss of Queen Elizabeth 2nd. 



             Welcome. Today we are discussing the topic of Loss & Grief. Our aim is to encourage each other around God’s Word as we face challenges in life

                                                                 LOSS AND GRIEF


Loss -defined as the act of losing possession of someone/ something important 

*It is inevitable and can be sudden- like being the victim of a crime, or predictable- like in an illness where the doctor says it is going to deteriorate (e.g. loss of physical ability or motor skills)

*It comes in many forms like the loss of a loved one, or a sense of loss you may feel when people die in war or racist attacks 

*With loss comes grief 

Grief - defined as deep sadness, as over a loss; sorrow. It is a feeling( emotional response)of deep mental anguish caused by a significant loss

*It is a natural part of the healing process after a loss. It is the process God uses to bring us into that place of wholeness. It is a good thing 

*The process of grief can't be rushed - you don't “snap out of it and get with it”. 

*It is personal - the way you express or manifest grief may be different to another individual 

For those who have experienced grief, you know how painful it can be. Loss brings pain and pain brings grief

What are some occasions for grief ? (refer to Bible verses)

The death of a loved one - Genesis 37:34-35

The imminent/ likely  death of a loved one - Matthew 17:23

Experiencing pain and suffering - 1Peter 1:6, Psalm 31:9-13

One’s relatives not receiving Christ - Romans 9:2-3

Feeling sorrow for sin - James 4:8-9


Can you think of any other individuals from the Bible who experienced grief, pain and tears ? Naomi, Job, 

Read Ecclesiastes 3: 1,4 :  It is clear we must allow ourselves the time to mourn and weep when you experience grief for whatever the reason. During the challenges of Covid, you would have heard stories of relatives not being able to grieve as they should because of restrictions. 

This is so important 

>Holding tears and trying to ignore the pain can have serious problems later.   

                                         <READ  JOHN 11: 17-44>

What is the occasion for grief here ? Lazarus who had a close relationship with Jesus is dead.Mary and Martha, his sisters are devastated as their brother has been  snatched from them

They are being comforted by friends. 

Grief is natural and necessary. Everyone grieves differently in losing a loved one

Jesus ( finally !) comes alongside these two sisters in their grief. What is the best thing you can do when someone is grieving ? Come alongside that person

What is the response of Martha and Mary ? We see in verses 21 and 32 the same words : “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” The implication is that the Lord could have stopped this sad event from happening. ( “if only our Lord was here” )

In your time of deep grief, have you said something similar ? For example, ‘I don't think God cares, I don't think God loves me…’

>Verses 22-27 :Jesus’ interaction with Martha.

V25- Jesus states the great statement of truth…the nugget :“I am the resurrection and the life…” He proclaims Himself to be the object of that very hope. ‘Resurrection’ is given a new status.It is no longer an event ,it is a Person that happens to people. This Person, Jesus, wants to intervene in our present devastating circumstances 

Jesus says effectively ,‘wherever I am, I bring life….you have hope built into your sorrow Martha.’

Observe Jesus refers to ‘believing’ in Him in vv25,26 and 40

Do you believe this ?’ That's not Martha’s question only. We need to consider this too

We believe and Jesus does only what He can do. 

V27 - By Martha’s response - ‘I believe….’she shows that her faith is anchored in her Lord who is present with her. Jesus brings Martha into a deeper faith (as they talked ) in her grief.

>Verses 32-37 :Jesus’ interaction with Mary 

V32 - Mary’s posture ? Sitting at Jesus’ feet .She has same questions like Martha in v21. She is broken- hearted, but she is worshipping Jesus. ‘I am at your feet Jesus where I's the place of comfort that I know’ 

> How you face loss, grief / death will be determined by what posture /position you take before Jesus

Jesus’ response : V33- Jesus is seeing their pain…He groans- Greek :literal meaning is the snorting of a horse, Grrrrrrrrr !! . The word denotes a response of anger.Jesus is angry at something 

Why is Jesus angry ? He is angry at death it seems. Death was never in the design of God. It was always life !  He is angry at death caused by sin that brings this kind of deep loss. He acts to resolve this problem of death.

He  acts in compassion. He even quietly weeps/ grieves. Refer to Isaiah 53:3-4

Why does Jesus act decisively ? Because human beings are powerless to do anything about death .He speaks life into our despairing times bringing relief to our unbelief

Response : Psalm 34:18 (READ)- God is near to them who are broken-hearted and saves such with a contrite heart. When you are grieving God is near … “ I am here for you,My nearness and My presence says it all”

Tip : When someone is grieving it is good to come alongside the person and if necessary use few words.Just being there makes a lot of difference.

Today we have shared some Biblical guideposts to encourage you and motivate you to move forward so you can live the abundant life that Jesus promised in John 10


Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 

Romans 3:21-31

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

It is worth noting upfront that even within the Christian church, there a several interpretations of what Paul is saying here. People disagree on what being ‘justified’ means exactly and there are at least three major views on what the atonement was about. I think it is helpful to become familiar with them all so as to make the most informed interpretive decision. It is also helpful to recognise that a person’s prior overall theological commitments may influence how they interpret these verses.

Almost all positions agree, however, that Paul is saying:

Paul is helping the people in Rome see, therefore, that right relationship with God is something that is equally available and accessible for everyone. It comes on the same basis for everyone. He is also clear, to the surprise of many, that this is actually nothing new. It has always been this way, right from the beginning, though not as clear and recognisable. It in no way contradicts or overthrows anything that has gone before (in the Old Testament). On the contrary, it is the very thing that makes everything before make sense! He will explain that in the next chapter.


Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 


We are continuing our study on Paul's letter to the Roman Christians 

Review of Romans 2: 

Everybody is in need of salvation whether Jew or Gentile. God righteously judges all people

God does not show favoritism because of wealth, status ,religious ritual, etc.

God's kindness ( mercy ) is intended to lead us to repentance. Believers are to show to others the same mercy God has shown to them

It is not enough to know the truth - we are to live the truth (obedience)

God desires inward change ; not outward signs like circumcision or ritual laws. What matters is the heart being changed by Holy Spirit

>>>>>>>>>>>Now for today's study : Romans 3:1-20 ( READ )<<<<<<<<<<

*Romans  3:1-8

Paul asks a series of questions but he is not waiting for someone else to answer. He answers them as he continues with his argument for the Gospel of God's Son, Jesus Christ

The tough questions Paul addresses boil down to this : Is God faithful and righteous in how He deals with sinners, both Jewish and gentile? Paul answers with a resounding ‘yes’

Vv 1-4 - Paul wants his audience to understand that God is justified in judging those who ‘were entrusted with’ His Word but choose to disregard / disobey Him

Vv 2-6 :  How does Paul address the questions?

Paul gives a reminder to the Romans about God's actions and character ( 2-3)

Paul references/ quotes God’s Word, e,g, Psalm 51:4 ( v4)

Paul applies logical arguments rooted in God's Truth ( v5-6)

As Paul does this, he is seeking to defend God's character and point people to the truth of redemption that Jesus offers through faith

Vv 5-8: Are there any excuses for our sin ? No excuses, not even the abounding grace or glory of God 

>Note on God's grace - the wrong teaching on grace suggests it does not matter if believers sin because God will forgive them anyway. God gives grace to His children to enable them to obey not disobey Him

*Romans 3: 9-20

Paul in theses verses describe powerfully the condition of mankind before a holy God

V9 - What is Paul's conclusion of his argument for the gospel ? We are all sinners.Paul gives the ‘bad news first’. as he lays out the plight of mankind 

Vv10-18 : look at these verses as Paul lays out the plight of mankind with references ,verses from the Old Testament. It  is not good ( bad news ). The ways of man fall short of the glory He wants for His people

Read from other Bible versions vv10-18

What do you think Paul is doing by referencing several OT passages ? He is pointing out that the sinful nature of man has been around for thousand of years. Paul highlights everyone's sin without exemption. The whole world is guilty before God.


       OT references( here we have some harsh words ) :

*V12  from Psalm 14:3   *V13 from Psalm 5:9, 140:3, *V14 from Psalm 10:7


  *V15-17 from Isaiah 59:7-8, *V18 from Psalm 36:1

Nothing about our fallen state holds a spark of hope - souls, minds , hearts , actions are sinful. All we do apart from Christ is tainted by sin. So sin is more than an error that needs correcting.

Vv 19-20: What is the purpose of the Law ? To the Jews, God shows their own Law in which they boasted , condemns them because they can't keep it perfectly


( Some thoughts ) God’s Law does not remove sin - it points out our failure to do what God requires . The religious laws points out our inability to please God in our own strength, proving we are sinners  

>It shuts you up - you can always tell when someone is close to becoming a Christian when they are silenced under conviction, and don't argue .Self-righteous people are always saying, for example, ‘ but I do this, I do that.’

> ‘ the whole world is held accountable’ - we have broken His holy Law and this means we are guilty and deserve punishment. We have to stand before God one day ( Heb 9:27). “There is no easy way…death is not going to dissolve all things …forever forgotten”

>It shows us what sin is - like standing in front of a mirror you see something wrong with yourself but the mirror can't fix you. You need a Saviour in Jesus

Closing comment :

Our sinful state is not the end of the story. If sin is the bad news, Jesus is the best news

Apart from Jesus, we all stand before God as guilty 

Response : May the Lord search our hearts as we draw near to Him and thank Him for our salvation


ROMANS 2:17-29


In this chapter Paul sets out to demonstrate that everybody is need of salvation. Last week we looked at the first half of the chapter where the apostle addressed the class of gentiles who subscribed to a moral code. Far from being justified by taking the moral high ground, they would be condemned by their own code. In the second half of the chapter, starting at verse 17, he turns his attention to the Jews.

Lest the Jews think their having the Law frees them from condemnation, Paul proceeds to demonstrate that they too are in need of salvation. Though they have the Law, their failure to keep it perfectly caused them to dishonor God and blaspheme His Name (17-24). Introducing a thought he will expand upon later in the epistle, he points out that a true Jew is one who is circumcised in his heart, and not just in the flesh (25-29).

OUTLINE (adapted from Jim McGuiggan)



1. The Jewish self-portrait (17-20)

2. The Jewish inconsistency and dishonor of God (21-24)


1. Voided by transgressing the Law (25-27)

2. The true Jew is one circumcised in the heart, in the Spirit (28-29)


judgment - in some places, the idea is "discernment;" in other places 

"condemnation" is the idea - the context must determine

wrath - anger (in God's case, a just displeasure in response to sin)

law - when preceded by the definite article "the" (in the Greek) it 

usually refers to the Law of Moses, otherwise it may refer to the

principle of law in general; there are exceptions, and the

context must determine

by nature - "a mode of feeling and acting which by long habit has

become nature" (THAYER)

conscience - that faculty of thought which makes moral judgments

(either excusing or condemning our actions); developed

through training


We noted that just as the Jews brought disgrace to their faith when acting hypocritically, we Christians need to be careful not to do the same. The text gives us examples of the laws Jews might typically transgress, when they steal, commit adultery or rob temples. We noted that as Christians we rob God when we fail to give our tithe, a truth expressed in Malachi 3:8. We discussed the meaning of circumcison of the heart, looking at Ephesians 2:11-18 to shed further light on that subject.

We also noted that many people who don't go to church regularly, still regard infant baptism as essential for the salvation of their children, rather like the Jews regarded circumcision. This attitude is more of a superstition than anything.

Finally we thought about Christians who like to take on Jewish customs in their worship. For example one of the Spanish churches on the island extended their celebration of communion to include more elements from the Passover meal. Pastor Santiago, who oversaw the church and had appointed the pastor, was not pleased. It's a dangerous path for Christians to take when we complicate our faith in such ways. We turned to Ephesians 2 again, and noted that trusting in Christ's work on the cross is sufficient for the Gentile, just as it is still necessary for the Jew.



Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 


Today we are continuing our study on Paul's letter to the church in Rome

Paul writes to the Christians in Rome and presents his fullest explanation of the gospel. The whole  letter shows us what we are to believe and how we are to behave because of what we believe as Christians 

Recap : as we begun Chapter 1 last week, we saw that the gospel Paul talks about is the gospel of  God’s  Son. So the central / distinctive figure of the gospel is Jesus Christ. And all believers in Christ are called to bring Good News of Jesus. We also noted that Christians live by faith because we are in right standing with God, brought into relationship with God through His Son…not through our efforts .This is good news 

In our study today, we are focussing on ROMANS 1:18-32 ( READ PLEASE )

Here we are given some bad news, some hard truth. And if we are to fully appreciate the good news about being brought into a right relationship with God, then we have to understand some bad news about the wrath of God.

In vv 1-17 Paul wants the readers of his letter to understand what the Gospel message is all about. In this section today, Paul also wants the readers to know why this Gospel message is even necessary 

As we continue studying, we will see Paul explaining that righteousness from God is the only thing that can protect us from the coming wrath of God

V18 - What is the wrath of God ? It is His anger against sin.It is not an irrational burst of anger like we humans often exhibit. Rather ‘it is a holy , just revulsion against what is contrary to and opposes his holy nature and will’ ( NIV notes ).The natural and necessary expression of His holiness against sin .-He is infinitely holy and cannot love what is good without hating what is evil and acting against it 

We know God is love and He shows that love toward sinners. He hates sin and will react in anger against sin and judge sin. And  remember that when Jesus was hanging on the cross, God directed all His ‘built up anger against sin past, present and future pouring it into the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ’.

>>Verses 18-23 : REASONS - Why is God pouring out His wrath ?

The picture Paul paints is that all over the world God’s truth is being revealed. But people are holding it back, covering it up…particularly by sin. Refer to v19 - the word ‘because’ or ‘since’ helps us understand why …


V20 - What is the primary way God implants this instinctive knowledge of Him ? By His creation

We learn from creation that there’s got to be a God. There are no excuses for failing to believe in God .Man does not want to be accountable to a higher authority. 

The evidence is all around - the visible creation is the work of the One who is invisible !

V21-23 They turned away from God, trusting in their own futile thinking and understanding. They embraced false gods, thinking they are clever. They refuse to to magnify God as God, no gratitude to God. Man thinks he is wise ,closing his eyes to God's truth

What in v23 is being exchanged ? Instead of knowing God's glory and believing the revelation of God's truth, they worship their own intellectual prowess or others they idolise. A downward spiral.

>>Verses 24-32 : RESULTS- What are the results of God's wrath ?

Note the word ‘therefore’ in verse 24.. now we find out what God did because mankind will fully ignored Him.

Note the repetition of the phrase “God gave them over” in verses 24,26,28. God has allowed them to do what they want so they might experience the full destructive consequences of their own sin. They want a life apart from God. And this results in misery, pain , suffering and death

Vv 24-25 God gave the ungodly and the wicked over to immorality.They fulfill the desires of their sinful hearts by indulging in perverse acts of sexual impurity. Man chooses sin over God

What in v25 is being exchanged ? Idolatry always seem to give way to immorality inevitably. Because they have separated themselves from God's love, they desperately try to find love and acceptance in physical expressions.

Vv 26-27 God has allowed the ungodly to indulge in their unnatural lusts…contrary to what the Creator intended by desire and design.

What in v26 is being exchanged ? Paul says natural relations are being exchanged for unnatural relations. God hates such behaviour too yet He does not interfere with people's choice. But He offers us the opportunity to follow Him and come into relationship with Christ Jesus

Christians must be sensitive and gracious to such individuals too.

Vv 28-32 God gave them up to depravity of mind ( corrupt and unprincipled). Look at the list of vices practised generally by those who choose to disregard God. It's based on selfishness 

 No matter how depraved a person is, God holds out the opportunity of a new life through faith and repentance 

> Closing comment - Why do we need to gospel ? We are all under the sentence of God's wrath. Implicit in v32 is the truth that we can have the righteousness of God instead of His wrath. This is His gift to those who trust Him and so can live in Jesus’ true freedom 



Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 

Today we begin a study on Romans. 


Introductory comments : 

This is a letter from the apostle Paul to Christians living in Rome. It was probably written around AD 57 before during Paul's time in Corinth , before he visited Rome. The believers in Rome were predominantly Gentile, but included a minority of Jewish believers too

Paul, in this great letter speaks expansively of what God has done for us and what we should believe ( doctrine- Chapters 1-11) and then speaks of how Christians are to live in practical ways in response to their love for Him ( practical application 12-16 - how we should behave )

The purpose or theme : Paul presents the fullest explanation/ statement of the gospel , that is , God's plan of salvation for all peoples, Jews and Gentiles alike in this letter.

Ultimately this letter is a call to live out our faith in obedience to God's commands, dependent on Holy Spirit 

>>>>>>>>READ ROMANS 1:1-17

VERSES 1-7 : Believers are called to bring Good News of Jesus. It's all about Jesus !

Paul identifies himself to avoid confusion as there would have been other men named Paul.Note his credentials : servant, apostle, preacher ,missionary. Paul warmly greets the believers in Rome by professing his passion for the gospel 

V2-4  : What is this gospel ? The Good News is about Jesus. The good news promised long ago through God’s prophets, as recorded in the Holy Scriptures. It is about Jesus who was both fully God and  fully man. The prophecies Paul cherished  were fulfilled by the life, death and resurrection of God's Son,Jesus .Jesus was the long -awaited Messiah or Christ, and this was demonstrated by His resurrection from the dead. So Jesus Christ is Lord !

V5-7 : Why are we called ? To belong to Jesus, to be holy saints - set apart for Himself and His holy purposes. We are loved by God. God imparts grace for this purpose

Paul  was transformed by God's saving grace to call people from the nations to be obedient to God. So too is our call  - to share the gospel message so that through faith others may follow Him too

VERSES 8-17 : Believers are people who live by faith in Jesus

V8-10 : Why is Paul thanking God for the Roman believers ? 

Firstly observe the importance of prayer - Paul knows prayer is vital for a successful and fruitful Christian life

Paul is thankful to God for the faith of the believers in Rome. He hears about their faith. The Truth version, says it this way : ‘I am so thankful because the quality of your faith and trust in Jesus is known everywhere, yes, all over the world.’ Faith, we know,  pleases God 

> How do you respond when you hear about another person becoming a believer in Christ ?

V11-15 : Paul is eager to see them -  to visit them in Rome. What are some reasons for this ?( from v11)

To strengthen their faith and also his own. He wants to impart some spiritual gift to enable them to be strong in their faith and witness. This is based on the principle of sowing and reaping. We reap what we sow. In giving to others ,we receive ourselves too. 

He desires to see a harvest of souls for God’s Kingdom in Rome just as he has seen in other nations. 

This is his passion - to see the sovereign rule and reign of the Kingdom extended. To see people leave sin which is regarded as foolishness and follow or obey the gospel which is the expression of wisdom. (Note phrase in verse 14 ‘both to the wise and foolish’) 

He is keen to preach in Rome to encourage believers in the faith and to challenge those who do not believe in Jesus. 

V16-17 : Why is Paul not ashamed of the gospel ? Paul knew the Person behind the gospel - Jesus.The power to save is only contained in the gospel to anyone who believes in Jesus. 


At the time of Paul's letter, AD 57,Rome was at the height of prominence both militarily and politically. Despite the political power struggles, a greater power was at work..Jesus’ power

The gospel Jesus declared showed God's power to rescue humanity from sin and redeem our lives from destruction.

The gospel changes lives ! ( refer to v8 )

V17-What does the gospel power do ? It places the new believer in a right relationship with God, regardless of who they are or what they have done in the past. To be saved is to be brought into a right relationship with God as you trust Him or place your  faith in Jesus Christ .It is a matter of faith from start to finish ( not our efforts )


-Every day , we encounter people blinded by sin and living apart from Christ. Let's follow Paul’s example and share the Good News of Jesus

- As you live by faith, what is your biggest challenge ? How does the ‘gospel power’ affect how you live out your faith ?

THOUGHT - “While the world may tempt us to live by its standards, the Word of God anchors us to live by faith in Him.” This is is how God intends us to live for Him

'Our pastors called us to a special week of seeking God' 

Testimony of Pastor Chris. Herman

'Now August is over we are looking forward to what God is going to do among us over the coming months. Our pastors have called us to seek God for the coming season this week. They suggested that we fast and spend time drawing close to God. So I resolved to draw close through prayerful meditation.

I meditated in a certain way and prayed

My favourite guided meditation is on Youtube. The guide gets you to lie on the floor (I actually lie on the bed) in a pose that is designed to open yourself to God in submission and receptivity. She starts by declaring the supremacy of Christ using words from Colossians, and then invites the Holy Spirit to come and minister, reminding us that He is taking us all on a continuous journey of healing. We then meditate on Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” Then we are encouraged to pray a simple prayer of three words or so. My prayer was, “Draw me closer.” 

The meditation continues for a while longer; but I simply fell asleep. Finally I woke up and left it there, trusting God to anwser my prayer.

That evening we were watching Death in Paradise

That evening we were watching an old episode of Death in Paradise. It's a gentle comedy about a detective who moves to the fictitious island of Saint Marie in the Caribbean. As well as having a murder mystery to solve in each episode there are various subplots. In this particular episode it is Kris Marshall who plays the detective, and he is visited by his overbearing father. The latter feels his son could be doing much better things with his life, and there is a lot of tension between them. The bit that touched me was when the detective declares that his father has never said he is proud of him. He feels like he is a big disappointment to his father. I realized that my father was the same, and that it still hurt me to remember that.

The next morning I googled it

The next morning I was still thinking about the painful memory from my past. I decided to find an answer from the Bible. So I googled, “Is God proud of me?”. This is the answer I got. The Lord is proud of me simply because I’m His child. I belong to Him, and He thinks I’m pretty special. The thought is expressed beautifully in Isaiah 43:4 “Because you are precious and honored in My sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you and nations in place of your life.”

Of course God has given much more than nations in my place. He gave his most precious Son. That is how precious and honoured I am in his sight!

God is proud of me

God is proud of me, not because I've done anything amazing, but just because I am his beloved son. It was good to be reminded of that. 

If you'd like to try the meditation for yourself, you'll find it at:

(4) Guided Christian Meditation: Deep Rest Before Sleep - YouTube'                                               


Welcome to the Thursday meeting. Today our focus is on Prayer. We need to wait before the Lord , worship Him and allow Him by Holy Spirit to renew us as we submit to His leading.

As we spend time today and indeed this week in Prayer, Fasting and Intimacy with God we know that it is not time wasted. Rather it is preparatory work for the new season the Shepherd is bringing us into as His sheep. 

To help us in this regard, I am sharing a devotional from Psalm 27: 4-6

READ  verses 1-6 

This is a psalm that was used in preparation for battle.In verse 3 for example , David refers to an “army” and “war”. As a believer we are in a spiritual battle. The enemy is ‘roaring around like a lion seeking to devour’. The enemy is real and dangerous 

And throughout this Psalm 27,  David makes declarations like in verses 1 and 3( I will not fear ). In the dark valleys of despair he does not shrink from rejoicing in the God of his salvation with an explosion of praise.

He is confident in His God .God is his light in his darkness !.Read verse 3 ( The Passion Translation- TPT )

And then in verses 4-6 we read about the one thing , the one desire that David has in the midst of trouble and battles. Read these verses again ( from TPT )

Verse 4 is so powerful. What is the one thing we desire as we pray and worship our God today. Yes  we have needs, requests , we are standing in the gap for someone else who is in need. Or we want to see others become believers . Nothing is wrong with this. We will pray for these needs, concerns and requests. All of these kinds of needs are temporary for this life 

Yet what is the one thing would you ask God for today? David here is asking just to be with God.He wants to seek God above all else.He wants to dwell in His presence and to gaze upon His beauty. This ‘ beauty’ means ‘not only the glory of God's character but the richness of His goodness and  favour to His people’.

Our hearts are supposed to be focussed on God in His beauty, majesty and glory.

What could be better than being in God's presence ? In His presence you will be overwhelmed at His love and holiness. This has eternal significance 

It is a relationship thing . It is about abiding in Christ and it is preparing us as believers for the future with Jesus

David knows this puts everything else in perspective. When we do similarly- desire God more and more we begin to see life, challenges, trouble from a divine perspective. You see beyond the troubles, the enemy to the victory God has prepared.

Read verses 5-6 

David remains  confident and so we must be too. Read verses 13-14. An interesting note here is that David commands to “wait” in v14  …wait for the Lord….

It is so easy fir us to run straight into battle, not fully prepared.

Waiting on God makes us strong for battle. When we wait as we are today in our time of prayer,we acknowledge that we cannot fight and win on our own. We need the Lord who is our Shepherd 

So let us spend time waiting in prayer and worship . His plans are good and they are worth waiting for . Amen


Reading: Matthew 25:31-40

This portion of Scripture is not a parable. It is the account of what will happen when Jesus comes back “in all His glory and all the angels with him”and when “he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him and Jesus will separate the people one from another”, just like a shepherd would have done, separating the sheep from the goats. We are told in v.33 that “He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left”.

In v.34 the shepherd has now become King, and conveys the Father's blessing to those who have helped him through 6 works of mercy: food, drink, hospitality, clothing, nursing care and visitation.
The word mercy can have two meanings: forgiveness shown towards someone, or giving relief to another from suffering, which is the case in this account.

Jesus didn't invent the idea of service to the needy. In the Torah landowners had to leave the edges of their fields unharvested so that widows and orphans might obtain food by gleaning (Leviticus 19:9-10)
Employees had to pay workers daily because workers depended on daily wages for daily bread (Deuteronomio 24:15)

Also the prophets Amos and Isaiah spoke about not oppressing the poor and needy (Amos 4:1) and that to please God, fasting needed to include distributing bread to the hungry, bringing the poor home for dinner and clothing the naked (Isaiah 58:7)

Thus Jesus the King invites these merciful people to receive their inheritance prepared for them since the creation of the world. (v.34)

These 6 deeds of mercy spoken about in verses 35 and 36 are not exhaustive. Where other needs exist, mercies tailored to a specific need are just as valuable.

– akindwordoralisteningearcanhelpapersonindespair
– assistancewithaflattyrecanredeemthedayforastrandedmotorist.

Let's notice the very basic nature of these 6 mercies: food, drink, hospitality, clothing, nursing care and visitation.
Each one of us has the potential to provide these kinds of mercies.
We don't have to be wealthy to buy a sandwich and something to drink for a hungry person.

We don't have to be a nurse to help a sick person, nor do we have to be ordained to visit a prisoner in jail.
Earlier, in Matthew 19:21, Jesus told a rich young man to sell all that he had and give the money to the poor, but here there are no such all-embracing principles. The kinds of mercies Jesus rewards here are within the reach of every person. They do not require great sacrifice on the part of the mercy-giver, but they do alleviate great pain for the mercy-receiver.

In v.37 we read that the mercy-givers were astonished. When the King tells

them that they have extended these mercies to Him they cannot imagine when. While extending mercies to “the least of these brothers and sisters” of the King, they had no idea they would be rewarded for their kindness. There was no calculation in their generosity They gave because they were moved by human need – not by the potential for reward.

So as Christians and as a church, what is the relevance of this passage to us?

We need to have compassion and be moved by human need so as to help WHEN we can, HOW we can, and by using WHAT we have at our disposition. Each one of us is different, so let us not compare ourselves to others when we do our acts of mercy. God has an individual plan for every one of us, so let us be obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as we come into contact with different people every day.
Let us also have compassion for our Christian brothers and sisters throughout the world who are persecuted and tortured because they refuse to deny Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. There are many organisations whose goal is to alleviate the suffering of these persecuted members of our family, so please let us not ignore their needs.

What is God calling you to do or say today?

May we be faithful to our King, the Lord Jesus Christ, in these seemingly small acts of mercy, so that one day we will hear him say to us “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master's happiness.” Matthew 25:21 (NIV)



Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 

The passage we are studying is Hebrews 12:4-13 ( READ )

Introduction - This letter was written to Jewish Christians. The theme of Hebrews is the absolute supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ as revealer and mediator of God's grace. The author, unknown, teaches how believers can relate to Jesus -who is greater than all the prophets and angels - and continue His ministry today. It explains what it means to be a people of faith, and how to put that faith into action 

It is very likely the Jewish audience living in the first century were suffering persecution.More than likely they questioned their new-found faith in Jesus in the midst of these difficulties. Some might have slowly drifted from the Lord, and become dull to God’s word. The writer encourages the people to continue following Jesus and not give up.

For us today, what might God be saying to us as we try to navigate through disappointments in life, pain, suffering and negative circumstances. In these verses we see another perspective of enduring hardship -whatever that may look like, for the true child of God. 

There is a lot of good ,wholesome advice here that can really change our attitude and life  altogether if we consider carefully what is being said in these verses. 

>>>>>Jesus said in Mark 4:24, “Consider carefully what you hear.”<<<<<<<<<

What are some general observations from this passage ?

 The theme of ‘discipline from God’ is emphasised . The word ‘discipline’ is mentioned about ten times in eight verses !)

God is our Father; we as believers are His children. 

Discipline is not pleasant ; there is purpose in it

Definition : Discipline involves measures taken to ensure conformity to the accepted standard. Throughout this passage ‘discipline’ can be translated correction, instruction and training 


What does the author mean by the phrase ‘you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood’ ?  The believers faced persecution and hardship struggling with sinful people. So as they sought to  live godly lives, the Christians have not had to resist the temptation to deny Christ by dying for Him 

In v3 the author encourages these Jewish Christians to consider or think of Jesus who put up with continual opposition from sinful people. 

‘Consider’ in the original language means to add up or calculate.  So you add up the shame , suffering, hostility plus the mocking ,His shed blood plus enduring the wrath of God on the cross,etc …that Jesus experienced for you . Life on earth for Jesus was not easy.He needed to trust in His Father at all times and still he remained obedient 

Vv 5-6  Responses to disciple and hardship : Often in times of suffering and negative circumstances, we tend to forget or ignore God's words.

 Also, we tend to ‘make light’ of the Lord's correction rather than think there is some reason why God is allowing this interruption in your life. 

Another way we tend to respond, understandably is by ‘losing heart’. We harbour negative thoughts, complain ,feel sorry for ourselves and think it's not fair !

So the author reminds them of encouraging words that God spoke. These are King Solomon’s words ( from the Old Testament) with which they would have been familiar. Verses 5-6 are from Proverbs 3:11-12

  1. How does God address the Christians ? As His sons and daughters . Wow ! A sign of a personal relationship.

b) Why should we welcome the Lord's discipline ? Because God disciplines those He loves and punishes when necessary everyone who He has accepted as His son ( refer to TPT or other versions )

The Lord’s discipline is always exercised in love, encouraging us to succeed by trusting in Him, instead of failing because we trust in ourselves.

VERSES 7-9: How should we view hardship ?

> Endurance is the ability to bear prolonged hardship..the determination to keep moving forward at a steady, unyieldingly pace.

 Discipline from the Father to the child, training us to be more like Jesus. Difficulties test our faith yet enables us grow spiritually mature. We become champions as God realigns your will to His, dependent on Him.

So it is not punitive .Jesus already took away God ‘s wrath and punishment. It affirms that you are His legitimate child ; beloved children of God 

VERSES 10-11 

Why does God discipline His true sons and daughters ? For their eternal good ,to share in His holiness so conforming to His character .He is changing behaviours, actions ,thoughts and motives as we submit to the Father's discipline. This way we live to please Him as He prepares us for eternity 

As believer we are not above the painful realities of life. There is purpose in the pain. So although it is easier to ask ‘Why this pain , God?’, it is better to ask ‘What are you teaching me, God?’

V11- what are the positive results of  enduring God the Father's discipline ? Think about it as you are preparing, training for a race. And God is like a coach taking you through the routines, practices, correcting your techniques so that you are in top shape for the race.

>>>Discipline : enables you to live righteous lives that please God and you are at peace with Him. This is the fruit of the harvest that without discipline ( training by God  )would not be produced.

>>>Closing Comments: Vv 12-13  -Be encouraged when you feel weak and want to give up because the way ahead seems difficult .God wants to make level paths for you to walk on.This means that you walk steadily with Him as those healed and set free from whatever hinders your walk of faith.

God has your own best interest at heart

Response - how does knowing that God’s discipline comes from a heart of love change your perspective ?



Welcome to our Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 

These are some notes that we hope will prayerfully help your study of God's Word today.

Today we are completing a review of Romans 8. ( Read all verses ) . For many it is described as ‘the greatest chapter in the Bible’. The focus of this chapter is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer to enable you to live the Christ- like life

> There are a few isolated verses we would like to highlight and ‘dig deeper into’ so as to encourage our hearts


VERSES 1-2 ( READ)  : Who has received no condemnation through the Spirit ? The believer has a status of ‘no condemnation’. In the Greek, the word ‘condemnation’ ( katakrima ) carries a strong meaning.It means punishment following condemnation- penalty : ‘death sentence, eternal death’. As a believer you don't have the ‘death sentence hanging over your head. You have been set free from the controlling power of sin and death. Now the Spirit has set you free in Christ to live unashamed of past mistakes and not be defined by the past

What does it mean to be ‘in Christ Jesus’ ? You have union and communion with Christ and you are in a vital, personal relationship with Christ. This means that everything that is true of Christ is now true of you as regards all that He has provided ( Ephesians 2:6)

>How can we apply these verses to our lives today ?


We are free to live the Christian life because we have gained God's acceptance.Christ succeed where we failed in meeting God's demands as expressed in the law God gave. ‘Christ success has become our success’. So we don't have to perform or try to please God through religious routines. It's a done deal !

*When we feel condemned maybe because of guilt and shame - we can declare this truth out loud because we are defined not by our past (sin), but by our position in Christ Jesus

* we don't have to fight battles in this life alone.The controlling power( law of the Spirit )of Holy Spirit who gives life, enables us to obey God and overcome 

VERSES 15-16 ( READ ) : How has the Spirit benefitted the believer ( rights and privileges of this new family )? We have become children of God, the Father. The ‘Spirit of full acceptance’ enfolds you into the family of God( TPT )

So God did not stop by dealing with our sin and failure on Jesus’ cross. He adopted us . 

What does it mean to be adopted ? ‘to place as a son’ . In the context of Roman law ( as Paul writes to believers in Rome as a Roman citizen), adoption was the legal action of taking a child in your family with the purpose of treating that adopted child as their own. So the adopted child has same rights and privileges as a natural child.

But this is where it's different. The adopted child loses all of the rights, privileges and responsibilities of the old family. Their old life would have been considered non- existent ( wiped out) and all debts that they might have had in their old family were cancelled. .

And also they gained the rights of their new father’s estate…equal to the other sons and daughters and co- heirs. Society regarded the adopted person as a new person with a new life and family. 

The picture of adoption is a beautiful picture of what God does for the true Christian.This is what Jesus has done for any one who is in Christ by His grace

How can you  call Him ( or cry ) ? “Abba, Father.” The word ‘ call’ or ‘cry’ in the Greek is krazo, meaning to cry out loudly or scream urgently ,similar to a raven’s piercing cry (‘caw’). This is the Spirit we have received- not the spirit of fear (v15)- but the Spirit by which we can ‘ krazo’, cry out ‘Abba Father’…expressing a close relationship to God….a term of tender endearment and dependence 

And  ‘Abba’ is more than just what the word ‘ Daddy’ might convey. It conveys intimacy and obedience and implies submitting 

‘Father’ (in Greek ) means one who imparts life and passes on to the child ( believer) more and more likeness of the ( Heavenly )Father 

This Spirit causes us to run toward God, not run away, just like a little child hurting himself and then screams out urgently and runs towards his mother 

>Question to consider : Do you ever feel that you are not God's child…that He has not adopted you? Then this makes you think you still belong to your old family, the old way of life, of sin ,failure, condemnation and shame

Be reminded that God has adopted you( look at the tense )…this truth can't change…it’s a forever deal !

VERSE 28 ( READ ): This is a great promise . Note the words ‘all things’ - not only things we like , but things we don't understand, : How can things like death, illness and disease or even a global pandemic work together for our good ?

The point Paul makes here is that nothing is beyond the overruling and overriding scope of God's providential care. He is the all-knowing and all-powerful God who is in control.This verse has to be understood in light of eternity and not the temporal.

For whose welfare is God working everything? For whom is this promise ? The believer.Those who love Him , and those who are called according to His  designed purpose .God is working in all things, bit by bit,  to make you more like Jesus ( v29)

>Point To Ponder : God sees the big,whole  picture. Are you ok with knowing ( as Paul says ‘we know’…..) that He knows ?

Closing comments : 

We are liberated by the Spirit from condemnation 

We are true children of God the Father 

We can be sure the omnipotent God works all things so they become helpful and healing to us



Welcome ! Here are some Bible notes to help guide your prayerful study of God's Word

Today we are studying verses from DANIEL 3 (Please read the whole chapter)

Introduction : this is the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the fiery furnace.The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar has conquered the people of God ( Jews) . Many of them are taken back to Babylon including Daniel and his  three friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

These guys are all determined to stay true to the living God as they live in a foreign land and work for King Nebuchadnezzar. This was not easy for them.

>>Initial observations from this passage : the king Nebuchadnezzar builds a huge image( probably a replica of the statue he had seen in his dream as described in chapter 2)

Everybody was commanded to bow and worship the image 

Three men make a bold stand for God with consequences 

A miracle takes place in the fiery furnace

God is glorified by the actions of these three Jews

Verse 1- What does Nebuchadnezzar the king make ? Note the size :He decided to erect  aa huge golden statue/ image/ idol with dimensions of  ninety (90)feet high and nine(9) feet wide. 

 Verses 4-6 : What did the king require his subjects to do at dedication of the image ? To fall down and worship the image of gold . 

What would be the consequence/ punishment for disobedience, for not bowing down and worshipping the image ? At once, they will be thrown into a blazing furnace.

The king is threatening these three men in front of all the people. Most are following the king's command .Also he is challenging God 

Verses 12-18 : How did  Shadrach , Meshach and Abednego respond to the king’s command ?


They  are not worshipping the golden image. Their faith is in the true God who commanded ‘You shall have no other gods before shall not bow down to them nor worship them’ ( ref: Exodus 20:3,5)

Vv16-18 : they told the king they are not going to defend themselves before him, be worried about  this matter. They are faith - focussed desiring the will of God 

 **Read verses 17-18  -“if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand….But even if he does not,… we are not serving your god's or worshipping images of gold you have set up”

How could they make such a strong declaration? They feared the One who can kill body and soul more than the one who can kill the body ( Matthew 10:28)

Their answer to the king shows their faith and commitment to the true and living God. Imagine the disgrace of the king as these three Jews defy the king’s command.

They possessed confidence in the power of God - “the God we serve is able…”

They trusted in God's purpose - “But even if he does not …” They know God’s will is best..even if this means suffering in the fire.

>When we live for God, our faith will be tested, challenged .Consider those who are persecuted physically for their belief in Jesus.Or in some countries where certain laws are becoming difficult to adhere to because it goes against the holy standards of the Bible

Verses 19-23 : How does the king react to this response of these three Jews ? Furious - ‘how dare you disobey me !’Binds them and throws all three of  them into a blazing furnace that is now ‘seven times hotter than usual’.

Verses 24-25 : What causes King Nebuchadnezzar to be amazed  ? He sees a fourth man walking with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fire. They are all unharmed. The fourth being/ man looks like ‘a son of the gods’.

Who is this fourth person ? The identity is not clearly known. Perhaps it is an angelic being sent by God (v28) . Something we need to remember is that Jesus walks INTO the fire to save us OUT of the fire. ‘The hotter the fire, the brighter Jesus shines!’


>What is clearly known, obvious is that a miracle is taking place - God delivers these three men (vv26-27), protects them and the king is a witness to this miraculous event. 

These three men were not alone IN the fire…the Lord is with them just as He is with us when we suffer in His name. Their faith is being tested and even when they are forsaken by others they are enjoying communion with the Lord. 

Verses 28-30 

How does the king describe God ? The king uses the phrase ‘the God of Shadrach ,Meshach and Abednego’ twice ( vv28,29 ).Also ‘no other god can save in this way’. So he may not believe just yet in the ‘One who lives  forever’ ( Ch.4)  but seeds are being planted in his heart by this event

V30 :What is the consequence of this event ?Promotion is in order for these three guys. 

POINT TO PONDER  : how do you respond when you are suffering like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego ? God blesses us in the furnace in a way that we would never experience if we had not experience the fires.

If these guys had compromised their faith consider how different the outcome would have been 


Whatever the fire looks like for you, know that the enemy will use fire to destroy. Yet the very thing 

the enemy tries to wield for destruction,God can work for your deliverance

The fire that is meant to break us becomes the fire that displays God's glory 

Consider Jesus : the wooden cross meant for pain and destruction became the very thing Christ used to shine deliverance 

>So, be encouraged stay faithful in service to your Lord and Saviour…..Amen

                                                                                  THURSDAY 7th JULY 2022


 Welcome Friends !

>As you would have known by now, all meetings in the church are suspended until further notice due to Covid concerns 

Here are some notes that you can prayerfully use in your  study of God's Word today. We trust that you will be encouraged in your faith, and that you will draw closer to God in your heart relationship with Him

                            >>We are studying Daniel 6. Please read the entire chapter <<


Introduction : This is a familiar passage and deals with Daniel in the lions’ den. More importantly it is about his consistent faith in the face of trials. Here Daniel  is approximately 80 years old. Darius the king recognises his exceptional ability to lead, his wisdom, integrity and faithfulness . The king promotes him leader ( Prime Minister) over the ‘entire kingdom’. This triggers jealousy among the other rulers and they now conspire  to destroy him. 

What are some initial observations about the events in this chapter ?

Daniel has many enemies because of his faith

Daniel has unprecedented favour with the king

The essential need for prayer at all times

Observe how the perpetrators are behaving selfishly; Daniel conducts himself selflessly 

>Verses  4-9: 

What is the decree that these conspirators want King Darius to enforce ?

V7. - ‘ that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to King Darius shall be thrown into the lions’ den’

Daniel's faith is put to the test

NOTE : In a world of spiritual hostility, the temptation is to compromise our faith. In Daniel's case, his consistent faith somehow sees him survive and thrive in a hostile environment 

>Verses 10-11 : What is Daniel’s response to the King’s decree ? Gratitude- filled prayers. Daniel chooses to remain consistent in his faith in the living God. ‘Three times a day he prayed, giving thanks to his God…as he had done previously’. He does not hide or deny his circumstances. He is turning to God in the midst of his circumstances and false accusations. 

He begins to fight his fear by giving thanks to the living God. It is here in the ‘upstairs room’ where his battles are fought and won as he regularly prays.

How did Daniel's response affect his plotters/ enemies ?

**V11-These men saw how Daniel responds : they saw him praying and asking God for help. This is a bold statement of a consistent faith of a believer who desires to please God in the face of opposition. He is keeping his focus, only desiring to please God.

> Daniel did not pray ‘God this is not fair!’, ‘God this is too much!’,or even ‘God smite my enemies and wipe them out !’…or any similar kind of prayer

**V14-20 : What is the impact of Daniel's faith on the king ? V14- King Darius is distressed..he wants to rescue Daniel.The King believes (as in v16) that the living God could get Daniel through this trial. Darius describes Daniel as ‘servant of the living God.’. The King shows some reverence and respect to the Lord. 

Is it possible that King Darius is influenced by Daniel's unwavering faith ?( read v20 )

POINT TO PONDER -Would your response be similar or different to Daniel’s in the face of trials ?

Daniel is able to give thanks and trust God in such uncontrollable circumstances. For him, thankfulness was a healthy habit he had embraced in his life. It shows what is in the centre of his heart. 

Verses 18-23 show some interesting differences between Daniel's response and the king’s reaction . What are these ?

Daniel was more at rest in the the den than Darius was in his palace. Darius is stressed, unable to sleep or eat.. the angel of God is with Daniel, shutting the lions’ mouths (v22). Someone said perhaps Daniel used one of the lions as a pillow in the den !

Daniel experiences a ‘defiant peace’ — a supernatural calmness which contradicts his distressing circumstances 

>Verses 23-28 : What are the miraculous results from Daniel's consistent faith ?

Daniel survives the ordeal without harm..’because he had trusted in his God’

Daniel's enemies- those who perpetrated this crime against Daniel, were themselves and their families cast into the den becoming lunch for the lions

Daniel's faithfulness to the Lord brings honour to the Lord’s name. Darius proclaims praise / testifies to the eternal King who accomplished what the earthly king could not. Darius points all people to the superior dominion of Daniel’s God

Daniel prospers, enjoys success


Trials are never meant to destroy us , only to grow us spiritually 


Whatever the trial ,God is for you just as He allowed these tests in Daniel's life

Faith in the living God gives peace ( Isaiah 26:3 ) in the most terrifying situations as God accomplishes His will in your life.Faith guarantees the victory for God's people 

                                                                                                                             THURSDAY 30th JUNE 2022


Welcome and here are some notes to guide our study for today

Introduction- we are continuing in Romans 8 as Paul writes to the original recipients who were Christians living in Rome. He teaches them about triumphant living.There are some freedoms that Paul shares in this chapter:

V1-4 :Freedom from judgment and therefore no condemnation ( the Law cannot condemn us )

V5-17: Freedom from defeat by the flesh as you are led by the Spirit and live for God’s glory 

V18-30 : Freedom from discouragement ( no frustration) as Paul addresses the real problem of suffering and pain in light of Jesus’ return

>Today we are  studying Romans 8 : 31-39 ( READ ).The freedom we can declare from these verses is - Freedom from fear. Because we are secure in the love of Christ we have no fear of the past, present and even the future. 

General observations- many rhetoric questions, truths being proclaimed that we can embrace.. “like God loves me, believers are victorious people”..

Verses 31 : what things is Paul referring to by the phrase ‘these things ? E.g…provision of the Holy Spirit, salvation of God that makes us His children, hope of a glorious future, etc.

>‘What then shall we say in response’…. Paul is thinking believers need to say something in response to what God has revealed through him. Paul’s conclusion is the second question:

> ‘ (if) SINCE God is for us ..’  Since we are part of God's divine will, how can any opposition prevent His purposes for us ? 

It is very likely these words ( “if God is for us , who is against us ?”) were often repeated as Roman believers watched the gates open in the Coliseum as lions ran to tear their bodies apart - words that would be a triumphant testimony to God's faithfulness and their future glory. 

God is for us in the sense of vv28-30. God defines ‘what is good’ for us in alignment with His purposes even in eternity past.

Verse 32 : How do believers know that God is for them ? The proof - ‘He did not spare His own Son…’God did the greater thing… delivering His Son to death when we were His enemies . Now He is  freely giving believers all things graciously because we are in union with Him. 

He will certainly provide all we need to sustain us here on earth as we move closer to glory ( this is easier or lesser in contrast to God giving His Son which was harder or greater action of love )

‘All things’ - not about material possessions ( Ref : Luke 12:15). This has to do with what we NEED to live the Christian life and complete our salvation, making us ultimately like Christ - glorified (  see 8:v 30 ). This is God's plan for the believers in Christ.

Verses 33-34 : Why is it that no accusation or charge can stand against the believer  ? V33 says, ‘God justifies..’God is the Judge and He has already acquitted you.He took Our sins away and declared us righteous before God. God is not listening to these accusations so as believers we must not listen to them either 

V34 -  Can anyone point a finger at the redeemed sinner and condemn them ? No one can ! 

What are three reasons why no one can condemn the believer ?

1-Jesus paid the price for the sin debt…so no one can judge you

2- Jesus vacated the tomb, rose from the dead and lives ! - this gives hope for a glorious future 

3-Jesus is now seated in glory speaking on our behalf before the Father in Heaven. So when the devil, the world or the flesh try to accuse us before God , Jesus stands in our defence .The Father always dismisses the case because Jesus has already paid for our crimes.

     God is not going to condemn the believer 

Verses 35-39 : Paul asks some final rhetorical questions. He shows that trials and sufferings do not separate us from Christ. We might feel this way but that is not truth. These afflictions cannot separate us from Christ’s love. Look at the list of attacks - hardship, pressure, persecution for being a believer, lack of food and clothing, danger of even death. 

 Rom 8 v36, is really the verse from Psalm  44:22 - it shows us that suffering has always been a part of God's people.The  truth is suffering actually brings the believer closer toward our ultimate goal. It identifies us with Christ 

V37 - Suffering becomes the means for greater triumph. How does Paul describe the believer who is experiencing trials and suffering ? More than conquerors IN all these things. The tense used here suggests that Christians ‘keep on winning a glorious victory’ despite what trials we experience .So we are more than victorious through Jesus’ demonstration of His love for us on the cross. 

Jesus has done the fighting for us; His victory becomes our victory. 

 Verses 38-39 : Of what is Paul confident or convinced ?nothing and no circumstances can separate us from God or His love for us.This is the love that has been clearly expressed in Christ Jesus our Lord

Response - God loves you. God is for you . These truths can help us live triumphantly always ,even in trials and in times of temptation.

Declare them over your life.                                                                                                                            

                                                                                                                      THURSDAY 23rd JUNE 2022



Here are the notes for the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting for today


                      We are continuing our short study on Romans 8.  Many describe it as the greatest chapter in the Bible. I would encourage you to set aside time to read the whole chapter. And to read the verses loudly as your own personal declaration.


                           Today we are sharing from Romans 8:18-30 ( READ )

Introduction - This chapter is the ‘ Christian’s “Declaration of Freedom” for in it Paul declares spiritual freedoms we enjoy because of our union with Jesus Christ’. ( Warren Wiersbe). 

*As we saw last week, there is freedom from judgment so now there is no condemnation ( vv1-4) *There is also freedom from defeat as children of God( vv5-17) as you live in the Spirit and overcome the flesh

These are all wonderful truths regarding the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. On the other hand we  live in this fallen world with hardship and pain - this is a reality we face even as a Christian. Praise God we have the Holy Spirit who enables and helps us to live holy lives before God and not give up. The truth is the Spirit of God is able to give us hope during the troubled times of our lives. Christianity is always about hope, never despair.

*We shall see now as we study these verses ( vv18-30), Paul addresses the very real problem of suffering and pain.In these verses, freedom from discouragement ( no frustration) is emphasised. Paul shows us that we have three hopes that we can embrace in the face of trials and struggles. 

VERSES 18-30 

What are some general observations about these verses  ?Paul ‘considers’, meaning he ponders biblically about suffering so we grow through it rather than become devastated by trials.

  -comparison between present suffering and future glory. Paul reminds us of a fundamental truth that we are not home yet 

Have you ever wondered why so many bad things happen in the world ? —-the world does not work the way it was intended because it is a broken world. Because of man’s sin God cursed creation as we learn from Genesis as He judged Adam and Eve ( ref 3:17,18)

-There is groaning taking place : creation, people groan, and even the Spirit groans. Groaning - expressing deep grief and sorrow over the pain of our circumstances. And each of these groanings is going to be transformed into glory

- God is working for our good

Verses 18-21 : Hope of a new creation


Why does creation groan ? Paul is personifying ( attributing human characteristic of groaning here ) creation groaning as it anxiously awaits the culmination of salvation for God's people.This is going to trigger the release from corruption to which all creation has been subject since the Adam and Eve fell into sin. 

>>Something to note here too is that even though creation is in pain, has fallen, it still bears witness to the majesty and glory of the Creator ( ref :Psalm 19) Consider the beauty of the landscape here in Lanzarote, a sight marred by sin. Now try to imagine how glorious that will be when the curse is forever removed ! Note v22- the woman experiencing pains of childbirth ( comment )

V19,21- What is creation hoping for ? waiting to be liberated from bondage, the death principle we see at work all around us; to be delivered from the curse, from the ravages of the curse of sin : *the word ‘expectation’ here gives the image of a ‘person standing on their  tiptoes in order to see something.

Verses 22-25: Hope for the resurrection of the body ——————————————————————-    

V23- why are Christians groaning ? They long to be remade in the image of the Lord Jesus and be free from this mortal, sinful body.  ‘Firstfruits of the Spirit’  refer to the indwelling ministry of the Spirit in the believer’s life  giving you a taste of future glory. Since the day you got saved the Spirit of God has been at work, so you see sin as God sees it. Your desire is holy living and hoping to experience the resurrection of our bodies.

** Vv24-25 -Hope : this is not what you ‘wish or want’; it is an ‘assurance based on conviction’. So     your salvation came by faith in the finished work. Now you rest in God's promises that the Lord will take you to Heaven and you will be made like Him. Patiently we wait for this help by the Spirit.

Verses 26-30:  Hope for God's help in the present


Who is the believer's helper ? The Helper, Holy Spirit. 

Vv26-27 : How does the Helper ,the Comforter help believers? The Comforter groans with us, grieves with us in our trials and pain, over weakness and our sins. his groaning will result in our glory

 -God does not turn away from us in our weakness. ( the verse 26 does not say the Spirit helps us in our perfection or when we are completely peace- filled)

  • the indwelling Spirit knows our pains and takes them to the Father.God will always answer the Spirit affirmatively as the Spirit prays in accordance to God's will.

-when we don't know how to ask God to do something about a situation it is at this time Holy Spirit helps by putting our prayer into a form which the Father , who searches the heart, understands

>>Vv28-30 We don't need to be discouraged. Trust the truth of God's Word.He is at work for our good whatever the circumstances.We can live victoriously as we remind ourselves who we are - loved, called and made acceptable by God. Ultimately we will be made like Jesus Christ 


As believers we are always looking  forward expectantly- with hope for the best is yet to come 

These groanings of Creation, the Christian and the Comforter are painful . But they are pain with a purpose..just like the pain of childbirth. Those birth/ labour  pains fade away with the joy of the new born.

We must have a similar perspective in our present suffering because of our future hope. We share the glory of God !                                                                                                                                  THURSDAY 16th JUNE 2022


Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 

Today we are studying verses from Romans 8:1-11( READ )


Context : These verses introduce the theme of how the believer’s life is transformed by the Spirit of God. In previous weeks, we read what happened to the followers of Jesus on the Day of Pentecost . The transformation that took place in the lives of the believers because of the coming of the Holy Spirit

 Paul writes to the church in Rome ( predominantly Gentile but includes a minority of Jews ).In previous chapters of this letter, Paul is reminding the original recipients  - Christians living in Rome- that we are all sinners,  under God's wrath.Religious works and our goodness cannot save us.

 Paul states the great truth that salvation comes by God's grace alone.

So the life of sin -trying to keep the Law, doing religious work all fall short of being made righteous before God.

Paul now in chapter 8 turns his attention to the new life the Spirit brings. Note the word ‘therefore’ ,marking a major shift in Paul's letter. He links what he has stated previously to the description of the new Spirit life

>The truth is when the Spirit of God comes into a life, that life is changed forever !

Verses 1-4

 What is the result of being in Christ ?

*No condemnation . What a  wonderful truth ! Condemnation is what happens when a judge finds a person guilty of the crimes with which they have been charged and  are sentenced to death.

*We are no longer lost sinners living under condemnation and heading for an eternity in Hell 

*We live according to the Spirit - it's a new way of being, of life IN Christ . It is like being tuned in to the things of God and His Spirit ( ref: Mark 8:33 - Peter’s rebuke by the Lord for having his mind set on the flesh)

V3- Why was the law weak/ ineffective , and what is God's remedy / answer for this ? 

In itself the law was not weak. It could not remove sin, only point us to sin( it is a moral / ethical guide). But sinful human flesh( selfishness) because of its own weakness could not live up to the law’s righteous requirements 

God's remedy / answer ? To send Jesus, His Son to be the perfect sacrifice. So Christ is our righteousness. All demands of the law were fulfilled in Christ. He prevailed where the law failed.  We are declared righteous ‘in Christ’; walking, led and filled by God's Spirit (v4). So the Holy Spirit is our great enabler. God's work in our lives is never accomplished by human effort but by divine ( Spirit’s )enablement.

Verses 5-8

What are the two mindsets describe here  ?

A mind of the flesh that leads to death. A mind of the Spirit that leads to life and peace. Two different  sets  of loyalties , moving in two different directions 

In Vv5-6 the phrase ‘to set your mind on’ in the Greek actually means ‘to be on the side of’. God wants us to take the Spirit’s side against the flesh. This means allowing our lives to be controlled by the Holy Spirit - His desires and interests. Those who truly want to please God by being led by the Spirit make Him their focus, and share in God's life

In Vv 7-8, what are some words/ phrases Paul uses to describe the mind governed by the flesh ? *Hostile to God , against His will. This is the unsaved person, living in the flesh 

*Sinful thinking/ attitudes show that there is no submission to God and His purposes. Being controlled by your selfish desires, not His, means you cannot please God ( v8) and so is under the sentence of death.

Verses 9-11: Paul explains why those who walk according to the Spirit can ( fulfill the requirements of the Law, and  ) please God.

V9- Who lives in every true believer ? The Spirit of God. When we received Jesus as our Saviour, we changed realms of existence. We are placed into a new life in the Spirit. It is in this position from which we can serve the Lord and live to please Him enabled by the Spirit. This believer lives for the Spirit,,, even though we are might struggle with temptation and sin. Spirit dwells in true Christians.

Vv10-11 What is the result of this truth that the Spirit of God dwells in you ? There is a change, a new desire to honour God by the life we live.Your spirit  is alive by the Holy Spirit so in your heart you want to do what is right  before God, although you may still carve self- indulgence . You have  become vastly different because  you are seeking the godly things you used to shun.The Holy Spirit reproduces the life of Christ in the life of the believer…the resurrected life(v11). This demonstrates the immense power of God's Spirit in you

                                   Response :


 The  root of sin is selfishness….The mind is focussed on “I will” and not “Thy will”. Seek renewal of mind

The Holy Spirit is God's provision for holy living. Can you see the evidence of a new, changed life by His grace ?

                                                                                      THURSDAY 9th JUNE 2022


We are continuing on the theme of the Holy Spirit from Sunday ( Pentecost Sunday ). We are studying a familiar passage from the gospel of John:

John 16:7-15 ( READ )

Context - Jesus is spending time with His disciples before He demonstrates the great act of  love the Father has for us. Soon Jesus will go to the cross in loving obedience to the Father's plan

And he is telling the disciples that is is for their good that he must leave them and eventually return to the Father ( re : Jesus’ ascension)

Have you ever heard the phrase before ?- ‘this is for your own good’. It could range from some kind of punishment for disobedience to being denied something you so desperately want.( perhaps like parents and kids or even like God and us,His children)

For three years Jesus’ disciples shared in His ministry of reconciling the world back to Himself.Now he was about to leave them. 

In these verses , Jesus reveals the ‘work’ of the Holy Spirit. It is indeed one of the clearest revelations of the Holy Spirit given by our Lord Jesus Christ  

>Verse 7 : Why is it good for the disciples that Jesus goes away ? The Advocate will come to them 

The word ‘good’ has the idea of ‘combining in a way that brings a gain (especially when events are  taking place that result in benefit)’. So Jesus had to do all he did ( i.e. His death , burial , resurrection and ascension)  before the Holy Spirit could come to glorify all that Jesus did

>Verses 8-11:  What are three aspects of the work which the Holy Spirit will do?

                    * convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment 

1) Holy Spirit convicts of sin in such a way that He drives sinners to Jesus - the only One who can forgive and save us. So there is a conviction of sin leading to the realisation that you need saving and therefore you need Jesus, the Saviour 

Before the convicting work of the Spirit, we might tend to think, ‘my sin is no big deal’. The Holy Spirit works in the minds of the unbeliever by revealing truth about their sin before a holy God. Then godly sorrow always points us to God. This is indicative of the Spirit working in have to do something about the sin

2) Holy Spirit convicts of righteousness. What is righteousness ? - being right with God. So Holy Spirit reveals Jesus as the perfect standard of God’s righteousness to the world.God’s righteousness refers to His perfect, holy nature. So when the world looks at you as a believer ( or even us as a church ) it ought to see a different standard of godly behaviour…just like that of Jesus. The believer is declared righteous in Christ. So you don't need religious rituals and works to make you righteous before God. You just need to respond to His grace  you have received in Christ. And as the world looks at our lives they can see what Holy Spirit is doing because of our changed lives 

3) Holy Spirit convicts of judgment. The heart of man is convicted about the reality of judgment and condemnation that is to come. Satan, the prince of this world, blinds the minds of those who are without Christ. He was judged at the Cross, and all those who reject Jesus will be judged with the devil. Satan still tries to lead people away from God. Yet the Holy Spirit convinces people  of the truth that judgement will come from  rejecting Jesus.  So God’s wrath is coming for those not in Christ. Those in Christ have ran to Jesus for protection.

All that remains to do now is the “executing of this sentence on Satan. This will occur when Jesus returns”. ( Warren Wiersbie)

These three aspects show the wider ministry of Holy Spirit. He will expose sin, expose false righteousness, and reveal the fact that judgment is coming for all those are not in Christ.The activity of God's Spirit helps people see their need of God 

>Verses 12-15 : There are additional roles of the Holy Spirit particularly in relation to His Church

What are some activities the Spirit of truth will do ? 

V12-13 : Guide into truth : give the disciples understanding which they did not now possess ( v12)

The word ‘guide’ suggests that this is a process. The Spirit is the teacher who completely reveals the truth of Jesus and how we are to live as believers in Christ we are to grow in godliness .His ministry is truth- centred.

He works in complete unity with the Father and Son. So the Spirit does not speak of His own initiative.He speaks in line with what God has said. He will prepare us for what lies ahead, in the future. 

Also the ministry of the Spirit is personal to ‘you’. He is dwelling in you and knows what you're feeling. He wants to minister His comfort, joy and love…depending on your need.

V14-15  : He will glorify Jesus : the role of the Spirit is to point believers to Jesus. So that we might believe what Jesus says and lovingly obey what He commands by faith. 

How can the Holy Spirit be glorified in your life ?

The work of the Holy Spirit is immensely vital to living the Christian life.He convicts sinners and brings them to salvation in Christ. Then He guides and nourishes these believers with the inspired Word. This brings spiritual growth and a  closer , intimate relationship with Jesus.

Response :

How will you let the Holy Spirit guide you over the next few days ?

> keep reading and meditating God's  Word 

> Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal more of Christ to your soul

                                                                                                                                  Thursday 2nd June 2022



Welcome to a short devotional as we focus on praying today


Paul writes this letter while in prison to the believers at Colosse . It is easy to  think that being in prison, he would struggle to pray or just pray for himself to be released from prison for example

Often we know how to pray in good times. When we are faced with struggles, suffering and negative circumstances, we might find praying more difficult to do

Verses 3-4 : we see that Paul was more focussed on God's glory and purposes over his personal ( negative ) experience 

Paul is showing these believers how they should pray and what they should pray. In this letter, he teaches the believers that Christ is enough, sufficient for them. 

This is why we can pray as Paul exhorts here :

V2: Firstly, Paul  encourages the Christians to be devoted to payer.

 Other versions say ‘continue steadfastly’,and ‘be persistent’ in prayer. ‘Keep at it’. What does this look like ? Paul shows us that this is connected to the all -sufficiency of Christ, AND NOT SELF. Our dependence is on Him. We need Jesus by the Spirit to enable our spiritual walk .Just like Paul in chains, we are to maintain a disciplined prayer life despite the difficulties. This is essential to every believer.

So in devotion to prayer, the believer is to make sure that we are prioritising prayer in our daily ‘ to do’ list. We must pray not just when a crisis looms but steadfastly and persistently and faithfully.

V2 :Secondly,Paul says to the believers be watchful in prayer.

 ‘Be vigilant in prayer’, ‘spiritual alert and focussed’ as in some other versions of the Bible. When we are in this kind of communion with Our Father, God we will be looking at the intent of our hearts before Him. We will be desiring His purposes to be outworked . We will not be giving room to the enemy's strategies and temptations too. Just like a watchman we are to remain awake and alert to what is going on around us and praying His will into these things. Watchfulness stands on faith - that God is listening and eager to respond to His people 

V2 :Thirdly, Paul emphasises thanksgiving as a vital part of prayer. 

Someone said, “We should thank God just as diligently in our prayers as we make requests of Him”. A heart that is content is thankful rather than complaining 

Our hearts should abound in thankfulness as we meet with the Lord ! The truth is thankfulness is God's will in all circumstances ( 1 Thessalonians 5:18)Give thanks for His grace poured out on you revealing saving truth to you.

We see Jesus modelled this aspect of thankfulness.For example, before the healing of Lazarus, He thanked God ( John 11). Jesus gave thanks before He was crucified ( Luke 22:18-20).It is noteworthy that His thankfulness was before the answers to the prayers. And His prayers always focused on God's purpose and glory.

V3-4 : Paul requests prayer that opportunities will be provided for the proclamation of the message of Christ.Paul’s request has purpose

 He is in physical chains but still wants to proclaim clearly the spiritually chain- breaking message of the Kingdom in the way that he should. This he sees as his responsibility given by God.

He asks for prayer for him and his co-workers

Praying like how Paul encourages can help shift our focus from concerns, worries ,anxieties towards a faithful ,caring God and towards our  God who is in control .

So in you spiritual walk be encouraged. Pray with devotion and faithfulness, pray with spiritual alertness, with thankfulness and pray with Kingdom purposes in mind. 

We are to intentionally set our minds on God's purposes and not our own. When we choose His purposes , we we see that the power of prayer is not just in the content of the prayer. It also changes the life of the person praying 


                                Some prayer points to pray into :

-God is calling us into greater intimacy with Him.Where there are idols of the heart, unhealthy habits, these must be gotten rid of, so we can embrace His desires, plans and purposes

-the ministry of the church - that doors will remain open to proclaim the gospel clearly resulting in a harvest of souls

                                          -godly wisdom for the Team as we decide on the way forward since the      building is up for sale

                                       - continued dependence on the Spirit to lead and direct us  

-Norman & Hilary -

-Update on Marcel 

-Are there other concerns / requests ?                                        


                                                                                 THURSDAY 26th MAY 2022


Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting today

Today is also Ascension Day. It commemorates Jesus’ Ascension into heaven

(PART1). Brief comment on the Ascension of Jesus : READ LUKE 24:45-53



We read in Luke 24:50-53 that Jesus blesses the disciples as He was taken up into heaven. Then they worshipped Him.

 Can you think of any reason why we should worship Jesus and rejoice because He has retuned to heaven ?

Why should we worship Jesus and rejoice because of His ascension ?

Some reasons include: 

  • Jesus’ earthly ministry is now completed.He did not leave because He was rejected by sinful man.He did not leave in defeat. He left because the work the Father sent the Son to do was accomplished. Jesus’ mission was to save sinners. ( ref: John 16:28)

And it is interesting that Jesus did not take His disciples with Him. They had work to do in His name .They are His earthly representatives ( and so are we ! ) So Jesus’ earthly ministry comes to an end but His followers’ mission begins as they proclaim the good news of Jesus

-another reason to worship and rejoice for Jesus’ ascension is that Jesus commences His heavenly ministry. One aspect is that of Jesus’ intercessory ministry for His people.( ref : Romans 8:34 and Hebrew 7:25). The ascended Lord Jesus Christ is our connection into the presence of God. He is interceding for us.

 Another aspect of Jesus’ heavenly ministry is that He is preparing a place for believers.This should fill us with great joy .It shows the Lord's individual concern for His people ( ref : John 14:1-3)Jesus says “I will be back”.

-Jesus’ ascension resulted in the pouring out of Holy Spirit on His people( ref: John 7: 37-39;  16:7). So this gift ,promised by the Father, of the Holy Spirit could not be fulfilled until the Lord ascended .It is through Holy Spirit, the disciples were empowered to carry on Jesus’ mission. 


These are reasons why we can rejoice and worship Jesus because of His ascension. 

(PART 2). The Promise of the Holy Spirit : READ JOHN 14:16-27


Jesus was addressing disciples who were scared because they were about to be alone. Their world it seems was about to be shattered.Soon Jesus will go to the cross. Jesus promises Holy Spirit. The disciples contemplate what will soon happen to Jesus and are fearful. Jesus promises they will never be alone

For those of us who have trusted in Jesus ( followers of Jesus ) the Holy Spirit is promised.

What will Holy Spirit do in the lives of true believers of Jesus Christ ?

He comes alongside as Counsellor/ advocate individual offering offering protection and counsel.

>Holy Spirit Indwells Us- verses 16-17 .Jesus says the Father will give another advocate ( like a legal  term but much more )to help us in our spiritual walk. He will always be present to defend, give peace , represent us and show us truth 

The word ‘another’ here in the Greek means ‘another of exactly the same kind’. Example - if I have drunk a cup of Tetley’s de -caffeinated tea and I want some more, I will make another…cup of Tetley’s de-caffeinated  tea.. not any other 

So Holy Spirit is another like the same kind as Jesus.

 So Jesus promises the Counsellor/ Helper, the Spirit of truth will be like Him.

Who is the ‘ Spirit of truth’ ? Jesus said , ‘ I am the truth’ , so the ‘ Spirit of truth’ is the Spirit of Jesus Christ .. the Holy Spirit , the Helper.

V17-  Jesus  takes it a step further by saying the Spirit will dwell IN you.Jesus was able to abide with the disciples in His earthly ministry. Now with the coming of the Holy Spirit / Helper , He will live in them. Holy Spirit lives in the life of the believer !

V21-This is intimate relationship with Jesus where Jesus will reveal more of Himself as the believer remains obedient to Him. So Holy Spirit comes to develop the character of Christ in us

 This is a truth we need to remind ourselves and declare especially when we're afraid and feeling alone. 

V23 - Jesus says ,’ if anyone genuinely loves Me, he will put My teaching into practice. 

What will be the result of this loving obedience ? They will make their home with the obedient believer . It is note worthy that what Jesus says here is serious enough to repeat it in the negative for emphasis ( as in v24)

>Holy Spirit Instructs Us - v26 : What will the Advocate, the Counsellor, or Holy Spirit do for the disciples ? Instruct us in the things of God. Teach all they need to know and will remind them of Jesus words. Jesus taught the disciples a great deal but they understood more after the resurrection ( as in Luke 24:45 )

The Counsellor reminds us that we belong to Him. He encourages our walk of faith, to press  forward for more

He teaches us how to reach our full potential for the glory of God

This is what the Spirit will do for believers today. He will help us to relate truths to our present life, our situations and in the challenges of our walk with Jesus

Response - the Holy Spirit guides, leads us into truth and real life. The thing is we must follow and obey if we desire this.

Allow the Spirit to speak peace  from the Prince of Peace into your troubled, anxious hearts.Like the disciples you might be having discouraging times.Jesus leaves His peace with you. 

                                                                                                                      THURSDAY 19th MAY 2022


Welcome to 


Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 


Today we are studying Psalm 27:1-6


This is a psalm that David wrote. Many Bible  scholars believe David  wrote this ‘before he was anointed king’. So this was probably written when he was exiled from home and on the run ( hunted down) by King Saul. Clearly, David is in trouble. He is facing some battles  

The psalm is a psalm about David’s confidence and trust in God in the face of his fears and troubles 

Living the Christian life as Jesus intended is all about learning  trust and confidence. And this trust and confidence are not self- centred. It is a God- centred confidence.

What are some initial observations can you make from these verses ?

The imagery of battle is portrayed in this psalm. You see words like ‘enemies’(v2), ‘though war should break out against me’ ( v3) indicative of warfare

Clearly he is in a difficult situation. Yet as war is waged against him, David still has hope - that deep , settled confidence that God will keep His promise

VERSES 1-3 : confidence in the Lord


Verse 1- David is declaring his personal faith in the Lord .What is the declaration that David makes? Notice the  three - fold use of the word ‘my’. This comes out of the personal relationship David has with God. Our relationship with God is vital , foundational in how we handle  difficult times…in how we live victoriously in Christ Jesus

In his season of trouble, he writes this song of confidence and triumph. He speaks to himself, to his own heart, truth of who God is to him.

> We can make similar declarations too especially when fear consumes us or we are being faced with overwhelming, negative situations 

Why is it that David has nothing to be afraid of ? ‘Because the Lord is his light and salvation..’ He puts his name in there . 

What does it mean that God is ‘my light’ ? It means that God guides and directs my path

What about ‘ my salvation’?

What does it mean ‘Lord is the stronghold of my life’? God becomes an anchor, our strength( KJV) in the turmoil and the stormy waves of life

Here we have three characteristics ( titles) of God : light, salvation and strength/stronghold 

David declares his faith in God.He is saying what he knows even when his feelings don't match what he is expressing 

In this life we have the confidence in God to provide us with light to overcome darkness. 

Verses 2-3 - David is declaring that his current hope rests upon God's past faithfulness.

V2-What happened to his enemies when they came against him ? They stumbled and fell, not David ! 

V3- How does David respond to imminent attacks or actual attacks ? He now extends his faith because of God's past faithfulness.God is his light, salvation and strength . David says he will not fear ; he will be confident that God will save him

***See Malachi 3:6  ‘ For I am the Lord, I do not change …but remain faithful to My covenant with you ; that is why you , O sons of Jacob, have not been destroyed ( AMP )****

VERSES 4-6 : communion with God/ worship of God

———————————————- ————————

V4 We note that  David puts God's will first in his life by the phrase ‘One thing I have desired of the Lord’. Then David mentions three goals.They arise from a commitment to serve the Lord faithfully. 

1-What is David's first goal or priority ? To spend his entire life  in the house of the Lord .To be where God dwells and His presence is real. This is how his heart beats.

 David enjoys lingering fellowship with God. David's  passion is to be where the Lord is honored and worshipped. 

2-The second goal ?To gaze on the beauty of the Lord.To be close and intimate with Him.To love and  worship the Lord as Jesus said ‘in Spirit and in truth. This is the only kind of worship acceptable to God. ( John 4)

>>Some might be inclined to say ‘ God get me out of this trouble, Lord!” David says ‘I want to gaze upon the Lord, to draw closer to God. 

3- Thirdly , David’s goal is ‘to seek the Lord…’ He wants to call upon Him, to lean on Him and make requests  of God. Another aspect of worship which is the way we are to deal with the battles we face. Worship magnifies God so you begin to appreciate the greatness of almighty God 

V5-6: We see the reason for David's fervent desire to ‘dwell, gaze and seek’ the Lord. The reason he wants to linger in the Lord’s presence, to love the Lord and to lean on Him is seen in verse 5

V5-David can confidently say these words as he trusts God ( read again v5). God will keep him safe. God will hide him when the battles are raging. God will set him on a rock - an unchangeable, powerful and immovable place. It is the Lord’s doing , not yours.

So in times of trouble, when you're sinking in sin and other problems be encouraged to make such declarations too.

Our individual battles might be different to David's. Yet the same Lord is fighting for you. We need to remain in relationship with God and let Him work 

V6-   When we allow God to work David says his head ‘will be lifted up above my enemies around me’.

Now you are measuring your trouble against the true greatness and magnificence of God

RESPONSE :And David's response to that can be our response too :

You can offer shouts of joy.You can sing praises to the Lord. Praise is also warfare so when you least feel like worshipping, that is when you need to worship most. This is the sacrifice of praise to   the Lord. 


                                                                                        THURSDAY 12th MAY 2022

A big welcome to all 

to the 

Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 


The verses we are studying are from 2 PETER 1:1-15 ( READ )

Context - Peter writes this letter towards the end of his life ( 65-68AD ). He writes to warn the believers ( Christians in western Asia Minor ) against false teachers/ evil doers who have come into the church.He also warns believers who are living a worldly lifestyle with no expectation of the Lord's return. Peter aims to stimulate Christian growth as he encourages and contends for faithfulness to the true gospel 

This is the same Peter who lived with Jesus during His earthly ministry..So he knew what it means to follow Jesus…what constitutes the true gospel

By persevering in the truth of the gospel, the believers will remain faithful to Jesus and fulfil His purpose for their lives


In this first chapter the apostle Peter tells us what the Christian life is all about .It shows us how to live godly lives in a dark and ungodly age. 

In verses 14-15 we read that Jesus ( ref :John 21 ) has told Peter his earthly life will  soon end. So there is an urgency to deliver this kind of inspired encouragement about the basics of the faith ( so we can have them today to refresh our minds )

Verses 1-2 :

V1- to whom is Peter addressing this letter ? How is he describing believers ?

‘ those who have obtained a faith as precious to ours’, Peter says. Because we believe in all the Lord Jesus has done for us and the inheritance we have with Him, our faith is precious as that of the first apostles ! “Precious”- who is the object of our faith ? Jesus

Our faith rests upon the righteousness that God gives in Jesus

Peter knew the transformation that is produced by the miracle of conversion 

This is how he expresses the ‘greatness’ , the value of the believer’s faith.

Man says you have to ‘attain’ it ,God says ‘obtain’ it

V2- Common greetings. The more we come to KNOW Jesus, grace and peace will be more abundant for us. Only in the knowledge of Christ can you enjoy the ‘fullness’ of God's favour and peace 

But there is more !….

Verses 3-4 :

V3- As a believer, what has God given to us ? Everything we need to live godly and to live for Him This happens because you know God personally- ‘through our knowledge of Him’.This knowledge is more than intellectual. This is an amazing truth to embrace daily as we live for His glory

V4- ‘Great and precious promises’…For example the promise of forgiveness of sin and the gift of Holy Spirit . Because of these promises already received, we have relationship in Christ - the Spirit lives in us and we in Him.We live at one with Jesus now and not one with the world. So more of His character/ nature is formed in us rather than evil desires of the world and old nature

>To ponder :  How would you respond to a Christian who says he doesn't have the power to live a godly life ? It is by the power of God we have new life ! It is by the power of God that we can live godly lives !

Verses 5-7: Now Peter shows us how spiritual growth can take place because God is enabling us . He gives a list of ‘graces’/ Christ - like qualities that we are to develop. Can you name at least one from the list ? goodness/ virtue - moral excellence, self- control or discipline, perseverance- bearing up under trials, love - active goodwill toward those in need

V5- So what are we to do because God's power is at work in us ?  ‘make every effort…add’

Observe that the word ‘add’ has the idea of each grace listed working in harmony with the others to produce a collective effect . Similar to leading a choir or keeping in tune

Observe the word ‘to’/ ‘in’. This means that each grace is to temper or make perfect the preceding grace. For example,”to knowledge add self- control” - the grace of self -control enables you to properly apply the knowledge 

Each grace develops in conjunction with the other. Not selective !                    

> The life of the believer is one of constantly adding further dynamics of God's life and grace. In this way more of Christ is revealed in and through us.

Verses 8-11:

V8- What will result from cultivating these qualities(in us) ? the fruit of holiness will be produced , the fruit that results from having a living , dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ 

 - the word ‘knowledge’( Greek - epignosis) here is more than something intellectual.It has the idea ‘becoming thoroughly acquainted with, to know accurately or well’

V9-11 These verses give three reasons why we need to‘make every effort’ or ‘give all diligence’-be eager or zealous -( as in NKJV )to growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. What happens to someone who is not growing in these qualities/ graces ?

1)-‘Myopia’ and ‘amnesia’ follow. (V9) We are spiritually blind and forget that we were redeemed by the blood of Christ… to serve Him. God expects every believer in Christ to be fruitful ( John 15:16 )

2)- (v10)  when we cultivate these qualities we will not stumble so falling short of salvation. For we know then that God has chosen and called us to obedience and holiness. So we persevere

3)- (v11)we will receive a wonderful welcome into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour by the fruit that results fro these qualities mentioned in v5-7

Verses 12-15 As Peter anticipates his martyrdom, he writes under the inspiration of Holy Spirit. His intention is to remind the believers of truth from God's Word as they live in a hostile world.

V13-Tent - Peter uses a figurative description of our earthly, temporary lives. He encourage others to live in relationship with Christ , live like Jesus as we move towards heaven

Application - 

Allow Holy Spirit to work in our hearts. To refresh and remind us of the blessings / gifts we have in Christ .So we intentionally seek to add these qualities to our Christian experience.


                                                                                                                          Thursday 5th May 2022


Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 

Today, we would like to spend time on the passage we used for the Sunday message. We would like to dig in deeper to see what Isaiah says about the mission of Jesus. Let us read Isaiah 61(all eleven verses)

Context -This book unveils God's judgment but also God's eventual restoration of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. The people of Israel had broken God's covenant. Isaiah prophesies that they will be captured and carried away into Babylon .Jerusalem will be destroyed.

But there is still hope. Isaiah prophesies that the ruins of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah will be rebuilt. Isaiah proclaims a message of hope and restoration.

Centuries ( about 700years ) before Jesus’ arrival, Isaiah describes the “Servant”. We know from Luke 4:16-21 that the ‘Servant’ described is Jesus, ultimately . ( Read  Luke 4:16-21 )

God's plan to save the world as prophesied becomes a reality in Jesus. Jesus is the fulfilment of Isaiah's coming anointed one. Jesus is the picture of Isaiah 61:1-2

#>Can you just imagine being in Jesus’ presence when He read some of these words from Isaiah’s prophecy ?

Jesus was beginning to live the life God had purposed for Him to live on earth

1)The purpose of Jesus’ mission: verses 1-3


What  is the purpose of the One anointed ( chosen )  by the Lord ?v1-2


To proclaim good news - ‘Jesus’ is the gospel; the good news to the poor , heals the damage that sin brings

To bind up the brokenhearted - all the wounds of broken , crushed lives He takes care of

To proclaim freedom from their captivity - those  who feel trapped by fear ,shame …your chains are gone !

To release the prisoners from darkness- those in exile and feeling imprisoned and grieving he makes a way out of darkness

To proclaim the Year of the Lord’s favour - every 50 years Israel cancel all debts, return to its original owners all family property that had been sold ,and generally be kind and generous to all

Everything is reset , all savings shared.

This foreshadows the liberation that Christ gives because the cross cancels all our debts.So we are free to leave the past behind and move on with the joy of the Lord

To comfort and provide for all who mourn in Zion :(v3)


what are the three things the Servant grants to those who mourn ? 

1- a beautiful headdress instead of ashes. Ashes were used for mourning during wars or at funerals . The headdress is a symbol of trading mourning for glory

2-oil of gladness instead of mourning ( repeated)

3- a garment of praise is given instead of a broken heart; the garment of praise covers the broken-hearted .Songs of sorrow turned into songs of praise to God

The Servant brings joy and gladness to those who are sad and wallowing in depression 

Jesus claims in Luke 4 that He is the One God has chosen, prepared and sent to accomplish this purpose. As the Sovereign Lord, God's purposes can never be thwarted

( still in v3) What is the result of this ? The people are made ‘oaks of righteousness’. Oaks are used as symbols of certainty and confidence. They have deep roots.So, the poor, broken-hearted and bound are called ‘oaks of righteousness’—— people that are sure and confident. Only the Lord can make this happen. The Lord raises up  Israel again after seventy years in captivity 

Only the Lord can make us holy, we cannot earn it. So all glory belongs to Him alone

Why ? To display His splendour, that He may be glorified 

2)The effect of His mission : verses 4-7


What will be the effect of this mission ? To rebuild and restore … every need is met.Isaiah paints the picture of victory  instead of defeat. The captives are turned into conquerors. These ‘oaks of righteousness’ will be involved in restoring devastated places ( fulfilled when they returned from exile)

Sometimes we feel hopeless, like ancient ruins, feeling ashamed, feeling like we need to fake it to make it. In these times we are to cling to the promises we have in the Restorer. His promises always come to pass

In v5-7 there are a series of changes the people will experience. Can you name any ? 

-While they're wondering how they would rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple, God says strangers/ foreigners will help them ( reference to Gentiles ).All God's people are rebuilders empowered by the Spirit 

-The people are now called priests / ministers. They once had shame and dishonour, now they have a double portion of inheritance they now possess.( ref: 1Peter 2:9)

-The Servant promises to take their shame and ruins, and ours too, making something more beautiful and joyous.Beauty instead of shame. This text is not just about the people returning to their land , but salvation to all found only in Jesus Christ

 3)The response to His mission : verses 8-11


 What is the response to Jesus’ mission ?

>V8-10 God's response : God speaks about what He loves and hates. God keeps His covenant promises. His plan always includes people.He desires to save people from every nation and tribe.

>V10-11 Isaiah’s response: we see he expresses delight , great joy for God's salvation plan.The people rejoices in what the Anointed One has made possible for them a

 Isaiah speaks on behalf of the people..and all those who would believe in the Good News

What has God done to His people? God has dressed Isaiah with salvation.God clothes him with righteousness of God. These are glorious garments 

V11- just as God causes dead seed to sprout up and new plants to grow, God chooses a people to raise to spiritual life both from Israel and other nations.These are the ones who will be clothed in Jesus’ righteousness.  Instead of death we have life in Christ Jesus and can flourish in His blessings 

‘ The Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations’

>>Our response/ Application: 

Just like Jesus , when we follow God's purpose for our lives, it will cost us. Serving God has a cost .The cost is worth it ! 

We need to go to Jesus if we desire deep roots and want to grow strong and firm in Christ 

Look to Jesus.He is the One your heart needs most.

Revelation 21:4 ‘God will wipe away every tear from their eyes and there will be no more death, no more grief nor crying nor pain, for the old order has passed away.’                                                                                  Prayer Meeting, Thursday 28th April 2022 (Prayer /Seeking God)

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭63:1-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The desire of the Psalmist, David, is to seek God. 
He thirsts for Him. He longs for Him. 
God is also our God. 
The key theme of this Psalm is that God is found by those who seek Him.
He satisfies the thirsty. 
His power & glory are discovered when we worship in His sanctuary. 
His love far outweighs anything that we can experience on our own. 
The desire of our hearts needs to be like David’s : to praise & bless God as long as we live.
One of the ways we can outwardly express our love & praise for God is by lifting up our hands in worship. 
For all of life’s richest blessings, our lips sing the praise of our hearts. 
And that’s what we do when we come into His presence & worship Him joyfully through our singing.
This morning, let’s spend some time now simply waiting upon the Lord. 
If anyone has a Bible verse or short passage, a word of knowledge or wisdom, or a picture please feel free to share this with us all. 
Then we can weigh up any words or pictures with what the Bible says & encourage one another as the Body of Christ. 
Let’s draw near to God & Seek His Face. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.””
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:4-5, 7-9, 13-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Time of Prayer for needs of people we know 
& for different countries in the world.

Let’s stand & sing together :- 
‘God, I Look to You’ & 
‘Be Thou My Vision’ 

And then, I’ll close the meeting in prayer using one of Paul’s prayers. 

Closing Prayer

“For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:15-23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Bible Study, Thursday 21st April 2022

Good morning, Brothers & Sisters, Friends of CWC Playa Blanca.
Welcome to the Thursday Bible Study in the Name of our precious Lord & Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Today, we will be looking at Luke 24:1-35, as a follow-up from the Easter Sunday’s message on 

the Resurrection of Jesus : 'You Can’t Keep the God-Man Down!’

What does it mean for us in practice today?
Today, we’ll consider what it means in three sections :-
Luke 24:1-8
Luke 24:9-12 &
Luke 24:13-35.

Luke 24:1-8
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭24:1-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

On the first day of the week, the women find that the stone is rolled away & that the tomb is empty. Two angels appear as men in shining clothes to tell them that ‘He is Risen!’ They remind the women of the prophecy that Jesus will be delivered into the hands of sinful men, & be crucified, & on the third day rise again! Only then do they remember His words.

We know that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, as we can look back on the event with hindsight. Unlike the women, who had to rely on what Jesus had said & recall that He would indeed rise from the dead & the grave.

How does remembering that Jesus rose from the dead just like He said He would impact upon your daily life?

Consider for a few minutes what each of these following questions may mean for you personally :-

How does the fact that Jesus rose from the dead make an impact upon your thoughts?
How does the fact that Jesus rose from the dead make an impact upon your words?
How does the fact that Jesus rose from the dead make an impact upon your actions?
How does the fact that Jesus rose from the dead make an impact upon your attitudes?

If you cannot think of any ways that Jesus has impacted your life, ask Him to search your heart & mind right now & by His Holy Spirit He will make a difference from now onwards in the way that you think, speak, act & react. He alone makes the difference!

Luke 24:9-12
“When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭24:9-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary (James’ mother), & others tell all this to the disciples of Jesus. The doubts of the disciples are such that they dismiss what they hear from the women as ‘idle tales.’

What do you make of the disciples’ response to the women? (V.11)
Maybe you think that they were too dismissive or flippant in their response.
Or maybe you would agree with their response!

Note Before : Back then, in the culture of Jesus’ day, women were not deemed to be credible witnesses. Yet, Jesus chose to give them this task of conveying the significant news that He had Risen from the dead.
Jesus raised the profile of women & saw their true/real value & worth.
He elevated & esteemed them.
He didn’t treat them as second-class citizens & neither should we!

What do you make of the reaction of Peter? (V.12)
Peter is more curious & goes to check out the story of the women to see if it is true. He sees the grave-clothes lying by themselves, & marvels at what has happened. He then believes the account of the women, but only because he has seen it with his own eyes.

Before we are too hard or harsh on Peter or the other disciples, let us stop, pause, & reflect on the following question :-

How often do you & I doubt what Jesus has said He will do, because we haven’t seen or heard it for ourselves firsthand?
In what ways do we hear His voice?

God speaks to us through His Word - the Bible,
Through the Living Expression of the Word - Jesus,
Through the Holy Spirit, & through other believers to challenge & encourage us on our daily walk or journey as it were with Him.

How have you been encouraged or challenged in some way this week?

Has this made a difference in how you live & respond or react to other people?

We should test everything against the Word of God & believe what He says is true & valid. We should testify to the work that He is doing in our lives.

How can this be outworked in our everyday lives? :-
Through our thoughts, words, actions & attitudes being changed & conformed more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ, our Lord & Saviour.

Luke 24:13-35
“Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭24:13-35‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What facts can you initially glean from this passage?
Two disciples, one named Cleopas, the other one’s name we are not told, were walking a seven mile stretch from Jerusalem to Emmaus.
They are very downhearted & discouraged as they believe that their Lord & Master has been defeated by death.
They were discussing things related to Jesus’ death & the events that had led up to it.
Yet they were kept from recognising Jesus.
In this instance, it was the divine intervention of God Who prevented them from instantly knowing it was the Risen Lord Jesus who had joined them on their walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus.

(Further reading :-
Later on, in Acts 9:1-10, we see that Saul had a vision when he was journeying to Damascus. He recognises the voice of the Lord.
Saul is blinded before his conversion.
The Lord also appeared to Ananias in a vision, regarding Saul,
in Acts 9:10-16.
Note that it was only when Ananias laid his hands on Saul’s head that his sight was restored Acts 9:17-19).

(Further reading :-
Saul when he was converted received the new name, ‘Paul.’
It is Paul who writes in 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 these words :-
“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:4-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It is only when God opens our minds that we can see & know Him for Who really is. Then we can know Him in our hearts & lives, when He reveals Himself to us).

How does Jesus reveal Himself to the two disciples? (Verses 17-27).
By a pertinent line of questioning Jesus shows these disciples through Scripture things relating to His resurrection.
Jesus sharpens their minds to focus on the truth, the reality that He is alive, & their hearts start to burn fiercely & passionately within them.

What is the ultimate action of Jesus that helps the disciples recognise Him?
(Verses 30-35).

When He breaks bread & give thanks, their eyes are opened,
they recognise Jesus, & then He disappears or departs from their sight. They are thrilled by the fact that Jesus has shared the Scriptures with them. They rapidly go & tell the eleven disciples their good news/report & tell them that Jesus has also appeared to Simon Peter.

In what ways has Jesus recently revealed Himself to you?
How has this affected the way in which you live your life for Him?
Sometimes Jesus may speak into our lives, but we also don’t recognise His voice.

How can we ensure that it is the voice of Jesus that we are hearing?
By comparing it to what is written in the Bible.
By allowing the Holy Spirit to bear witness with our spirit that it is truth.
By seeking the advice of a wise, discerning brother or sister in Christ, who would point you to relevant portions of Scripture.

In Summary :-
So let us remember that Jesus has indeed risen from the dead.
Let us cast all our doubts & anxieties at the foot of the Cross & allow Jesus to continue to be our ‘Living Hope,’ & to fill our hearts & minds with His peace that passes all understanding.
Let us continue to hear & respond to the voice of Jesus.
May we grow more & more into His likeness day-by-day.
May He continue to transform our thoughts, words, actions & attitudes, so that people we meet see Him reflected in & through our lives. Amen.
‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy & peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,’ Romans 15:13.

Prayer Focus :-

Praise the Lord for the safe arrival of Pastor Kurt Erickson & the delivery of the Celox (Haemostatic) Gauze to help ‘Stop the Bleeding’ in Ukraine.
We continue to pray for the protection of both Karl Shifflett & Pastor Kurt Erickson in the role that they are playing there.
We also continue to pray for all of those involved in the war in Ukraine, whether Ukrainians or Russians.

Pray for our own community, here in Playa Blanca & in other parts of Lanzarote :-

For Jackie & Colin.
For Carole, who has recently returned from hospital.
For Chrissie.
For Erryl.
For Keith.
For Granny’s Attic.

For others also who we know need healing in other countries :-
For Jean.
For Brian.
For Dennis.

Let’s stand & sing together :-
‘Amazing Grace’ &
‘One Day When Heaven Was Filled With His Praises (Living He Loved Me)’


Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 


This is the final study in our Study Series on “ A Guide To Christlikeness and Spiritual Growth”

The Bible verses we are studying today are from EPHESIANS 4:17-32

Let us read this Bible passage  and listen to what God is saying to us today

Context : Paul writes to new converts in Ephesus and explains to them how God's grace should change their lives ( and ours) in real and tangible ways. He writes from his house-prison

In earlier chapters ( the first three )Paul talks about all the grace and blessings we as believers have received from God in Christ Jesus.

  Now, he shows how God's grace should change our lives. The central importance of grace in the life of believers is emphasised. It is this grace that enables us to live in Christ and to do what pleases Him. 

The new life of purity must be the preferred way of living instead of the old way of living without Christ

Are there any initial observations from these verses ?

—->> ‘you must no longer live like the unbeliever’,  the difference between the unbeliever and the believer’s way of living, putting off your old self, putting on the new self <<——

The lifestyle of  the Christians and non-Christian is unmistakably different . Tastes, pleasures, desires , standards are poles apart

If you had to write a brief testimony, an easy format would be 1- my life before Jesus ; 2- how I came to know Jesus ; 3- the difference Jesus has made in my life. 

Now what are some of the words you would use to describe your life before Jesus and what happened when you met Christ ? What are some words to describe your life in Christ ? 

VERSES 17-19

 ( suggest read vv15-16 before reading v17 onwards —Paul says the mature grow in faith and reflect more and more of Jesus in their lives ,speaking the truth in love.) God's plan for His people is that they will reach spiritual maturity, move on from where they are and grow up in Christ Jesus !

In these verses we see some words that describe the unbeliever to the Ephesians ( the before Jesus life ) 

What are some words/ phrases Paul uses to  describe the old way of life, those of the world ?         —futile,  hardened hearts ,separated from the life of God, indulging in every kind of impurity, full of greed ( lust for more and more)

 V17- How is Paul ( insisting ) strongly admonishing the believer to live ? Not as unbelievers do (the Gentiles in this context… those outside the Christian community) Note also he is admonishing them in the Lord’s name 

The maturing believer is easily identified because she / he is so different from the world around them. The unbeliever is in darkness. The believer is no longer in darkness.He has a new desire. Life has ceased to be “my will” and being ‘ full of greed’ -v19 . Life has become all about “God's will”.

VERSES 20-24 

What were the believers taught about this new life (v22-24) ‘to put off the old self..deceitful desires, have new attitude of mind, and to put on the new self..’


What do you think this means ? 

‘Put off the old self ‘- receiving Jesus’ new life after repentance, a change of heart , separation from the previous worldly life so you live pleasing to God The word ‘corrupt’ speaks of a corpse that lies rotting..dead !

‘Be made new in the attitude of your minds’ - with the change in heart ( new desires ) comes an entirely new mindset so you live differently to the world.

‘Put on the new self’ - What is the new self ? The new life which enables you to become what God wants you to be, emulating the character of our LordJesus Christ : living in ways that are right and holy in His eyes and allowing God's Kingdom rule to be foremost in the believer’s life

> The maturing Christian looks different ,acts different, lives different and thinks differ than he/she did before. It is all about a changed life 

Verses 25-32 

What should believers look like ? In these verses there are practical instructions that reflect Christlike standards we are to embrace in our daily walk. 

Paul contrasts the life of the believer to the unbeliever .He gives a sampling of what a transformed life looks like. 

Here we see five  traits/ behavioural changes of the new man.Paul gets down to nitty-gritty examples of everyday life.  

As you will observe, each positive trait replaces an old or negative habit or  trait: 

** Falsehood vs speaking truthfully- the new self is not afraid to speak truth even when it makes you look bad.The old self thinks nothing of lying.

**Sinful anger vs sinless anger - the old self uses anger to get its way, allows it to linger.This prompts sinful behaviour. The new self is angered by the things that anger God. It is righteous anger… E.g unholiness, sin, injustice. Clothing ourselves with the new nature of Christ and so the devil has no foothold to take advantage of you

** Stealing vs sharing - the old  self continues to steal, takes advantage of others to get ahead. The new self works honestly and hard and shares with those in need 

** Unwholesome talk vs talk that builds others up - the old self seeks to tear others down..can't wait to tell others what ‘that person’ said/did.This includes impure and critical words, boastful comments ,gossiping.  The new self speaks positively about others and goes beyond to encourage and benefit others.

Even when there is correction they are spoken in love 

** Bitterness vs kind, compassionate, and forgiving - being bitter ,negative in our attitudes words or actions grieve the Holy Spirit .This is the old self. The new self is kind, compassionate and forgiving even when others don't deserve it or it does not make sense

Always be ready to forgive in the same way that, through Christ,God has always been willing to forgive you !

We are to become who we are in Christ in godly behaviours and attitudes

Response - the source of conflict is the old man (17-24)

                    the solution to conflict is the new man ( 25-32)

                    the key - solution to conflicts is Holy Spirit ( v30 ) right in the middle of the passage dealing with relationships, Paul says do not  grieve the Spirit. This implies that the motive for having  harmonious relationships is to please God ..not ourselves. So putting on the new self behaviours in our relationships means we want to please Holy Spirit 


Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 


Today we are continuing on the Study Series which is called : 

“A Guide To Christlikeness and Spiritual Growth”

AIM - that all followers of Christ will become more Christ-like in character and attitude, and mature spiritually. 


Let us read Galatians 5:13-26 and listen to what God is saying to us today. 

Context - this passage forms part of Paul's letter to a group of churches in (Galatia) Asia Minor.

He writes to counter the claims by false teachers (Judaizers) that the Galatians believers must follow the law and be circumcised to be saved. 

They were trying to change Christianity into a performance-based religion.

The believers were to live in freedom made possible through the cross and the impartation of the Holy Spirit. 

It is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone that people are justified. 

It is by faith alone that they are to live out their new life in the freedom of the Spirit.

Paul addresses a key issue - the right relationship that should exist between Jewish and non-Jewish believers 

in Christ as they live in freedom in Christ.

What are some initial observations for you? 

Freedom only in Christ, the proper use of our liberty, the enmity between Spirit vs the flesh ...

like a war, a description of the self-life, a description of the Spirit-led life.

So we are not to abuse the wonderful freedom we have in Christ. 

Freedom from what? 

Freedom from legalism, ... keeping the Law which we can never attain.


How are we to use our freedom? 

To serve one another as the outworking of your love for one another. 

We are called to the love that is expressed in obedience to Jesus (the law of love).


Paul says to the believers ‘you will destroy each other if you use your freedom to fight and snap at one another.’

Certainly this freedom does not to give licence to do whatever you please - to sin BUT to serve God and one another in love. Obedience to the one command “You are to love your neighbour as yourself,” fulfils the whole of the law. 

(See Romans 13:8-10).

This is the opposite of biting and devouring each other. 

Strife and conflict are the results of loving self and giving opportunity to our flesh.


What is the key to conquering the sinful desires? How can we not gratify the self-life desires? 

V.16 - Focus on walking in the Spirit (a key truth to grow spiritually).

What does it mean to walk by the Spirit? 

This is an active command or an on- going action (present tense) :- 

By placing our lives under His full control. 

Submit to His will and authority in every situation we meet and being obedient to His corrections.

And it is conduct we engage in habitually so we can live in true freedom and victoriously. 

Walking by the Spirit means NOT relying on your own efforts and abilities. 

Selfish desires (of the flesh) are in opposition to the Spirit. 

There is a conflict, a tug-of-war between the Spirit and the ‘flesh’ or our old sinful nature. 

But if you choose to be led by the Spirit you will not live under the bondage of the religious law. 

You will not be gratifying the desires of the old nature.

God's Holy Spirit is stronger than our sinful desires of our old nature. 

As we become more dependent on the Spirit, we will grow in grace as we are conforming into the likeness of Jesus.

As a believer in Christ, the Spirit lives in him. Although the Spirit now has control, 

the self-life (flesh) will keep fighting even to the bitter end to regain its place. 

So the self-life wins a lot of skirmishes, but final victory belongs to the Spirit.

How do we fight ? ‘Don't go back to law-keeping. Live by the Spirit’s control.' (Added Reading: Romans 7:15-25).

VV.19-21 - this list is not exhaustive and describes attitudes not controlled by love.

Paul chooses this list because of the particular problems of the Galatians. 

For us, the list may be different. 

When you listen to the flesh, what are some specific evils that will manifest? 

The self-life can give way to sexual sins (v.19), religious sins (v.20), social sins (vv.20-21), sins of excess (v.21).

V.21(b) What is the consequence of living this kind of life (the self-life)? 

“Will not inherit God’s Kingdom."

Walking in the flesh is the pursuit of self-serving purposes rather than glorifying God.

The Holy Spirit will never lead you into these works of the flesh. 

The Gentile believers were not to return to such activities. 

The Jewish believers were not to think that just because they had been delivered from the law that they were free to indulge their self-life. 

The works of the flesh no longer characterise the believer’s life.


What characterises the believer’s life? 

We see a contrast between the fruit of the Spirit and the works of the flesh.

As we walk in the Spirit, there are some qualities and/or virtues that Paul makes clear will be produced by the Spirit. Whenever we think fruit of the Spirit we should be thinking character - Christ-like character. 

The one fruit of the Spirit and its nine flavours :-

Love, joy, peace -  come from our relationship with God. 

As we grow closer to Jesus, these virtues become more evident.

Long-suffering (patience), kindness, goodness - has to do with relationship with others. 

So it is practical. It is about putting up with people, looking out to show Christ’s love whether they deserve it or not.

Faithfulness - as you serve God and others.

Gentleness - being sensitive to others’ feelings, even accepting when they are insensitive to ours.

Self-control - mastering our desires, reactions, words.

There is no law against such things!

V24-26 : How can the believer show more of these Christlike virtues ?

**By remembering that all the passions and fleshly desires were nailed to the cross, crucified with Christ.  


So don't flirt with the dead.

The believer belongs to Christ Who died for him. 

Positionally in Christ, you have turned your back on  the self-life. So show it by the way you live.

Keep in step with the Spirit. 

And as you do this, remember the fruit you bear is not a competition with others or cause for pride.

** By walking in the Spirit. Align yourself with what the Spirit desires ... walking in love, not pride or jealousy. 

Act like what we are, who we are in Christ Jesus.

Response  :  Abide in the Vine - spiritual fruit is the result of abiding in the Vine.

Prayer Meeting, Thursday 24th March 2022

Opening Prayer & then singing the next three songs :-

‘All Praise to our Redeeming Lord’

‘How Lovely on the Mountains (Our God Reigns)’

‘I Hear the Sound of Rustling in the Leaves of the Trees’  

Open time of Praise to God.

  1. Verses to guide our Prayers for Israel (Jerusalem) “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.”

Isaiah 62:6-7 NIV

Watchmen : those who look for the coming of the Lord victorious over Israel’s enemies. 

When they saw potential danger approaching, they sounded an alarm, either by a shout or by a trumpet blast.

Soldiers could then prepare themselves for battle & defend the city. 

As watchmen, we can still do this today. 

We can alert the Body of Christ, the Church, to the attacks of the enemy, 

by sounding the alarm. 

We do this from a spiritual perspective. 

The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-13 reminds us of this fact :- 

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Ephesians 6:10-13 NIV

Prayer points from my friend who lives close to Jerusalem :- 

For those taking in Ukrainian refugees.

Not all refugees will stay long-term, but it isn’t known how long they will stay there at the moment. Many families are busy donating clothes & opening up their homes. 

Israel is concerned Russia is in Syria. 

Israel is concerned about the outcome of the Iran nuclear deal negotiations.

  1. Verses to guide our Prayers for Ukraine & Russia “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Psalms 46:1-11 NIV

Listen to the song :- 

  1. Verses to guide our Prayers for our Local Community & People We Know “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” 

Numbers 6:24-26 NIV

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful....”

...”Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.”

Colossians 4:2, 12 NIV

Close by singing : ‘The Blessing’ & 

‘The Millennium Prayer’ as Prayer Declarations. 





Study series : “ A Guide To Christlikeness and Spiritual Growth.”

Aim of this series : that all followers of Christ will become more Christlike in character and attitude and mature spiritually. 

Let us read COLOSSIANS 3:5-17 as we see what God is saying to our hearts today.

Context : Paul is laying out some principles that will help us in our Christian growth. 

When he wrote this letter, he was encouraging the believers to keep the faith despite the attacks from false teachers. 

So as they seek to live ‘in Christ Jesus’, old habits/ways need to be replaced with Christ like virtues daily.

These verses (5-17)  answer the question, ‘how then shall we live since we have been raised with Christ and are seated with Him (our position in Christ)?’

***Verses 5-10 :  we read a list of deeds and attitudes of the old life

Note the two verbs/ phrases : ‘put to death’( v5) and  ‘rid yourselves of’( v8).

What do you think these phrases mean? 

They are two images, metaphors that describe how to get rid of sin :-

1: ‘Put to death’ - mortify..(Greek necrosis - make as dead, lifeless, death of most or all cells in an organ due to disease, injury, or failure of the blood supply).

Have nothing to do with such desires and/or hold habits and do not be greedy; 

v5- a greedy person is an idolater. 

>Idolatry is the worship of something created as opposed to the worship of Creator God (anything self puts in place of God e.g work, sports, money, etc.).

2: ‘Rid yourselves of’ - put off, take off like literally taking off one’s clothes, or figuratively to ‘lay aside’  so it is not part of you. Renounce or stow away.

Both phrases convey the idea of some kind action, something you must initiate and carry out but not on your own. 

As a believer  you have the Holy Spirit to enable you.

What are some serious habits/ vices Paul mentions that the believers at Colossae must put to death or get rid of? V5,v8,v9

Evil desires- a desire for something forbidden. 

Greed - inappropriate desire for more of something that is idolatry.  

Anger - (more permanent) that emotion that could cause us to say or do something we regret later.

Then there is righteous anger which is an appropriate response to injustice. 

Rage - when anger flares up, one is loud and even violent (more temporary).

Malice - vicious attitude, ill-will.     

Slander - speech that defames or denigrates, criticises unfairly. 

Such a list or similar shows that the things we think, the words we say and actions we perform matter to a holy God. 

4 reasons why we need to get rid of these vices and/or sins are found in v6, v7, vv9-10, v11.

V7- read : Paul says in your old life you were bound by such things ...

But now you are to have a completely different walk have left that old self behind with all the things you used to do then.

These were old habits and lifestyles that they needed to shed as they foster their relationship with Christ. 

They are no longer part of the believer’s life.

V10- how does Paul describe the new self? 

One that receives renewed or fresh knowledge and/or revelation of God the Creator and that makes you more and more like Him.

The cross dealt with the power of the old nature. 

The Holy Spirit enables you to live in the power of your new nature.

Ponder : what are you doing that enables the renewal process in your heart or what are you doing that hinders that process of renewal ??

***Verses 11-17 : we read Paul's list of attitudes and actions of the new life of believers in Christ. 

He links vv12-17 by saying that in Christ our differences have no meaning. 

We are to be Christ-like to all.

Outcasts, marginalised - nothing is to divide.

In Christ we are one and Jesus becomes everything to you! 

V12 - what does it mean to ‘put on’ (KJV) or ‘clothe yourselves..’? 

A new dress code or it has the sense of new garments that ‘you are sinking yourself into’..

So you are sinking yourself into the character of Christ. 

“Take off the old, so you put on the new”

Why do we have to put on these Christ-like characteristics? V12- we are now God’s chosen, holy and dearly loved people. These virtues & behaviours are an overflow from the believer’s relationship with Christ :-

Compassion- showing heartfelt concern for another's misfortune. 

Kindness - quality of being helpful. 

Humility - a deep sense of one’s littleness.  

Gentleness - not a poor self- image but not feeling the need to impress others or force oneself on others. 

Patience - bearing up under provocation. 

V13- To bear with each other - ..put up with each other when you might be driving each other crazy. Forgive  as the Lord forgave you.Christ forgave us so we can forgive others.

V14-Love - this is like the overcoat for all the other attitudes Paul mentions. 

This is ‘agape’ love :  self-sacrificing, unconditional love that God showed in Christ. 

We are now to wear ‘agape’ garment and this supreme virtue unites all others.

As we put on these virtues together with love, we are remembering it is Christ we are serving and not ourselves.

OUR RESPONSE :  How should we live this new life as members of the body of Christ?

V15- the peace that Christ alone gives must be the deciding factor and/or rule in our hearts 

(when there are conflicts and/or disagreements in relationships). 

Whatever rules our hearts will direct our thought life and how we deal with emotions.

Remember to be thankful always, as this promotes peace. 

v16- Let Christ’s words dwell in you richly. 

Let them find a home in your heart so daily you live it out. 

Your conversation and worship must be Christ-centred. 

Keep singing with gratitude to Him.

V 17- Speak and act like Jesus would, as you clothe yourself with Christ as your new life. 

You are now in a new team bearing Christ’s name. 

You represent Him, not yourself in all you do and say.


Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 


We are continuing the study series on growing spiritually and becoming more Christ- like.

It is called “A Guide To Christlikeness and Spiritual Growth”

AIM : that all followers of Christ will become more Christlike in character and attitude and mature spiritually


Background : Paul the apostle writes these verses as part of his letter to the Christians at Colossae (a small  city in Asia Minor or modern Turkey). 

He encourages them to stand firm in their faith in Christ amidst the attacks that the church received from false teachers. 

As he counteracts these problems he proclaims the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

He is seeking to ground the Colossian Christians firmly on Christ Jesus : who He was and is and what Christ came to do. 

So with this understanding they can remain firm as they deal with their problems. 

These are some challenging verses.

Paul is sharing with them how they should live out the Christian life.

It is a series of practical encouragements that direct the believer on living a life that is so heavenly minded that it is of earthly use too!

What are some initial observations you can make from these verses?

The name ‘Christ’ is mentioned 4 times…making Him central. 

Two commands in verses 1(set your hearts)  and 2 (set your mind).

The believer is dead (to sin) and alive (in Christ).

Verse 1: we have come alive in Christ by God's mercy. 

Who is Paul’s audience ?  

‘Since you were raised with Christ’ - those who have been raised to new life in Christ. (Col 2:12).

In Romans 6:3-5  >> Paul portrays baptism as a burial and resurrection with Christ…

so you have the burial of the old person (‘before Christ’) and the resurrection of the new person (‘after Christ’).


What is Paul telling/commanding these Christians to do as they walk in newness of life in Christ? (V1b) ‘set your hearts on things above, ( NKJV) seek the things that are above …..’. 

The word ‘seek’ (in the Greek) has the idea of a continuous action..(seek and keep on seeking), 

an active endeavour or pursuit.

> there is a change in your purpose of life, the way you think and even your future destiny.  

Why are followers of Jesus to do this ? 

( … ‘things that are ABOVE’) 

This is where Christ with whom they have relationship, is seated and reigns in highest authority . You love your Saviour and Lord so you want to follow His ways (Read Ephesians 2:6).

And what we now pursue is beyond what this world offers.  

Seeking things above is to pursue the kingdom of God and His righteousness. 

It is about building His eternal kingdom and not your own temporal kingdom.

Verse 2 : How do we seek things that are above? 

We follow command 2 - ‘ set your minds on things above…’ 

What we desire and focus our attention on usually determines what we do.

The word ‘mind’ speaks of a new attitude, a way of thinking habitually and constantly.

This means our thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes are no longer centred on things of this world.

In Christ, there is so much more than this world can give.

The believer has a new mindset where he or she is focusing on heavenly things. 

Being raised with Christ changes EVERYTHING about our perspective. 

> the popular phrase : ‘you are so heavenly minded that you're no earthly use’.

This heavenly mindset makes you of more earthly use. 

As you set your mind on things above, you view things from an eternal perspective. 

For example, the things we look at, read or even people we relate to are to are viewed in light of eternity (Pause and Ponder on how can you be of more earthly use with your new heavenly focus).

Verses 3-4 : What are some reasons for seeking this new perspective?

It is all about your position in Christ : you died and now you are alive, 

your life is hidden with Christ…, because He is your life, you will appear with Him in glory.

1- (v3 a ) you died (in the past) with Christ when He was crucified. 

Death to sin and the worldly influence has occurred. 

When we embrace the truth that we have been crucified with Christ, we can live in spiritual victory and grow deeper in the Lord (Romans 6:11).

2- (v3b) ‘hidden in Christ’ - this is a (in the present) key truth where as the new ‘you,’ you live in Christ and He lives in you. 

**Our position in Christ is secure as He is seated above at the right hand of God. 

So when people see you they should see only Christ…a life that is Jesus-like.

** Unbelievers may not understand this heavenly reality. 

Sometimes we may not live this Christ-like life as we should.  

In the future it will all be revealed. 

3- (v4) Christ is your life (in the future) … so we do things that reflect His character in us as partakers in His divine nature.

He is your source, the basis for everything we think and act. 

This will be fully realised when Jesus comes again. 

This is our sure and certain hope.


Points to ponder : what are you pursuing? 

Earthly goals that may distract your attention from Christ or heavenly things that keep you 


God's grace and the power of the Spirit enable us to live more and more like Jesus. 



Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting

Today we are starting a new study series on growing spiritually and becoming more Christ-like. 

We are calling it : ‘A Guide To Christlikeness and Spiritual Growth.’

The aim is for all of us as followers of Christ to become more Christlike in character and mature spiritually 

The passage selected today: ROMANS 12:1-2 (read from verses 33-36 of Chapter 11)

The apostle Paul starts a new section in this book of Romans 12. 

Note the word ‘Therefore’ at the beginning of v1, chapter 12. 

He writes to a largely Gentile audience (a minority of Jews) at the church in Rome. 

Paul now links what he has said before to these opening verses of chapter 12.

In previous chapters, he taught about what God has done for us.

Now he teaches about what God expects from us.

Vv 33-36 of chapter 11: he praises God for the wise ways he works in leading people to salvation. God wants everyone (Gentiles and Jews) to experience His mercy and forgiveness.

 V34- says ‘who can claim to understand everything about the way the Lord thinks?’

We as followers of Christ are redeemed only because of God's pure grace and mercy.

V1- So as a result of His mercy, what should be our response?

‘offer your bodies as a living sacrifice…..’( read v1). 

The body refers to the whole man - mind and flesh - offered to God because you now belong to Him.

>>Ice - breaker  : The hen and the pig were having a conversation with each other on a farm. 

They were discussing the problem of human hunger around the world.

They decided they would do something about it.

 The hen said to the pig , “All right, this is what we’ll do. Because people are hungry, this is what I propose : every morning, we provide a ham and egg breakfast to hungry people.”

The pig looked at the hen, and said, “For you that only requires your involvement; for me it requires total commitment.”

The two verses talks about a pig kind of commitment, total commitment; not a hen kind of commitment - a little bit here and a little bit there! (just sort of involved).

Verse 1- what is it we are to do? 

Let us look at some key phrases and/or words here :-

“Offer your bodies”  - this is what God wants from you : You. 

It is a  personal  sacrifice and when you make it, you are in effect giving up something.

If you give him your time or money that's all that is offered. 

When you offer or present your body, all other things come along. (ref:Romans 6:13). 

This is a challenge!  

“as a living sacrifice” - this is practical and costly. 

You do not die like in the OT times when animal sacrifices were made. 

The animal sacrifice was to die. Our sacrifice is to live! 

We live and we keep living for Jesus, the new life the Spirit has birthed in us. 

Every moment of our lives we remain in total surrender to God, following His lead and desires so that He is glorified and honoured.

How does Paul describe this kind of sacrifice? 

Holy and pleasing to God. It is true worship to God. 

So this is about our total being - heart ,mind and will - engaged in worship and lovingly obeying God. It is not about engaging in religious or ritual activity. This kind of sacrifice shows His power, glory through us. It says to those who don't believe yet, God makes the difference. 

Now since we are to live like this, you cannot also live according to the standards of the world around you ( look at v2)

Verse 2a  what is it we are commanded not to do?  

‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world….’

The world is trying to shape us into its pattern, (mould), trying to pressure us to act and dress like everybody else. Shun the worldly pattern.

The word ‘conform’ : means to fashion, or to shape.

We as followers of Jesus are to maintain separation from the world. We are to live holy lives, 

set apart and be different. Not acting and thinking like the world.

God wants to change our mindset : we are to think differently. 

Look at v2b - ‘but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…’

A change that begins to occur inwardly in the mind.

The word ‘transformed’ - what does it mean?

It is from this word you have the English word “metamorphosis.” 

It has to do with change into another form in keeping with inner reality. 

It describes the transformation a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly.

As the caterpillar enters the cocoon and later emerges, the part of the insect that resides on the inside is allowed to be manifested on the outside.

Similarly, this is the kind of change that God wants to effect in the believer.  

This transformation is a process (the same Greek word is used for Jesus’ transfiguration in 

Matthew 17). 

It brings us under control of Holy Spirit - our feelings, intellects, thoughts and will. The new man on the inside is being allowed to live on the outside. 

V2 c - What happens when we are transformed and our minds are renewed?

When we have a completely different mindset, we are prepared to pursue God's will for our lives.

When our thinking lines up with God's Word, His will is put into action.

His will for your life pleases Him because it is good and perfect.

New thoughts come from having a new perspective.

We don't have to stay stuck in patterns of negative actions and reactions. 

We were destined to experience change even in the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29).

We gain new perspectives from God's Word. 

This should bring new ways of thinking and this then changes the way we act and react.

A person who desires to live for God, to be holy and pleasing to God has a renewed mind.

Application: The attitude of a transformed life resists worldly values, etc, and embraces the moulding process by the Spirit’s power. 

Changing the way we think, changes the way we act and react.

This way we adopt Christ-like attitudes as we live for Him.



Welcome to the meeting. Our focus today is on Prayer. 

To help us engage with God, wait upon Him and pray for the ministry of the church and other needs, we are looking at some verses from Isaiah 6.

ISAIAH 6:1-8



Isaiah is given an awesome vision at a time when there were uncertainties and despair. 

The future of the kingdom of Judah (southern half of Israel) is uncertain. 

The Assyrian empire is gaining strength and Judah’s independence is under threat of an attack. 

Spiritually things are declining: the people of God are going through all the religious motions but their hearts are not really not there. 

They want to do their own thing. 

They seem to have lost divine perspective 

The king has died. Who is King Uzziah  ? 

He is the King of Judah..king #10. He became king at the age of 16. 

He reigned for 50-52 years. He had a great reign.

Unlike some other kings, he honoured God throughout most of his reign as king. 

He did what was right in the sight of the Lord (2 Chronicles 26).

In his later years, he became disobedient. 

It is evident that King Uzziah’s death disturbs Isaiah (first few words of v1..).

Maybe his attention was focused on this king rather than the indispensable King of Heaven. “What would happen to the people now?” you can almost hear him asking.

In the midst of all the negative, anxiety - provoking scenarios unfolding for Isaiah,

the prophet Isaiah sees this vision as he prays and worships in the Temple. 

It’s a time for Isaiah to re-focus on the majestic Lord…God in His glory. 

And this changes Isaiah’s life as He encounters the living God.

VV. 1-4 : What does Isaiah see ?


Firstly, Isaiah sees the Lord high and exalted, seated on a throne -v1. 

Yes the king Uzziah is dead, yet there is hope. 

God is alive. 

God is still in charge.

God is still on the throne. 

For God's people, this is where true security is found.

Like Isaiah, we are to get our eyes on the Lord. 

Don't allow insecurities and uncertainties to block your view of God’s indescribable glory and majesty. 

He sees God's position- sovereign and in charge. 

Let us never forget that God is in control (not us).

VV.2-3 : Then Isaiah sees angelic/heavenly beings - seraphim. 

What are they doing ? 

They are proclaiming the holy nature of God. 

They are magnifying, honouring, the holiness of God. 

The One Who deserves the praise and worship.

V3- READ … “Holy, holy, holy is  the Lord…..” the heavenly beings declare the main character of God - His holiness. 

The Lord Almighty , the true commander-in - chief (vv.3&5) is in control and the Lord’s got this. 

V4- Isaiah experiences God's presence as the ‘house is filled with smoke’( smoke/ cloud of glory : a symbol of the presence of God).

The ‘train of His robe filled the temple’(v1).

This makes God the central focus in the Temple. 

Isaiah is reminded, rather powerfully, that even in his grief and the uncertain times God remains present with him.

>This is great encouragement for us as we gather to pray and worship God. 

Times are uncertain, but God is certainly present helping us to embrace the divine perspective in our circumstances. 

 VV. 5-7 What is Isaiah’s response to God's holy  presence?


 Read v5 : He realizes the problems with his own heart. 

As we move closer to God and see Him in His holiness, this should cause us to look at our own hearts : The shortcomings, the pride, the idols in our hearts…

Isaiah did not say ‘woe is my neighbor’. 

He cries out ‘Woe (is) to me ! I am ruined…Is a sinful man..I have unclean lips ….’ 

A dirty mouth comes from a dirty heart. 

He sees the holy God and is confronting his own spiritual condition before God. 

He is humbling himself as he confesses and prays.

>Isaiah saw God for who He is and so he is able to see who he really is in God's light.

The closer he gets to God, the worse he looks because of his sin. 

Then after the cleansing the better we look because God's glory is radiating from us !

VV. 6-7 Isaiah senses his need for cleansing as he has seen the ‘King ,the Lord Almighty.’

God provides the means for his cleansing. 

For us, the precious blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

After the cleansing, we can stand in His presence and see things from His perspective.

V8- What does Isaiah say as soon as he gets his heart clean ?


He hears the voice of God and makes himself available to obey God. 

He commits to seeing the will and purposes of God outworked in and through his life. 

“Here am I …I will be the one .Send me,” Isaiah says.

APPLICATION : God turned a negative circumstance into a positive outcome for Isaiah.

Isaiah focused on God's glory.

He willingly submitted to God's perspective and God's will. 

Today if you're getting distracted by circumstances, it's time to refocus on God's glory.


Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer meeting


Over  the last two weeks we have been as a church engaging in Prayer, Fasting and drawing closer to Jesus. We have been making space to hear God's voice and to intentionally seek to lovingly obey what He is saying to us, both corporately and individually.

It has been an encouraging and spiritually enriching time as we encounter our Lord in fresh ways as we begin 2022.

This time of waiting on the Lord reminds us of our dependence on Him. Often we tend to want to do things in our own strength, ‘trying to go ahead of God’ although we know that He is in control.There are great benefits to waiting on our God, trusting and fully relying on Him.

Today we would like to study a few verses from Isaiah. Our focal passage is Isaiah 40:28-31

( please read ). 

Background : Isaiah 40 was written as a message of hope to the people of God who were in exile. They were in uncharted  territory broken, despairing and perhaps felt as if God had forgotten them.They were a discouraged people, growing weary and in need of hope.They needed comfort and as we see in this chapter God gives it to them. 

The exiles had questions as we we see in verse 27 (read). 

Despair ! They had this wrong perception and so complain bitterly that ‘the Lord does not care’.Perhaps thinking God is tired of caring for them.

Really they were trying to bring God down to their level.

How do you respond when your circumstances are negative and painful? 

Do you question God in the storms of life?

What is your perception of God like when you're experiencing a setback of some kind? 

God even asks His people (Jacob) ‘why are you complaining, Jacob ?’

Here Isaiah reminds the people that instead of questioning God during those negative experiences, it is more timely to remember who God is.

What are some initial observations about God ?

These are favourite verses of many.

They speaks to us about Who God is and about what He does for His people. 

The goodness of God is emphasised in these verses. 

In preceding verses 12-26 the majesty and greatness of God are described. 

VV. 28-29 : Isaiah reminds them as to Who God is. 

What is the correct perception of God that he gives to them? 

The two questions - ‘Do you not know?’ and ‘Have you not heard?’ - imply familiarity with these truths. They already knew these truths. In their difficulties and negative circumstances they 

were not relating these known truths to their situations. So they were arriving at a wrong perception of Who God is. ‘The Lord is the everlasting God….’v28

> A lesson for us : we are to learn to relate God's truth to every situation we face in life.

Still on v28- what are three truths that the Jews needed to relearn or remember?

   -God is eternal : not confined to time and working out His purposes His way not ours.

He never changes - working in ways just as He has done before.

  - God is Creator : He made everything, nothing is beyond His control. 

  - God never grows weary :we often need to rest; God never grows tired as He upholds the whole of Creation.

  - God's wisdom : this is infinite, it cannot be measured.

God knows what He is doing, even when we tend to think otherwise. 

V29 -What does God give to the weary and weak?

Strength to the faint and weary, increases power to those who have no might. 

This would enable us to keep obeying His will even in the most negative circumstances that we face. His grace becomes sufficient ( 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ).

V30: What does this verse say about youthful strength? 

This verse shows that even the strongest among us is still no match for the challenges of life. Depending on God is crucial. 

V31- what does hoping and/or waiting mean here? 

To trust God confidently as we spend time in His presence listening to Him and holding on His promises.

It means to trust Him still even when the promises are not yet fulfilled, even when situations are still tense and anxious and uncertain. 

The result of waiting on the Lord? 

Four things you can expect when you commit to waiting on God : -

renewed strength to persevere in doing His will despite the circumstances. 

rise up on wings as eagles in God's time. Soar to new spiritual heights!

run the spiritual race and not be weary, as you look to Jesus.

walk and not get tired.

God’s strength and power are found in waiting on Him.

Like an eagle - who lives on the rock, rely on the Rock, Jesus.

                      - the believer is confident in the storms of life. 

The eagle uses the ‘fury of the winds’ as its chariot, spreading its wings to soar. 

So the believer is confident in God to help him to soar to heights even in the storm.

Examples to ponder 


Abraham & Sarah - waited on God, had a child in later years of life.

Moses - led God's people out of slavery, aged 80. 



In times of difficulty and trials, look to God with whom you have a relationship.

Seek to have the right perception of God in every circumstance of your life.

A commitment to waiting will bring glory to God and spiritual blessings to you.

PRAYER : Thank You Father that You are Eternal.You care for us as an eagle cares for its young.

Continue to teach us Lord to trust and wait on You even when this might seem harder to do. 

Your grace is sufficient for us.As we wait and trust in You and not in ourselves, we will soar on wings to higher heights with You just like the eagle. 

We praise You, the Everlasting God and the One Who is in control of all things!  

For the glory of Your Name, Amen.


Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer ——————————————————

We are continuing our time in Prayer, Fasting and drawing closer to Jesus.
During these two weeks, we are setting aside time intentionally to seek the Lord.
It is about making space for God to work in our hearts, listening to His voice and then intentionally and lovingly obeying what He says to you.
To help us focus and to encourage each other during these challenging times, here is a devotional study.


The passage is from Deuteronomy 32:10-14 ( please read ) ————————————————————————

Moses spoke these words as part of his song , commonly called ‘The Song of Moses’.
He recited them to the Israelites. This was like his farewell speech to them just before they were about to enter the promised land of Canaan (under Joshua’s leadership).
He reminds the people of Israel of all the great things God had done for them.
For forty years they wandered in futility in the wilderness because of their disobedience, unbelief and complaining attitude.
So to help God's people remember His goodness, loving-kindness, and faithfulness,
despite their sin, Moses taught this song.

V10- we see God's care in action : Moses recounts the Lord ‘ found’, ‘shielded’,and ‘guarded’ Israel.God looks for them and finds them in their lost state . God pursues them. These words paint a beautiful picture of God's gracious goodness to His people. In a desolate land God provided for them

God even regards them as ‘the apple of His eye.’
What do you think this means?
The people are cherished above all others.
God is close to them, intimate and showing great love (like the pupil of the eye).

What are some things you can bring to mind that testify to the Lord's loving care for you? God’s heart is toward His people and our hearts should be focused on relating to Him.

How does the Lord takes care of His precious, special, chosen people?
V11-12: ‘like an eagle that stirs up its nest.’
Here is another picture (read v11). The Lord is compared to an eagle here in how He cares for us. The eagle shows great care and attention for its young.
At the same time, the eagle teaches the young lessons for life.
The eagle keenly looks out for the young, even when it is in search of food.
It looks out for anything that might present danger to the young.

The nest of an eagle is called an eyrie.
The eagle builds this with sharp twigs, but lines it with soft grass, moss and feathers.
As the little eaglet grows bigger, the parent eagle ‘stirs up its nest.’
This makes the sharp twigs uncomfortable for the growing young eaglet.
This is not meant to be cruel, although it is increasingly uncomfortable for the young to stay in the nest.
Why do you think the parent eagle does this?

As the eaglet grows bigger it cannot stay in the comfort of the nest.
It must leave the nest and begin to soar.
The parent eagle teaches the young how to fly, carrying it on its outstretched wings.
At the right time, the parent eagle may allow the young to ‘free-fall.’
And as it does this the eagle will quickly swoop down to catch the young safely in her feathers. Soon the young grows and learns how to fly on its own as it follows the parent eagle.

>>What a lovely picture of what God our Father does to us!

What a relationship God has with us!
God lovingly cares for us, teaches us, disciplines us causing us to grow graciously and spiritually. Even in the uncomfortable situations, ‘the stirring up the nest moments and seasons in life,’
He is demonstrating unconditional love to us. He ‘carries’ us. No foreign god involved..only God. He leads us as we submit to Him into the holy ways of truth.
These di
fficult and trying times are meant to strengthen our faith.
They help us to understand more about His ways, His purposes, and His will for our lives.
We are made to leave the familiar and comfortable and soar for more of God's life than we can ever imagine.
When the nest is stirred, there is a greater spiritual hunger and thirst. Self-righteousness and self-serving purposes are replaced with godly desire.

VV. 13-14 : Observe the blessings and provision God makes available. Even some ‘out of the ordinary’ things like ‘honey out of the rock.’
Even the most barren places would become rich and fruitful.
The Lord is assuring His people that He will continue to provide for them. It is in great love for them that God will continue to bless them.

It is an on-going action despite our disobedience and wanting to do our own thing at times. God is love! He will never abandon His people ..’the apple of His eye.’

Response :
- Draw near to God, He promises to draw near to you.
- Intentionally commit to moving from the comfort zone to the conforming zone so your life becomes more fruitful for His glory.

Prayer : Thank You, Lord, that you desire us to grow spiritually in Christ Jesus. May Holy Spirit enable all of us to grow more and more like Jesus. Amen!



Welcome to the meeting today. 

As we journey through two weeks of Prayer, Fasting and drawing closer to Jesus I would like  share some thoughts to encourage all our hearts. Our focus in this meeting today is worship and prayer

ISAIAH  30 :15-18 (Read)

Here we have the prophet Isaiah decrying and expressing disapproval.He begins this woe message ( v1) …for the people are making plans that are not in line with God's plans.Isaiah calls them stubborn, rebellious children as a result.. ‘adding sin to sin…’

God promises to deliver them from the Assyrians. The Assyrian army is becoming a threat, ready to attack God's people . 

They need to keep trusting God. Instead they turn to Egypt to join forces ,an alliance, without seeking God's direction.This action is in direct rebellion against God. They are not consulting the Spirit . The plan that they thought would bring comfort to them brings shame and disgrace. Out of unbelief they do their own thing failing to understand that depending on anyone but God brings is no help really. v7- God describes Egypt as a ‘Do -Nothing’

>>The problem : The people are not interested in what God has to say. They do not want to submit to Him and the truth of God's Word. ( Read v10) “Don't tell us what God has to say.Tell us what we want to hear..not what is right..prophesy only pleasant things”..not about the Holy One of Israel .It seems they want to serve their own purposes rather than please God who is holy . They are refusing to change.

As a result God proclaims judgment.God says to them their sin will crush them. 

The thing to note here is that the prophet is not talking to the Assyrians, Egyptians or pagans. God speaks to His own people, referring to them as rebellious/ self -willed. Maybe they just did not see themselves in the way Isaiah describes them ( in verses 1-17)

>>The answer : Yet God offers salvation to them.What they really need. Look at what God offers as an alternative to their plan. V15-READ : ‘in repentance and rest is your salvation..’ 

>repentance/returning - stop rebelling against God. Choose to turn around. Stop trying to solve problems with your own thinking. Don’t get wrapped up in your own plans.God’s ways are higher than ours.  Stay put, wait..and don't run off to Egypt 

>rest - stop worrying about external threats from Assyria.. ‘come to Me and find rest, trust Me with this season of your life.’ It is IN the Lord we find salvation.

“Rest”, “quietness”, “trust” —- God wants our strength to be in trusting all areas of our lives. No striving and struggling for an outcome. This shows we believe ,trust Him with all unanswered questions - we are looking to Him. Be still before the “Great I Am”. Choose to spend  time before Him in His presence


Vv 16-17 God's people do not want His help . They have fast horses that would take them to safety. God responds ( funny response! ) ‘ok ,you say you have fast horses…then I will send your pursuers/ enemies on even faster horses’ ! Even Egypt does not see the need to go into battle to defend these people.

V18- Despite all this, the Lord waits to be gracious and merciful  to His people. After numerous excuses why they don't need to trust God, we see the Lord offers grace and mercy to a rebellious people as they repent and seek forgiveness 

God waits to pour His mercy and wisdom on them. His plan for His people is always gracious and good

The call today is to humble ourselves, repent and put our confidence in God only. The call is to rest and let faith arise in the Lord alone. Allow God to search your heart ,change your heart to embrace His way, plans and His will. 

Seek to be a God -pleaser and not a self- server.

Thank God that His plan for you is rest and strength even in these times of many Covid -related concerns Thank God that when we cry out to Him ( v19 ), He is ready to respond. V21- He will show us: ‘ This is the way , walk in it’..and when we do He will bless abundantly our obedience.



Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 


Today we are continuing our journey through the Advent season. This is the final short study on some Advent themes. 

It is something of a devotional as we draw closer to Christmas Day and share some thoughts around another aspect of Advent

The Bible passage : LUKE 1:67-79 ( READ ) is also known as Zechariah’s song ( Benedictus) is more like a prophecy and he sung this after the birth of his son.

(Focus) Key verses are 68-75 .They focus on Jesus, our Saviour

Introduction : Zechariah, a priest , was the father of John the Baptist. When he was told by the angel Gabriel that his wife Elizabeth will have a son and he is to call him John, Zechariah did not believe the angel’s words. As as a result he was told by the angel that he will not be able to speak until John was born. And when John was born and Zechariah wrote his name ‘His name is John’( v63-64) immediately Zechariah was able to speak again

In verses 76-79 he praises God for his own son because John will be the prophet who prepares the way for the Messiah, Jesus.

In the key verses we are looking at today vv 68-75, Zechariah praises God and prophesies about the salvation that is to come through Jesus. For hundreds of years God's people had been waiting for the Saviour

Now for Zechariah  could it be that for those long months of silence and being unable to speak..this song was  being formed in His heart ? If you were not able to talk for a year , what would you say when you finally could speak? …..‘Praise God !’?

What are some initial observations ? is there any word or verse that grabs you ?

Praise is in the soul of Zechariah as he prophesies by the power of the Holy Spirit ( v67)

And he praises God FIRST for the Saviour ..not for his son John( he prophesies about his son in later verses)

V68 - why is Zechariah praising God ? The Saviour has come ,the salvation plan is implemented.

The first words out of his mouth are praise to God for what He has done and will do …to redeem and deliver from bondage of sin, to save a lost world. God is visiting His people ready to provide the solution for their salvation .

>These words speak of the redeeming work of Jesus that took place on the cross as if it had already taken place. A remarkable statement of true prophecy. God lives in eternity..He sees what shall be and can describe it as if it had already taken place.

This unique plan could have only been brought about by our God , the true and living God.

GOD - the Author of Salvation 

What has God done ? V69-70

What does this mean ? ‘the horn of salvation’ refers to glory and the power of God's grace to save. It indicates strength and power and the Messiah is strong to save and rule. 

In a time of darkness, God brings light and hope in the Redeemer. The prophets of OT spoke about this Messiah as promised to the forefathers . Zechariah ,here in v70,  alludes/ calls attention  to OT scriptures.They probably longed to see Jesus, the Saviour, but it was all to happen in God's timing.

V71 - ‘salvation from our enemies’ - 

Who are the enemies that we should be saved from ?

 *Satan hates and accuses us because we belong to God. 

*The world hates us too because Jesus said the world hated Him first.

*Self- life or the flesh hates who we are in Christ. We have a new nature striving to be increasingly like Jesus. Yet the old ,dead nature - the flesh tries to drag us back into the old way of living. The old nature hates the new identity we have in Christ Jesus


Jesus came to deliver us from these enemies and from sin.Our greatest need is for salvation, not for more things or to satisfy our temporal tastes .Our greatest need is to know we have peace with God, we have a relationship with Him for all eternity.This comes about through His salvation plan


Verses 72-75 : Why does God decides to save from the enemies ? 

* v 72-73 to show mercy and to remember His covenant .. to keep His promises. God is doing what He promised to do.And we today can rejoice that the fulfilment of these promises ,by God's mercy, has been poured out upon followers of Jesus Christ 

* v 74-75 to rescue us …to enable us to serve Him in holiness

Now as Zechariah continues with his song , he is demonstrating why was the Messiah raised up. 

Just like a musical piece, there are repetitions, and refrains, etc. He is making references to the OT scriptures once again as he says that the purpose of the Messiah’s coming was to save us from the enemies. This means not only saving from oppression and bondage , but also deliverance from sin

Now that we have been saved from the enemies, we are to serve Him whatever the costs.

We are to serve Him out of joy, love and gratitude for who He is and what He has done.

In these verses there are descriptions of the Lord  ? Can you name one divine attribute or characteristic?

Redeemer (v68) ,mighty Saviour (v69),Promise- keeper (v70), Rescuer (v71+74), merciful Promise- Keeper( v72-73)…


Let us thank Him for who He is 

During this Advent season and as we go into 2022, let us worship Him who enables us to serve Him in holiness and righteousness and without being afraid. He brings us into His divine purpose as we submit and worship Him

BIBLE STUDY 09/12/2021

1 John 3:1-10 1 John 1:8-10 1 John 1:5-7

Why did Jesus come to earth?

1 John 3:8b - “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work”.

What are the works of the devil? SIN

According to 1 John 3:4 what is sin? LAWLESSNESS

What is lawlessness?
Living as though your own ideas are superior to God's.

John Piper wrote:
“Sin is lawlessness and lawlessness is rebellion against the right of God to rule over us. The work of Satan (*) is to tempt us to reject the authority of God and become like God ourselves. Satan works to nurture and cultivate the pride that puts its own desires above the law of God. This is lawlessness, this is the essence of sin, and this is what the Son of God came to destroy in you and me.”

(*) Satan in Greek means accuser or adversary. The word is derived from a verb meaning primarily “to obstruct, to oppose”.

So HOW did Jesus destroy the devil's work?
In 2 ways that go hand in hand:
a) His appearing (by coming from heaven and being born in the form of a man.)
b) By giving us new birth: v.9 “No one who is born of God will continue to sin”.

Why are both of these necessary and not just one?

It's not enough for Jesus to come and die and rise again. PEOPLE MUST BE BORN OF GOD

otherwise the works of the devil in individual lives are not

destroyed. Sin goes on reigning.

So what is necessary for us to be born of God? 1 John 1:8-10 We must confess our sins
1 John 1:5-7 We must walk in the light

What does it mean to be born of God?
1 John 3:4-6
Our desires change – we want to please God and not ourselves.

1 John 3:9 says that God's seed is in us and that is why we cannot sin.
What does saying we “cannot” sin actually mean?
The Greek verb to “commit sin” or to “sin” here implies continuous action. So this can be better translated as: “No one born of God is 'CONTENT TO KEEP SINNING', for God's seed is in him, and he cannot be 'CONTENT TO KEEP ON SINNING' because he is born of God.”

When a father begets a child, the father's seed abides in the child. Something of the father is in the child and it makes him like his father. God's character is the very opposite of sin therefore the child of God will be like the Father – he will not be able to sin.

John is not teaching sinless perfection. We know this from 1 John 1:9.
A person who walks in the light (1 John 1:5-7) confesses sin. That means he sees sin the way God does and agrees with God. He hates sin, he is sorry for sin, he turns and flees from known sin. Coming into the light of God is what happens when you are born again. The new birth is the sovereign work of God in which He turns the light on in our hearts so that we see things the way He does. We see God as awesome in holiness, sin as horrible in ugliness and Christ as a beautiful Saviour. We bow before God in worship, we confess and turn from sin and we embrace Christ as our hope. And while we walk in that frame of mind (in the light), the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.The works of the devil are destroyed in our life, and Christmas is fulfilled.

So during this Advent period let's be grateful that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil – our sin and lawlessness and rebellion – by dying for our sin so that we might be born again.

Christian Worship Centre

Thursday 2nd December 2021

Welcome to the Bible Study & Prayer Meeting 

Our Hope at Christmas & Beyond 

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

Isaiah 7:14 NIV

What sign did the Lord give us that is written in Isaiah 7:14? 

What does the word ‘Immanuel’ mean & can anyone give an example, through sharing a brief testimony of how this has been relevant in their own life? 

Panoramic Prophecy 

God’s Prophecy is often like looking at a range of mountains or a series of clouds, some of which are close & easily visible to human eyes others of which are distant. In Isaiah 7:1-14, there are specific prophecies which God gives to Ahaz as a sign culminating in verse 14, which we are looking at this morning. 

This Prophecy that we have just read was recorded by the Prophet Isaiah, concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One. He will be born of a virgin, & that is a sign of God sending His Son. He will be called ‘Immanuel’ meaning God with us.

We see this Prophecy fulfilled in Matthew 1:21-23 :- 

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).”

Matthew 1:21-23 NIV

"I am Immanuel—God with you. And I am big enough to take care of you!... There’s nothing wrong with trying to figure out how to solve a problem. Just don’t forget to talk to Me about it. When your mind starts spinning, cranking out one possible answer after another, you can end up confused and exhausted. I can protect you from that. I can show you the next step to take. Remember: I will be with you always. Choose to trust Me—every minute of each day. I am your Savior, and I am big enough to take care of you!" —Jesus Today for Kids by Sarah Young, p. 252

#Immanuel #JesusTodayKids

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV

And ‘He will be called,’ 

Reflect on the depth & majesty of the names given to the Messiah. 

What are the titles given to Jesus in Isaiah 9:6-7? 

Considering one of those titles, would someone like to give a short example of what that means for them personally?

Isaiah Chapter 9 Verse 7 reminds us that the birth of Jesus was not an accident, it was via a specific lineage that could be traced back to David, King of Israel as we can see in the genealogy mentioned in 

Matthew chapter one. 

We can identify some links also from the following Old Testament Scriptures:- 

“He put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and brought tribute. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went. He put garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites became subject to David. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went. David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people.” 2 Samuel 8:6, 14-15 NIV

Nothing can thwart God’s plan & purposes. 

Isaiah 9:7 reiterates this fact, ‘The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this,’ meaning that God’s commitment to His Word & to His people cannot fail, for our God is a Covenant-Keeping God. 

This applies both on a universal & personal level. 

Let’s take some time now to reflect on the promises & blessings that are ours in Christ. Let’s take some time to praise & worship our God. 

Godly Government

In a time of rebellion & darkness, Isaiah prophesies about the great light that God will bring along with His liberty & peace. The reason is the coming of the God the Son in the form of a child to be born. 

He will have an Eternal Reign, fulfilling perfectly the covenant that He made to David. 

He is the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, & the Prince of Peace. 

God’s answer to the arrogance of the world is a Child, His own Son.

He will be what the human kings of Judah weren’t able to be. 

Because He is the Mighty God, He can be an Everlasting Father to His people.

As the Prince of Peace, He can bring lasting peace.

He is the Wonderful Counsellor, so He can give counsel which is truly wonderful. 

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.”

Isaiah 11:1-5 NIV

Mighty Messiah

Although cut down, the stem of Jesse will arise from the stump of the remnant that remains. 

Jesse was the father of David. 

From that stem or line, the Branch will come. 

He will be the Messiah, Who will be completely at one with the Holy Spirit & will demonstrate that it is so in His personal attributes & ability as God the Son to rule with justice, righteousness, equity, & faithfulness. 

Another prophecy about Jesus Christ, He came from the line of Jesse. He was anointed by the Spirit at the beginning of His Ministry, & these few verses are significant because of their description of the nature of that Spirit. 

What character traits do we see in this passage, Isaiah 11:1-5, concerning the Spirit?

Jesus became our wisdom from God. 

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”

1 Corinthians 1:30 NIV

Jesus brought true understanding of the will of God, often correcting the misinterpretations of the Jewish leaders regrading the Law that had been given through Moses. We saw earlier in Isaiah 9:6-7 that Jesus came as the Wonderful Counsellor, & in the New Testament Jesus promised that, after hIs return to Heaven God would send another Counsellor like Him in the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus says this in John 14:16-17 :- 

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

John 14:16-17 NIV

And again in John 14:26 :- 

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 14:26 NIV

Jesus demonstrated the power of the Spirit of God & revealed hIs Father to all who believed in Him. And He delighted in the fear of the Lord. This was evidenced in the way that He submitted to the will of His Father. He spoke only what His Father told Him to say & did what He saw His Father doing. In everything He sought to glorify His Father. His ultimate act of loving obedience was to go to the Cross. 

From the stump of Jesse, a new shoot will spring forth. From his roots will grow a Branch that will be exceedingly fruitful. The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him. 

The Spirit of Wisdom & of Understanding the ways of God.

He is the Holy Spirit, the Counsellor, the Spirit of Power. 

He is the Spirit Who reveals the Lord, making Him known. 

The Spirit Who enables people to live in the fear of the Lord. 

This Branch will delight to live in the fear of the Lord Himself, wanting to please Him. 

He will not judge things by their outward appearance, nor decide what He should do by listening to others. 

When He judges, He will do so with righteousness. He will speak with justice on behalf on the poor on the earth. His words will be like a rod striking the earth. 

His breath will be enough to condemn the wicked to death. 

He will be seen to be righteous & faithful in all He does. 

““But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.””

Micah 5:2 NIV

“He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.”

Micah 5:4 NIV

What knowledge or insight do the verses Micah 5:2 & Micah 5:4 give us? 

Bethlehem’s Messiah

This Prophecy concerning the Messiah again arises like light in a dark place. 

The Everlasting Ruler, the Lord Jesus Christ, will come out of a small, what we might call an insignificant or obscure place not worthy even of a mention. 

He will come out of Bethlehem, Ephrathah (where King David, Israel’s Second most revered ruler was born). 

According to His timetable, He will stand & feed His people, & His greatness will be seen throughout the whole earth. 

True & lasting peace will come with Him. 

This prophecy covers the time when Jesus was born in Bethlehem to the end of days. 

As is often the case with Prophecy it is fulfilled in two stages. 

The First occurred when Jesus came the First time to earth as a baby.

The Second will happen when Jesus comes again at His Second Coming which remains an event in the future, & as believers in Jesus Christ we know that He is our Blessed Hope & assurance that we can cling onto especially in difficult times. 

Or as the writer to the Hebrews says :- 

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

Hebrews 6:19a NIV

We sang about this hope earlier in the worship song : -

‘The Voice of Hope’ By Lara Martin.  

God’s Grace

“while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

Titus 2:13-14 NIV

What nuggets of truth can we glean from these two verses? 

We are waiting for the blessed hope. 

That is to say, the appearing of our great God & Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

God’s Grace has caused His salvation to be offered to all people. 

The evidence or the proof of acceptance of God’s offer is outworked through living a holy & godly lifestyle. 

Looking for the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, a deep appreciation & gratitude of His redeeming and/or saving us through His death on the Cross should result in us living pure & zealous lives which mark us out as a people as being different from those who are not Christians.

We are His very own people. We should be eager to do what is good.

Let’s declare these truths about Jesus being our Hope through singing :- 

‘Glory, let there be Peace’ & 

‘Hark, the Herald Angels Sing’ 

Closing Prayer

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians 1:9-14 NIV

Thursday 25th November 2021

Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer meeting 


We are continuing on the theme of ‘Aspects of True Worship’. Last week we studied some Bible verses regarding ‘Reasons for Worship’, ‘Hindrances to Worship’ and ‘Acceptable Attitudes in Worship’.

Brief review : 


In True Worship - we  wholeheartedly express praise, honour and glory to God, Who is worthy…we are giving God ‘what He is worth’ or worthy to receive. This devotion is not only expressed in the way we speak but in our lifestyle as we live to glorify Him.

So worship is centred on the Lord….not on ourselves or our feelings 

>We worship because God commands it. We as His people are to be a worshipping people. It is our response to His love, His holy presence, and to God's deeds and great deliverances.

>Some hindrances to worship identified : these include our relationships : Firstly with God and then with others . ‘Love what we hear from God's Word but we don't live it out’…’ going through the motions without real heart involvement.

>We also looked at some attitudes that are acceptable: these include presenting our bodies in living sacrifice…doing what is holy and pleasing. This is based on obedience as we saw from Micah 6:6-8… ‘to do justice , to love kindness and to walk humbly before God 

Today the two aspects we would like to study are : 1) Elements of Worship, 2) Results of Worship 

  1. Some elements of true worship:  

What do you think are some elements of worship ? ( what are some essentials/ characteristics of true worship ).For example praise and thankfulness 

  • worship with awe - ECCLESIASTES 5:1-7( read) This passage deals with some of the right ways to approach God. The wisdom teacher Solomon charges us to think about what you are saying and doing as we come into God's presence.The word ‘listen’ ( in Hebrew) really means ‘ listen and obey’. You are encountering God. Are we prepared to hear what He has to say ..the Lord of heaven (v2) ? Are your thoughts focussed on Him ? 

Are you here but thinking about other things…the noise in your mind that seems to distract you from adoring your God 

>>Worshipping with awe means : approaching God with the reverence, wonder and fear ( not a phobia) recognising that there is nothing you can do to put you in right standing with a holy God. It is dependent on Christ. The gist : So hear God and fear God ..stand in awe of Him

*worship is about thankfulness/ thanksgiving- REVELATION 11:15-17( read)

What are the twenty-four elders doing ?

 whoever these 24 elders are…whether they represent God's redeemed people or exalted ,angelic beings, they are worshipping, giving thanks and serving God.We see the majesty and dominion/ power of God emphasised. Any other observations ?

What is their posture or position in worship ? ‘Fell on their faces’ in reverence and awe

What is the reason for their thankfulness ? It is no small matter. V15- God’s Kingdom is finally being realised as Christ’s  reign continues forever. All enemies totally defeated. Christ reigns supremely and sovereignly.  Heaven proclaims God's victory.

2) Some results of true worship:

So in true worship we give God what is due to Him wholeheartedly. What do you think are some results of true worship ? How does it benefit believers? 

  • there is blessing for God's people -DEUTERONOMY 11:13-15 ( read )

Moses’ messages throughout Deuteronomy have a theme of obedience or keeping the law. What is the result of loving the Lord and serving / worshipping Him ( in devoted worship) ? Vv14-15 ( read again) ‘blessings’ and provision

How does this happen ? V13 says ‘if you faithfully obey’…God expects His people to be faithful to Him. And blessings often follow obedience. Yet this must not be our motivation for obeying.  God's commands are to be lovingly pursued .. ‘love the Lord your God…’

Last week we commented that obedience itself is an act of worship to our faithful God 

*there is deliverance (another result of worship)- ACTS 16:25-26 (read verses 22-34)

What was the response to their imprisonment ? V25 : they chose to worship 

In their adversity ,even for the gospel’s sake, Paul and Silas were praying and singing praises to God. Such faith releases the supernatural power of God raises them above their situation as their focus is on the Lord

The word ‘praying’ here ( in Greek) is associated with corporate worship. The singing was continual even in such dire circumstances . Worship makes a bleak situation an opportunity for God to move in His power and majesty….causing sinners to repent and be saved too !

The prison-the place of pain becomes the place of praise, of ministry and deliverance

*there is a deeper sense of the lordship of Jesus Christ- REVELATION 1:10-18 ( read )

The apostle John receives this vision by the Spirit. V13-16 describes Jesus Christ. What are some descriptions mentioned ?

Jesus is no ordinary man…His face shone like the sun at its brightest ! ( this is the first time John is seeing Jesus in about ,over 60 years) .He is seeing Jesus, the Lord of Glory, as He has never seen Him before.

V17- How does John respond to his encounter with Jesus ? With respect, awe , wonder and worship in His presence. In the presence of the Lord,John sees himself as God sees him..his complete unworthiness 

We see a clear indication of Jesus’ deity : the One who always gives peace reassures John, “Don't be afraid …”. Jesus ministers peace  and mercy to John as he worships the One Who is worthy

V18- reminds us, like John, of Who Jesus is and What He does ( read )..Jesus - the eternally Reigning , Resurrected and Redeeming One..the One Who Releases us from death

>From Revelation, we get a glimpse of what worship in heaven is like. Our worship here on earth joins in with the continual true worship of God that takes place in heaven. The focus : the One seated on the throne, together with God's Lamb who is in the midst of the throne 



In your time of need keep worshipping , keep your focus on Jesus ( like Paul and Silas )and see God break through for you

Seek to encounter God in His glory, majesty and holiness and so become more like Jesus

Thursday 18th November 2021

Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 



For the next two weeks, we are studying ‘Aspects of True Worship’.This week we will look at three aspects namely : 

Reasons for Worship, Hindrances to Worship, and Acceptable Attitudes in Worship 

Introductory questions : 


What do you think true worship is ?  Devotion and honour rendered to God and if this was rendered to a created being it would be idolatry. True worship involves the worshipper’s heart, 

soul and mind. It is not just engaging in formalities.

>>Worship :expressing to God the praise , honour and glory of which He is worthy, not only with our lips but in our lives. And when we as believers worship we are joining with the host of heaven in proclaiming the greatness of our God.

Why do you think the we as human beings should worship God? The supreme reason we exist is to worship God for His love ,greatness and saving deeds.

We shall look at some Bible verses to help us understand more about True Worship 



*It is God's command - it is a divine command 

PSALM 148:11-13>> what do these verses say ? Everything on earth is created to praise the Lord.The sound God hears in heaven is a carefully-crafted symphony of praise. 

 REVELATION 14:7 ..God's redeemed are singing His praise…even a new song of praise. What is the angel proclaiming? These words declare what should be the effect of the gospel on all individuals . To fear God, to worship Him with awe

*God’s people are to be a worshipping people - 

ISAIAH 43:21 - as God's people, what are we made to do ?( declare praise for what only He can do and give Him the glory He rightly deserves)

REVELATION 1:5-6 ( the One who loves us, frees us and has made us into a people of praise is worthy of glory)

*Worship is the response of God's people - to His love: 2 CHRONICLES 7:3, 

           to His holy presence: 1CHRONICLES 16:29,

           and to God's deeds and great deliverance :  GENESIS 8:20 ( Noah worships after the flood ) DANIEL 3:28 ( even the King Nebuchadnezzar praises the true God after God rescues the three men from the blazing furnace 

In response to God who is our firm foundation, and Who spoke the earth into existence we cannot help but fully acknowledge His majesty and might



What do you think can limit the ability to worship God ? True worship goes beyond mere form or ritual. A wrong relationship to God or to others can hinder genuine worship.

*Some verses in relation to God : 

EZEKIEL 33:31  - the people of God came to the prophet’s house to hear him preach God’s words, ‘ as they usually do’. What do they do after hearing God's words ? Their hearts are not consistent with what they say. They are loving what they hear - God's words but not living it .

 2 TIMOTHY 3:5 ( read verses 1-5 ) Paul warns Timothy . What is his warning ?

MARK 7:6-7 ( mere formality ‘going through the motions’ without any genuine heart involvement )Jesus values the heart relationship we are  to have with Him…as we engage in true worship 

*Some verses in relation to others :

 ISAIAH 1:11-17-  What is God doing here ? God confronts His people about their sin and rebellious ways.They were violent, greedy, underhanded towards others. They go through all the right  motions and rituals but they are empty inside and full of hypocrisy . This hindered their worship…relationships with God and others needed to be addressed .God hates the worship of those who mistreat or exploit others


MATTHEW 5:23-24 - we stand before God  in worship, forgiven and accepted, can we say that we are offering this same forgiveness and mercy to others too ? God wants us to be right with each other, if we are going to be right Him



A pure motive is essential for worship to be acceptable. It is not the mechanical repetition of rituals but must come from the heart….wholehearted and reverent. 

  • ROMANS 12:1-  what does Paul  see here as true worship ? Paul urges believers in view of all God has given to us in Christ to give their bodies in living sacrifice…To do what is holy and pleasing. This is worship to Him is the kind He delights in. 

  • MICAH 6:6-8 ; -  Micah shows that sacrifices are no good without obedience. Worship is based or grounded in godly living obediently and that obedience itself is an act of worship 

What is the Lord wanting from His people  ? 

V8 (read ) ..what does this mean ? being fair and helping those who are weak, showing compassion and mercy and love from the heart,( to others ) and being humble before God. It was not about sacrifices .It was about heart.

It is about loving a loving God and having that love spill out onto others as a result 

The worshipper’s attitude must be one of whole heartedness, total devotion to our Lord : LUKE 10:27



What does God hear  from you ? Is it noise ..complaints and grumblings or an orchestra of praise..a sweet, sound in His ear  ?

Jesus alone has the power to cleanse our hearts , to renew our thoughts. If our hearts are pure, our thoughts and actions will be. Then we can engage in true worship from the heart.

Thursday 11th November 2021 




We are currently studying the theme of ‘Spiritual Warfare’. Last time we noted that there are three areas where spiritual battles are fought.

Can you recall the first two areas ? 1)- The battle within or the enemy within or the flesh , 2)The battle with the world( the outer enemy )

We are subjected to the persuasions of the flesh. And this causes conflict between the flesh/self as it seeks to compete for dominance over the new Christ-like nature

We are subjected to the influences of the world. This refers to man -centred way of life, ungodly standards and values operating through society, that are contrary to God's ways.

The third area or bitter enemy is the spiritual battle with the devil :

The stubborn adversary- the devil


The devil , Satan seeks to hold us captive. He is the commander of a large host of demons who are opposed to God.Therefore, theses demons are dedicated to seeking to defeat those who have accepted the Lord's salvation. Satan will do all he can to hinder our Christian lives.

How can we deal with the devil ?

Resist him ( James 4:7), Put on the full armour provided for spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:14-18)

What are some other names that describe the devil ? The deceiver, liar, accuser , evil one, god of this world

We will study some verses that help us to understand the enemy and His schemes :


V4- Paul gives a description to Satan here. What is it ? ‘the god of this world’- because of his influence over individuals and people. Those who follow him have in effect made him their god.Some even declare that they are his children

Can you give any examples of how the devil blinds individuals. Examples of how he blinds people : some Hollywood films, video games that show virtual violence, the drug culture, what we watch and read , even the company we keep

So Paul uses light as a metaphor for the ‘Good News of the glory of Christ’.Satan is committed to keeping people from seeing the light of Christ’s glory, because he is the prince of darkness too.

What has the devil done to such individuals? Those who do not believe he has blinded their minds and understanding so they are incapable of receiving the glorious light of Christ

- so when you think about unbelievers you know or even those in other parts of the world, you can see what the devil is doing ... blinding their minds .

V5- How does God open eyes and open hearts ? through the proclamation of the gospel...NOT ourselves. It is by telling others about Jesus

V5 - Paul says we preach Jesus Christ as we share the gospel we want to reveal Jesus to you. This must be our central focus. Even when we engage in social welfare activities like feeding the hungry ,etc, the aim must still be to be light for Jesus .This dispels darkness.

V6 Who gives light to our hearts as believers ? God ...big ‘G’. God said “Let light shine out of darkness” . God said this at creation...bringing natural light out of darkness.

This one true God has given us light that comes from Him , as revealed through the person of Jesus ( God’s glory ).

God who sovereignly orchestrated creation is the same God who makes us a new creation in Christ ( read Colossians 1:13-14)

>> What we see here is a spiritual battle between darkness and light. You have capital ‘G’ God is shining light so people will see who Jesus is.On the other hand, little ‘g’ god, the adversary is trying to blind minds, keep them away from the good news.

And we who are sharing good news and preaching Christ are like in the middle of this battle... engaging in warfare for the souls of others. So we must not lose heart ....keep proclaiming the gospel in the face of growing darkness and wickedness

The encouragement for us - keep sharing and preaching Christ wherever you are, in whatever way you can, wisely. This way people are hearing and seeing the glory, beauty and love and grace of the one true God

Pray that God would open eyes, open hearts supernaturally to see the Saviour as you share

JOB 1:8-11 ( read )

Here we have a curious conversation involving the Lord and Satan. They are talking about Job who walks blamelessly and uprightly. Job fears God and seeks to live a godly life( shuns evil) . God is pleased with Job’s character. You would think that he is an unlikely candidate for trouble

Satan is not . So he begins to accuse Job before God charging or insinuating that Job’s righteousness in which God delights is self-serving. Conflict is happening in the spiritual realm. Warfare ,spiritually speaking is taking place

One of Satan's favourite activities is to go before God and accuse the believers. This is what He does as he actively roams about trying to deceive and attack. But because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross ,Satan is nothing but a defeated foe !

So what can we learn from the warfare that Job faced ?

When you live close to the Lord in obedience and in His will, you become a candidate for pain and suffering.

The enemy seeks our destruction.Like Job we have the One with us Who strengthens, keeps and sees us through any battle in which we are engaging

V8- ‘ have you considered my servant Job?’ God speaks honourably of Job.

V9 -12 When Satan is asked about Job , Satan reveals his true identity. He lives up to his name The word ‘Satan’ means ‘the adversary, one who stands in opposition to another.’

( let us look at these verses)

Satan tells the Lord that the only reason Job serves Him is because God has paid him off. He says that if God were to remove His hand from Job’s life , Job would turn his back on the Lord > What an accusation from an accuser...the accuser !

And he continues to accuse the people of God before the throne of God .He likes to dig up the past life....the failures and sin and bring them as accusations to God

REVELATION 12:10 ( read ) even in the face of accusations Day and night , we as believers have an Advocate .The enemy exposes our sin, weaknesses and our wickedness before God ( often he does not have to make anything up )but Jesus pleads our case in Heaven ( 1John 2:1).Jesus stands up in our defence declaring us justified. Jesus has already suffered punishment every sinner deserves when He died on the cross.

The case the devil brings against us is dismissed because of what Jesus has done

The cross has established victory making the accuser and deceiver defeated.

And as we see in Revelation 12:11 ,as we preach Christ crucified and testify to His triumph over the devil and death, even when our lives are endangered in the process, so God's victorious purposes are established.

Thursday 4th November 2021


Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting


Today we are continuing our studies on the general theme of ‘Spiritual Warfare’.Last week we began studying the enemies that believers in Christ face in spiritual warfare.We are called to be good soldiers in our spiritual conflicts. It does not mean you are less than a believer.

We noted that there are three main areas where battles are fought spiritually :

( Do you remember what theses are ? ) 1)-the battle within, 2)- the battle with the world, and 3)- the spiritual battle. Another way of saying this is that the spiritual enemies we face are the flesh , the world and the devil

So we would like to delve or ‘dig deeper’ into these three areas  of warfare over the next two weeks.

1:The Battle with The Flesh( Self )- the inner enemy


 … interestingly the word ‘flesh’ without the ‘h’ 

spelt backwards is ‘self’


To what do you think this refers ? 

We have an enemy called ‘the 

flesh’.It is internal and it refers to our sinful nature that dwells in my body. Our human nature has the tendency to sin…we are born with a heart that is inclined to sin. We are subjected to the persuasions of ‘the flesh’ from within ( the twisted fallen nature )

By being born again, the new nature is controlled by Holy Spirit ; the old nature is characterised by sinful desires… ‘remnants of our fallen nature’. There will be conflict, a battle — as the self, sinful nature competes for supremacy over the new nature. For example, the new man knows we should be peacemakers ,but the old man thrives on controversy. 

Yet we still live in the broken  world with broken  people and sometimes we still sin. Before we became believers, sin had control over us. Now as believers in Christ we have the ability to choose every time sin comes calling . 

How do we deal with this inner enemy called the ‘flesh’ ? Here are some verses to study:

ROMANS 6:12-14 (read)

What are some observations you can make from these verses ? In verses 12 and 13, the words ‘do not ‘ are repeated. These are commands for believers. An unbeliever will find commands to ‘stop sinning’ futile. To someone whom Christ has freed from sin , these are meaningful and helpful as you are to live a holy life 

What is your responsibility as a believer ? 

To ensure sin does not reign( v12) , offer your bodies to God as instruments of righteousness and not wickedness ,and not to sin(v13),don't let sin master  or have dominion over you ( v14).This is the battle of the flesh  which we can overcome and live in victory 

This is active responsibility to stop the reign of sin. It wants the throne of your heart. 

Being dead to sin as a Christian is not a feeling.It is a spiritual truth that you need to believe and act on. Often this is in opposition to your feelings and lusts of the sin nature

The word ‘instruments’ can also be translated as ‘weapons’. So what is the picture emerging here? It is one of where in the struggle we face against sin is really combat against an enemy that seeks to destroy you

The reassuring truth is that these commands can be obeyed because in Christ, the power of sin has been broken. The platform from which we fight is the cross - what Jesus accomplished there. 

There is victory over sin for we are under grace ,not law.(v14).

What do you think this means  ?.. “not under the law but under grace”. This means that law-keeping does not remove sin is futile , it does not save. Grace brings us into a holy relationship with God, powerfully saving us.

 True believers live under the lordship of Christ, not the lordship of sin. Jesus reigns now .

GALATIANS 5:16-18, 24-25( read)

 V16-18 : This is a key spiritual truth - focus on walking in the Spirit. Another passage where you see the warfare that is going in your life. There is a tug-of -war between the Spirit and the ‘flesh’( the old sinful nature) as Paul contrasts the fruit of the Spirit with the works of the flesh.

It is a lifelong struggle but final victory belongs to the Spirit.God's Holy Spirit is stronger than our sinful desires ! 

What does it mean to live/ walk  by the Spirit ? Aligning ourselves to Spirit’s lead  - surrendering to His control so you are obeying Jesus’ words. This way you will not satisfy the selfish desires that are in opposition to the Spirit 

V24-25 (read )  : you have crucified the lusts / desires of the flesh. Jesus died for your sin, so you died to your sin. It was nailed to the cross. In effect you ave said, you will have nothing more to do with it. So we are to live like that !.

‘Keep in step with the Spirit.This is like dancing with someone who can't.Dancing requires alignment so you follow the lead … not lagging behind. The Spirit gives us victory.

Are there any other verses you would like to share in relation to this battle with the flesh.

2: The Battle with The World-(the outer enemy)


The ‘ world’ here refer to man- centred way of life which ignores God, and operates by selfish principles and live by ungodly standards. It is not people or the created world like the mountains and oceans, etc. It  refers to values that seek to dominate the society, operating through unbelievers and which are contrary to God's ways 

1JOHN 2:15-17 (read)

What are some initial observations you can make ?

Love for God means that the believer has no love for worldliness.The battle : Love of the world vs 

Love of the Father… the tug of the world vs love for God.

V15 : here is  a command in 15a—  ‘do not love…..’

 What do you think ‘to be worldly’ means ? Thinking and acting out of selfishness, greed, pride

V16 :The apostle John continues to explain v15( use of the word ‘for’),showing how love for the things the world offers  does not come from the Father. 

What does worldliness look like ?

What are the three aspects of ‘everything that the world offers’ ?

The three aspects of ‘all that the world offers’ are :

 >Lust of the flesh - refers to a strong desire or impulse. Flesh refers to our fallen,sinful nature. So it's about any strong desire of our fallen nature including sexual sins but also activity that comes out of a self-seeking, godless nature (with which we are born)

E.g.- appetite for food becomes so excessive … it can become sinful 

>Lust of the eyes- through our eyes , the world appeals to us to find superficial satisfaction. So we want what we don't have but which others may have…. “a covetous itching to own what we see”… we don't need this particular thing but we want it.

  >Pride of life -this aspect has to do with sinful pride over what you do have ( the first two are about what you don't have ) You have this desire to be better than others so that you can glory in yourself and achievements 

These are daily temptations to battle from this powerful “outer” enemy . And as John points out here, if you're adopting these three aspects as your way of life, love for the Father is not being maintained. As God's children we must fight these things , resist continually.Live by eternal values and not fleshly entitlements the world offers.

V17- the world and all the desires it inspires are passing away. And if you love God , you will obey Him and live victoriously forever

The believer’s attitude : So don't ‘follow the crowd’…refuse to be guided by the world’s standards ,embrace the standards of The Word .

What does Jesus has to say about this enemy of the world ?

JOHN 15 :18-21 (read for encouragement to keep serving Him )

Jesus teaches His disciples that being hated by the world is a hallmark of the Christian life.Jesus says ‘remember they hated Me first’

Our values are different to the world as Jesus’ disciples.

V19- Jesus says to believers ,“The truth is that you do not belong to the world,but I have chosen to take you out of worldliness to belong to My Kingdom.That is why the world hates you and is opposed to you..”

V 21- Why will the world treat us with hatred ? They do not know God the Father..they reject God who is holy and hates sin.The world loves sin

So we have studied two of the three bitter enemies of the believer in Christ Jesus : the flesh, and the world. Next week we will study the last of the three , namely the devil . 

Thursday 28th October 2021



Today we would like to continue on the general theme of Spiritual Warfare .For the last twe have been studying the Armour of God.

Today we shall spend time looking at some specific Bible verses. Then we can spend time praying, even making  relevant declarations using scripture verses. Prayer,  as we were reminded last week, makes the Armour of God effective in the believer’s life. The armour goes on in prayer. It is in the place of prayer God's power is released in us and through us

Definition: Spiritual warfare - this is a battle that we as believers are in spiritually speaking. Our spiritual battles and warfare are real even though we cannot see our attacker. Warfare is a way of life for every believer in Christ

Enemies in spiritual warfare:

Three main areas of where the battles are fought are :  the battle within, the battle with the world and thirdly the spiritual  battle. This means Christians are at war with the flesh, the world and the devil

  1. The battle within- this battle is probably the most exhausting of the three areas where battles are fought. It can be very overwhelming, difficult to get a grasp on what is going on within our own hearts and minds . Our flesh fights for what we don't have.We either want something that belongs to another, or we want something outside of God's boundaries. Two verses are MATTHEW 26:41,GALATIANS 5:16-17 can you describe/comment on the battle flesh versus spirit ? The battle is waged because we have have the power to overcome sin’s grasps by the blood of Christ. Before becoming a Christian (dead in trespasses) ,there is no spiritual battle because we are dead spiritually. We also still liven these bodies flesh that have a sinful nature. So now as a believer the battle rages on BUT victory is assured because we are in Christ !
  2. The battle with the world - Two verses: JOHN 17:14-15. Jesus gives a clear message through His prayer about the seriousness of our lives in this ‘world’. V14- what does it say about believers and the world ? V15- what is Jesus’ request to the Father for believers? 

  JAMES 4:1-4 what does this passage say about our relationship with the world ? Friendship with the world places us in direct opposition to God

So there will be conflict, spiritual warfare because the world hates Jesus’ followers. Yet we are to be light in darkness …Jesus’ witnesses- carriers of His presence

3) The Spiritual battle -  Two verses: EPHESIANS 6:12, 2 KINGS 6:11-17 : What words describe the spiritual realm that we cannot see physically ? In 2 Kings here, the Lord opens the spiritual eyes of Elisha’s servant to see the host of God’s army…his spiritual eyes were opened to see into the spiritual warfare around him. So there is the invisible ,spiritual realm around us.Yet the Lord is with us.

>There are forces set against us to prevent us from receiving all the blessings of God as we seek to serve and follow Him. So we must fight spiritually whether it is in the spiritual realm, worldly realm or against fleshly desires.

Remember we fight in God's strength and His Spirit lives within us 

Some Bible  verses to use in prayer and declarations: 


1JOHN 4:4  ‘You dear children are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world’. 

Thank God that you belong to Him.You have overcome the false spirits and declare that God , the Spirit of Truth is  far greater than any other Spirit. Declare the truth that your God is able to overcome the influence of anything false or counterfeit 

2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-5 ‘ For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does..The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.’

Declare that you have the ability to exercise authority over what is not right in God's eyes.Every negative/ rebellious thought sown by the devil is dismissed. And we accept thoughts that glorify Jesus and lead us to obey Him.

2 THESSALONIANS 3:3.. ‘But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one’. In the face of opposition, declare this great and precious promise

JOHN 10:10 ‘ The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’.

Give thanks that Jesus exposes the devil's true nature. Declare that you have authority over the enemy and his  works because you have as a believer God's fullness of life

ISAIAH 54:17(AMP )  ‘No weapon that is formed against you will succeed; And every tongue that rises against you in judgement you will condemn.This —-peace , righteousness, security and triumph over opposition —  is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. And this is their vindication from Me,’ says the Lord. Declare that anyone seeking to do evil against believers will fail.Thank God that victory is assured 

JAMES 4:7 (AMP)‘ So submit to (the authority of) God. Resist the devil , we stand firm against him, and he will flee from you’.Thank God that as you submit humbly to Him ,you can come against the enemy in His Name and authority. When you are submitted to the Lord, the enemy is actually opposing the Lord and so he flees..he has no answer to Jesus

1PETER 5:9 (AMP)‘Resist Him ,standing firm in your faith…’Praise God that your firm (rooted and established) faith gives you the power to resist the devil (we have similar reminders in Ephesians 6 and James 4)

Praise God we have the full armour of God which gives us the power to stand firm in our faith

2 CORINTHIANS 2:14 ‘But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the  knowledge of him’.

Give thanks that God does not lead His children into failure and defeat.

Declare that He ALWAYS leads us into victory over whatever comes against us. 

Thank God for making this victory procession possible because we are in Christ. 

Christ’s death and resurrection seals our victory over sin and death.

Thursday 21st October 2021

Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 


This week we are continuing our study on the Armour of God . The familiar passage is from 

Ephesians 6 and verses 10-20. 

BRIEF RECAP -  Last week we studied verses 10-15. We learned and reminded each other that we are to put on the full armour of God. As believers in Jesus Christ we have an enemy, the devil and we are facing a spiritual battle against the devil. As Paul the writer encourages the Christians at Ephesus, he uses imagery of the Roman military.They were familiar with this and the uniform the soldiers wore for battle.

Last week we looked at the first three items of the soldier’s uniform : ( do you remember them?) belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness and the shoes of gospel.

VERSES 16-20( read the whole passage again - vv10-20)


> V16 - the Shield of faith - what does this do ? ( 16 b ) it covers any angle of attack so it is a flexible piece of equipment. For the soldiers then , this shield was made out of water - saturated leather so the flaming arrows would simply go out upon impact. 

This is what faith does - it covers all angles of spiritual attack, enabling you to overcome anything the devil throws at you .In other versions ( e.g. AMP and NKJV ) this verse begins with the phrase “above all”.Faith must be used to be any good .Without faith we cannot serve God, nor can we please Him….so we are living dependent or trusting in the Lord.

   What are ‘fiery darts or flaming arrows’ ? These are attacks that can come from anywhere at any time and in any situation. For example you may be going along ok and then the devil hits with a ‘fiery dart’ in your mind. Or you may be tempted to anger, unkind words ,encountering a difficult person or being bitter. It catches us off guard. Satan’s lethal darts of temptation to sin, of pain, of trouble, of dashed hopes, …these can only be extinguished by putting trust in Christ 

So we use the shield of faith - calling out to God …like an ‘arrow prayer’ from your heart to God's

Faith enables the believer to overcome the enemy 

> V17a- Helmet of Salvation  - physically this is for head and brain protection. Spiritually salvation provides the helmet that protects our minds from the devil's attacks. What Jesus did for us, saving us by His grace is something we must always be grateful to God.  We must declare that Christ has saved us ! We must never forget this. 

The helmet speaks of our security in Christ Jesus and nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus. This way we can hold our heads up in confidence and face the battle 

The enemy may try to take away the blessings we have in Christ. So believing the reality of our salvation enables believers to reject the lies, deceptions and negative accusations of the accuser.

Knowing that we are children of God helps us to survive any attack. You can counter all the devil's lies and efforts to deceive you in your thinking .We can  boldly declare “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”

          >V17b- Sword of the Spirit - this is God's Word ( the blade of the Spirit ) This is the piece of equipment that is offensive to the devil.The truth is the answer to all the devil's lies and deception It is readily available for use. It strikes a decisive blow to the enemy - he has no answer to the  truth of word of God ( Hebrews 4:12-13) . You take the fight or battle to the enemy with the right sword- God’s Word. By the power of the Spirit,God’s Word cannot be resisted. So continue to learn more of God's Word..let it become active in your life .Hold  fast to the truth of what He says

Paul has explained the armour of God and now adds this command :

>V18a- ‘Pray in the Spirit’ -  a life controlled by / dependent on Spirit and communicating with the commander -in-chief directly. This is the greatest offensive weapon we have - the ability to call on the Lord our God in the actual battle 

NOTE  : ‘Praying in the Spirit’ - Pray in the name of Jesus, according to God's will and nature, allowing His word to shape our prayers. Pray as the Spirit leads so you are cooperating with God so He fills your prayer with His life and power, whatever the request may be.

Why do you think Paul encourages prayer ? PRAYER MAKES THE ARMOUR EFFECTIVE IN YOUR LIFE. The armour goes on with prayer.You share your fears with God.You hear what He says. Good communication ( praying ) is critical in spiritual warfare. This gives us a distinct advantage over the devil and his schemes.You know you have the Spirit to help particularly when you do not know what /how to pray in a particular situation 

It is the life , strength and safeguard of the whole spiritual armour. (“No prayer, no victory”)

> Vv 18b-20 : When is a good time to pray ? ‘Always’… ‘on all occasions’

How can we pray ? Pray for specific requests, for the saints. God's Church is to move forward as a mighty army….not isolated, not just surviving but thriving and conquering as the gospel is proclaimed . Persevere in prayer !( “keep on praying “).

 Paul even requests prayer for himself to declare truth boldly ( this is part of the battle!) As a preacher he is depending on God for the right words and then he needs boldness and courage to communicate and declare the message.

IN SUMMARY : Putting on God's armour means living : 


Truthfully - Belt of truth ; Righteously - Breastplate of righteousness 

Peacefully - Gospel boots ; Dependently - Shield of faith ( trust )

Confidently - Helmet of salvation ; Biblically - Sword ( God’s Word ) and Prayerfully 



Memorise verses from the Bible and let the life- giving power of them enter your soul

Arm yourself with the Word of is all we need.

Prayer unleashes the power of God in the believer's or soldier’s life

God leads us into victory 

You want to be victorious so you must be equipped 

Put on the full armour of God : it is devil -proof

Know your enemy ( your enemy is not people )

Cling on to God's promises and God's character. ( what He says and who He is )

Thursday 14th October 2021

Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting


For the next two weeks we will be studying Ephesians 6:10-20. This is all about the Armor of God.

These are words Paul included in his letter to the Christians of Ephesus. Paul had spent about two years ( 55-57 AD ) in Ephesus.He knew the church well and played a formative part in its growth and development .He writes this letter from his confinement in Rome awaiting trial

Paul is giving imagery here that reminds the Ephesians of the Roman military and the kind of armour they wore. They would have known that every part of the Roman armour had a specific purpose .The armour was designed to protect the individual soldier and the army generally.

And as believers in Christ Jesus ,we are to equip ourselves for spiritual battle just like a soldier  would. The enemy is real. He attacks us when we least expect it. And he will try to use his number 1 tool of discouragement to see if you will drop your weapons as you give up in despair 

READ THE PASSAGE- verses 10-20

Today: VERSES 10-15 ( next week vv16-20) What are some initial observations you can make ?

V10-11 Paul use the word ‘ finally ‘ as he challenges believers to open their eyes to the spiritual warfare in which they are engaged 

V10  ‘be strong in the Lord’ - What do you think this means for the believer ?

   We are not standing in our own strength, trying on our own to muster up strength. Our strength is activated from Holy Spirit empowering us. The verse is actually saying ‘be strengthened ‘ in the 

Lord as you put on God's armour. This means we are abiding in Him..our power comes from being IN Christ…not in our own abilities .God has provided His might and power ( force or strength and dominion )

V11- How can we stand against all the devil's disruptive tactics or schemes ?

 ‘Put on the FULL armour of God’. By being fully equipped, not just parts of the armour. This is vital to our victorious walk with Jesus the Christ.We are clothed with God's gifts and resources to be able to stand against the devil's disruptive tactics 

This verse identifies our enemy and his strategies, schemes or tricks.

‘Put on’ here means that when you get dress for battle you do not take off the uniform. So the armour of God is to be kept on at all times

This enables you to ‘stand’ - this is a military term meaning to hold a critical position during a time of enemy attack. The image here is of “a soldier refusing to yield or give in even one inch of ground to an attacking foe”

V12 - Really, against whom are we in battle ?  - who are we fighting against ?

NOT against people but against the negative spiritual forces that influence and control them.

Real evil powers , a whole range of ( look at the list ) This is an important truth. Our battle as believers is not against people . The  battle is against the negative spirits that control  unbelievers 

or have been able to influence believers

Often it feels like our battles are against people. 

>>> when someone has hurt you deeply, it seems that your struggle/ battle is with that person.You might even say ‘That person is the source of all my problems’. BUT our battle is not against people 


Can you give an example of one way in which the devil and his demons try to distract us, tempt us or even ‘steal ,kill and destroy’ ?

EXAMPLES - attacks from an unsuspected quarter, worries that seem to consume us, bitterness toward others, excuses made for lack of spiritual growth, critical comments about other believers 

V13- What are we to do as believers when we are facing the battle or struggle ?

Repeated from v11 - ‘ Put on the full armour…’It implies a responsibility on the believer’s part.The believer has to appropriate what God has given him/her.The believer is to make use of the weapons God has made available to him/her

So we are able to stand firm and remain standing ( note ‘stand’ in vv 11,13,14)

VV14-15 How are we to stand ? What does the armour look like ?

Paul is painting a picture of the Christian in complete armour, ready for battle.He lists the items of the soldier’s uniform in the order the soldier would put on the uniform .And each piece describes a spiritual trait the believer needs to survive the attacks of the devil

What do you think (1) the belt of truth is? (2) breastplate of righteousness is ? and (3) your feet fitted or strapped with the gospel of peace is ?

>Belt of truth - before battle the soldier would gather his loose- fitting tunic and hold it in place with a heavy leather belt enabling quick movement. The believer wears the belt of truth from God's Word which combats error and lies of the enemy.Truth also refers to your service to God out of sincerity and not hypocrisy.Truth is lived out daily and we are real 

>Breastplate of righteousness- something like an ancient bulletproof vest, it covers vital organs of the chest especially the heart and lungs.God declares us righteous in Christ. So in the choices we make, we are to pursue righteousness knowing we are right with God. Not reacting in the flesh but seeking to live pure lives that glorify God. It is all about the power in living a holy life , with no room for sin and the devil

> (feet fitted with) shoes of the gospel of peace - you must have good, suitable shoes for different jobs. A soldier must have appropriate shoes so he does not slip when fighting. Roman soldiers wore sandals with spikes driven through the soles that gave traction on any surface. 

So the believer should be ready to share the good news that bring peace with God. They walk the walk ,enjoying peace and favour with God. We stand in the truth that God fights for us, that all is well with our souls, and His peace makes us ‘stand’ against the enemy’s tactics 


Spiritual warfare is real , and we have a real enemy

If we go in God's strength and His equipment, these evil powers can be defeated 

To experience victory in the spiritual battles we face ,we need His kind of power 

We are on our own no match for the enemy.Jesus is ! In Christ we can stand fully equipped against the enemy 

NEXT WEEK : we will study verses 16-20


Welcome to the Bible Study & Prayer Meeting

Background Information to the Letter to the Colossians 

While Paul was in prison in Rome, awaiting his upcoming trial before Caesar, one of the letters that he wrote was to the gathering of believers in Colossae. 
Paul had never met them, but they knew who he was & respected his leadership. Paul had worked with a man named Epaphras when he was in Ephesus. 
Epaphras was originally from Colossae, about 100 miles to the east. 
Paul sent him to bring the Good News about Jesus to this city & to two other nearby cities, Laodicea & Hierapolis. 
Epaphras was later arrested & brought to Rome as a prisoner himself. 
Paul learned from him what was happening in those cities. 

The Colossians were mostly Gentiles, but like the Galatians they were pressured to follow the Jewish laws & were adding extra rules & false teachings to the faith. 
Some were priding themselves as having visions & getting secret spiritual knowledge. So Paul wrote them a letter to say basically, 
“When you’ve got Jesus the Messiah, you’ve got it all!”
Or as some have said, “Jesus : Nothing More, Nothing Less, Nothing Else!”

Paul highlights the fact that everything in heaven and on earth were created by the Son, Jesus, & were reconciled to God by the death of Jesus the Son on the Cross. Christ possesses the fullness of God’s being. 
Since the Colossians have been brought into the new kingdom of light, they can live their faith to the fullest. 
Or as a recent Pepsi advert put it : “live life to the Max.!”
They are to put on the new self, awaiting the time when the Messiah will openly appear, revealing His Glory.

This sets the stage & the context for our Bible Study this morning. 
Colossians 1:15-20 is often referred to as an early Christian Hymn based on the Supremacy of Christ. It is used here by Paul to counteract the false teaching at Colossae. It is divided into two parts : The Supremacy of Christ in creation & 
The Supremacy of Christ in Redemption. 

The Supremacy of the Son of God

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the Cross.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:15-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What Titles Does Jesus Have in Colossians 1:15-20? 

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Son is the image of the invisible God, 

The Firstborn over all Creation (Verse 15)

Christ is called the image of the invisible God. 
This indicates two truths : that God is invisible & that 
Christ, Who is the Son of God & became the God-man, reflects & reveals Him. 
Jesus Christ is ‘the Firstborn over all creation.’ 
In Middle Eastern culture, being the firstborn meant Jesus enjoyed certain privileges and an inheritance. Just as the firstborn son had certain privileges & rights in the Biblical world, so also Christ has certain rights in relation to all creation - priority, pre-eminence, & sovereignty. 
Even today, we still pass on rights and blessings to our children, like citizenship, money, or possessions, for example. 
True to His inheritance, Jesus is King. 

In Hebrews 1:2-3a the writer to the Hebrews adds further insight to this, ‘but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, Whom He appointed the heir of all things, through Whom also He created the world. 
He is the radiance of the Glory of God & the exact imprint of His nature, 
& He upholds the universe by the word of His power.’

Jesus is our Creator & Sustainer (Verses 16-17)

‘For by Him all things were created, in heaven & on earth, visible & invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things were created through Him & for Him. And He is before all things, & in Him all things hold together.’ 

As Creator, Jesus also received Lordship over His creation. 
Because Jesus created all things & exists above & before all things, He stands as Lord. In fact, seven times in the six verses Colossians 1:15-20, 
Paul states that Jesus rules over ‘all creation’, ‘all things’ or ‘everything,’ therefore stressing that Christ is supreme over all. 
He is before all things & in Him all things hold together. 

Even now Jesus sustains all life & all creation. 
Without Him, there would be disorder in nature, & chaos throughout the universe. 
“yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭8:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Just like it says in the children’s song I grew up singing in Church,
‘He’s got the whole world in His hands.’ 

As we consider our incredible creation, let’s remember the integral part that Jesus has in it. He rules creation as its Firstborn, Creator, Lord, & Sustainer. 

Paul emphasises the deity of Christ with this truth : He is the One Who holds all things together, the Head of the Church, & the first person to rise from the dead never to die again.

The Supremacy of Christ 

The key theme to Paul’s letter to the Colossians is the supremacy of Christ. One of the clearest pictures of this is in the “Christ Hymn” found in Colossians 1:15-20. Jesus reigns supreme over all creation. Paul, makes it clear that Jesus is 
all-sufficient for our spiritual life & should reign supreme at its centre.
Jesus is the Head of the Church because the Church is the extension of Himself; it is His body of believers. He is also the beginning, the firstborn of the dead : Jesus was the first to conquer death by God’s power, never to die again. 

“For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:9-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭1:4-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus is the Head of the Body, the Church

He is the beginning & the Firstborn from among the dead

Jesus is our Reconciler

(Verses 18-20)

“And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:18-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Using the metaphor of a body, Paul teaches that our lives as Christians must be rooted in Christ, for He is the Head. He is the One Who empowers us & renews us. 
We have our entire existence in Him! Since it is through Christ we live as Christians, 
a “rules-orientated” lifestyle dictated by humans will not lead to spiritual growth. 
Christ was the first to rise from the dead with a resurrection body.
For Paul, fullness meant the totality of God with all His powers & attributes.
All the fullness of the deity dwells in Christ, & not only has He reconciled sinners to Himself; but ultimately He will reconcile the whole of creation to Himself. 
Our reconciliation brings us peace with God through the Blood that Jesus shed for us on the Cross of Calvary. 
His death has eternal significance for our lives. 
The evidence of reconciliation is ongoing holy living for Him & being grounded steadfastly in Him. 
But that doesn’t mean that Christ by His death has saved all people. 
Scripture speaks of an eternal hell & makes clear that only believers in Christ are saved. 
When Adam & Eve sinned, not only was the harmony between God & human beings destroyed, but also disorder came into creation. 

“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:19-22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So when Christ died on the Cross, He made peace possible between God & people, & He restores I; principle the harmony in the physical world. Although, the full realisation of this will come only when Christ returns. 

When life makes us feel discouraged, marginalised, & insignificant, the Cross declares that our lives matter to God & reminds us that Jesus loves us enough to die for us. He wants us to live in hope & peace with Him forever. 

Without Jesus, we had no hope. We were alienated, separated, & lost, 
‘but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,’ 
Romans 5:8. 
God offered Himself as the final sacrifice for sin, making a way to restore a relationship with us. 

It cost Jesus everything to redeem us :
‘He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin & live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed,’ 1 Peter 2:24.

Praise God we are healed by hIs wounds, brought near to Him through His shed Blood on the Cross & given peace through His sacrifice. 
So great a cost, so great a Saviour! 
Or as the old hymn ‘Man of Sorrows’ phrases it : ‘Hallelujah! What a Saviour!’ 

Jesus did what we could never do, to enable us to live a life that we could never live except in His strength. 

He truly deserves first place in everything! 

Closing Prayer

Dear Jesus, thank You for bearing our sins & our punishment when You went to the Cross for us. Thank You that, through Your Blood, we can know & experience peace with God. You are worthy of all our praise, honour, & glory. Forgive us for allowing anything other than a You be the first in our lives. Let us live our lives for Your glory, filled with Your Spirit, Seeking You First today & every day. 
In the Name of Jesus we pray. Amen. It shall be so! 



Welcome friends to the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting 

We are completing  our study of  some of the ‘let us’ verses in Hebrews. 

REVIEW : So we have done the following verses so far :

First week- Hebrews 4: 14-16 and 10:19-22.  Second week - Hebrews 10:23-25 and 4:1 and 11

Third week - Hebrews 6: 1and 12:1-2

( all notes are on  the website : )

The writer is encouraging the believers in the face of adversity and severe religious pressure that they have something far superior than religious rules and rituals in Christ Jesus.Jesus is far superior  than the religious institutions of Moses and the Old Testament.

A central theme of this book of Hebrews is the significance of the new covenant established by the blood of Jesus 

Today we are studying HEBREWS 12:28 and HEBREWS 13:13 and 15 ( READ verses )

Hebrews 12:28 (READ)


This ‘let us’  invitation is a call to be thankful and worship God 

Why ? Because we are receiving God's unshakable Kingdom. God who has worked in the Old Covenant has a better promise through the New Covenant .Prior to Jesus, everything else had

been shadows of this greater reality. God has always had something better for His people ( Heb 11:10)

And His Kingdom is a present reality and the future hope of believers 

We experience some of it here as we live for Jesus and then we have a glorious future with Jesus

What does this mean ? 

What the future holds for believers cannot be compared with the past 

The future is secure for those who believe in Him and are children of His eternal Kingdom 

Secular kingdoms, empires may fall , become insecure and end  but the promise of the

unshakable Kingdom is a gift from God…it will never fail and the King reigns victoriously forever !

> Remember the writer is encouraging believers who were wanting to return to their old ways and being persecuted too. They are not to be shaken and become insecure in their faith

How are believers to respond knowing this truth about an unshakable Kingdom ?

 V28 b- let us be thankful…. ( READ)

How are we to worship God ? Acceptably with reverence and awe, love ,holiness and devotion (TPT- offer God the purest worship that delights His heart ...) pleasing service to God

Thankfulness - this should be a ‘natural outflow’ from a heart of the true believer, someone who has the privilege of being a child of the King. 

There is nothing greater than our God ( v29 - He is all powerful, nothing greater. This verse is referring to the Old Covenant when Israel came to the mountain (12:21) and was fearful of God's presence. God's power was overwhelming to Israel ! This verse is meant to cause reverence and awe , praise and worship ! as you submit to Him. ) 

The invitation is for us to come expressing gratitude and worship everything that we say and do .It is a way of life , not an activity. If you really know  God's grace and glory in Christ, you will not fail to worshippers Him in a manner He deserves 


The invitation/ command here is for us to ‘ go outside the camp’. V12 says Jesus was crucified, Jesus was our sin-sacrifice ,outside the city gate  sacrificing His blood to make the people holy. The call is for us to go outside the “religious ‘walls’ and bear His disgrace”- TPT .

What do you think this means ? Just like Jesus did we are to go outside the camp and be His witnesses even when there might be reproach, pain suffering, persecution. He showed us love as he endured the cross, so we are to show that love by sharing His love to others . The believers are encouraged to stand up for Jesus. We are to identify with Him.

It could also mean ( like for these early Christians ) leaving the religious systems of the past and going directly to Christ as the perfect sacrifice.Nothing man made ( like idols )will satisfy a holy God. So you must go outside like Jesus did to find the acceptable sacrifice that leads to life. 

‘going outside the camp’ - The camp was a place of safety ..For us today that could be our comfort zone ? The call is to move out of  the familiarity and security and be willing to bear reproach with Jesus. For those who rejected Christ then, the believers in Christ would have been deemed unclean for leaving old covenant  practices. To go outside the camp was the place of uncleanness. Jesus was deemed unclean and cursed because of dying on a cross

Yet as this verse says - in going outside the camp the original audience would be leaving everything behind in a sense . But they would gain something far greater  : belong to the true kingdom of God.

What do you think going outside the camp look like for you ?

Being a witness for Jesus in spite of the pain and disgrace involved. It is about embracing Jesus even though people say negative things about Him .We do this in His strength 

Consider for a moment : those missionaries who have left comfort behind to go to distant lands to share Jesus 

V14- Why do this ? There is no lasting city here. We are looking forward to the heavenly city that is to come… “the city of the living God” ( Hebrews 12:22). No paradise or heavenly Jerusalem here,  as good as this is island is ! 

HEBREWS 13:15 ( READ) So what is involved in the life  that seeks to move outside the camp and join Jesus in His suffering ? A life /lips of praise (v15 ) and a life of love (v 16): LIPS AND LIFE 

Why is it called a sacrifice of praise ? Often this will not come easily but we are to reflect the reality of Christ in our lives 

The call in this verse is :  ‘let us  continually offer to God….praise that celebrate His name ! 

‘Through Jesus’: we see here that Jesus’ sacrifice for us -for all sinners- brings to an end all sacrifices EXCEPT for theses two in v15 and v16

Our response to what Jesus did is one of worship and praise 

Application :

How does a continual sacrifice of praise impact the way we relate to others ?

What is one thing you can do differently to shine the Light of Christ through your life ?

Thursday 16th September 2021


                                           Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer ( These are some notes to guide our study )

INTRODUCTION : This is the third study in the book of Hebrews. 

Specifically this a study on some of the ‘Let Us’ statements or commands in various chapters.

So, the first study or instalment we looked at Hebrews 4:14-16 and 10:19-22

On the second study of these ‘let us-es’ invitations we looked at 10:23-25 and 4:1 and 11.

Today, in the third study, we would like to focus on Hebrews 6:1 & Hebrews 12:1-2.

Brief background information


The intended audience is the Hebrew (Jewish) Christians. 

They were being persecuted.

Like us they had questions like ‘What if Jesus is not worth it ?’…

‘maybe what we believed before (Judaism) isn't so bad ?’

The writer encourages the Christians to keep serving Jesus, who is superior than other religious rituals they engaged in before becoming followers of Jesus.

Jesus remains the answer to all our questions. 

HEBREWS 6:1-2 (read verses 1-3)


The writer invites the Jewish believers to leave the elementary teachings about Christ and to move on from these basic teachings to a more mature understanding of God's purposes. 

It is an invitation to to a deeper relationship with Jesus (the Christian life).

It is linked to Chapter 5 by the word ‘Therefore..’ It follows on from the closing verses in 

Chapter 5.

What is the writer saying in 5:11-14 ?(Read).

He is giving a rebuke for their spiritual immaturity. 

So in Chapter 5 (the last few verses), the writer says that these believers were not ready to learn,  that the believers still needed milk.

They are not mature. Mature, true believers are the ones who can take solid food. 

It is so important to have a teachable spirit. 

There is encouragement for true believers to move on from the basics.

There is a warning for the false disciples who still need to be saved. 

(For you can be doing all the ‘churchy’ things and still not be saved : attend Church regularly, listen to messages, engage in good works, give financially…like what true Christians do).

Hebrews chapter 6 verses 1-2 : What are true believers to do ? 

 a) Leave the elementary teachings about Christ

 b) Press on to maturity 

 c) Don't lay foundations again

‘Let us leave’ - let us move on from the basic teachings about Christ to a more mature understanding of God's purposes. 

It's like building upon what you already know. 

Somebody said it is like learning the ABC’s, so you can ‘move on’ to reading picture books and then other literary works like the Bible. 

Basic building blocks are necessary but must be built upon into the structure. 

The foundational truths ( basic truths ) : 

-Repentance  from dead works :- this means a turning away permanently from acts that lead to spiritual death …that does not lead to life.. (Ephesians 2:1-3).

-Faith in God :- mature believers do not need to be reminded to put their faith and trust in God  ( Romans 10:17).

-Instructions about baptisms :- there were many ritual washings practiced by Jews so Christian baptism needed to be carefully distinguished from these rituals.

Also water baptism is being baptised into Christ and baptism in the Holy Spirit is being baptised by Christ. 

Through the laying on of hands, various reasons for doing this :- 

  • Jesus did it  (Luke 4:40), (Mark 10:16)..apostles did it to impart the Spirit (Acts 8:17; 19:1-7)
  • resurrection of the dead, this is what the apostles preached and this is our precious hope (Acts 10:40)
  • eternal judgment, a theme in the apostles’ preaching (Acts 17:30-31) and stressed in Paul’s letters (Romans 2:16)

The simple message the writer seeks to share with the Jewish believers in Christ is this :

 it is time for them to move on from the simple things into the mature understandings of who Jesus is and what He has done for us.

Spiritual progress happens when we continue to grow in maturity (growing in knowledge, experience and conduct).

V3- How do we grow and move on in our journey with Jesus?

Not depending on ourselves. With God’s enablement, by God's grace we move on to deeper truths seeking to understand His purposes. 



What is the word  ‘Therefore’ there for?

V1- The author encourages his audience with examples of faithful believers.

He is saying the saints or witnesses as in Ch.11 should spur us on. 

They were not ‘super-believers’ but they were faithful even when it was not easy. 

They are our motivation to run the race. 

So he now challenges the believers because of this ‘great cloud of witnesses’ - their legacy of faith and God's grace - to take heart and push forward, move on in their own walk with Jesus.

How do we do this?  What is the command of the writer? 

Verse 1b (read)

‘let us throw off….and let us  run with perseverance…’ 

The MAIN point is to ‘run the race’ of faith in Christ (as a world-class athlete) 

without unnecessary baggage which will slow you down.


What does this mean? 

Firstly, things that hinder may not necessarily be sinful, like lifestyle or habits. 

Secondly,  sin that entangles us obviously will get in the way of the Christian race seriously hampering our advance into holy living.

Perhaps,  instead of asking ‘is this habit wrong, is it sin??’..

we should ask ‘does this habit help us run or is it in the way? 

So, look at your own life : for example, instead of spending time with God and His Word do you get caught up in social media or things that are not spiritually healthy for you? 

You decide what stays and what goes, so you relationship with Jesus remains healthy. 

Let us persevere in running the race in which God has entered us. 

You are not running alone and you are not competing against anyone else.

V2 - (READ) The follow-on question is ‘what do you have to do to run well?’

The proper way to run the race is by looking TO Jesus. 

So you are looking AWAY from all else/distractions .Undivided attention 

Why? He is our greatest, supreme example of how to live by faith…enduring shame and agony of the cross to the end.

He initiates and sustains us, causing us to grow in faith.

What are we looking at when we look at Jesus?

Look at how He endured the cross, He disregarded shame. 

Jesus aimed always for the eternal joy that lay ahead of Him. 

He is now seated in heaven at God’s right hand.

Concluding comments


Continue to be people of faith who desire to grow in Christ-likeness. 

Let Jesus remain your focus.

Thursday 2nd September 2021


Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer today. 

Introduction : 

We are continuing with the study  in the  ‘LET US-es” verses from this letter to the Hebrews. There are some ‘let us ‘ verses in this  letter which are statements/ commands made by the writer. This is great encouragement from God to us His people. 

For by saying ‘ let us’  it means that God is involved with us, He is helping us , as we seek to  obey these statements or invitations as some others describe them.

Last week we looked at Hebrews 4:14-16, and Hebrews 10:19-22

Today we are studying  : Chapter 10 : verses 23-25,

                                        Chapter 4: verses 1 and 11



HEBREWS 10: 23-25 ( READ)


>Verses 23 

What does it mean to ‘ hold unswervingly to the hope we profess…’?

We are to adhere firmly to the convictions/ beliefs .Some of the  believers/ Jewish converts were facing the temptation to return to their old ways because of persecution. They were having a hard time making that complete break from the rituals of their old religion. The Jews grappled to embrace these new truths. They were being encouraged by the writer as they navigated their life of faith versus an old system of rituals and rules.

It involves being faithful to following Jesus our Saviour since we are saved and look forward to an eternity with our Lord

Have you ever felt tempted to revert to the old ways of the world, the flesh ? Have your faith ever wavered ? 

How are we to hold on to this hope ? Unswervingly ..without wavering .Nothing must distract us from this hope of what lies ahead of us in fulfilment of all He has promised us

Why should we believe this ? Our God whose promises never fail is faithful. We can depend on Him.

>Verse 24

What do you think ‘ consider how we may spur one another on…’ means ?

Consider one another - often we tend to think about ourselves first and foremost (?selfish ) . Rather we must think about the needs of others ; 

consider - take note of and concentrate on deciding what you can do …

How can we ‘ spur one another on towards love and good deeds’ ?

The word ‘spur’ has the meaning of ‘rousing to activity, provoking, stimulate. Often this is used in a negative sense. Here however it has the idea of urging on…the goal for one another being to encourage towards walking in love and blessing one another in practical ways

We can't isolate ourselves ( Galatians 6:10 )

POINT TO PONDER : All this is a measure of God's love, revealed in all Jesus has done for us. We are to live in the good of this unchanging love. It is like a covenant of love with each other and God and we must take care that this is not broken 

God always intended for His people to live in community with each other.

>Verse 25

Both verses 24-25 present us as believers with a challenge :  to look out for one another and to keep encouraging one another in our walk with the Lord

We need the encouragement of being together as one Body. Every believer needs the encouragement/fellowship of others in order to fulfill God's purpose for his life.

From verse 25 : What is the  important reason for meeting together and encouraging one another?

 Because we are awaiting the Day when the Lord will return. The hope we have  in Christ .

So we meet and encourage each other to faithfulness and holy living…especially now when there is so much opposition to  the Christian faith and Christ- like living .

(Re :Verses 24-24) BENEFITS OF GATHERING TOGETHER: faith grows, shared accountability, discipleship, prayer ,worship . We can face spiritual battles together rather than alone

HEBREWS 4: verses 1 and 11( READ )


Verse 1- 

Let us make sure  that none of you fails to enter into what is promised 

What is promised ? Entering into God's rest. 

Chapters 3 and  4 is linked by the word ‘Therefore’ - this draws a conclusion from 3:19 ( read )

As you  read the preceding verses in Chapter 3 :16-19 , you will see the immediate context.

Chapter 3: Christ is superior and better than Moses

Chapter 4: The writer is showing that the reward or rest for the believer in Christ is greater than what was promised to the ancient Israelites .Remember a generation of Israelites failed to enter into the Promised Land because of unbelief…Lack of faith kept them from entering God's rest then and all God had in store for them

In Christ by faith we enter into His rest .The promise still stands.

What do you think this rest looks like ? 

Heavenly rest in a heavenly city, not just a plot of land somewhere.The promised rest from all our burdens of this life’s wilderness.

TPT -verse1 b ….. ‘ So we must be extremely careful to ensure that we all embrace the fullness of that promise and not fail to experience it’

The writer here shows concern for believers .He fears they will drift from trusting God's Word and fellowship with other believers .

He is desiring that believers receive all Christ has for them…not just in the future. Jesus , our ‘Joshua’ desires that we become more and more like Him 

A true believer shares in Christ’s life and continues to trust Christ 


‘Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest..’

Again , Israel fell from the promised joy of God because of the disobedience and unbelief. The believer can experience similarly. So to keep this from happening and to show that we are more than just mere professing Christians the writer gives this ‘let us ‘ command 

We have a responsibility here. Day by day we are to be diligent and obedient and keep trusting in the promises of God so we enter into His rest .The door is not shut.

So that we rest in Him when the trials are overwhelming.


All our effort is now channeled into entering that inheritance that God has given us  so that no one fails because of disobedience 



Welcome to the meeting . 

Today we want to spend time encountering God in worship, in receiving encouragement from His Word as we focus on our prayer time 

BIBLE STUDY : Words of encouragement from HEBREWS 4::14-16 and then HEBREWS 10: 19-22. ( please turn to the first passage )

In these two passages there are three ‘let us ‘ statements/ commands made by the writer ( uncertain ) of this book of Hebrews .So our focus today will be on the three ‘ let us ‘ verses

 Brief introduction


The author of this letter is not named. This letter explains the relationship between the Old Covenant and the New established through the blood of Christ on the cross . It was written to a group of Jews to encourage them in their walk with the Saviour and the Lord…to remain faithful to their commitment to Jesus.It teaches that Jesus is far superior to the laws and rituals  that they could not keep. It  also appeals to unsaved Jews to trust Jesus and be saved 

 It teaches about the significance of the atoning work of Jesus Christ and so it is to be appreciated greatly by believers. Jesus has become our great High Priest.. He serves us today as our High Priest.

Firstly HEBREWS 4:14-16 (READ )


The ‘let us’ statements refer to the faithful followers of Christ…all believers 

1) V14- ‘LET US hold firmly to the faith we profess’

What  does it mean ‘to hold firmly to the faith’?

 To cling in faith to all we know to be true, to seize or to take hold of ( TPT ) ,what we as Christians believe about what God has done in Christ, what God loves and hates .Essentially this is the Good News of Jesus Christ 

This is our common confession and this is what we are to proclaim .And as a result we all can be confident of the future as we embrace the truth, hold fast to what we believe

We might differ on many things BUT this remains, we all agree that this is, our central theme 

We are to persevere in our commitment to Him and live the changed life , the new life in Christ


V15- Why do we need to hold on firmly to what we believe ? Or why can we put our faith in Jesus ?

Jesus in His humanity knew how we feel. Yet He did not sin. Jesus knows our weaknesses and wants us to depend on Him as strength. 

We can put our faith in Jesus because He experienced life as we know it. “He walked in our shoes” , all points tempted like we are YEY WITHOUT SIN.

Jesus knows what it is like to be weak, tired and to go through trials and tests. He shows compassion on us

He is able to ‘sympathise with our weaknesses’.. .The One who resisted all temptation lives in You as a believer ! By His precious Holy Spirit, God actively comes to our aid

2) V16 - ‘LET US then (draw near) approach the throne of grace with confidence’

 What are we encouraged to do because we have such a great high priest ?..far superior to other priests ?

We can come close to God's throne of grace with confidence.This is a privilege for each and every believer. 


> To  go before the Queen you would have to be invited and then follow a strict protocol 

As children of God, we can come directly into His presence.Every time we come to God in prayer we are approaching His throne of grace where we are welcome 

What do we receive when we draw near - with confidence and without fear - before God ? 

V16b — that we may receive mercy and find grace for help in time of need. Grace and mercy speak of God’s loving-kindness, mercy, and faithfulness. Grace and mercy reflect the reconciling work of God through Christ

We are made acceptable as Jesus Himself,  He is our righteousness .So we can have confidence when we pray…we do not speak from a distance wondering if anyone is listening.

   We can get His help because we are needy people. We depend on Him 

Secondly HEBREWS 10:19-22 ( READ )


3) V 22-‘LET US draw near to God…’

Why should we draw near ? Look at verses 19-21( read ) Here we see  vital truths.

**Jesus opened up the way for us by His blood . He is the new living Way that gives us access to God who is holy through the finished work on the cross for 

** We have the great Priest over all who belong to God's household. Under the Jewish system no one could approach God but the High Priest. 

So we do not come to God with any merits of our own.We are made holy by His blood and at peace with God. We come to God in Christ- clothed in Him …in His righteousness and holiness 

The pure living water of the Holy Spirit makes us clean

How do we come before God ?

 -with a sincere heart, a true heart without divided loyalties hiding of sin

 -full assurance of faith - without faith we cannot please God : the better we know the more we can trust Him

  • our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience - through the blood of Christ 
  • our bodies washed with pure water. All signs of inward purity. This is the way we come to God confessing sin ,made clean by the blood  so we can draw near.

So as we come before God today, come with a true heart ,not lightly. Come with full assurance of faith. This way He receives us , He hears us ..He will not turn us away. Come on in to His very presence

Come and speak with Him freely without fear for Christ has made this possible !



“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.”
‭‭John‬ ‭1:1-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Gospel of John was written by John, one of the three disciples who formed the core group of Jesus’ twelve disciples. It was written at a later date than Matthew, Mark, & Luke; towards the end of John’s life around 85-90 AD. He outlived the other disciples & so was able to counteract the wrong teaching that was circulating at the time. He gave clear revelation of the truth that has the power to set people free, both now & for eternity.

Other than God, Himself, we hear about two other main characters in
John 1:1-9, Jesus & John the Baptist.

In John 1:1-5, what truths do we learn?
Jesus is the Word. He existed in the beginning, before time began.
God created through Jesus. As the Word of God, Jesus could not operate independently of His Father, even during His humanity. God’s creative life is contained in the word that Jesus spoke.
Throughout the Gospel of John, there is a stark contrast between Jesus as the Light & the spiritual darkness of the world. Because He is the Light.
Jesus’ words bring light into people’s lives. But most of those who belong to the darkness, including many religious leaders, refused to receive Him.

John 1:6-9
Before Jesus came, God sent another man, called John the Baptist, to His people. God called him to be a witness, to prepare people for the coming of the Light, for He wanted everyone to believe in Jesus. But John the Baptist was not the Light, only the one who would prepare the way for the coming of the Light. That is to say, Jesus Himself was the True Light, able to give spiritual light & understanding to people.
He was coming into the world.
Jesus, as the Light of God is contrasted with the darkness of the world & sin.
God is Light. In Him there is no darkness at all.

What do we learn about John the Baptist & his role? (Verses 6-9)
He was the one who went before Jesus to prepare the way for Him.
He wasn’t the Light, but was to bear witness or testify to the Light.
He was one who pointed others in the right direction.
He would show or teach others that Jesus was the True Light of the World.
While some would think that he was the Messiah because of the words & truth that he spoke he knew that he wasn’t & pointed them to Jesus, the True Messiah.
He wasn’t egocentric, focused on his own way or bigging himself up.
He actually said “He must become greater, I must become less.”
Acknowledging that Jesus had a greater role to fulfil than he himself did.

What can we learn from verses 6-9 about the mission of Jesus?
(What was the purpose of Him coming into the world?)
How does that affect the way in which we should live our lives?

Jesus is the Light of Life & the Light of the World.
As believers in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, we are called to be light in the middle of the darkness of the world.
The Light of God is to shine out from our lives so that our actions cause others to glorify God.
The Light of the Gospel shines into the darkness of the hearts of people to set them free from the darkness of sin, disobedience, & deception.

1 John 1:5-7 reminds us that ‘this is the message, the revelation that we heard from Him & now reveal to you : God is Light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to share in His Light & yet walk in spiritual darkness, we only lie & do not live according to the truth. But if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we share in His Life together & the Blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin, from everything we have done against His will.’

From the verses outlined above :-
How would you define walking in spiritual darkness?
Walking according to the sinful nature or the flesh, in all the behaviour patterns or thoughts that would entail.

How would you describe walking or sharing in the Light?
By following Jesus & His example of how to think & behave.

What is the result of walking in & having fellowship with the Light?
We share in life together with Jesus & Christian believers, disciples, or followers of Christ as we can be called.
His Blood cleanses us & purifies us from all sin, from any wrong thing that we have thought, said, or done.

‘Yes, you lived in darkness in your old life, but now you are the children of light, living in the One Who is the Light. So live as children who walk in the light of God’s truth....’ ...’The time will come when everything will be exposed by the light, even the things people have tried to hide. By its very nature, light exposes things & there should be nothing in your lives that you would be ashamed of when everything is exposed. Such a time will come which is why we are told : “It is time to wake up if you are asleep spiritually; rise up from a life of dead works & Christ will shine on you with His Light.” ‘
Ephesians 5:8,13-14.

We heard two testimonies earlier in the meeting today.
They both bear witness to Jesus & point us to His faithfulness just like John the Baptist did. 
Jesus is the True Light of the World & it’s our delight, deep joy, privilege & responsibility to continue to bear witness or testify to Him & to share Him with others. Point others to Him.



Welcome to the Thursday meeting 

Today we again would like to take time to express thanks to God and encourage each other as we spend time hearing from Him. We will also pray for some needs/ requests .

Notes for studying Psalm 146


Psalms 146-150 are called  ‘Praise Psalms’ ( 146-150  all bear the title “Hallel Psalms” or “Hallelujah Psalms”) .They give us great insight into what our never-ending worship will be like in the heaven.They remind us as believers in Christ to practise praise here in preparation for the glorious future with our Saviour and Lord. This is what we will be doing forever

Psalms 146-150 : It is uncertain as to who wrote these Psalms. They were  probably written around the time of Israel's return from the terrible Babylonian bondage.As they returned from exile, they rebuilt  their Temple and re-established their nation. These Psalms were written to glorify the name of the Lord as they praised Him for His grace upon their lives.

                        READ THE PSALM 146  : verses 1-10 

What are some initial observations you can make from this Psalm ?

It starts and ends with ‘Praise the Lord’

It is a call to worship the Lord.

Praise  to God and trust in God are two themes in this Psalm

VERSES 1-2  : there is challenge for us to praise the Lord


V1——- Firstly it is call by the psalmist for all to join in praise and then a call  to his own soul ( adding an intimate  dimension) to praise the Lord. The Psalm begins with a command- Praise the Lord ! -V1 It is a command that requires a response 

V2 - we see what this response is .what is the response ?

He is declaring his intention to praise and that this praise will have no boundaries/limits

  ** As long as he has breath filling his lungs,… “I will praise.. ALL MY LIFE”

   Do you find it hard sometimes to praise the Lord ? like when life is harsh ?

***The psalmist makes a commitment that “as long as I live I will praise the Lord”. 

VERSES 3-4 : there is a caution against praising other men


( although you can give credit to the person who helps you , but God must receive His rightful glory )


Why is he saying do not hope in mortal men, people in high positions or influential people ( princes) ? They cannot save or help. You are not to place your trust in them thinking they are some sort of ultimate security— they can disappoint us.

Do not look for help from mere men who lacks the ability to  help  

> The  word save or help can be translated ‘ salvation, deliverance and victory’. So we are talking about eternal help here and this can come only through Jesus. 

Looking at it from this perspective, no praise for man…only the Lord. He redeems us from sins and gives us salvation and deliverance and victory over death and sin.

V4- what happens to man ? All that he was and offered to others pass away too

 Man is a transient being .Even the influential people will die and their influence will die with them…God is eternal and what God gives and does are eternal

VERSES 5-10 : the cause for praise


V5 : How is the man whose help and hope is in the Lord ?

He is blessed.( the God of Jacob and Yahweh are synonymous- refer to the same faithful ,covenant-keeping God)

The psalmist cautions those want to trust man in vv3-4. 

In v5 he is saying those who trust in the Lord God can rejoice, they are joy -filled, they can praise their God for He is their help and hope.

This God has the power to meet needs …unlike the princes and influential people of v3

His priority is to bless us. He is not going to die and therefore His plans for us are to continue.

Why is that so ? In the following verses we see many reasons for adopting this position:

V6 - the greatness of God : 

         How do we see His  awesome  and limitless power ? - throughout creation

       through His faithfulness in keeping His promises.

V7to  9 - the grace of God :

            The psalmist continues to identify reasons the redeemed have for praising God

Can you mention one reason from these verses 7-9 ?

V7—He fights/ helps the oppressed and helpless…..similar to the deliverance He brought to His people when in captivity, so He has delivered every believer from the bondage of  sin and Satan

Feeds the hungry ; not just physically but spiritual hunger- the Father meets the need 

Delivers / frees the prisoners of sin; this is  similar to God freeing His people from their tormentors in captivity.

V8 ——He opens the eyes of the blind…yet another reason to praise God. Jesus did this even in His earthly ministry. And he restores spiritual sight too and brings believers out of Satan's darkness and into His glorious light 

He restores those bent over with shame. Those who are carrying heavy burdens , God lifts the burdens , even the burden of sin. 

And He shows His love to those who honour Him and live in right relationship with Him


V9 ——- what are the three ways  the Lord blesses according to v9 ?

the Lord protects the strangers..this who might be discriminated against the Lord cares for and protects 

the Lord supports the fatherless and widow….God cares for those who may be treated badly and suffer ( in His time He will execute justice)

the Lord thwarts the ways of the wicked because He cares for His people .

VERSE 10: God reigns forever. This is unlike the princes of verses 3-4 who are here today and gone tomorrow. God is here today AND here tomorrow too !

‘Praise the Lord’ - again the verb used here is plural.The psalmist once again invites the believers corporately, to join in praising God.

APPLICATION ( points to ponder and help encourage praise and thanksgiving in your life)

> Suggestion : perhaps make your own personal list  of reasons for trusting God using these reasons as a guide.( Fir example God keeps His promises; humans don't so I will trust God instead ) You may just find another reason to praise Him !

>These people  praised  the Lord for His grace in returning them to their homeland from exile. 

We today have so much  for which to praise God. - we are His redeemed people..He brought us out of shame and sin to be His very own .

> when you are overwhelmed by life , remember Who your God is and what He has done.

We can rely on God's unchanging attributes 

The sweet sound of our praise says He alone saves, He alone is worthy of worship, and He alone is God.

Thursday 5th August 2021

Welcome to the Thursday meeting friends

Last Sunday Pastor Rachel shared on  the topic “Are You Bridegroom Ready?” .This was the final  message in the Sermon Series on ‘ Kingdom Principles’ 

Reference : The analogy of the Jewish custom of marriage ( from the Sunday sermon )

Today we would like to ‘ dig a bit deeper’ into the topic - ‘ Are You Kingdom Ready ?’

We are looking at two passages that were quoted / referenced in Sunday's sermon 


 Two Bible passages help us  in understanding how to live ready for Jesus’ return.

The question we need to ask ourselves - in the busyness of our lives, the daily pressures , etc do we forget the bigger picture ?



This first passage encourages believers to live in the present ,in light of the future return of our Lord and Saviour ,Jesus Christ .

There are some duties ( secular and spiritual) to discharge as citizens of God's Kingdom daily. Paul the apostle exhorts the believers/ saints in Rome to live as people of light  especially since it is more urgent now than ever before

V 11- the phrase ‘and so this’  sums up everything that that Paul has said before: For example Paul  talks  about ( in preceding verses ) loving people , submitting to authority and living in love. Or  as in Ch 12, presenting your bodies to God  as living sacrifices, not conforming to the world and being transformed by the renewing of your mind. 

Paul is saying you are to do all this as you live ready for Jesus’ return. There is an urgency in the language Paul uses.

In the same verse 11 , Paul talks about  ( this phrase )‘ the present time’ 

This refers to ‘ a season of time ‘ and has to do with the return of the Lord Jesus for His people, His bride.

We are to keep our eyes on the changing world around us and understand that the Bridegroom’ s return is imminent. 

V11- what are some words/ phrases  Paul uses to make the point clearer ? 

               *wake up - do you think believers are prone to spiritual drowsiness ( indifferent attitude to Jesus’ return , our Bridegroom, so they live however they like ) ?

*salvation is nearer now - meaning the time of having to give account of yourself to God is nearer now than when you first became a believer. 

So what are we to watch diligently for ?

V 11- be aware of the seasons or times in which we live

          - watch for  inclination to sleep spiritually :- don't live as you please .. seek to please God

Just like physical sleep can put you in a state of inactivity and not being aware of events taking place around you, so too  believers in the church can adopt an inactive state in relation to the things of God. 

          - keep looking out for the Saviour, your Bridegroom…everyday we are one step closer to His return !

V12-13 Paul contrasts darkness and light .’ Night is nearly over , the day is almost here’

  There may be a lot of darkness around, but a new dawn is about to break as Jesus returns.

As a result of this what is Paul encouraging believers to do ?

‘Put aside’ - be free from any activity that belongs to darkness, and ‘put on’ the ‘armour of  light’ or walk in light.

One Bible teacher described this verse(12)  like this: ‘the idea here is of a person rising from sleep, throwing off the bed covers and night clothes and getting dressed for the day.’

It is noteworthy that Paul uses the word ‘armour’ here implying that there is  military activity between darkness and light. The Christian life is one of total commitment and dedication to service …not compromise

 The believer needs to walk as children of light, being light for the world. This is HOW we should live

V13- What does this walk look like ?

 Behaving properly- living an outward life that reflects what we believe in our hearts. “Practice must match profession.”

This is how we SHOULD NOT live >>>: No pretence … note the list  of (six) sins that was no doubt prevalent in Paul’s day :orgies or wild parties and brawling,  habitual and intentional intoxication , no sexual immorality or depravity …debauchery or indulging excessively in sex, drugs ,all kinds of sexual expressions .

Dissension or strife or a selfish mindset without regard to others…involves constant bickering and petty disagreements 

Jealousy - adopting an attitude of ‘me first and others after”.

V14-( READ ) And while we are waiting for the Lord’s return , we are to radiate the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘ put on the Lord Jesus Christ’

What do you think this means ? 

Putting on His character, doing what He would do, He is light so we are to walk in light , obeying God 

Avoid any attempts by our minds to allow the gratification of fleshly, self - indulgent desires. We have the Spirit to help us to be victorious in this area 

SECONDLY: 2 PETER 3 : 11-14 and then 17-18 ( READ from verse 10 )


The second passage that helps us to understand how to live ready as we wait for Jesus’ return.

Peter the disciple and apostle of Jesus writes this letter to believers maybe in His later years. He is warning them about false teachers, about living a worldly lifestyle and with no expectation of the Lord’s return.

He shares about the future even in verse 10 . 

VERSES 11-12 opens up with the pointed question, the main point  :

What kind of people ought you to be  ? Now that you know that the Lord will return CERTAINLY and the earth will be destroyed, how are you to respond ? Peter  is saying  here you should be thinking about the kind of life you are living.

 He is telling the believers there is a choice to be made . Do you want to live for everything that is certain to be destroyed, OR do you want to live so you will have an inheritance in that new heaven  and earth ?

V11-What is the kind of behaviour expected of believers? It should be holy and God-like as you look forward to God's Day  and hasten His coming.

( The Day of the Lord will herald the time when all that is opposed to God's will is destroyed.Then the new heaven and earth can be established.)

Those who live godly lives hasten, hurry along,  the time of His coming

Holiness and godliness… for only those in Christ will be safe

What does  living holy mean ? Holy behaviour - a pattern of daily life that sets you apart as a believer , conduct that is distinct from the evil world

What does  living godly mean ?Godliness -displaying profound reverence and awe toward our great  God.

So what this implies is that as God judges at the end of the age ,the things that are going to survive are “expressions of holiness and godliness”

V13- God’s promise :the new heaven and a new earth will be a world in which righteousness dwells. It will be characterised by righteousness 

The old world order( Adam and Eve ) was destroyed. Reason ? Sin 

So there is an implied warning here in that those who forsake righteousness will not be included in the new world.

V14- In verse 11 , Peter encourages the saints to live holy and godly . Now he assumes since they are looking forwards to Jesus’ return, they are to do all they can to be spotless, without blemish and at peace ..This peace is a well- being that is derived from a deep relationship with 

God….having the image of God restored - once shattered by sin.

VERSES 17-18 ( READ )

What is Peter's encouraging words to his ‘dear friends’. ? Be diligent in your spiritual growth 

The believers knew the truth but he warns them to be on their guard, on the alert. Knowledge alone is not sufficient for protections for true believers.

There were false teachers who were not preaching truth but their own ideas.

How can believers maintain a stable position and not be led astray ?

by constantly growing spiritually. Stay submitted to Christ and avoid deception . False teachers are not submitted to anyone

Those who submit to Christ will have their personal relationship with Him strengthened and they will see an increase of God's grace in their lives.

What is the result of spiritual growth ? Glory to God ! (v18b)



To ponder: 

Think back  over the last seven days. Did you say or do something that was motivated by your awareness of Jesus’ return

Be diligent to watch for His return and live holy and godly lives. So we will meet Jesus without spot and blemish.,wearing pure garments.

Thursday 29th July 2021

Welcome to the Thursday meeting 

Today  our main focus is to pray - to spend time before God in worship, hearing from Him and bringing our needs before Him

(Prayer Meeting )

To encourage our hearts before we go into prayer , I would like to share  a few thoughts on :



Passage 1- 

JOHN 14:13-14 “And I will do whatever you ask in My  Name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father…the  Father is glorified. You may ask me for anything in my name , and I will do it”.

This is an amazing promise ! 

The phrase that is key to this verse is, ‘ in my name’

And when we pray in the name of Jesus’…the Father is glorified through the Son

So how as believers do we pray in Jesus’ name ? …. what does this mean ‘to pray in Jesus’ name’. 

IT IS NOT : a formula to add to the end of prayers in a religious way . It is not a magic phrase to use , thinking that when you use the  phrase religiously ‘in Jesus’ name’ you will have the desired answer

IT IS : Praying in the name of Jesus is to pray as Jesus would pray, to see the situation as He would see it. It is to ask what He would ask keep believing His word- His truth rather than your own thoughts about the situation.It is to pray His will into being so enabling the Son to bring further glory to the Father

Jesus always brought glory to the Father and we are to bring glory to God too. Our aim in prayer as we ask in His name is to see God glorified as we pray in Jesus’ Name

God is our Father too .The same Spirit who lived in Jesus lives in us as true believers.The Holy Spirit ‘s power is given to us  so that in any situation with which we are faced we can learn to pray in His Name.This means we can look at the situation from God's perspective 


Often we tend to look at the needs in our lives , the negative circumstances that we face from the human perspective. When we are thinking about the facts of the situation before us, we can get ‘all caught up in them’. So much so that the need or problem ‘appears’ bigger than our God !

It seems easier to think about the  facts around the need and more difficult to focus on the One , Jesus who can speak faith and His  words , promises 

It takes considerable effort to focus on the great God we serve , to see things from His perspective. 

Sometimes we might think some things are beyond His love or power. Or we know that He is able to meet our need but tend to doubt that He is willing. 

Yet we see Jesus says here  God the Father wants to give us whatever we ask in the name of Jesus. 

So we can come boldly before the throne of grace today . We can pray in the name of Jesus : 

ask for what Jesus would ask ,  dare to ask bold , authoritative  and full of faith…..pray as Jesus prayed and let Him initiate faith  in our hearts.

This is our privilege in Christ Jesus. Like Jesus, we focus on seeing the Father glorified as we ask in the Son’s name.

Romans  8 :26-27 ( READ )

Praise God for His Holy Spirit- we can depend on the Spirit because of our weakness. Our weakness does not matter for the Spirit empowers us.The Holy Spirit prays in us and for us when  we do not know how to pray or how best to pray in a situation.

The Holy Spirit intercedes for us .God knows our longings . And the Holy Spirit will always pray in us and through us according to God's will.

Thursday 22nd July 2021

Welcome to the Thursday meeting

Today we will spend time worshipping, in the Word and in prayer too

Bible Readings : Matthew 16:13-19 and Luke 10:19-20

Study Title : “Kingdom Authority and Power”


I would like to continue on the general theme of Kingdom Principles. As a follow on from last Sunday's message by Pastor Rachel on “Kingdom Authority  and Power”,I would like to ‘dig deeper’ in furthering our understanding 

(Last week we delved in our understanding of being ‘Citizens of The Kingdom’ )

There are two passages from the Bible , as we look at ‘Kingdom Authority and Power’

Firstly: Mathew 16: verses 13-19.Focus verse is verse 19

Secondly: Luke 10:19-20

MATTHEW 16:13-19 (Read to get the context as  our focus verse is v19)

What are some initial observations?

Jesus here has a heart -to- heart conversation with his (12 ) disciples. He asks them, “Who do people say the Son of Man is ?” “In essence what do the curious say about Me?” ,

Jesus asks.

V14 - we see some responses

Jesus pressed the question a bit harder to His disciples :v15-“But what about you , who do you say I am ?”

Simon Peter’s response : v16 - “ You are the Christ, the Son of the living God .”

In verses 17-19 we have Jesus’ response

What are some initial observations ?

Peter's confession is an expression of faith  that each one of us has to make in believing in Jesus Christ… ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ .This is at the core of discipleship….the identity of Jesus.

It is this expression of faith in Christ ,upon which  the Church is built…the Church meaning not a building or denomination but the whole body of people He was going to redeem through His sacrifice on the cross.

Focus verse : Then verse 19 Jesus speaks some staggering words to Peter ( and the disciples)

Verse 19 -read in NIV . 

What is Jesus saying ? “I give you the key truths that unlock the way into the Kingdom of heaven. So you have the authority to restrict or prevent on earth what is not allowed in heaven. And you have My permission to liberate on earth whatever is liberated in heaven.”

So Jesus gives keys of the kingdom of heaven to Peter . Keys represent Jesus’ authority . So Jesus is entrusting keys to Peter…authority to open and close doors or to bind and loose.


Even in the Old Testament, ‘keys’ are spoken of in a similar way. In the prophecy of Isaiah :we read in Isaiah 22:21-22, that God promises to remove an evil high priest and replace him with a good, godly and faithful priest name Eliakim


God speaks to the wicked high priest ( Shebna) concerning his replacement and the authority that will be given to Eliakim. :

>ISAIAH 22:21-22 ‘I will  clothe him with your robe,  And strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem 

And to the house of Judah. The KEY of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder;  So he shall OPEN. and no one will SHUT;  And  he shall SHUT , and no one shall OPEN.’

Can you think of another scripture verse where ‘keys’ are used to express authority ?

> Another expression of the authority that came from possessing ‘keys’ is found in Revelation 1:17-18. Our Lord Jesus in His resurrected glory and majesty appears in the heavenly vision to the apostle John. 

Jesus says, “Do not be afraid;  I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold , I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” Jesus conquered death and hell through the cross, holding authority over them.

So what is Jesus saying to Peter , and by extension the Church , to all Jesus’ disciples ? 

Jesus is entrusting keys to him. Keys of the kingdom of heaven….the spiritual kingdom over which He reigns.

Some points from this passage / verse 19: 


The authority is delegated to those who confess and believe : Jesus, the Christ , the Son of the living God

V19- Jesus gives the keys and the authority- “I will give you the keys….”

         It is ‘will give’ so the keys were entrusted to disciples/ believers after they received the Holy Spirit ( John 20:21-22)

         So you are to use this authority, not in your own strength and wisdom but by the Spirit’s enabling 

What are believers being authorised to do ? To ‘bind and to loose’

Not whatever WE want , because as citizens of His kingdom we are representing Him on earth . 

When Jesus says “….whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven,” we are seeing how this authority is used in practice.

When the ‘keys’ are used according to His will, there is approval in heaven to accessing what the believer needs.

NOTE : The Greek is difficult to translate into English.

It could be translated ‘and whatever you bind on earth “shall have been” bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth “shall have been” loosed in heaven’. 

So the believer under the guidance of the Spirit and using the authority in the right way to bind/restrict and  loose /liberate is responding to a sovereign decree already made in heaven

What God does not allow in heaven, Jesus is saying the believer can refuse to allow on earth

What God has released or liberated from heaven ,the believer has the power to release or liberate on earth. It has already taken place in heaven , so now on earth

LUKE 10:19-20 (Read)

The context is that Jesus sends out seventy-two other disciples to continue spreading the good news about the Kingdom.

When they returned they said with joy to Jesus  : v17- “ Lord, even the the demons submit to us when we addressed them in  Your Name”. They were so impressed with what they witnessed 

V19- “I have given you authority “ …on snakes and ,scorpions 

Any thoughts as to what Jesus is making reference. ?

Jesus was talking about the power of the devil- demons , evil spirits and all his emissaries. They can be crafty , poisonous and hurtful in nature so they are literally or figuratively compared to serpents and scorpions . 

And what we need to realise or remember is that Jesus gives His disciples authority over these evil forces and the devil.

So again in ourselves we are no match for the enemy . So we are to use the believer’s authority in Christ ..exercise that authority 

The power of  the resurrected Christ in us is greater than the power in the world because we have Jesus  the authority, backing us . We belong to God..citizens of His Kingdom that is infinitely more powerful than the dominion of darkness to which the demons belong

Read 1 John 4:4 -the One who is living in you is far greater than the one who is in the world

V20- Jesus explains to them that their real cause for joy is not that these spirits submit to Jesus’ delegated authority and power. They are to rejoice that they belong to God’s Kingdom- that is why they have authority-, and their names are written in heaven 



Seek to grow in Christ .Become bolder in His Name 

This means we are submit to His Lordship in our lives 

Keep rejoicing as you represent Him in His power and authority 

   Thursday 15th July 2021

Welcome to the Thursday meeting. 

We will spend time worshipping, in the Word and and in prayer  too


Main Focus : Citizens of The Kingdom

( it is a follow -on  from last Sunday’s sermon by Pastor Rachel )

Today the Bible passage we are looking at is Philippians 3:17-21. 

We would like to ‘ dig a bit deeper’ today in furthering our understanding of what it means to be citizens of God's heavenly Kingdom. 

We can remind ourselves of another Kingdom Principle of living as a heavenly citizen in this world

Background : 

In the preceding verses ( 12-15 ) ,Paul presents some essential truth that every believer needs to embrace. The new life in Christ involves moving forward, not backwards. The new life involves forgetting what lies behind, in the past, and reaching out with longing for what lies ahead.

This is the mistake many believers make of going back over the past instead of forgetting the past.,and focusing on what lies ahead.

V15 - Paul says to the believers if you are mature in the way you view spiritual things, you will have this attitude . A different way of thinking to the world.

There are those who keep raking over the past , show spiritual immaturity, and so  in need of the Lord’s correction…so that they fix their eyes on Jesus. They are to ‘ live up to ‘ obeying the truth they already know so God can reveal more truth to them as they grow spiritually.

Now our focus verses 17-21:


NOTE :  It is worth remembering that Philippi was a Roman colony located hundreds of miles from Rome. And as Roman citizens they were enamoured with their Roman citizenship. The believers had great privileges, as well as great responsibilities. It could be that they were tempted to emphasise the importance of their earthly citizenship  to the  detriment of the privileges and obligations of their heavenly citizenship 

Paul shows them that their heavenly citizenship is far greater and better so they are to live with this mindset. After all their names are written in heaven’s book ( 4:3b )

And v17: Paul gives an admonition : Paul encourages the saints in Christ, to follow his godly example and learn from those who adopt a similar pattern of living … “take note of those who follow the pattern” like Tim and Epaph in Chapter 2. It is a command …the believers are expected to do so.


Do you think it is a proud / boastful statement ? 

In what way were the believers to imitate Paul ? What does this example look like ?

  • to the degree he tried to imitate Christ  ( 1 Cor 11:1)
  • in the way he devoted his life to serving Jesus ( as in Phil 3:7-16 )

By the way he modelled Christ- likeness, others would desire passionately to do similarly demonstrate to others their true citizenship of heaven. “Come on , join me let us follow Jesus together’’. We belong to Him, not this world. 

>So heavenly citizens imitate godly examples 

Verses 17-18 :  (Read and note the word ‘live or walk’)  In the NKJV, the word ‘walk’ is used . In the NIV,  the word ‘live’ is used.

It reveals anyway two distinct ways of life - one right , the other wrong for citizens of the heavenly Kingdom .The word ‘pattern’ means ‘ an impression or mark made by a blow like when you refer to the impress made by a seal. Our behaviour is to leave a mark  ( for good ) on other people's lives.This is the challenge of being a citizen of heaven.

FIRSTLY: How we are not supposed to live ( as we focus on heaven’s values / characteristics)

We are not to live as citizens of this earth ( v18-19 )

Not to live as enemies of the cross of Christ


The Philippian church was a great source of joy to Paul- the believers supported Paul and they were actively interested in spreading the gospel. There was external opposition as well as false teaching and opposition from inside the church too.

Paul weeps( the letter is a joyful letter)  as he writes these verses : there are many who profess Christ BUT live as enemies of the cross of Christ . They do not deny that Jesus was crucified , they are simply hating and resisting what the cross means. 

 Why would someone become an enemy of the cross ? It goes against human thinking and earthly values. Pride, achievements merits  are considered ‘loss’ or ‘ rubbish ‘ , nothing  because of the cross. 

It offends these enemies  that they are so sinful that death on a cross becomes necessary to save them. It offends them that salvation is a work of grace and not the merits of their own good works. It shows us how far God had to go in order for you and I to be saved.

Verse 19- three things that describe those who are enemies of the cross :it is like an evaluation of those who oppose the cross 

What are they ?

 1- their destiny is destruction : as an enemy of the cross, this person is lost…a wasted life for they live for their own glory not God’s ,they do not submit to the cross of Christ.

2- their god is their stomach : what kind of god is this ? This is not just the appetite for food ,but also those fleshly, sinful desires that these enemies of the cross would follow rather than submit to God and serve Him. They are given to self-indulgence, serving Christ when it is convenient and they will gain praise from others 

Whatever their fleshly or sinful inclinations , they embrace.This is the god they worship..their own passions , desires and lust

3- their glory is their shame : whatever is shameful , they glorify.Their own wickedness and perverse activities that should bring conviction and shame are being praised, promoted and they take pride in it. They boast about their sin and disobedience….no fear of God. Rather than repent and seek forgiveness, they are  flaunting the sin

Paul sums up this verse(19) : ‘Their mind is on earthly things’. They are obsessed with earthly things, not heavenly realities

And that is how we are NOT supposed to live

POINT TO PONDER :How relevant is the cross to you as a believer ? Ponder for a moment on how central the cross is to your faith in Jesus. No cross , then no Christianity, no discipleship , no Saviour. 

> Heavenly citizens resist ungodliness and embrace the cross

SECONDLY : How we are suppose to live

Verses 20-21 

V20- note the word ‘But’ : “By contrast , we know that we are citizens of God's heavenly Kingdom.” We are a people of hope. It is not merely a future inheritance but a present  reality that we experience . “Citizenship is both our position and the lifestyle that flows from it”

Paul encourages them to look upwards… and so have greater , nobler aims in life  because heaven is where we belong. So we look ahead to the fulfilment of God's purposes


How should the believer live here ? The citizen of heaven’s Kingdom has his mind on heaven’s values. He is not a stranger to heaven 

  • eagerly awaiting the Saviour’s return…being a good witness as you watch and pray  for Jesus’ return.

V21- How will Jesus change our bodies ?  God  is all powerful and sovereign.  By His sovereign  power …the same power that changes the believer’s heart and desires , will transform the believer’s body as well .Then our bodies will be like Jesus’ glorious body ! No more aches and pains and death .

> heavenly citizens eagerly await future glory and transformation 

This is the Kingdom mindset we are to embrace as we live here on earth .                                                    

Application : 

Christians are to live as citizens of heaven, not as citizens of this earth.

Where is your mind focused ? On heaven’s values or earthly things

4:1 stand firm 

Thursday 1st July 2021

Welcome to the Bible Study and Prayer


Bible Passage : LUKE  6::46-49

Please READ the passage before the study 

Luke 6: is a collection of teachings and interactions between Jesus , His followers and the religious leaders. By so doing Jesus shows what His Kingdom is like and teaches some principles of this kingdom. Basically the teachings show us as true followers of Christ we are to think and live differently 

(There is a parallel account in Matthew’s gospel : Matthew 7:21-27)

These verses 46-49 challenge us today. For it is about ‘ doing’ or obeying what Jesus calls us to and not just thinking about it. 

Last week in the preceding few verses we discussed  that our words reveal the heart. Now here Jesus teaches that our actions should match our words

What are some initial observations?

  we are to do what Jesus says - obedience 

This parable gives another picture of someone who obeys and someone who does not obey Jesus’ words

  It is about two men building separate houses, one wise and one foolish

  They build on different foundations and so there are two different results.

V46-  READ . This verse introduces this study with Jesus showing how vital obedience is to our Christian walk

Look at the verse : the question Jesus asks

What is  the  meaning of the word ‘ Lord’ here 

the Greek word kurios is used here and means ‘ supreme in authority, controller and master’

Since Jesus Christ is Lord we are to live in submission to Him. This is an essential principle ( of submitting ) in living the Christian life

Here the person has the right words, but their actions / behaviour do not match up with their words 

This passage helps us to understand the difference between someone who is Christ- like and someone  who is not acting Christ-like  (superficial disciple / hypocrite )

Jesus emphasises that if ‘ I am your Lord  then it is  important that you actually  DO what I have told you and not just THINK it is a good idea to do them’ All the kingdom principles He has taught His followers are to be put into practice”…TO DO THEM ( to obey them ). True disciples obey Jesus’ words.

So our response to Jesus’ teachings will determine the kind of foundation we may have

V47-48 :Then Jesus shares this parable to illustrate  what He is talking about. ( READ )

What are three actions that describe the ‘wise’ man (in v47 )?

Observe what the true follower of Jesus does :

1)comes to Jesus, 2)hears Jesus’ words and 3)obeys them … ‘puts them into practice’

 ‘Comes to Jesus…’ perhaps refer to the person coming after Him daily , taking up your cross daily ( Luke 9:23)

‘Hears Jesus’ - he hears the word of Jesus ( Greek word for sayings -KJV-  is logos ,implying hearing with understanding )

‘Puts them into practice’ - he obeys Jesus’ words. Obedience to God’s Word keeps your life protected in the storm. It keeps you strong in the storms , in the negative circumstances of life.

How does Jesus describe / compare this disciple , this person who obeys God’s Word ? (V48)

Before he builds a house , digs deep and lays the foundation on a rock. Then he builds on this foundation.

This is a lot of hard work ..and discipline. It It is all part of the discipleship process in following Jesus genuinely and in loving obedience 

Some thoughts  to consider :

 Digging deep - not very exciting,( messy, taking out spiritually unhealthy things,)  yet rewarding later as you grow stronger in faith and more like Jesus

Lay the foundation - after you remove all obstacles, then you are ready for the foundation to be laid…if it is a bad habit or something sinful you get rid of it , resent and replace it with something that is healthy spiritually..fill any spaces w Jesus

What does Jesus say about this person who builds on  the rock ? This person who  obeys and ‘digs deep, lays the foundation,  is prepared for the opposition, the challenges in life, etc.

———He can weather life’s storms for his house is built on the rock. It has a strong foundation 

It is based on the deep, intimate relationship with Jesus ..your dependence is on. Him 

So in verses 47-48 Jesus shows the benefit of obedience to Him. It honours God

V49 - READ :  What about the man who builds on sand ?

The person comes to Jesus - recognise their spiritual need, seeks help

The person hears Jesus’ - hears the gospel message . Same as for the ‘wise man’ who hears the word. So this person could also be someone who is well familiar with the Bible…in theory.

The person confesses Jesus as Lord.. but it's all emotional , no substance to it.There is no following Jesus in obedience to His commands.

He does not follow God's words…He is building without a foundation.

Maybe he is thinking like this: ‘ too much hard work to dig a hole and lay a  foundation, lot of time and money.After all you can't see the foundation, you can see the house I built !’ 

Yet the house will not stand in the raging storm .It collapses and is destroyed !

This dishonours God 

Jesus shows here that disobedience could lead to destruction.It is not healthy spiritually 


What similarities or differences can you see between these two men in Jesus’ parable ?

    These two builders : they had the same desire to read / study God’s Word.

                                      **the first builder obeys what God says, he builds on a solid foundation so         his future is secure. He follows God on God's terms. His faith is in God It takes  more time

**the second builder builds on earth without a foundation .He follows God on his own terms

His faith is in himself. He wants  quick results, takes short -cuts,

 instant gratification, short - sighted and not considering the future.

Application: Go deeper with God .Build on the firm foundation of faith in Jesus. Don't build on shifting sand of religion, works and self-righteousness 

1 Corinthians 3:10-11

Live in submission to Jesus who is Lord, no double standards 


Thursday 24th June 2021

Welcome to the Thursday meeting 

BIBLE STUDY : Luke  6:43-45

First we shall read the verses : (READ ) We are sharing on some Kingdom principles. 

Introduction : Jesus continues to teach His disciples /followers . He shares about what living as a child of His Kingdom looks like. Earlier in the chapter, we see Luke's account of the Beatitudes ( as in Matthew 5),loving your enemies and other teachings that are counter to the culture of the world . Now He makes a call for fruitful lives to His followers

What are some initial observations from this passage ?

  • It's about good trees and bad trees…good fruit and bad fruit
  • A particular tree is known by the fruit it bears

- good man does good things, bad man does bad things ..depending on what is stored up in his heart.

There is a connection between the heart and the mouth. Words reveal what is in one’s heart.

It has been said that who we are really on the inside will at some point be revealed externally by our words. 

Jesus continues to teach His disciples that for true transformation to take place, a change in their hearts is necessary. It all begins in the heart.

Fruit is what our lives produce especially as believers 

So Jesus uses the example, a metaphor,  of good and bad trees which can only produce fruit according to their nature.

This passage helps us to examine our own hearts, to see our sin and not that of others

V43-  (read) This is a fairly obvious statement by Jesus. Nothing complicated here.  Every good farmer knows this. Bad fruit comes from bad trees. Good fruit comes from good trees. To get really good fruit , the farmer works hard, tending the trees or plants , not compromising standards ,so that he can have delicious, quality fruit.

How can your life produce good fruit as a follower of Jesus ? How can you develop good fruit and not rotten fruit  ? 

We are to look at our hearts .We are to take time to nurture our relationship with God through listening to Him and lovingly obeying Him. The only way to bear good fruit is to change the heart.

Christians who are good trees automatically produce good fruit.

Jesus continues in v44:

V44-( read) Here we see that a tree is known by the fruit it produces. Figs and grapes were common fruits in Israel. Jesus goes further , saying people cannot pick figs from thorn bushes, nor can they gather grapes from  briers or bramble bushes !

So if you're trying to change the fruit this must be preceded by the change in the heart. 


Question to ponder : have you  struggled  with  some external behaviour , you tried to change it but have so far failed in your efforts ?

For example : some addiction problem or trying to stop having anger outbursts, negative baggage you still carry.It  could be some vice or sinful habit that you might have stopped for a short time, but then you fall back into it.

The point :The fruit will not change until the heart changes. Delicious figs are not going to come from thorns. Grapes are are not going to come from briers/ bramble bush

Jesus says the problem is in the heart, a serious heart condition. A change in the heart is needed in overcoming such vices, sins and addictions. 

V45- ( read ) What do you think Jesus is saying here ?

The evil/ corruption or good  inside a person manifests itself in his words and deeds

The word ‘stored up’ in the Greek (thesaurus) refers to  ‘ the place where something is kept’ like a treasure box/ storeroom

So you can ask yourself what am I ‘storing up’ putting away in my heart ?

 The list could include bitter memories, inferior self image, self- talk, complaining. Such things will sooner or later come out in words spoken.

( you may think you are able to hide it … but then there may be a ‘Freudian slip’ and this reveals the condition/ content  of the heart )

V45b - what does it mean that the mouth speaks what the heart is overflowing of ?

  Seth Scott in an article on said… “our words demonstrate the orientation of our hearts and maintaining this orientation through the power of the Holy Spirit requires constant vigilance and care….The words reveal whether I am walking by my own strength or walking in the Spirit through (Jesus ,the True) Vine”.

 THINK : As believers we are described as ‘ good trees’. Does it mean that we will always speak good words ?

The Holy Spirit needs to help us to say things that are edifying, gracious and true 

If we are to bear good fruit, there is no point looking at others . We are to closely attend , like a gardener will do with plants, to our hearts.


Ephesians 4:29 - let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth : ‘don’t let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others ; do this  by speaking words of grace to help them’( TPT)

Less lip service and more lifestyle serving 

Romans 6:22( read) As God’s loving servants, ‘we live in joyous freedom from the power of sin.’ And the fruit of this relationship with God is the fruit of ‘true holiness that ends with eternal life’

Hebrews 13:15 (read) ‘we will offer up to God a steady stream of praise sacrifices.It is the fruit of lips that keep expressing faith in His Name, in all that He is’

Philippians 1:11 ( read) Paul prays that ‘you will be filled completely with the fruits of righteousness that are found in Jesus…bringing great praise and glory to God 

So as we become more Christ-like internally, this will be reflected externally .

Thursday June 17th 2021

Prayer Meeting

Welcome to the Thursday meeting 

We would like to look at two passages from the Bible as we spend time before God today

FIRST BIBLE PASSAGE : Colossians 1:9-12 ( READ )

Here we read of  Paul’s prayer for believers at Colosse It's a prayer of thanksgiving firstly. He has heard of the faith of the believers in Jesus Christ and their love for others 

  • he prays for them continually: offers prayers increasingly since he heard of their progress in the faith
  • he asks God …to fill them with the knowledge of God's will in wisdom and spiritual understanding ( all the understanding that the Spirit gives )
  • that the believers may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing ( v10) : by bearing fruit and growing in knowing God in His fullness 
  • that they might be strengthened with all might : according to God's glorious power, so that they may have great endurance and patience 

Paul prays that they might give joyful thanks  to the Father who made them worthy to receive the glorious inheritance: they are worthy partakers of the saints’ inheritance 

This is the inheritance He has prepared  for all those He has called and set apart to belong to His Kingdom of light

——>> are these aspects of prayer that we can pray for too in our lives ? These are like ‘vertical ‘ praying as they help to maintain our relationship with God :

To know God better with all wisdom and understanding as the Spirit provides.

To please God more : aligning ourselves to His purposes ( bearing fruit, depending on Him, empowered by the Spirit ,and not your own self )

To give thanks to God our Father for who He is and what He has done in Jesus 

Praying like this reflects a longing after God. And we can access His grace and mercy : He gives us things we do not deserve ( grace) and shields us from things we deserve ( mercy )

SECOND BIBLE PASSAGE : 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (READ ) 

Paul encourages Timothy  ( who was left in charge of the Church in Ephesus ) in the church ministry at Ephesus .Despite opposition he urges Timothy to pray . So vital it is to the life of the believer and the life of the church.

It is a call to prayer for all people : Different words are used to describe aspects of prayer which are to be made for all people : This is ‘ horizontal’ praying . It encompasses your relationship with others

-For Kings and all who are in authority (2a)— those in positions of authority 

-That they may lead a quiet life, peace and stability in godliness and holiness 

V3 says this is