Christian Worship Centre

 

BIBLE STUDY

Thursday 30th July 2020

 

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

 

Today we are looking at PHILIPPIANS 3:1-11

(Please read first )

 

Brief Review: 

Paul writes from a Roman prison.He is experiencing his own lockdown.

Yet despite being a prisoner, this letter is full of joy and thanksgiving.He is not allowing his current circumstances to dictate his mood

 

Is it really a ‘ lockdown’?

 

For in chapter 1, he says that because of his circumstances the gospel is not hindered .In fact his imprisonment has helped the gospel to advance

In chapter 2, he encourages us to let the mindset of Christ become our motivation in the way we live. Jesus is our perfect Example 

 

Now in chapter 3, Paul encourages the believers ‘ to rejoice IN the Lord!’ Nothing else!

 

VERSES 1-3

Paul reminds the believers that they are not to limit their joy or fail to rejoice in the wonderful experience of knowing our Lord Jesus. Stay joyful, not because of your negative circumstances BUT because the Lord is greater than those circumstances 

 

V2-3

How does Paul describe the group of false teachers that were threatening the church?

- dogs, evil workers , mutilators of the flesh

 

These are false teachers( Judaizers) with self- centred attitudes.They were a constant  menace, wanting Gentile believers  to be circumcised.

 

>>Their aim: to draw people away from the truth 

 

V 3

How does Paul describe true believers in Christ?

-we are of  the circumcision : truly circumcised by the Spirit working in our hearts…. “heart circumcision”

-we worship by the Spirit of God ,and our glory is IN Christ .We worship in the power and freedom of the Holy Spirit 

- we put no confidence in the flesh : we worship NOT in what we can accomplish in our own strength; our confidence is in the finished work on the cross…what Jesus has done

 

>>Paul’s aim : for believers to know they are to live in the freedom of the Spirit made possible through the liberating work of Jesus on the cross 

 

NOTE:

The false teachers were emphasising that physical circumcision was necessary to please God. This is serious for they were adding to Jesus’ great work. 

Paul uses strong language as he challenges this false teaching.

Only Jesus can save.By adding to the gospel message, they were leading people to damnation and despair

 

VERSES 4-6

Paul begins to share some ‘qualifications’ about himself. He says that if it would be justifiable for anyone to put confidence in these outward physical rituals/ accomplishments ,then he would be the first to qualify.

 

What are some of these ‘ impressive accomplishments’?

-circumcised on the 8th day: a genuine Jew

-belongs to the people of Israel: a direct descendant of Jacob

-of the tribe of Benjamin: the son of Rachel , Jacob’s beloved wife

- a Hebrew of the Hebrews: both parents are Jews….following the customs 

- like a good Pharisee, he kept the law religiously 

- full of zeal in the way he persecuted the church 

- righteousness which is in the law, faultless: he was not perfect but diligent in fulfilling the requirements of the law , for example, animal sacrifices

 

Paul’s background: he had every reason to be proud. He speaks as a Jew but one who lives by faith in Jesus and not bound by legalistic practices 

> Hence he encourages the Philippian believers to ‘rejoice IN the Lord’ ALONE

 

>>Only Jesus can free us not only  from the things that harm us BUT also free us from  being successful like Paul

 

QUESTION: Today circumcision may not be an issue.What are some things today that people are seeking to add to the gospel?

 

VERSES 7-11

 

Paul sees how useless his accomplishments are in seeking favour from God.

V7-8 he considers all His achievements a ‘loss  for Christ’- all the prestige and social standing are not worth what he has in knowing Jesus

 

How does Paul consider these things? V8, latter part

Rubbish - this is literally ‘dung’, good for nothing , to be discarded 

 

POINT TO PONDER

Do we place confidence in our achievements?

When you compare your achievements to the knowledge of Jesus, do you consider it rubbish?

The response you give will help you to see whether you are the ‘true circumcision of God’

 

> We are to rejoice in knowing Jesus , not in our achievements/ accomplishments 

 

V9: How do you gain Christ?

by having an intimate relationship with Him

by having Christ’s righteousness through faith- Christ Himself becomes your righteousness.Because of what Jesus has done , we are declared righteous before a holy God

 

VERSES 10-11

What does it mean ‘to know Christ’?

     to get acquainted with Him, not just a theoretical knowledge.It is knowing Christ intimately, personally. So this is relationship and as God by His Spirit works ,you are getting to know Him increasingly 

This is a daily experience- to experience Christ daily , continuously in our lives

       to experience the overflowing power of His resurrection working in you

       to live in His ‘freeing power’ here  even in suffering and keeping your sights on being with Him forever. This is our future hope

 

APPLICATION 

This is Paul's goal. What is your goal ? 

 

Question to ask yourself: What am I still valuing that I need to regard as rubbish as throw on the ‘dung heap’?

Church Meeting Thursday 23rd July

Stephen and Heather Miller shared with us the work they have been doing with Hospice Africa Uganda over the past six years helping with a 5-week medical training in palliative care each year. They have been asked to continue helping with this training in another part of Africa. Plans for them to move there next year are moving forward and they will also be serving there by helping teach English as a foreign language. They would very much value prayer for themselves and their family as they prepare to go for two years’ service.

****

Many thanks for your support. It was a privilege and encouragement to share with you all on Thursday.

Love Stephen and Heather


CHRISTIAN WORSHIP CENTRE 
BIBLE STUDY 
for
Thursday 16th July 2020

Notes from the study on Philippians 2: 12-30

INTRODUCTION 

Paul continues with the theme of Christian conduct. Believers in Christ are called to live according to the gospel message
Because of the relationship with Jesus - our union with Him- we are to conduct our lives in such a way that we live for Him

We note from the poem of 2:6-11 what magnificent work God ,through Christ, has done in our lives. Now we are to follow this path...Jesus being our perfect Example 

How should believers live out the Christian life?
V12 - obedience to the Lord is top priority : this happens whether leaders are present or not..as Paul emphasises here. He is desiring that the Philippian believers follow his instructions as though he is present with them 
- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling 
What does this mean?
-living as those who are saved 
-living as those who fear the Lord with reverence and awe 
-living for Him so you dread the idea of ever denying Him too

Take responsibility of keeping the relationship with God and others healthy

It’s a ‘working out’ of what God ‘works in’ 
you. It is about continuing to make the new life in Jesus fully manifested through our lives

>> This is often difficult in our selves. It seems beyond us. We can only succeed by the help of His Spirit who is working in us

How can this be achieved?
V13- God Himself is at work within you
We work at Christlikeness because God is at work in us
This great truth is so reassuring for in ourselves we will fail !
⁃ So God is helping us to do what is good in His eyes. And through doing His will we remain at peace with God

Verses 14-16
There may have been some disagreement in the church at Philippi that prompts Paul to address issues of grumbling and arguing 

As Paul considers Jesus’ perfect example, he is saying that murmuring/arguing has no place in Christ-like living

Complaining and arguing?? This is not God working in us ... this is not God being sovereign in our lives
>>> It’s better to talk it through and find solutions rather than have a ‘go’ at someone about something 

(>> The world is not interested in another bunch of complainers and moaners)

What happens when everything is done without complaining or arguing?
V15-...’so that’ the believers become blameless and pure children of God

Paul uses the imagery of ‘shining like stars’ to describe what the believers are to be like
The city of Philippi was in great darkness 
Paul is saying the believers are to shine like the stars in the universe with the light of Christ in the midst of spiritual darkness 

>>How does this resonate with your Christian witness today?

POINT TO PONDER : How can I expect to be a good witness to people around if I am a critical, proud,selfish member of my church?
Look at Paul’s attitude as in verses 17-18

Verses 17-18
Paul is full of hope and demonstrates a positive attitude in the face of possible martyrdom . 
He longs for this beloved church to be humble like Christ and shining the light of Christ 
When such fruit is produced, he would count his labour for them a great joy. 
He would be rejoicing and he wants these believers to rejoice with him.
( remember Paul is in lockdown- in prison in Rome. Yet his letter is one of joy !)

Verses 19-30
Here there are two examples of gospel living :
Timothy and Epaphroditus 
Here we see examples of true spirituality in actual relationships....working, living and getting on with people 

Firstly the character description of Timothy:

What are some words/ phrases Paul uses to describe Timothy?

Cares genuinely- V20 : he has the welfare, care and compassion for the believers.
( Paul is interested in sending someone who is not just a good teacher or a worker of miracles BUT someone who never stops caring)

Pleases Christ- V21 : he has a heart for Christ so he has a heart for the people 

Serves well-V22 : his experience in serving is known to Paul first-hand . He regards Paul as his spiritual father... so they had a close relationship 
Timothy has the mind of Christ (V5)

Secondly, the character description of Epaphroditus:

What are some words/phrases in Paul’s description of Epaphroditus?
Brother, fellow- worker ,fellow-soldier,messenger (apostle)

Paul is showing warm appreciation for Epaphroditus 
He is Paul’s brother because of the relationship with God the Father 
He is a gospel worker and Paul sees him as being wounded in the service of the gospel 
He ,as messenger to Paul ,ministered to Paul’s needs, journeying some 800 miles to bring Paul’s gift
Epaphroditus may not have had any teaching abilities or particular ‘gifts’. Yet to Paul, he was Paul’s equal

In all of this, true spirituality is demonstrated : caring and loving one another and relating to others as Christ relates to us
Paul says to honour and esteem servants of God for by so doing we are honouring God

Application:
Is there any reason why the description of Timothy and Epaphroditus could not be used of you?
What is one thing you can do this week to begin to change this?
Consider chapter 2 , verses 3-5 as you think about this:
⁃ a sincere/ genuine concern for the condition of others
⁃ seeking first the things of Christ 
⁃ willingness to serve others...even if to the point of death

We are to have ‘the mind of Christ ‘





Bible Study July 9th 2020

led by Anne Perretto

HUMILITY, SERVICE AND OBEDIENCE

Philippians 2: 1-11 (NIV)

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and in purpose. but in humility consider others better than

yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—

even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place

and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

This chapter begins with “if” and “then” affermations. Usually these types of phrases are either true or untrue.
For example: “
If the world is flat then we would at some point fall over the edge.” This is obviously untrue.

However, Paul here lists the advantages we have in Christ - Encouragement from being united with Christ, Comfort from his love, Fellowship with the Spirit, Tenderness and Compassion. These affermations are completely true. So his “then” phrase is: V.2“ then make my joy complete by being like-minded”
It's almost as if he's saying “Please do it for me”.
The Greek word for “like-minded” is phroneo, which means to think/feel/focus your thoughts. It can be rendered as ”thinking the same way” (which does not necessarily mean thinking the same things). As we saw in chapter 1, unity is NOT uniformity. We must

be in agreement on basic Christian principles such as salvation through grace alone, but in other non-basic topics, there is room for different ways of seeing things.

“ having the same love” The Greek word for love here is AGAPE, not Philos. Agape love is ONLY giving whilst not looking for anything in return.
Philos, which is often used for friendship, implies giving 
and taking. Agape love doesn't look for payback. It always has to do with the wellbeing of the other person.

“being one in spirit “ In another version this is translated as “being of one accord”. Sympsychos here is made up of sym – with – and psyche - breath or life or the breath of life or soul.
Paul is calling these Philippian Christians to live in such unity that they share life and soul with each other.

“and in purpose” or “of one mind”. The Greek in this phrase has the word “hen” which implies being single minded.
Paul wants the Philippian believers to focus on LOVING and SERVING one another, in the same way as Christ did (see v.5)

After this Paul talks about two things that believers are NOT to have:
V3 “ Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit”

“Selfish ambition” is “eritheia”. This word was used to speak of partisan, unprincipled electioneering. The person who is guilty of “eritheia” is not only selfish, but probably doesn't care who he/she hurts on the way to their goal. It describes an ugliness of spirit that is likely to produce strife and injury, leaving victims in its wake.

“Vain conceit” - “kenodoxian” - comes from two words: Kenos, meaning empty, vain, devoid of truth. “Doxa” is most often used to speak of the glory of the Lord, but can be used for the glory of human achievement, or the honours that accompany such an achievement. So it's meaning is empty glory or vain glory; glory that has no basis in fact.

Both of these two attributes are “all about me”. These attitudes should not exist in our churches. Unfortunately they do. As a Christian, my number one priority should be to make sure that

“selfish ambition” and “vain conceit” do not exist in my life. V.3 but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” What is humility?

The Greek word tapeinos means “of low degree”.
When Paul calls us to be humble he is calling us to emulate Christ, who had every reason to be full of pride (humanly speaking) but who instead pursued humility with a purpose.

“better than yourselves”. The word for “better” here is hyperechontas, which combines “hyper” meaning above, with “echo” meaning to be. So Paul is saying that we are to consider others as being excellent or superior to us – a prize winner. Unfortunately we have the tendency to very quickly put people in categories: winners or losers.
Paul is telling us not to do that. We may consider tramps or drug addicts as losers, but they too were created in the image of God, and God loves them just as much as God loves me.
Jesus tells us to call people “neighbours” instead of losers, and to love them as I love myself.
Luke 10:27 (NIV) “ He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.”

V.4“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
What does this mean practically” How can I look to the interests of others – and not just my own?

We didn't deserve it but Christ put us and our condition above his own welfare. Now Paul calls us to do the same thing in our relationships with other people.

V.5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Here we have the word “phroneite” again. Basically we can

substitute the word “attitude” with “mindset”.

Without adopting Christ's attitude or mindset, we can never accomplish what Christ wants us to do: to be united in mind, love and accord (v.2).

IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT ME! WE ARE TO PUT OTHER PEOPLE AND THEIR INTERESTS BEFORE OURSELVES AND OUR OWN INTERESTS.

V.6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

This verse clearly states that Jesus is God through the word “nature”. John chapter 1 confirms this. However, Jesus didn't cling on to his position (equality with God)

V.7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a 
servant, being made in human likeness.

Here we read that Jesus made himself NOTHING and became a SERVANT in human form.

V.8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself
and became 
obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Galatians 3:13 says: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the
law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” (or tree).
Jesus became a curse for me so that I can be free from the curse of the law. What an amazing Saviour.

The three words used to describe Jesus in this passage:

Humility Servant Obedient

are not part of our 21st century vocabulary, but Paul expects the Philippian believers to have and develop these qualities in their lives. Obviously they can't do it alone, but with Christ's help they can.

Neither can we do it alone, but Jesus is always willing to help us, especially if we want to become more like Him. Are we willing to at least start?

V.9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

In Jewish culture, people considered a person's name to be more than a simple label to identify that person. They believed that something of the person's identity was tied up in the name . That the name expressed something of the person's essential character. From this verse we can see that they also assumed that a name – or at least some names – possessed something of the power of the one who bore that name.

Maybe it is easier for us to understand this principle if we talk about a person's reputation.
So God exalted Jesus because of his 
humilityservanthood and obedience, and gave him “the name that is above every name.”

V.10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

All of God's creatures – whether human or angelic - will bow their knee before him – whether they love Christ or not!

V.11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

God the Father has exalted His Son, Jesus Christ, over all creation. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; the whole point of this being that God the Father will be glorified by the whole of His creation.

So as we live our Christian lives day by day, let us try to live in humility, with a servant's heart, and in obedience to God and His word, following the perfect example that Jesus gave us.




BIBLE STUDY 02/07/2020

Led by Anne Peretto

STAND FIRM IN THE ONE SPIRIT

Philippians 1:27-30 (NIV)
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved —and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.”

V.27

“Whatever happens”....
Paul here is referring to what we were reading last week in Philippians 1:21-26: that is, whether he goes to be with the Lord, or still lives on, either as a prisoner in Rome or else reunited physically with the church in Philippi, the Philippian believers must “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” The most commonly used Greek word for “conduct” in the N.T. is “peripatein” which literally means “to walk about”.
Here, however, Paul uses the word “politeuesthal” which means “to live as citizens of”....
We have already seen that at the time of writing this epistle it was thought that Paul was under house arrest in Rome. Philippi was a Roman colony, which meant that everything there was run in the Roman way. Being a Roman citizen brought many privileges, but also many responsibilities. So the Philippian church would understand what Paul meant here when he was talking about their conducting themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. They were Roman citizens, but as Christians were also “citizens of heaven”.
Philippians 3:20 says that “our citizenship is in heaven”. Thus as Christians they had many priviliges but also many responsibilities.

What priviliges do we have as born again Christians?
Here are a few (I'm sure you can think of other ones too):

Eternal life
God doesn't treat us as we deserve to be treated. Peace with God
The Holy Spirit dwells within us
We have authority in Christ over satan

What are our responsibilities as born again Christians?

Obedience to the Word of God
To allow the Fruit of the Spirit as in Galatians 5:22-23 to develop fully in our lives
Give good testimony to those who we come into contact with who aren't born again.
Matthew 7: 12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

“ Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit”

Paul's desire is that the Philippian church members will conduct themselves as citizens of heaven so that whether he will be reunited with them physically or only hears about their progress, he will know that they are standing firm in the one Spirit.

What is Paul referring to here about “standing firm in the one Spirit”?
He wants the brothers and sisters to live in UNITY.
Unity is NOT uniformity.

He wants the church to be united in love and be in agreement on basic doctrine,
“contending as one man for the faith of the gospel”
Here we have another reference to Roman customs. This time Roman warfare. When Roman footsoldiers advanced in battle each one had his own large shield in front of him, and they marched forward shoulder to shoulder. This “united front” was extremely useful against the enemy.

Why? Because the enemy uses the tactic of “Divide and conquer” to defeat the church.
Mark 3:24 says: “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.”

So we know that as a church we MUST be united, otherwise we will not make any headway against the enemy and will not grow.

V.28

“without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.” The Greek word for frightened used here - ptyromenoi – refers to horses when they have been startled. They will usually run away and if there are a lot of them can stampede. Paul here is encouraging the Philippians not to “stampede” or run away but to stand fast.

Why?

“This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.”

If whoever is persecuting us can make us be afraid, then they have great power over us. If we refuse to succumb to fear, then our persecutors have lost their hold on us.
Saying it is much easier than doing it, but in the Bible we are told 365 times not to be afraid. Our wonderful God knows that as humans we have the tendency to fear, so He encourages us to overcome our fears in Him, every single day of the year.

Fear can paralyze the believer, but as J.John said this morning in his brief meditation, FEAR is simply “False Expectations Appearing Real”.
A line from a Hillsong song sums it up like this:

“I'm no longer a slave to fear - I am a child of God.”

V.29

“ For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him”
Paul is telling us that we are greatly privileged because we have been allowed to believe in Christ – AMEN!! - and also to suffer for him. (Can I hear anyone saying Amen to that?)

We don't like the word “suffer” or “suffering”.
We say “Make me more like Jesus, Lord – but don't let me suffer”. In what ways is it possible for a Christian to suffer for Jesus?

The Persecuted Church
Family members often don't approve of our choice of living for Jesus.

The lady working for B.A.who had to go to court in order to be able to wear a cross on her uniform.

Why does Paul say it's a privilege to suffer for Christ?

Philippians 3:10 says “ I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his
sufferings, becoming like him in his death"

In some way suffering brings us into fellowship with Jesus Christ. Many people who have been tortured for Christ's sake have testified that they felt the presence of Jesus with them while they were being beaten. This is FELLOWSHIP. How amazing!

V.30

since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

Paul here is saying that the Philippian church is going through the same struggle he had and still has.
Was that referring to his being in prison or having to give an account of his life to others?

Whatever it was, for Paul, suffering for Christ was a privilege which united him with the brothers and sisters of the Philippian church. This is FELLOWSHIP.

There is an Italian proverb: “Mal comune, mezzo gaudio”

which literally translated means: “a shared negative situation is almost a source of joy”.
Why? 
Because we are not alone. There are others who are going through the same things as we are. Knowing that someone understands how we are feeling in our situation is a great comfort to us. We are living in UNITY and FELLOWSHIP both with Jesus and our brothers and sisters in the church.

As Jesus prayed in John 17:20-23:
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also

be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”



Bible Study at Playa Blanca. 25th June 2020

Led by Christine Phillips 

Philippians ch 1 vs 12 - 26

These are wonderful verses, which illuminate Paul's total commitment to glorifying Jesus, no matter what circumstances he is in.

Vs12-14
Last time Paul was in prison in Philippi, he was released after a miraculous earthquake opened all the prison doors and  their chains. The jailer and his household were converted. Lidia opened her heart to Jesus, and the new church was started. Acts 16 vs 11-40. No such dramatic events were happening this time. 
Paul was under house arrest, probably in Rome. Paul was writing to reassure the Philippians that he was still in the centre of God's will and God's power was still with him.
He had witnessed to the palace guard who were in their thousands, his own guard changing every four hours for two years!
He wrote the NT books of Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians whilst in prison.

Have you any times in your life when you thought you were not doing anything for God? Perhaps through illness or in lockdown???  What is God doing during these times? 
God never wastes our time.

Paul brought glory to God in the worst of circumstances.  It was not easy for him, but he was determined to be fruitful.
The Philippians saw that Paul had JOY in the midst of trial.
That God would take care of him in all circumstances. 
That God could still use him, even in prison.
They were encouraged! 
How can we be fruitful in the hard times?

Vs15-18
Preachers were being motivated to preach from selfish ambition, to be better than Paul.  Paul did not retaliate, but rejoiced that the gospel was being preached. 

WHAT DOES IT MATTER if Paul is in prison as long as Christ is made known.
WHAT DOES IT MATTER if others preach out of a desire to hurt Paul as  long as the gospel is proclaimed.
WHAT DOES IT MATTER if Paul lives or dies as long as Christ is exalted.
As we grow in Christ our needs for
Comfort
Approval
Life itself
Should diminish. Our need should be to see Christ exalted.

Vs19-26
Paul was confident in God even in his awful surroundings  because;
1. He believed the Lord is always in control of his life. He was still in the centre of God's will. Do we doubt God when things are going wrong?
2. He got strength and encouragement from the fact that the Philippians were praying for him. Have you got friends who are committed to pray for you in hard times? Do you commit to anyone in this way?
3. He received a supply of the Spirit of  Christ through their prayer, which met his needs.
4. Paul believed God would not cause him to be ashamed or turn against him. God was not punishing him. He was in the centre of His will.
5. He knew he may not be released and may die.  He was pleased to die for Christ if it brought glory to Him. He was totally surrendered to God's will. 

We are not to tell God how He can glorify Himself in our lives. Paul left that up to God. 

Bible Study, Thursday 18th June 2020
Thanks to Christine Phillips  for leading this.
Philippians ch1 vs 9 - 11

Paul's Prayer for the Philippians

Introduction 
This book is often called the book of JOY, as joy is mentioned 14 times.
Joy is;  a settled state of mind 
              Characterised by peace
              A confident way of looking at life, that is rooted in faith.
NOT EMOTION
A LIFESTYLE
Stable,  peace filled and full of faith.
Nothing can take it away eg no lockdown
                                                   No trouble
                                                   No loss
                                                   No nothing!
How did Paul do it?
How can we do it?

By loving God and loving each other.

Paul shows us how in his prayer for the Philippians.

Five Ways in which Love Grows.

1. "That your love may abound in KNOWLEDGE." Vs 9
       The more intimately we know  God the more we love others.  Try to see how God sees  people eg 1Samuel 7 vs 5, choosing David. God doesn't look on the outward appearance,  but at the heart.
God is working in all of us, loves us, accepts us as we are, and is bringing us to completion.
1Corinthians 13 vs4 - 7, love is patient, kind, does not boast, not proud, or rude, or self seeking, not angry, keeps no record of wrongs. None of us are perfect,  but let's keep loving each other, as Gos loves us.

2. Love with DISCERNMENT or depth of insight, ie the ability to make good and moral decisions. God's  moral choice is to lift us out of sin not condemn us.

3. Approve what is EXCELLENT. 
There are many good things in life, but few excellent  things . Paul wants us to search for the higher things that really deserve our attention.
ie loving God and loving each other.
We have to really 'lean into GOD' to discover how to forgive those who have hurt or offended us. To learn how to encourage and build up our church in unity .

4. Paul wants us to be BLAMELESS, not stumbling through life, but motivated by love in all we do.
Also to make sure we are not causing others to stumble, but try to keep others strong in their faith journey.

5. Paul calls us to be RIGHTEOUS. To abide in Christ (John ch 15, vs 4-6) 
This is the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

Do you see others as GOD SEES THEM? As people that He is working on?

Are you secure in yourself so that you can be used to build others up?

Does your prayer life include praying for others?

This makes for right relationships,  produces a strong fellowship,  which results in JOY!
---------------------------


Thursday 11th June 2020


CHRISTIAN WORSHIP CENTRE 


BIBLE STUDY 


Welcome All to the new series we are starting today 


This is on  THE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS 


INTRODUCTION: 

Paul writes this letter to the Philippians when imprisoned in Rome.This was around AD 61. About ten years earlier Paul the apostle had helped to establish this church

Despite being a prisoner in Rome , this letter is one full of joy and thanksgiving .In his ‘lockdown’ circumstances in which he finds himself, he is not allowing his current situation to dictate his mood.

He shows us in this letter how we are to live as believers  even when we are in lockdown - whatever that may look like personally or corporately as the Church.


The city of Philippi was a Roman colony ; the people proud of their Roman citizenship.It was a leading city of Macedonia and was a key route between the east and Rome itself 


The  church was the first church of Europe and was a great source of joy to Paul. He has a close relationship with these believers. They are very supportive of His ministry to them and he is grateful for the gifts received from them


In this letter Paul encourages, inspires his readers to keep their trust in Jesus despite their circumstances. They face the threat of danger: opposition to the gospel and false teaching

He also desires for them to be the people of prayer and witness they are called to be for God's glory 


>>HOMEWORK: I encourage you to read  more about how this church started in Acts 16- a church starting in a house !


Verse1

From the start of this letter, Paul identifies himself as a ‘servant’- the title of apostle which he uses in other letters is not used here . He is joined with Timothy- God gives companions so they can test the call of God together 

The tone of the letter is personal from the way Paul's begins to write


Question : How does Paul describe the believers? To whom is the letter addressed?


Saints, overseers, deacons - All servants 


Saints - those whom God has set apart to be His children, those who live for Him


Overseers, pastors/ deacons- those whom God has placed in authority to serve in His Name; those who are in leadership and ministry among the believers 


***deacons-  a servant/ leader: this carries the literal meaning of “to kick up dust” It has the idea of somebody who is so passionate as a servant and wants to see things done.So as they run down the street to fulfill their service or mission, they are ‘kicking up dust’


> How can we emulate  being such a passionate servant about advancing God's Kingdom here on earth?


Verse2

Greeting/ blessing: grace and peace. This is favour and total well -being from God who is our Father. He is gracious to us , giving us what we don't deserve . As the Prince of Peace ,Jesus gives His total abundance and well- being to us

Verses 3-5

Question: When does he give thanks for the believers?

Every time he remembers them , when he thinks of them. This is like tonic to Paul- he remembers these believers, and it always has the same effect: he lifts his heart to praise to God


Question: how does Paul pray? 

With all joy and thankfulness - he is exuberant, attitude of praise, of gratitude 

Discuss further: consider the ‘ woe is me ‘ kind of prayers that we sometimes hear


Paul makes a choice not to be controlled by negative circumstances.He remembers their partnership in the gospel( Acts 16). He is reflecting on how it all started about ten years ago.. households becoming part of the Church then


Verse 6

Question: What is it that Paul is confident about?

that God will complete the GOOD work that He has started.This has echoes of Genesis 1 where God saw everything that He created and He declared it was GOOD. This is the language Paul uses here 

The new creation life within  them  is started by Jesus like in our lives too as believers.Paul notes that they are growing in grace and describes this as ‘good’


>> It is God who is doing the work in us , not ourselves- just not possible

Paul's words reverberate even today to all those who love Jesus and want to live for Him

This is something we can declare over our lives that God will complete what He started in us.There is no unfinished work with God


Verses7-8

It's all about mutual love here. He has love for them - he has them in his heart, they have love for him- they have him in his heart. “I have a place in my heart for you”

He is seeing their servant heart full of a pure and blameless love


Consider: Paul is in lockdown, shut away some 800 miles from these believers.He hears about their spiritual growth and overflows with excitement and joy? He longs to see them yet he does not complain about fellowship 

They are socially distant yet the love for the gospel brings then together.Their focus is the gospel of Christ ( if they shift from this then they might begin complaining about ‘lack of fellowship’)

Fellowship in the gospel brings us together


Paul is rejoicing even in prison as he thinks about what God is yet to do with the believers 


POINTS TO PONDER

> Declare over your life that the Lord who has begun the glorious work of grace will faithfully continue the process of maturing you, completing it when Christ returns 

>Be a people with a praise attitude - cultivate the healthy habit of thanksgiving: it's all part of allowing the work of maturity to develop in your life. AMEN



Join us next Thursday as we continue on this journey of joy.

 Visit the website churchlanzarote.com and stay informed of changes



CHRISTIAN WORSHIP CENTRE 


THURSDAY JUNE 4th 2020


Welcome All 

to our 

Bible Study 

for Thursday  4th June 2020


The topic we are studying today is The Power of the Holy Spirit

This is the final part in our three -part series, the trilogy,  of The Holy Spirit


Just to recap : the first week we studied The Person of the Holy Spirit 

the second week we studied The Purpose of the Holy Spirit 


This week, we look at the The Power of the Holy Spirit 


( please pray before you begin this study; let God by His Spirit guide you)


THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 


What is this power? 


It comes from the Greek word ‘ dunamis’ which is translated ‘power’ ,as in Acts 1:8

And this has more to do with with power or ability than authority


So it's the enabling power which the Spirit gives to believers. This way believers can carry on the work Jesus left them to do, not in their own strength, but with this Spirit-filled transforming power


The Holy Spirit equips and empowers believers so that the reign and reality of God is revealed through believers in this world. Believers live in this world to express His glory




>>In the Old Testament :


The Spirit’s power :

enables people to serve God- God gives a heart  of flesh so we walk in His ways -Ezekiel 36:26-27

prompts prophecy and vision, like God saying that He will pour out His Spirit on all - Joel 2:28-29;

is seen in creation; His breath gives life - Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4

is demonstrated in the lives of God's servants - Micah 3:8 says, “I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord


Are there any other  Bible references you can think of? 


Was the Spirit's power only evident in ‘special’ people?




How was the Spirit seen in Jesus’ life? What Bible references can you think of ?



>>In Jesus’ life and ministry, the Spirit's  power :-


 is involved in His conception - Luke 1:35


is enabling teaching and ministry : like when Jesus goes back to Galilee in the power of the Spirit  in Luke 4:14, or as in Acts 10:38 where it says God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and ‘He went around doing good and healing all…’


raises Jesus from the dead - Romans 8:11



What are some ways in which the Spirit empowers the Church?




>> In the Church, the Holy Spirit enables the mission in many ways :-


 For example :- 

 in witness - Acts 6:10, Stephen’s words were anointed far exceeding human reason and argument


 in preaching and sharing the message, Paul wants to demonstrate the Spirit's power -  

1 Corinthians 2:4


 God using Paul to perform signs, wonders and miracles and ‘these are all the result of the power of God's Spirit,’ Romans 15:18-19


the Church receives strength and spiritual energy through the Spirit's power - Ephesians 3:16; 

Romans 8:26



>> In the life of the believer the Spirit’s power : -


builds Christian character : 2 Timothy 1:7 says ….’(God) has given us a spirit of power and of love and of sound judgment and self - control.’ It makes you better than you


leads you into a life of holiness :  Galatians 5:16 says, ‘walk in the ways of the Spirit ..so you will not gratify what your self-life desires’


produces the fruit of the Spirit : Galatians 5:22-23


    


According to Acts 1:8, what happens when believers receive this power and ability?


-by this experience, believers become Jesus’ witnesses. This filling of the Spirit transforms believers giving them a boldness for the sharing of the gospel and a clear sense of what  God's mission is



Closing comments :-


We are helpless attempting to do God's work WITHOUT God's power


The power of the Spirit is for every believer. We testify about God by the way we live, our Christ -like character and not just words. So ‘in our Jerusalem’ meaning at home, we are to express His power firstly. Then we can we spread the good news to other parts of the world


POINTS TO PONDER :-


During this time of lockdown, allow the Spirit to enable you to tell others about Jesus, particularly to family members/ relatives?


When we stay connected to the Spirit, we will find we are conforming more to His will and purpose 




PRAYER TO END

Today I am asking the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ to impart to you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation of who He is and what He has done for you. I pray this so that you will come to know Him better, that you will have a deepening intimacy with Him


I also pray for your heart to be filled with light, flooded with light by the Holy Spirit so that you will cherish the hope to which He has called you. I pray that you will know the purpose He wants to see fulfilled in your life

May God grant you out of His glorious riches to be strengthened and be spiritually energised with power by His Spirit …for the glory of Jesus, Amen


Two songs to add: There is a Redeemer

                               Fresh Outpouring 



Please stay well and safe. Visit the website churchlanzarote.com and stay informed about some changes






Welcome to All 

to our 

BIBLE STUDY for 

Thursday 28th May 2020


Today we continue our short series on ‘The Holy Spirit’


TOPIC : THE PURPOSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 


The main passage we shall focus on is John 16:7-15.


(Please read this passage and pray before you begin)


Jesus continues to teach His disciples before going to the cross in less than twenty four hours. 

He teaches them about abiding in the true Vine, that opposition and rejection are inevitable and that the disciples are His witnesses


Here in John 16:7-15, Jesus explains the role and ministry of the Holy Spirit. The disciples are  worried and anxious. Sadness has taken over, their hearts are filled with sorrow and sadness now that Jesus is not going to be with them. He is going away. They are thinking life will not be the same. 

Their focus seems to be more about  ‘why is not God doing what I want’.  Rather, their focus should be more along the lines of  ‘what God is doing’ by Jesus returning to heaven. 


They will need someone to sustain and  keep them and ‘be there’ for them


>V7- What are Jesus’ words to them? 

…. “it is for your own good that I am now going away…for unless I leave you, the Counsellor cannot come to you. But when I return to the Father, I will send Him to you.”


So the Spirit that would live in them would only be given when Jesus had returned to heaven

( Last week we spent some time studying the Ascension of Christ …you might remember?)


>>Do you think that you can handle life on your own? 

Or who are you dependent on? 


We are dependent on God by His Spirit - the Helper, the Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor is the One we are to be in close fellowship with. He is the One who will keep our focus on what Jesus has said and done. 

The Holy Spirit helps believers and His help is beneficial to us. The Spirit is for our good.


While Jesus was physically present with His disciples, He could only be in one place at a time. Now the Holy Spirit is with us constantly …. “who will remain with You forever,” John 14:16.



There are three aspects of the Spirit’s work in this passage : -


-convicting the world : verses 8-11

-helping/ guiding the believers : verses 12-13

-glorifying  Christ : verses 14-15


Verses 8-11 describe the wider ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit convicts the world : -


>What does it mean to ‘convict’?

 To refute or prove wrong, giving a sense of guilt and shame in our hearts and so leads to repentance. 


> Can you name any examples of where we see conviction?  ( apart from yourself! )


 -the teachers of the law and Pharisees bring a  woman caught in adultery to Jesus—John 8:9


     -Saul of Tarsus ,before he becomes Paul , the apostle—Acts 9:5


> Still in Verses 8-11, of what will the Holy Spirit convict the world?


                            Of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. 


> Why convict of sin? 


Because the world, the people refuse to believe in Jesus and His message. People are to be made aware of the true nature of sin, the ‘bad news of sin’ before they can embrace the Good News as they believe in Him.

Unbelief causes us not to respond to God's love. Because of the Spirit’s activity, people come to see their need of God, the sin that separates them from a Holy God. Then they become born again.


> Why convict of righteousness? Of a godly character ?


 Because Jesus’ righteousness is proven.He is going back to the Father, so He is ascended as Lord. He is the perfect standard of godly, holy, and right living. 

God teaches in His Word that our ‘righteousness’ is not sufficient- it cannot reconcile us to a holy God. Our works of selfish righteousness do not set us free. Rather they condemn us.

It is only in Christ’s righteousness that we are made completely free by the Spirit 


> Why convict of judgment? Of the certainty of judgment ? 


Because the prince of this world, Satan now stands judged and condemned. At the Cross, Jesus showed His awesome power by rising from the grave.This is Satan’s death blow! The ruler of this dark world has already received his sentence. 


The world adopts wrong standards of judgment and values. God is the standard for judgment. 


The Holy Spirit reveals what is sinful and what is right in God's eyes. He will warn of the judgment that is to come.


Verses 12-13

The Holy Spirit guides believers:- 


Jesus is saying here that He has more things to tell or teach His disciples.Yet He realises that they are not able to grasp or handle all of these things. Not yet anyway.


>So what does Jesus say to them? Read v13


It is through the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ followers will receive the complete revelation of the truth.


This will not be His own message, but what He hears from the Father and the Son.The Spirit of Truth will reveal prophetically to the disciples what is to come (in the future).


>How can this take place?


The Holy Spirit takes things revealed in God's Word and shows or declares them to the believer.

So we are to have receptive hearts, to follow truth because we know Jesus ,unlike the unbeliever.


Jesus spoke only the words of His Father with the authority of His Father.Similarly the Spirit of Truth speaks the words of the Father and Son. 


>>So too we should aim to speak only what God would have us to say…His words - they are life changing. 


Verses 14-15

The Spirit glorifies Christ: this is the aim of the Spirit’s work - to promote the Glory of Christ 


>How is Christ to be glorified?


When the Spirit takes the truths of Jesus and reveals them to His followers.

Everything about Jesus will be declared by the Spirit. 

So the Spirit will keep pointing us to Jesus. Jesus is central to the life of the believer who is 

Spirit-filled and who is growing in the Lord. The believer is enlightened by the Spirit and so Jesus is glorified through the believer’s fruitful Christian living. 

This way we are believing what He says and desire to obey His commands out of love for Him. 


Closing comments :- 


Verse 15 - Jesus says that everything He has the Spirit will take and reveal to us in our experiences.This is an amazing truth .By faith you are to appropriate what is yours in God, in Christ. 


For the believer: spiritual growth will be evident resulting in fruitfulness. 


For the Church: we will grow in Jesus’ mission, outreach and caring for one another.


The Holy Spirit is our Advocate in difficult and dark times like when we face opposition to our faith. The Spirit comes alongside us helping us to be “strong in the Lord” as we remain faithful to Jesus, our Saviour and Lord.


Points to ponder :-


  • God does not expect you to live a godly, holy life in your own power. 
  • What can you do to allow the Spirit to work in you?
  • How can you serve God, so that Christ is glorified in and through your life?


PRAYER TO END

“Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me

Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me

Melt me, mould me

Fill me, and use me”


Jesus, for the glory of Your name we pray, Amen


PLEASE NOTE: Next week we shall be studying The Power Of The Holy Spirit


BIBLE STUDY

for 

THURSDAY 21st MAY 2020

(Ascension Day)


TOPIC: THE HOLY SPIRIT 


Today we begin a  short series of studies on The Holy Spirit

Over the  the next few weeks we will study this very important and timely topic.


The aim: to grow together spiritually ,becoming Christ-like and increasingly dependent on Jesus. 


We will  be looking at various scripture references that will help us understand 

-The person,

          -The purpose ,and 

                          -The power of the Holy Spirit 



( please pray before you begin where you are)


This week we are studying: THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 


>Who is the Holy Spirit?


The characteristics or attributes of the Holy Spirit  are those of God. The titles that are used to describe Him identify Him as part of the triune nature of the divine being: “ One  God exists eternally in three persons namely Father , Son  and the Holy Spirit”


There is  complete unity and diversity. One common nature is shared, ‘the sameness of the Godhood’, yet the Father , the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinguishable - John 16:14-15


>Is the Spirit a ‘thing’ or a  ‘force’ ?


The Holy Spirit is not impersonal but a real person with His own personality. So we refer to Him as ‘He’ and not ‘it’.So He , the Holy Spirit is involved in personal relationships


>What are those relationships..can you name one ?


Relationships: Firstly, with the Father and the Son -2 Corinthians 13:14, Jude 20-21

                        Secondly , in relationship with Christians -Acts 15:28


             Further, the Holy Spirit can be treated in personal ways , as for example in Acts 5:3

             The Spirit can experience emotion and pain - Ephesians 4:30


>>The Spirit lives within believers in Christ.This means believers are never out of God's presence. 


How can we avoid grieving or hurting Him by our words and actions?




Descriptions of the Holy Spirit 


The Spirit may appear in symbolic form and all that He does may be described with the use of metaphors ( figure of speech where you apply  a word or phrase to an object or action yet it is not literally applicable to it)


>What are some of these descriptions for the Holy 

Spirit ?


The fire - Luke 3:16-17 , Acts 2:3-4


The dove - Luke 3:22


The wind or breath -  Ezekiel 37: 9-14 , Acts 2:2


_____Are there any more that you can can remember?______



The oil of anointing - Isaiah 61


Water - Isaiah 44:3 , 1 Corinthians 12:13


A guide or shepherd - Isaiah 63:14


The power of God - Luke 1:35, Luke 24:49


God's gift - Acts 10:45



Comment: 

Jesus did not say much about the Holy Spirit until the Last Supper. His crucifixion was imminent. Despite this ,He took the time to explain to His disciples that the Holy  Spirit  who had been working with them, would soon come to live within them. 

He was preparing the disciples to receive the precious gift of the Spirit, this third Person of the God head (the Trinity)




The Ascension of Jesus (which we commemorate today !)


>Why did Jesus ascend ,return to heaven ?


In John 14 :16-17 ,Jesus said, “ when I return to heaven I will ask the Father to replace Me with another Counsellor exactly like Me, who will remain with you forever. He is the Spirit of Truth …who lives with you and soon will be in you…” The Spirit will make His home in you and live inside you

V25-26 , Jesus says “I have told you all these things while I am with you. The Father will send you the Counsellor,-the Helper , the Holy Spirit in My Name. When He comes, He will teach you all you need to know and will remind you of everything I have already taught you”.


In Acts 1, after Jesus tells His disciples to wait until they have received the gift of the Holy Spirit as promised, He ascends ‘ until a cloud hid Him from their sight’.


The Spirit by His very nature will help and guide believers how to relate Jesus’ words / teaching to their present lives. Jesus’ ascension made way for the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (so assuming the ministry of Jesus Christ)


 


Like Jesus, the Holy Spirit would be another Counsellor. He would be their teacher and would remind them of everything Jesus had taught them


The Counsellor is the gift of the exalted, ascended  Christ -John 16:7 Jesus says if He goes away, He will send the Holy Spirit to His followers


>>What would the Holy Spirit do as Counsellor?


  • comforts, He is our Comforter (from the Greek word ‘ Parakletos’) - John 14:16-17
  • reassures believers that they are God's children - Romans 8:16
  • strengthens the church…helping us in our weakness, interceding on our behalf- Romans 8:26



>>What would the Holy Spirit do as Teacher?


As teacher,  the Spirit of truth instructed God's people in the Old Testament and Jesus’ disciples in the New Testament. Revelation of the truth of God to believers continues by the Spirit 


So the Spirit:

-instructs believers , testifying to truth of Jesus’ teaching-1 John 5:6-8

-teaches disciples what to say when there is persecution - Acts 6:10

- teaches the churches … ‘hear and heed what the Spirit says to the churches’ - Revelation 2:7

 


Points to ponder


> How will your understanding of the Person and activity of the Holy Spirit impact your life as a child of God?


>The Spirit points us to Jesus, always. This happens so that we might believe what Jesus says and in love obey what He commands





PRAYER TO END: 

Heavenly Father, today we thank You for all that you are doing in our lives through the activity of the Holy Spirit 

We thank You for the relationship we have with You where You live in us by Your Spirit and we live in You

We pray that we will continue to grow in Christ -like character  and by the Spirit our hearts will be stirred and ready for what You want to do in our lives

You are not divorced from our needs and struggles Lord. We thank You that we can cast all our care upon You for You care for us. We praise You our loving ,merciful and gracious God.

For the glory of Your name we pray, Amen



————Please note: Next week we will be studying ‘ The Purpose of the Holy Spirit’—————




Christian Worship Centre 

BIBLE STUDY

for 

THURSDAY 14th MAY 2020


TOPIC : TRUE WORSHIP OF GOD


Welcome Friends, Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, to today's Bible Study

The topic is  on True Worship.


An understanding of what worship is all about helps the individual believer to live a life pleasing to the Lord. There are many scripture references, both from  the Old Testament and from the New Testament in this study today 

I encourage you read them all as we study today. God’s people worshipped in the Old Testament and in the New Testament God is still the object of worship


(WHAT) What is Worship?


Definition of worship: expressing to God the praise, honour and glory of which He is worthy, not only with our lips but in our lives


  • the word comes from the old word ‘ worthship’ which is worthiness or merit, being worthy or deserving.It is a term used for the reverent devotion or honour paid


So to worship God is literally to give Him what He is worth , or is worthy to receive. We worship God because HE IS GOD.This worship is filled with thanksgiving for all He is and what He has done for us and has given us in Christ Jesus 


(WHO) Who are we to worship?

God, and God alone. God alone is worthy of worship.-1 CHRONICLES 16:25, PSALM 96:4-5 (read)

No other God is to be worshipped, only the LORD God… He is “above all gods”.

 


(HOW) How do we worship?

Worship to God must be spiritual and real.- JOHN 4:23-24 


As He speaks to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, Jesus says that “ a time is coming , in fact it is already come, when those who worship in a true way will worship the Father in the power of His Spirit and in the truth of His Word.

These are the kind of worshippers that the Father wants. God is Spirit.This is why those who worship Him must do so in Spirit and truth.” 


The Spirit enables us to worship so our worship can be acceptable to God


This means the Father wants real worshippers. Worshippers who are worshipping from the heart, a right heart , sincere  and not just going through a routine like a performer..It is not about where we worship, it's about our heart attitude. 

This is true worship.It involves all of our being: heart ,soul and mind. Worship is the expression of holiness from a heart that loves and embraces God passionately 


>>>> Since God seeks true worshippers who worship Him in spirit and in truth, do you think becoming such a worshipper should be your priority ?




(WHY)

Why is worship important to the  life of the believer?

The reason we exist is to worship God for Who He is and what He has done

> It is a  divine command

- REVELATION 14:7 “Fear God and give Him glory,….Worship Him who created heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Reverence God, worship the Creator …

--PSALM 150: 6 - “ Let everyone  everywhere, who has breath  praise the Lord.( hallelujah!)”



>We are to be a worshipping people

        -ISAIAH 43:21 : “The people whom I formed for Myself, will make known My praise”


        -1 PETER 2:9 : “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light…”



(WHEN)


When we worship , what are we responding to?


    We are responding to:


-God's love : EXODUS 4:31(read)


-God’s holy presence : 1 CHRONICLES 16:29 (. …. bring an offering and come before Him, worship the Lord in the splendour of His holiness)


-God’s greatness :PSALM 95 verses 1-3 ( O come , let us sing joyfully,…shout joyfully…for the Lord is great and a great King…”)


-God’s works/ deeds : 

DANIEL 3:28 (“ Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and rescued His servants who believed in, trusted in and relied on Him…”. )


ACTS 3:8 (..and with a leap he stood up and began to walk…..walking and leaping and praising God..”)


-the fear of God: 

HEBREWS 12:28 ( Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, and offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe.” Offer God the purest worship as we lay down our lives in absolute surrender, filled with awe.)



Are there hindrances to true worship? 


We can say the right words and just have ‘a form of worshipfulness’ without any ‘realness’.This 

can happen when 


1-we have a  wrong relationship to God , 

( EZEKIEL 33:31 says ‘ So they come as though they are sincere and sit before you listening. But they have no intention of doing what I tell them to do; they talk very sweetly about loving the Lord, expressing loving devotion but their heart goes after their own gain.”  (Read MATTHEW 15: 7-9)


2- we have a wrong relationship with others 

(MATTHEW 5:23-24 says “So then , if you are presenting a gift before the altar in the temple and suddenly you remember a quarrel  or grievance you have with a fellow believer, leave your gift there in front of the altar and go at once to apologise with the one who is offended.Then ,after you have reconciled, come to the altar and present your gift.”)



>>Therefore there is need for examination of our hearts so that where there hindrances to worship  we can seek actively to remove them



Concluding comments:


In worship our ‘ presentation of worship’ is offered TO Him for His glory and pleasure. He is the focus , the aim being to GIVE Him praise and thanks. It is not to see what “I can GET” out of it.

It is about giving not getting.


It is centred on the Lord, not on ourselves or our feelings

It is a way of life so it is not confined to church services or meetings or special daily times only


In the book of Revelation, we are given some insight into the worship that goes on continually in heaven.This is the worship that is to be expressed in our lives daily. When we are worshipping here on earth we are joining in with the continual worship taking place in heaven


Scripture references include Revelation 4:9-11 and Revelation 19:5-8 (please read loudly)


The Holy Spirit enables us to focus on God the Father and the Lord Jesus reigning together in glory and triumph .Focussing on Him, raises you above your negative situation or problem for you are focussing on the One who is so much greater than the circumstances you face



Application 


POINTS TO PONDER:

What is one thing you can change in your current lifestyle to make truly worshipping God priority?

(Maybe you can write down some reflections and review in one week )


Consider having consistent, daily and ‘protected’ worship time with your Lord and Saviour. Spiritual growth will follow.Remember you are in a relationship with the Lord,and not doing a religious routine


In worship times, decree and declare truths about God and about what God's Word says about your identity in Christ



Since worship will be our never -ending activity in heaven , let us engage in true worship now

It will be our greatest joy in heaven.  Practise worshipping God in this life so you are ready for an eternity of worship in His presence !


Romans 12:1 says “Beloved friends , what should be our response to God's marvellous mercies?

I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be His sacred , living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights His heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.”(TPT)

Surrendering ourselves to God…..this is our worship to Him. As we  surrender of our lives to God unreservedly, Jesus’ life , power and love will be expressed  and radiate through us as we serve one another 



PRAYER TO CLOSE


Father we praise You today .You are the Holy and Almighty God.You are the God of grace ,the God of all comfort, and the God of love. Thank You for loving us with an everlasting love


Forgive us Lord when we have not given You the honour and praise that is due to Your name.

Thank You that in Your unfailing mercy ,You forgive us through the cleansing blood of Jesus


So we return to You, O Lord .By your Holy Spirit renew, revive and restore us so that we live our lives in continual worship to You, so that we live pleasing and holy lives radiating the character of Christ in our words and actions 

This we pray for the glory of Your name and the good of Your kingdom, Amen

Song to use for reflection : heart of worship



Bible Study for 7th May 2020

Winning the Battle for Your Mind (3)
“Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice! [Ps. 37:4.] Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon]. Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:4-9‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
https://www.bible.com/8/php.4.4-9.ampc

What positive things can we focus our minds on from this passage?

To rejoice in the Lord always. Joy is not based on our circumstances.
Whereas, happiness depends on what happens.
Having an unselfish, considerate, forbearing spirit.
The fact that the Lord is coming again soon.
To delight ourselves in the Lord.
To gladden our hearts in Him.
Through prayer & petition God gives us His peace which passes all understanding & is ours through our personal relationship of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord & Saviour.
(That peace is like a garrison or as secure as the Beefeater guards posted as sentries at Buckingham Palace, protecting the Queen of England).
Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

What negative things are mentioned in this passage?
Fretting
Being anxious
How can they be resolved/overcome?
Through prayer & petition, resulting in peace.
Peace or ‘Shalom’ meaning total well-being, wholeness, peace that passes all understanding.
Www.peak313.com offers this good example :-
‘Thought check (based on Philippians 4:8).
Is what I’m thinking about ...
True?
Noble?
Just?
Pure?
Lovely?
Of good report?
Virtuous?
Praiseworthy?

If no, STOP & think about something else.
Train your thoughts.
Scriptures to meditate on :-
Romans 8:1-8
Romans 12:1-2
Philippians 4:8
2 Corinthians 10:1-5
Colossians 3:1-3.’

What is achieved by focusing on Scripture?
We are not condemned.
We are set free from the law of sin & death.
When our minds are controlled by the Holy Spirit, we know true life & peace (total well-being, wholeness).
We are not conformed to the patterns of this world.
We are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
We can focus on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous & praiseworthy.
We can use the weapons we have have been given by God to demolish strongholds.
We can set our minds on things above.
We have the mind of Christ.

Another enemy to our mind which we need to engage in constant combat or battle against is ‘fear.’
The Apostle Paul writes the following verse to his son in the faith, Timothy :-

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
https://www.bible.com/8/2ti.1.7.ampc

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
‭‭II Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/114/2ti.1.7.nkjv

Elisabeth Elliot once said this, ‘Fear arises when we imagine that everything depends on us.’
A useful acronym for FEAR, we heard mentioned many times when we were at Kingdom Faith Training College, Roffey was this :-
‘False
Expectations
Appearing
Real.’

How does fear adversely affect us?
Fear would try to paralyse us.
Fear would try to make us timid.
Fear would try to make us believe that the worst case scenario imaginable will happen to us personally.

Or we could choose an alternative, more positive acronym. The one based on FAITH :-
‘Forsaking
All
I
Trust
Him.’

What does this faith look like in practice?
The Holy Spirit gives us His power.
The Holy Spirit gives us His love.
The Holy Spirit gives us a sound or well-balanced mind. A mind that is calm, disciplined & self-controlled.

In summary :-
With God’s help we can train our thinking.
We do not have to live in fear.
We can live in faith.
The Holy Spirit enables us to live empowered, in His love & with a sound, well-balanced mind.
That means we can have minds that are calm, disciplined & self-controlled.

Two Scriptures for us to declare over ourselves, as we close this morning’s
Bible Study :-
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
‭‭II Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/114/2ti.1.7.nkjv


“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/114/php.4.8.nkjv

Bible Study for 30th April 2020

Bible Study: For the next two Thursdays the topic 'Winning The Battle For Your Mind' continues. So look out for this as Pastor Rachel leads this relevant study.


Winning the Battle for Your Mind (2)

“THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. [John 3:18.]”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:1‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
https://www.bible.com/8/rom.8.1.ampc
Don’t receive condemnation when you have setbacks or bad days.
Each of us will fail at times, as we are all human!
The devil will try his hardest to stop you in this area of renewing your mind.
He knows that he is no longer in control, when you choose right thoughts & reject wrong thoughts.
Note Before : There is a difference between conviction of sin & condemnation.
Conviction of sin comes from the Holy Spirit & will guide you into all truth.
Condemnation will make you feel like a failure & result in you feeling guilty, this comes from the devil.
When you do fail, it does not mean that you are a failure.
Satan again is trying to bring you down.
The sons of Korah were well aware of this & mention it in Psalm 42 :-
“Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, my Help and my God. O my God, my life is cast down upon me [and I find the burden more than I can bear]; therefore will I [earnestly] remember You from the land of the Jordan [River] and the [summits of Mount] Hermon, from the little mountain Mizar. [Roaring] deep calls to [roaring] deep at the thunder of Your waterspouts; all Your breakers and Your rolling waves have gone over me. Yet the Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, a prayer to the God of my life.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭42:5-8‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
https://www.bible.com/8/psa.42.5-8.ampc
What can we learn from this Psalm of the sons of Korah?
How did they handle discouragement?
When they were feeling discouraged they remembered God. So can we.
They praised God. So can we.
They remember how God had helped them previously. So can we.
This gave them hope in difficult times. So it should also give us hope.
They remembered the command of the loving-kindness of God in the daytime. So can we.
God’s Song was with them during the night, like a prayer to them.
His Song can also be with us during the night like a prayer to us.
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. In every prayer of mine I always make my entreaty and petition for you all with joy (delight). [I thank my God] for your fellowship (your sympathetic cooperation and contributions and partnership) in advancing the good news (the Gospel) from the first day [you heard it] until now. And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:3-6‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
https://www.bible.com/8/php.1.3-6.ampc
The Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians, while he was isolated in prison. Often it is called the letter or epistle of ‘joy.’
How can someone in isolation & in prison know the joy of Jesus?
Paul thanks God when he remembers the Philippian believers.
We should remember each other & give thanks to God for each other too.
What can we do in our own time of isolation, due to the Lockdown because of the Coronavirus?
We can also thank God that we can support & encourage each other through our prayers & texts for one another in our own time of isolation.
We can encourage our hearts through the reading, sharing & teaching, preaching of Scripture.
Why is Paul thankful for the Philippian believers?
Because they co-operated & partnered with him in the sharing & spreading of the Gospel.
We also partner & work together to share the Gospel.
God began a good work in them & would carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
God has begun a good work in each one of us too. He will fulfil His promises & purposes in our lives too. What He has said, that He will do!
“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
https://www.bible.com/8/rom.12.2.ampc
How can our minds be transformed to God’s way of thinking?
Our thinking needs to change & this results in new ideals & attitudes.
How is it possible for us to prove what the good, acceptable, perfect will of God is for us?
Jesus has made this transformation possible by His death & resurrection.
When we trust in Him as our Lord & Saviour, He helps us to accomplish this.
I’m often reminded of an illustration that I heard about a caterpillar.
A caterpillar is earthbound & crawls about on the ground.
(I have fond recollections as a young child of reading the book
‘The very hungry caterpillar’ - but that’s beside the point!)
Until the caterpillar dies to self it cannot change. It will always be earthbound.
Yet its destiny is to fly in the sky.
Therefore it has to go into a chrysalis for a period of time & later break out of this mould before it becomes a butterfly. Then it has wings & can fly in the sky. Its destination has changed. It is no longer earthbound. It is now heaven bound or homeward bound (but not like in the song by Simon & Garfunkel!)
Someone has likened it to Jesus when He lived on earth (earthbound for a while), died & was buried (like in a chrysalis), & broke & defeated the powers of death & hell through His resurrection. Then He ascended into heaven (like emerging transformed like a butterfly in some ways, heavenbound).
When we become Christians we are then heavenbound.
We are citizens of heaven. Heaven is our true home & one day we will go there to be with Jesus if we have accepted Him as Lord & Saviour here while we are citizens on earth.
In summary :-
We can be convicted of sin & this is from the Holy Spirit.
We are not condemned, as this is from the devil.
We can fail at times, but we are not failures.
We can remember God’s faithfulness & loving-kindness to us.
Therefore, we can continue to have hope.
We can have joy because of Jesus, even in times of isolation & lockdown.
We can give thanks to God for each other.
We continue to partner together in sharing the Gospel.
We can know Jesus as our own personal Lord & Savior.
We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
We can be assured that our destiny/our citizenship is in heaven.

Our closing prayer :-
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. In every prayer of mine I always make my entreaty and petition for you all with joy (delight). [I thank my God] for your fellowship (your sympathetic cooperation and contributions and partnership) in advancing the good news (the Gospel) from the first day [you heard it] until now. And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:3-6‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
https://www.bible.com/8/php.1.3-6.ampc


Bible Study for 23rd April 2020

Welcome to our Thursday Bible Study, friends, brothers & sisters of the Christian Worship Centre, Playa Blanca.  
Over the course of the next three weeks, we will be looking at the subject/theme :-
‘Winning the Battle for Your Mind.’ 
We will explore various Scriptures & see how they can make a positive impact on the way that we think & how this affects our attitudes, habits & lifestyle or behavioural patterns. 

Winning the Battle for Your Mind (1)

‘For the weapons of our warfare are not physical (weapons of flesh & blood), but they are mighty before God for the overthrow & destruction of strongholds, (inasmuch as we) refute arguments & theories & reasonings & every proud & lofty thing that sets itself up against the (true) knowledge of God; & we lead every thought captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),’ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (Amp.)

Through careful strategy & cunning deceit, Satan attempts to set up ‘strongholds’ in our mind. A stronghold is an area in which we are held like a prisoner or captive in prison due to a certain way of thinking.
In this passage the Apostle Paul tells us that we have the weapons that we need to overcome Satan’s strongholds.

So what weapons do we readily have at our disposal, in order to overcome Satan’s ‘strongholds’?

First of all, a weapon which Paul clearly defines for us is :-
That we must know the Word of God well enough to be able to compare what is in our mind with what is in the mind of God; and thoughts that attempt to exalt themselves above the Word of God we are to cast down & bring into the captivity of Jesus Christ.

Other ‘weapons’ we can effectively make use of are :-

The Word of God received through preaching, teaching, private & public Bible Study.

Two other weapons available for us to use are praise & prayer.
A good example of both of these can be found in 2 Chronicles 20,
which I recommend that you look through in greater detail to
carefully consider & study its content later on today.
Another verses to consider relating to the impact of prayer is
2 Chronicles 7:14.

The mind is the starting block where everything begins - whether negative or positive thoughts - are formulated.
Romans 8:5 makes it clear, ‘For those who are according to the flesh & are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on & pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit & are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on & seek those things which gratify the Holy Spirit.’

So what is most dominant in your thinking & in mine?
Negative thinking? or Positive thinking?

Let me briefly give a personal example, to help us understand this in more detail :-

Several years ago, I studied & gained a Counselling Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Basically how you think affects the way in which you behave. It can be summed up by the following pattern :-

If you think negatively, it can become a negative attitude, then that negative attitude becomes a negative habit & then that negative habit becomes a negative lifestyle! This results in speaking negative words over yourself & others. Then bad things may start to happen & it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom & gloom. It’s like you set yourself up to fail!

Whereas, if you think positively, it can become a positive attitude, then that positive attitude becomes a positive habit & then that positive attitude becomes a positive lifestyle. You speak positive words over yourself & others. Your actions &/or behaviour becomes positive as well.

The Apostle Paul especially talks about this in his letter to the Philippians,
“For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8-9‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
https://www.bible.com/8/php.4.8-9.ampc

How can you do this on an every-day basis?
By encouraging your hearts & minds with Scripture.
By encouraging one another.
By using positive words that edify & lift up, rather than negative words that tear down & destroy.


Jesus said, “If you abide in My Word (hold fast to My teachings & live in accordance with them), you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, & the Truth will set you free,” John 8:31-32.

Jesus Himself is The Way, The Truth, & The Life
(John 14:6, tells us this fact).

‘For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin, no matter how it comes or where it leads) has overtaken you & laid hold on you that is not common to man (that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance & that is not adjusted & adapted & belonging to the human experience, & such a man can bear). But God is faithful (to His Word & to His compassionate nature), & He (can be trusted) not to let you be tempted & tried & assayed beyond your ability & strength of resistance & power to endure, but with the temptation He will (always) also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable & strong & powerful to bear up under it patiently,’ 1 Corinthians 10:13.

So what is God doing throughout this process?
God doesn’t abandon us & leave us helpless.
God is faithful to us & is there with us.
He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, but with every temptation He will also provide the way out &/or the means of escape.
God is building up our resilience levels & prompting us to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit who will lead us into all truth.

In summary :-
So remember to think about what you are thinking about!
Fill your minds with Scripture.
Fill your mouths with Scripture & speak positive words over yourself & others.
This will take time, as positive thinking & habits don’t just happen overnight!
Be encouraged & learn Scriptures to build yourselves & others up.

A closing Scripture to encourage your hearts & minds :-

“THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God's favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God. Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:1-5‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
https://www.bible.com/8/rom.5.1-5.ampc