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Thursday 28th May 2020

Today we continue our short series on ‘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?


“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



THURSDAY 21st MAY 2020

(Ascension Day)


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


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


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 



THURSDAY 14th MAY 2020


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 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 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



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 


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

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?
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 ...
Of good report?

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

“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

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 :-

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 :-

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

“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

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
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
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
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
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

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

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