“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John chapter 14 verses 1-3. These are wonderfully comforting words to those who 'believe in God, and believe also in Jesus'. We celebrate Jesus death and resurrection at this wonderful Easter time and look forward to enjoying eternity in Heaven with Jesus because of all He suffered for us at that first Easter.
"But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.". John chapter1 verse 12. Membership in God's Family is by grace alone - it is a gift which God gives, not something we can earn. But, this free gift has to be 'accepted' - a gift given to you which is still wrapped up and unopened is of no use to you. Why not believe today that Jesus' death on the Cross was necessary for you to be accepted as His child by our holy, loving, Father God?
At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). John Chapter 20 verses 14 to 16. At this wonderful Eastertime, we celebrate, like Mary, Jesus risen presence with us. He loves each one of us and calls us each by name. Will you respond TODAY to Jesus calling YOUR name?
Jesus is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Hebrews chapter 13 verse 8. The Bible tells us many things about Jesus - He was there at the creation; He came to earth as a baby on the first Christmas; He grew up and became an amazing teacher, healer, story-teller, miracle-worker; He never did anything wrong; He suffered much and died on the Cross at that first Easter to make us right with God; He rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples several times before He ascended back to heaven and is now at His Father's side; one day He is coming back to take His friends to be with Him forever; and much more. Anyone who really believes that Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, will themselves never be the same!
But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was, and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. Luke chapter 10 verses 33 and 34. This is part of a story which Jesus told called 'The Good Samaritan'. This Samaritan is like Jesus. He always comes to where we are with all that we need and just in time. Don't worry about the ones who have passed you by - perhaps people you might have expected to help you. Think about the One - Jesus - who has gone all the way for you. We particularly think of this at Easter time, especially remembering all that He suffered on that first Good Friday, as He died in agony on the Cross in our place, so that we can come to meet our Holy Father God at any time.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5 and 6. Similar to our previous verse from Isaiah, we can never hope to understand all that is happening in these days. However, I believe that we can put all our trust in Jesus and believe His promise that He will lead us in the best way for us to go through these very challenging days. Do you have such a 'blessed assurance' in Him?
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah chapter 55 verse 9. In these days as we see so much happening that we do not understand, so much love and so much sadness too, why not trust God and believe that He has a purpose in it all? His ways and His thoughts are so much higher than ours!
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Philippians chapter 4 verse 6. The Bible gives us some amazing promises, but we have to believe that God wants to, and is able to, keep His promises. When we are depending on ourselves, we have to be concerned about everything. But when we are relying on God, we do not need to be anxious and worried. This does not mean that God will give us everything we ask for, but that He will give us those things that He knows we really need - even if we have not asked for them!
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3 verses 17 to 19. Today is Valentine's Day - there is lots of talk about love, but in these verses St Paul talks about God's love which goes way beyond any human love. God loves us unconditionally - there is nothing we can do to make Him love us more and nothing we can do (or have ever done) to make Him love us less! He thinks you are amazing, simply because He created you. He showed His love for you when His Son, Jesus, came to earth as a baby (which we celebrate at Christmas) and died on the Cross to take all the things which God cannot look at (because He is perfect love) and then He raised Jesus back to life (which we celebrate at Easter) to show that if we bellieve Jesus died in our place, then we too can be raised to Eternal Life when we die. Why not find a Bible and read more, or speak to a Christian you know, or find a local Church - they will be delighted to explain more about God's amazing love.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians chapter 4 verses 7 and 8. We are are weak, pathetic human beings (jars of clay) but when we put our trust in God, His Holy Spirit (this treasure) comes to live inside us and in these difficult days when hard, confusing, sad things happen to us we know that God's all-surpassing power will keep us from losing heart and becoming crushed and feeling abandoned and in despair. If you are struggling, why not ask Jesus to be part of your life? Find a Bible and read John's Gospel, or speak to a Christian friend, or get in touch with a church near you. Our contact details are on this website. God bless you.
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. .... For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness"made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4 verses 4 and 6.If we look around at our circumstances and the state of the world, then we can easily get downhearted, but when we look up to Jesus, the Light of the World, then we can know the glory of God and His presence with us, whatever out circumstances may be.
A prayer from Pete Greig:-
With UK schools shut, let’s pray for teachers, parents and especially children to experience God’s love, joy and peace in the coming weeks.
Heavenly Father, we pray for your “perfect LOVE (to) drive out fear” from families under strain, and from the hearts of children missing their friends. (1 John 4:18)
Lord Jesus, we pray for your JOY to fill homes with kindness, laughter and new mercies each day (Lam.3:22), recognising that “a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Prov 17:22)
Holy Spirit, we pray for parents suddenly faced with homeschooling (again), that your perfect PEACE “which transcends all understanding, will guard (their) hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7)
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1 verse 1. The Bible begins with the stunning yet profoundly simple statement that in the beginning He created everything - which means that in the beginning, He was already there. He is eternal. God as creator is eternal and therefore not bound by time. That means He is in your future, and He is in your past, and He surrounds you at present! Would you now worship Him for His eternity?
Thanks be to God for His gift that is too wonderful for words. 2 Corinthians 9 verse 15. Did God have to give the birds a song and the mountains a peak? Was He required to put stripes on the zebra and the hump on the camel? Why wrap creation in such splendour? Why allow His only Son to become a helpless baby at that first Christmas? Why go to such trouble to give such gifts? Have you not been doing the same this Christmas for the ones you love? Hunting for exactly what they would want? Why do you do it? You do it to hear those words of disbelief 'You did this for me?' Well that is why God did it too. Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leaves you speechless, remain that way. This Christmas just marvel - say nothing and listen as heaven whispers, 'Do you like it? I did it just for you.'
The Lord will keep you from all harm - He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and for evermore. Psalm 121 verses 5 and 6. Psalm 121 affirms God's active involvement in every stage of our lives with the purpose of blessing us. Blessing does not mean ease. There are challenges and difficulties along the way, but even in these there is blessing. Do you know the story in Mark's gospel chapter 4 verses 35-41? Jesus' disciples came to see that life with Jesus did not mean an absence of storms, but a safe conclusion to the journey. When you look around you, do you see problems or the One who is bigger - why not trust Him today?.
I will exalt you, my God the King, I will praise Your Name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise You and extol Your Name for ever and ever. Psalm 145 verses 1 and 2. Our God is so good, we should be always grateful for all that He has done for us. But there is something extra special when we are able to meet together to bring Him our praise and worship. Why not come and join us on Nov 15th at 10.30am?
Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matthew chapter 14 verses 29 and 30. Of course, Jesus did save Peter from sinking. He was OK whilst he was focussed on Jesus, but once he looked at his circumstances he began to sink. In these strange times, why don't you call out to Jesus? His word, the Bible, has many stories and promises and invitations to trust Him. Don't focus on the circumstances around you, but focus on Jesus - He may not change the circumstances, but He has promised to walk through them with you. Will you 'come down out of the boat' and trust Jesus?
“Be patient, resting your hearts on the ultimate certainty.” James chapter 5 verse 8. We’re living in strange and uncertain times. We don’t know what’s happening in the world. We get conflicting information from every source. We don’t know how long this coronavirus is going to continue spreading. We’re not sure how to make wise decisions without all the information we need. When so many things are uncertain, we can remain certain of this one truth: God is in control. What’s the ultimate certainty? Jesus is going to come back one day. Nothing’s going to stop that. Knowing that history is under God’s control and that Jesus has promised to return should give us all the confidence we need in uncertain times. When you feel like you can’t count on anything else, count on this: God’s got this. And Jesus will come back one day soon to make all things right and new.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians chapter 2 verse 10. God didn’t create anything without a purpose. If you’re breathing, you have a purpose. In Christ, you have something to offer the world. God did not make you and put you here on this planet just to breathe air, take up space, and die. If you’re here, there’s a contribution that only you can make. Before you were born, God planned the good things he wanted you to do with your life. God gave you unique spiritual gifts, abilities, and experiences to help other people.
As you come to Him, the living Stone - rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him - you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter chapter 2 verses 4 and 5.These verses speak of the privilege Christians have to come to God and pray for the communities we serve through our church. Over the past 6 months we have not been able to be present in the community, but now we are out walking through the area most Saturday afternoons - asking God to bless and encourage the people in the homes we pass and to speak directly to any who need encouragement at this time. We pray that YOU may know God's help in these difficult times.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:11-12 God's love is amazing and He wants us to be free from guilt and remorse and give us a new start every time we come to Him and ask for His forgiveness - this is all available 'to those who fear Him' and this is not being afraid of God but acknowledging what He has done for us in sending Jesus to die in our place..
'I am the LORD and there is no other'. Isaiah 45:5. What do you think about God? Our view of God is the most important thing to get right. The way we view God affects the way we live our life. It affects every choice we make. It affects our view of ourselves. It affects the way we treat other people and the value we give to them. The Bible is where God reveals Himself to us so that's where we need to look. Why not choose to read the Bible and ask God to reveal to you who He is, what He thinks of you, how you should respond to Him and how you can share that with others.
'Rejoice in the LORD always'. Philippians 4:4. Sometimes we are happy and sometimes we are sad depending on our circumstances. Joy is a smile on the inside. so how can we have this when we feel sad, how can we rejoice then? should we rejoice when bad things happens? True joy comes from Jesus and when we know Him that Joy is given to us and as we grow closer to Him, the joy grows. the source of our joy is also the object of our joy. Jesus paid the penalty for my sin on the cross. He is perfect and loves me. so I can delight in Him at all times and know a joy that is beyond understanding in my heart whatever the circumstances around me. you can know that joy too if you trust Jesus wholeheartedly
'For the Son of man came to seek and save the lost'. Luke 19:10. If you feel like life is a bit like a maze without a map. Or life is monotonous with no purpose. Or you just feel like you are making choices and losing your way in life. Or if you are doing OK but feel there must be more to life. Jesus tells us He came for you, not to make it difficult for you but to seek you out and save you. He has done the work. Like Zacheus the man Jesus is talking about in this verse you simply need to say sorry for all your wrong, for all the times you've gone your own way. Say thank you to Jesus for dying on the cross, taking the punishment that you deserve and ask Him into your life today and everyday you are saved. It's great news, what a Saviour, why not trust Him, He has made it possible for you!
'So if the Son sets you free you will be truly free'. John 8:36. Freedom is something we all like to have, to do what we want, go where we want, be with who we want, watch what we want, eat what we want... Over the past few months that freedom has been severely resricted. So if our freedom in these things can be restricted so easily what does it mean to be truly free? It means our hearts are free. We can enjoy a life of peace with God without our lives being slaves to our desires, doing things we often dont want to do. Jesus died to pay for our freedom from sin. This is the great truth Christians believe that sets us free and gives us a certain hope of Eternal life. It also gives us the freedom to live our lives without carrying the baggage of all of our hurts and mistakes. You can know the truth, turn from your sin, trust Jesus with your life and enjoy this freedom. Why not?
'In the beginning God created'. - Genesis 1:1. The Bible starts with these great words. How did it all begin? Whats it all about? The Bible simply starts by stating 3 great truths. The rest of the Bible builds on these. 1. There was a beginning,.there was a point where everything began, even time itself. 2. God is Eternal. He was there before time began. This is hard to believe but if God exists then He must be Eternal because nothing is greater or more poweful than God to make Him. 3. There was a creation. This world was made in the beginning with a plan and a purpose by an all powerful creator God. We see a world in a mess but thats not how God made it. People make choices and spoil it. We need to turn back to our creator, say sorry, trust Him everyday. He made us to look after this world, to love each other but most of all to know and love Him. If you dont know Him why not ask Him to reveal Himself to you today?
I am the Vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing'. John 15:5. Another wonderful promise of the Bible - if people are willing to come to Jesus and believe He is the Son of God and that He died to make us right with God, then we will 'bear much fruit'. But if we do things without Jesus then they will have no lasting impact on the world.
'God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.'
1 Timothy 2:4. Church is not for me! God's not interested in me! It's ok if you want to follow Jesus but it's not for me! If you want to believe it that's great but I dont need too. I have heard these statements many times as maybe some of you have. It maybe how we feel but actually it's not true, its not the message of the Bible, which comes from God. He wants everyone to know the truth. He wants to save everyone from death and offer them hope and a good future here on earth and for Eternity with Him in Heaven. That's why Jesus came. This is what He wants for you! This is how much He loves YOU. Why not trust Him today?
'He has set eternity in our hearts'. Ecclesiates 3:11. We are made to live forever. Why are we never fully satisfied with stuff, however good it is. We are always left looking for more, wondering if there is anything better, wanting to achieve it again or reach the next goal. It's ultimately a futile chasing after fulfilment and happiness because that's not what we are made for. We are made ultimately for a relationship with God and only then can we be content. There's a hole in my heart that can only be filled by you (Jesus), because God is the source of life. Stop striving, trust Him, know true peace and achieve all that you were made for.
'having nothing, and yet possessing everything'.2 Corinthians 6 v10. During this time for many of us what we have has been taken away from us. Maybe income, health, job, holidays, freedom, school, clubs, ... and we are wondering what life is all about. The truth is we can take nothing with us when we die. So how can we possess everything. This verse came to life on a trip to Uganda back in 2005 where I saw people who had so little but were happy. The reason was that so many of them had the only thing that really mattered - a right relationship with God. God who created them, loves them and through Jesus has forgiven them and restored them. He wants to do this for you as well.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin Hebrews 4:15
In these challenging times we have time to look at our lives and what do we see? I see a mess. I see that I struggle to do right and fail. This verse is great because it tells us that Jesus understands what we go through as He also went through the same struggles. Even greater is that He didnt get it wrong like me. Because of that He can save us from it and offer us hope if we trust in Him. Why not trust Him completely?
Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.
There are some amazing promises in the Bible. Here is one of the most impressive. God is the only one who can save you, not from Corona virus (though He can if He chooses), but from death itself. He died to forgive your sin if you ask Him and trust Him. Then the God of Heaven will rejoice over you with singing.
As Christians, we seek to 'glance at our problems and gaze on God'. This helps us to recognise that God is so much greater than our problems. In the Bible, the book of 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 3 says:-
'Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.'
In these difficult times where there is so much to worry about, so much sadness, so much loss the Bible provides words of guidance and encouragement available when we turn to God in prayer. I encourage you to turn to God in prayer today and rest in his peace that he offers you.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
More encouraging words from the Bible:-
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God's will for YOU in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5 verse 17
Do you have a Bible (a book or an app on your phone)? May we invite you to read Mark chapter 15 so that you may understand verse 39 of that chapter - 'And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how He died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!"'
This first verse is from Philippians and reminds us to think positively, despite all the negative news regarding the coronavirus and being told we are not allowed out. Let us think about all the blessings we do have for example family, friends or a comfortable house to live in. Finally let us remember the hope that we have through Jesus Christ.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8 NIV
After refurbishing our building, we started this group up again and our numbers have varied. At times we were about a dozen adults, sometimes only two or three. We have lots of toys and opportunities for mums/grans/carers to chat whilst the little ones play. We break for tea and toast. If you think this is a valuable resource which should not be lost, why not come along on Friday mornings between 9.15 and 11.15am during term time.
At present this facility is going unused, why not come along and join us between 9.15 and 11.15am during term time. We have internet access for those who want to use it. Some instruction is offered in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. If you want to use a computer or learn how to do new things, why not come along.