Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Easter Holiday Bible Club

An enjoyable and hopefully profitable time was had by all this morning. There were around seventeen children in attendance mainly from the friends and families of the church.

It was good to see new faces who readily participated in the activities prepared for them,ranging from the following;
- an innovative way of learning a memory verse
- the singing of songs,
- the listening to the Easter story,
- team games and quizzes
- making of Easter cards,
- origami (demonstrated by Gruffydd,one of the children, his demonstration of his skill in this area was quickly picked up by others.)
We are very grateful for those, including husbands, wives and students who gave of their time to help out and offer that extra pair of hands to the children in their activities.
We are also grateful to the Lord for His presence in our midst and that everything went smoothly.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Oh, what a mystery of humility — what a mystery of condescension and love!

Oh, what a mystery of humility — what a mystery of condescension and love! 
(George Everard, "Help and Consolation from the Sanctuary" 1868)

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." 
Matthew 1:23 

Who shall fathom this deep well? What a depth of marvels in the Word made flesh and dwelling among us! What depths in that name, Emmanuel!

"God with us! The mighty God!" — and yet needing a mother's tender care!

His goings forth from everlasting — and yet an infant of days!

The Heaven of heavens cannot contain Him — and yet He is wrapped in swaddling clothes!

The everlasting Jehovah His Father — yet a poor Galilean maiden His mother!

Many mansions in the Father's house are at His disposal — and yet He is denied a lodging in a village inn.

Worshipped by angels — and yet under the same roof with the beasts of the field.

Oh, what a mystery of humility — what a mystery of condescension and love!

Yes, innumerable are the benefits which Christ comes to bestow. He comes...
  to bind up the broken-hearted,
  to proclaim liberty to the captives,
  to give recovery of sight to the blind,
  to comfort all who mourn,
  to seek and to save those who are lost,
  to give His life a ransom for many,
  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons,
  to save sinners, even the chief,
  to save to the uttermost, all who come to God by Him — from guilt, wrath, and everlasting woe,
  to set them at His own right hand in glory, where they shall shine forever in the likeness of God!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

But why?

But why?
(Don Fortner)

"Behold, we count them happy which endure." James 5:11

Faith counts them blessed who patiently endure trials, as Job, the saints, and prophets of old did.

But why? Upon what grounds do we count them blessed?

Enduring their trials, God's saints find themselves compelled to cling tightly to their Saviour — -and that brings them into closer, sweeter communion with Him. And that is our happiness! We are blessed, indeed, when...
  we are admitted into the inner chambers of Him whom our souls love,
  our sorrows more fully reveal to us the Man of Sorrows,
  our griefs cast us upon the heart of our God,
  our troubles take us to the Throne of Grace.

Little chicks in the sunshine run all over the yard, pecking and gathering whatever they find. But if a hawk appears in the sky, the mother hen calls them with a sharp alarm. Immediately, they perceive the danger and run under her wings for safety.

God's saints are like those chicks. He was a much afflicted man who wrote, "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:" Psalm 91:4

One of the most delicious of sensations outside of Heaven, is to fall helplessly into the arms of Christ! There we find...
  strength in helplessness
  joy in submission,
  rest in resignation,
  and peace in surrender!
Anything which...
 gives new life to prayer,
 brings us to the Throne of Grace,
 and renews communion with our God —
is so great a gift that, "we count them happy which endure".

There is no place in all our pilgrim journey more needful for our souls than the Valley of Humiliation. The tops of the Delectable Mountains are wonderful, exhilarating spots, from which we sometimes see the Golden City. But those are heights too steep for our trembling feet to stand firmly upon them. The valley suits us better, though flesh and blood finds it hard to go downhill. Here our dear Saviour manifests Himself to His chosen as He does not to the world. Therefore "we count them happy which endure".

Once more, "we count them happy which endure" because "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" 2 Corinthians 4:17. Oh, what glory awaits us on the other side! And that glory awaiting us is made all the more glorious by the trial of our faith.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Here is a sermon which none can dispute!

Here is a sermon which none can dispute!
(George Everard, "Up High!" 1884)

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

We are to let the beauty of Jesus be seen upon us, that some rays of His glorious holiness may be manifested to the eyes of the world around. We are to go forth clothed in...
  His meekness,
  His purity,
  His love,
  His heavenliness,
  His unselfishness —
that sinners about us may gain some faint idea of His grace, through His likeness seen in us.

When, from beneath the humble garb of some lowly disciple, there shines forth something of Christ, something of what He was when on earth — here is a sermon which none can dispute, here is an appeal to the human conscience, more eloquent than the most powerful address ever made from the pulpit!

Christian, do you thus glorify Christ day by day?

Does your life speak so distinctly and plainly for Christ, that men cannot fail to hear?

Does your temper, your tone of thought and speech, bear witness that you walk continually before God?

Do men take knowledge of you, that you have been with Him — and that He is with you?

Is there transparent sincerity in what you say, and unsullied integrity in all your actions?

Is there the spirit of self-sacrifice — trampling SELF under foot, and spending time and money for the welfare of others?

Is there a deep hatred of sin as sin, and a desire to do the will of God under all circumstances?

Is there a fixed determination rather to die, than wilfully to break a single command, or cast a shadow of dishonour on the name of Him who so loved you?

Do you "long to be like Jesus," and every moment to live devotedly and wholly in His service?

Then for this purpose, plead with Him this prayer, "Lord Jesus, glorify Yourself in me! Help me to show forth by my daily life, that I have been with You. May Your image be formed in me, and may Your life on earth be the pattern which I ever strive to follow."

Saturday, 5 March 2016

The physician's blood became the sick man's salve

The physician's blood became the sick man's salve
(Thomas Brooks, "The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures")

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5
Our sins were the cause of Christ's sufferings!

It was our sins which smote Him, and bruised Him!
It was our transgressions which gave Christ His deadly wounds!

Every Christian may look upon Christ and say,
"I was that Judas who betrayed You!
 I was that soldier who murdered You!
 It was my sins which brought all those sorrows, and sufferings, and evils upon You!
    I have sinned — and You have suffered!
    I have been wicked — and You have died!
    I have wounded You — and You have healed me!"

Oh, that we might look upon...
   a humble Christ — with a humble heart,
   a broken Christ — with a broken heart,
   a bleeding Christ — with a bleeding heart,
   a wounded Christ — with a wounded heart!

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." 1 Peter 2:24

Here you see that the physician's blood became the sick man's salve!

Here is the gospel mystery — that the wounding of One, should be the cure of another!

Oh, what an odious thing is sin to God — that He will pardon none without blood — yes, without the precious blood of His dearest Son!

Oh, what a Hell of wickedness must there be in sin — that nothing can expiate it but the best, the purest, the noblest blood of Christ!

Oh, what a transcendent evil must sin be — that nothing can purge it away but death — the accursed death of the cross!

Oh, what a leprosy is sin — that it must have blood, yes, the blood of God, to take it away!