Last Sunday was a great blessing to me. I delighted in Jesus and enjoyed fellowship with my Church family in various ways.
In the morning before the service, we had our RBT (Reading the Bible Together) sharing. This month, we’ve been blessed to read these books in the old testament – Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.
We read these books using a structured plan our Elders provided to help us. We met in groups to share how Jesus spoke to us, guided by the following questions under which I will share thoughts from my reading:
What did you learn about Jesus? (Luke 24:45-47)
- Jesus’ words are timeless. They will always be true. (Zechariah 1: 5-6)
- Jesus has taken away all my sin and clothes me with righteousness and life! (Zechariah 3:4b)
- Jesus is passionately jealous for me and wants me to have life in Him (Zechariah 8:2)
What did you learn about yourself? (James 1:23)
- I can often fail to remember how God has loved me. Sometimes I descend into a state where I forget how much love he has lavished on me in Jesus (Malachi 1: 2-3).
- I am only ever strong, because the Lord Almighty is my God! (Zechariah 12:5).
How can you look like Jesus in the place that you have been sent by Jesus? (John 17: 17-18)
- I need to be earnest in calling on Jesus to save the souls of non-Christians I meet everyday, remembering how he has saved many souls in the past including mine (Habakkuk 3:2).
How were you corrected and rebuked? And how do you feel you need to change to be the man/woman of God thoroughly equipped for every good work? (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- I am often too preoccupied with my selfish, self-advancing plans that I relegate my primary calling to love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. Rather than being more earnest about God and my spiritual life, I am prone to being more earnest about far less crucial things. I need to give careful thought to my ways (Haggai 1: 2-7).
What did you learn from the scripture that will help you endure and be encouraged? (Romans 15:4)
- I can have joy in Jesus no matter the circumstance or greatness of my need. He is my joy, peace and strength! I can rejoice in Him at all times (Habakkuk 3:17-19).
- I can be honest with God when I feel discouraged at what appears to be his silence to my prayers and yearnings. I am encouraged that God’s silence does not mean He is not at work; He always is. I need to trust Him. (Habakkuk 1: 1-6).
What did you learn that will teach you to do works of service to build up the Church at Gabalfa? (Ephesians 4:11-16)
- I should always speak truth to my church family and desire good for each member. I should honour my commitments to them as well. (Zechariah 8: 16-17).
What have you learnt that helps you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and what has helped you love your neighbour as yourself?
- Although He is under no obligation to love us, God desires to love us, redeem us and commit himself to being faithful and righteous to us. How wonderful! In the same way, I should commit to loving those around me not out of obligation, but the joy and love of God.
We were encouraged to lift up our hearts to Jesus as an Elder shared from one of the RBT books. He pointed us to Jesus our Saviour and God who is unlike any other.
We Sang Psalm 34:
Magnify the Lord with me…
Come Exalt, His name, together!
Glorify the Lord, with Me,
Let us praise His name, forever.
We Sang two more songs, then we listened to 3 members share from the RBT books. Afterwards we had a time to greet each other and welcome ourselves to fellowship.
The Bible reading was taken from Matthew 6. After it was read, I sang a song called See the Destined Day Arise just before we gathered and prayed in small groups as we ate the bread and took the cup in Holy communion, remembering Jesus’ body broken and blood shed to redeem us.
Our attention was drawn to the vital importance of the word ‘Amen‘. This word is not just a way to end our prayers or a word we can supplant. It means “Let it be so“. It should be an earnest affirmation of the firm conviction we have that God has heard us and how we yearn for Him to answer us.
Jesus used the word Amen alot! In Bible translations which use “verily, verily”, the actual words there are “Amen, Amen”. Jesus used ‘Amen’ to express the certainty of what he said. We can be certain that God hears our prayer even more than we desire what we pray for!
Jesus is our emphatic Amen, through whom all our prayers must go to God. All the promises of God are ‘Yes‘ in Jesus because the Father has given all his approval to Him.
We were encouraged to get Martin Luther’s ‘A Simple Way to Pray‘.
After the morning service, we stayed in the main church room and enjoyed fellowship, having conversations with our church family and visitors. Afterwards, we had 2 brothers and a sister at our place for a lovely ‘roast lunch’ my wife prepared!
We enjoyed more fellowship all through the afternoon, eventually all going to another member’s house just up the road, to watch the Wimbledon finals and continued to enjoy each other’s company.
At 5:15 pm we gathered to pray for souls to be saved in the evening service, for Jesus to speak boldly and for his Spirit to use everything to point hearts to Him.
Continuing our ‘Christianese’ series, we were blessed to reflect on the word ‘Believe‘ in various ways, during the evening service.
After an introductory video and a warm welcome from our Pastor, we stood to sing 3 songs.
We will stand as children of the promise
We will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward
Till the race is finished and the work is done
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight
By Faith – Keith and Kristyn Getty
Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day
Glorious Day – Casting Crowns
We were blessed to hear 3 members share testimonies about the difference believing in Jesus has made in their lives.
One of them spoke about how believing in Jesus was his only source of strength and peace during the trial of his baby’s prolonged illness and hospitalisation.
Another spoke about coming from Iran as a Muslim, finding Jesus and undergoing a great transformation which has made her more humble and selfless, far less attached to vanity and worldly pursuits and being able to exercise self control.
The third member shared how Jeremiah 29: 11 is a verse Jesus uses to give him the firm assurance that he has a plan for his life and how this enables him step out into each day knowing God’s help even through trials.
Just before the sermon, we sang another wonderful song, boldly declaring what we believe:
We believe in God our Father
We believe in Christ the Son
We believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in One
We believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For we believe in the name of Jesus
This I Believe (The Creed) – Hillsong Worship
Preaching from John 3:16-18, our Pastor boldly preached the gospel and helped us gain a clearer perspective of what it means to believe in Jesus.
In John’s gospel ‘believe’ occurs 51 times! In two of such instances, John makes known his goal:
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.John 20:31
Believing in Jesus Christ is so crucial. It is a matter of life and death. Not believing in Jesus will leave the one who rejects him, condemned. Unbelief carries the highest penalty – a grim future outside of life. The consequences are more terrible than can be captured in words.
Today, the word believe is used to express common belief that God exists. We need to ask all who claim to believe in God, what God they believe in and what about Him they believe. It is not simply enough to believe in God. Even the demons do (James 2:19).
Our belief in God must go beyond a vague idea of his existence to concrete knowledge of him through Jesus Christ his one and only Son, who is “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Hebrews 1:3).
We enjoyed a lovely Ice Cream treat afterwards while having more fellowship immediately after the evening service.
Thanks For Reading!
I hope you were blessed and also had a deeply engaging time hearing from Jesus, worshipping him and enjoying fellowship last Sunday with your church family. I look forward to tomorrow when I get to enjoy this privilege again!