We thank the Lord for a wonderful week in which we have seen God bless our church with 2 great opportunities for witness. Ben and Courtney were married on Saturday 7 Nov because they wanted a Christian marriage where Jesus was at the centre of their lives. Then on Sunday 8 Nov Lisa and her daughter Hope were baptized to follow Jesus. Lisa gave a powerful testimony about how she has decided to follow Jesus and leave her old life. It was such a joy to see one of Lisa’s older daughters there being encouraged by the witness of her mother who has made a stand for Jesus and her faith.
Both the wedding and the baptism not only brought great joy to the immediate families but our church members were filled with joy as we supported and celebrated with these dear people what God has done and is doing in their lives.
It is a strong theme in the Bible from the Old
Testament to the New Testament that we are God’s
people. When Paul addresses the Christians in
Ephesus he speaks to the saints in Ephesus 1:1. In 1
Corinthians 12 God’s word speaks about the fact
that we are the body of Christ. It doesn’t mean that
we are perfect . Far from it ! We are a work in
progress whom Jesus is refining to make more like
himself. What is interesting is that in the New
Testament we learn that we need each other for
Colossians 3:16-17 speaks about how the church of Jesus admonishes and teaches one another. Our fellowship together is critical for Christian growth. My great prayer for our church is that all members will grow in regular attendance. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian but it is very difficult to grow in your faith without the support of your fellow Christians - the church. Regular Sunday attendance is critical for your Christian growth.
Later next year as God enables I hope to commence an evening service so those who can’t attend in the morning can come at night and those who can attend both service can do so also. God has brought me here to encourage you all in your spiritual growth and for this to be a springboard for outreach and seeing new people come to Jesus. I am praying for that. Please pray with me that God will grow us in our love of Jesus together and that we will honour Jesus and reach out together.
The passage today is from Revelation 8. This is a powerful book which speaks of the majesty of Jesus ruling on His throne as Lord of the whole earth. It is also a powerful message of Jesus’ love for us in His death on the Cross for our sin. Further we learn that we don’t have to fear evil or the trials we face because Jesus is with us.
In particular Rev 8:3-4 says that our prayers go up before God. They are offered through Jesus to God and this communiates that they are precious. The sequence of events is that the prayers of the saints go up to God and then judgement is unleashed on the world in 8:5. God uses our prayers for His purposes and the advance of His Kingdom. Our prayers have eternal significance. This should encourage you to both persevere in prayer and grow in prayer. Prayer makes an eternal difference as we seek the Lord and pray for the Gospel to go out clearly – Col 4:2-6. May God encourage us all to grow in prayer.
God’s richest blessing
Rev David O’Mara