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Please visit the New Life radio site. http://www.newliferadio.co.uk/ With the ongoing present situation in the UK and abroad there are now more 'live' programmes, including Les Wheeldon, Ron Bailey, Larry Hill, Peter Richard to name a few who will be speaking live from their homes across the country. Sometimes recordings from NEW LIFE CONFERENCE will be broadcast.




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                                              The Cross                                        Sunday 2nd Augut


Good afternoon everyone and how wonderful to belong to the King and to be in His kingdom by a glorious new birth.  The new birth was made possible by His death and resurrection, which led to the outpouring of the Spirit whereby we become new creations.  I want to point to something recorded by Matthew in chapter 16:21. Something new began at this verse which separates the previous chapters from what follows.  Jesus gathers His disciples around Him and tells them of His suffering and execution and then of His resurrection.   This is the first time He has spoken to them so directly about the future events of His life.  He excludes the crowds from this conversation because He is wanting to teach His own about the necessity of the cross. He is immediately challenged by Peter who says "May God be merciful to you"  That is a better translation of what Peter said.


He repeats the same prediction in 17:22 and this time Matthew records that they were exceedingly sorrowful. Have you ever considered why? The fact of His resurrection should have made them overjoyed but it didn't.  Perhaps that part of His statement did not register with them. All they could think of was His departure from them which meant the end of His kingdom and His Messianic reign. They really did not understand Him nor why He had come into the world. John tells us that sorrow filled their hearts when He told them He was returning to the Father who had sent Him 16:6


I wonder whether the significance of the cross has flooded all our hearts and minds. It was an unthinkable thing for the Messiah to die. How could He set up His kingdom if He were to die. But Jesus knew that He could never set up His kingdom in the hearts of men and women except by the cross. He knew that only by being united to Him in His death could sin and its power be brought to an end in lives, and a new life imparted which had overcome sin, self and death.


Perhaps the greatest work which the Holy Spirit achieves in our lives is to join us to this glorious Saviour, and in so doing we prove that His death is mighty to deliver us from sin, the devil, the world, and to bring us into that love of God which has always been His aim. Paul said that he gloried in the cross. Not in his gifts or ministry or apostleship but in the CROSS, which had brought that vengeful, fanatical pharisee to an end and made him into a lover of God and of men.


Shall we be an example to the men and women of our day of the power of the cross by living clean lives, full of joy and peace, which bring honour to His most wonderful Name.  Let us seek Him, that He be honoured in our generation. Love you all     Dai


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                                              Power                                         Saturday 25th July


Dear All, some thoughts for us to think about but most importantly to respond to as we submit to the Kingship of the Lord Jesus.


There is a verse in Ephesians 1:19 which contains the 4 words which are used in the New Testament to speak of God's power.  They are

DUNAMIS which is inherent power: God is inherently powerful and needs to draw upon no other.

ENERGIA which is power in action. Paul speaks of it as working power

KRATOS which is power demonstrated

ISCHUOS which is power accomplishing His will.


When Jesus prepared His disciples for His departure to His Father, He told them that they would receive power from on high when the Holy Spirit came. They were to do nothing but to wait expectantly for that event. The power which came upon them and filled them was the DUNAMIS power, the ability of God occupying and filling them. That Dunamis power was quickly operating in them and they began working[ENERGIA] the works which God had prepared for them to do.  There was an immediate demonstration of that power and thousands entered into the kingdom on that same day. There could be no doubt that the will of the Lord was done that day.


There is a phrase in the 19th verse which unlocks the secret to the operating of this power. Here it is: "What is the surpassing greatness of His power TOWARDS US WHO BELIEVE"  Does the thought seem an impossible one.  Can this be for me we ask?  Yet the matter is resolved when we come to faith in the ability of God to accomplish what seems to us to be impossible. The Lord Jesus responds to childlike faith and imparts His power into the trusting heart that knows it's weakness but believes He is true to keep His word and do that thing which seems most impossible.


So power comes to make possible what was once impossible. Now we have power to forgive. Now we have power to be His witnesses. Now we have to walk in obedience. Now we have power to walk in purity of heart.   The list becomes endless.  Let us, brothers and Sisters, recognise that His great Grace has planned these things for us and the only condition is that I believe His word to be true for my life's work.


Praise God for His unspeakable gift


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Saturday 25th July

Good morning to everyone.  David Longworth has worked hard to get the Zoom meeting set up so we are going to begin on Wednesday August 5th at 7pm. He will send the ID number and password to everyone and those wishing to join can log in. The meeting lasts 40 minutes maximum and it will be an opportunity to talk, pray, read from the scriptures of truth, and pray for any need.  Hope you can join in.


The ruling in Wales does not allow for more than 2 households to meet, so the idea of meeting outside in John Frith's and Phil Burman's is still not possible. I hope that restriction will be lifted soon.


 Thanks and the Lord bless each of us with His presence and power.     Dai


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                                                      Glory                                                 Sunday 19th July

Good morning everyone. We are enjoying a few days with the family in Cornwall, which has been so lovely. The grand kids are growing and changing so quickly. Oh that they all might come to know the wonderful grace of the Saviour. We will back on Thursday.


I was thinking about the comparison Paul makes between the Old covenant under Moses and the New covenant under Christ. This is recorded in 2 Corinthians chapter 3.  He speaks of the glory that attended the giving of the law, but points out that it was a fading glory. Moses covered his face so that the people of Israel should not see the fading glory.  Some think it was to hide it, but that is not what Paul says. He then continues by speaking of the veil which is on the hearts of the old covenant community. It remains there to this day, as it does on the hearts of all peoples. But here is the wonderful good news that the moment the heart turns the veil is taken away. I cannot think of a better picture of repentance than that, can you?


So what happens when that veil is removed: remembering that it is the Lord Christ who removes it and fills with His Spirit. This Spirit is spoken of as being the Lord. verse 17. That is a striking statement.   We tend to speak of Jesus as being the Lord, and so He is. But in His dealing with the souls of men He gives another who is just like Him, and He is the Lord the Spirit. His presence brings about a liberty whereby we can keep the law of the Spirit who now dwells in our hearts. That is a most profound difference between the 2 covenants. There is gifted to us by the Lord the Spirit, the ability to obey this inward principle of righteousness and the result is a growth in glory. Not a glory that we can see because our gaze is focussed on Him and not ourselves. We see the wonder of His image and are being changed from one degree of glory into another, not by our own effort by by the Spirit of the Lord.


So brothers and sisters, what a glory is ours. Let us pray for each other that we may be increasing in this glory which makes us more and more like Him who is the only Saviour and Lord. Would it not be a wonderful thing to emerge from this shutdown with a greater glory on our faces than when it began.


Love to one and all.     Your brother Dai


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 Sunday 12th July

Good morning all.  May each of us experience the power of the living Christ to meet our every need this day.  We pray, "Give us this day our daily bread"  His answer is that He gives us Himself to be all that we need.


A brief word about the woman spoken of in Matthew, Mark and Luke who suffered from the issue of blood. She had spent all she had on medical treatment and it all proved ineffective. There is every possibility that she had been divorced because of her condition. She was certainly unwelcome in the synagogue because she was declared unclean by her illness, and her social group would have disowned her to, possibly even her family if she had any.  And all this through no fault of her own.


Can you imagine the isolation she felt and she was growing progressively weaker as her body deteriorated.


How she heard of Jesus we do not know. But her need drew her to Him. I imagine she had seen something of His wonderful works of love and thought this is the One to whom I must go.  But 12 years of withdrawing from everyone meant her ability to openly come was damaged so she determined it had to be in secret.


Hidden in the crowd she approaches and sees the blue fringe of His robe, pushed forward and grips it. Power instantly floods her and she is healed. Wonderful.  Now she can quietly withdraw and life can begin anew. But the Master of life and death and sickness stops and asks what appears to be a foolish question. "Who touched Me"   The answer given would be the one you and I would give. Lord, look at the crowd. Many have touched you in the course of our journey to Jairus' home. But Jesus knew that someone had really touched Him for Power/Virtue had flowed out of Him, and He knew it.


Why did He not leave the woman to withdraw without bringing attention to bear on her. This was no attempt to embarrass her nor to rebuke her for the way she had approached Him. The reason is that He had more to do in her life than healing her. So she comes forward and stands before Him telling Him of what life has been like for the past 12 years. She is now looking into the face of this most amazing of men and He is looking into her face.   Then He speaks.


What would have been the tone in His voice and the look on His face?  Have you ever tried to imagine it? He says DAUGHTER.  I think she would have been older than Jesus, though I do not have proof of that.  That word daughter washes away the loneliness, the rejection, and the heartache of the last 12 years. It was like a welcome home. He had brought her from the place of being a secret believer into the full gaze of all in the crowd and now she becomes a public believer free to tell the world what He has done for her. He tells her that her faith has SAVED her.  Let's not limit that to her healing only. He has released from her closed in isolated world into the glory of His kingdom and it seemed to her that the years of suffering and loneliness were all taken away.


Perhaps you have a need today. Different from this woman's but real and seemingly immovable. It may not be physical, but emotional or mental, or spiritual. As surely as He was aware of her need He is aware of yours. And His grace is an overflowing grace such that we can draw on Him as she did. I love the the way Luke tells us that He responds to our need by a touch. What an immense and open heart He has to meet our need.


Don't miss the opportunity to come today. Don't delay dear friend. He loves to be involved in our lives in this way.     Your brother    Dai


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Dear All,                                                                                               Saturday 4th July

Trusting you are all safe and well in the Lord's tender care.


I felt led to update a message I preached in Aberporth last year. It would be good for you to read the third chapter of Peter's second letter first, then keep your Bibles open to read the verses prompted within the message. A transcript follows:


THE END OF DAYS

 What times we live in! In contrast to the magnificent efforts of NHS and essential workers during the current pandemic, we have seen appalling scenes of rebellion and violence in street ‘parties’ and the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests, with their raised fist symbols. Only last year we saw many ‘Extinction Rebellion’ protests around the country, a year in which a newspaper headline also declared:

Public fear Britain has descended into lawlessness due to knife crime, five ex-Met Police chiefs warn

      

 But what do the Scriptures say? We know from Paul writing that lawlessness is no new thing “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work”(1 Thess.2:7), but we also know that “evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim.3:13). The Extinction Rebellion logo is said to represent time running out for the earth, and is linked to the ‘No Planet B’ slogan. Where does the truth lie? What guidance does Scripture provide?

READING:   2 Peter 3

 In this chapter we have the last recorded words of the ‘big fisherman’, the Apostle Peter. As he writes them, he is some 1300 miles from his homeland, far from his native Galilee, with its sparkling waters, its productive farmland and abundant fisheries. It’s 67AD, 40 years or so since Jesus called him from his nets in Capernaum. He is Rome, a captive in prison, awaiting execution at the whim of Emperor Nero. Only three years ago his colleague Paul had been beheaded for his faith. Peter has already written one letter from prison to the Christians scattered across Asia Minor (what we now know as Turkey).

 Now Peter is no stranger to prison, or to the sentence of death. On the Day of Pentecost, only 7 weeks after the Resurrection and only one week after the Ascension of Jesus, Peter, along with John, was imprisoned overnight in Jerusalem by the Jewish authorities (Acts 4:3). Not long afterwards several apostles were imprisoned, but released in the night by an angel so that they could preach in the Temple (Acts 5:18-20). Roughly 10 years later, during persecution by Herod Agrippa, who had already executed one of Peter’s former business partners, James, brother of John, Peter had been imprisoned for a while before another angelic release set him free.

 Now, in Rome, some 20 years later, there is to be no escape. Peter was only too well aware of this, as we can see from his early verses: [READ ch.1:13-15]. That being the case, we can be sure that what he has to say in this letter is going to be highly significant – there’s no time for trivia!

 So let’s turn to what he has to say in our reading, and consider his message – not only to those first-century Christians, but to us, …wherever we are, …. today. Peter’s declared intention is to remind his audience of what they should already know (v.1), especially what prophets and apostles have taught about the state of society, particularly in regard to the Word of God (v.2ff). Peter draws attention to sceptical and dismissive attitudes towards God’s actions in the past and God’s plans for the future: they deny the return of Jesus and assert that everything is proceeding naturally and normally, without supernatural intervention (v.4). They deny divine Creation (v.5). They deny the Flood (v.6). They deny God’s daily sustaining of the present world, and its future judgment (v.7). All these things are widely denied today, even in some cases within the church.  Yet Peter assures his readers that God’s promises, though they be delayed, are nonetheless certain (vv.8-13). And then he encourages them in no uncertain terms to remain, in spite of the

doubters, diligent and steadfast, to live holy lives, and to grow in their personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ (vv.14-18). These are important lessons for us today.

 So let’s look in more detail at the scoffers’ denials. Firstly, they deny Creation. Yet God’s Word declares plainly that He created everything – sun, moon, stars, earth, plants, animals and humans, humans distinct from animals. Nothing that He created needed development or improvement – it was ‘very good’ from the very beginning (Gen.1:31), and Hebrew scholars tell us that this phrase, ‘very good’, indicates perfection. Life, therefore, did not ‘emerge spontaneously’ from some random chemical fluids. In fact, evolutionary theory defies a basic scientific principle that has never been falsified. It is the ‘Law of Biogenesis’, separately established in the mid-19th century by Louis Pasteur in France and Rudolf Virchow in Germany: ‘Life only comes from life, and from its own kind’.1  In our own day the American physicist Hubert Yockey, who worked with Robert Oppenheimer on the Manhattan Project and later became an Information Science specialist, said this: “the origin of life is insoluble as a scientific problem”. He denied that chemical processes could produce the DNA code, or indeed, any kind of code. He also wrote in 1992, “ The belief that life on earth arose spontaneously from non-living matter is simply a matter of faith …. and is based entirely on ideology.”2 Despite this, even he would not acknowledge the Creator, or even the principle of Intelligent design!

 Creation by God, however, is confirmed by Jesus, who only spoke as directed by God Himself 3. Here’s Matthew’s record of Him quoting Genesis: [READ 19:4]. Remarkably, this pre-scientific statement is supported by science even at the sub-microscopic level. According to some of the latest research by the prestigious Weizmann Institute of Israel, there are about 6500 differences between men and women, and this is so in every cell of the roughly 10 trillion cells of which every human being is made.4 And here, in his final letter, Peter says that “scoffers …. wilfully forget” (NKJV) that God is the Creator. More literally, Peter’s Greek says that they prefer to be ignorant. This accusation agrees with Paul when, in introducing his letter to the Romans, he asserts that ever since the Creation of the world, the attributes of God can clearly be seen from His handiwork (1:20), and Paul describes  those who deny Him as “professing themselves wise, they became fools”.

 Secondly, in verse six of our chapter this morning, Peter also says that such wilful ignorance also applies to the Flood [READ it]. Yet unremarked in the popular press and in the school curriculum is the increasing evidence for a global flood. Earth’s sedimentary rocks are replete with signs of catastrophic erosion and deposition. What’s more, the preservation of delicate structures found in many fossils indicates extremely rapid burial, allowing very little time for scavenging, abrasion, and decay. For example, fossil squid from clays in Wiltshire were found to have soft-tissue details preserved, such as their suckers and ink sacs. In 2007 the BBC reported that ink residue had been chemically re-activated, such that it was used to draw an illustration of the squid. No attention was drawn to the fact that the pigment (melanin) should have degraded long, long ago, given its supposed age of 150 million years. In clays and mudstones in Montana, the US scientist Mary Schweitzer has found soft, stretchy, collagen and blood cells on dinosaur bones supposed to be 68 to 80 million years old. Catastrophic burial and much, much, less time is clearly indicated by such evidence. Yet the Flood is still denied.

 Next, we turn to the third element of the scoffers’ denials mentioned by Peter: the Judgment [READ v.7]. Often this verse is used to emphasise “the Day of Judgment and the perdition of ungodly men”, but there’s much more to it! Peter says here that “the heavens and the earth are now preserved by the same word”, that is, the very same Word of God by which they were

originally created. Here, our English word ‘preserved’ is used for Peter’s Greek word (Strong’s 2343: thesaurizo) which refers to the storage of treasure, the keeping of something very precious, so he is writing to assure his readers of God’s diligent maintenance of the heavens and the earth until such time as He decrees judgment. The preciousness of this planet was not invented by conservationists and revolutionaries!! Such maintenance is also taught in the Epistle to the Hebrews (1:1-3) which speaks of Christ “upholding all things by the Word of His power.” Judgment, however, is certain, Peter says, and though it is foretold, its timing will be totally unexpected. Just listen to Peter again, by reading verses 10-13. We’ll come back to the application to our lifestyle later, but do note these details: the heavens and the earth as we know them will be destroyed, ‘dissolved’ as the NKJV has it in vv.11 and 12. It will involve:

Great noise (v.10)

Fervent heat (vv.10,12)

Burning (v.10)

Melting (vv.10,12)

Interestingly, Peter’s  Greek word behind ‘dissolved’ (or ‘destroyed’ NIV) at its most literal means ‘loosened’ – the exact opposite of Paul’s description of Christ’s long-running maintenance: “In Him all things consist” (NIV: hold together) (READ Col.1:15-17).

That’s the bad news, but here’s the good news: READ 2 Peter 3:13

THERE IS A ‘PLANET B’ after all !!

(so, Extinction Rebellion’s slogan is sheer deception, though their ‘time is running out’ symbol is spot-on, albeit for different reasons)

 Peter, of course, is not alone in this. Biblically, truth is not established by only one witness, but by at least two. Roughly 20 years after the execution of Peter in Rome, under the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian, the Apostle John was in exile on the island of Patmos, in the Aegean Sea, about 40 miles SW of the modern holiday resort of Kusadasi, Turkey. There, on Patmos, was where he received the Revelation from Jesus. Towards the end of that visionary experience, John says “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them” (20:11). Another translation of John’s Greek would say ‘The earth and the heaven vanished’; John seems not to have seen the process by which that happens, but only the result. What he did see after this was the process of judgment and its dreadful outcome in the ‘second death’. And after that …… this:[READ Rev.20:1-5] The Apostle John’s experience on Patmos confirms it: there is a Planet B after all  !!   But only for those who believe, for those forgiven and redeemed by the Lord Jesus. For all others, severe judgment awaits. Out of sheer compassion, we need to redouble our efforts to proclaim the Good News to those who are still in darkness.

 And that brings us straight back to Peter’s exhortation: [READ vv.14-15, 17-18]. Do I need to say more? Just read it again this afternoon, …. and again  …. and again, and, above all, live it day by day!


Footnotes:

1. Jeff Miller (2012), ‘The Law of Biogenesis’,  Apologetics Press  http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018   accessed 13 Nov 2019

2. Hubert P Yockey (1992),‘Information Theory and Molecular Biology’ , C.U.P.,  p.284

3. E.g.  John 8:26,28

4. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170504104342.htm

        13 Nov 2019; updated 4 July 2020


Meg and I send our warmest greetings and look forward to seeing you as soon as possible!




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  Saturday 4th July


Hello everyone. I hope you are all well and coping with these strange days. Of course, they are not strange to Him, who is above all the changes that can happen here on this world of ours. He governs them all.


Have you noticed what an unusual thing Jesus did at the beginning of Matthew chapter 5.  Huge crowds had been following Him and discovering His power to heal them of all kinds of illness and demonic bondages. They had travelled for many miles: coming from the Northern country of Syria and from the western area of the decapolis [the ten cities] having to cross over the Jordan to get to Galilee. They came from the South, from Jerusalem and Judea.


What a multitude and what an opportunity for His preaching to reach so many. But He left them, and went up into a mountain and was joined by His disciples. He had something to say to them which was exclusively for them and not the crowds. He was going to introduce them to His kingdom and to the character of those who were going to make up His kingdom. These sayings or BEATITUDES describe all those who are in His kingdom. They do not describe the people of the world.  Jesus deliberately took the disciples away so that He could teach them what is the character of those in His kingdom. Though they did not know it then He was showing them the kind of character He was going to send to the men and women of the world. They would be the people of salt and light spoken of in verses 13-16.


I want to lay the emphasis on the first beatitude: "blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  Blessed is happy in the Greek text. How can someone be happy if they are poor? That would be the question raised by the natural man. It seems to be a complete contradiction to normal thinking. But He is dealing with poverty of spirit. The complete failure of an individual to produce anything of spiritual life. So Jesus insists that entry into His kingdom is only possible when someone has come to an end of all their effort and has recognised their absolute inability.  What a great place to begin and I wonder sometimes if it is this foundation which is missing in our day. To come with no agenda: to have no opinion to offer:to recognise the worthlessness of religious practises. Praise God for every soul who has come through this doorway


Says Jesus, my kingdom is theirs, because they have come in utter poverty to receive the riches of My Life.  And He meant the purity and power of His resurrection Life. Here is a glorious new beginning. Do you remember Paul in Philippians 3:7-11 writing of his past life. Everything that he could have brought from his past he counted as dung [ofal]. He came in poverty of spirit and the Lord changed his very nature and made him His own special treasure.


His heart is to do the same for all of us. He wants people of such character that He can send them to the multitudes to show a way of life radically different from the ways of this world.


One final thought. Having come into the kingdom on the ground of abject poverty, do not expect to have a reservoir of His riches to draw upon. Life in this kingdom is one of childlike faith in the certainty that He will provide all that is required for glorious living. All is in Him. Glory to His Name.


Your brother Dai



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This is to share some of our recent blessing with you.                  Monday 29th June


GRACE

              The Apostle John, speaking of the Lord Jesus, tells us in his opening verses that “The Word became flesh …. And of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace”. John’s Greek word is “charis”, which in Scripture means ‘undeserved kindness’.  For John, with his Jewish background, it has its roots firmly in the Hebrew word, ‘chen’, often defined as ‘unmerited favour’, as indicated by its first appearance in the Hebrew Scriptures, where “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen.6:8). How extraordinarily we are blessed by the amazing grace of our Almighty Creator!


              Many years ago, Meg & I bought a set of CD recordings of 50 ‘Golden’ hymns, sung by an unidentified choir. From the accents, it seems the singers were from Northern Ireland. During lockdown we have re-discovered the discs and been really blessed, not least in being able to sing along. One song we have particularly enjoyed is one that we had only encountered in this way hitherto. On the record only the first verse and chorus are sung, so with more time available, we’ve now chased it up.


              The title of the song is ‘Grace greater than all our sin’ (though it makes it more personal to sing ‘greater than all my sin’!). The tune is called ‘Moody’ – not as a description, but because it originated with the Moody Bible Institute. The words and music are attached as separate file, so that you can print them, or, if you haven’t a printer, you can at least write out the words. Three examples of singing this song can be enjoyed via YouTube. The first recording is simply from a large congregation in the USA. The second recording comes from the choir and orchestra of the very large SaRang Community Church in Seoul, South Korea, and the third from a Covid-inspired virtual choir. The links are provided below. As you listen, you can join your own voices, recognising that you (and we) are part of millions worldwide, all rejoicing in the marvellous grace of our Loving Lord, in a real sense unconfined by present circumstances, all in the presence of the Lord by His Spirit, gathered around His Throne.


1.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHe17qSQhhY

2.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc3Td0wsBtM

3.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HchiPxParwg


We are missing you all, and looking forward somewhat impatiently to renewed fellowship – not least in singing the Lord’s praises together in worship. May He keep you all safe and bless you abundantly, until we meet again!


With much love in Him.      David & Meg


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Saturday 27th June


Hello everyone: some thoughts for your consideration.


The invitation of Jesus to come to Him for His rest is one of the most wonderful promises of our lovely Lord.  Of course no one goes to Him to receive that rest unless they are weak and heavy laden, and no one loses that heavy load unless they come in faith, believing Him to be true to His promise.  The load we carry is described by Him as a yoke: it weighs down the head and keeps us from looking upward. How heavy it can feel and the life can be burdened by circumstances and inward struggles. I wonder what you do when such pressure comes into your life.


Says Jesus... COME.   Don't go anywhere else but to Him. He does not despair of us when we come but offers us HIS REST.  This is no light or passing thing but the very essence of Himself. Having been the Man of Nazareth and the Man of Calvary and knowing all our weaknesses and the temptation which so easily besets us, He insists COME to Me.


When we see the love behind such an invite we no longer bemoan our failure and weakness but COME to the One who will not deny us. His rest must be of such a kind that it brings quietness and peace to the troubled heart and mind. The soul enters into a calm confidence that He will set free from the burdens and keep the heart and mind in His rest.  We sing "Nothing between Lord, nothing between."  We are called to carry no debilitating burden since he has carried all our sorrows.


Perhaps the greatest benefit of all is that we take His yoke and in so doing we walk with Him and learn directly and personally from Him, discovering the sweetness and wisdom of walking in harness with Him. The yoke is to be worn, not admired. It is our daily privilege to walk in harness with Him, discovering the delight of fellowship with him.


Let us pray for one another that this become the simple, childlike attitude that we all develop, knowing that as we are yoked to Him, our love for Him and one another will grow and He will be glorified.  My love to you all in the person and power of the risen Lord Jesus.    Dai



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Saturday 20th June


Hi everyone and I do hope that all are well both in body and spirit. I am sure you all know that the Holy Spirit is given that we may have a healthy and ever growing relationship with the the true and Living God and with His Son Jesus Christ.


Can I draw your attention to a verse in Philippians 3:12 which sets before us Paul's secret of continuing into all the fulness which is in Christ. There was no treading water for this man. He never stagnated, nor did he find fault with the circumstances into which His Master took him. Let's take a look at some of the attitudes of mind which this man of God had.


Firstly he had come to realise that there was always more ahead for him of that grace and power which he had experienced in the past. So he never looked back longing to recapture something he had lost. He wanted to know more of its fulness as he went forward.


He realised that his desire to go forward was the result of something which Christ had done in his life. He says that Christ had LAID HOLD OF HIM. What greater motivation could there be than to realise that.  Let us all ask ourselves the same question, for the the answer we give ourselves will be crucial in our progress in grace. Paul knew he longer belonged to himself. He had been mastered by the wonderful grace and power of the Christ who sought him out on the Damascus road.


Dear brother and sister, He has come to lay hold of us, so that we are no longer our own and do not live to exercise our own will and demand what we consider to be our rights. Once we know this we are enabled to lay hold of Him and His strength for daily living. Does your faith speak in your heart and say, " His strength is mine and I can go on, overcoming all the wiles of the wicked one and resting in the care and compassion of my new Master"


Do you recall the word of Jesus in Like 9:62.  We can only walk in a straight way while we are focussed on Him. Resist the temptation to look back and bemoan your past failures. Resist the temptation to look back and admire the straightness of your furrow. The moment we are distracted from being in fellowship with Him we begin to go off track. In this verse Jesus speaks of being FIT for the kingdom.  Fitness requires strength, not for the moment but for the journey.  It is ours as we draw from our great Captain who is the provider of that strength which has been  through death, has overcome sin and satan, and is ours by the Spirit He has given.


On the night of their departure from Egypt everyone had to eat the lamb and the unleavened bread so that they had strength for the journey. Whether they were young or old they all the same food. They had to be prepared, ready for the journey.  That is a lovely picture of what is provided for us in the person of the One who is THE LAMB and who said of Himself "I AM THE BREAD OFLIFE"  


Then let us, without fear of the future or the past, press on into all the fulness of the riches which are to be found in Jesus alone, our most blessed and glorious Lord and Master.   


You brother   Dai



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Wednesday 3rd June


Good morning all and apologies for the late arrival of last weeks word. Hope you are all well. I am looking forward to the day when we can all stand in the Lord's presence and sing His praises, joyfully and with full hearts.


Some of you may have listened to what I shared last Sunday evening on the conscience. I want to continue that theme, by looking at a statement made by Paul in Acts 24:16, where he speaks of his conscience so governing his living that he causes no offence either to God or man. He makes that statement in a court room, in the presence of some important and influential people who had accused him of sedition among the Jews living in the Roman Empire, and being a ringleader among the sect of the Nazarenes[verse 5].  How hard it is to deal with accusation either from men or from Satan. It is unsettling and tends to make us constantly examining ourselves in case we have been wrong in some way or other.


Paul recognises that if the accusations made against him are to be upheld, then there must be witnesses who can testify to the truth of those accusations. He asks for these witnesses to be identified: see verses 19+20. Remember Pauls' language in Romans. "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?   No one when it is God Himself who has justified us. How about that for freedom.


In that setting Paul makes his claim that he has not offended man or God. His behaviour has been such that he has not complained against God that his treatment is unfair or unjust. He has not thought evilly of his Saviour and Master.  Nor has been angry or impatient with his accusers.

I wonder how many of us would be able to make such a claim. Do you find yourself having feelings against others and convincing yourself that you are justified in having them. How easy to feel wrongly in our hearts when misunderstandings lead to accusations.


How does a man keep his conscience clear not matter what comes against him. He must be made aware by the Spirit that he is clean and clear before God. If he senses his conscience is not at peace he must come before the Lord of grace and receive His cleansing. Then the enemy has no foothold to accuse him. He now stands before God and man, knowing that he has the presence and power of the Lord and can live before any accusation from man or devil with a clear conscience.


Finally let me add that there is real lasting peace of conscience for the one who has been cleansed by the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. The throne of grace is his home and he delights in the finished work of the cross. No difficulty or accusation can rob him of that peace and he can live freely and joyfully before his God and before men.


The Lord bless you all.     Dai






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Sunday 24th May

Dear lovely brothers and sisters.  What a wonderful God is ours and I want to say a few things about His wonderful grace.  That grace which was manifested in the coming of Christ.  John saw it and recognised it to be the predominating  feature of His character.....'Full of grace and truth'


Isn't it interesting that John puts grace and truth together, and he must have seen the beauty and the perfect balance of both in Him. It must have been a glorious experience to hear Him speak such words of grace and truth and to see them lived out in His life. Let us live in the wonder of this, that He intends that our words should be always words of grace which minister to those who hear us, whether in public or in private. Grace without truth can lead to licence, and truth without grace can lead to legalism.

The Lord give us balanced lives whereby we can speak the truth in love to one another.  


We have noted over the years something of the power of HIs grace as He ministered among mankind while here on earth. A grace which is now given to us by the Spirit of grace. It was this grace that healed the sick and brought deliverance to those plagued by the devil. It is this same grace which can deliver the people of our day. But most importantly of fall it is this grace that saves and sanctifies  and makes us useful to our Master


All the gifts which the Holy Spirit wishes to demonstrate in the church are gifts of grace. Most certainly they are powerful but they are to be understood as expressions of His grace not of His power.  God fill all our hearts and lives with this Grace.


It is this grace which is spoken of in the book of Titus 2:11-14 as being our teacher and this grace enables us to make choices which will be honouring to the Lord Jesus. Let us ever keep it in mind that holiness is not my effort to overcome the temptations which come my way but the enabling grace of the Lord Jesus to reject those temptations when they come. It also teaches us to wait in confident expectation that when He comes again our living hope will be fully realised. Finally it teaches us that we are no longer our own but His possession. While He exercises His Lordship in our daily living we will find that those works of Grace He has prepared for us, will be ours to do to His glory.


Remember the words of Zechariah 4:7 when he speaks of the New Temple of God, which we are:  he will bring out the capstone of the building with loud shouts, saying GRACE GRACE to it.  This is the adorning climax of the building. It is all of Grace.


The Lord grant that each of us should live by the Life of Grace gifted to every member of this glorious temple of God.    Your brother Dai









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Friday 22nd May

PSALM 24 HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD

 Here’s a Psalm that’s full of details about the nature of God. Poetically powerful, it’s a Psalm of David, though its ascription tells us nothing of the circumstances in which it was written. David begins by asserting the sovereignty of the One who created the world and everything in it – a foundational truth that runs counter to the prevalent cultural consensus of our day, a truth that we neglect at our peril. It’s also a truth that is cause for wonder, gratitude and praise. David then moves on in verses 3 to 6 to ponder man’s relationship with our sovereign Creator, the One who is utterly holy, the One who requires holiness in His people, who alone provides salvation for those who seek Him. The final section is a paean of thrilled expectation of the presence of God, the One who is ‘the King of Glory’ and ‘the Lord of Hosts’.

 In verse 3 David poses an intriguing question. In spite of his confidence in his sovereign Creator, something is troubling him: “Who shall ascend in to the hill of the Lord?” Of which hill is he thinking? Apart from one mention of Bethel as ‘the hill of God(1 Sam.10:5), there is only one that is consistently referred to as His ‘holy hill’ – the hill of Zion, on which the city of Jerusalem was founded. For example, in Psalm 2 God Himself speaks about David like this, “I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion” (v.6), whilst in Psalm 3 David records, “I cried to the Lord with my voice and He heard me from His holy hill” (v.4). Notice that it is God’s personal possession and that it is ‘holy’. The Hebrew word is ‘qodesh’, meaning ‘sacred’, ‘consecrated’, not to be profaned. Thus it is that in Psalm 24 David is perturbed as to who is fit to ascend this holy hill, recognising in verses 4 and 5 that only the thoroughly righteous qualify. And if at the time of writing David is living in Jerusalem, we might wonder why he is concerned about ascending into the city.

 The City of David, ‘the stronghold of Zion(2 Sam.5:7), formerly the Canaanite city of Jebus, which he had captured, sat upon a narrow ridge in the Judean highlands. It was relatively small and did not extend to the summit of the hill of which the ridge formed its south-eastern end. This was the place to which David had longed to bring up the ark of God that had been in the Tabernacle at Shiloh in the days of Eli. In those days the ark had been captured by the Philistines and the dread word, ‘Ichabod’, reflected the awful reality that the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel. Far from benefitting, the Philistine cities of Ashdod, Gath and Ekron each met with catastrophes, such that the Philistines rejected it, leaving it in a field belonging to Beth Shemesh in the Judean lowlands. However, such responsibility proved too much for the villagers, so men from Kiriath Yearim were asked to collect it, possibly because it was the nearest large town on the way back to Shiloh. There a Levite called Eleazar was consecrated provide appropriate care for it, where sadly it remained for twenty years, during which Samuel had called the nation to repentance and renewal (1 Sam 7:1-6).


 It was at this stage that David’s first attempt was made to ascend with the ark to the ‘holy hill’. There is no evidence in Scripture as to any consultation with the nation’s prophet, Samuel, and David’s spectacular plan failed disastrously because he had approached the task as if it were a mere logistical exercise, rather than a spiritual one. He certainly hadn’t sought the Lord or consulted the books of Moses for guidance! The ark had gone no further than the house of Obed-Edom, where David left it for another three months (2 Sam.6.1-11). Obed-Edom is described as ‘a Gittite’, leading many to claim that he was a Philistine from Gath, but according to 1 Chronicles 16:5 he must have been a Levite along with Asaph, making it much more likely that he was from Gath-Hepher, about 6 miles northeast of Nazareth, called ‘Gittah-Hepher’ in the Hebrew of Joshua 19:13. That would also fit more comfortably with David’s conscience following the tragic death of Uzzah and was perhaps his first step of planning things God’s way.

 Given all of this, one wonders if this was the context in which David wrote Psalm 24, as he pondered how the ascent of the ark should be arranged. It seems from verses 3 to 6 that his conclusion was that it should only be in the hands of the righteous. This is borne out by his

appointment of the High Priest, Zadok, to lead the event, accompanied by a host of Priestly and Levitical assistants (almost 1000 altogether!). David also insisted that the whole group should be sanctified for the task, unlike the first attempt, about which he said, “The Lord our God broke out against us because we did not consult Him about the proper order”. This time the ark would not be carried on a cart; as David said, “No one may carry the ark of God but the Levites, for the Lord has chosen them”. You can read all about his strategy in 1 Chron.15:1-11 and compare it with Moses’ instructions in Numbers 7. Bear in mind also that a permanent reminder of the need for holiness was the inscription, “Holiness unto the Lord”, engraved in the golden plate on the High Priest’s turban - in this case, worn by Zadok, the leader of the proceedings. And thus they prepared to ascend the hill of the Lord, the sons of Kohath bearing the ark upon their shoulders as God’s Word required, many no doubt bearing in their hearts the hope that the Presence of the Lord, who dwelt “between the cherubim”, (Psalm 80:1, with Ex.25:22) would return to the heart of the nation again.


 Backtracking a little now, into David’s period of pondering, we can perhaps appreciate rather more the glorious paean of anticipation that he wrote in verses 7 to 10 of Psalm 24. It’s even possible that this became the song that was on the lips of the Priests and Levites, especially as they approached the City of David on that holy hill and the tent that he had prepared for it: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates! [open wide!] ….. and the King of glory shall come in!” No longer ‘Ichabod’, but now ‘Yehovah Shammah’ (the Lord is there/present). Did they sing antiphonally, one section asking the questions, the other sending back the answers, all accompanied by horns, trumpets, cymbals, stringed instruments and harps (1 Chronicles 15:28)? It’s very easy to imagine, but I don’t suppose we’ll ever know this side of Heaven – it’s another of those questions to put in store for that day!


 David’s experiences with the Ark of the Covenant powerfully illustrate the principal that, as expressed by Andrew Murray, “God's work must be done in God's way, and in God's power. It is spiritual work, to be done by spiritual men, in the power of the Spirit.”3 An appetite for God’s Word leads to an ever-deeper appreciation of God’s ways, and a consecrated lifestyle is an essential element of every believer’s birthright. Writing to the young Titus, Paul leaves no room for doubt about the importance of holiness: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age,” and points out that our Saviour “gave Himself for us, so that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14)

 What an encouragement is this to practise ‘Holiness unto the Lord’ in all things, individually and collectively. May the Lord inspire its renewal among His people as a matter of urgency!


        FOOTNOTES

1.  Ritmeyer, L. & K. (2000)   From Sinai to Jerusalem: The Wandering of the Holy Ark       Carta, Jerusalem.

2. Israel Institute of Biblical Studies

3. Andrew Murray (1901)        Working for God (Introduction)  Fleming H Revell (USA)

(NB   By ‘spiritual men’ we should understand ‘spiritual people’, just as Paul’s use of ‘all men’ signifies ‘all people’)


David Longworth                    22 May 2020


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The senior citizens meetings for Saturday 28th March and Saturday 25th April have been cancelled. A decision about the May meeting will be made later.

Les Wheeldon's visit to Emmaus due in April has been cancelled and the Exploring Christianity course will be  postponed  till the Autumn.

A number of people are stopping whatever they are doing at 1:00pm each day to pray and to read their Bibles. Please join us at that time.