Daily Bible readings from Matthew, week commencing 29 Jan 17

Eddie,
Grain cast onto a variety of soils

As you read each passage, pray for God’s help. Ask yourself:

  • What does God reveal about Himself?
  • How is your own heart revealed?
  • How does this passage underline the wonder of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, and your own need of Christ as Saviour and Lord?
  • Turn these truths into prayer and praise.

29 January Mt 12:46-50

Jesus has just exposed the shameful hardness of the Pharisees’ hearts. So how should we respond to Jesus? He leaves us in no doubt. Jesus words in vv.48-50 are remarkable. Our relationship to Him is more fundamental even than our biological family, for this is the relationship that lasts to eternity. And what is the mark of belonging to Jesus’ family? It is that we devote ourselves to doing the will of our heavenly Father (v.50). Do you bear the family likeness?

30 January Mt 13:1-9, 18-23

The parable of the sower might better be called the parable of the soils. It describes four different ways in which people respond to God’s word, three of which produce no lasting fruit, and therefore no salvation. Some hearts, like some soil, are too hard for the word to penetrate (v.19). Other are too shallow (vv.20-21) or too overcrowded (v.22) for anything more than a superficial response. But where the gospel is truly received, it produces an abundance of new life (v.23). Which kind of soil are you?

31 January Mt 13:10-17

We often assume Jesus spoke in parables to make His meaning clearer, but the truth is more complex (vv.10-13). His parables act as a filter, revealing the truth to some, but concealing it from others. Those who demand God on their own terms will soon tire of Jesus’ stories (vv.14-15). But those who are genuinely hungry for the true God will press deeper into the meaning of Jesus’ words (vv.16-17, compare v.36): they must have God at any cost. What kind of hearer are you?

1 February Mt 13:24-30, 36-43

Many in Jesus’ day expected that when the Messiah’s kingdom arrived, judgement day would follow immediately. John the Baptist was puzzled when this did not happen (11:1-3). In this parable, Jesus tells us that God withholds final judgement during the gospel age. Why? For the sake of His harvest, so that it will not be lessened but may be fully grown and reaped (vv.28-30). Only then will the final separation take place (vv.40-43). Thank God for giving us time to turn to Him!

2 February Mt 13:31-35

Once again, Jesus corrects false ideas of the kingdom of heaven. Many assumed that when the kingdom came, its full glory would at once be seen. Not so, says Jesus. Its coming is quiet, small and unspectacular, but let no-one underestimate its power. Like the tiniest seed, like yeast in dough, the kingdom will grow and expand. Eventually, the people of many nations will find a home in it (v.32), and no part of the world will be left untouched by God’s redeeming love (v.33).

3 February Mt 13:44-46

Having clarified the kingdom’s gradual growth, Jesus now underlines its supreme worth. V.44 is not intended as moral guidance on how to behave if we find hidden treasure. Jesus’ point is simply that whatever the cost in discipleship, the treasure of the kingdom is worth far more. Likewise in vv.45-46: it is worth parting with everything else in order to take hold of the kingdom of heaven. This kingdom is worth more than everything else combined. Have you realized that? Really?

4 February Mt 13:47-52

The parable of the net focuses on the final separation of the wicked from the righteous at the end of the age (v.49). Jesus’ fierce words in v.50 may offend modern sensibilities, but we dare not downplay them. Our business is not to argue with God’s Son, but to listen to Him (17:5). His love issues honest warnings as well as gracious invitations (compare 11:24, 28). The disciple’s task is to grasp and share all that God has revealed in His word, and not to cherry-pick (vv.51-52).

Notices for 29th January 2017

Louise,

Baptism and Dedication Services

We would like to offer a warm welcome to the family and friends of Joey and Emily Pillinger whose son, Ernie, is being dedicated today. We would also like to welcome those who have come along to witness the baptisms of Joe Rowe, Chris Sapiano and Kirstyn Lee.

Facebook: Blessing or Curse?

What are our children getting up to online? Is what they are doing safe? How can we stay informed and involved in a healthy way? Join Dan Ovens (Youth Pastor) for a Social Networking (that’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all that jazz) Seminar to explore together the blessings and dangers of the online world. Thursday 9th February at 7:30pm in the Church Hut. See Dan for more details.

Ladies’ Bible Study

The next women’s bible study is taking place tomorrow night, 30th January at 7:30pm. Notes for this study are on the table at the back of the church. If you would like more information about these studies, please have a chat to Kathy Larkman or Anne Holmes.

Time for Two: Growing your marriage in Christian love

Marriage, like all good gardens, needs love and time to grow. Take time to enrich your marriage. Two teaching sessions on growing your marriage in Christian love, 7:30pm-9:00pm on Saturday 4th & 11th February at Priory Street. All couples are welcome, whether flourishing or struggling, married two years, 22 or 202 years! We’ll have tea/coffee, puddings and biblical teaching. Please let us know you’re coming by signing the sheet at the back.

Midweek Service

The next midweek service will be held this Wednesday 1st February at 2pm. The reading will be from Genesis 15. The service will be followed by tea/coffee and homemade cakes. Please speak to Eric Seager for more information about these services.

Craft Club

CBC Craft Group meet to share ideas, projects and the Gospel. Come to the next meeting on Sat Feb 4th 10am-12.30 in the church hall – new ladies very welcome – bring a friend, share coffee and cake and get to know someone new. The group are involved in making a quilt for our missionaries. You can help with this or bring your own project to do. See Kathy Ewins (9.15am) or Pam Mitchell (11.15am) for more information.

Grace Place

Ladies, please remember to visit our Grace Place blog which has articles and insights which will encourage and bless you… https://cbcgraceplace.wordpress.com/

Tanzania 2017

As you are probably aware we are planning another mission trip to Tanzania to help with the building project at the bible institute in Morogoro where Steve and Ruth Lancaster are currently serving.  The plan is to go during the last two weeks in June.  Anyone interested in attending or just curious to hear more is invited to come along to a meeting at CBC Priory Street on Friday 3rd February at 7:30 pm where we will remind ourselves of last year’s trip and talk about what we may be doing this year. Contact Stuart Little for more.

Chippenham Street Pastors

If you would like to find out more about Chippenham Street Pastors, please contact Elspeth Pitman. A new training course starts on the 1st February at Sheldon Road Methodist Church @ 7:30pm. Poster on back table with full information.

Gift to Bible Society

Bible Society want to thank CBC for the generous gift of £2,500.  The donation will be used to support the work of the Austrian Bible Society, who amongst other things work with churches, prisons, police and other missionary organizations like The Oasis in their support of refugees. Speak with Susan Wingrave at Church on the Green or Alan Kember at Priory Street for more information.

Distinctive

Anne Holmes will be making a booking for the Bath Women’s Conference 2017, “Distinctive”. It’s a day of bible teaching and fellowship run by South West Gospel Partnership.

Date: Saturday 25th March, 10am – 4.30pm.

Venue: Kingswood School, Bath

Tickets are £15 standard and £10 concession. If you would like to look at the conference in more detail, please visit Conference website –http://bathwomensconference.org or see the flyers at the back of the church.  Please let Anne know by 30th Jan if you would like to come along.

Open Discussion for 9:15am service

On 19th February at 4pm, there will be an open discussion regarding the 9:15am service so if you are part of this congregation you are welcome to come along and be part of the discussion. Speak to Eddie for more details.

…OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE…

Evening service teas

We are looking for someone in the 6pm service to do teas/coffees after the service on a monthly basis. One of the team has dropped out so we need some help. The commitment would be just one Sunday evening a month. Please contact Louise in the office or Terry Pollard. Thank you.

Cakes for the Cafe

Jude Davies has been doing a wonderful job at providing cakes for Cafe on the Green every Saturday for the last six months. It would however be easier if there were other bakers who would step up and help. If you are willing and able to bake cakes/scones etc. for this ministry, please contact Louise. Thank you.

Toddler Group

We are still looking for someone to take on the leadership of the Toddler Group on Thursday mornings. Please speak to Kathy Larkman if you feel this is a role which you could take on.

….This week….

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 9:30am; Ladies’ Bible Study, 7:30pm

Tuesday: Rudloe Tots, 10am

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7:15am; midweek service, 2pm

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am; Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 7:30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9:30am; Encounter, 3.45pm; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm; Tanzania meeting, 7:30pm

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion 8.30am; Café on the Green, Rudloe, 2:30pm; Time for Two, 7:30pm

….Looking ahead….

9th Feb: Social Networking Seminar, 7:30pm

11th Feb: Time for Two, 7:30pm

15th Feb: Midweek service, 2pm

19th Feb: “open discussion” regarding 9:15am service, 4pm

20th Feb: Prayer for Missions and Persecuted Church

25th Feb: The Ark, 10am

26th Feb: Infant Dedication, 11:15am Emmeline Street

27th Feb: Ladies’ bible study, 7:30pm

Daily Bible readings in Matthew, week commencing 22 Jan 17

Eddie,

As you read each passage, pray for God’s help. Ask yourself:

  • What does God reveal about Himself?
  • How is your own heart revealed?
  • How does this passage underline the wonder of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, and your own need of Christ as Saviour and Lord?
  • Turn these truths into prayer and praise.

22 January Mt 11:16-24

Jesus compares His critics to truculent children who refuse to be pleased. Shall we play weddings? Too lively. Shall we play funerals? Too dull. John the Baptist? Too strict. Jesus? Too fond of a party (vv.17-19). Of course, the problem lies not with Jesus, but with our hearts. He spells out the tragic consequences for the cities of His day (vv.20-24). But those who humbly follow Jesus as their King will live to see the wisdom of discipleship, for the proof of the pudding is in the eating (v.19).

23 January Mt 11:25-30

People may pride themselves on their sophistication, but it cuts no ice with God who dismisses our pretensions and reveals Himself to little children (v.26). What room is there for boasting when we are powerless to know God unless Jesus chooses to reveal Him to us (v.27)? So lay down the ill-fitting yoke of pride (it will rub your neck raw if you continue to wear it), and take instead the yoke of following Jesus which has been designed to fit you perfectly (vv.28-30). His yoke will heal you.

24 January Mt 12:1-14

Sin has so corrupted human nature that we twist God’s good gifts into cruel and inhuman burdens. The Sabbath was God’s kindly, joyful provision of weekly rest for ex-slaves who formerly never had a day-off. Humans distorted it into an opportunity for self-righteous posturing that oppressed rather than blessed (vv.1-8), and led to people being treated worse than animals (vv.9-11). Thank God, Jesus restores the priority of mercy (vv.7,12-13), though the merciless hate it (v.14). Your reaction?

25 January Mt 12:15-21

In contrast to the violence and injustice being plotted by the Pharisees (v.14), Jesus is the gentle Servant of the Lord prophesied by Isaiah (vv.17-19). He deals tenderly with the broken and failing (v.20), unlike His critics who would allow the hungry to go without food and the sick to remain unhealed (yesterday’s reading, vv.1-14). There’s a wideness to Christ’s mercy that will embrace all nations, not just Israel (vv.18,21). How different is God’s true Servant from all empty pretenders!

26 January Mt 12:22-29

Already some Pharisees have plotted to kill Jesus (v.14). Now they compound their guilt by attributing Jesus’ mighty acts to Satan (vv.22-24). Such is the darkness to which religious zeal can lead us if it is not informed by the light of Christ. The truth is that the coming of God’s kingdom means that Satan’s kingdom must fall. Like a strong man bound, Satan is helpless to prevent Jesus plundering his house and freeing his captives (v.29). This is surely a cause for praise, not complaint!

27 January Mt 12:30-37

The kingdom of God that has come in Jesus brings grace and forgiveness for all who repent (v.31). Nevertheless, people who say, “I will not follow the Spirit when He points me to the Saviour” shut themselves off from salvation (v.31). The problem with Jesus’ opponents lay in themselves (vv.33-35): like bad trees, they inevitably produced bad fruits. What carelessly gushes from our mouths reveals what we truly are (vv.36-37). Let us make sure we are truly “with” Jesus (v.30).

28 January Mt 12:38-45

The Pharisees’ demand for a sign (v.38) seems insincere after they have rejected what Jesus has just done (vv.22-24). Jesus will not play their game. Their problem was not lack of evidence but wilful evasion of the evidence. His crowning miracle will be his resurrection (vv.39-40), but He has done enough already to leave them without excuse (vv.41-42). Their continued unbelief in the face of such evidence leaves them worse off than ever (vv.43-45). May God deliver us from such hard hearts.

Notices for 22nd January 2017

Louise,

Church Meeting

Following the Church Meeting on Monday, we are pleased to welcome Clyde Docherty and Tim Stephenson into membership at Corsham Baptist Church.

Baptism Service

Next Sunday 29th January at the 9:15am service Kirstyn Lee will be baptised; at the 11:15am service Chris Sapiano and Joe Rowe will be baptised.  We look forward to welcoming their friends and families.

Infant Dedication

Joey and Emily Pillinger’s son, Ernie, will be dedicated at the 9:15am service on 29th January.

Facebook: Blessing or Curse?

What are our children getting up to online? Is what they are doing safe? How can we stay informed and involved in a healthy way?  Join Dan Ovens (Youth Pastor) for a Social Networking (that’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all that jazz) Seminar to explore together the blessings and dangers of the online world.  Thursday 9th February at 7:30pm in the Church Hut. See Dan for more details.

Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church

The next meeting will take place at Priory Street tomorrow night, 23rd January at 7:45pm. If you would like to know more about these prayer meetings, speak to Wendy Rowe or Vanessa Naish.

The Ark

‘Happy New year! The Ark starts again on Saturday January 28th and the team are preparing crafts, stories, songs and cake. The puppets are practising too. It would be lovely if you could join them. And remember the story of Noah’s Ark, how the animals went in 2 by 2? If you would like to bring a friend along with you, that would be great too. Aimed at 0-7s with a responsible adult, 10-11 am then cake and refreshments.

Tanzania 2017

As you are probably aware we are planning another mission trip to Tanzania to help with the building project at the bible institute in Morogoro where Steve and Ruth Lancaster are currently serving.  The plan is to go during the last two weeks in June.  Anyone interested in attending or just curious to hear more is invited to come along to a meeting at CBC Priory Street on Friday 3rd February at 7:30 pm where we will remind ourselves of last year’s trip and talk about what we may be doing this year.  Contact Stuart Little on 07597 573314 if you have any questions.

Time for two: Growing your marriage in Christian love

Marriage, like all good gardens, needs love and time to grow. Take time to enrich your marriage. Two teaching sessions on growing your marriage in Christian love, 7:30pm-9:00pm on Saturday 4th & 11th February at Priory Street. All couples welcome, whether flourishing or struggling, married 2 years, 22 or 202 years! We’ll have tea/coffee, puddings and biblical teaching. Please let us know you’re coming by signing the sheet at the back.

Ladies’ Bible Study

The next women’s bible study is taking place on 30th January at 7:30pm.  Notes for this study are on the table at the back of the church.  If you would like more information about these studies, please have a chat to Kathy Larkman or Anne Holmes.

Chippenham Street Pastors

If you would like to find out more about Chippenham Street Pastors, please contact Elspeth Pitman on 01249.658838.  A new training course starts on the 1st February at Sheldon Road Methodist Church @ 7:30pm.  The first night will be an information evening.  Poster on back table!

Cakes for the Cafe

Jude Davies has been doing a wonderful job at providing cakes for Cafe on the Green every Saturday for the last six months.  It would however be easier if there were other bakers who would step up and help.  If you are willing and able to bake cakes/scones etc. for this ministry, please contact Louise. Thank you.

Toddler Group

We are still looking for someone to take on the leadership of the Toddler Group on Thursday mornings.  Please speak to Kathy Larkman.

Help Required

We are looking for someone in the 6pm service to do teas/coffees after the service on a monthly basis. One of the team has dropped out so we need some help.  The commitment would be just one Sunday evening a month.  Please contact Louise in the office or Terry Pollard.  Thank you.

Distinctive

Anne Holmes will be making a booking for the Bath Women’s Conference 2017, “Distinctive”. It’s a day of bible teaching and fellowship run by South West Gospel Partnership.

Date: Saturday 25th March, 10am – 4.30pm.

Venue: Kingswood School, Bath

Tickets are £15 standard and £10 concession.
If you would like to look at the conference in more detail, please visit Conference website –http://bathwomensconference.org or see the flyers at the back of the church.  Please let Anne know by 30th Jan if you would like to come along.

Open Discussion for 9:15am service

On 19th February at 4pm, there will be an open discussion regarding the 9:15am service so if you are part of this congregation you are welcome to come along and be part of the discussion.  Speak to Eddie for more details.

 

….This week….

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 9:30am; Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church, 7:45pm

Tuesday: Rudloe Tots, 10am

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7:15am

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am; Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 7:30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9:30am; Encounter, 3.45pm; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm.

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion 8.30am; the Ark, 10:00am; Café on the Green, Rudloe, 2:30pm

 

….Looking ahead….

29th Jan: Ernie Pillinger dedication 9:15am service; baptism @ 11:15am service

30th Jan: Ladies’ Bible Study, 7:30pm

1st Feb: Midweek service, 2pm

3rd Feb: Tanzania meeting, 7:30pm @ Priory Street

4th Feb: Craft Club, 10:00am; Time for 2, 7:30pm

9th Feb: Social Networking Seminar, 7:30pm

11th Feb: Time for 2, 7:30pm

15th Feb: Midweek service, 2pm

19th Feb: “open discussion” regarding 9:15am service, 4pm

20th Feb: Prayer for Missions and Persecuted Church

25th Feb: The Ark, 10am

26th Feb: Infant Dedication, 11:15am Emmeline Street

27th Feb: Ladies’ bible study, 7:30pm

Daily Bible readings from Matthew, week commencing 15th Jan

Eddie,
Sheep at roadside

As you read each passage, pray for God’s help. Ask yourself:

  • What does God reveal about Himself?
  • How is your own heart revealed?
  • How does this passage underline the wonder of God’s love for us in Jesus
  • Christ, and your own need of Christ as Saviour and Lord?

Turn these truths into prayer and praise.

15 January Mt 9:35-38, Mt 10:1-4

The failure of Israel’s leaders to follow the Lord had left the people like sheep without a shepherd (9:36). Jesus’ compassionate response was to raise up more shepherds (10:1-4). The mix of personalities and backgrounds among the disciples reflects the tensions of a fallen world. They must first be redeemed and reconciled by Jesus if they are to be His agents of reconciliation. They must learn to pray (9:38); then Jesus will turn them into the answer to their prayers (10:1). Do you pray 9:38 too?

16 January Mt 10:5-15

The disciples are given a first taste of mission. It is local, limited and brief, reflecting the urgency of the moment: Jesus’ time in Israel will be short. Now is the time to respond. The mission takes priority over the missionaries’ personal comfort: they must travel light in order to travel quickly (vv.9-10), and must not waste time flitting from house to house looking for better accommodation (v.11). More important matters are at stake (v.15). Does your lifestyle reflect gospel priorities?

17 January Mt 10:16-23

Why does Jesus send His much-loved disciples out among wolves? Because He loves even the wolves, and know that some will yet become His sheep (1Tim 1:15-16). But not all will be converted, and Jesus is neither naïve nor indifferent concerning His people’s sufferings which have often been brutal (v.17) and heartbreaking (v.21). He promises the unfailing support of God’s Spirit (v.20) and a limit to their trials (vv.22-23). But never forget it was for enemies Christ died (Ro 5:8,10) – including us.

18 January Mt 10:24-33

If we follow Jesus we can expect to be treated like Him by a hostile world (vv.24-25). Yet Jesus tells us not to be afraid (vv.26,28,31) – the most oft-repeated command in the Bible. God will make it known to the world that we are indeed His people (v.26). Even those who seek to take our life from us can do nothing outside of God’s permission, and cannot thwart His plans (vv.28-31). God’s verdict on us is the one that matters, and Jesus Himself will gladly acknowledge His own people.

19 January Mt 10:34-42

Strife is part and parcel of Jesus’ mission (v.34). He does not bring an indiscriminate peace, but rather effects a separation between people who welcome Him as King and those who don’t, even within families (vv.35-36). No language could make the absolute demands of Jesus more plain than vv.37-38, but these demands are justified by what is at stake (v.39). So do not hesitate to follow Jesus: despite all opposition, He is going to bless many people through our witness (vv.40-42)

20 January Mt 11:1-6

John the Baptist was disappointed with Jesus (vv.2-3). Was He really the Messiah? He expected Jesus to clean out the wicked (3:12); instead, he found himself unjustly imprisoned by Herod. Jesus replies in the words of Isa 35:5-6 and 61:1, but makes no reference to the judgement Isaiah also promises in those contexts (see Isa 35:4 and 61:2). “John, the day of Messiah’s blessings has arrived; Messiah’s judgement has not yet come.” We need to trust in God’s timing (v.6), and not demand our own.

21 January Mt 11:7-15

Why was John the Baptist the greatest person up to that time (v.11)? Certainly not because of his wardrobe or property portfolio (vv.7-8). In God’s eyes, all true greatness relates to Jesus, who is the centre of all things. And of all who paved the way for Jesus, John stood nearest, at the end of the line (vv.9-10). Yet the least Christian can witness to Jesus more clearly still because we live this side of His coming. So while some rage against God’s kingdom, let us celebrate our privileges (vv.12-15).

Notice sheet for 15th January 2017

Louise,

Church Meeting

The first Church Meeting of the year will take place tomorrow night, Monday 16th January at 8:00pm. All members and attenders of CBC are encouraged to come along. Agenda and previous minutes are on the table at the back.

Midweek Service

The next midweek service will take place on Wednesday 18th January, commencing at 2pm. The text is Genesis 13 and 14 and Eric Seager will be leading and preaching. There will be Communion. The service is followed by tea/coffee and homemade cake.

Baptism Service

We will be having another baptism service at the 11:15am service on Sunday 29th January.

Infant Dedication

Joey and Emily Pillinger’s son, Ernie, will be dedicated at the 9:15am service on 29th January.

Facebook: Blessing or Curse?

What are our children getting up to online? Is what they are doing safe? How can we stay informed and involved in a healthy way? Join Dan Ovens (Youth Pastor) for a Social Networking (that’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all that jazz) Seminar to explore together the blessings and dangers of the online world. Thursday 9th February at 7:30pm in the Church Hut. See Dan for more details.

Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church

The next meeting will take place at Priory Street on Monday 23rd January at 7:45pm. If you would like to know more about these prayer meetings, please speak to Wendy Rowe or Vanessa Naish.

Tanzania 2017

As you are probably aware we are planning another mission trip to Tanzania to help with the building project at the bible institute in Morogoro where Steve and Ruth Lancaster are currently serving.  The plan is to go during the last two weeks in June.  Anyone interested in attending or just curious to hear more is invited to come along to a meeting at CBC Priory Street on Friday 3rd February at 7:30 pm where we will remind ourselves of last year’s trip and talk about what we may be doing this year. Contact Stuart Little if you have any questions.

Time for two: Growing your marriage in Christian love

Marriage, like all good gardens, needs love and time to grow. Take time to enrich your marriage. Two teaching sessions on growing your marriage in Christian love, 7:30pm-9:00pm on Saturday 4th & 11th February at Priory Street. All couples welcome, whether flourishing or struggling, married 2 years, 22 or 202 years! We’ll have tea/coffee, puddings and biblical teaching. Please let us know you’re coming by signing the sheet at the back.

Ladies’ Bible Study

The next women’s bible study is taking place on 30th January at 7:30pm. Notes for this study are on the table at the back of the church. If you would like more information about these studies, please have a chat to Kathy Larkman or Anne Holmes.

Chippenham Street Pastors

If you would like to find out more about Chippenham Street Pastors, please contact Elspeth. A new training course starts on the 1st February at Sheldon Road Methodist Church @ 7:30pm. The first night will be an information evening. Poster on back table!

Church Directory

Please complete the form overleaf if you would like to be included in the church directory. If you are already listed and none of your details have changed over the past year, there is no need to complete a form. Please write clearly and leave the form in the box on the back table. Thank you.

 

….This week….

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 9:30am; Church Meeting, 8pm

Tuesday: Rudloe Tots, 10am

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7:15am; Midweek service, 2pm

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am; Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 7:30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9:30am; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm.

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion 8.30am; Café on the Green, Rudloe, 2:30pm

 

….Looking ahead….

23rd Jan: Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church, 7:45pm

28th Jan: The Ark, 10am

29th Jan: Ernie Pillinger dedication 9:15am service; baptism @ 11:15am service

30th Jan: Ladies’ Bible Study, 7:30pm

1st Feb: Midweek service, 2pm

3rd Feb: Tanzania meeting, 7:30pm @ Priory Street

4th Feb: Craft Club, 10:00am; Time for 2, 7:30pm

9th Feb: Social Networking Seminar, 7:30pm

11th Feb: Time for 2, 7:30pm

15th Feb: Midweek service, 2pm

20th Feb: Prayer for Missions and Persecuted Church

25th Feb: The Ark, 10am

26th Feb: Infant Dedication, 11:15am Emmeline Street

27th Feb: Ladies’ bible study, 7:30pm

 

Daily Bible readings from Matthew, week commencing 8th Jan

Eddie,
Jesus and the Centurion by Paolo Veronese

As you read each passage, pray for God’s help. Ask yourself:

  • What does God reveal about Himself?
  • How is your own heart revealed?
  • How does this passage underline the wonder of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, and your own need of Christ as Saviour and Lord?

Turn these truths into prayer and praise.

8 January Mt 8:1-17

“God with us” (Mt 1:23) results in matchless teaching (chs.5-7) and astounding miracles (chs.8-9). Our Lord rejoices in the centurion’s bold faith (v.10) but also responds to the more hesitant faith of the leper (v.2). Such is His grace. He heals the one (vv.14-15) and the many (vv.16-17), for no need is too small or too great for His mercy. Our King delights to welcomes the rank outsiders: lepers, gentiles, the desperate who can bring nothing but their need. Come! Bring Him your prayers.

9 January Mt 8:18-27

There are always those who want to follow Jesus on their own terms (vv.19-22). It can’t be done. True disciples follow unconditionally (v.23), yet they may still have wobbly moments (vv.24-25). No matter: Jesus will grow us when we are with Him. How? By opening our eyes to Him in increasing measure (v.27). Growth comes by seeing Jesus more clearly. Are you afraid to follow Him without limits? The answer is always the same: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” (He 12:2).

10 January Mt 8:28-34, Mt-9:1-8

There are so many obstacles to the coming of God’s kingdom: Satan’s malevolence, highlighted in human violence (8:28) and the senseless destruction of animals (8:32); yet more sickness (9:2); skin-deep religion (9:3-4). Won’t Jesus be discouraged? No! In the midst of it all, He brings deliverance, healing and the forgiveness of sins. He restores the broken to God and to their humanity. Who misses out? Only those who are proud, self-sufficient and self-righteous (9:3-4). How about you?

11 January Mt 9:9-13

All these healings – and now Matthew tells of his own miraculous “healing” (note the medical analogy, v.12). The despised tax-collector is called to Jesus (v.9), and is transformed from a taker into a giver (v.10). He never forgot what God had saved him from (see 10:3). The self-righteous despise grace (v.11), but it is the Lord’s way and we must learn it if we would be His disciples (v.13). We come into the presence of God not because we are particularly good people, but only as forgiven sinners.

12 January Mt 9:14-17

Not everyone was in the mood for a party. Some expected a more solemn disposition among God’s people (v.14). Jesus agrees that there is indeed a time for fasting and a time for feasting (v.15); but His presence makes this a moment of celebration. Our old ways are too inflexible to contain the lavish grace that Jesus brings; His kingdom is new, and requires us to be made new too (vv.16-17). Have you tasted the new wine of Jesus’ kingdom? Then step in time to the music and celebrate!

13 January Mt 9:18-26

It’s hopeless! Or is it? The synagogue leader and the haemorrhaging woman are united in their conviction that where there’s Jesus, there’s hope, even when we’re confronted with death or long-term illness (vv.18, 21). Their child-like faith was not in vain. The healing power of Jesus knows no limits, as these two witnesses affirm – and it certainly isn’t confined to physical sickness. Jesus is the hope of the hopeless. Perhaps this is a timely reminder for you?

14 January Mt 9:27-34

Two blind men receive their sight and can’t resist telling everyone, despite Jesus’ telling them to keep the lid on it (vv.30-31). We can understand their excitement. But we might have expected all this chattering would make Jesus think twice before giving a mute man his voice back (vv.32-33)! Not a bit of it. Mercy takes precedence, even if it sets the whole crowd talking (v.33). But not everyone received their sight. Some with functioning eyes were still tragically blind (v.34). Do you see?

Daily readings from Matthew week commencing 1st Jan 17

Eddie,
Child at cross-road within a maze

As you read each passage, pray for God’s help. Ask yourself:

  • What does God reveal about Himself?
  • How is your own heart revealed?
  • How does this passage underline the wonder of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, and your own need of Christ as Saviour and Lord?
  • Turn these truths into prayer and praise.

1 January Mt 6:1-18

There’s such a thing as showing off in religion – practising our piety in a way that says “Look at me! See how virtuous I am!” God isn’t impressed. So whether you’re giving (v.2), praying (v.5), or fasting (v.16), Jesus says “Be careful!” (v.1). Why do you do the things you do? Of course, Jesus is not saying that our good deeds should never be witnessed (compare 5:16). Rather, all we do should be for God’s glory, not ours. Which matters more to you?

2 January Mt 6:9-13

What an instructive framework for prayer! First exalt God and seek His glory (vv.9-10), then our needs can be confidently brought (vv.11-13). The fact that Jesus includes both in the same prayer teaches us not to separate our lives into “the Christian part” and “the ordinary part”, for all of life belongs to God. And notice the plural: OUR Father – and OUR daily bread. That’s striking, in the light of Jesus’ emphasis on praying privately. Here’s a reminder that we pray together too – and never selfishly.

3 January Mt 6:19-24

Choices! Jesus sets before us a choice of treasure (vv.19-21), vision (vv.22-23), and master (v.24). These are the choices that reveal what really matters to us. It’s not enough to be able to spot the right answers; we have to live by them. And we’ll be living with the consequences for eternity. Have you made your choice and determined your goal? Or are you still trying to live your life in several different directions – reaching for everything but taking hold of nothing that will last?

One thing should be fixed in your mind after reading these words: “Jesus does not want me to be anxious about material things” (vv.25, 31, 34). Worry is unproductive (v.27) and unnecessary (v.32), not because we’ll never face trouble, but because our Father God knows how to meet our needs. So concentrate on pursuing God’s Kingdom and He will provide all you need to fulfil His purpose in your life (v.33). A great blessing attaches to this teaching: the blessing of living one day at a time (v.34).

5 January Mt 7:1-12

“Don’t judge,” says Jesus (v.1); but then He requires us to judge people’s attitude to the gospel (v.6). How do we hold these together? We must avoid a judgemental spirit which is harsh toward others (vv.1-2) or hypocritical (vv.3-5), but we must still discriminate between good and evil (v.6). Then we’ll be like our Father in heaven, for He is both wonderfully generous (vv.7-8) and discerning (v.11). In short, Jesus isn’t telling us to be naïve; He’s telling us to be generous (v.12). Is that you?

6 January Mt 7:13-20

Time to make up your mind, says Jesus. It’s a straight choice between two gates (wide and small), two roads (broad and narrow), two teachers (bad and good). Choose rightly and you find life; choose wrongly and destruction is inevitable. Jesus won’t accept our benign neutrality. We must commit ourselves to Him or be lost forever. This is disturbing for a generation that loves to be uncommitted, but Jesus doesn’t want us to sleep-walk over a precipice. Which road are you travelling?

7 January Mt 7:21-29

Vv.21-23 shows Jesus presiding on the Day of Judgement. That’s why to reject Jesus is fatal: it is to spit in the face of the Judge. Alarmingly, many who claim to follow Jesus turn out to be frauds. Despite their outwardly spectacular ministry, J says to them, “I never knew you.” The proof that our relationship with Jesus is firmly founded is not our miraculous powers but OBEDIENCE to the will of the Father (v.21), which is expressed in the words of the Son (vv.24-27). Check your foundation.