Bethesda Shalom, "House of Mercy and Peace". A small independent Bible believing Church located in Wolverhampton, England; endeavouring to hold fast to truth and stand fast in love by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah 12:1-5 The year was 1944 when the Communist party seized power in Romania. Literally overnight, a million Russian troops poured onto the soil of Romania. In what was heralded as the “freeing” of Romania, saw instead, women raped, shops looted, men robbed and murdered. Christians were imprisoned, tortured, kidnapped, and murdered for possessing the same faith as you and I. Romania, which had formerly been dubbed “the granary of Europe”, became a starvation camp. Yet despite this, in the years leading up to this brutal persecution, God in His faithfulness had been preparing His people for the horrors of the Communist Regime through the afflictions of the Nazi backed “Iron Guard” who too persecuted Christians in the run-up to the Communist takeover of Romania. A Christian Pastor, writing of his experiences during this said this: “My wife and I were arrested several times, beaten, and hauled before Nazi judges. The Nazi terror was great, but only a taste of what was to come under the Communists. My son, Mihai, had to assume a non-Jewish name to prevent his death. But these Nazi times had one great advantage. They taught us that physical beatings could be endured, and that the human spirit with God's help can survive horrible tortures. They taught us the technique of secret Christian work, which was a preparation for a far worse ordeal to come; an ordeal that was just before us”. I want to tell you Brothers and Sisters; before God asks His people to sit the final exam, He first enters them for the mock. God prepares His people Saints of God — He prepares us for battle in the school of His training.
Deuteronomy 8:1-6 Horatio Spafford was a Presbyterian layman from Chicago and was a successful lawyer and businessman. Humanly speaking, this man had everything going for him. He loved the Lord and was happily married with five beautiful children. However, things were about to take a drastic and sudden turn, in a series of events reminiscent of the life of Job. Spafford had heavily invested in real estate along Lake Michigan's shoreline but in the great Chicago Fire of 1871, he tragically lost everything! If that wasn't bad enough, shortly before this, he lost his only son to scarlet fever at the tender age of four. With a grieving wife, Horatio Spafford decided to send her and their four daughters across to England where he planned imminently to join them. In 1873, his family boarded the S.S Ville du Havre and set sail for England; but as the ship crossed the Atlantic Ocean, tragedy struck when the ship collided with another sea vessel. Within just 12 minutes the ship had sunk taking the lives of 226 of her passengers. When survivors finally reached dry land, Horatio Spafford received a telegram from Cardiff, Wales. It was from his precious wife Anna; the first two words read; “Saved alone...”. As Horatio journeyed to meet his grieving wife, the captain, aware of the tragedy, invited Spafford to join him in the cockpit, pointing out to him the location where he believed the ship had sunk. With this, Horatio rushed off to his room where he penned the words to a poem by the name of “Ville du Havre”. We know the name of that poem today as the hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul”. So many I find are content to serve the Lord and to speak well in good times when the wind is blowing in a favourable direction. But woe if that wind should suddenly change course; as changes the wind so changes their speech. It is here perhaps most of us all, where the Lord wants to try the substance and quality of our hearts. Will we still be a people of one voice speaking the same things out of season as in season? Can we say in the midst of trial, it is well with my soul?
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 There is a war that has been raging for the last two-thousand years. On one side stand the Saints of God — the army of the Church of Jesus Christ; and on the other side, principalities, and powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places. If one was to stop the average person in the street and to tell them of this mighty conflict, they would most likely laugh you to scorn. Yet the child of God knows all too well, the reality of this mighty conflict. In this sermon, we seek to expose the varying methods of the assaults of the devil, in particular, his lying slanders through which he wages war against our minds. I pray that this sermon will be of help to you in this battle.
Romans 5:20-21 I find increasingly of late that cardinal and principal doctrines of the Christian faith are being called into question, not (I might add) from those outside the fold, but on the contrary, from those who claim to be inside the fold. Long established doctrines of the most immanent importance are simply being brushed aside and labelled as questionable. One such doctrine that is being brushed aside as take it or leave it, is the doctrine of original sin. The increasing denial of this doctrine among professing Christians is increasing and as believers, we must be absolutely clear about what this doctrine is and why it is a fundamental and non-negotiable element to our faith.
2 Peter 3:1-15 From way back when and from days of old, there have been scoffers and mockers that have made it their duty of responsibility to poke fun at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. “You Christians have been saying that Jesus is coming back since supposedly He left the first time!!” “Two thousand years have passed and where is the promise of His coming?” “Grandad Mack said He was coming in his day and his relatives before him said exactly the same...where is He? All things continue as they have from the beginning of time!!” You'd think that such people had read the Second Epistle of Peter for that's exactly what he said they'd say! This sermon is an urgent call for preparation. Jesus is coming back. When He comes, will you be found of Him in peace?
1 Peter 5:7 In 1740, Charles Wesley penned the words to the timeless hymn, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul”. Without question, he had in his mind the words of the sweet psalmist David when he fled from Saul in the cave. “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast” (Ps. 57:1). The first two verses of Wesley's hymn read as follows: 1. Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly, while the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high; hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past; safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last! 2. Other refuge have I none; hangs my helpless soul on thee; leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring; cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing. We are living in an age of mounting pressure, not least for the Christian. All around we are beset with many cares and vexing thoughts. How are we to bear up under this pressure? What are we to do with all our cares and anxieties? Peter instructs us: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you”. I trust that this sermon will offer to you much comfort and encouragement, as you set your heart to serve the Lord amidst a troubled world.
1 Peter 2:2-3 A lot can be gleaned from newborn babies that teach the children of God what it is to hunger and thirst. Peter, instructs believers, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Pet. 2:2). In the natural, newborn babes have an insatiable thirst and hunger for milk. Peter is saying that this ought to characterise the appetite of the believer in Christ! Have you an appetite for the Word of God? Have you strong cravings, not only to behold it but also to consume it? May God bring each one of us onto higher ground and revive in us an insatiable hunger for His Word.
Mark 10:46-52 Christianity is no passive religion. You don't get to be an idle bystander while others around you participate. Each and every one of us is called to step into this arena of faith personally, and to walk with God for ourselves; to experience His covenant blessings, to taste of His goodness such that we can appeal to others first-hand (not on the basis of hearsay or another man's testimony), and say, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him” (Ps. 34:8).
Ephesians 1:13-14 Seldom does the child of God really ponder the eternal treasure laid up for them in heaven. In this sermon, we endeavour to set forth this blessed hope and in so doing, call the Christian to take his eyes from off this world and to put them on the eternal glory to come!
Proverbs 23:22-26 If there's one Last Days characteristic that has come swiftly upon Western society over the last 60-70 years, it is the flippant and widespread rebellion of children against their parents. It is almost an accepted norm that when children turn teenagers, the relationship between them and their parents breaks down. It used to be that the most important unit in the life a young person was their family. Families are God given institutions of grace. Conduits of His love which provide for children safety and nurture. As Christians, do we not endeavour to raise our children in the fear and discipline of the Lord and to communicate to them in word and deed, the love of Christ. Children are supposed to be among the happiest people on the earth and when they are in the confines of a loving family unit, they generally are! Satan is well aware of this and seeks on every hand to destroy our young ones. How does he do this? He seeks to destroy the family unit!! This sermon is a call to Fathers and mothers to gain the hearts of their children. It is call by our heavenly Father also, to His children, saying, “Give me your heart”.
Hosea 14 As one reads through the Prophets, whether Major or Minor, Pre-exilic or Post, one is met with a single voice that is unanimous in its cry, certain in its proclamation, and absolute in its conclusion. Though Israel lies presently in a state of unbelief, far away from their God on account of their iniquities; a cry sounds forth from the pages of this precious book that what is at present, shall not always be!! We look in this sermon at God's promise of spiritual restoration for the Jewish people at the end of time when Messiah shall come the second time.
1 Corinthians 10:13-14 On every hand, the Christian soldier wars and battles; seldom does he ever get to have a day off. His prime enemies are really two-fold in number, the flesh, and the devil. One must quickly learn to recognise both foes if one is to successfully stand against them so as to secure the victory. God has promised His children that they are not alone in their hour of temptation. He will not allow us to be tempted above that which we are able to bear, but will with the temptation make a way to escape.
Hebrews 11:6 The writer of Hebrews tells us that “…without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”. One writer, commentating upon this verse said this: “These two elements seem most simple, but, alas, how many professing Christians act as if God were not living; and how many others, though seeking after Him, are not expecting from Him as Rewarder!”. This sermon is both an encouragement and a challenge. There is simply no other way to walk with God so as to please Him than by faith. The one approaching unto God must be fully persuaded that not only is God able to do what He said he would do; but that He is also willing. We must be convinced not only of God's power but also of His goodness!
1 Kings 8:27-29 Pastor Jason Wright brings a very timely and relevant message to the Body of Christ. So many are content to accept the status quo, but for those with eyes to see, God is at work in our day! Pastor Jason endeavours to make the biblical link between God's restoration and His goodness!
Isaiah 40:31 As human beings, I've come to learn that we share a trait that's common to every one of us. Some perhaps are a little better at this than others, but I've come to find at length that the proverb of Solomon is true: “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (Prov. 13:12). Who likes to wait? Children I find are worse at this than adults, but then most adults never grow up from this childhood trait. “Mommy, can I have...can I have!” “Daddy, I want...I want!” Have you noticed how closely behind each request, the other follows on its heels? The little darlings try every which way possible to get our attention, and if persistent asking doesn't work, then there's always the waterworks!! As believers in Jesus Christ, we must abandon “self-will” in favour of “God's will”. This sermon is a strong call to the Body of Christ to learn what it means to wait upon the Lord and in waiting, to pray; not my will, but Thine be done!
Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 14) When one holds the Bible in their hand, one ought to have an immediate sense of feel for what he/she is reading. The Book of Proverbs for instance, is immediately recognisable as being literature of wisdom. The Book of Psalms as poetry. The Gospels as historical and biographical; the epistles as written letters. The thundering “Thus saith the LORD's” mark out the books of prophecy and the “Thou shalt not's”, the books of Law. Just as these books have distinguishing factors that serve to identify their type, so it is also when it comes to the Apocalyptic Books - they are instantly recognisable. Both the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation carry the hallmarks of apocalyptic literature. Imagery and symbolism pervade the books and the visions and dreams found within, concern themselves with the rise of fall of future empires, not least penultimately, the coming kingdom of the antichrist and the overthrow of this kingdom in the final coming kingdom of Messiah. In this teaching, we endeavour to equip the student of Scripture with some helpful hints and tips that we trust will enable them to begin the process of interpreting the books of Daniel and Revelation. If at first you don't succeed, keep trying and by the grace of God, light shall be shone into obscurity. Download teaching notes (pdf) https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/bethesdashalom/10_Interpreting_the_Apocalyptic_Literature.pdf
Proverbs 12:18 As a believer in Jesus Christ, do you still possess the sweetness of the Lord? You'll note, I said “still”, and that's because every one of us that are truly Christian have a day and an hour when we were born the second time from above. Just as a certain day marks our physical birth, so a certain day marks our spiritual birth. Do you remember that glad moment, in the hour of your coming to Christ when the light of heavens glory filled your heart? When the love of Christ melted your being, and the love of God was shed abroad in your hearts? What went wrong, from whence did you begin to lose the sweet aroma of His being? I trust that this message will be of help in returning you to your first love.
Proverbs 12:18 It takes just as much physical strength to speak a word in kindness as it does to speak a word in spite; just as much physical effort, to utter a word of encouragement as it does a word of discouragement. The same duration of time is taken, the same linguistical abilities employed, and yet, if we were to take a tally — I fear that there would perhaps be more marks on the side of negative than on the side of positive; more “For's” on the side of discouragement, than there would be on the side of encouragement. Oh, my dear Brothers and Sisters, this ought not to be!! The cry of the heart of this sermon is, “Lord, make me an encourager!”
Isaiah 61:1 In the days of Jesus' earthly ministry, not everyone welcomed Him. The religious leaders despised Him and could not understand why He would eat with sinners and dine with the publicans. They were of far greater purity to condescend to men of such disrepute. But you see, it was these for whom Christ came. Not for the righteous (those who are well) — they have no need of a doctor and hence do not seek for one. But He came for sinners that they might be made whole!!
Nehemiah 1-6 Pastor John bears his heart with tears for the sad state of the nation and the desperate need for a sovereign move of God in our day. By drawing on the principles laid forth in Nehemiah, John sets before us precious nuggets of truth that we would do well to ponder and apply. May God see fir to richly use this timely and prophetic word for the glory of His holy name and for the blessing of His people.
Habakkuk 3:2 Shared at the Dedication of Bethesda Shalom – 24/07/21 As we witness first-hand in our day, the grievous state of decline in this nation of Great Britain is a state most sorry to behold. The speed at which morality is crumbling away before our very eyes leave us without words to fully articulate the peril of the present hour. The firm foundations (Christian foundations) which have stood this nation on a solid footing for the last 600 years are being pulled up in 60! I find that in life, it's far easier and quicker to destroy than it is to erect; to pull down than it is to build up!! Spiritually, we're sliding into Sodom and plunging into Gomorrah; and while the world travails the broad road to destruction, the professing Church of Jesus Christ has veered off the narrow path and has found its way down to vanity fair! Oh!! do some decry this sad state of affairs and I not join them in lifting up my voice? Do others lament this midnight hour and I not also grieve with them! The hour is late, and the need is desperate. A heart cry goes forth for God to visit His people in revival. There's simply no other alternative. God…in wrath, remember mercy!!
Isaiah 42:1-7 There are a number of passages in the Book of Isaiah that have come to be known as the “servant passages”. Some scholars put the number at four, others at five; but what binds each of them together, is their description of Messiah in His lowly mission. There are many titles given to our Lord Jesus in the Bible that speak of His glory and majesty, titles that speak of His power and dominion. Yet, the focus of this sermon is not found in these descriptions, but rather is found in that title which serves well to depict the lowly Lord, namely that of a servant!
Ezra 7:1-10 Ezra was a man of great influence in his day and one who possessed great knowledge of the Word of God. Talk about knowledge? Look no further than the man Ezra, he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses! Talk about pedigree and class? Look no further than the man Ezra, he was a priest of the sons of Aaron! Talk about honour and esteem? The glories of the scribe in his day eclipsed those of the priest! Yet…there was one distinguishing factor that singled this scribe out from among all the other scribes of his day. Not only was Ezra a ready scribe who prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord so as to teach in Israel its statutes and judgments. Ezra set his heart to do it!!!
Ephesians 4:1-6 In John 17, Jesus prayed that “…they all may be one”. He was of course referring to the true Church - those who would come to believe in Him through the Word of the Apostles. This reality has been made possible via the new birth. When one is born again of the Spirit of God, they are grafted into the spiritual Body of Jesus Christ. This is a concrete fact that cannot be disputed. Yet, the great challenge that faces every one of us who names the name of Jesus Christ, is the practical outworking of this reality in a functional, living experience. How does the Body of Christ bring the abstract in line with the concrete? All is brought to light in God's precious Word!
Genesis 4:7 No soldier goes to the field of battle not knowing the enemy against which he must fight. The Christian wears the badge of many titles—the badge of a son, the badge of a servant; the badge of a disciple and the badge of a friend. The badge of priest and king, yea also of saint and elect. Yet, amidst this decoration of honorary attire, there's one badge that I left off to mention, which without, his uniform would be incomplete. What badge is this to which I refer? It is the badge of a soldier — a soldier of Jesus Christ!! Tell me of the foe against which you war? Tell me of the hardships endured on account of this warfare? Where are your scars, where are your victories? Where are our medals of honour...where are your stripes? What is the foe to which I refer? “...sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him” (Gen. 4:7).
Joshua 3:5 No true move of God has ever begun without it first being preceded by prayer. Yet, a praying people prevailed with God in prayer because they were a sanctified people! This message is a clarion call to the Church of Jesus Christ. God is calling for a holy people. It's time now for God's children, to put away sin from their midst and prepare their hearts to seek the Lord!! “Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you” (Josh. 3:5). Note: This is the first sermon ever preached in Bethesda Shalom, formerly known as Providence Baptist Chapel.
Joshua 3:1-4 When one door closes and another opens, it is always a day mixed with both sorrow and joy, and yesterday was no exception. I say sorrow, not because of regret but because the door that is closing leaves behind with it an era that has now come to an end and as one looks back, the memories abound! Memories of God's faithful dealings, His divine providence, and keeping hand of grace. His faithful provision and steadfast promises which all the way hath proven to be yea and amen! To run a course appointed you by God and to have Him close the door and in its place to open another is a thing to be most cherished. So many bail out on God before the time, but to run the course and to finish the race and then to have God move you on unto things better still; is to have the calm repose and restful assurance that we are right where He would have us to be!!! This is the last sermon ever preached in the Chapel of Royal School Wolverhampton. We reflect on how the Lord has led us thus far and prepare ourselves for Him bringing us into our new place of meeting. Two things are apparent, the Lord has gone before us and we must seek to follow after in the spirit of earnest prayer!
Revelation 2:1-7 When the glory of God rests upon a servant of God, it is a thing most glorious to behold. There are many great wonders in the world, but none are so wonderful as this. If that be so, then what of the opposite? What of the contrary? If the glory of God resting upon a servant of God is a thing most glorious to behold; then what if that glory was to depart? What if this anointing was to leave? What if favour was to pass no more across the threshold of the stable door? Oh, by reason of the former glory, this must surely be a thing most sorrowful to behold!! It is one thing when the glory of God departs from a person, but what, when the glory departs from a people? The Church in the West is in dire straits. Every week, another Church closes its doors for good; the glory of God departed. We can blame in on Covid and x, y and z; yet the Bible tells us that it is Jesus who removes the candlestick when His Church refuses to repent. This is a sobering reality that we must consider, may the Lord give us the grace to do so.
Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 13) Of all the different literary genres found within the Bible, by far the most unique, is that of prophecy. Where the historical books document history, those books falling under the category of Prophecy have an extra layer to them which documents the future! Who can claim to speak with authority on things that are yet to happen? The best historian can comment on what has past, and to a degree, he can predict what he may think to happen in the future based on past cycles; but at best it is a prediction with much uncertainty attached to it. When it comes however to the predictions made in the Bible, these are not based on a critical examination of data; they are based on “thus saith the LORD”. In this thirteenth teaching part, we give a basic overview of the Books of Prophecy and offer helps that will aid in their interpretation and application. As part of a teaching series looking at Biblical interpretation, we look holistically at the nature of the books of prophecy themselves, as a pose to the individual prophecies contained within them. We seek to understand the historical setting in which they were written in the hope that one will see the common pattern running throughout.
1 Chronicles 17:1-15 There’s a burning passion that I cannot shake from my being; two things that so grip my heart. #1. the swiftness in which life is passing us by and #2. Our response to this. What is your response to the passing glory of this life and the speed at which it appears for a moment before vanishing away? What are your priorities? Where do your concerns lie? Simply put, for what reason are you living, and for whose glory? Is it for God’s or for your own? His Kingdom or your kingdom? His house or your house? His business or your business? His honour or your honour? I figure that with the few measly years allotted to us, we may as well burn out for Jesus!!! We’ll not regret it for a second, the moment we step out into eternity!
2 Samuel 22 It is no accident that the Psalm contained in 2 Samuel 22 is pretty much a word-for-word repetition of Psalm 18! An accident? Certainly not! When God speaks once, we have reason to listen; but when He speaks twice, we’d better pay attention! We take a look at this precious and much-loved Psalm and in so doing, discover the many testimonies of David declaring the mighty Deliverer with whom he had to do! Oh, that we might come to know His faithful mercies bountifully in our own lives and experiences.
Matthew 12:1-8 Misguided zeal is a dangerous thing and nowhere perhaps is this zeal more deadly than when framed within a religious context. There is no underestimating what man will do for God, and the devil knows this, which is why it is his vehicle of choice so commonly used to insight men to injure his neighbour. What saith our Lord? What is the end of all divine commandments? “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mt. 22:36-39).
1 Corinthians 15:58 On July 8th, 1741, a man by the name of Jonathan Edwards preached what has been dubbed, the greatest sermon to have ever been preached on American soil. The sermon was titled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. Nothing was spared the hearers, as Edwards expounded to his sleepy listeners, the certain fiery punishment that awaited the unbelievers and their desperate need to flee to the Saviour for refuge! As believers in Christ, we rejoice in Christ for His saving grace wherewith we have been gloriously saved from such an end. However, in light of the coming resurrection when Christ shall burst the heavens and come back for His own, we are not to be found idle. This sermon is an exhortation for us in Christ to be busy in the work of the Lord until He comes. For those unsure of their call, it’s time to seek the Lord. For those who know their call and yet are slumbering, it is a wake-up call to arise so as to set the hand to the plough!
Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 12) It has often been said; “If it’s in the Bible, then I believe it!!” Whilst I understand the sentiments of what is seeking to expressed by such a statement, the statement is only as good as one’s interpretation of the text. If one misinterprets a portion of Scripture due to poor exegesis, then what one thinks they understand God to be saying, is not actually what He has said. To then apply this to one’s life to miss the mark and to end in error. In this second part of a two-part teaching, we look at three unique books that have caused problems for some in their interpretation due to the difficult nature of their composition and structure. We endeavour by the grace of God to shed some light in these Books, namely Ecclesiastes, Job, and Song of Solomon. Download teaching notes (pdf) https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/bethesdashalom/8b_Interpreting_the_Books_of_Wisdom_Pt2.pdf
Luke 7:36-50 When we think of religion, we tend to have this idea in our minds that those who are the most zealous in their efforts to apply religious principles; these are they who love God the most. I want to say, nothing could be further from the truth! Some of the meanest and cruelest people down through millennia’s ages are those who were the most fanatical in their cause for religion! What we need is not more religion, but more love for the Saviour! May God so help us to love the Lord Jesus Christ with a greater affection.
Colossians 3:1-15 As Christians, we must never tire of saying “No!” A decisive “No!” with firm conviction has delivered many a Christian pilgrim from the peril of danger and saved his soul from many a calamity. We must first and foremost say “No!” to sin!!! To deny the flesh its fill is never an easy thing. It has strong desires and burning passions that demand to be satisfied. It cries out in the daytime and the night seasons; “I’m hungry”! But the Christian who has walked for any length of time with the Lord knows that to yield to its demands is to play with fire. We MUST give due diligence here and watch over our souls. Is sin creeping in? Have we slackened? Have we loosened the reigns? It’s one thing to start out of the blocks, but it takes a different kind of athlete to stay the course and finish the race. God is calling us to finish well!!
Matthew 7:1-5 It’s been well said, that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones (and how true this proverb is). There’s something about the fallen state of humanity whereby man finds it so easy (almost effortless) to point out the faults in others, and yet; finds it so hard to see those same faults in himself. No sooner than he points the finger, there are three fingers pointing back at him! How swift we are to dish out criticism, yet how slow we are to eat from that same plate! How skilled we are at murmuring and complaining about the hairline cracks we see in others when if the truth be told, we’ve crumbling joints in our own foundation but are too blind to see it because we’re always got our eyes on others people. This sermon is a call and an exhortation for mercy in our judgment of one another in light of the judgment seat of Christ.
Proverbs 3:5-6 There are some proverbs that remain in our thinking more than others; some that seem to leave a greater lasting impression in our hearts than others. None perhaps have left their indelible mark upon the hearts of God’s people than Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”. In this sermon, we bring these verses to the forefront and endeavour to behold the treasures of this precious jewel. This world is full of care and trouble, but the child of God has been called to place their trust wholeheartedly in the Lord! Will we not see what God will do, if we but look to Him?
Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 11) When one thinks of wisdom, what thoughts come to mind? What images fill the head? The response of the Christian to such questions will inevitably differ from those outside the faith. The most up-to-date entry in the Cambridge online dictionary defines wisdom as: “The ability to use your knowledge and experience to make good decisions and judgments”. The Biblical definition of wisdom whilst not contradicting this, begins from an entirely different premise from where the world begins. The world begins from a worldview that excludes the God of Holy Scripture; whereas the Biblical definition of wisdom begins and ends with God (Prov. 9:10). There are five books in the Bible that have been rightly identified as belonging to the Wisdom Literature. These include Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. In this first teaching part of two, we begin exploring this wisdom and endeavour to offer practical helps to enable one to better interpret the Book of Proverbs in order to understand the great wealth of wisdom that is contained in this precious book. Download teaching notes (pdf) https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/bethesdashalom/8_Interpreting_the_Books_of_Wisdom_Pt1.pdf
Matthew 13:1-9 J.C Ryle said of this parable; “The four kinds of hearts it describes are to be found in every assembly which hears the word. These circumstances should make us always read the parable with a deep sense of its importance. We should say to ourselves as we read it: “This concerns me. My heart is to be seen this parable. I, too, am here”. Well said, Brother Ryle!! The child of God ever runs the dangerous possibility of becoming overfamiliar with those texts which he hears the most. The Parable of the Sower is perhaps at the forefront of this list. May we listen to this sermon with ears and eyes afresh and in so doing, may God grant us to see the soil condition of our hearts.
Jeremiah 8:20 What woeful words greet us; what mournful landscape is hung before our eyes, sketched by the son of Hilkiah, otherwise known as the weeping prophet! “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. It’s one thing to pronounce judgment and it’s another thing to do so with streaming eyes. Jeremiah didn't earn his epithet without warrant; as goes the name, as goes the man! “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (Jer. 9:1). The false prophets spoke words of flattering ease and comfort, but the true prophets called God’s people to repentance and foretold of coming judgment. As we look across our nation and to the Church that is within it, will there not a voice arise to cry out to Living God if perhaps He might mercy and stand on God’s Word? “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chron. 7:14).