We opened in prayer and had a time of sharing. We listened to a report from one of our group who had been away in India for 3 weeks, taking the Gospel to a group of women. It was lovely to hear that many souls were saved and found a freedom and hope, away from their desperate situation.
Graham spoke on Numbers 25 about the tragic circumstances surrounding the Israelites who had stepped away from the covering that God had provided and found themselves tempted by the Moabites. The extent and the swiftness in which God intervened is a lesson for all of us - when we are tempted we must turn to God immediately and cry out for His help, and in so doing we shall receive peace.
We closed with a time of seeking God in prayer and His presence filled the room.
We had a slightly smaller number out this week due to folks having either other commitments or transport problems.
Mark and Leah started with a time of singing which was very nice. Following this, Pauline led us in the Bible study which was the last of the 5 cases of the baptism in the Holy Spirit in Acts 19. It is a really interesting case where Paul meeting a group of believers, baptises them in water and then lays hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit. They all began to speak in tongues or prophecy. We found it really interesting that Paul didn't say to them, 'If you'd only been with us on the day of Pentecost or with Peter in Corinth you would have received the Holy Spirit.' He simply laid his hands on them and they received. He also didn't ask their permission but saw it as their birthright to receive. It seems to have been regarded as the New Testament norm then.
We closed with a short time of prayer and worship. It was lovely to hear everyone taking part in prayer, thanking God for His presence.
It was a smaller than usual meeting, with fewer souls who braved the weather.
Annette led some singing before John spoke from the Gospel of
John 14.15. "If you love me, you will obey what I command". The theme was all about obedience and disobedience to God and that our relationship with Him should be based on love, trust and action. John used several examples of this from the Bible. He related the story of Joseph and his acceptance of Mary's condition due to his love and trust of God and how his life is still impacting on lives today. John rounded off by challenging folks not to regret the choices of disobedience to God but rather awaken to full obedience so that the Holy Spirit may empower us.
We finished off with a very good prayer time with most taking part.