‘Daniel and friends: The writing on the wall’ (Daniel 5:1-31)

The text of Daniel 5:1-31 takes us to the rule of Belshazzar king of Babylon. Daniel is older now and seems to have been forgotten (or bypassed) for duties in the roal court, until the night of the King’s feast when a mysterious hand appeared to write a message on the wall in front of the king’s eyes. It was a message of judgement for this king (like chapter 4) and this judgement fell swiftly upon him. Daniel’s role in the matter was to translate the message and deliver it faithfully and observe yet another king come and go while he continued to faithfully serve his God.

Message

Radio Service

00:00 Welcome
Song: All Creatures of Our God and King
00:18 Introduction
00:33 Prayer
04:56 Bible reading: Daniel 5:1-16
Song: Worthy of All Praise
07:57 Shorter Catechism Introduction
09:25 Catechism Questions 99
11:28 Bible reading: Daniel 5:17-31
Song: Jesus Thank You
Sermon: Daniel 5:1-31
Song: My Hope Is Built
14:13 Closing

Outline

• Humpty Dumpty!
• A new king on the throne…
• This king comes and goes so quick!
• See how the text speaks of…

  1. The King and his feast (v.1-4)
  2. The King and his fears (v.5-16)
  3. The King and his fall (v.17-31)

The God who brings down pride
The God who sees all
The God who rules over all…!

‘Salt and light’ (Matthew 5:13-16)

In this message on Matthew 5:13-16, Hugh Price examines the two metaphors that Jesus used in the Sermon on the Mount to describe his followers. Salt in the ancient days was used mainly as a preserving agent, and light, (in the sense of the opposite of darkness) has one major purpose in all of our lives ever since God made the world. The challenge is of course, not just understanding these metaphors, but living them out in the world.

Service

00:00 Welcome
Song: To God Be the Glory
00:18 Introduction
00:38 Prayer
05:21 Bible reading: Psalm 119:89-112
Song: Jerusalem
07:51 Shorter Catechism Introduction
09:18 Catechism Questions 96-98
11:08 Bible reading: Matthew 5:1-16
Song: My Hope Rests Firm
Sermon: Matthew 5:13-16
Song: God Whose Almighty Word
13:06 Closing

Report on our 150th Anniversary Celebration Service

Well, today was the day! Despite it being a rather cold September morning, we gathered with thankful hearts to celebrate the Lord God’s faithfulness to us over these 150 years.

Like most churches, the story of the St John’s congregation is one of ups and downs, decline and growth, good times and hard times… and yet through it all, our God has proved again and again that He is faithful.

You can listen to the whole service and/or the message by Rev Peter Phillips on the theme of ‘God’s Word for God’s World’. Also, here’s a snap of the congregation on the day (just for posterity’s sake!).

150th Anniversary Service and message

On Sunday September 11th, 2022, the St John’s congregation celebrated its 150th anniversary (yes, the congregation was formed on September 8th, 1872). To praise God for His faithfulness and blessing upon us, a celebration service was held at which the PCV Moderator, Rev Peter Phillips, preached the message entitled ‘God’s Word for God’s World’ (the theme chosen by the Session for our anniversary year!)

Message

Full service

‘True security’ (1 Samuel 8:1-22)

In this message on 1 Samuel 8:1-22, Ryan Smith explores the concept of finding security in the Lord alone from the time the people of Israel went to Samuel to ask them for a king to rule over them. They did this to ‘be like the other nations around them’ and in doing so they earned God’s displeasure, even though He gave them what they asked for! (Sometimes we ask for the wrong things!) It’s a challenge for us in this day of much fear about many things – who do you trust in for your security?

Service

00:00 Welcome
Song: Stand Up and Bless the Lord
00:17 Introduction
00:38 Prayer
04:27 Bible reading: 1 Samuel 8
Song: Be Unto Your Name
07:18 Shorter Catechism Introduction
08:45 Catechism Questions 91-95
10:54 Bible reading: Matthew 6 and Mark 10
Song: How Deep the Father’s Love
Sermon: 1 Samuel 8:1-22
Song: Be Thou My Vision
14:29 Closing

Outline

  1. In their insecurity the Israelites ask for a King (v1-5)
  2. Seeking security apart from God is to reject Him (v.6-9)
  3. A King will take from them & enslave them (v.10-18)
  4. God gives them what they ask for (v.19-22)
  5. God graciously gives them far better than they deserve – Jesus the true and better King!

‘Daniel and friends: The proud humbled’ (Daniel 4:1-37)

There is no doubt that all through the first four chapters of the book of Daniel, God was dealing with King Nebuchadnezzar – and why wouldn’t He? Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful ruler in the world. In fact you could say, the ruler of the world. So it was no surprise that God should engage with him. And that is just what he did! In Daniel 4:1-37 we find the story of how God brought this king down. Humbled him. Brought him to nothing. It is a salutary tale. One that we should take full note of!

Service

00:00 Welcome
Song: Marvellous Grace
00:17 Introduction
00:38 Prayer
04:02 Bible reading: Daniel 4:1-18
Song: Behold the Lamb of God
07:31 Shorter Catechism Introduction
08:59 Catechism Questions 88-90
11:00 Bible reading: Daniel 4:19-37
Song: Before the Throne
Sermon: Daniel 4:1-37
Song: Jesus Shall Reign
15:29 Closing

Outline

• Where we are in this book
• The King humbles a king
• Recurring themes of Daniel 1-3
• See how the text speaks of…

  1. What the King dreamed (v.1-18)
  2. What the King learned (v.19-27)
  3. What the King became (v.28-37)

Warnings must be heeded…
God’s mercy triumphs!
Jesus who humbled himself…

‘Daniel and friends: A line in the sand’ (Daniel 3:1-30)

The story of Daniel’s three friends being thrown into the fiery furnace in Daniel 3:1-30 is far, far from being a cute Sunday School story. What a testimony these men had! What courage they displayed! What determination to not give in to the threats of the most powerful King! What faith they had that the true King would be given their full obedience regardless of the outcome! The story is powerful and challenging, reminding us of the full cost that many make in following the Lord Jesus even now.

Service

00:00 Welcome
Song: What a Friend We Have In Jesus
00:18 Introduction
00:40 Prayer
05:28 Bible reading: Daniel 3:1-15
Song: My Heart Is Filled
08:20 Shorter Catechism Introduction
09:48 Catechism Questions 83-87
13:14 Bible reading: Daniel 3:16-30
Song: My Worth Is Not In What I Own
Sermon: Daniel 3:1-30
Song: O Jesus I Have Promised
16:48 Closing

Outline

• This new series
• A repeat crisis!
• ‘Easy to stand with the crowd….’
• See how the text speaks of…

  1. The size of the challenge they faced (v.1-7)
  2. The depths of the courage they shared (v.8-23)
  3. The truths of the principles they proved (v.24-30)

‘A line in the sand’
Faithful until the very end!

‘Daniel and friends: Cool in a crisis’ (Daniel 2:1-49)

While far away in exile in Babylon, Daniel 2:1-49 tells us how Daniel and his friends soon faced another test – one not of their own making, but one that the Lord was certainly in. When King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream troubled him and he sought answers about it, Daniel and friends were about to lose their heads. But through earnest prayer and the grace of God, these young men were able to see God come to their aid and actually do more for the advancement of His Kingdom than they might ever have expected!

Service

00:00 Welcome
Song: O Worship the King
00:17 Introduction
00:37 Prayer
03:50 Bible reading: Daniel 2:1-24
Song: O Great God
07:46 Shorter Catechism Introduction
09:14 Catechism Questions 78-82
12:10 Bible reading: Daniel 2:25-49
Song: My Hope Rests Firm
Sermon: Daniel 2:1-49
Song: The Lord Is King
18:00 Closing

Outline

• This new series
• Cool in a crisis
• The king’s grave threats
• See how the text speaks of…

  1. A troubling dream and a stubborn king (v.1-11)
  2. Crisis praying and welcome answers (v.12-45)
  3. Humble worship and fitting reward (v.46-49)

What God gives
What God values
What God can do
What God foreshadowed…

‘Daniel and friends: Faithful under pressure’ (Daniel 1:1-21)

The book of Daniel is a wonderful encouragement to God’s people because it tells the story of Daniel and his friends, living faithfully before God in the most difficult of circumstances. The exile of these young men of Judah into Babylon was no small test. To be a young man and far from home and the regular worship of God and the means of grace can never be underestimated. And then also, to be placed within the King’s court and palace with new Babylonian names! This would not have been easy. But Daniel 1:1-21, tells us that Daniel and his friends passed the test and in doing so proved that ‘the Lord honours those who honour Him’.

Service

00:00 Welcome
Song: I Will Sing the Wondrous Story
00:19 Introduction
00:42 Prayer
05:18 Bible reading: Daniel 1
Song: See Him Coming
08:49 Shorter Catechism Introduction
10:17 Catechism Questions 73-77
13:42 Bible reading: 2 Timothy 3
Song: By Faith
Sermon: Daniel 1:1-21
Song: O Jesus I Have Promised
17:04 Closing

Outline

• A new series
• Exile into Babylon
• Young men far from home
• See how the text speaks of…

  1. The strategies employed to change their mindset (v.1-7).
  2. The counter strategies employed to continue their mindset (v.8-16)
  3. God honoured their resolution to keep that mindset (v.17-21).

Perseverance, faithfulness and honour
What really matters…

‘Laodicea: Urged to deal with mediocrity’ (Revelation 3:14-22)

When Jesus spoke to the church at Laodicea in Revelation 3:14-22, he highlighted the ‘lukewarmness’ of their response to His word. The church there wan’t suffering from persecution or false teaching, but they were mediocre in their walk with Him. Using images that could be found all over this city, including items that the city was famous for, this letter to the church from Jesus was intended to prod and stir these believers into action. Mediocrity is never enough. Hearing his word and obeying is what counts!

Service

00:00 Welcome
Song: Standing on the Promises
00:17 Introduction
00:37 Prayer
02:45 Bible reading: Isaiah 55:1-11
Song: 10,000 Reasons
05:10 Shorter Catechism Introduction
06:38 Catechism Questions 68-72
09:33 Bible reading: Revelation 3:14-22
Song: Consider Christ
Sermon: Revelation 3:14-22
Song: Revive Thy Church
11:36 Closing

Outline

• The seventh of the 7 churches
• A strong, sharp and pointed message from Jesus
• The credentials of Jesus before the rebuke!
• See in these verses present us with a view of Jesus…

  1. As a visitor to the city, drinking. (v.15-16)
  2. As a merchant in the city, trading (v.17-18)
  3. As a guest in the city, knocking (v.19-21)

From their depths to His heights!
The way out of mediocrity