‘Joy in Relationship’ (Philippians 1:1-11)

Where do you find joy? Paul, writing in Philippians 1:1-11, finds it in people, in relationships but specifically in partnership for the gospel. Despite his imprisonment, he is thankful that God is at work in the Philippian church and prays for their growth, to the glory and praise of God. If we are partakers of his grace, God promises to work in us, that we might grow in love, with knowledge and discernment, filled with righteousness and the joy Paul describes. Because ultimately Paul finds his joy in Jesus.



Where do you find joy?
Paul is in Prison writing to the Philippians

  1. Partnership (v3-8)
  2. Prayer (v9-11)
  3. Praise (v11)

Joy in relationship with Jesus

‘Responding to the true God’ (Acts 17:22-31)

There’s no doubt that the Scriptures are full of challenges to the reader. This is especially true in the account of Paul’s message to the people of Athens recorded for us in Acts 17:16-34. While the Athenians had many gods that they wished to acknowledge, their altar to the ‘Unknown God’ gave the Apostle Paul a great opportunity to address their ignorance and tell them of the God to whom all must respond with repentance and faith, as Ryan Smith explains as he opens up the text.



• Some truths require a response!
Acts 17:30-31

1) God is going to judge the world (v.31)

2) The resurrection of Jesus assures this (v.31)

3) The required response is repentance (v.30)

‘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?


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


  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!

‘Joy in trials’ (James 1:1-8)

In this message, Ryan Smith applies James 1:1-8 to our daily experience of the ‘trials of life’ which always bring to the surface our most desperate need for wisdom!


00:00 Welcome
Song: Standing on the Promises
00:18 Introduction
00:31 Prayer
08:09 Bible reading: Romans 8:26-39
Song: Be Unto Your Name
10:42 Bible reading: James 1:1-8
Song: Grace Unmeasured
Sermon: James 1:1-8
Song: Teach Me Your Way
11:51 Closing


Introduction: An extended season of trials

  1. How to think about trials (v2-4)
    Count it joy (v2)
    Because they’re ‘perfecting’ us (v3-4)
  2. What to do in the midst of trials (5-8)
    Ask God for wisdom (v5)
    NOT doubting? (v6)
    Double-minded and unstable?? (v8)
    God gives generously! (v5)
  3. Joy and wisdom in God’s most generous gift
    Wisdom in Christ (Col 2:1-3)
    Jesus’ joy in the cross (Heb 12:2)
    God’s most generous gift (Romans 8:31-39)

‘Prayer: Through the Son’ (Mark 14:32-42, 1 John 1:5-2:2)

Prayer is something that should be fundamental to every Christian, yet we often neglect prayer while also taking prayer for granted (1 John 1:5-2:2). In this message, Ryan Smith reminds us again of the amazing provision that enables us, sinners, to come before a holy and righteous God, with confidence, and call on him as our Father (Mark 14:32-42). The good news transforms our understanding of prayer!

‘Relying on the real hero of Acts’ (Acts 1:1-11, Ryan Smith)

We currently live in a super-hero obsessed culture and it can often affect the way we think about sharing the message of Jesus. We can fall into the trap of thinking the apostles are like ‘super-Christians’ and sharing Jesus is for other ‘super-Christians’, [pastors, trained-evangelists, extroverts, people gifted in talking and sharing]. We often think “I’m ordinary, I’m unimpressive, I’m unequipped, I can’t do it, Jesus can’t be expecting anything from me”. But according to Acts 1:1-11, Jesus is the real hero of the book of Acts. We don’t need to be super or a hero, but just need to be used by Him.

‘What is God doing? (injustice, evil and God) (Habakkuk 1:1-11)

In Habakkuk 1:1-11, the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk was unafraid to let God know of his complaint. The world of his day was full of evil, and what was God doing about it? His apparent inactivity was a concern to the prophet. However God had an answer for the prophet that he was not expecting. God was not inactive at all, but was raising up a people who would come and dominate that part of the world bring His swift judgement. This was not only a shock to Habakkuk, but also to people today. How can God just let evil and injustice rule? The answer is that He isn’t and He won’t. In fact he sent His Son Jesus to suffer the graetest injustice of all by dying in the place of sinners. The world continues as it is for now, but when Jesus returns, and not until then, everything will be put right.

‘Recognizing Jesus, knowing hope’ (Luke 24:13-35)

Luke 24:13-35 tells of two men who were sad and downcast because they were hoping that Jesus was the one to redeem Israel. But Jesus was handed over to the rulers and crucified. With his death, they lost their hope. But Jesus drew near to them and helped them to see that the plan has always been that the promised Christ must suffer and die, and then enter his glory. All of Scripture points to this, and rather than being the end of hope, His death was the exact opposite and His resurrection from the dead only confirmed the certainty of that hope because He triumphed over death as the risen Lord. Now, in the midst of all the troubles of this life, even with the news of our own impending death, we can know hope, if we come to the one who has died for our sin and risen as our Lord. (no audio available)