2 | New Worship

Worship is crucial to so much of our life.

In repentance: sin is worshipping the wrong thing, so worshipping God reorients us toward Him and He lifts us up.

In discipleship: discipleship is about helping one another grow into maturity, becoming more like Jesus. In worship we encourage one another in this by relishing Jesus and welcoming his work in us.

In powerful witness: worship expresses God’s greatness and goodness. It releases spiritual power and proclaims the gospel, as Paul and Silas found out while locked up in jail in Philippi.

And most importantly, in knowing God: worship is the natural and life-giving response to meeting Him. We worship not because of what we get out of it, but simply because He’s worthy. Even so, we are changed as we enter deeper into His presence. We put ourselves into His light, letting Him transform us.

Worship needs no instruments, words, pretty decor or worship leader, these should all be things that help already worshipful hearts express their love for Jesus with passion, creativity and reverent freedom.

God is the inventor of colour, and one of the ways He expresses His colourful, wild life is through His Church. Let’s explore new ways of worshipping that are as varied as creation, as deep as the best hymns and as fresh as the Spirit’s prophetic word to us today.


How has God changed you through worship?

Apart from singing songs, in what other ways can we worship?

Use the other side of this sheet to write a simple song with the people around your table. Pick one aspect of God’s character, brainstorm ideas, cut the clichés and enjoy it!

Sing a rich, worshipful hymn together, like ‘Praise, my soul, the King of heaven’, or ‘Before Jehovah’s awesome throne’.

Nehemiah 8:6, Psalm 84 & 98, Acts 16:25-26, Ephesians 5:18-19


Wednesday 26 April to Tuesday 2 May 2017 | © Jesus Fellowship Church
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1 | Salvation by Faith

“Salvation unto us has come
By God’s free grace and favour;
Good works cannot avert our doom,
They help and save us never.
Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone,
Who did for all the world atone;
He is our one Redeemer…

“Faith clings to Jesus’ cross alone
And rests in Him unceasing;
And by its fruits true faith is known,
With love and hope increasing.
Yet faith alone doth justify,
Works serve thy neighbour and supply
The proof that faith is living.”
– Paul Speratus

The Jews of Jesus’ day thought they were “in”, not needing to repent, just because they were the natural descendants of Abraham. However, Jesus made clear their actions and lack of faith in him proved them to be children of Satan! Touché.

This is a bit like salvation by churchgoing, or salvation by moral living: it won’t work. Every one of us must be born again, and this is something that only God’s grace can do, and that can only be accessed through our faith.

Martin Luther, Billy Graham and countless others spent their lives driving home this fundamental truth: we must never be tempted to trust in the perfection of our Christianity, but rather the perfection of Christ himself.

It can be harder to find the humility to admit our utter poverty and dependence on God than to simply try harder on our own, but when we do, everything else changes. We then live in response to our sonship, rather than having to work for it. God works in us, continually creating in us a clean new heart and producing good works that we could never achieve on our own.

Are you saved? How do you know?

God clearly calls us to do good things, but how can we make sure our activity for Him doesn’t replace our relationship with Him?

Matthew 3:7-10, John 6:28-29, Acts 10:43, Romans 3:23-26, Romans 4:1-5, Galatians 3, Ephesians 2:1-9, James 2:14-17


Wednesday 19 to Tuesday 25 April 2017 | © Jesus Fellowship Church
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54 | Covenant Heart

A covenant between two people is an agreement, a commitment, a promise. It is a pledge of affection and loyalty with a mutual duty.

In Abraham’s time covenant agreements were traditionally made by slaughtering and cutting animals, representing the fate of the person who breaks the covenant. The two parties involved would “pass through” the pieces to seal their agreement. In Genesis 15, when God makes a covenant with Abraham (or Abram), Abraham is actually asleep when this happens:

“When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.”

This is a very different kind of covenant, because Abraham didn’t pass through the pieces: it was only God, represented by the fire. God covenanted with Abraham, giving Himself as the guarantee of the promise. Salvation is God welcoming us all into this love-covenant, paid for in full by Jesus’ sacrifice.

From the 1500s, plenty of churches have gone against “easy come, easy go” Christianity by pledging to be true to one another in formal covenants. Love commits: our covenant reflects God’s faithfulness. The heart of covenant isn’t in rules, words or expectations placed on us but a heartfelt commitment to faithfully continue loving one another in specific and devoted ways.


What difference does covenant make to our church?

What are some of the ways we’ve misunderstood or abused covenant loyalty in the past, and how can we correct this?

Talk about some of the ways God has been faithful to you.


Genesis 152 Corinthians 3:6, Galatians 6:2


Wednesday 5 to Tuesday 11 April 2017 | © Jesus Fellowship Church
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