uk is under a National lockdown: stay at home
Places of worship
You can attend places of worship for a service. However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should maintain strict social distancing at all times.
You should follow the national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.
March 8: Schools to reopen for all; people can meet one other person outside
March 29: Outdoor meetings of six can happen; ‘stay at home’ order lifted
April 12: Non-essential retail can reopen; pubs and restaurants can serve people outdoors; holiday rentals resume; gyms and indoor leisure can reopen for individuals
May 17: Indoor mixing in groups of six; pubs and restaurants open indoors; hotels, cinemas and other indoor venues reopen; sports stadiums allow some fans inside; international travel may return (pending a separate review)
June 21: Indoor and outdoor mixing limits removed
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River Bible Institute London
Scholarships are now available for our January 2021 intake!
More Than Just a Story!
The amazing thing about what happened at the first Christmas is that it was and is so much more than a story! it’s a story that changes lives!
Wednesday 5th May 2021
Years ago, we were walking in the French Alps. We had a guidebook and a map. The book described a climb that would take us up a beautiful valley and over a series of ridges to a spectacular viewpoint. We like spectacular viewpoints, so we agreed it would be worth the effort. We had to be careful to follow the route. The series of ridges was hard work. You get ‘false cols’: the ridge in front looks like the top, but when you get there, after a short dip, you have to go up again – and again! But when we got to the one that really was the top – WOW! We had a grandstand view of the three largest glaciers in the Alps. Unforgettable!
I was reminded of that when I read this verse from Psalm 119. God’s laws show us the way He wants us to go: His route. Go astray from that, and you won’t reach the destination. Like our climb that day, it’s not always easy. Sometimes you think you’ve arrived, only to find it’s a false col. And there can be unexpected dangers. But as you go, you’ll discover amazing things, God’s ‘wonders’: miracles of creation and miracles of provision.
Don’t ignore little miracles: Three people meeting to pray, all coming with the same bible verse to set the theme; a chance meeting that starts a life-changing chain of events. Things like that are ‘wonders’ just as much as a dramatic physical healing.
Or God’s faithful provision, meeting every daily need. It could be the wonders of Creation, like the amazing valley and the glaciers. Or just the first butterfly of spring. But if you’re not following God’s route, you’ll miss so much.
David asked God to help him to discern the way. On our walks in foreign countries, we sometimes needed help to find the way – waymarks aren’t always that clear, and you can miss a landmark that’s on the map. David had God’s precepts, His guidebook; but he still needed His help to discern the way. Even if it’s hard at times, when you stick to the path, it will be safe, and you’ll see wonders as you go.
Our alpine walk ended with a spectacular view. But we saw so many smaller things before we got there. Smaller, maybe, but just as amazing. All of them things to remember; or, as David says, to meditate on. As I reflect on that gorgeous walk all those years ago, I’m amazed all over again at how great God is.
Prayer: Father, You’re wonderful! I’m amazed at all You do and at all Your faithful provision. Please help me to discern the way You want me to go today, and open my eyes to see Your wonders, the little ones as much as the big ones. Amen.
By Richard Griffiths (Seeds Of The Kingdom)
Tuesday 4th May 2021
the highest place
We once had a group of Jehovah Witnesses come into our home to discuss the Christian faith and look at Scripture. They have many of their own interpretations of the Bible, but what they believe is not truly in line with what it says. An important difference we had with them was over who Jesus is. After they had gone, I prepared some scriptures which clearly show that Jesus is God for the next time they came back. But they didn’t come back again. The disciples of Jesus came to understand that Jesus was God and one of the clearest statements came from Thomas. He was privileged to see the risen Lord Jesus. Jesus invited him to see His hands which had been pierced by the nails and put his hand into His side, which had been pierced with a spear from a Roman soldier. He immediately confessed Jesus as Lord and God. ‘Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and my God’ (John 20:28). Jesus said that Thomas now believed the truth because he had seen the evidence for himself, but all those who would come to believe without seeing Jesus physically would be blessed. That means you and me. We are blessed.
We can bow the knee and acknowledge (confess) Jesus is Lord. He is the mighty King of the universe, the supreme authority figure, yet He is loving, kind and gentle. Therefore, we can safely trust Him with our entire lives. I love the words in a verse from the old hymn ‘At the name of Jesus’. ‘In your hearts enthrone Him; there let Him subdue all that is not holy, all that is not true. Crown Him as your captain in temptation’s hour; let His will enfold you in its light and power’.
Giving Jesus the highest place in our lives means we will always try to do our best to please Him and obey His will. Thomas called Him ‘my Lord’ and that means being in a close personal relationship. At the last supper, during Passover, Jesus shocked Peter by washing the feet of His disciples. Jesus explained Peter needed to accept having his feet washed or he would not belong to Jesus. He wouldn’t be in close relationship with Him.
It was to be a most powerful lesson for them all. They would now understand that a leader in God’s Kingdom needs to be a humble servant. ‘When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me “Teacher” and “Lord”, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you”’ (John 13:12-15). The reason God exalted Jesus to the highest place was that Jesus humbled
Himself by ‘becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross’ (Philippians 2:8). He sacrificed His life on the cross for us all that we could find salvation and forgiveness of our sins, and that we could have eternal life with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to bow my knee to You and acknowledge You as my Lord and my King. I want You to be Lord of my whole life, of my spirit, soul and body, of how I worship You, of all my thoughts, all my emotions and how I express them, the choices I make each day, all my relationships, my time, my money and material possessions. I choose to place into Your hands my fears and anxieties and trust You will always be with me, whatever happens and wherever I go. Please wash me and make me clean in Your eyes. Amen.
By Liz Griffin (Seeds Of The Kingdom)
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