Message for Sardis Members from Pastor Fortunato Santos

Hello there!!

As you are aware, we are facing some very challenging days ahead of us. At the present moment we are not allowed to get together for worship in our building. So, in order to keep in touch with everyone, I will be sending you some notes of our Sunday Evening worship and also of our Tuesday Prayer meetings.

The Lord is certainly doing a new thing.

May the Lord truly bless you.





“FEAR NOT” Message 22/03/20

Read this message on Sunday at 6pm and pray. Sing the hymns ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus and Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine’, If you do not know them, sing two hymns you know.

As you are aware, at the present moment we are not able of meeting together in our building because of the circumstances we are living in. However, we must remind ourselves that we are the church of God and not the building itself. It is great to have a building where we can meet together and worship the Lord and hold many different activities that benefit the local community and beyond and at the same time serve as a base where people can learn more about the bible.At the moment in time many people are really distressed and frightened of what is happening, but the word of God to us His children is ‘Fear Not’. The bible has a lot to say about ‘fear’. The first time we read the word ‘fear’ in the bible is in Genesis 9:2; it was about God speaking to Noah; ‘The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth…’. This verse is speaking about the creatures of the earth being subdued by mankind and this is not the ‘fear’ I am talking about. The ‘Fear’ I am talking about is when we face a new situation in our lives and we do not know how to handle it. Something we do not have the human power to control. In this aspect the first time we see the word ‘Fear’ in the bible it is in Genesis 15:2 ‘After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision; “Do not fear Abram. Abram, I am your shield and, your very great reward’. ‘The after this’ the bible is talking about it is some fierce battles Abram fought to set his nephew Lot free. Abram had other many challenges ahead of him and he stepping into the ‘unknown’, it was ‘unknown to Abram but for God, because our God knows everything’.

There are many other verses in the bible about fear, such as ‘Isaiah 41;10 -13; Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:13,30 Luke 2:10; Luke 12:7 and many others. Going back to Genesis 15:2 we find another very important promise God gave to Abram; ‘I am your shield, your very reward’.  So, people of God, the Lord is our shield.

Fear it is to have faith in the enemy. The verses above I gave you, the Lord spoke to the people when they were facing a new situation. They were going to walk on unchartered territory and this is the very expression the politicians, doctors, professors are using at the moment ‘unchartered territory’, it is uncharted for them but not for our God. He is our shield, so, fear not.

Fear will cause you anxiety, sleepless nights, sadness, depression etc. Only bad things come with fear, that’s why He tells us ‘Fear not’. You can choose to be a prisoner of your own fear or be free of fear in your own mind and heart.  Of course we need to be wise and cooperate with the authorities as much as we can. We must be an example in our communities. We must be wise but not be frightened, because the Lord is our shield.

We listen to the news or watch the TV to get fresh information, but TV does not build our faith, it is the word of God that teaches us to trust in Him. We believers, we believe and put our faith in God and not in the TV. The TV gives us information but not power, but we know there is power in the word of God.

Do not allow fear to paralyze you or take your inner peace away. It that is happening pray against it. Ask God to fill you with His peace, tell Him you are afraid and ask Him to help you. Let the Lord quieten your emotions and speak tenderly into your soul. When fear grips your heart and mind say it ‘The Lord is my shield and in Him I put my trust’. Pray God’s protection upon you and your family. We are believers we belong to God, no need to live in fear.

God bless – Pastor Fortunato Santos


BIBLE STUDY – 24/03/20

Sing hymns ‘Majesty Worship His Majesty / Here is Love vast as the ocean’. Please read John 15:1-17

Every week we are going to have a memory verse ‘This is my command; “Love each other”. John 15:17

Read this Bible Study at 7 pm on  Tuesday and after that pray through the prayer points.

In our Bible Study and Prayer Meeting on Tuesdays, we have been looking at the passage in John 15: 1 -17. Today we come to our last part of this study. Today we are going to be looking at verse 17, which says; ‘This is my command: Love each other’.

This is a very short verse and how timely it is for these uncertain days we are living in at the present moment. It is very easy to love people when things are easy and when we get on with them. However, it is a real test for ‘true love’, when life proves to be a bit more difficult than what we are used to.

When the Lord Jesus spoke these words it was during the Last Passover Meal. He knew the cross was just a matter of hours but the disciples did not know it. The disciples were in a festive mood as they were celebrating the Passover meal together. Jesus knew it was their last Passover meal together but the disciples did not know that. The disciples were going to have a very difficult time ahead of them and the Lord commanded them ‘Love each other’. Love is not a sentimental feeling, love is a moral decision. Love is to do the best for God and my neighbour. Love is not based on feelings, love is to be practical in doing the best for God and those around us.

Someone asked me, ‘Where is your faith that you are closing down the church?’ I think it is a very valid question. We are not closing the church we are closing our building and not because of the fear of the Coronavirus, we are closing the doors in obedience to what the government of our land has requested of us. We are the church of God. If the government had not requested of us to close the doors, we had a ‘plan that was going to be implemented in order for us to keep our doors open’. The government is not asking of us to do something unbiblical, because this we would not have done. The government is under a lot of pressure and they are making some extremely difficult decisions. By cooperating with the government we are showing we are good citizens and at the same time that we care for each other, it is a practical way of showing love.

We have seen through the TV and newspapers how selfish people have been in buying much more than what they need. People are afraid. In 1 John 4:18 we learn ‘Perfect love cast out all fears’. We as believers have a wonderful opportunity of showing perfect love to those are living under fear. Think about this verse (John 15:17) and reflect on it again and again throughout the week. Love for the believer is not an option, it is a commandment from the Lord. Let people around us see that we love them and we care for them.

Prayer points:

People who are unwell: John Jervis, Terry Brock, June Harris, Heather James, Heather Miller, Julie Morgan, Terry Brettle,

Government, NHS staff, Shop Keepers, The Elderly, The Lonely. A vaccine and medication to be found against Coronavirus

Missionaries: Helen Matara, Barbara Knoyle and family, Andy Hutton and family, Silva Family

God bless – Pastor Fortunato Santos