Sardis Message from Pastor Santos 17th May (C8)


Hi everyone;

I trust you are all well and truly enjoying God’s blessing upon your lives.

It has been a long time since we have been able of meeting together and I do miss you all. Now I have truly learned what Paul means by his teaching of being with you in Spirit.

‘For thou I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is’ Colossians 2:5.

I am sending you the written version of our Sunday Message and Bible Study but I will be sending some you a voice message as well.

God bless

“Let’s do our best to reach the whole world as soon as possible for Christ”


1 THESSALONIANS 1:1 -10 – 17/05/20

We read first about the church in the city of Thessaloniki in the book of Acts 17. Thessaloniki was, and is a city located in modern Greece. In this city the Jews gave Paul a very hard time but by God’s grace he was able to start a church in that place. The Emperor of those days was Claudius, he is the same one we read about in Acts 18:1,2. The Jews were causing him some disturbance and he expelled all of them from Rome and he always tried to quash any revolt within the empire. Unfortunately he thought that Christianity was a Jewish enterprise and he gave the Christians a hard time as well. In the midst of these difficulties Paul wrote to the church to encourage her. So, our brothers and sisters were facing trial as a community and not as individuals.

We learn from the scriptures that when one suffers, all suffer with him (1Corinthians 12:26). However, it is unusual for all of us to face suffering and difficulties at the same time, for the same reason. I have been a Christian since 1982 and I remember us praying for our brothers and sisters in the persecuted countries of Eastern Europe, China etc. They were facing suffering as a group of people at the same time. I know in our prayer meeting we pray for individuals and families and I myself have seen the benefit of those prayers for me and my own family. However, this is the first time I can remember when we are suffering as a community. We are facing the same the pain, challenges and at the same time we are isolated and not being able of comforting each other personally. Let me remind you, Paul was comforting this church through a letter. He was not there in person, he wished he could have been there. How I wish I could visit each one of you and comfort you and pray with you. Even though I cannot be with you in body, I do know I am with you in spirit. Paul was encouraging them to remain together.

Paul remembered what a blessing the church in Thessaloniki had been and he delighted himself in the memories he had of all of them. He told himself the same story again and again. I have wonderful memories of all of you and I am extremely blessed to have you as part of my flock. You are a great encouragement, you are kind, you are responsible, you are funny, you are loving, you are sensitive, you are helpful, and much more. I pray for you and I consider an honour to work with each of you and above all to worship the Lord with you. I miss you all. I miss the times we went together to the house of the Lord but I do know these days will return. During this time when we are not able to meet together as we were, we must decide we are going to see it through as one body, of one mind, with one purpose.

One thing Paul highlights in this passage is in verse 6 ‘joy given by the Holy Spirit’. The joy given by the Holy Spirit is much greater than any pain we are facing at the present moment. I am not talking about happiness, I am talking about joy. The psalmist  spoke about it when he said ‘fulness of joy’ Psalm 16:11 ‘You make known to me the path of life; you fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasure at your right hand’. The joy of the Lord is also part of God’s anointing upon our lives. Anointing is not just to heal the sick, or speak in tongues, or to preach powerfully – a true joy from the Spirit of God is also part of God’s anointing upon the life of those who believe. Talking to people, many of them say the same thing ‘I am fed up and I can’t go out’. I know where they are coming from. When I feel I have had enough I always go back to the Lord and ask Him to renew my spiritual joy. We are in this together and may our joy be made known. It is not because we are putting a brave face on but because the joy of the Lord is overflowing in our lives. Nehemiah said the same to the Jews who were living in Jerusalem under terrible conditions, they were facing it as a community, he said to them ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength’ Nehemiah may people see how we came up to the challenge and how we are reacting in positive ways because  the Spirit of Christ abides in us. We are facing the same problem at the same time and as God enabled the church in Thessaloniki, He will also enable us. Be of good heart, have faith, He will see us through. We know that we are in good hands – in His hands. We are God’s responsibility before we are the government’s responsibility.8:10. Once all of this is over I want part of our testimony to be ‘the joy of the Lord kept me going and I was joyful’. We are believers and the resources of God are immense. May our faith be known in the surrounding area.


BIBLE STUDY – PSALM 77 – 17/05/20

When God finished creating the world, He did not sign His name at the bottom of if – Jehovah. Neither did He write on a stone ‘Elohim was here’. No He did not, however, His art work can be seen wherever we go. We are truly living in an Art Gallery. Our world is an splendorous art gallery.

Psalm 77 is constituted of 20 verses. The first 9 verses  comes from the mind of a believer that was looking at circumstances around him and he was losing heart. He was drowning in his sorrows and pains. However, from verse 9 the writer of the this psalm changes his tune altogether and learns to find rest and strength in God.

When life around us seems to be very bleak and we can feel discouraged we need to lift our heads and see much further than the horizons. Suppose you are in a plane and enjoying the sunset from the view you have from the sky, then you hear a voice through the loudspeaker asking the passengers to fasten their belt for landing. Then as you touch down at Cardiff airport, the sky is grey, it is raining etc. You know that above the clouds there is a beautiful sky and you have just seen it. Beyond our bad weather life situation, I can reassure you that there is bright sky ahead of us and for us. I am not ashamed of saying that many and many times I cry out to God for help. When life gets tough I have learned to lean and depend on God. I do not want just to make it to heaven, I want very much so enjoy the benefits upon this earth that there are for those who trust in God. It seems that some times God is closer than other days. If I want to have God close to me when life is great I want Him even closer when life isn’t so great. In our agony and pain our hearts can cause us to doubt and inquire. God is God not because my faith is strong. He is strong in His own right. It is not my faith that makes Him strong. It is more I know of Him, stronger my faith will get. When in the midst of a storm, keep doing the right thing even when you do not feel like it. To do the right thing must be a principle in our lives.

Some times we need to stop ourselves on the spot and ask our own soul ‘what is the problem with you  – oh my soul?. From verse 10 -20 we see the psalmist telling himself of the great things the Lord has done. Yes, when facing some obstacles tell yourself of how the Lord has delivered you in the past and let such stories encourage your heart to trust in Him. Allow these wonderful memories to reinvigorate your faith and cause you to stand up and be counted. I have heard many people talking about the ‘Mountain Top Experience’. I do know what people mean by that. Therefore, do you know that the valleys are much more fruitful than the mountains? Do you know the soil of the valleys are much richer than the soil of the mountains? The best place to grow food it is on the valleys. What I am saying is ‘the valley experience can  richer and deeper than the mountain top experience.

I am sure all of you have read or heard about the beautiful poem ‘Footprints’. It is about someone who had a dream and was walking on the beach which represented his life. When came to the end of the beach he looked back and saw that in some parts of his life only set of footprints could be seen. He complained to the Lord and said ‘You promised to be with me all my life but there are parts of my life I walked alone’, the Lord replied ‘those were the hardest times of your life and during those times I carried you in my arms the footprints you saw they were mine and not yours’. I love this poem and the message of it too. I joke with my friends and I call it psalm 151 because some people recite it as if it was one of the psalms. As much as I love this poem, the message in Psalm 77 is a complete different one. Verse 19 says ‘ Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen’. The Hebrew children could not see His footprints but for sure He was guiding them. People of God, do not be afraid of the mighty waters, do not be afraid because you cannot see His footprints, I have plain confidence in Him. Tell yourself ‘the Lord has helped me in the past and I know for sure He will see me through again’.