How to please God in our everyday lives

It’s been suggested that, give-or-take, we have 120 waking hours available each week for work, family and leisure time. If you’re a Christian, you might spend up to 10 of those hours a week at church, but probably not much more. That leaves 110 hours per week that we might call our “everyday lives”. Our time at work and our time with our families and friends.

Most Christians have a sense that we ought to be using those 110 hours to serve God, and that our worship shouldn’t just be confined to times when we’re with our church. But it’s not always obvious how we should be using that time. Sometimes God can feel pretty distant from our daily lives. Often we just need a reminder about what’s important.

So for the next couple of weeks at Gospel in the City, we’re going to be thinking about how we can please God in our everyday lives – our personal lives and our work lives. We’ll be thinking about how Christian personal relationships and attitudes to work can reflect the distinctive character of the loving God we worship.

We’re going to be looking at a couple of short sections from one of the Apostle Paul’s first letters, to a group of Christians in the city of Thessalonica in Greece. After a very short visit, a number of the Thessalonians have become Christians. But Paul had barely begun to take them through the basics of the Christian life before he’s forced to leave the city because of opposition to his message. So Paul writes to tell them how, since they’ve “turned from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from heaven”¹, they can now live to please God.

If you’re not a Christian we think this will be a good chance to see what kind of God we worship by seeing the sort of life he wants us to have. A chance to see things from the inside, so to speak. And if you’re a Christian, we hope you’ll be encouraged and equipped to live to please God in your everyday life.

9th Nov: How to please God in our personal lives (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8)

16th Nov: How to please God in our working lives (1 Thessalonians 4:9-13)

Lee Campbell, who serves as pastor of Strandtown Baptist Church in Belfast, will be helping us think through these passages.

Wednesday lunchtimes, 1:10-1:40pm, upstairs in Caffe Nero on Fountain Street (1 min from City Hall). Sandwiches available (suggested donation: £3).

¹ 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10


Speaking with Authority


Some people, and some messages, seem to command a hearing. For most of the last two thousand years, in most of the world, Jesus and his message of the good news of God have created just such a response. The gospel writer Mark tells us that at the beginning of his public ministry Jesus went into Galilee saying “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

In the crowded religious marketplace of 1st century Palestine, Jesus was immediately recognised as a uniquely authoritative voice. Since then few people have felt able to ignore Jesus’ message. But perhaps in Belfast today we find it harder to understand exactly why the people who first heard Jesus asked themselves, “What is this? A new teaching with authority!” (Mark 1:22)

In this series of four lunchtime Bible readings in the first chapter of Mark’s Gospel, we’re aiming to go back to those heady early days of Jesus’ ministry and see for ourselves what it was that made Jesus and his gospel so compelling.

12th Oct  The Voice of God (Mark 1:1-11)

19th Oct  A top line summary of the entire Bible (Mark 1:12-15)

26th Oct  Listen to the boss! (Mark 1:16-34)

2nd Nov  Words of life (Mark 1:35-45)


Sam Bostock (Gospel in the City)

Moore Casement (Cornhill Training Course, Belfast)

Martyn Cowan (Union Theological College, Belfast)

Join us upstairs in Caffe Nero on Fountain St (1 min from City Hall), 1:10-1:40pm, for lunch, a reading from Mark’s Gospel and a short talk. Sandwiches are available (suggested donation £3).