32 minutes | May 28, 2023
28/05/23 // God's Will // Peter Williams
Peter continued our "Godly Living Unwrapped" series, looking at God's Will.Peter's slides for this preach can be viewed here (in PDF format).The big questions of life What is God's will for your life? What does he want me to do? Should I stay or should I go? Who should I marry? Do I really have to continue doing this job? God, what do you want me to do? Romans 12:2 How do I know what that is? Google searches Tests Is it biblical? Psalms 119:105 Is it sensible? James 1:5-6 God puts us in community for a reason. Proverbs 12:15 What do wise people around me say about it? Key is that it's conditional. Change the way you think. How is it God's will that..... I'm in pain, that I'm poor, that I am so lonely, that my loved one is dead..... Well it's not. These things happen as a result of the fall. God grieves over the effect of the fall on us. He grieves over our pain He grieves over our sin. It's not how he made the garden of Eden to be, or how heaven will be. But we look at life through a prism of what is happening to us and those around us, and then describe what God is like as a result of that, rather than starting with truth and reinterpreting the world. Hence we need to renew our minds…. Jeremiah 29:11 So how do we get to know those plans I hear you ask. Paul in acts, god says go there, do this. So why not us the same? Acts of the Apostles 23:10-13 Would it have been easier if he had obeyed God and gone straight to Rome? The onward journey involved shipwrecks and trials. If we wonder why life is hard, it may also involve decisions we made that were not what God would have chosen for us? They may have been before we knew Jesus even. Why are we asking the question? Are we dissatisfied? Are we restless? Is God stirring us to do something different? Who is waiting for God to answer a prayer or desire? Good news….. Psalm 37:4 Key is - delight! When we become more like God, then we will know his will like a child knows what their mother/father will say. But perhaps also God will give us patience with unrealised desires. Think differently. So is this the right question? Hebrews 3:7-8 Are we listening for his voice? Is there stuff that's getting in the way of hearing his voice? Sin. Distractions Just not making time to listen. Do we actually stop and listen? Do we stop, and then talk incessantly at God, and wonder why He's not saying anything? Isaiah 30:21 So do I need to try harder? No. We don’t need to make ourselves new, we simply need to believe what He says about us. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Romans 8:38-39 But coming to God is not like consulting a fortune teller. If I knew the next step I'd be planning for it, and my eye would be off what God's plan for my life is now. And that means I'd be missing out. Proverbs 3:5-6 Questions What is God's will for your life? What is He speaking to you about? What are you waiting for Him to speak about? What are you struggling with at present with regards to where life is going?
33 minutes | May 21, 2023
21/05/23 // Godly Living - God Is Working On Our Hearts // Phil Hardy
Godly Living unwrapped - The Clean Heart Intro Hebrews 13 : 21-24 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. What does the Bible say about the Human Heart? The Good, The Bad and The Ugly ● The Hardened Heart ● The Deceitful Heart ● The Divided Heart ● The Broken Heart ● The Rebellious Heart ● The Fearful Heart ● The Proud Heart ● The Uncircumcised Heart ● The Wicked Heart Jesus said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7:20-23“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8● Jesus is concerned with our heart. ● It is not enough to clean up our act on the outside. The heart is what you are,- in the secrecy of your thought and feeling, when nobody knows but God. And what you are at the invisible root matters as much to God as what you are in the visible. “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). From the heart are all the issues of life. The heart is utterly crucial to Jesus. ● What we are in the deep, private recesses of our lives is what he cares about most. ● Jesus did not come into the world simply because we have some bad habits that need to be broken. He came into the world because we have such dirty hearts that need to be purified.- John Piper Jeremiah 17:9Proverbs 21:2 Matthew 6:21Matthew 15:18Everything we say and do reveals the heart within us. The Good Heart Ezekiel 36:26Psalm 51 - David's Prayer Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:10-12And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ Acts 13:22But God, But God, But God - who is rich in mercy he creates the new heart you are not the creator of your own new heart God is! 4 chambers of the Newly Created heart that God promises to give to all his people. ● A humble heart. “ The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” … Psalm 51 ● A believing heart. ● A loving heart. ● An obedient heart. Conclusion You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. John 15:16 ESV You have been called to bear much fruit, that is the full fruit of righteousness. Refiner's Fire – Purify my heart, Can you ask/pray that? Purify my heart Let me be as gold And precious silver Purify my heart Let me be as gold Pure gold Refiner's fire My heart's one desire Is to be holy Set apart for you Lord I choose to be holy Set apart for you my master Ready to do your will
37 minutes | May 21, 2023
14/05/23 // Spiritual Growth // Neal Garratt
Ephesians 3:14-21 “When I think of all this…” Paul is referring to the previous verses where he outlines God’s great plan for mankindPaul’s letter to the Ephesians is very positive. Imprisonment did not dampen his enthusiasm for spreading the message of Christ's love and grace. It served as a testament to the transformative power of the Holy Spirit.What would your letter from Prison look like? Here’s mine!Paul's testimony is that the power of God's love and the work of the Holy Spirit are not hindered by external limitations. Our faith should not be dependent on favourable circumstances but on the unchanging truth of God's Word and the power of Christ's love. No matter our circumstances, we can find strength in Christ and be filled with the fullness of God.Four areas of Spiritual Growth that Paul wants us to understand: v14-16Paul points us to the Father. God is sovereign, the source of all life and creation. We can approach God with reverence and humility, recognizing His majesty and our dependence on Him. God will empower us with inner strength through the Holy Spirit. Fix your eyes on the God of the circumstances who has UNLIMITED RESOURCES to deal with anything that arisesJohn Ortberg says this “Peace doesn’t come from finding a lake with no storms: it comes from having Jesus in the boat with you through those storms” v16-17Paul prays that the believers may be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit in their inner being, divine empowerment that comes from God Himself. Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are granted the privilege of having Christ dwell in our hearts by faith. It is through this intimate relationship with Christ that we find strength, guidance, and transformation. Paul emphasizes the importance of being rooted and established in love. You need to be in God, nothing else. That’s what keep you strong! v18-19Our faith in Christ is built upon the foundation of love. God's love is not limited by time, space, or circumstance. It is wide enough to embrace every person, long enough to endure throughout eternity, high enough to lift us from despair, and deep enough to reach the depths of our brokenness. Understanding and experiencing this love enables us to live a life filled with the fullness of God.This love is beyond our understandingPaul constantly lives in this love of God – see Romans 8:35-39 v20-21Paul proclaims the greatness of God and His ability to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think. God is not limited by our human minds. He is able to accomplish extraordinary things in our lives beyond our wildest dreams. He works in us and through us by His power, bringing glory to Himself in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations.Think of the most outrageous prayer that you can pray and God can do infinitely more than that – think of the most unlikely person that you know that could become a Christian – someone you cannot even believe for – God can do infinitely more than you can think or imagine! Look at Paul writing here – he was Saul – persecuting the Church and killing Christians for fun - then he met with Jesus and this book along with many others is the result!!I want to finish with a prayer from Ephesians 1:16-23 which Paul writes to the Church in Ephesus and I would like to pray over us today.
30 minutes | May 8, 2023
07/05/23 // Consider My Servant Job // Ian Hardy
Ian looks at how Job deals with the adversity he suffers.
32 minutes | Apr 30, 2023
30/04/23 // Godly Living Unwrapped - Introduction: Living Sacrifices // Dave Watmore
[Apologies for the background noise. Due to technical issues this morning, this recording was done in a different way to normal. ]Dave introduced our new preaching series: Godly Living Unwrapped : Living sacrifices The letter to the Romans is a book that repeatedly changes the world by changing people. “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 https://bible.com/bible/116/rom.12.1-2.NLT We might think it is a great idea to be a living sacrifice but why should I do it? How do I become a living sacrifice? How can I be culturally different? Why should I be a living sacrifice? Context What was Rome and Jerusalem like? How does Paul frame his letter? Abused slaves and more middle class slaves All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God “This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News.” Romans 1:1 The gospel was when officials went around heralding the victory and the establishment of a new King and kingdom. Let’s look at the context of Paul pleading with us to give our bodies as living sacrifices before anything else. Modern slavery exists but we still live with spiritual slavery How can I be culturally different? Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.The world says: "In case no one told you today: Life is decay You will always truly be alone You are expendable Nothing happens for a reason You're going to die You will be forgotten It will be like you never existed" Counter these demonically inspired thoughts. Eternal life can start today Jesus is closer than a brother You are precious in the sight of Jesus Jesus is in control “Those who believe in Jesus, even though they die will live” John 11 v 25 “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” Isaiah 49 v 16 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more…. For the former things have passed away. Revelation 21 v 4 How can I be a living sacrifice? Take the crown from your heart and give is to Jesus. Go through the areas of your life. Money, family, work, church, leisure, health Don’t try to earn salvation by good works Don’t try to test your Heavenly Father with bargains. Trust Him because He is wise, loving and trustworthy Prince of Peace https://youtu.be/lfr1FaqWQ0E Questions Go through the “In case nobody told you today” and discuss the counter cultural stance the word of God gives us to these depressing statements. Where are you still keeping the reign of your life away from Father God? Look again at the cross and where you have come from being a slave to unrighteousness. Give thanks for his sacrifice.
23 minutes | Apr 24, 2023
23/04/23 // The Two Daughters // Jonny Burton
Jonny spoke from Luke 8 about the healing of the woman who'd been bleeding for 12 years (and therefore was ceremonially unclean) and Jairus's daughter who had died.
30 minutes | Apr 16, 2023
167/04/2023 // If My People - Prayer and Repentance // Paul Blecker
When I get woken up during the night, I now get up and pray about the things going through my mind. Phil 4 v19 Sometimes we are fearful to approach God because we think we are not good enough. He wants us to connect with him in everything, finding our keys or finding our way out of a treacherous storm. We can pray about minor worries as well as major struggles. It’s not about the size of the issue but maintaining our relationship with God.God’s response to Solomon’s prayer in 2 Chronicles 7.Does that “If my people” include us today?We can apply this to ourselves. We have chosen to fully submit ourselves to GOD & have accepted that all our mistakes & Sins have been dealt with by Jesus perfect sacrifice on the cross. God’s people are those who worship Him, who accept & follow the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord & Saviour, men & women who are truly His. 1 Peter 2:9-10Am I, really ready to Humble myself?Those who are humble know what it means to grieve over their sins and the sins of others. Humility means we are utterly dependent on God, the opposite of pride. John 4v16. Are we ready to pray both individually and corporately – for prayer to be the first thing we try rather than the last when we are struggling with a problem? We need to pray individually, but we need to be willing to gather together in corporate prayer as well. Ephesians 6v18. When I get a prayer request am I willing to stop what I’m doing to spend time praying about it. Do I take time to follow-up with people I’m praying for?Am I ready to really seek the face of God - Jerimiah 29v13 When we seek His face, we see His holiness and love, which exposes our sin & selfishness. We come with adoration, praise and worship. We are changed and want to love Him more dearly & walk with Him more intimately. Will we turn from our wicked ways?The human race is infected with a disease called “Personal Pronounitus” to put it more simply; we suffer from “I disease”. I want this, why do I have to do that etc. I was reminded of the many mistakes made in my 50 years of being a Christian. I had to accept that it was down to my sinful behaviour, my ability to make excuses & never dealing with the issues.Psalm 139 esp v 23&24 - Rev 3v20If Jesus Came To Your House - by Lois Blanchard Eades Picture Jesus standing at the door with Mop / bucket to help clean up the mess. What messes would that be for you? Unforgiveness? Issues in your marriage? Drugs or alcohol? Some are plain to see but for many of us, we are better at hiding them & pretending everything is ok. God wants you to be honest with yourself & allow Him in to start working on those things.God’s loving response - then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land This is the true nature of God’s Love for us and God will always respond to us.Are we willing to respond?Are we ready to be shown clearly our sin? We know that God has forgiven us this morning so you can grasp the truth of 1 John 1 v 9 How good are we at putting it into practice? When I’m struggling how willing am I to seek someone out and talk about my problem and seek help. How often do I just make excuses for myself? It takes time & effort to finally break free. Do we need to remind ourselves afresh that “I am forgiven?”, that I can come to God & Know I am accepted.Father God our land needs you – but even more that that we need you come and speak afresh to us this morning. Will you help me to bow the knee once more and truly dedicate my life 100% to you. Would you come now and reveal more of Jesus to us as we respond to your Holy Spirit. Will you come once more and knock on the door of our lives and may we be ready to open the door and allow you into every single bit of our lives.
24 minutes | Apr 11, 2023
09/04/23 // Baptisms // Dave Watmore
At today's baptism service, Dave explains what baptism symbolises and why it's important to be a "Hot Cross Bun", not a "Hot Bun".
29 minutes | Apr 2, 2023
02/04/2023 // Pilate And Jesus // Neal Garratt
[Apologies for the background noise. Due to technical issues this morning, this recording was done in a different way to normal. ]Today we are looking at Jesus trial before Pilate John 9 vs 10-11 In Matthew 27 vs 24 Pilate washes his hands ceremonially and says to the Jewish leaders – “I am innocent of this man’s blood – the responsibility is yours”. The Jewish leaders respond and said – “we will take the responsibility for his death – we and our children”. The Jews also state “that we have no king but Caesar” – throwing away the old testament history and heritage as Jehovah was their king. What has gone wrong here? What Pilate said was true he did have the power to release Jesus or to crucify him and yet Jesus remains calm because as he says he knows that any power Pilate has or doesn’t have is actually only given to him by God (from Above). God’s great plan from the beginning of time is that Jesus would be the perfect sacrifice for our sins and would be crucified and rise again after 3 days. There are over 300 specific prophesies in the old testament detailing the coming of the Anointed one – all fulfilled in Jesus. From the ”seed” who would crush the serpents head in Genesis, to the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, to the prediction of the “messenger” of the Lord (John the Baptist) who would prepare the way for the Messiah, all prophesies of Jesus life ministry and death were fulfilled and finished at his crucifixion – This was God’s great plan for the redemption of man!Read Matthew chapter 1 and the Messianic Line – this was God’s plan from the beginning of time – though Abraham and Isaac – spared at the last moment as a sacrifice and in the messianic line – a foretaste of what God was going to do to reconcile a way back to God – Jehovah Jirah – the Lord will provide – though Rahab the prostitute who gave birth to Boaz who married Ruth – the wonderful love story of the kinsman redeemer – pointing to Jesus who will be our kinsman redeemer – Through David and Bathsheba and a sinful union comes King Solomon and so on to Jacob and Joseph and Mary and finally Jesus – God’s plan from the beginning of time and throughout the old testament – a wonderful book of stories of how God moved in peoples lives to bring Jesus into the world - And yet Pilate thinks he has the power to stop what God has pre-ordained from before the foundation of the earth – that’s why Jesus remains calm because actually this is a hollow boast!The important point here is that Pilate did not decide to crucify Jesus neither did the Jews – it was God and Jesus who decided together.John 10 vs 17-18John 17 v4 Jesus was sent to seek and save those who are lost (Luke 19 vs10), to provide a way that the sins of all who would ever believe in him would be forgiven (Romans 3 vs 23-25) and to reconcile sinful man to God..2 Corinthians 5 vs 18-21 So how does this help us in our daily lives?In our lives people think they have power over us and control us, but the truth is they only have what God lets them have.God has got you – he knows and understands your circumstances – Honour God and he will Honour you – trust him and have faith in him – he will get you through no matter what? He is faithful and true – we may not understand everything but the challenge to all of us is to walk by FAITH and not by SIGHT which is hard as our whole horizon is taken us by what is in front of us – we tend to walk by sight and not by faith most of the time!Proverbs 3 vs 5+6 Matthew 10 vs 28-30 Philippians 2 vs 5-11Jesus is Lord of all the earth and he has your back! Believe in him, trust in him and have faith in him that he will get you through – because he will.
28 minutes | Mar 26, 2023
26/03/23 // Endurance // Phil Hardy
Phil reminded us that God's desire is for us to endure with him despite the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual stumbling blocks that are put in our way. [Apologies for the background noise. Due to technical issues this morning, this recording was done in a different way to normal. ]A "POWERFUL" PRAYER FOR BLESSING - Hebrews 13 v 20-21Intro•Meditating on these 2 verses for some time •The writer of Hebrews final words / prayer of blessing for the readerNow may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.Hebrews 13:20-21 ESVhttps://bible.com/bible/59/heb.13.20-21.ESVTopics in these 2 verses 1.The God of Peace2.Jesus is…a.Our Good Shepherdb.Our Chief Shepherdc.Our Great Shepherd1.The Blood Covenant Endures Forever!2.Salvation based on the covenant3.“Make you fully complete,” or “fully fitted”4.The Goodness of God to works in us 5.Real Holiness6.The Glory of the Son The area that God has been speaking to me about from these 2 verses is about being equipped or Fully Fitted or CompleteCommentators put it this way “Equipped by God for a Superior Life In Christ”God works in us, so we can work it outfor it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.Philippians 2:13For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.Romans 11:36There are many areas of equipping we could look at•Ministry Gifting•Spiritual Gifts•Fruits of the Spirit•Resources - Money, time, opportunityPhoto: Equipped for a day at Beach !!! - •Speaks of Pleasure, Fun, Although you can look at this picture in another way •Carrying so much stuff of our own for our own comfort or pleasure, if God was to try and give us something we could not possibly be able to pick it up. Spurgeon - “We ought to request earnestly that we may be qualified, adapted, and suited to be used of God for the performance of His will.” one area God spoke to me about and Probably not what you thought we needed to be equipped with and I certainly didn’t1.Endurance - (Side 2)Lamentations 3 is entitled - The Faithfulness of God When you start reading you don’t immediately get thatIt starts with a lot of negative complaining, grumbling, self pity, so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.”Lamentations 3:18Jeremiah knew what is was to lose hope and the feeling he could not carry on, A great prophet appoint to speak to the nations yet was found in this place of despair and defeatFor you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.Hebrews 10:36being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;Colossians 1:11and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,Romans 5:4
33 minutes | Mar 19, 2023
19/03/23 // Belonging // Andy Townsend
Andy reminded us that God's desire is for us to belong and not to be lonely.Apologies for the background noise. Due to technical issues this morning, this recording was done in a different way to normal.
28 minutes | Mar 12, 2023
12/03/23 // What Is Holding You Back? // Jenny Hardy
Jenny challenged us to consdier what is holding us back in our relationship with God. Apologies for the background noise. Due to technical issues this morning, this recording was done in a different way to normal.
29 minutes | Mar 5, 2023
05/03/23 // The Increased Depth Of Greek Words // Vicki Mottram
Vicki reveals the extra depth of meaning contained in some of the original Greek words used in the New Testament.
21 minutes | Feb 26, 2023
26/02/23 // Jesus Prays For Us // Ian Hardy
Ian spoke from Jesus's prayer in John 17.
32 minutes | Feb 22, 2023
19/02/2023 // Pray Boldly // Dave Watmore
Pray boldly Ephesians 6:19-20 I am concluding the teaching on the armour of God today. We live in a time when people are divided into factions. The message of Ephesians and the gospel is that we are united - not by class, sex or race but at the cross. The whole of Ephesians explains this. Chapter 6 shows us how. By being in Christ, by walking in the truth , by sharing the gospel, by being filled with the Spirit, and knowing our salvation is secure in Christ alone. Paul prays for boldness. Acts tells of Paul’s visits and riots in Ephesus. Acts 19:23-31 It was definitely a “here! Hold my coat or toga” moment. Paul is in chains in Rome writing to the Ephesians. They will know that he has been in dangerous situations before and not shied away from confronting injustice and sinful behaviour. Paul prays for Holy Spirit boldness that his words will bring salvation because of the gospel (good news). Why did Paul have to be bold and courageous? What was the culture around at the time. Lesley touched on this a couple of weeks ago. The accepted way for men in the Greek and Roman culture was very much like Harvey Weinstein. They assumed that they could have sexual favours from any woman and even men. Hence the context of the teaching on the roles of men and women and marriage and slaves. Idol worship was part of the economy. They worshipped the gods but also turned leaders like Caesar into gods. Ephesus had the temple to Artimus or Diana and this created such a great deal of money. Ephesus became a banking centre for the region. They went to the temple to worship and sacrifice to Artimus. Paul uses the knowledge of the temple to explain the church and our individual security in Christ in Ephesians 2:19-22 What should we draw from these two small verses in scripture? In the context of the whole book we are to be bold to be counter cultural. Although our culture now rails against the behaviour of Harvey Weinstein, it still encourages sex outside marriage as a good thing. Heterosexual or homosexual. Christians should walk a different path not because it is a higher moral way but because that is Gods word and plan. Our culture is very similar to the Greek and Roman culture, worship of money, sexual experience and superstitious false gods. The Ephesian people believed that Artimus had fallen from heaven and they had to give sacrifices to her. Paul preached that God (Jesus) came from heaven to earth by choice, then made himself the sacrifice for us so that we can be seated in heavenly places. Ephesians 2 v 6. Paul taught that you could be seated with Christ but also filled with Christ by his Holy Spirit. All counter cultural points. All were highly contentious. All very relevant for our current culture. How do we apply this? We see the deep divisions being played out in the CofE at the moment. Let us not stand by and carp. There are many very excellent Christians in the CofE. We must stand with them and hear their hearts as they are breaking as many of the leaders go with the culture and against the word of God. PRAY. Pray for ourselves to be as bold as Paul and our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted. It is very likely to be us soon if not happening already. PRAY Pray for the evangelists in the church and those support them. Pray that the circumstances that we find ourselves in, God will use for His glory and purposes Pray that we will all know His purpose for us when we go through difficult times.
40 minutes | Feb 12, 2023
12/02/23 // Praying On The Armour Of God // Neal Garratt
Ephesians 6: 10-20v18 How do we actually put the armour on? Praying in the spirit.J John says this about prayer:“Prayer helps us put ourselves in a right relationship with God and in doing so places both us and our problems in perspective. Prayer brings us close to God: it allies us with him so that we are involved in his purposes and it makes his priorities ours. Effective prayer deepens our relationship with God – It builds bonds with God that will last. It lays the foundations in the light that we may need in the dark”Romans 8:26-27I want us to think not of the individual pieces of armour as such but what they represent.TRUTH (Belt) - We believe what God says – The truth of who God is – That what he says is true and what he says about us is true – Knowing Our position in Christ and not listening to the lies of the enemy.2 Thessalonians 3:3RIGHTEOUSNESS (Breastplate) – Not our righteousness but Christ’s righteousness makes us right with God. We are righteous in God’s eyes because of Jesus sacrifice on the cross. He has reconciled us to God. This protects our heart.Romans 5:1PEACE (Shoes) – We need God’s peace in our minds and lives – commit decisions to Christ – let him bring peace to our hearts and minds or not as the case may be – align your thinking with Christ through the Holy Spirit. Be prepared to bring the good news of the gospel – the peace that a relationship with Jesus can bring – the reconciliation of God and man - God’s eternal planHebrews 13:20FAITH (Shield) – Protection from the accusations the enemy Trust in what God says even though you cannot see the outcome. Trust that God will be with you and protect you – Believe God and his promises – no matter HOW YOU FEEL! Don’t doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.Isaiah 41:10SALVATION (Helmet) - Protects your mind – Declare your position in Christ – Set your mind on things above – Determine to believe God and all he says – You are precious in his sight – you are God’s masterpiece – Who does Christ say I am? Chosen, adopted into his family, sons and daughters of the King.Romans 5:9-11THE WORD OF GOD (Sword) - IT’S GOD’S WORD TO US AND FOR USImportant for us to know the word of God and be able to quote back to the enemy when he attacks. Have verses committed to memory or on your fridge – ready to use as your sword. This is GOD speaking to us directly – Its full of his promises and full of truth for us to stand on.Psalm 91:14-16I could use so many other scriptures here but I encourage you to find your own and print them off or memorize them.Pete Greig’s book “God on mute”. He introduces Lecto Divina which is a way of reading the bible and hearing from God which has been used for centuries. It has four sections – READ – MEDITATE – PRAY – LISTEN. Phone app “LECTIO 365”.Video https://www.24-7prayer.com/podcast/introducing-lectio-divina/See 08.11 – 13.47, but do watch the whole video!“This is the moment when I have a personal encounter with Christ – guaranteed”“Have faith, open expectant hearts and read with Love – remember this is the revealed word of God”“He is limited only by how much I hope and believe in him He has unlimited treasure – God’s power transforms me”READ – MEDITATE – PRAY – LISTEN Invite the Holy Spirit into your prayer times that you may align with the will of God – The Holy Spirit knows what you need to pray and at all times pray in the Spirit!!QuestionsRomans 8:26-27Have you ever thought about your prayers being in harmony with God’s own will? How do we make sure this is the case?Have another look at the video – what challenges you about what she says – what blesses you about what she says and what can we learn from what she says? Please look at this as an encouragement not as a discouragement!
35 minutes | Feb 11, 2023
05/02/23 // Standing // Lesley Watmore
Life is not always as we would choose it to be whether saved or not but as christians we are also aware of Satans schemes he cannot take us from Christ. John 10 v 29 but he does try to destroy our faith and walk Ephesus a culture with similarities to the world today see any ? the enemy the same. Ephesians - our standing in Christ what has been done for us . Instructions on how to be to each other , as men and women and children . To live in righteousness and unity in the faith. Our battle is not against each other . It’s spiritual . We are ambassadors for Christ to bring the message of reconciliation and peace with God to the lost . Finally to stand in these truths of who we are in Christ David when faced with Goliaths insults and threats knew Gods faithful love and power so knew his ability to defeat the enemy . Picture of bouncy castle and trying to stand while fighting with swords . Question. What are you standing on . Jesus. Luke 6 v 4 Moses. Deut. 32 v 3-4 Hannah 1 Sam. 2 v 1-2 David Psalm. 18. v 1-3 40 v 1-2 Isaiah Isaiah. 26 v 3-4 God is a rock solid , unshakable , ever present , merciful faithful foundation on which to build our lives on which to stand on What is the foundation to your life ? what do you stand on in trouble ? Are you standing on the Rock eternal Is Jesus the Cornerstone the sure foundation on which you build ? Is your life anchored on the solid unshakable protective all merciful love of God our Father through Christ our one and only Saviour . ? Are you fully persuaded or wavering .? Who do you trust to stand with you when you wobble ? Do you stand with other when they wobble ? Other scripture I used ; Micah 7 v 8 Psalm. 42 v 5 144 v 1-2
34 minutes | Feb 11, 2023
29/01/22 // The Sword Of The Spirit // Peter Williams
Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17 NLT Lot richer than this first looks. Logos John 1:1-5 NLT Steve last week Not even a piece of armour, but it's more important. If you don't have a helmet, the sword is a little unwieldy Sword offensive and defensive Would you attack someone who had a sword? Jeremiah 1:4-10 NLT Moses, burning bush. Daniels compartriates in the fire, another was there with them. This was Jesus. The word. Do we know the word? Both Jesus and the Bible How do we use the sword? If God says….. how do we check that it is true? Against the plumb line of the word Accuracy of prophecy Hebrews 4:12-13 NIV Proverbs 4:13 NLT Proverbs 4:20-22 NLT Psalm 119 Longest Psalm for a reason. All about reading and learning the word. So how are we engaging with the word? How are we using it to fight back against the devil's schemes? How is this corporate rather than individual? Teaching Speaking into one anothers lives Prophecy Being Jesus to one another, and also to the poor and lost All of these are us corporately wielding the sword of the spirit. But the Bible bores me? I struggle to read…. I've tried, and failed at numbers….. Look at which version you are using. What ways are there to get the word? Bible study, personal and corporate. Small groups - Pastoral care. Input. Prayer Sermons Books Songs - prob most powerful way that anybody learns the word. Memorising Don't be put off. This is a battle. Pray, read the word, wield your sword Questions for groups What is your relationship with the word like? Where do you struggle with scripture? What application do you have for how we wield the sword of the spirit corporately?
30 minutes | Feb 11, 2023
15/01/23 // Fully Prepared // Dave Watmore
“and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”Ephesians 6:15Peter encouraged us to embark on the Armour of God theme back in the summer but to view it with the eyes of the Church and not as individuals. I was born and brought up in Bromley. The town centre is built up of 1960’s and 1970’s office blocks. Ugly and, grey. When I went back in the late 1990’s as a Christian the 1960’s and 1970’s towers had largely been pulled down and replaced with more classical but modern buildings. The Holy Spirit told me that he would pull down the morality of the 1960’s and 1970’s and replace it with his Word. I’m still waiting for this to be fulfilled. The moral issues have become significantly worse and people have moved further away from the cultural heritage of Christianity.It is not difficult to look around us and be depressed at the pain and suffering. The spectre of death is looming larger than ever every day. Disagreements have become polarised, even between friends and family, often with a shocking level of hostility. It is often blamed on social media but for me the issue runs right though the heart of mankind. That is where the battle should be fought. We are called to interpret the times we live in. What do we do about it? How can we be fully prepared? 1.Address the difficulties with tenacity. As individuals, don’t give up meeting together and as a church, reach out to society. Food bank, debt help, church planting. 2.Speak the truth in love. As a church we teach grace, as individuals we act in grace. Forgiveness in action. What are the dangers we could fall into?1.We lose hope and compromise on doctrine to please others2.We withdraw from society 3.Become combative. Paul encourages us to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3Where is the hope?1.The global church is growing. A typical Christian now would be African or Chinese not European or North American. 2.Jesus said “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Matthew 16:18. 3.The secular humanistic philosophy of the last 60 years is not satisfying the hunger in the heart and spirit of people around us. Non-Christians are starting to say that the mess we are in might be because we have turned our backs on God and the bible for an atheist “religion” based on the individual being the centre of the universe and not God. Spectator article: “Back in early 2019, my wife discovered that she was pregnant with our fourth child. A few weeks later, we discovered that the child, a girl, had Down Syndrome. The NHS asked if we wanted to abort her. We did not. My wife, brave and stoic, soon accepted the news as a blessing. I wanted to do the same, but I felt shocked and scared and morally inadequate. How bad would her disability be? How would our other children cope? How would we cope? Would the rest of our lives be spent looking after this child? I spent a lot of time worrying. I took to praying and, as I pondered the matter, a line from Pope Benedict XVI kept repeating itself in my head:‘We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.’ “1.Pray for opportunities to show grace to people around you. Share stories to raise faith too. 2.Pray for our nation. 3.Pray that the nation is restored to a country that is aware of the positive, long lasting effect Christianity has had. 4.Pray for leaders to be raised up who stand up for Godly ways of acting and against the destruction of human dignity.