Sermons By Date: 2019
Will our world be any different in the New Year?
Will our world be any better?
Will we be any different?
Will we be any better?
God offers to renew our minds.
God offers us times of refreshing.
In this very short Christmas message, we look at the shepherds who left their sheep, to visit Living God - lying in an object designed for animals.
Throughout the Nativity Narrative we see people's plans changing.
And sometimes it was God who changed their plans.
Joseph, the Magi, King Herod and the shepherds:
They all had their plans changed.
How do we react, when God changes our plans?
There are really only 2 options:
To go with Gods plan
Or to fight against God
There are many misconceptions surrounding Christmas:
About Jesus and his birth at Bethlehem:
About who God really is:
And about who Jesus really is.
We take a brief look at ten of these misconceptions.
We look today at the many "comings" of God.
Many people think of God coming to earth, to Bethlehem, just over 2000 years ago.
But, in fact, throughout the Bible, God has been "coming" to our world.
What do people often try and do, when God is coming?
Human nature is to try and hide, but hiding never works.
Let's not try and hide - let's welcome him instead.
Some people hated Jesus before they even met him.
They may hate us too.
Jesus said to his disciples, just before his arrest and crucifixion:
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
And today, on the 1st of December, we see hatred, following Jesus, even from birth.
They may hate us too - but we are not alone:
Jesus has sent us an advocate: The Spirit of Truth.
Why do we celebrate the Last Supper, Communion, or the Breaking of Bread?
What are the key scriptures that teach us about this?
What do they say?
We continue our journey through John's Gospel:
This week we have started chapter 15.
Jesus says: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.
This fits so well with the theme of Remembrance Sunday.
How does it relate to us?
Where does war start?
What about sacrifice?
What about love?
Why is it important for us to be united?
What does it mean to be an orphan?
How does it feel to be an orphan?
What did Jesus mean, when he said: I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you?
What did he mean, when he said: I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
What makes you anxious when you look around today?
What troubles your heart?
In the context of betrayal and denial, Jesus says: Do not let your hearts be troubled?
How can he say that?
What did he mean?
What about the Father's House?
And what about the BMW verse?
By looking at Jesus' perfect example, we think about how as Christians we should respond to the temptations we face in our lives from our spiritual enemy
Be Amazed at the Universal Appeal of Jesus
Be Amazed at the Surprising Glory of Jesus
Be Amazed at the Challenging Call of Jesus
What God has established cannot be moved. This gives us assurance of our salvation, but also challenges us: are we firmly established in our faith?
In our passage today, Jesus predicts that Judas will betray him.
He also predicts that Peter will deny him three times.
And sandwiched between the two predictions, Jesus issues us a New Commandment.
What is the New Commandment?
How does it apply to us?
What will result, if we obey this New Commandment?
How many times do you change your clothes?
How often do you put off?
How many times do you put on?
The Gospel is all about Putting off and Putting on:
Not a new wardrobe - but a Brand New Identity.
This is perhaps one of the most challenging passages in scripture.
We focused on five aspects of that challenge:
1. Love - and love to the end
2. Where have we come from and where are we going to?
3. One extreme to the other
4. Born Again - but we still need to be cleansed
5. Serve - as we have been served
When was the last time you praised someone?
When was the last time you received praise?
Many of us enjoy receiving a bit of praise, but from whom should we seek praise?
And what about fear?
What is the link between praise and fear?
The Bible talks about fear of people and fear of God.
How should we live?
We continue in John's Gospel, and compare something that Jesus said, with the experience of Joseph and Esther - in the Old Testament
Joseph had a key role to play in his generation
Esther had a key role to play - in her generation
God was in control - and he was using them
But it was not always easy
They were in God's right place - at God's right time
These Old Testament characters, whisper to us about Jesus who was still to come:
Jesus who said: For this very reason I came to this hour
What are you afraid of?
What is the worst thing that could happen?
God says repeatedly in scripture: Do not be afraid
How many times do these words appear in the Bible?
How do they apply to us?
How does it work?
And what about joy? Where does joy fit in?
How did Mary worship Jesus?
What did she pour out?
What two things happened as a result?
What can we pour out for Jesus?
What will happen if we do?
When was the last time that someone said to you: You know nothing?
Who said this in the Bible?
What did he mean?
What did he think he meant?
What did he, in fact, prophesy?
When Jesus heard that his friend Lazarus was ill, he stayed where he was for two whole days.
Why did he not go to Lazarus straight away?
Why did Jesus delay?
To understand this, we need to understand:
The Glory of God Factor
The Faith Factor
The I am Factor
Is Jesus the Messiah?
What have sheep got to do with it?
What are the advantages of being one of Jesus’ sheep?
What are the requirements for being one of Jesus’ sheep?
The thief comes only to steal, to kill and destroy.
Jesus came to bring us Life:
Who is the thief?
What does the thief do?
What forms does the thief take today?
Who did the Pharisees follow?
Who are we going to follow?
Many Christians face ongoing struggles with sin that they can't shake off. In Galatians 5, we see that this is a normal part of a Christian's experience and that there is hope for us, because our standing before God is not based on what we can do, but on what Jesus has already done for us.
Sharing the message of the cross
Imagine being born blind.
Imagine having your eyes opened - as an adult.
In our passage today - Jesus heals a blind man.
It is a great narrative and the man's faith and courage is a challenge to us all.
Slightly longer than usual - this recording includes a joint reading and feedback from the church.
What is truth?
Who is telling the truth?
The Truth is a person
The Truth declares a reality
The Truth presents a dilemma
The Truth requires a response
Jesus says: I am the Light of the World.
When did the light first appear?
What about eternity?
How can we walk in the light?
How do we answer difficult questions?
How did Jesus answer questions?
Did he answer all questions in the same way?
Or did he vary his approach: according to the question: according to the person asking, and according to their motivation?
What can we learn from Jesus?
Has the festival left you thirsty?
Has religion left you dry?
Jesus invites us to come to him and drink
Doing religion is tiring
Doing religion makes us thirsty
Religion without relationship makes us into Pharisees
Jesus invites us into relationship with him
Why do we find it so hard to say sorry?
Why do we find it so hard to forgive?
How do we feel after we say sorry?
How do we feel after we forgive someone else?
In this drama, based on Matthew 6:7-15, we explore the wonder of forgiveness.
In our passage today, people are trying to influence Jesus
But his desire is to do the will of his Father - and to get it right:
The right timing
The right source of teaching
The right motivation
The right action
The right way to judge
Jesus knows that he is not heading for The X Factor
In everything, he is aware of The Cross Factor
Do you want to leave too?
Who will you go to?
What will you be leaving behind?
These are some of the questions that Jesus's disciples faced all those years ago:
And we face the very same questions today.
We may have many good ideas… but are they part of God’s plan?
Are they good ideas... or God's idea?
The people in our passage today, had some interesting ideas:
Let’s make Jesus king by force
Let’s follow Jesus – to get a free lunch
Let’s ask Jesus for a sign
We explore these ideas, and see that they were not God's idea:
They were not part of God's plan
He is not here – he has risen
Their words seemed like nonsense
They were kept from recognising him
Then their eyes were opened
Peace be with you
He opened their minds
You are witnesses
How did people respond, back in the day, to Jesus on the cross?
How do people respond today?
We identify 3 responses from the narrative in Luke 23:
2. Sneering and mockery
3. Repentance and faith
Those who thought they had everything - lost everything
He who knew he had nothing - gained everything
Imagine that you had been a child:
Back in the day:
When Jesus was walking around on earth.
What would you remember most about those days?
What would you remember most about Jesus?
What comes to mind, when you hear of a privileged child?
We meet a child today, who is privileged:
Not because of what he has:
But because he gives, what he has, to Jesus.
We also ask the question:
What did Jesus mean when he said: Let nothing be wasted?
Unity, love and Salvation - or the My Way attitude?
Jesus says: By myself I can do nothing.
What does he mean?
What is his agenda?
What are his priorities?
Are we ready to take Jesus at his word?
Are we ready to live by faith?
Or will we settle for an existence ruled by doubts?
Let's pray that God will use us, to share the power, compassion and love of Jesus.
Do you want to see a miracle?
A miracle of grace?
We are now in John chapter 4 and we see the grace of God:
Transforming individuals and transforming communities.
We are all going through transition:
Whatever our age and stage in life, we are constantly in transition.
This gets even more complicated, when the society we live in, is also in transition.
There's lots going on in this chapter of John's gospel:
And there's lots going on in this message too.
We talk about teenagers, communism, weddings and the "whoever era."
What does it mean to be Born Again?
Why do we need to be Born Again?
Why does Jesus refer to an Old Testament event, when he teaches Nicodemus about being Born Again?
We end our message with a piece of drama - as we try to imagine what it must have been like for Nicodemus.
What are you zealous about?
What things will you allow to consume you?
What was Jesus zealous about?
What consumed Jesus?
We look at why the temple was so important to Jesus, and end by seeing that he is The Temple.
We look at seven steps to seeing God change a situation:
Seven steps to seeing God's Best.
And we discover that Jesus is the Best.
Maybe you have tried the rest:
Now it's time to believe in the Best!
Everyday we face uncertainty. This message explores one way that we can cope (or even conquer) this uncertainty. It is based on a saying of one of the wisest men, King Solomon.
As people start to meet Jesus and discover who he is, at the beginning of John's Gospel, they cannot keep it to themselves:
They have to tell someone.
Good News is for sharing.
And we too are called to discover and tell.
Have you ever been somewhere and wondered what is going on behind the scenes?
John's Gospel starts behind the scenes - looking way back into eternity.
In this message, we look at one of the most beautiful portions of scripture and are introduced to someone called The Word who has existed since, for ever.
Have you heard of the word shalom?
What does it mean?
What does it really mean?
How can we experience Biblical shalom?
We look at Jesus' story of The Lost Son.
Which of the two brothers was truly lost at the end of the story?
Which one experienced true shalom?
Imagine that you planned a new initiative, but people just didn't get it:
A way to help people, but they just assumed that it would harm them.
Imagine that you had been advertising this new "thing" for 700 years, but people had not been engaging with the advertising.
Jesus' name Emmanuel means God with us.
In this message, we look at various people.
One did get it. Some never got it. And others did not get it at first.