Sunday, 22 April 2018

Community Shapes Us - Heb 10:24 - 25

In recent visits to projects in Sierra Leone I was struck by how each had a sense of extended family among the people (often with disabilities or other challenges) involved. It became clear to us that they worked as family together, rooted in Jesus.

[IN] How am I a gift to this community?

Challenge: Get to know someone different to you

Sunday, 11 March 2018

The One Who Serves - Luke 22:24 - 30

We can all be incredibly stupid - saying the dumbest of things! The disciples were just the same. Jesus had shared the passover meal, portraying his death and even betrayal ... and then they start talking about which of them is the greatest! Jesus sees it as a learning opportunity and cuts in on their conversation.

[UP] Do you relate to God to become greater or lesser?

Challenge: Be pro-active in self-giving

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Christians are Hopeful - Colossians 1

Paul writes to the Colossian Christians, encouraged by their faith and love. He writes that their faith and love 'spring from hope stored in heaven' (v5). Faith and love are not simply good qualities that those local Christians have made themselves good at, something naturally found in a few. Instead they result from an incredible treasure chest, a wonderful store. That store is hope - a solid anchor in the future.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Scarcity vs Abundance - Luke 12:22 - 34

You are invited! You are invited by Jesus! It's mind-blowing, and down to you to accept. With the invitation comes the call to not worry and not be afraid. Others in the past have lived it, seeing incredible provision of God across the whole of their lives.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Christians are Peculiar - 1 Peter 2

Contrast the Street Bible with the King James old English translation! The Street Bible says 'You are select, royalty in the role of God's reps ... an outstanding nation of ambassadors ...', while King James had 'You are a chosen generation, royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people ...'. Both convey how we are living stones, with Jesus as the cornerstone - we are based on Him, who sets the lines for our lives. The church is about people (not a physical building), but buildings give us good imagery: we are built together to be like a temple, i.e. we become a place where others can connect with God. We do this even as we go out from our gatherings - in fact by making ourselves available for people to connect out there we often grow more than in here!

[OUT] Where do you set a positive contrast

Challenge: Adopt one discipline/mindset that helps you step off the hampster-wheel!

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Greater Things than These - John 14:12

Philip couldn't see God even though He was standing in front of him! "Show us the Father", he said, and Jesus replied: "What do you see? See me and see the Father". The Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father - they are one, a unity. Jesus encourages Philip to believe in him. In other words to let his whole life and understanding be rooted in him, to sit in his presence. Though Jesus in front of Philip was fully man, he was also fully God, and therefore for Philip to be there with Jesus was the best place that he could be. Jesus acknowledged that this might be hard for Philip to grasp, so he invited Philip to at least take stock of the works Jesus had been doing: cleansing lepers, restoring sight, pronouncing forgiveness and so on.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Capacity - Releasing and Empowering - Ephesians 4:1 - 16

God with us! Jesus physically ministered - touching the leper, healing the sick, declaring the Kingdom, forgiving and releasing people, drawing them together and calling them to follow Him. His ministry led him to the cross, but death could not hold him - he rose again and was alive, victorious. Yet then came that moment where he would no longer be physically present, he would take his right and proper place in the seat of God.

With that moment came a question: How would the Kingdom ministry that was still needed in so many people continue if Jesus was no longer physically present?