Sunday, 9 June 2019

Worship Overflow - Romans 12:1 - 8

Two profound statements of Jesus stand out for me: Jn 4:34 'My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, to finish his work', and Jn 19:30 (on the cross) 'It is finished'. The whole life of Jesus was sacrifice - from beginning to end. Of course it climaxed on the cross, but his whole life was lived as a sacrifice, sent by the Father to do His work.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Community Ministers - Ephesians 2:1 - 10

On the Titanic you could sale in the most opulent luxury available. Or if you were short on money you could make the crossing in 'steerage' below deck! Yet when the ship struck an iceberg and was sinking, all found themselves in the same boat: in need of saving! Ephesians 2 conveys the same blunt message: we are all in the same boat. We have all messed up. For all of us we can ask why should God bother with us, why not simply give us over to our fate? Our status, income, job are of no consequence.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Discipleship Together - Luke 19:11 - 26

Take a look at your little finger, and consider how awesome it is! You can wriggle your little finger, but look carefully. It needs muscles, connected bones, and connections that extend through your hand into your wrist! Its amazingly complex. Your little finger has a local inter-dependency for it to work. Now consider your arm. With that your little finger can do a whole lot more - taking part in grabbing and placing! Yet what does it need to survive? Connection with the whole body - for blood, oxygen and nutrients. Chopped off it will not survive.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Responsibility for Discipleship - Ephesians 5:15 - 16 / Gensis 1:26 - 28

An Algerian called Rafiq, from the semi-nomadic Berber tribe in N. Africa, spent some time in France but felt called back to the majority muslim countryside of his birth, to work among the remote shepherds. There people from the muslim backgrounds are coming to faith in Jesus. Yet they have no church buildings, they just gather as and when their paths intersect for teaching and worship. How do they maintain their faith in Jesus? It is by being rooted in Jesus and closely attending to their discipleship.

[UP] Are you able to simply dwell in His presence

Challenge: Take the Discipline of OFF seriously

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Big Things for Us - Ephesians 2 and 1 Peter 2

Ephesians 2:19 starts with the word consequently:

Consequently you are no longer ... but now ...

Its an important concept for us as a church - we are here as a church not because of some static idea, but because something has happened. The consequently is there because of Jesus and what God has done in Jesus. Because of Him things have changed!

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Being Sent - Isaiah 54 / Matthew 28

Jesus is risen and He is Lord! All the forces that would hold us in slavery have been dealt with and defeated. So we can now GO in freedom - to go out there. For us it is not to a specific land but rather to go to all kinds of lands, nations and ethnic groups. To each one helping them enter the Kingdom of Jesus by being in relationship with Him.

[OUT] To which people is God calling you to GO!

Challenge: Pray for these people

Monday, 15 April 2019

The Suffering Servant - Isaah 53 / Matthew 27

As we have heard before the block of Isaiah 40 - 55 describes a servant, although it is sometimes unclear whether it is talking of the whole of God's people or just one individual. For that individual the Spirit rests on him, anointing to bring justice, to lead people out. It will be a wide-ranging ministry, bringing in and including others, brought through this one person. Yet in chapter 53 this one servant suffers, is led out to die, is cut off, punished, and killed.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Vineyards - Isaiah 5 / Matthew 21

God sings a love song! Isaiah captures it in Isaiah 5, about the one He loved and His vineyard. Note that vineyards are long term investments, they take much work, time and resources. It involves clearing stones, planting, building a watch-tower and so on. It is therefore not cheap love - the lover invests those resources and looks after the vineyard. But quickly the love song turns sour. By verse 3 it is no longer a power ballad but more like Blues music!