Reading; Luke 1:1-38
In Luke chapter one an angel appears to an elderly priest called Zechariah & then to a young betrothed woman called Mary. Both are unexpectedly promised a miracle son! Zechariah's son would become the forerunner of the Christ & Mary's Son would be the Christ himself. This sermon contrasts the very different responses of Zechariah & Mary to God's plan. Zechariah doubted & Mary believed, & yet God in his grace still fulfilled his word to both.
Reading: Numbers 13
Based on the story of the 12 Spies who went in to check out the Promised Land in Numbers 13, guest speaker Paul Dunn challenges us to ask three important questions. What’s in your mouth? What do you see? What’s in your heart? The message encourages us to be those who carry good news, whose perspective is based more on God’s promises than the challenges we may see in front of us.
As Christian’s we find strength in unity…brothers & sisters dwelling in peace, & knowing the joy of the LORD (Psalm 133:1). Unity is important for those who believe in the God of the Bible: we are called to be united with each other and with the Lord. The Letter to the Ephesians was written to a newly established church. Paul shows that Christians worship a redemptive & trinitarian God. These are two important facets of what it means to worship One God together with our brothers & sisters in Christ. Unity in the Church is also important for the mission of the Gospel on the earth and for the expansion of God’s kingdom, and ultimately for His glory. These drives should outweigh hangs-up we might have about working with and being united with God’s people.
Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6
When we feel like we're surrounded or overwhelmed by life's circumstances, are we more like Elisha who could see the army of the Lord encamped around him or like his servant, overwhelmed & in need of someone to pray for us so we can see beyond our circumstances.
Reading: 2 Kings 6:15-17
‘The first Christian Apostles featured credentials legitimising their ministry.
As 21st. century Christians, we follow in their footsteps…
Reading: Acts 3
Paul says in Philippians 3:17; "Brothers & sisters, join in imitating me, & keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us." This message walks us through the theme of imitation that is repeated in Paul's letter to the Philippians. We all have people we look up to & who inspire us in different ways but Paul encourages us to imitate those who imitate Christ.
Reading: Luke 15:11-32
Reading: John 2:12-25
Reading: Philippians 2:1-11
Worship is not only about hearing or playing the latest worship songs; it’s about our heart connection with God. True worship is a matter of the heart expressed in adoration and honour for God, which is reflected in the way we pursue holiness in our walk with Him. As Christians Jesus’ words in John 4:23 help inform our vision for worshipping God. Yet we can all struggle with lack of desire for God, which presents a real challenge to becoming true worshippers of God. By walking us through Psalm 64 & 85 this message seeks to help fuel our desire for God so we can be those who worship him in spirit and truth.
Reading: John 4:23, Psalm 64, Psalm 85
In this inspirational message guest preacher Mark Dunagan from Origen in the USA encourages us to devote ourselves to the Word of God & prayer. He uses both Scripture & personal testimonies from his own life to inspire us to this end. 1. He challenges to devote ourselves to God's Word by meditating on it. 2. He challenges us to pray effectively & fervently with faith. On both points he gives examples of what this looks like in practice order to help teach us how to grow in being devoted to God's Word & prayer.
Reading: Deuteronomy 17:18-20; James 5:16-18
This message focuses on an account about one of the Bible's lessor known characters, a man called Obadiah. Not the minor prophet named Obadiah but another Obadiah who appears in the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18. In this message we're challenged to consider that maybe like Obadiah in the story, our 'second choice' situation may actually be God's first choice. This is a great encouragement, for even though like Obadiah we may find ourselves in a situation we would not choose we can be assured God is still working out his purposes in our life & in his world.
Reading: 1 Kings 18:1-16
The idea of Temple, which helps symbolise God's presence with his people, is one of the themes which builds throughout the story of Scripture & therefore helps us understand God's great redemptive story. In this inspiring message we're taken on a journey from Genesis to Revelation (Eden > Tabernacle > Temple > Jesus > ___________ > New Jerusalem & earth) & then shown where we are as the Church in God's story today. Helping us to see our mission to carry God's immediate presence where we are everyday.
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