Category Archives: My thoughts

Thoughts on life.

‘The Gifts’ Talk notes for 31st Dec 2017


The Gifts

Talk for 31st Dec 2017

Readings   1 Cor 12: 1; 4-27; 29-31  13: 1-8    Psalm 72

Link to church website with recording of talk on it for a few months

  • What did you get for Christmas?

 

  • Have you stopped using it yet?

 

  • Why do we return gifts?

 

  • Gifts are to be used not left unused

Model car and its lack of use

 

  • God also gives us gifts,

Firstly His Son Jesus  which showed His love for us

 

Then Jesus died for us, to give us the gift of new life

 

Finally we are each given personal gifts to use in loving service to Jesus and in love to others.

 

4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. 7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

 

  • Do you ever wonder ‘Am I needed?’; ‘Do I have anything to offer?’; ‘Is what I do of any value or significance?’

In Nehemiah 3 we see that everyone was needed. Everyone went to work shoulder to shoulder, side by side, rebuilding, restoring and repairing. Each was given a portion of different lengths. The key is not to compare, but simply to get on with whatever God calls you to do.

 

  • During Advent and into the new year we at Ascension have been praying about

How we connect with new people, those He sends to us

New ways of Worship

Raising up a new generation of leaders

 

We pray because we know that God supplies all we need and He will supply people with the gifts we need

 

12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

 

18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.

 

  • So What is your gifting?

 

8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice[b]; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.[c] 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages,[d] while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

 

This is not a full list

In Exodus some were given the gift of craftsmanship, the ability to make things, some have been given the ability to make music or sing.

 

Some to help others with their resources.

 

Some to clean, some to cook.

 

Some to care for others some to listen to others.

 

What is your gift?

 

We all have at least one.

 

However we need God to show us how to use it properly.

That was true in my case, I had gifts but was not making good use of them because I did not know Jesus once I became a follower then my gifts started to kick in and work as they where supposed to do.

 

They appointed Levites twenty years old and older to supervise the building of the house of the Lord (Ezra 3:8) – a good example of appointing young leaders. They were willing to sacrifice their money and possessions. According to their ability they gave to the treasury for this work 61,000 drachmas of gold, 5,000 minas of silver and 100 priestly garments’ (Ezra 2:68-69).

Giving is an essential part of your worship and service to God. Your gifts should not be grudging or forced, but generous ‘freewill offerings’. Do not compare your giving to that of others, but give what you can afford. The wonderful thing about this offering was that as each gave according to their ability, they raised all the money that was needed.

If everyone in the church gives sacrificially, generously, each according to their ability, God’s kingdom will advance rapidly and his name will be honoured.

 

  • How do we get gifts if we do not think we have one?

We ask for them.

 

fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. (2 Timothy 1:6).

 

Existing leaders pray on you and the Spirit gives to you.

We than try using the gift we feel we have received.

 

 

  • We are to keep using those gifts.

There might be times when we put our gifts on hold, in the bank but they are gifts from God to use as needed.

 

In Nehemiah we see the whole of the people using their different gifts and skills to rebuild the city and temple.

Everyone worked from the highest born to the lowest not pulling rank or wealth.

 

Matthew 25

29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.

 

This is from the story of the three servants who their lord had entrusted his gold.

 

God gives us gifts to use not just bury.

 

When we use our gifts in love we help the Kingdom grow.

 

 

  • The greatest gift is Love

 

God greatest gift to us is Love shown in the gift of Jesus

 

Our greatest gift to others is Love, shown in what we do for them

 

It was through Jesus I found what love meant and how to share it with others.

He showed his great love with me and helps me to love others.

 

You might not think you have much in the way of gifts to help the kingdom grow but you have the gift of love and can use that to serve Jesus.  All the other gifts depend on the gift of Love.

 

I was watching Wonder Woman and she said this about how to help the world.

And now I know… that only Love can truly save the world. ”

 

God gives us our gifts to use in love for Him and others

Like Wonder Woman, Doctor Who and many others we have to fight hard to show our love to all and our love of God in all we do.

 

  • Let us pray

 

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Gallery

8 1/2 month pregnant lady told to attend parenting course on the threat of a sanction. Man forced onto a 2 week course 5 days a week at the Jobcentre 9-4. Welcome to Universal Credit hell.

This gallery contains 4 photos.


Originally posted on The poor side of life:
Can I start this weeks blog by saying how angry I am at this system that the government likes to call ‘Benefits’. Change the name, make it sound different then stigmatise the…

Talk Notes from “I AM the Messiah” from Jesus said I AM……


“I AM the Messiah” from Jesus said I AM……

Can be heard here for a while  http://www.ascensionbath.org.uk/sermons/  normally there for around 8 weeks

 

26th Nov – I am the Messiah

Readings  Text at bottom     

Isaiah 9  2-7 & Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14         Mark 14:60-64 & John 4  21-26;

Psalm 2

 

Theme

What people at the time thought a messiah would be

What many still think he should be

What Jesus showed by saying He was the messiah

What that means for you and me.

  

  • What does Messiah mean?

 

The Messiah, the Christ are the same name in the 2 main languages of the Bible – one is Hebrew the other Greek. It means the Anointed One, God’s own Anointed One. That is the long promised One, to be God’s appointed and anointed King to bring God’s Kingdom into being for the reconciliation and rescue of the whole world.

 

 

  • What people at the time thought a messiah would be

 

Many felt the Messiah would hail from David’s line, the tribe of Judah, and be a conquering king.  Some wanted a religiously oriented Messiah from the tribe of Levi.  The Maccabees, heros of the Intertestamental Period, with their Levitic heritage, favored a Levitical priest.

 

 

First century Jews generally expected a conquering Messiah; a perfectly reasonable expectation given the preponderance of OT prophecies.  However, there were strong suggestions of priestly duties and even suffering for the Messiah in the Psalms and Prophets

 

Most saw a future king who would free them from oppression like mosses, restore the land to them like Joshua, and rule with wisdom like Solomon.

 

The Messiah had been foretold throughout the Old Testament, with the first hint of him coming in Genesis 3:15.  Several times throughout OT scriptures, especially in Psalms and Isaiah, we hear of God’s direct intervention in the lives of His people, Israel, the coming of the Messiah.  The people waited confidently.  But what they waited for differed significantly from person to person.   The Messiah was thought to be a man, but had characteristics of God (“free from sin”).  Messianic teachings were primarily eschatological, referring to the “last things”.  Hence the Sadducees didn’t believe them at all.

 

 

  • What is your expectation of a Messiah?

  

 

  • What is the worlds idea of a Messiah?

 

Some want a leader to lead their nation to a golden age.

 

Some want a person who will impose peace on all.

 

Some want a supreme leader who will destroy all weapons and enforce peace.

 

Some think that expecting any such saviour is a fairy tale and we need to improve ourselves.

 

Some look to a ruler who will take from the rich and give to the poor.

 

and so on, there are many variations of what people want from a messiah.

 

Even Jews today do not have one vision.

 

 

  • What Jesus showed by saying He was the messiah

 

Over the past weeks we have looked at many of the I Am sayings of Jesus, these show us Gods idea of the Messiah.

 

He is the Sheppard who looks after Gods people.

He is the Gateway to heaven and eternity with God

He is the way and the truth

He was the light to guide us from darkness

He was the vine we are all part of

He is the bread which sustains us

He is the one which the world persecutes and rejects

He was before all

 

Jesus also showed by his actions as well as his words what the Messiah was like.

 

Actions are often more important than words in showing others what we stand for.

Albert Schweitzer, the French theologian, philosopher and physician said, ‘Example is not the main thing in influencing others – it is the only thing.’ More depends on your walk than on your talk, what you practice than what you preach, what you do than what you say.

What people see is far more important than what they hear. People do what people see. As John Maxwell writes, ‘Eighty-nine per cent of what people learn comes through visual stimulation; ten per cent through audible stimulation and one per cent through other senses… What they hear they understand. What they see they believe!’

 

 

  • So How did Jesus Act?

He submitted to the Father’s will and was filled with the Spirit of God

 

He showed concern for the poor and margerlenised, He supported, feed and comforted

He showed concern for the sick, He healed

He showed concern for the foreigner, He accepted

He showed concern for the lost, He found

He said that riches would not save you but humble and kind actions will.

 

He did not suck up to the rich and powerful in fact He often had harsh words for them

 

He spent time with outcasts rather then those with influence

 

He entered Jerusalem on a donkey and to die, not because he had an army behind Him conquer

The people praised Him because He had shown care for the weak and powerless.

 

As He said to His followers and showed by His action He came to serve not to be served.

 

He came to die for us rather than us for Him

 

Jesus Christ suffered and died, but then conquered the greatest enemy of all…Death. 

 

He was rejected and killed

 

He didn’t do anything as a conquering king, but as a servant.

 

Kings take and use and the people supply, as Samuel told the Israelites when they asked for a king.

Instead Jesus gave and sacrificed Himself and the people receive.

 

He was rejected and abused and then killed, for others.

 

 

  • What that means for you and me.

 

The big question

 

Do you have any thoughts on what Jesus being the Messiah means for you?

 

  • Looking to and having faith through Jesus
  • Pressing on when others reject Jesus and us
  • Confidence in his Power and the power of His Holy Spirit for us
  • Accepting his love for us as he does all he does in anthrough us
  • Obedience to his call on our lives, submitting all aspects of our lives as disciples

From a Jewish point of view Cornelius, a Gentile, was a bad guy. He ate the wrong food, hung out with the wrong crowd, and swore allegiance to the wrong leader: Caesar. He didn’t quote the Torah or descend from Abraham. He was uncircumcised, unkosher, and unclean. Yet he did two things that got God’s attention. He prayed for spiritual enlightenment, and he was generous to the poor and needy. The Bible says he was ‘one who feared God with all his household…gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always’

 

 

  • Messiah – Christ – Anointed one

He fulfils prophecy, the bible tells of those who prophesied about His coming

 

He is the head of His people the church

 

The Anointed One is the one God has put to rule over all His people

 

He is our King, our Lord and the one who gives His life for us.

 

All He asks is for our praise and worship of Him and trust in Him by following His way

The Way of caring for others before self

Of loving others as ourselves

Loving God first in all we do.

 

He gives us everything in return

 

 

Let us pray to our King.

Let all the world in every corner sing ‘My God and King’

 

 

Mark 14:60-64

60 Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” 61 But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

62 Jesus said, “I am.[i] And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand[j] and coming on the clouds of heaven.[k]

63 Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses? 64 You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?”

 

John 4  21-26

21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming-indeed it’s here now-when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming-the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”[d]

 

 

Isaiah 9  2-7

Hope in the Messiah

2 [b]The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,[c]
a light will shine.
3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel,
and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest
and like warriors dividing the plunder.
4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery
and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod,
just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
5 The boots of the warrior
and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned.
They will be fuel for the fire.

6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor,[d] Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!

 

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

9 I watched as thrones were put in place
and the Ancient One[a] sat down to judge.
His clothing was as white as snow,
his hair like purest wool.
He sat on a fiery throne
with wheels of blazing fire,
10 and a river of fire was pouring out,
flowing from his presence.
Millions of angels ministered to him;
many millions stood to attend him.
Then the court began its session,
and the books were opened.

 

13 As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man[d]coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal-it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.

 

 

 

 

A Place to Belong


Such a lovely thought. One we so easily forget.
Lord I thank you that I have a home and family with you, help me never to forget that.

Me Set Free

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“Where are you from?” I haven’t really known how to answer this question for years, having moved house every couple of years for much of my life. Once, I lived at five addresses within the space of a year. But recently I have found answering this especially hard.

When I walked out of an abusive marriage, I had to move back in with my parents. This might seem like an ideal solution, after all, surely I would be moving to a place where I knew plenty of people. This wasn’t the case for me though. My parents had only be living in Worksop for a couple of years, and I knew no one in that town, (and had no desire to ever live there). I felt that I really didn’t belong. I had just left my marriage, the one relationship that is supposed to last a lifetime. On top…

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I AM the Good Shepherd Notes for talk 22nd Oct 2017


I AM the Good Shepherd

 

Readings – John 10 11-21;  Ezekiel 34 1-16; Psalm 23

 

v        Last week Robert talked about how Jesus said that He was the gate into the sheepfold, the way into a relationship with God.

 

This week I am looking at the next I Am saying.

 

‘I AM the Good Shepherd’

 

Together we will look at what Jesus means by that and what it means to us.

 

 

v        What does a shepherd do?

 

 

v        What makes a good Shepherd?

 

Well our Ezekiel reading tells us what God sees as bad shepherds.

 

1 – They feed themselves rather than the sheep

“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: What sorrow awaits you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flocks.

2 – they take for themselves from the sheep

 You drink the milk, wear the wool, and butcher the best animals, but you let your flocks starve. 

 

3 –  Not caring for them

You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the injured.

 

4 – No interest in where they are or how they are living

You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost.

 

5 – Harsh treatment of them

Instead, you have ruled them with harshness and cruelty. 

v        Jesus as the Good Shepherd

 

Our Shepherd will

1 – be out in the world with us. Robert spoke of us gong in and out of the fold. Jesus is with us all the tine we are out of the fold and in the world.

 

2 – be watching over us.  Jesus is always there watching over you as you go about your day.

He is watching you at work, play, home, with friends when shopping he watches us all the time 24/7

 

3 – be there to pull us out of the scrapes we get in. If we get lost or stuck He will be there to help us out.

 

4 – be ready to carry us home when we can no longer walk ourselves.

 

5 – be ready to heal the sick and injured.

 

6 – die instead of you, He will clean you up and present you clean and holy to the Father.

 

7 – care about how we live and treat each other

 

8 – always show us love even when we get into a mess and do things wrong.

 

9 – always be looking for those who have runaway and abandoned the flock.

 

 

v        Our shepherd is with us always

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

 

Jesus is always there for us, he knows each of us by name and we know Him.

He walks with each of us all the time, unlike a human shepherd who can only keep an eye on his flock and can’t be with each one, Jesus is with each of us all the time.

 

He walks and talks with us and we can talk with Him all the time.

He is a personal shepherd, who is always encouraging us and aiding us.

 

Jesus did give His life for each of us, and intercedes with the Father for us all the time.

 

 

v        Jesus wants us all to be His, not just some but all. We might all be different but we are all to be one flock

 

We might all be different in many ways, we are made that way by the Father.

 

However to the Shepherd we are all part of His flock and he deals with each of us as the individuals we are.

 

The flock is the sum of all its parts, not just a few the black, the white and the speckled sheep are all important to Jesus.

 

 

v        So what does this mean for us?

 

Jesus is always with you, most often ahead of you

 

We do not need to fear what will be going on around us as Jesus is with us

 

We can explore what He wants us to do knowing that He is there to help us when we get stuck.

 

We need to be shepherds to each other and to others just as Christ shows us.

 

 

v        Let us Pray


John 10 New Living Translation

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

17 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. 18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”

19 When he said these things, the people[c] were again divided in their opinions about him. 20 Some said, “He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?” 21 Others said, “This doesn’t sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

 

Ezekiel 34 New Living Translation

The Shepherds of Israel

34 Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: What sorrow awaits you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flocks. Shouldn’t shepherds feed their sheep? You drink the milk, wear the wool, and butcher the best animals, but you let your flocks starve. You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the injured. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost. Instead, you have ruled them with harshness and cruelty. So my sheep have been scattered without a shepherd, and they are easy prey for any wild animal. They have wandered through all the mountains and all the hills, across the face of the earth, yet no one has gone to search for them.

“Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, you abandoned my flock and left them to be attacked by every wild animal. And though you were my shepherds, you didn’t search for my sheep when they were lost. You took care of yourselves and left the sheep to starve. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I now consider these shepherds my enemies, and I will hold them responsible for what has happened to my flock. I will take away their right to feed the flock, and I will stop them from feeding themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths; the sheep will no longer be their prey.

The Good Shepherd

11 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. 12 I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. 13 I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers and in all the places where people live. 14 Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice!

 

One Step at a Time, at Just the Right Time


A touching story, well it touched me, of a life saved by God
I know Alice and know she speaks the truth about how God has helped her.

Me Set Free

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This is my testimony of God’s provision over the last year. I haven’t shared much detail of this with many people apart from close friends and family, but I feel that now is the right time to start to share my story.

Almost a year ago ten months ago I walked out of a marriage which was both controlling and verbally and physically abusive. I spent a lot of time feeling lonely and afraid in those years.

Of course, I felt a great relief walking away from all of that pain. But part of me felt a deep shame. I was the good Christian girl, the one who always went to youth group and read her bible every single night. I had gone to bible college and even worked for a church for a good number of years. I should not be the kind of person to find herself in…

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Notes for my ‘I Am the Bread of Life’ Harvest talk on I AM sayings by Jesus


I Am the Bread of Life

Harvest talk [1st Oct 2017]  on I AM sayings by Jesus.

Readings – John 6  22-69; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NLT

Recording of the talk here for a few weeks   http://www.ascensionbath.org.uk/sermons/

 

  • Bread, the smell brings many emotions and feeling to our minds.

It makes me remember eating freshly baked bread when on holiday as a child

What does it make you think off?

There are lots of different breads and lots of different foods.   Which do you prefer and why?

In the end you make a choice and then eat the bread, you do not just look at it and think how nice it might be.

 

You make a choice and go with it.

 

  • Jesus said ‘I AM the bread of life’ to the crowd when they wanted to see more miracles

What did he mean?

they could hardly eat him for breakfast could they

Well its like this

Food and drink are important for life, God supplied them both to the Israelites in the desert, see Exodus 16 & 17. However both are perishable and need replacing all the time

But even back then God, I AM, said that there was more to life than food and drink, there was a soul food needed as well, something that makes us whole. They needed a relationship with God

Jesus is saying that He is this Spiritual food, that He is God, ‘I AM’. [see Exodus 3]

47 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 Yes, I am the bread of life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50 Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever;

 

If we fill ourselves on Jesus just as we fill ourselves daily on food and drink then we will have eternal life with God, I AM.  And unlike bread Jesus never goes off/perishes He is for ever.

We do not need to go and find Him each day once we have decided to give ourselves to Him then He is with us for ever.

The one who brings eternal life.

 

Many people like to hope that there is more to life than just being here, they hope that they will see the people they love again.

In Jesus this is true.

He is the Bread of Life, the one who will give you eternal life.

 

 

  • Lots of things go into making your daily bread as well as a lot of work.

However you eat it and later you will be hungry again

 

With Jesus ‘The Bread of Life’ you eat and are filled.

And you only have to make a decision to do it once you are then

Filled with the fullness of knowing God personally. He becomes eternal  food for your soul

Filled with the Spirit of God

 

Explain how this changed my life.

 

 

  • Many found what Jesus said hard to swallow, it was not what they expected

They thought that they knew Him and his parents.

They thought that they knew who and what the Messiah would be like and Jesus didn’t fit that idea

But did they really know Him?

Do all of us understand who Jesus is?

 

Many people, including some here, think they understand what the Christian faith is about and how Jesus fits into it.

 

But like these people some have it wrong.

Jesus: What’s important …… is that my Father is now offering you the real bread from heaven. The Bread of God came down from heaven and gives life to the world.

Just as bread from heaven gave life to them in the desert.

Jesus is saying He is like that bread, giving life to those lost in the world.

Those who want eternal life and need the right food to get to it.

Jesus is clearly saying that He came from God, is God and brings us the food we really need, Himself

 

  • John 3 [Msg]

16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

 

So some say- Master, give us this bread!

Some ask for it others turn away

Jesus: I am the Bread of Life. The person who lines themselves up with me won’t ever hunger or thirst. I’m explaining this because even though you’ve seen me in action, you don’t really believe me.

Seeing Jesus in action performing miracles isn’t important, in fact many who saw or still see miracles does not convince many.

Jesus is saying that, He goes on to say that it is about faith in Him, Trusting in Him that counts.

Do you believe that Jesus is ‘I AM’  God?

John 14:6-7 The Message 

6-7 Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me.

 

 

  • When we choose to follow Jesus he becomes part of us.

Like bread which is more than the sum of its ingredients, we become more than we are.

We become part of the family of God.

We become adopted into His family we become more than we are.

 

 

  • Food and drink are important to life, but often we think there must be more to life than eating, sleeping and work.

Many rich people say they seem to have everything but are still missing something.

The same is true of people with addictions, they are looking for something to fill their hole.

 

Jesus is the missing part, He is the bread that fills the empty parts of us

 

When I encountered Jesus I found that I did have holes, I didn’t know I had, to fill and he filled them

 

I keep refueling myself on Him day by day, He is the bread of my life

 

 

  • I finish looking at this by looking at what that means for each of us

What feeding on Jesus means for the way we live our lives. After all it must change something in us.

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NLT

6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”[c] 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,

“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”[
d]

10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity[e] in you.

11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving-the needs of the believers in Jerusalem[f] will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.

13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.15 Thank God for this gift[g] too wonderful for words!

Today we think of Harvest, how much we have each received from God this last year.

We acknowledge that God provides.

Our food; Drink; Homes; Families; Work; the Environment; Sun and Rain;

If we accept that, then as followers of I AM we are called upon to share from our harvest with others who have done worse than us.  And there are always people who are worse off than us.

 

As we receive the Bread of Life from Jesus so we share our harvest with others

God gives freely to us, and we are to do the same.

 

My own experience is that no matter how little I have if I share and give away I always have enough for myself as well.

Before I was a Christian, that was not always true, God blesses those who give from their hearts rather than holding on to it all for themselves.

 

Lets Pray

 

Quite some bread!   Vicar’s weekly notice sheet thought

Most of us love the smell of bread! Many supermarkets deliberately bake it on site to induce a feel good factor. Well, we hope you enjoy the smell of bread here today baked and shared by the children! But then Jesus did say, “I am the bread of life”….. Indeed just before the day he said those words, he’d famously fed the crowd of 5,000 or more with bread and fish. Well now, that crowd was Jewish, and they understood the bit in their history where Moses had fed them with bread too. You may have heard of ‘manna’ yourself – bread miraculously provided by heaven when they were hungry in the desert. So they understood Jesus wasn’t just going to become their expert local baker! For bread, however wonderful it is, doesn’t last very long (foodies take note!). No he was talking about bread that ‘that really feeds your lasting life’ as we’ve translated it today. He went on to talk about the people eating Him, not loaves of bread. They, and we, might well ask what does that mean?! Jesus explained, “The person who lines themselves up with me won’t ever hunger or thirst.” Do this, he said, and you will enter real life as his Father in Heaven intends it to be. Listen to me, he says, and you will see and hear what this real life is about. A phrase I love from today’s words of Jesus reads, “My part is to put them (you) on their feet alive and whole at the completion and end of time.” This is some bread! Do we understand Jesus’ generosity here? We call each other at Harvest time to be generous, and Jesus says to each of us first receive my generosity to you. I came to give you the Bread of Life.

 

John 6 –Reading as a Drama

4 people start at back of church, Jesus and Disciples at front

Person 1: Hey, Jesus’ disciples left in the boat without Jesus.

Person 2: Where’s Jesus now?

Person 3: Let’s get into another boat and go and look for him.

Mime getting into boat and travel down aisle in boat. Get out of boat on carpet, and see Jesus and disciples.

Person 4: Rabbi, when did you get here?

Jesus: You’ve come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you – and for free. Don’t waste your energy striving for food that goes off. Work for food that sticks with you, really feeds your lasting life. The Son of Man and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.

Person 1: We want to perform God’s works too. What should we do?

Jesus: Commit yourself to the One God has sent – that gets you in on God’s works.

Someone do a visual / noisy science experiment (miraculous work)

Person 2: Show us a miracle if you want us to commit ourselves to you.

Person 3: Yea, Moses fed our ancestors with bread from heaven in the desert.

Jesus: What’s important is not that Moses gave you bread from heaven but that my Father is now offering you the real bread from heaven. The Bread of God came down from heaven and gives life to the world.

Person 4: Master, give us this bread!

Jesus: I am the Bread of Life. The person who lines themselves up with me won’t ever hunger or thirst. I’m explaining this because even though you’ve seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me and I hold onto them and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to do my own thing but to do the will of the One who sent me.

The real thing my Father wants is for anyone who sees the Son to trust who he is, and what he does – and then lines themselves up with him to enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion and end of time.

Person 1: How can he say, “I am the Bread that came down from heaven?”

Person 2: Isn’t this the son of Joseph?

Person 3: Don’t we know his mother?

Person 4: How can anyone be expected to believe him?

Jesus: You’re not in charge, the Father who sent me is. He draws people to me—that’s the only way you’ll ever come. Then I do my work, putting people together, setting them on their feet, ready for the End. Anyone who has spent any time really listening to the Father and therefore learning, comes to me to be taught personally—to see and hear it. No one has seen the Father; only I have seen him – but you can see me!

Whoever believes in me has eternal life. I am the Bread of Life – living bread come down from heaven. Your ancestors ate the manna bread in the desert and died. But anyone who eats this Bread will live – forever! This Bread I offer so the world can live is myself, my flesh-and-blood self.

Person 1: What a load of rubbish!

Person 2: How can this man serve up his flesh for a meal?

Jesus: Let me repeat this to be clear: You must eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood or you can’t have eternal life. Its real food and real drink and anyone who eats and drinks me enters into me and I in him. I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. I am the true bread that came down from heaven.

Person 3: This is tough teaching, too tough to swallow.

Person 4: How can anyone accept it?

Jesus: Does this throw you completely? Sheer muscle and willpower don’t make anything happen. But every word I’ve spoken to you is a Spirit-word, and so it is life-making. But some of you are resisting, refusing to have any part in this.

No one can come to me on his own, it’s only as a gift from the Father.

Person 1: I don’t want to hang around with Jesus any more.

Person 2: This is too hard.

People get back in boats and go back to where they came from. Jesus turns to his disciples

Jesus: Do you also want to leave?

Peter: Master, who would we go to? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We’ve already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God.

This is the Word of the Lord

All Thanks be to God

 

John 6

Jesus, the Bread of Life

22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. 23 Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. 24 So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. 25 They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man[f] can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”

29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

30 They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? 31 After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[g]

32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”

35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. 37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. 38 For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. 39 And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. 40 For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”

41 Then the people[h] began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph? We know his father and mother. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

43 But Jesus replied, “Stop complaining about what I said. 44 For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up. 45 As it is written in the Scriptures,[i]‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 (Not that anyone has ever seen the Father; only I, who was sent from God, have seen him.)

47 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 Yes, I am the bread of life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50 Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”

52 Then the people began arguing with each other about what he meant. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked.

53 So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. 54 But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”

59 He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Many Disciples Desert Jesus

60 Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”

61 Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? 63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) 65 Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”

66 At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him.67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

68 Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.[j]

 

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NLT

6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”[c] 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,

“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”[d]

10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity[e] in you.

11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving-the needs of the believers in Jerusalem[f] will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.

13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.15 Thank God for this gift[g] too wonderful for words!