Category Archives: Talks

THE WAY, THE TRUTH & THE LIFE


The Way, the Truth & the Life

No. 2 in our short series

‘Preparing for the Coming of the
Spirit’ –

You will find the recorded version of this talk here on Ascension’s web site for the next 2 months

I want us to be listening to how the Spirit is speaking to us about how we should be living in the Spirit today. Particularly as we come to pray over Ascension – Pentecost that people may come to know Jesus (as called by the Archbishop)

Readings, John 14.1-14.                       1 Peter 2.2-10

  • I Am the Way the Truth and the Life.

 

Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.[c] From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

 

I spoke about Thomas a few weeks back.

He asked questions when he didn’t understand.

 

To many that is not only a bold statement but one which ignores all other options. Jesus goes on to say that He and God are one, another very bold statement. Both are at the centre of Christian belief, One God Father, Son and Spirit.

Not three gods or multiple gods of which Jesus is one, but only one God which Jesus is. Jesus is God come down as man to show us God, how He thinks, how He acts and what His nature is.

” Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!”. If this is true then we have to respond to it in some way.

 

How do you respond to this statement from Jesus?

 

Jesus also said

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.[a] If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”

 

But Thomas like many didn’t understand

He had no idea what Jesus mean by trust in God.

Or what the Fathers home was.

What needed to be ready, where was this place?

 

Can you answer these questions?

 

  • Trust in God and Jesus [no other Gods but me]

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

 

I AM was the name God used to Moses in Exodus.

The one and only God, there are no others but Me I Am God.

 

So here Jesus is saying that He is the same God as scripture shows. The same God as met Moses.

Therefore Jesus is saying He is God and if you have trusted God you can trust me.

If you trust me you can trust God.

 

God brought His people out of slavery to a new home,

I Am is doing the same for you but this time the new Kingdom is not of this world.

 

His Spirit, the Spirit of God, will be there to show us the way to this kingdom and how to live as if we are already there.

 

  • Seeing God the Father through Jesus [Jesus shows us the Father, the Father is like Jesus]

 

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

 

Philip wants to see God the Father, seeing God will satisfy him.

I doubt he is alone in this, many want to see God.

 

 

9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?

10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

 

Jesus also said in John 10 30 ‘The Father and I are one’

 

Jesus is sure that seeing Him is the same as seeing the Father.

Looking at what Jesus did and how He acted shows us how the Father acts and what He wants doing.

 

We can know God though Jesus, they are the same.

 

  • We are the living priests of God, through Jesus, God’s people [we are to reflect God as Jesus did]

 

If we are following Jesus, living the way and the truth, we will reflect Him in our Life into the world around us, just as a priest would.

 

Priests back then where thought of as an extension of God, showing and telling the people what God wanted. Performing sacrifices.

 

1 Peter 2

4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests.[a] Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.

 

 

John 14

12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

 

As the new temple, which is made of those who follow Jesus, build on Jesus the cornerstone.

We are all to act like priests, offering sacrifices to God the Father.

 

Not animal sacrifices but sacrifices of our own body. Giving ourselves to Follow Jesus and His ways.

Doing the things Jesus did.

 

Healing the sick.

Blessing the poor and outcasts.

Looking after the orphan and widow.

Loving others as much as we love ourselves.

 

Priests are supposed to act like the god they follow, they show god to the world and people around them in their life.

Doing the same things as Jesus, God on earth, did.

 

1 Peter 2 9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests,[g] a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

 

This we can only do when filled and powered by His Spirit.

 

 

  • We who trust will never be disgraced, abandoned

[Jesus was not abandoned neither will we be]

 

1 Peter 2

. 6 As the Scriptures say,

“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem,[b]
chosen for great honor,
and anyone who trusts in him
will never be disgraced.”[c]

 

Isaiah 28

16 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem,[d]
a firm and tested stone.
It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on.
Whoever believes need never be shaken.

 

Both Isaiah and Peter tell us that those who trust in the Cornerstone, that is Jesus will not be shaken or disgraced.

Jesus followers will not be abandoned just as Jesus was not abandoned by the Father during His time on earth.

 

Deuteronomy 7

6 For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.

 

God chose His people,

First Adam and Eve.

Then Abram, then Jacob and Joseph.

Then the 12 tribes through Moses.

Now He choices each of us through Jesus.

 

 

We are chosen adopted as His Holy people.

Or as Clare put it last week we are His sheep and He is our Shepherd.

He knows each of us by name and will look after us.

 

We will be filled with His Spirit and guided by His Spirit.

 

1 Peter 2 10 “Once you had no identity as a people;
now you are God’s people.
Once you received no mercy;
now you have received God’s mercy.”

 

As far as God is concerned only those who follow His path are a People all others are a non People.

 

Deuteronomy 32

21 They have roused my jealousy by worshiping things that are not God;
they have provoked my anger with their useless idols.
Now I will rouse their jealousy through people who are not even a people;
I will provoke their anger through the foolish Gentiles.

 

 

  • We stumble because we do not obey [we ignore or disobey God and the right way of living]

 

However those who do not trust in Jesus who do not follow the true way to eternal life, will stumble.

 

This is because we do not

1 Peter 2

They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

 

That fate is judgment.

 

The only answer to judgment is Jesus the rock the cornerstone because He is ‘ the Way the Truth and the Life’.

 

 

  • Lets put this together

 

To reach God many think they need to build up on their own endeavors just like those who built the tower of Babel.

However If Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life He is the cornerstone of our lives.

The cornerstone of the temple.

We are the temple of God, His priests.

So we need to fit our lives onto the corner stone.

The temple is built upon Christ.

We the building blocks of the temple, Gods priests, we come in many different sizes and shapes but we all fit together around the corner stone.

 

Building Gods temple, His people on and around the cornerstone of Christ, Gods word.

 

Many stumble because they are trying to build their lives on their own foundation rather than the cornerstone the foundation God supplied.

They want to reach God their way, under their own way of living, under their own rules.

 

Jesus has not left this open to us.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

 

Only by building our lives on the cornerstone can we know the way

Only by accepting the truth that a building has strength when build around the cornerstone can we have Live.

A building fails unless built on a cornerstone.

So instead of God being up high and us trying to reach Him, He is at the bottom holding us all together.

He is the Rock which binds us together.

 

Lets Pray.

 

 

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.[c] From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

 

 

 

 

 

Notice Sheet piece 

 “I am the way, the truth, and the life”

 

‘The New Testament does not say, “You shall know the rules, and by them you shall be bound”, but “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”.’ [1]

Truth is under threat today. Post-modern culture is suspicious of claims to absolute truth. Just look at some recent elections and how Fake News is rife. Truth is what feels right to me – truth is what I make it! Subjective approaches to truth are not new, however. In Jesus’ day, religious leaders read Scripture diligently for truth yet rejected Jesus outright. To their minds a blasphemous Sabbath-breaker could not possibly be the Son of God. Truth was what they made it. Ironically, they were more likely to accept self-styled messiahs who fitted in with their thinking.

This week we are looking at Jesus Claim “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. ” [2] To many that is not only a bold statement but one which ignores all other options. Jesus goes on to say that He and God are one, another very bold statement. Both are at the centre of Christian belief, One God Father, Son and Spirit. Not three gods or multiple gods of which Jesus is one, but only one God which Jesus is. Jesus is God come down as man to show us God, how He thinks, how He acts and what His nature is. ” Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” [3]. If this is true then we have to respond to it in some way. How do you respond to this statement from Jesus?

 

[1] John Baillie, in Living Quotations for Christians, Hodder, 1974

[2] John 14:6

[3] John 14:9b

 

 

 

 

John 14.1-14

Jesus, the Way to the Father

14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.[a] If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”

5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.[c] From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

 

 

1 Peter 2:2-10

2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment,3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

Living Stones for God’s House

4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests.[a] Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 6 As the Scriptures say,

“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem,[b]
chosen for great honor,
and anyone who trusts in him
will never be disgraced.”[c]

7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him.[d] But for those who reject him,

“The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.”[e]

8 And,

“He is the stone that makes people stumble,
the rock that makes them fall.”[f]

They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests,[g] a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

10 “Once you had no identity as a people;
now you are God’s people.
Once you received no mercy;
now you have received God’s mercy.”

 

People of the Story Thomas and Faith – notes for Talk on Sunday 23rd April 2017


People of the Story

Thomas and Faith

Readings – John 20 19-29(page 828) & 1 Peter 1 3-9

Audio of talk here for a while

  • You have to like the story of Thomas.

John 11  (page 820)

14 So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.”

16 Thomas, nicknamed the Twin,[c] said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too-and die with Jesus.”

 

He didn’t really fully grasp what Jesus was saying about Lazarus however he was eager.

How often can that be said of many of us?

 

John 14(page 823)

14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.[a] If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”

5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

 

A bit of honest questioning and honesty about not understanding at all.

Which Jesus answers. the glorious reply ‘I am the way and the truth and the life’ (John 14:5,6)

 

So Thomas queries Jesus answers.

 

Now, in our reading today, he is wondering if what his friends say is true.

Have they really seen Jesus?

How you you respond to someone telling you they had seen Jesus?

 

  • Often when I hear about the things people are experiencing with God I doubt it.

 

Why I ask later do I not believe?

 

But than the same question can also be asked about why others do not believe my story of my journey with Jesus.

 

It is part of us to doubt what we did not see or we do not understand.

Was Thomas acting any differently to any of us?

Would we say that we doubted or just that we had questions?

 

Thomas like many of us who follow Jesus had a chequered relationship with Jesus.

First he was full of enthusiasm and wanted to go and die with Jesus.

Then he just did not understand what Jesus was saying or doing at all.

Now he can not connect what has happened to what Jesus had said would so doesn’t believe the others. It is not that he has given up after all he is there with them he just can’t believe that Jesus would only show himself to some.

 

  • So just like us Thomas wanted a little more proof.

He wanted to follow Jesus but often got it wrong.

So very much like me and maybe you. We want to understand we want to go the way of Jesus but often find it confusing and we do not understand.

 

  • But great news.

What happened after Thomas said he needed more proof?

 

Yes Jesus came back again and gave him what he needed.

When I came to faith it was because Jesus showed me what I needed to see.

 

I believe that is one of the points of this story, Jesus will help us to believe if we ask Him.

With no condemnation about asking either.

 

  • Peter says that faith needs to be tested, Thomas’s was here and mine is often, as I expect yours is.

 

1 Peter 1  7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

 

It wasn’t that Thomas didn’t still believe in Christ he just needed a little more revealed, after all the others had had it.

 

However he did pass this test

28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

 

  • Faith struggles

David Bracewell, said in my bible study this week
You and I are amongst those who Jesus called ‘blessed’ because we have believed without seeing. But sometimes it feels a bit of a struggle, and we long for a sign, some certainty. If that is how you are feeling now, bring your doubts into the open without shame or excuse.

You may long for certainty but ‘dead certainty’ brings brittle belief that tends to crumble at the first serious challenge. By contrast, honest doubt explored with integrity will lead us into a deeper faith that will stand the test of time. Can you say: ‘My Lord and my God’? That is more than enough!

  • Trusting in Jesus brings Salvation

Thomas trusted Jesus even if he needed some more information, this trust brought him Salvation.

 

Each of those encounters with Jesus brought transformation to Thomas.

Just as encountering Jesus changed me and many others.

You to can have that transformation by engaging with Jesus.

This transformation is known as being Born Again.

 

Being Born Again requires Being filled with the Spirit, receiving our inheritance, and therefore Eternal Life.

 

  • So if you want these things and are not sure you fully understand Jesus, or have meet with Him take this opportunity to ask Jesus what you need to believe.

Ask the Father the question you are struggling with.

Spend time listening to the Spirit of God as He answers you.

Remember it was a week later that Thomas got his answer it might be even longer for you or not.

Just be open to receiving the answer.

 

 

  • Let us pray

 

 

 

John 20:19-29New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 That Sunday evening[a] the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin),[b] was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

 

 

 

1 Peter 1:3-9New Living Translation (NLT)

The Hope of Eternal Life

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance-an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

6 So be truly glad.[a] There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

 

 

The Woman at the Well – Talk notes for Sunday 19/03/17


People of the Story

The Woman at the Well

Readings –  John 4 5-42; Acts 16:12-14; Psalm 40 1-10

You will find a audio of the talk here for the next 8 weeks

  • This is a favorite reading, showing and telling us abut how Jesus/God meets with people and what happens when He does. And also shows us how we should do it as well.

 

  • Water and wells turn up often in the story of the people of the bible.

Look at, Abram, Moses, Jacob, and on to Jesus.

Its where people met, to water their animals and themselves.

Where do people meet these days?

Pubs?               Cafes?              On line?                        Sports?                        Work?              Baptism?

This is important because God meets us where we are, he meets us through the people we meet the places we go

Paul was much the same, going to where people met and engaging with them.

 

  • Today we are all at a baptism, where we bring a person to allow them to show they want to follow Jesus, be in a relationship with God. By being washed in water, a symbol of the living water of the Spirit.

Yes Mason can not do that himself as yet so his parents Dave & Verica along with others make that choice for him and themselves instead.

 

So today is a good time to encounter God.

If like these ladies you know a little about God but want to know more and be in a relationship with Him

Today is the day.

Will you listen to what God wants to say to you today?

Will you ask questions and explore Whether Jesus is who He said He was?

‘The Messiah’

‘God come to save us’

 

  • Jesus took people as he found them.

Never any condemnation of them just accepting them as they were.

9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.[b] She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

 

He only had harsh words for religious leaders who did not live what they preached.

 

Neither Jesus and Paul looked down on people and neither does God, even if we often are lead to believe or think He does.

 

  • Jesus broke all the cultural taboos.

He talked to a woman who did not have a male relative with her. Not the done thing

He talked to a foreigner and one the Jews hated more than the Romans.

He talked to a women who was not married to the man she was living with, having gone through a few men already.

Paul talked to women where they met, again ignoring normal Greek and Roman morals

What would be the equivalent today?

Who would society expect you to ignore?

How would God react?

Do you think you are not someone God would be interested in?

The bible shows that God is interested in everyone, not matter how weak or strong, rich or poor, cleaver or not, man or women, child or adult, Christian or not, married or single, promiscuous or celibate.

 

  • Jesus spoke to prostitutes, the sick, the foreigner, the old and young, even to religious leaders.

He will speak to you if you ask and listen there is nothing about you God does not already know and He still loves you and wants to have a relationship with you.

 

  • Both Paul and Jesus used the persons current activity to explain the good news of how to have a relationship with God rather than forcing some strange theology onto them.

They kept it simple but deep and allowed the person to ask questions and went from there.

 

This is how I came to faith 18 years ago, God met me where I was, then slowly I was led to people who took me as I was and allowed me to ask question. I was allowed time for conversation and time to think.

The end result was like both these women a changed life.

You can ask me about that after if you want

 

  • Jesus talked about the Living water of new life, a picture of the Holy Spirit within believers.

13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

 

  • The Spirit of God still speaks to people where they are and in the context of their life.

And when it does and is accepted it brings transformation.

You can not meet God and not be effected, even if it is only to choice not to follow.

Jesus could tell the women about her life and He could see how it effected her.

 

  • God gives a choice, follow Him in Jesus or not.

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]

 

  • How would you respond to that statement?

 

  • What happened then?

28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?”

Acts  . As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying.

 

Transformation

Psalm 40

Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand[a]
you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
Then I said, “Look, I have come.
As is written about me in the Scriptures:
I take joy in doing your will, my God,
for your instructions are written on my heart.”

 

They both believed and went and told others who also believed. There lives where changed.

 

There was forgiveness and change

They both heard enough to get them interested and committed to God and finding out more.

 

 

  • Believe seek forgiveness and be transformed

I and many here have decided that Jesus is God and by following allowed Him to change us, transform us slowly into His likeness. This is done as God does it for us by forgiveness

 

If you also want to, do please do not miss the opportunity, talk to Robert, Clare, Sarah, Myself  or someone else who has had this encounter with God.

 

If God is good, and we believe that He is, how can it harm you to encounter Him.

 

Did it hurt either women in our readings?

Did anyone in the bible regret meeting God?

 

So if encountering God will not hurt you, what do you have to lose,?

What is stopping you from meeting with Him?

 

Let us pray

 

 

Readings from  Bible gateway  https://www.biblegateway.com/

John 4

Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.

9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.[b] She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”

16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.

17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.

Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband- 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim,[c] where our ancestors worshiped?”

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]

27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” 28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him.

31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”

32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”

33 “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other.

34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. 35 You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe[e] for harvest. 36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. 38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”

Many Samaritans Believe

39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”

 

 

 

Acts 16:12-14

12 From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days.

13 On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. 14 One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying.

 

 

Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.

Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.

You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand[a]
you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
Then I said, “Look, I have come.
As is written about me in the Scriptures:
I take joy in doing your will, my God,
for your instructions are written on my heart.”

I have told all your people about your justice.
I have not been afraid to speak out,
as you, O Lord, well know.
10 I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart;
I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.
I have told everyone in the great assembly
of your unfailing love and faithfulness.

 

Notes for talk on Exercising the Mind before God 19th Feb 2017


Exercising the Mind before God 19th Feb 2017

from Relating to God, Relating to Others

Readings – Mark 12 28-34       Prov 9 1-12     Acts 17 10-15  Psalm 111

Link to recorded version [only for 8 weeks]

 

 

  • Robert spoke last week about our bodies and God this week we continue by talking about our minds. Our Intelligence and Wisdom

 

Faith comes not just from emotion but from thinking/working through what we have heard about God.

Thomas needed to be convinced by sight of what he had been told, he needed to be able to rationalise and check what he had been told about Jesus’ resurrection, as did others in the bible.

 

 

  • We need to use our mind as we explore and try to understand God and the world around us

 

We where given the world to explore and understand it helps us understand God

 

We work though what we experience of God

 

Jesus recognised that the Teacher of the Law was exploring by asking questions and unlike some he wanted to understand.

Mark 12 34

Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

 

 David and Mosses often agued and wrestled with God and his plans, asking questions to understand

Psalm 111

2 How amazing are the deeds of the Lord!
All who delight in him should ponder them.
3 Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.

 

Mark 4:24-25 NLT

“Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given —and you will receive even more.  To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”
Talk, listen and question

 

 

  • We are to use our minds to cultivate wisdom, wisdom comes from understanding Gods ways rather than mans ways.

Proverbs 9 12 If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.

 

It comes form, listening to God and understanding and applying.

It comes from seeing and understanding the wonder of the created world.

 

Psalm 111

4 He causes us to remember his wonderful works

 

Its about checking what we hear against what we already know.

Its about checking what we hear against what the bible shows.

  

Mark 4:9-10 NLT

Then he said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Later, when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with the others who were gathered around, they asked him what the parables meant.
  

  • Exercising the Mind is also about applying wisdom to the bible

Acts .17  11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.

 

So we need to understand what it meant to those people at the time it was written

As we read we ask questions,

We think about how it fits together

We see how we are to apply it to our own lives

 

As we read the bible we then apply our intellect and the teaching of the Spirit to understand it and then apply it to our lives.

 

Psalm 111

7 All he does is just and good,
and all his commandments are trustworthy.
8 They are forever true,
to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.

 

  • We are to exercise our minds with good things, things that please Gods Spirit rather than things which lead us away from God.

 Robert spoke on Romans 8 last week but it also links in with this week

Romans 8

5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.

 

He spoke about our bodies but how we treat them starts with our mind, that blank bit on the figures the children made.

 

Like in many things about us that can be different for each of us.

However we should not try to get people to do things they feel will lead them astray even if its ok with us.

Psalm 111

10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.
All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.

Praise him forever!

 

  • Questioning Your mind is open to God, God knows our thought processes

Psalm 139

1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.

He made us to have thoughts and they are part of us.

We are not supposed to just switch off our minds when we come to faith but to question and seek answers.

Its how we understand God better and how we apply our faith in the world around us.

 

When we listen to a talk in church or at any other time we need to encage our mind and ask questions

Is this from God

Is it true

Does it agree with the Bible and what God has already told us.

Is it loving and honouring of God

 

 

  • When we engage our mind then we are able to explain to others what and why we believe.

 

If we do not fully understand with our mind our relationship with God, what Jesus means to us then how can we tell others as commanded to.

 

We are not fulfilling our God given command if we only believe because others told us to, how do we explain that to others?

 

Even if you have believed since you where young you still need to challenge your believe to fully understand it.  Allow yourself to work through questions asked to you  about God, who he is, what he is, what following Jesus means. Then you can explain rationally to others.
 

 

 

 

Mark 12 28-34

28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’[g] 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[h] No other commandment is greater than these.”

32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other.33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

34 Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

 

 

Prov 9 1-12

Wisdom has built her house;
she has carved its seven columns.
2 She has prepared a great banquet,
mixed the wines, and set the table.
3 She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come.
She calls out from the heights overlooking the city.
4 “Come in with me,” she urges the simple.
To those who lack good judgment, she says,
5 “Come, eat my food,
and drink the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live;
learn to use good judgment.”

7 Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.
Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
8 So don’t bother correcting mockers;
they will only hate you.
But correct the wise,
and they will love you.
9 Instruct the wise,
and they will be even wiser.
Teach the righteous,
and they will learn even more.

10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.
Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.

11 Wisdom will multiply your days
and add years to your life.
12 If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit.
If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.

 

Acts 17 10-15

10 That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.

13 But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble. 14 The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind. 15 Those escorting Paul went with him all the way to Athens; then they returned to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to hurry and join him.

 

 

 

Psalm 111

1 Praise the Lord!

I will thank the Lord with all my heart
as I meet with his godly people.
2 How amazing are the deeds of the Lord!
All who delight in him should ponder them.
3 Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.
His righteousness never fails.
4 He causes us to remember his wonderful works.
How gracious and merciful is our Lord!
5 He gives food to those who fear him;
he always remembers his covenant.
6 He has shown his great power to his people
by giving them the lands of other nations.
7 All he does is just and good,
and all his commandments are trustworthy.
8 They are forever true,
to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.
9 He has paid a full ransom for his people.
He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever.
What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!
10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.
All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.

Praise him forever!

 

 

 

Notes for talk on ‘Small or Broken but Loved’ 5th Jan at Twerton Fellowship


Talk

Small or Broken but Loved

1st Reading – Isaiah 42 1-4        2nd reading – Matthew 12 9-21; 33-37

  • Many of us feel as though we are unimportant, we are broken, weak, our impact for god is small, we feel unloved due to our failings.

 

Jesus talked about being lights to the world but we hardly feel we are a tea light glowing dimly for a short time.

We feel that we are not the perfect person God wanted and made.

However when you make something and invest it with a lot of your love how do you feel about it when it gets damaged?

 

  • Which is better.

Large candle or tea light  [have both and light them]

This pot or this one [my superman pot or the one I made]

a big powerful important person of faith or a small shy person of faith?

 

God doesn’t see it this way, even a flickering light is important, in our readings God says he will not put out a flickering candle.

 

  • Talk about how god spoke to me about my worth through a tea light.

 

 

  • Spend some time thinking about the things you do for God no matter how small.

 

 

 

  • Are they important, do you think God is pleased that you did it?

Do you think he would rather have snuffed it out?

 

Our Psalm talked about people avoiding us about how broken I am

To my enemies I’m a monster;
I’m ridiculed by the neighbours.
My friends are horrified;
they cross the street to avoid me.
They want to blot me from memory,
forget me like a corpse in a grave,
discard me like a broken dish in the trash.
But you Lord see even the broken and weak as important, you delight in what they do.

 

This is because you made us and invested us with your image, your love, and time.

Like when we make something it holds a special place for us even when it gets a little cracked and broken we are held in a special place by God who made us.

 

Think about that for a while.

 

  • How does it make you feel that God loves you even as a small light or a cracked pot.

He loves you the way you are because life has crafted what he made into this.

He understands all you have experienced over the years, the things that have influenced you.

You might feel broken weak or unimportant but you are not.

Even a dim light in the darkness can save a life, even a broken pot can bring living water to a person who is thirsty.

 

  • It is by the fruit you bring forth that you are known, not by how much or how big but by some good coming from your life.

 

A tea light might not seem much but at the right time it can make a big difference.

 

A broken cup might not seem much but can make a difference if that is all that is available.

 

Accept what you are and give of what you are, as a tree ages if gives less fruit but it does still bear fruit even if only one small apple.

 

Time of open prayer and reflection

Family Feuds – Talk notes for 29th Jan 2017


Family Feuds

29th Jan 2017

The recorded talk is here until the end of March 2017

 Genesis 4  1-10  Cain and Abel  [hatred and murder]

Genesis 27 5-19    Rebekah, Isaac, Jacob and Esau  [deceit and greed]

2 Samuel 13 1-5; 8-22 Tamar, Amnon and Absalom

Genesis 37 3-10  18-20   Joseph and his brothers   [Jealousy, unfair love, showing off and pride]

Mathew 12  25-30

Romans 12   15-21

 

  • The last few weeks we have looked at how children and adults need to relate to each other and God.

Today we look at what happens when those relationship’s fall apart.

We will look at these questions

  1. How and why do families fall apart?
  2. What happens when we do not work well as a family?
  3. How does are relationship with god fall apart
  4. How do we mend these family feuds?
  5. How do we need to work as a family?

 

As a member of a fractured and feuding family this has been something I have had to think about often.

I know it is not fair, fun or easy to fix. but becoming a Christian has helped me deal with these issues. This is not going to be easy for any of us and I am not saying there are easy answers. This is just how I have come to see the issue.

 

  • How and why do families fall apart?

These things happen because each of us wants to be accepted, desire to be the same as others and treated the same.

We are looking for signs of being loved and only see signs of not being loved. and others being loved more than us.

It breeds discontent, anger, jealousy, greed, addiction, and emotional confusion

 

Genesis 4  1-10  Cain and Abel  [hatred and murder]

Cain wanted to be as accepted as Abel had even though he acted in a different way, he didn’t see that his actions made a difference. Or that he only had to say sorry and ask forgiveness instead he let anger gain control.

 

 

Genesis 27 5-19    Rebekah, Isaac, Jacob and Esau  [deceit and greed]

Jacob with his mothers help wanted to have what his brother had he wanted to be first even though he wasn’t.

 

 

2 Samuel 13 1-5; 8-22 Rape of Tamar by Amnon and Absalom revenge

the actions of one member of a family to another caused hatred between him and another family member.

 

It’s often the fact that family feuds are the result of members of said family not feeling loved as another  or doing things which other members dislike or are wrong

That situation is not dealt with and festers.

It the case of Tamar it festered for two years, David, the king, did nothing and eventually Avsalom killed Amnon.

 

That is not saying that people who something bad should be ignored but that a family has to come together to deal with that situation together rather than taking different sides or taking the law into there own hands like Absalom who could have taken Tamar to the king and asked for justice.

 

 

  • What happens when we do not work well as a family?

we can see in our own families and the world around us

envy, hatred, scheming, jealousy, not talking to each other, not trusting each other and on and on…

 

Jesus said in Mathew 25

A divided kingdom

25 Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart

 

It all falls apart and sister does not speak to brother or parents.

Patents disown their children, children disown their parents.

People take sides and before long you have half the family not talking to the other half.

 

 

 

  • How does are relationship with god fall apart

If we can not manage to get on with our own family how will we get on with our bigger and more diffusive family of God?

 

In many ways the bible can be seen as the story of a family, the family of God

 

The split of the people of God into north and south after the death of Solomon as they argued over who should inherit ect…

 

We also see this in how Gods family, us, can become divided rather than one under God.

Split apart by silly little things, not living out love and forgivness.

 

God the father and his children.

As we read the bible we see how the children did not respect their father and wanted to do their own thing.

They didn’t trust in His experience and ignored His wisdom and so suffered for it.

 

 

 

  • How do we mend these family feuds?

love and forgiveness – restores families and relationships with God

 

We need to know that we are loved by Jesus just as we are warts and all and we need to accept that others have the same needs and different faults.

 

We need to put “I love …….[my name]  Who …… (add things you think you fail at) as God loves as we are.

Then we need to do the same for others “I love ….[persons name] Who……..[fails at]”

 

Gods love is not dependant on us, its His love, we need to love and forgive the same way.

 

Ephesians 4 26

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

 

Forgiveness is not easy, not for any of us.

 

Christ showed us how costly it can be on the cross.

 

Forgiveness does not mean you approve or except the way you have been treated or the person has acted, its about ….. well forgiving that person and moving on with the relationship in some new way.

 

That is how God does it with us.

 

 

 

  • How do we need to work as a family, both our Christian family and our normal family?

As St Paul writes in our reading from Romans

Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

Try to except others as they are, and do not think you are better than them

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.  

Often we can only do What we Can, the rest is up to the other person.

 

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

20 Instead,

“If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

We often see, particularly in soaps, that revenge and pay back is the first emotion when someone does something to harm us.

This is not Gods way we are to leave judgment to  Him and the authorities He has put over us.

 

 

 

 

  • So to finish

Love even when you feel you are not being treated well, just as God did in Christ

Forgive when you are wronged, no matter how often, as Jesus said when asked 70×7

Love rather than hate the people who have hurt you as Jesus does.

Forgive and receive back into your family any lost sheep asking for forgiveness, not holding the past against them.   [There are exceptions to this based on your and others safety] Just as God does.

 

 


Genesis 37.3-13, 18-22

Joseph & his brothers

3 Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. 4 But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.

5 One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. 6 “Listen to this dream,” he said. 7 “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!”

8 His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.

9 Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!”

10 This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?” 11 But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.

12 Soon after this, Joseph’s brothers went to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. 13 When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Get ready, and I will send you to them.”

“I’m ready to go,” Joseph replied.

18 When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. 19 “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. 20 “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”

21 But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. 22 “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.

 

Romans 12.15-21

Living at peace

St Paul writes. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

20 Instead,

“If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

 

Matthew 12.25-30

A divided kingdom

25 Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart. 26 And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is divided and fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive. 27 And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said. 28 But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. 29 For who is

powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.

30 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.

 

 

 

Drama of reading by Chris Brann

Action –

Children wearing rags and bags playing together

– bin bags, princess dress (high heels)

Action –

Special Young One given a wonderful set of new clothes to wear by parent and spoiled rotten.

[parent gives nice things; spends more time with; listens to etc. while others get little time and are sent out to work]

Questions to

Special – Is it nice that you have such lovely clothes?

Others – How do you feel about one of you being treated better than you were?

Action –

Special – Then lords it over the Others saying that he will be in charge of them all one day.

Questions to

Others – How do you feel about this?

Is it nice that not only is he better dressed and loved by your parents

he also shows off and says one day he will be lording it over you?

What would you like to do to him/her?

Well this happened in our story today as you will hear now.

 Reading of Genesis 37 3-10  18-20   Joseph and his brothers  

Would you like to act it out as its read?

 

 

Volunteering and serving Talk for 1st Jan 2017


Volunteering and serving

Talk for 1st Jan 2017

 Link to recorded talk only there for 8 weeks

  

  • Over the last weeks we have looked at Welcoming the Stranger and the Newcomer as well as Worshiping. You can hear them on the website if you did not hear them.

These link into today’s talk about Volunteering and serving, a good subject to look at with the start of a new year.

 

In  Crusade, a Babylon 5 spinoff, the captain is asked ‘Who do you Serve?’ A good question for us to ask ourselves.

 

  • Why we should Volunteer and serve others

because God did the same for us in Jesus, he came to serve others not himself.

We are to do the same as Him showing our love to our neighbour.

 

It is how we Worship and Welcome.

 

Matthew 20;  25-28

25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

Luke 7; 29b – 36

29b If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

32 “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.

35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

 

 

  • God Serves us through Christ

 

Galatians 6; 6 – 10

6 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer[a] is overcome by some sin, you who are godly[b] should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

6 Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.

7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

 

 

 

 

  • It shows our love of Christ and our desire to be like Him and worship Him.

James 2

Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing,16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

 

Deut 10

17 “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. 18 He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. 19 So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

 

1 John 3

16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister[f] in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 

 

1 John 4

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

 

 

 

  • Our Gifts

Romans 6: 6-8

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Volunteering and serving. It is how we Worship God and Welcome others by serving them

By Volunteering we allow things to be done from keeping the church running to feeding the poor and helping the sick and everything in-between.

We serve others just as Christ serves us day by day.

We serve as worship, showing Christ in all we do.

 

Psalm 37

Trust in the Lord and do good.
    Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will help you.

 

21 The wicked borrow and never repay,
but the godly are generous givers.
26 The godly always give generous loans to others,
    and their children are a blessing.

 

 

Let us Pray