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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!

 

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

God loves me even when…. I Fail – talk notes


God loves me even when….

I Fail

 

27th Aug 2017  Talk Notes

Recorded version on Ascension Web Site for a couple of months HERE

 God recognises that we will fail, both in our walk with him our faith and in other things.

God still cared for His people even though they failed often

We can be comforted that God knows we are not perfect and forgives

Christ pray’s for us not to fail in our faith however failure will happen in all ways.

 

  • Failing, who hasn’t?

 This is a good subject for me as I have failed a lot over the years.

School, work, dealing with emotions, dealing with life.

I hated failing but did it often and still do

Then I felt bad for not managing to do what I set out to do or because I let others down

 

We all fail in many things

Work, Family, health,

as well as our life of faith.

With our prayer life,

Our following Jesus’ path

in Spending time with God

In how we act as followers of Jesus

 

We all fall short and fail in many ways.

 

Ecclesiastes 7:20 NLT

Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins. [Fails]
It often leaves us feeling a failure and of no use.

 

  • However since becoming a follower of Christ

 I know that failing is not the end of the world, in fact Jesus knows we will fail and get things wrong.

 

He knew Peter would fail to live up to his boast.

Luke 22

33 Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.”

34 But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”

 

It is encouraging to know that God knows us so well that He even knows when we will mess up and provide for that.

 

He works with our failures to make things right,

 

Isn’t that great?

 

  • Failing is part of our walk of faith

Peter and all of us sin, we all fall short and fail.

That is a fact of life no follower of Christ is perfect

 

Peter did not deny his faith in Christ just knowing Him.

 

We can fail to do things for Christ or stand up for Him but still have faith.

The devil will try to convince you otherwise.

 

He also followed him to the trial the others didn’t.

So they failed as well.

In his failure he was there so Jesus could look at him.

 

Satan will try to use our failures to pull us away from Jesus and then show us how much we have failed and are not really believers.

 

Like Job, who was also attacked by satan, Peter and each of us had his faith attacked.

Satan wants to bring condemnation onto us.

 

  • No Condemnation form our father when we get it wrong.

 

Romans 8

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power[a] of the life-giving Spirit has freed you[b] from the power of sin that leads to death.

 

We can have forgiveness and move forward, knowing that God can sort it out.

1 John 1 8-10 2: 1-2

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

 

Often we see that people do not like to admit they got it wrong, failed in some way.

 

However our Father wants us to know that it is aright to get it wrong, because Jesus died to make it right.

 

He showed that forgiveness and understanding to Peter.

Peter had failed spectaticuly even though he said he would not.

 

Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

But Jesus wasn’t condemning Peter just telling him it would be so.

He knew Peter so well that he knew that he would fail at this point.

He also knew it would eventually make him stronger for when things got worse.

 

  • Forgiveness and new purpose.

However Jesus like the father in the prodigal son, who also got it wrong big time, showed that Peter would still be of importance.

 

John 21 15-17

15 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?[e]

“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”

“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.

16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”

“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.

  

Just because you fail to do it right, do not give up.

Ask for forgiveness from Jesus,

Ask for new direction and try to follow the new path.

 

Psalms 103:9-12 NLT

He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
However you and I will still get it wrong and fall short.

Satan will always be trying to pull us off course, trying to pull us away from the Father.

Just as he did with Job, Peter and the other disciples.

 

So just ask for forgiveness again, and again.

1 John 2 But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

 

Proverbs 24 16 The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.
But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.

  

  • Israel failed often in their walk with God.

MY small group has just been looking at Saul and David and how often they got it wrong

How God would forgive when they admitted their sin and ask for forgiveness.

 

When Saul didn’t and later Israel and Judea didn’t then things just got worse.

Until at some point someone realised  that they needed to turn back to God

 

All the people God used in the bible had failings and fell short of perfection.

 

Each of us will fail in many ways in our lives, we will fail God as well as others and ourselves.

 

However God still loves each of us, no matter what.

Like the father of the prodigal son, He will wait and wait till you come back to Him and then show His love by welcoming you.

 

Isn’t that wonderful, God welcoming you and forgiving your mistakes.

No condemnation

No saying I told you so,

No telling you that you’re a failure

No reminding you of the times your get it wrong

 

What grace, what Love what a Wonderful God

who makes right what we fail at.

Who allows us to be part of what He is doing and uses those errors of ours as He does so.

 

True Failure is to abandon God when we fail rather than turning back to Him

Asking for forgiveness and walking the path with Him again.

 

Other failures help build up our trust in God rather than our own ability

 

  • Lets pray


  • Readings

 

Luke 22  31- 34   54 – 62

31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32 But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”

33 Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.”

34 But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”

54 So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. 55 The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there. 56 A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!”

57 But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!”

58 After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!”

“No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted.

59 About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.”

60 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.

61 At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”62 And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.

 

John 21 15-17

15 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?[e]

“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”

“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.

16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”

“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.

 

 

Psalm 77 1-15

R – I cry out to God; yes, I shout.

Oh, that God would listen to me.

 

 

Extras

 

Ecclesiastes 7:20 NLT

Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.
Romans 8

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power[a] of the life-giving Spirit has freed you[b] from the power of sin that leads to death.

 

1 John 1 8-10 2: 1-2

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

 

God Loves Me even when ….. I Am Strong – Notes for talk from 23rd July 2017


God Loves Me even when ….. I Am Strong

 

Theme,

We are strong when we base our lives on Gods rock

We can feel strong in our own abilities but they can fail us.

Strong doesn’t mean heartless.

Strength needs to be covered in love

There is nothing wrong with being strong, just what we are strong in.

Readings  1 Peter 5 1-11   Titus 1 6-9   Luke 6   46-49

 

  • God Loves Me even when ….. I Am Strong

Last week Robert spoke about how God loves me even when I am lost and weak

Talking about how leaders have thought of themselves rather than those in need.

 

This week we turn it around and look at God loving us even when we are strong.

 

What does being strong look like?

 

What makes a person Strong?

 

  • Many put their faith in their own strength, confident that they can do all they need to by themselves.

 

I did for many years

These people are at the opposite end to those we saw last week who were lost

or are they?

Our Luke reading says that being strong requires a strong foundation.

The only true strong foundation is Jesus the cornerstone.

We require a strong foundation to be strong ourselves.

 

  • Being strong is important we can not live our lives in weakness

However it is being strong in our faith in God which is important not being strong in our own worth or abilities.

 

Samson was very strong, but where did his strength come from?

 

Goliath was strong and put the fear of his strength into his enemies

1 Sam 17

41 Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him,42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. 43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. 44 “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.

45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. 

 

Where did David get his strength to oppose Goliath?

 

Many of the people in the bible where strong in faith but weak in other ways. However they still stood up to face down stronger enemies.

 

Just think of one or two.

Moses; David; Solomon; Peter etc….

 

Our own abilities and strength can fail us, Gods strength will never fail you.

Being strong in our faith in Jesus is what will always mean we have someone to lean on when our own strength fails us.

 

David used discretion and Gods care for all his people rather than his strength when he came upon Saul at various times

 

  • The New Testament often speaks of our need to be Strong in Our Faith

 

Our strength needs to come from God,

 

Luke 1  80 John grew up and became strong in spirit.

 

Luke 2 39-40

39 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.

 

  • Luke 6

47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”

 

When we build on the rock of Christ then we will be able to stand strong against the storms of life,

 

Being Strong is important, but having that strength in the right things/person is very important.

 

Our Peter reading talks about being to stand up to the devil [the storms of life] by the strength of our faith

although that is not always easy.

 

My faith isn’t very churchy, it’s a pretty personal, intimate thing and has been a huge source of strength in moments of life and death. Bear Grylls

 

  • But we have already seen that God loves us even when we are weak and lost.

 

1 Peter 5

10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

 

Yes God loves us even when we are suffering but He will restore and lift us up again, make us strong again.

 

I have experienced that so many times

I see this in how He supplies me with the stuff I need for my talks.

For the people he brings to support me in my need.

I know my strength comes from my faith in Jesus. and Bear Grylls says this

My faith is an important part of my life and over the years I’ve learnt that it takes a proud man to say he doesn’t need anything. It has been a quiet strength and a backbone through a lot of difficult times.

 

  • Being Strong is not about being….

7 ..Arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker,[d] violent, or dishonest with money.

 

Being strong is not about doing what you want living any way you want

 

Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.

Titus 1

  

  • It is about following the Message of Jesus about living a live of truth, love and faith

 

1 Cor 16  13-14

13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.[c] Be strong.14 And do everything with love.

  

Psalm 31

24 So be strong and courageous,     all you who put your hope in the Lord!

 

Daniel 11 32   But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him.  [resist the attacker]

 

Hosea 7  15 I trained them and made them strong,   [God trains us and that training makes us stronger]

  

1 John 2

14 I have written to you who are God’s children
because you know the Father.
I have written to you who are mature in the faith
because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I have written to you who are young in the faith
    because you are strong.
God’s word lives in your hearts,
and you have won your battle with the evil one.

  

  • So we each need to be strong in faith.

Faith that Jesus died for you.

Faith in His love for you

Faith in the power of being reborn in the Spirit

Faith that grows stronger as we share our stories together.

We need to use that strength we get from our faith in love to aid others.

 

  • Let us pray


 

1 Peter 5 1-11

And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.

In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for

“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”[a]

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers[b] all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.11 All power to him forever! Amen.

 

Titus 1 6-9

An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife,[b] and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious. A church leader[c] is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker,[d] violent, or dishonest with money.

Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.

 

 

Luke 6   46-49

46 “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? 47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”

 

Ephesians 1 15-18

15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere,[e] 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom[f] and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

 

1 Cor 16  13-14

13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.[c] Be strong.14 And do everything with love.

 

Luke 1  80 John grew up and became strong in spirit.

 

Luke 2 39-40

39 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.

 

1 John 2 12-14

12 I am writing to you who are God’s children
because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.[c]
13 I am writing to you who are mature in the faith[d]
because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I am writing to you who are young in the faith
because you have won your battle with the evil one.
14 I have written to you who are God’s children
because you know the Father.
I have written to you who are mature in the faith
because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I have written to you who are young in the faith
    because you are strong.
God’s word lives in your hearts,
and you have won your battle with the evil one.

 

Psalm 31

R So be strong and courageous,
all you who put your hope in the Lord!

 

O Lord, I have come to you for protection;
don’t let me be disgraced.
Save me, for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me;
rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
a fortress where I will be safe.
You are my rock and my fortress.
For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.

Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
for I find protection in you alone.
I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.  R

 

I hate those who worship worthless idols.
I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love,
for you have seen my troubles,
and you care about the anguish of my soul.
You have not handed me over to my enemies
but have set me in a safe place.

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress.
Tears blur my eyes.
My body and soul are withering away.
10 I am dying from grief;
my years are shortened by sadness.
Sin has drained my strength;
I am wasting away from within.
11 I am scorned by all my enemies
and despised by my neighbors—
even my friends are afraid to come near me.
When they see me on the street,
they run the other way.  R

12 I am ignored as if I were dead,
as if I were a broken pot.
13 I have heard the many rumors about me,
and I am surrounded by terror.
My enemies conspire against me,
plotting to take my life.

14 But I am trusting you, O Lord,
saying, “You are my God!”
15 My future is in your hands.
Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.  R

16 Let your favor shine on your servant.
In your unfailing love, rescue me.
17 Don’t let me be disgraced, O Lord,
for I call out to you for help.
Let the wicked be disgraced;
let them lie silent in the grave.[a]
18 Silence their lying lips—
those proud and arrogant lips that accuse the godly.  R

 

19 How great is the goodness
you have stored up for those who fear you.
You lavish it on those who come to you for protection,
blessing them before the watching world.
20 You hide them in the shelter of your presence,
safe from those who conspire against them.
You shelter them in your presence,
far from accusing tongues.

21 Praise the Lord,
for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love.
He kept me safe when my city was under attack.
22 In panic I cried out,
“I am cut off from the Lord!”
But you heard my cry for mercy
and answered my call for help.

23 Love the Lord, all you godly ones!
For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him,
but he harshly punishes the arrogant.
24 So be strong and courageous,
all you who put your hope in the Lord!   R

 

 

 

 

Notes for my talk today God loves me even when I follow.


Link to recorded version on church website here  for the next 8 weeks.

 

God loves me even when – I Follow 

Theme

Some think that even though they follow God and believe, that God does not love them

They are not quite good enough to count as holy to receive from Him.

However God loves all who follow His Son even when they are not getting it all right.

 

No Matter what God loves those who follow Him.

We can not be separated from His love

He will answer with good things when we ask, especially His Holy Spirit

We might doubt and wonder about how much He can love us but it is total. He knows us and still loves us.

 

Readings

Luke 15:11-32 & Luke 11 9-13

Romans 8 31-39

Psalm 139

 

  • Over the last weeks we have looked at ‘God loves me even when …..’ I am Small and Broken,  Weak and Afraid,  I forgot and get of course.

This week we will be looking at  ‘I Follow’, in many way’s these all tie together, we can be a follower of Jesus and still feel that I am to small, broken, Weak, afraid and lost for God to really love me. However the bible shows the lie in that train of thought.

 

  • Over the years I have found many committed followers of Jesus who do not really believe He loves them.

 

Some think that even though they follow God and believe in Him, that God does not love them

 

I am not good enough

I am not important enough

others are in more need

I am to small

He has more important things to worry about

and many other thoughts

 

However God loves all who follow His Son even when they are not getting it all right.

 

Today we look at why I believe that and I do believe that.

 

 

  • We can be a follower of Jesus and still feel that I am to small, broken, Weak, afraid and lost for God to really love me. However the bible shows the lie in that train of thought. Jesus loves you even if as a follower you fall short of what you think He expects. Nothing can separate us from His love.

 

Our reading from Romans says

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus.’

 

Paul could not think of anything that could remove us from Gods love

Can you.

What do you think you can do which will mean God no longer loves you?

 

 

Many over the years have held on to these words of Paul.

He may have suffered but he knew God loved Him.

 

  • When Paul arrived, the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem gathered around and made many serious accusations they couldn’t prove. Paul denied the charges. “I am not guilty of any crime against the Jewish laws or the Temple or the Roman government,” he said. Then Festus, wanting to please the Jews, asked him, “Are you willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there?”
    Acts of the Apostles 25:7-9 NLT

Faith means trusting God. ‘Faith’, as C.S. Lewis wrote, ‘is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.’

 

It is hard to trust God when everything seems to be going wrong.

Our emotions and our heart can draw us back into old ways of doing things.

WE forget what our rational decision to follow God when we are disappointed, angry ect.

 

 

Paul did during his life and many others in the bible and since have trusted in Gods love for them during their struggles.

They like me knew deep in themselves that God really did love them.

 

  • Life is a set of challenges, problems and hassles. We sometimes imagine that if we could just deal with the immediate challenge that we are facing, all our problems would be over. But life is not like that. If we resolve one problem, others are just around the corner.

    The temptation is to see these challenges as preventing us from carrying out the ministry God has given us. In actual fact, dealing with the problems is the ministry. As one former Bishop of Kensington put it: ‘These are not the problems associated with the ministry, they are the ministry.’

Nicky Gumball

 

Romans 8

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

 

What difficulties are you struggling with which God might be wanting to use to further your ministry for Him?

 

I spoke before about how God has got me to see how although I am weak and broken He has a use for my small light.

 

 

  • “God’s timing is not always our timing. He sometimes does things little by little. When we become Christians and break down the idols in our lives, we might expect all our weaknesses and vices to be driven out at once, but character transformation is a long process. Little by little, he transforms us into the likeness of Christ as we listen and obey, working out our salvation with fear and trembling” Read in World Live

 

Just because we are struggling as a follower does not mean He does not love us, in fact the opposite is true it shows His love as He stays with us as he brings change in us.

 

Romans 8

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?

 

If God suffered to show His love how can we doubt He does.

 

 

  • Luke 15

28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’ 31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.

 

Do you feel like the older son?

Never given anything by God, working all the time for Him but not loved?

 

Then remember the last few words of this passage.

“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.

 

Everything God has is promised to you,

Yes their is great celebration for each new person who turns to God, however that does not mean He loves those who have followed for a long time any less.

For everything is already theirs.

 

  • Luke 11:9-13

9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

 

As a follower of Jesus you are a child of God, you have access to all He has.

Each of us just has to ask.

 

Often that is the problem, we do not believe we are worthy enough to ask.

 

Like the other son, we just put our head down and work day after day at following.

 

However what is the point of following like that and never accessing the Love the Father has for you?

 

When I came to faith it was with a great revelation of just how much I was loved by God.

I know I can ask my mum for any help I need and she will give it, I know I can ask any of you for help and you will give it.

I know even deeper that I can ask for help from my Lord and He will give it.

He will give just what I need.

 

I know I can because I have experienced His deep love for me

 

God wants to support His followers those who trust and have faith in His love.

 

  • Psalm 139

1 O Lord, you have searched me out and known me;

you know my sitting down and my rising up;

you discern my thoughts from afar.

2 You mark out my journeys and my resting place

and are acquainted with all my ways.

3 For there is not a word on my tongue,

but you, O Lord, know it altogether.

4 You encompass me behind and before

and lay your hand upon me.

5 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

so high that I cannot attain it.

6 Where can I go then from your spirit?

Or where can I flee from your presence?

 

God knows all you are going through all your thoughts.

He just wants you to bring them to Him and ask for His help.

He can not help if you do not ask.

When you ask He will answer.

 

Can any of you tell us how you have struggled to ask for Gods help and what happen when you did eventually ask?

[Letti]

 

 

  • Know this you are loved even if you do not think yourself worthy.

 

The bible is full of signs of how much God loves his children.

You and I are His children.

 

 

WE ARE LOVED, so much that He gave His LIFE for YOU.

  • Let Us Pray

 

 

I want each of you to feel that you can bring to God your current needs.

So we will have a period of quite for you to do that.

 

Father God we come to you with our needs, our fears, our hopes and to know your love.

 

Send your Spirit to show us Jesus and therefore your love for us.

 

Send your Spirit to show us that you care about our problems know matter how small they might seem.

 

You are after all the God who knows how many hairs we each have.

 

Give us faith enough to trust that we can ask and will recive.

 

All this we ask in the Name of Jesus God who died for us.

Amen

 

 

If you would like prayer for anything and would like to be prayed with, please come to Clare, myself, Robert or one of the other prayer ministry team and we will pray for you to know the deep love Jesus has for you and bring together your needs to Him.

 

God wants us to pray for each other and through that He will show his love as we ask of His blessings.

 

 

 

 

 


Notice sheet piece

Does God love me even when I follow Him?

Over the last weeks we have looked at ‘God loves me even when  …..’ I am Small and Broken,  Weak and Afraid,  I forgot and get of course.  Some of these talks are still available on the website to listen to.

This week we will be looking at  ‘I Follow’, in many way’s these all tie together, we can be a follower of Jesus and still feel that I am to small, broken, Weak, afraid and lost for God to really love me. However the bible shows the lie in that train of thought. Jesus loves you even if as a follower you fall short of what you think He expects.  Nothing can separate us from His love.

‘And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus.’ [1]

You may have suffered from those who said they loved you but you will not from the Father. The story of the prodigal son [2] shows God’s love for those who wander away and the ones who do not. The elder son did not believe he was loved as much as the wandering son, but he was, he had just not asked for anything. [3]  Know this you are loved even if you do not think yourself worthy.

[1] Romans  8:38-39

[2] Luke 15:11-32

[3] Luke 11 9-13

Notes for Talk on God loves me even when – I am small or broken


A recorded talk is here http://www.ascensionbath.org.uk/sermons/  for the next 8 weeks.

Readings                    Isaiah 42 1-4               Matthew 12 9-21; 33-37         Psalm 31

Theme – God loves me even when -I am small or broken

  • v 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?

 

  • v 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.

 

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

 

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

 

 

  • v 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 31 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.

From Romans 9

21Doesn’t a potter have the right to make a fancy bowl and a plain bowl out of the same lump of clay?”

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.

Genesis 1 26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings[b] in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth,[c] and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

27 So God created human beings[d] in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

Think about that for a while.

You may ask, ‘Why did you make me like this?’. However God made us, it is to serve a purpose in his great plan. Move from resistance to gratitude.   Steve Silvester

 

  • v 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.

 

Jesus loved the man with the deformed hand enough to bring healing to him even when the law said he should not.  Doing good is not limited by law, ability or size, it is what God does and wants.

 

  • v 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.

 

God loves you because you are His made in His image and made for a purpose which no one else can fill.

Accept that love and flourish as you are.

Small and Broken is just what might be needed.

 

He loves you so much that he died just for you.

 

Time of open prayer and reflection

 

 

Notice Sheet

This week we are starting a summer series called God loves me even when……

Many of us wonder if God loves us in all situations, we will cover many of these over the summer weeks. From this weeks ‘I am Small and Broken’ through ‘I am Weak and Afraid’, ‘I follow’, ‘I am Lost and Sick’, ‘I am Strong’, ‘I lead’ and many others. Each week we will look at the subject and see what the bible says about how God sees it and us.

Many of us feel as though we are unimportant, we are broken, weak, that 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 more than a tea light glowing dimly for a short time rather than the bright light God wants. We feel that we are not the perfect person God wanted and made.

Many of us compare ourselves to others and just see a broken person or a small flickering light compared to the big people and bright lights around us. We then wonder if God can love us at all. The good news is that we are made in His image and He loves us flaws and all. In fact its our weaknesses and strengths that make us the people God made us to be. Our individuality is what makes us valuable to God and his plans.

We hope over the summer to help show that Gods love is massive, much bigger than we often think.

 

 

 

Matthew 12

Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, 10 where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.)

11 And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would. 12 And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.”

13 Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one! 14 Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus.

Jesus, God’s Chosen Servant

15 But Jesus knew what they were planning. So he left that area, and many people followed him. He healed all the sick among them, 16 but he warned them not to reveal who he was. 17 This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him:

18 “Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen.
He is my Beloved, who pleases me.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
19 He will not fight or shout
or raise his voice in public.
20 He will not crush the weakest reed
or put out a flickering candle.
Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.
21 And his name will be the hope
of all the world.”

 

33 “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. 34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. 36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. 37 The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”

 

 

 

Isaiah 42 

“Look at my servant, whom I strengthen.
He is my chosen one, who pleases me.
I have put my Spirit upon him.
He will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout
or raise his voice in public.
He will not crush the weakest reed
or put out a flickering candle.
He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.
He will not falter or lose heart
until justice prevails throughout the earth.
Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction


Psalm 31

R Lord, I have come to you for protection;
don’t let me be disgraced.

Save me, for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me;
rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
a fortress where I will be safe.
You are my rock and my fortress.
For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.
Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
for I find protection in you alone.  R
I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.

I hate those who worship worthless idols.
I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love,
for you have seen my troubles,
and you care about the anguish of my soul.
You have not handed me over to my enemies
but have set me in a safe place.

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress.
Tears blur my eyes.
My body and soul are withering away.
10 I am dying from grief;
my years are shortened by sadness.
Sin has drained my strength;
I am wasting away from within. R
11 I am scorned by all my enemies
and despised by my neighbors—
even my friends are afraid to come near me.
When they see me on the street,
they run the other way.
12 I am ignored as if I were dead,
as if I were a broken pot.  R
13 
I have heard the many rumors about me,
and I am surrounded by terror.
My enemies conspire against me,
plotting to take my life.

14 But I am trusting you, O Lord,
saying, “You are my God!”
15 My future is in your hands.
Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
16 Let your favor shine on your servant.
In your unfailing love, rescue me.  R
17 Don’t let me be disgraced, O Lord,
for I call out to you for help.
Let the wicked be disgraced;
let them lie silent in the grave.[a]
18 Silence their lying lips—
those proud and arrogant lips that accuse the godly.

19 How great is the goodness
you have stored up for those who fear you.
You lavish it on those who come to you for protection,
blessing them before the watching world.   R
20 You hide them in the shelter of your presence,
safe from those who conspire against them.
You shelter them in your presence,
far from accusing tongues.

21 Praise the Lord,
for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love.
He kept me safe when my city was under attack.
22 In panic I cried out,
“I am cut off from the Lord!”
But you heard my cry for mercy
and answered my call for help.

23 Love the Lord, all you godly ones!
For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him,
but he harshly punishes the arrogant.
24 So be strong and courageous,
all you who put your hope in the Lord!  R

 

 

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.”