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(Sun, 31 Jul 2016)

There is no audio file available from the meeting on Sunday 31st July 2016. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

The Gospel

Neal Garratt (Sun, 24 Jul 2016)

Neal preached the gospel from Ephesians 2.

Further notes and questions may follow in due course.

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Zacchaeus

Carly Spear (Sun, 10 Jul 2016)

Carly spoke about Zacchaeus. Luke 19:1-10

Zaccheus, a little man meets a big God!

Zaccheus had a curiosity to see Jesus and made the most of the opportunity by climbing a tree to catch even a glimpse of this Jesus that he had heard something about.

As Jesus walks past he calls Zaccheus by name and insists that he comes to his house. Very publically Jesus offers acceptance, welcome and grace to a lonely and lost man so used to rejection. His open heart and curiosity made him exactly the sort of person Jesus came to seek.

Zaccheus is a transformed man and one can only imagine the positive shock waves that went through the community. The rich man got through the eye of the needle and became a member of the family of God through his faith. There are lots of curious people up sycamore trees looking for Jesus amongst our friends and in our community. They might not realise they are looking for Jesus but they are searching for love, peace, acceptance, security, rescue, healing, help and purpose.

We can be deceived into thinking that the gospel is weak and that people are doing just fine as they are. The gospel is powerful and totally relevant. We need to tell them the good news! The Holy Spirit makes us bold, brave and courageous.

How can we be ordinary people looking for curious people up sycamore trees?

PRACTICAL conversation pointers can be helpful in starting to tell people the gospel taken from Chris’ video message:

TWO truths
Did you know that God loves you & Do you know he has an amazing plan for your life?

ONE question
If you were to die today would you be absolutely certain that you would be with God in heaven?

THREE truths
- All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
- The wages of that sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus
- Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Questions

1: Read Isaiah 61 to see that what Jesus was doing in Jericho the day Zaccheus was saved is perfectly in line with what he said he was going to do in Luke 4:18. This is now our mandate too. How does that make you feel particularly when considering going out into the streets of Matlock on Sunday 17th July?
Practice Chris’ conversation starters – Remember, 3-2-1 or rather 2-1-3

2: Is your heart a bit harder than you would like it to be when considering the lost & lonely? How do you know when your heart is hard? Even a tiny measure of the compassion God feels for the lost can soften your heart in a moment. Just ask Him.

3: Do you feel unashamed and brave? Bravo! If not, then why do you think that is?
Paul could say ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes’

If you want courage and boldness to look up those sycamore trees for the lonely and lost then ask. He is the one that makes us brave!

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God's Compassion Through The Bible

Dave Watmore (Sun, 03 Jul 2016)

Dave spoke about God's compassion through the bible.

Dave set out that our Fathers plan has always been to show compassion to mankind from Genesis to Revelation. I didn't quite make it to Revelation this time. Exodus 34 v 6 the Fathers declaration of who he is.

I used the examples of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jonah and Ruth to demonstrate how our Father shows his compassion out worked by humans.

The two I picked out the most were Moses and the burning bush where Yahweh says how he has heard the cry of his people. Are we living in times when the Father has heard the cry from people and is saying "let my people go"?

Jonah was told to go to Ninevah (the Ibiza culture). Jonah eventually and reluctantly preaches and the people turn to God and Jonah moans that he knew the Father would show mercy and compassion and Jonah wanted judgement.

Matthew 9 v 35-38
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
The Fathers strategy is
We pray and as we do so, we gain his heart and compassion for people.
Should leadership in our community

Practical Suggestions

In order to try and help us all to start to pray for the people around us, I suggested that groups cut out the following tasks and then pull them out and put them into practice for a week. The idea is not simply to do a random act of kindness but in doing so, pray and have insight into Jesus' compassion for people. It will also change the atmosphere around you.

Write a letter to an old friend or relative you have not been in touch with.

Write to a public servant who is under pressure thanking them for their work. This could be a teacher, a nurse, doctor bin man etc.

Buy some flowers for a neighbour.

Write a note to a waitress or waiter thanking them for working hard.

If you have anymore ideas then feel free to add them to this list.

The idea is to pray first to be guided by the Holy Spirit.

Questions

If you want questions to then ask:

1. Exodus 3 Moses and the burning bush. Do you think we live in times where people are crying out for freedom? Is the Father saying "let my people go".

2. Jonah. Ask people to compare how they feel about people in comparison to Jonah. Encourage people to be open and honest but pray for the Holy Spirit to help you all gain more compassion for people even if we view them as "scum" as it says in Matthew 9 v 11 New Living translation. How does the Father view people? What lengths will He go to to see people saved?

3. Prayer is critical for evangelism are you praying for the out reach in two weeks time when we go into the streets in Matlock taking the good news and the power of his word?

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Being Sons And Daughters Of God

Justyn Pride (Sun, 26 Jun 2016)

Justyn built on Dave's preach last Sunday which was about the Fathers heart, and how we are now children of God, adopted into His family.

To view Justyn's slides (in PDF format), click here.

Scripture is clear that we are sons and daughters of God (Romans 8:16, John 1:12, Romans 9:8, 1 John 3:2, 1 John 3:1, Acts 17:28, Eph 5:1, Romans 8:17).

We look at Romans 8:19 and about sons of God being ‘revealed’. “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.”. A stirring quote about this passage:

"The world is waiting for sons and daughters to know who they are. The Father wants to reveal us to the world by revealing His truth inside of us. This truth is what changes the world— it brings life where there was none, it offers hope to those that have never known it and it invites anyone who wants more to have it. The world is waiting for us to be our truest selves."

The question is what does it look like for us to live as children of God? Four areas were covered, but there are many more!

1. Identity - Free to be who you are
2. Risk - it’s ok to try and fail
3. Freedom - choices and decisions motivated from love
4. Authority - to advance the Kingdom

Questions

• Do you respond as a slave, servant or son (child of God) in circumstances? Could you ‘rest’, or does task, ‘have to, ‘expected to’ shape you?
• Risk - what’s God spoken over you and calling you to step out in, or into?
• Freedom - do you feel free to just enjoy God? To be you?
• Authority - do you believe you have authority from God and access to Gods resources?

The summary quote was by Simon Holley 'Sustainable Power' - This is the truth. You have been bought out of slavery, you are alive to God. You have eternal life, you are free from condemnation. You are now inseparable from the love of God, you are a triumph and a reconciler and a fruit-bearer and one with the Father. We need to realize! Much fruit grows out of the realisation of who I am in Christ. Abiding replaces striving, enjoying replaces earning. Loving replaces longing and basking replaces bemoaning. Freedom kicks out slavery and warrior replaces subservient.

It’s important that when we find areas of wrong thinking, or behaviour that we don’t rush into ’new thinking. There may be things that have shaped us to how we and which we need to deal with (it may involve repentance or forgiveness of others or ourselves).

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The Father Heart Of God

Dave Harper (Sun, 19 Jun 2016)

On Father's Day, Dave spoke about the Father Heart of God.

Questions

When Jesus said 'I will not leave you as orphans' (john 14:18) what do you think he meant and how would he accomplish this?

Though we may well know the biblical truth about our relationship with God as Father we can often struggle with acceptance and approval issues. How can we deal with this??

Dave encouraged us that the Father brings hope to our heart and read the following encouragement
"Help emerged as I began to explore entering the silence, not in some rural idyll but a desert space where I might hang out with God and converse with him about who I was. It was within this silence I discovered I was deeply loved by God, had always been known by God, that God was more deeply embedded within me than I’d ever known. Slowly I stopped measuring myself against my views. I exchanged insecurity derived from my uncertain friendshipse for the security of knowing God. The restless anxious chatter in my head, while never stilled, lost its power to determine who and how I showed up in life. My inner anxious self was shattered and hope was birthed, a hope with which to wage war against the internal chatter that made me doubt myself, lose my confidence and constantly compared me to others."

Do you think you could do this more yourself?

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Evangelism

Peter Williams (Sun, 12 Jun 2016)

Peter spoke about evangelism.

Word association.
When you talk about Christianity what do people think?
When you talk about church what do people think?

Evangelism is a dirty word. It fills us with dread and fear, or others with excitement.
What do you think of when you think of evangelism?

What's missing or late in all the lists of words?
Jesus!
How could he not be the one thing that is first on all the lists.
We can be so distracted with church, Christianity, Christian culture, that we forget the fact it's all about Jesus!
When you talk about Jesus what do people think?

Video https://youtu.be/5MKcFunW2lk

Jargon. Christian culture.
But should our culture not be totally Jesus?

We can do one of two things, Give people jesus, or give them wasted sewage. We can either point the way to the way or confuse them with a load of things that will never feed their need for God. There is a place for doctrines and dogma and science and history and apologetics, but these things are not Jesus - they are just humanly manufactured attempts to make people think that having the right idea is the same thing as loving and following Jesus. P26 Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism by Carl Medearis

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1‭-‬5

Acts 3 healed in Jesus name.
Acts 4 tried for healing in Jesus name
Acts 5 tried again for preaching Jesus

Tell the story of Isa from the book. P133
Jesus and the stories about him captivate people.

I get myself into trouble for being too open and honest. People say to me I need to play my cards closer to my chest! When it comes to Jesus though…..
The problem is we shy away from being fully truthful.
What did you do at the weekend, or over half term?
I went to church, I went to a festival.
If you went to concert, you'd say I saw….. in concert.
I saw Jesus heal a whole bunch of people.
I met with Jesus and experienced his peace once again.
How different would the conversation be?

We talk about the church a lot. Now she is important, she is the bride of Christ.
But let's not deify the church.
Jesus is god the son.
Let's talk about him. Let's raise his name up.

Sam Poe "We are not introducing people to the 4 spiritual laws, but to Jesus."

Bill Johnson "Jesus, our magnificent obsession."

Francis Chan "Being a disciple maker means you will begin to look at the people in your life differently. Every person in your life is created in the image of God, and Jesus commands every one of them to follow him. God has placed those people in your life so that you will do everything you can to influence them. Following Jesus means you will be teaching other people to follow."

In the book Speaking of Jesus he does not call himself a Christian, and he does not go to a church. He perhaps goes too far, baby out with the bathwater, but it's his reaction to Christian culture.

So how will we do church, small groups, etc, to see our friends, neighbours, work colleagues etc meeting Jesus and seeing lives change?

J John "Jesus sacrificed 200 pigs to save one man. How much would you give to see someone saved?"

Jesus freak
https://youtu.be/kbB0QrBIs9k


Questions for groups
1Cor 2:1-5 “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
What does that look like?
How do we do that?
How should we change church and groups to be more Jesus focussed?

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Our Sufficiency Is From God

Phil Hardy (Sun, 05 Jun 2016)

Phil looked at 2 Corinthians 3 and preached about how our sufficiency is from God, not from us and also the Glory that comes from our reliance on him. Phil used 2 Corinthians 3:4-12.

Phil looked at how Paul expressed this and from it gained hope leading to great boldness to be who God has Called us to be and do the works of Jesus.

Questions

1) How have you found God to be your sufficiency? What stories can you tell as a testimony to this?

2) In Ephesians 1 Pauls prayer for them is that they may know the Hope to which they have been called, what is this hope how? How do we attain it?

3) What does being bold in God look like? How can we know this boldness and sustain it?

4) In what ways do you want to be bold for God?

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The Lie Of Insignificance

Phil Hardy (Sun, 22 May 2016)

Phil brought our series looking at the book of Acts to a close by looking at the lie of insignificance.

It was encouraging to see so many respond on Sunday and it would be good to hear any stories from your groups of what God is doing.

Introduction

• As we have looking through acts at all the amazing thing done by God through the Apostles, I realised that for most of us that’s not our experience and that we can feel inadequate and insignificant, that’s a lie the enemy uses to hold back and even stop the people of God being who they are and doing what they have been called to do.
• We cannot fully enter into his presence if we don't know who we are in him, God invites us to know him
• God wants you to be the best version of yourself, the you He made you to be.
• You are not smart enough, successful enough, skinny enough, strong enough, good enough. Fill in the blank, you are not enough. And because you aren't enough, you are not significant. The world tells us the only way to become significant is to become enough.
• The world is cruel and harsh and someone is always ready to tell you
• I’m Not Enough: Overcoming the Lie of Insignificance, this lie often negatively impacts us in our roles as spouse, parent, pastor, counsellor, leader, etc.

Last week we looked in Acts where Peter did amazing miracles that even in his shadow people would be healed, yet he denied Jesus 3 times, he was era often spoke out of turn and Jesus rebuked him.
Jesus gently restored Peter over Breakfast dealing with his failure and insignificance When the Holy Spirit came on him he found who he was meant to be no didn't look back, he found his significance in who God had made him to be.

We need to learn how to embrace the truth that affirms
• that you ARE enough and
• you ARE significant.
It's not based on,
• what you've done,
• how you look,
• how good you are.
It's based on,
• Who made you, and
• what He says about you.

Who Am I?

A question maybe you have asked, it’s seems that everyone called by God asks that question, Moses did David did, Gideon did,

It’s a popular question one that seems to be OK to ask , when Moses asked this question it seems God was neither disturbed by it, or impressed with it as though it was coming from humility. In one sense it seemed non essential, God simply affirms “I will be with you”

• Any time we look to ourselves we buy into the Lie of Insignificance, we all have flaws and failings, we all have said and done things we wished we hadn’t, we all have at some point felt inadequate, insufficient.
• God chose you not based on you knowledge, gifts, qualifications etc
• You may not know who you are but he chose you knowing exactly who you are
• God first chose you because he loved you
• God chose you before the foundation of the world
• God chose you to be in Christ, relationship, intimacy with God himself
• God chose you to bless you, show you favour
• God chose you to reveal himself to others through you that in you he might show his love, grace and mercy

The Lie of Insignificance
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” — John 10:10
One of the most powerful lies of the enemy is the lie of insignificance. The lie that steals your self-worth, kills your dreams and destroys your life.
The Truth of Significance
There is always a greater number of truths to counteract the Lie. The worth, dreams and life of Christ say:
• You have a name and it is written in the Book of Life.
• You have a purpose.
• That purpose is likely to be different than what you think it is. So, don’t worry about it.
• You were wonderfully and perfectly made for such a time as this by God (Psalm 139:14 and Esther 4:14).
• Stop wishing you were someone else or doing something else.
• Stop paying attention to those who wish you were someone else or doing something else. Be the you, you are called to be by God and Live out your calling without apology.
• Rest in the fact that God used far more “unnamed people” than named and He always will.
• Be confident that God is using you – yes, you – to affect the course of human history. Because He is.
Christ came to give YOU life and life to the full for His glory and His purpose.
Yes, you.
I Am Significant
I am no longer worthless, inadequate, helpless or hopeless. In Christ I am deeply significant and special. God says:
Matthew 5: 13, 14I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
John 15: 1, 5I am a branch of the true vine, Jesus, a channel of His life.
John 15: 16I have been chosen and appointed by God to bear fruit.
Acts 1: 8I am a personal, Spirit-empowered witness of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3: 16I am a temple of God.
2 Corinthians 5: 17-21I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
2 Corinthians 6: 1I am God’s fellow-worker.
Ephesians 2: 6I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 2: 10I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4: 13I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

I Am Secure
I am no longer guilty, unprotected, alone or abandoned. In Christ I am totally secure. God says:

Romans 8: 1,2I am free forever from condemnation.
Romans 8: 28I am assured that all things work together for good.
Romans 8: 31-34I am free from any condemning charges against me.
Romans 8: 35-39I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1: 21,22I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
Philippians 1: 6I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected.
Colossians 3: 3I am hidden with Christ in God.
2 Timothy 1: 7I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.
Hebrews 4:16I can find grace and mercy to help in time of need.
1 John 5: 18I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

I Am Accepted
I am no longer rejected, unloved or dirty. In Christ I am completely accepted. God says:
John 1: 12I am God’s child.
John 15: 15I am Christ’s friend.
Romans 5: 1I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6: 17I am united with the Lord and I am one spirit with Him.
1 Corinthians 6: 19, 20I have been bought with a price. I belong to God.
Ephesians 1:1I am a saint, a holy one.
Ephesians 1: 5I have been adopted as God’s child.
Ephesians 2: 18I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 1: 14I have been redeemed and forgiven for all my sins.
Colossians 2: 10I am complete in Christ.

Questions for Group

1) Do you recall becoming aware of feelings of insignificance, rejection, not being enough, which do you identify with
2) What has Jesus done about this? What has he come to give us in replacing those lies and feelings?
3) In the lists of I am’s (in the notes above – Taken from freedom in Christ) what is true for you?
4) If God says something about you, is it true even if it doesn't fell true?

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Hosting The Presence Of God

Phil Hardy (Sun, 15 May 2016)

Phil continued our series looking at the Book of Acts, focusing on hosting the presence of God.

Further notes and questions may follow in due course.

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