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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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Concerning Elders

Neal Garratt (Sun, 08 May 2016)

Neal continued our series looking at the early church in the book of Acts, looking at the roles and responsibilities of elders and our duties to them.

At the start of his preach, Neal showed the "Class Sketch" from "This Was The Week That Was".

This morning we looked at the early church from Acts and how elders were initiated and their role as outlined by Paul in Acts. We also looked at how the eldership works in our own Church, particularly now that Dave has stepped down and we have three elders leading the Church and lastly we looked at the Church’s responsibility towards the eldership team.

We started by asking what is your view of Elders – are they Christian super Heroes with a hotline to God – with amazing wisdom and super spiritual beings? Actually they are normal guys with normal fears and doubts that have been chosen by God for a specific task – that of leading and protecting the Church.

We looked at Acts 14 vs 23 and Acts 20 vs 28 about the appointment of elders in the early Church and then went on to look at the attributes of an elder from the following scriptures; Tits 1 vs 5-9, 1 Peter 5 Vs 1-3 and 1 Timothy 3 vs 2-7 – They should be above reproach, the husband of one wife, not arrogant or quick tempered, a drunkard or violent, or greedy for gain. But hospitable,a lover of good, self controlled,upright,holy and disciplined- They must hold firm to the work of God and be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and rebuke those contradict it.

1 Peter 5 vs 1-3 – Shepherd the flock, exercise oversight not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples, clothe yourselves with humility.

I told the story of the Church in Aldershot with Derek Brown and how that has always stayed with me.

PJ Smythe
“The credibility of leadership in Christ rests not on the colour of my skin, nor eloquence, nor gifting or charisma, nor any external matter. Its rests on the internal character of the leader” - Its all about Character.

Clearly Elders are to Pastor or shepherd the church and this view is helpful in our understanding of the role – Four main areas:
1. Leading – Giving direction and leading by example
2. Feeding – With the work of God. Through sound doctrine and teaching and correction if needed.
3. Protecting – From those who would seek to disrupt or destroy the Church – From within or without.
4. Caring – Through encouragement, prayer support and pastoral care if needed.

Elders also bring authority – Not in a heavy handed authoritarian kind of way – but rather one that brings security,peace and real joy in the Holy Spirit. This authority has to be handled with great care and must always be backed by grace.

Galations 6 vs 1- Brotgers if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness- keep watch on yourself lest you too be tempted

. We looked at Jesus washing his disciples feel as their servant and this servant heart is so important in leadership – we are elders not for the title but by the calling of God. If you only want the title then I venture to suggest it will be in vain.

PJ Smythe
“ Our pursuit of the qualification for Eldership is primarily that we may conform more and more to the image of Christ, not primarily to attain eldership status. Our sanctification in Christ is the key and that makes us more eligible as leaders!”

Lastly we looked at the Church’s response to our elders.
1 Thessalonians 5 vs 12 – Now we ask you brothers to respect those who work hard among you , who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live at peace with one another.

Hebrews 13 vs 7 – Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you, consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

1 Timothy 5 vs 17-19 – The elders who direct the affairs of the Church well are worthy of double honour especially those whose work is preaching and teaching!

Double honour means chocolate biscuits or rich chocolate cake in my translation!!

Do we always get everything right – Of course not! Please forgive us, pray for us and honour us as try to lead with humility and grace – Leading, Feeding Caring and Protecting. God has promised shepherds after his own heart – May we who seek to lead you be the fulfilment of that promise.

Questions:

1. PJ Smythe - “The credibility of leadership in Christ rests not on the colour of my skin, nor eloquence, nor gifting or charisma, nor any external matter. Its rests on the internal character of the leader” - Its all about Character.
What do you think about this quote and do you agree? What builds character?

2. Did the story of the Church leader in Aldershot help in your understanding of a servant hearted leadership style or did you think they would have been better getting on with the spiritual stuff and let someone else clean the toilets?
Perhaps the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet helps?

3. Perhaps before this morning you didn’t realize that you have a role to play in supporting the leadership? Now you know what can you practically do to help and support?

4. What do you think double honour means from 1 Timothy 5 vs 17-19? Chocolate biscuits and rich chocolate cake are acceptable answers!

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One New Man

Peter Williams (Sun, 01 May 2016)

Peter continued our series on the book of Acts, looking at God making us all one new man.

Acts 10
No them and us in the church
All are welcome
All can receive the Holy Spirit
All can be baptised
Peter hadn't got this, despite Pentecost, so God had to show him.

‘The church was not simply a union or club made up of Jews and Gentiles who were willing to ‘bury the hatchet’, it was a new creation!’ John Kpikpi

None of us was created in the image of baboons (Gen. 1:27). John Kpipki

Phil Hardy Whatever you think of yourself and what you perceive others may think of you and you may feel weaker than others but you are indispensable. What you have to contribute is necessary and required for the whole body to function CitP 28/9/14

Joshua Harris The heavenly beings look down at the church, and they are an amazing family. The power of the gospel is not only changing individuals, but is also creating a whole new kind of humanity. In the midst of a strife torn world, a world divided by race gender class and political ideologies, the church is a city on a hill, where people who once hated God and each other become God's children and members of one family. This family expresses itself in practical, yet radical ways. p53 Stop dating the church

Priesthood of all believers
One man in Christ

2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Ephesians 2:10-22
Galatians 3:26-29

So what?
Spectacular church
We are all Priests
We are all ambassadors
We are all equally loved
We are all spectacularly saved

We need to understand this in our hearts and heads

Revelation 7:9-10

Questions for groups

1) In church life have you felt less equal than everyone else? Does this teaching change things for you? Does this liberate you?

2) At Catalyst in 2015 Andy McCulloch said “Christianity demands that the strong change, not the weak. Is your church oriented towards the strong, or to the weak?”

3) One of the people responding to the church building planning permission said “Whilst not all people using food banks, clothes banks and drop in cafes are undesirables, some are, and we don't want them hanging about and loitering near our residences. I'm also sure some of these people don't need these facilities of food and clothes, and just use it because it's there and it's free.” How do we feel about that, and how does church need to respond to this situation?

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No Audio Recorded

Phil Hardy (Sun, 24 Apr 2016)

In light of the 2 Sunday's we have had where God has stepped in to our meeting, here are some question that hopefully will help in entering in to what God is doing at this time.

To view a prophecy given by Phil is 2004 about God's Spirit being poured out on us (in PDF format), click here.


quote
“Hosting God is filled with honour and pleasure, cost and mystery. He is subtle, and even sometimes silent. He can also be extremely obvious, aggressive and overtly purposeful. He is a guest with an agenda – father to son. Heaven to earth. It is still His world – His purpose will be accomplished. This leaves us with a question that has yet to be answered: what generation will host Him until the kingdoms of this world becomes the Kingdom of our Lord and Christ?” (Rev 11:15.). – Hosting the presence, Bill Johnson.

Questions
 What happens to a person when Gods presence rests on them?
 What is their responsibility in protecting that presence?
 What is the impact on the world around them?
 In what ways would you like God to presence himself to you and others through you?

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Apostolic Mission

Dave Harper (Sun, 17 Apr 2016)

Dave spoke about Apostolic Mission.

Map of area in time of Acts.

Here are Dave's questions drawn from the talk. Use the ones you want to.

Passage Acts 2:5-11

What do you think is the significance of this record of the New Testament church 's birth?

What do you think is the significance that people group could hear God's praises in their own language?

What is God's mission and how does apostolic mission connect to it??

How far had this mission spread by the end of chapter 12 of the book of Acts?

Did the talk impact your worldview of the mission of the church?

How can we be caught up in apostolic mission?

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The Presence Of God

Phil Hardy (Sun, 10 Apr 2016)

God moved powerfully amongst us this morning. Phil invites everyone to come forward and receive more of God's presence.

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Shipwreck

Peter Williams (Sun, 03 Apr 2016)

During our All Age Meeting, Peter spoke about the sea journey and shipwreck that Paul experienced in Acts 27 and 28 with the congregation being the people on the boat.

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

Luke spends more words on this than the ascension and Pentecost together. Why?
What can we learn from Paul being shipwrecked?
We still have the same God, who never changes.

Do you feel like you have been shipwrecked?
On beach, gasping, I only just made that.
3m rest for Paul.
God will not allow you to be tested beyond what you can bear
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

Are we in danger of being shipwrecked?
Tempted to swim for it?
What does God say?
With Jesus in the boat you can smile at the storm? Not sure you can all the time.
But Jesus will help you as you grimace in the scenario you are in.
The spirit can give you peace as you draw close.

Are we so on dry land that it is not even a remote possibility?
Do you need to step into the boat to go where the Spirit is prompting you to go? Are you even listening?
Paul went where the Spirit prompted him to go. Do we?
To get to Rome was not a comfy trip.
However, if he had not done so, a series of Emporers would not have become Christians, and so world history would have been very different. The UK would not have heard the gospel till many centuries later.

So, are you prepared to be shipwrecked?

Shipwrecks happen in our lives.
Other people's decisions sometimes get us wrecked.
God knows....
He knows your heart.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28
That doesn't mean it will all be plain sailing....

What would you save if your ship was going down?
Shows our heart. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Rainbow
God always keeps his promises

So what?
Are you wrecked, or feel like you are about to be? You need to know God with you. Perhaps you need to forgive God for letting you be in his situation.
Why am I here?

Shipwreck!

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Happy Easter!

Neal Garratt (Sun, 27 Mar 2016)

Jesus is Risen. Hallelujah.

Neal spoke at our special Easter Service.

Unfortunately, the meeting didn't record properly

Further notes and questions may follow in due course.

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