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Dave Harper

Trusting God

Dave Harper (Sun, 09 Aug 2015)

Dave spoke about trusting God. There are no notes or questions from this morning.

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How Do You Pray For The Kingdom Of God To Come?

Dave Harper (Sun, 07 Jun 2015)

Dave preached on the Prayer that Jesus taught us to pray in Luke 11:1-4.

Please note that the last part of the preach did not record. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Jesus gave a format for prayer that has come to be known as the Lord's Prayer, it covers every kind of prayer.

Jesus first taught his disciples to approach the Father and to worship him. Calling God Abba (Father) was intimate and the language of the heart.
Devotion to the Father can be pursued in many ways, find a way that suits you, there are many aids available.
We learn to relate with God in the way that suits us, that reflects who we are. There is no prayer manual or how-to book, it is a relationship. But it is a relationship based on knowing who He is "Prayer exalts God as all sufficient and humbles us as needy " John Piper

Next Jesus taught us to pray "your kingdom come". How do we do that?
The context is the clash of kingdoms we looked at in Daniel
God's rule breaking into this world is a battle ground. His light into darkness, his kingdom breaking into enemy territory demolishing strongholds, his will prevailing, his victory being established and extended across the world by and through the church. He alone is sovereign.
We fight in prayer for every advance of the kingdom, in individual lives and in whole communities. Pray it again for the Peaks, battle for a change in the spiritual climate in our communities, ask God to come down (Isaiah 64:1-2). It takes a whole church to pray.

Such kingdom praying starts with knowing and declaring God is sovereign, The Lord reigns! This leads to growing confidence, he has power to accomplish his purposes, more than we can ask or imagine.

Faith comes from hearing the word of God, as we engage in these truths faith grows.
Abraham grew in his faith been fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

Faith leads to action, we have to battle with fear so we act and obey our Lord. We looked at Paul's request for prayer that he would be fearless in proclaiming Jesus (Ephesians 6:19-20). If Paul requested prayer that he would declare Jesus fearlessly 'as I should' then so do we. Can we pray for one another that God will make us brave and bold? In reality we have to face and overcome our fears, as we step out we grow bolder. Acts 4:29 is a great response to the pressure to be silenced.

Jesus taught us another prayer - Pray for workers for the harvest field , (Matthew 9:35-38)
Often we pray this for specific needs in the church, a youth worker and a children's worker.
This is good, please do join together as a church for these particular workers.
But we are workers too and we are to go into the harvest field as an answer to the prayer!

QUESTIONS

You can do a discovery bible study about praying kingdom prayers
~Read Acts 4:23-30
~Ask someone to retell the story in their own words
~what does the passage teach us about God or Jesus?
~what does it teach us about the people in the story?
~ is there a command to obey or an example to follow?
~what will you do this week to obey what you have learned?
(How did these disciples get themselves to a place of faith and obedience?)

Pray for the kingdom of God to come in your community, among your family, friends and acquaintances. Pray for a youth worker and a children's worker

Pray God will make us brave , even fearless

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The Kingdom Of God Is Here

Dave Harper (Sun, 26 Apr 2015)

Continuing our series on the Kingdom of God, Dave looked at a definition of the Kingdom of God. The kingdom is primarily the dynamic reign of the kingly rule of God.

We looked at what the kingdom is not

And the difference between the church and the kingdom - the church is the community of the king, but never the Kingdom itself. The church is the agent of the kingdom bringing in God's kingly rule.

We looked at the summary verses in Matthew of Jesus' proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom and the associated demonstration of the kingdom in healing and deliverance. 4:23; 9:35. Jesus proclaimed the kingdom and demonstrated the kingdom.

Jesus revealed his manifesto, a manifesto that carried genuine truth and intent. Luke 4:16-21, taken mainly from Isaiah 61 but also Isaiah 58:6. Three things noted:
Jesus announces himself as the messiah , (the anointed one) who has been sent
Jesus proclaims - good news to the poor; liberty to the captives; liberty to the oppressed (Is58:6)
Jesus expresses the compassion of God , sight for the blind as a statement of kingdom healing

Bill Johnson "the supernatural interventions of God were done to reveal the extravagant heart of the Father for people........everyone in our community is a target for God's love. There are no exceptions"

We looked at the now and not yet of the kingdom, we experience the presence of the future, we live between the ages. The kingdom is here but not finally inaugurated until Jesus' return.

Finally we returned to the emphasis that we are in a battle of kingdoms between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world behind which is the prince of this world
"The church is the community of the Kingdom of God and is to press the struggle against satanic evil in the world. The sons of the Kingdom cannot help but exercise an influence in human history for they are the light of the world." George Eldon Ladd

Questions

Matthew 9:35 says Jesus went to every town and village in Galilee (over 170) proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. Why did he do that? Would he come to your village? How?

Read Luke 4:18-19
What does this scripture tell you about God?
What does it tell us about people?
Is there an example to follow or a command to obey?

FF Bosworth in his book 'Christ the Healer, wrote "it's not what God can do, but what he yearns to do, that inspires faith" . Bill Johnson in the quote above speaks of 'the extravagant heart of God'. Do you still see yourself as outside this yearning extravagance ? What's needed to get to a place of faith?

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The Kingdom Of God

Dave Harper (Sun, 19 Apr 2015)

Dave started our new series looking at the Kingdom of God.

To see Dave's presentation (in PDF format), click here.

We looked at the historical background to Jesus' declaration in Mark 1:15 that 'the time has come, the kingdom of God is here, repent and believe the good news'.

The two historical themes were the promise that King David would have a descendant who would rule forever (Jesus), the other was in Daniel where the kingdoms of this world are broken to pieces by the kingdom of God which starts as a small stone and grows to fill the whole world.

There were some applications. First to understand that to repent actually means not only to turn away from personal sin but is something much broader - to change our minds and hearts so we see everything as God sees it. It requires a change in world view.

The other was to realise that there is a clash of kingdoms, the kingdom of God clashes with the kingdoms of this world and with Satan who rules through these kingdoms as the prince of this world. And we are in the midst of this, we have been called to war, to be soldiers of Jesus Christ so if we think we are boarding a luxury liner for a cruise we need to repent and rethink - we have been enlisted to join a warship! Our confidence comes from these OT promises that the kingdom of our God triumphs and has been given to us. And we know the end of the story , wonderfully summarised in 1 Corinthians 15:24-25.

Questions

Mark 1:15 - Jesus declared 'the kingdom of God was here, repent and believe the good news'. How does repentance affect our worldview? Why is it more than turning from personal sin?

Read the passage in Daniel 2:31-45
Someone tell the story in their own words What does it tell us about God?
What does it tell us about the people in the story?
Is there a command to obey or an example to follow in this story?

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The Easter Story

Dave Harper (Sun, 05 Apr 2015)

After Den read a section from "Easter Journey" by Susie Poole, Dave spoke about Mary Magdalene.

Happy Easter!

Further notes and questions may follow in due course.

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Oman Update and Divine Wosta

Dave Harper Gill Harper (Sun, 29 Mar 2015)

Gill and Dave give an update from their recent time in Oman. Dave also spoke about the "Divine Wosta" that we have as a result of God's grace.

Further notes and questions may be available in due course.

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God Is With Us

Dave Harper (Sun, 07 Dec 2014)

Dave spoke from John 14:16-17 about how God is both with us (v16) and in us (v17).

Jesus promised the giving of the Holy Spirit to his disciples to be with them and in them. John 14:16-17. This week we looked at The Holy Spirit being with us, a promise Jesus also makes in Matt 28:20 when he says he will be with us to the end of the age.

To hear God say to us in our heart "I am with you" is incredibly securing and strengthening. In scripture this promise comes to individuals when faced by big challenges that are beyond their ability and which naturally produce fear. The assurance that "I am with you" helps them move them from fear to faith and typically God says "do not be afraid for I am with you". As they hold onto this promise and choose to believe God, faith grows and fear recedes as they take steps to press through the challenge.

The classic example is Moses when told to go to pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt. He reacts in unbelief and in Exodus 3:12 we find God's reply "but I will be with you". The rest of his life is a proof test of this promise. Jacob when fleeing for his life from Esau with nothing but a stone for a pillow and his life a story of cheating, lying and stealing finds God saying to him "behold I am with you and will keep you wherever you go and I will bring you back to this land" Gen. 28:15. Wow, what a promise to an undeserving man! But we are all undeserving! Jacob's story shows how God works out his purposes and promises with the most unlikely individuals and grace always wins.

We could mention Joshua (1:5) or Solomon (1 Chron 28:20) or the rebuilders of Jerusalem (Haggai 1:13;2:4-5) or the apostle Paul (acts 18:10) who all received the promise "I am with you" in the face of challenge and fear. The classic texts from Isaiah addressed to all of us are 41:10 "fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am you God" and 43:2 "when you pass through the waters I will be with you........"

Application

Let God speak into your heart. When you hear "I am with you" you can be assured you will see God's ultimate victory and experience success. Of course there can often be setbacks and uncertainties but as we let God speak to us we press through and see his will unfold.

The promise provokes faith. And faith is not one big leap of faith but a series of small steps that bring God's will to bear. So do the next step! It's what disciples of Jesus do.

We are qualified through God's grace not our performance. Grace chooses a Jacob and grace brought him into dependence and obedience to God and grace brought him great favour and success. Wonderful example of the scandal of grace in the life of a twisted man who ended up meeting God face to face!

Questions

Read Genesis 28:15-22 about Jacob's dream when God speaks to him.
What does this story tell us about God?
What does this story tell us about Jacob?
Is there an example for us to follow from this story?

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God's Big Story

Dave Harper (Sun, 19 Oct 2014)

Dave explained God's Big Story and then mentioned a little about his and Gill's forthcoming trip to Oman. Sarah shared about the trip that she, Sundar and the boys and Phil were talking to India. More information about the charity that Sundar and Sarah run can be found here: http://flmhope.org/.

To view the slides Dave refers to (in PDF format), click here.

God's big story has always been for his presence to fill the whole earth. 'The whole earth is full of his glory' Isaiah 6:3. This story begins with Adam who enjoyed God's presence and was commanded to go into the whole earth taking God's presence with him. He failed in his commission. Then Abraham receives the promise that all the families of the earth will be blessed by him and his descendant - Jesus the messiah (Christ) who fulfils all the OT promises.

Jesus is the second Adam who died and rose again through whom all the nations will be blessed as the gospel of the kingdom is proclaimed until the end comes Matt 24:14. When that end comes God's great plan for his glory to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea will be fulfilled. See Rev 21:3. Until that day, the church has been commissioned to go to all nations with the gospel and to proclaim Gods kingdom in word and deed.

Questions

Read Luke 24:44-48 - the story of Jesus helping the two men on the road to Emmaus to understand the Old Testament scriptures.

What does this passage tell us about God and his big plan?

What does it tell is about the people in the story?

Is there an example to learn from or a command to follow?

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Vision Sunday - September 2014

Dave Harper (Sun, 21 Sep 2014)

Dave spoke from Isaiah 6:1-10 about how Isaiah lifted his eyes to God at a time of uncertainty.

Further notes and questions may follow in due course.

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Communion And Remembering

Dave Harper (Sun, 03 Aug 2014)

Dave spoke about remembering in the bible which led into communion.

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