Dave Watmore (Sun, 21 Apr 2019)
Dave spoke at our Easter Sunday baptism service.
Dave used the illustration of the stones to represent each of us in our sinful nature and the punishment of death that we deserve.
Dave then asked Neal to pull the footballs under the surface of the water. They all exploded out of the water representing how Jesus could not be held down by death as He is perfect in righteousness.
He lived the life we should live but died the death we deserve.
Romans 3 v 22-26 in the NLT.
It would be good to reflect on these three points that salvation gives us:
Freedom, Identity, and Hope.
Psalm 23: God's Presence
Colin Baron (Sun, 14 Apr 2019)
Colin outlined how Psalm 23 is all about God's presence.
Further notes and questions may follow in due course.
How Great Is Our God?
Neal Garratt (Sun, 07 Apr 2019)
Neal continued our Joshua series, looking at the fall of Jericho.
Please note that the last couple of mintues of the preach were not recorded.
This week we looked at Joshua Chapter 6 with particular reference to Israel facing the Walls Of Jericho – We also looked back at the story of Rahab as the two are interlinked throughout the whole story.
Rahab recognised who Jehovah was and declares “For the Lord Your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth below” – This is from a Gentile and a prostitute from Jericho. This is a revelation by the Holy Spirit and the whole story Of Rahab is a wonderful story of God’s redemptive power and salvation. She recognises who God is and what he can do and knows that Jericho will fall – compare that to the Israelites declaration after they had sent spies into the land.
Numbers 13 vs 31-33 – The people of the land are too strong – The land devours its inhabitants, the people are strong and there are giants in the land – we seemed like grasshoppers in our minds”.
One a declaration of faith – the other of faithlessness!!
The taking Of Jericho was 100% God and 0% Man – there was no way they could take the city without God’s intervention- Jehovah shows Joshua and the Children of Israel just how powerful he is if they will only follow his instructions and have faith -God defies our thinking – His ways are not our ways and his thoughts not our thoughts – He is Jehovah and is king of heaven and earth.
We are told in Hebrews 11 vs 30 that By faith the walls of Jericho fell – who are you going to have faith in? Yourself and your plans or God and his plans? Who is God again – ask Rahab!
Rahab is mentioned in Hebrews 11 vs 31 – By Faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient because she welcomed the spies! – One of only two women mentioned in Hebrews 11 – how amazing that she is in here as Great Men and Women of faith – alongside Abraham, Moses, Noah, Joshua and others!
However it gets even better if we read Matthew chapter 1 as Rahab in mentioned in the messianic line – vs 5 –
Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse and Jesse the father of David the King….. through to Jesus….. Rahab was always part of God’s plan and her story is amazing and wonderful -no one is too far from God that they cannot be saved and redeemed!
I love this quote from a commentary “ The lineage is composed of men and women, adulterers, prostitutes, heroes and gentiles – and Jesus is the saviour of them all!” – Love this!
So what of us and the Jericho’s in our lives – How do we approach them? Are we like the children of Israel or are we like Rahab?
So often we use our own intellect to try and work things out which limits what God can do – he tells us his thoughts are not like our thoughts and his ways are not like our ways?
We hear so often – I can’t see a way out of this situation, What can God do for me, There are no options here, this is impossible and more often than not “Why Me?”
God is trying to teach us to have faith in him in all situations and circumstances – I love this quote from Matthew Henry talking about the walls of Jericho –
“This situation was to try the faith, obedience and patience of the people, to try whether they would observe a precept which to human policy seemed foolish to obey and believe a promise which in human probability seemed impossible to be performed. Thus by faith and not by force the walls of Jericho fell down. It was to encourage the hope of Israel with reference to the remaining difficulties that were before them. The strongest and highest walls cannot hold out against Omnipotence.”
We need to remember – the strongest and highest walls cannot hold out against Omnipotence!
Let’s be like Rahab who recognised who Jehovah was and the power he has
For The Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth below.
Salvation comes to Rahab in the unlikeliest of situations - Discuss how this worked – and the far reaching repercussions of her life.Romans 8 vs 28 Says that all things work together for good to those that love God – It doesn’t always feel like that does it – How do we learn to have faith in all circumstances.Have a look at James 2 vs 25 – Rahab is mentioned again regarding faith and works – Discuss how this works in practice?When we face difficult situations do we look at the circumstances or the God of the circumstances? Does our view of who God is needs to change?
Vicki Mottram (Sun, 31 Mar 2019)
Vicki spoke at our Mothering Sunday service about how Jesus brought inclusion for everyone.
1. Which people in your life have been spiritual parents to you? What did they do that was beneficial?
2. When have you felt on the fringe / excluded? How did it make you feel? What did you do as a result?
3. Who are you aware of in your life (you don’t have to know them well) who may feel like that? Who is God nudging you to reach out to?
4. What does love (as seen in 1 Cor 13) look like in your life? What does it look like in our society?
Ready To Follow?
Jon Parsons (Sun, 24 Mar 2019)
At our joint celebration with Buxton Church in the Peak, Jon spoke about our readiness to follow God.
Further notes and questions may follow in due course.
The Commander of the Lord's Army
Dave Watmore (Sun, 17 Mar 2019)
Dave continued our series looking at Joshua, in particular the taking of Jericho.
Commander of the Lords army
Joshua 5 v13 - 6.
The spies have been into Jericho and Rahab has given her proclamation of faith in the Hebrew God. Yahweh.
The people of Jericho knew the supernatural work of Yahweh and this melted their hearts. Remember that Jericho was a city of great sinfulness. God was going to bring judgement on the sinful city of Jericho.
Phil told us about the consecration the Hebrew men were asked to perform before the battle to enter the Promised land.
Man standing with the sword drawn. This is thought to be the appearance of Christ. What intrigued me was the answer to Joshua’s question “ are you for us or for our enemies?” “ Neither”.
This didn’t make sense to start with. Surely God is for the Israelites. He has delivered them from Egypt, taken care of them in the desert, promised them the land ahead but this representative of God says neither.
What it is saying is now you have been consecrated to the Lord, you are not fighting for yourselves you must choose to be on the side of the Lord of Hosts.
We so often think, He is my God. What you can not say to God is here is my plan please bless it. Follow my plan. Keep up with the programme Lord.
I started to think of King George VI and his call for prayer before the Dunkirk rescue. God was not on the side of UK and against Germany.
We are to choose To be on His side. His side is the side of righteousness and not evil. Whose side have you chosen to be on?
This is an important principle. We have to choose sometimes on a daily basis. Like the shepherd we are to follow his voice.
“What message do you have for your servant.?”
The Lord replies take your sandals off.
Shoes, sandals were a symbol bringing the world into the presence of God.
He doesn’t say go out with the ark etc. He said get the earthly thoughts out of your mind.
Work, leisure, family, sex, sport,
Fix your eyes on Jesus. The Lord of hosts. The commander of the army.
Then the Lord says to Joshua I have given you victory. Then he gives him the battle plan. The ark is the centre piece of the battle. This is the presence of God, the priests, blowing of the rams horns or shofar. This all speaks of the battle being the Lords. The victory is the Lord’s. He is the commander and strategist.
The rams horns was not just a weird thing to do. It was a statement that this is war and His covenant with us. The ark is a statement that the presence of God will accomplish the victory. Once they have done this for seven days they give the shout and the walls fall.
What would happen if they only obeyed for 5 days?
The Israelites then go in and take the city. This is in accordance with the Lord’s instruction.
What do we learn from this?
This is like the New Testament teaching that the battle is not against flesh and blood but is in heavenly realms. We are to play our part but only in obedience to the Lord. Ephesians 6 v 10 -> 12. Paul builds up the whole of Ephesians to say that human effort is weak but God’s power is invincible. We see the same in Joshua.
1. What other examples are there of the commander of the Lords army standing in the way with His sword drawn? Look up the story of Balaam and his donkey.
2. Look at the story of Moses and the the burning bush, then Moses and the 10 commandments and see how this fits in with the Commander of the Lords army story.
3. How difficult is it to submit to joining the Lords army and not just asking God to follow our plans?
4. Encourage each other be honest about how fearful you are when we talk about spiritual warfare. Remember we are not putting our head above the parapet but our heads into heavenly realms. See Ephesians.
5. As a church we are looking to see more people come to Christ. Please be specific about who you are praying for. Make a note as a group and see how the Lord honours your prayers.
6. What struggles do you have in concentrating when you pray? I used the example of various shoes. What distracts you the most? You don’t have to use my examples, they were just suggestions to consider. Pray for each other to be free to pray with more faith.
7. The commander of the Lords army is symbolic of the word and the spirit. Do you understand what this means?
Rolling Away The Reproach Of Egypt
Phil Hardy (Sun, 10 Mar 2019)
Phil continued our series looking at Joshua.
Joshua 5 - Rolling away the Reproach of Egypt
Joshua 5 Verse 1-12
Fear on the people who dwell in the land
Circumcision for the Israelites
Start eating from the produce of the land
Circumcision and rolling away the reproach (shame) of Egypt linked.
This new generation set apart afresh as Gods own people. Time for the pain, hurt and shame of the past to be dealt with.
Rolling away the reproach of Egypt
When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt,
• for many years they were beaten down. Not only physically, but emotionally.
• They were constantly told they were no good,
• they couldn't do anything right, they would never measure up.
• Over time, they let those words steal their sense of value and identity.
• They felt inferior, insecure, like they had no self-worth.
When a person is being mistreated or abused, especially for a long time; instead of recognising the other person is doing them wrong, it's easy for them to accept the blame and start thinking they deserve what's happening.
Before long, they're not only ashamed of what's happening, but they start to become ashamed of who they are.
That's the way the Israelites felt. That's how the enemy twists things.
But after 430 years, God brought them out of the slavery, out of the abuse.
Just when they were about to enter the Promised Land, God said to them, "This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt off of you."
Reproach means shame, blame or disgrace.
Notice, they couldn't go into the Promised Land with the shame, feeling unworthy, not valuable. God had to roll away the reproach.
Lets look at how our enemy uses things in our lives to put reproaches on us, that to bring shame and disgrace on us condemning us.
Areas where reproaches come from?
• The Reproach Of Barrenness- This lie says, “You will never be fruitful or significant.” Ever been told you are useless no good for anything, you will never amount to much in life. God has plans and purpose for you (Ephesians 2 verse 10)
• The Reproach Of Loneliness seeks to suffocate those who find themselves lonely in life (Isaiah 54:4). This lie says, “You will always be alone.” There is a cruel strategy of the enemy to oppress with a supernatural hopelessness that goes beyond the normal feelings associated with their situation (See also 1Timothy 5:14).
• The Reproach Of Failure can settle in on those who have entered into life’s challenges only to come up feeling like losers. This lie says, “You are a loser in life.” that could be in business, a failed marriage, maybe as a parent, could be in christian work or ministry 2 Cor 12:9-10, Romans 5:3-5.
• The Reproach of financial difficulties& Poverty is devastating, but the Lord promises to take it away (See Ezekiel 36:30). This lie says, “If you don’t have much, you aren’t worth much.” Lack is like a disease that brings its own emotional and spiritual poison that can infect families, nations and cultures around the world.
• The Reproach Of Moral Failure can be a merciless tormentor, especially in the case of fallen leaders (Pr. 14:34, 1 Tim. 3:7). This lie says, “There is no hope for those who fail.” Once you have fallen in sexual immorality there is no way you can get back. There is no redemption for this kind of failure.
○ Even though King David fell in adultery God never removed his anointing or his kingship but restored him fully.
• The reproach of the sins of the fathers – the lie says “you are just like your father or mother – like Father like son, like mother like daughter” You are unique God made you not as a clone of your parents but to be you, you have choices to make character that is different to either of your parents.
• The Reproach of Church experience - I think God wants to speak about those who have been hurt in church life, maybe through controlling or manipulative leadership, maybe used and abused rather than encouraged and honoured.
NO MORE SHAME ON YOU
Once our eyes are opened to the reality of reproaches, they are easily rolled away through the promises of God.
Before Israel could cross over the Jordan, they had to be circumcised. Once that was accomplished, the Lord rolled away the reproach of their former lives in Egypt (Joshua 5:7-9). In Christ, our hearts have already been spiritually circumcised (Colossians 2:11), paving the way for our reproaches to be removed so we can move beyond our past into our inheritance.
The cross is the guarantee that we can be free from reproaches. Galatians 3:13-14 says,“Christ has redeemed us from the curse…having become a curse for us…that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
No curse or reproach can remain with us if we stand on the finished work of Christ who became a reproach for us.
If you are suffering from reproaches, or would like to minister to those who are, keep the following steps in mind:
• Reclaim the Promises of God. Isaiah 61:7 promises, “Instead of your shame you shall have double honour, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.” This lets us know that He has lifted our shame and we are free to move forward into the land with a double portion blessing. Take the promises of God that the enemy stole from you back into your spirit and hold them tight. They are yours.
• Remove the Shame. Once you trust these promises, you can remove the condition of shame by addressing it in the Name of Jesus and commanding it to disconnect from you. Boldly condemn the enemy’s shame and the lies that breed hopelessness. Ask a a close friend to agree with you in faith for freedom from every torment.
• Receive Restoration. Allow the healing, restoring work of the Holy Spirit to roll back every reproach of the enemy. Allow a new mindset that is aligned with the will of God to form. Let a new confession come from your lips. Agree with the truth that you are being restored and made new. Say aloud, “The Lord has removed my shame, and this reproach has been rolled away!” Your confession allows faith to rise up and lift the shame from your life (Romans 10:10-11).
• In the same way, before you can reach your highest potential, you have to get rid of any shame. You may have made mistakes.
• People may have done you wrong, but you can't sit around feeling guilty or condemned, blaming yourself, blaming others.
• Whatever you're coming out of—a divorce, an addiction, somebody that did you wrong—God is saying, "This day, not tomorrow, not next week, not six months from now, today…" God is rolling away the reproach. He's rolling away the guilt. Rolling away the shame.
• Now it's up to you to accept it. You have to stop dwelling on your failures.
• Stop believing those lies that you've made too many mistakes. You've been hurt too badly.
No, the reproach has been rolled away. When you get up in the morning and hear those voices, and they come to all of us, "Shame on you", you have to answer right back, "No, shame off of me! I know my reproach has been rolled away!"
Remember when the stone was rolled away from Jesus tomb it signified that the shame of sin and death had been removed, Jesus has won a great victory over every reproach that the enemy would put on you. Romans 8 verse 1
First Dream - In the night I had a dream concerning shame through church experience, this involved someone being paralysed by the affect of a leader who had some control, manipulation or dominated that person.
Second dream - some one get into bed with more than one person, not sure if at was a sexual/Physical thing or if it was a business thing or something else
1. What reproaches are affecting or are affecting society today? (The whole of the people of God were affected by this reproach)
2. What reproaches are affecting our lives?
3. How can the reproaches that affect us and our nation today be removed?
4. What effective steps can we take in our own lives?
Remembering What God Has Done
Neal Garratt (Sun, 03 Mar 2019)
Neal continued our series looking at Joshua, focussing on Joshua 4, memorials and remembering what God has done for us.
Further notes and questions may be available in due course.
Crossing The Jordan
Phil Hardy (Sun, 24 Feb 2019)
Phil continued our series looking at Joshua, in particular the crossing the Jordan River
Joshua 3 Verse 7 – 17
• The beginning of their mission to move into and take the land God has promised to them
• They were a People on a Mission a people who God cared passionately about.
• The first obstacle is to get across the Jordan River.
• HE BROUGHT THEM OUT TO BRING THEM IN,
that is he brought them out of slavery in Egypt, he made his presence physically known, he fed them with manna everyday and cared for them for 40 years, now he’s going to bring them into the best land that has everything they could want or desire a land that was rich, a fertile land a land that would provide all they needed.
Newfrontiers - Together on a globe mission
The move from Acacia grove to the banks of the Jordan river
Verse 2 to 4
Instructions for crossing the Jordan
Purify yourselves, perpetration for seeing the miraculous
Heard what God did for their ancestors
Now see what God will do for them
Making sure the ark of the covenant is in the right place
The ark symbolises the presence of God with then
It contained the 2 tablets with the ten commandments and Aaron's Staff
For Joshua? Verse 7 & 8
• God appointed leader he was there when they came out of Egypt
• He went through the Red Sea
• He went to spy the land
• He had served Moses and unknown servant
• He was a man of God Full of faith
• Joshua was to have the same recognition as Moses received from God
• Joshua had clear instructions as to what God intended to happen
• God chose this time to show to the people that Joshua was Gods mans appointed for this time
• We can see why God had said to Joshua be bold and very courageous he needed to be,
• God asked him to do things that would take courage
For the People - Verse 9 to 13
• Camped by the river in Springtime
• The river was now in flood
• Not the time to cross
• God was about to show himself to be great among the people
• They were to listen to the words of the Lord their God – Sometimes we can forget to Listen to our God or chose to ignore him as we think we know better.
• This is how you will know that God is among you (Physical Evidence)
• Clear instruction and guidance
Verse 14 to 17
The people went to cross the Jordan
In flood and impossible to cross
Miraculous follows obedience
Not an insignificant miracle
Presence of God necessary for the miraculous
Everyone crosses on dry ground
Obstacles are Gods opportunities to show us his love and grace and his mighty power to
Gods Heart is to do you good to work out in you his work of Love and Grace beyond our human understanding
Sometimes he has to take us out to bring us in
I mean by that he brings us to places where we have to make a decision to leave behind and to move into a new place god has for us
The familiar is always more comfortable, why does it have to change?
Hebrews 13 v 20-21
A great shepherd of the sheep – God equipping us with everything good for doing his will and working in us what is pleasing to him
In verse 9 the writer says this “it is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace”( esv)
1) the people of God were told to purify themselves and they would see God do wonderful things, why was this important to do?
2) They were told to to follow the instructions because they had not been this way before, how is this relevant to us?
3) the Jordan river was in flood why did God choose this time for them to cross, what does it say about God? what does it say about the people? What does it teach us?
4) Hebrews 13 we find the writing asking God to equip us with everything Good to do his will and that our hearts will be strengthened in In Grace.
Are there any areas in which you need either equipping or strengthening? Share and pray for one another.
Psalm 23 - Overcoming Lack
Jon Batsford (Sun, 17 Feb 2019)
Taking a break from our series on Joshua, Jon looked at Psalm 23.
Further notes and questions may follow in due course.