The Awesome Grace Of God
Dave Watmore (Sun, 10 Feb 2019)
Dave continued our Joshua series, looking at Joshua 2 and Rahab and the spies.
40 years before, Moses had sent out the 12 spies including Joshua and Caleb to spy out the land promised by God to the Israelites. Joshua and Caleb were the only two to come back with the true faith filled report. The other 10 had come back with a report full of unbelief. God was angry with this report and the Israelites spent the next 40 years walking around the desert until that generation died out.
The Israelites then started to move towards the land of Canaan (promised land) and asked various kings if they could pass through their land. These kings picked fights with the Israelites and were destroyed. The word used to destroy is the same as to consecrate to God.
Now Joshua is the leader and ready to full fill his destiny by entering the promised land.
“The Lord your God is giving you a place of rest. He has given you this land. “
1. Rather than send out 12 spies very publicly like Moses did, Joshua sends only 2 because he remembers very well the disastrous consequences from the last time 40 years ago.
2. Why did the spies go to the house of Rahab? It was strategically a good place but this story is more about the kindness and grace of God. They went to Rahab because this was a Devine appointment for the spies to be part of the salvation of Rahab.
3. So we have to discuss the fact the Rahab was a prostitute. It means what it says in the bible. She was a prostitute but the whole of the people of Jericho were sinful. God makes no scale of sin. He hates all sin but wants the best for his creation and those he loves.
4. The canaanites were not just sinful, they were depraved. Chapter 18 and 20 of Leviticus has a list of laws that are there to keep God’s people pure, healthy and have a positive influence on the culture around them. These were written especially for the Israelites to learn because He knew they would be entering a land where the temptation of the culture was so very different.
5. Verse 8->11 Rahab makes a wonderful confession of faith in the God of heaven and earth. People who do not know the God of heaven and earth find their hearts melt in fear at death. When we know Jesus, our hearts melt in awe of him that has that edge of knowing we are deeply loved.
6. Verse 18. This part of the story mirrors a list of pictures of being in Christ. Noah’s ark, the Passover where angel of death brings judgement on the Egyptians. Those inside the ark, the houses with the blood on the door frame, Rahab with the red chord from the house, all escape death. Rahab knew that judgement was coming to her people. She chose to be different and put her faith in the God, Yahweh.
7. The red chord (tekveh) is symbolic of the blood round the door frame in the Passover but the word also mean hope. She put her hope out for God’s people to see and so be saved from death. Biblical hope is not a strong version of wishful thinking. Biblical hope is to show a greater certainty in something than the knowledge that the sun will rise again tomorrow.
8. The final picture comes when we look at the cross. Jesus is sinless unlike the Israelites, Rahab, you and me but he knew that the awful judgement of God awaited Him when he was in the garden of Gethsemane but He chose to take all the judgement we deserved and set us free. “The Lord your God is giving you a place of rest.”
9. Why do we go on so much about being In Christ? We are like the Israelites going into a land that is full of sin. The world view is that your identity is in you finding yourself. M People “search for a hero.” Ed Sheahan’s “shape of you.” We can so so easily slip into thinking that we live in Christ but pick up the mind set of the world. We are to be in the world but not of the world. We are to live life’s that bring a positive influence to the culture around us but this means being the rebels in a world that has rebelled against God’s way.
10. The story of Rahab shows us the unconditional kindness of Jesus is accessed through faith. It delivers us from death and puts us in a place of rest where we are no longer in a war against the maker of heaven and earth.
11. If you want to do a study into the themes raised in the story of Rahab please use these scriptures to explore the grace of God. Hebrews 11 v31 James 2 v 24-25. 1 Peter 1 v 17-21. Titus 3 v 3-4 Romans 5 v 1-5.
Putting your hope in God’s word can be a challenge. Camilitre’s testimony of “who’s report do you believe?”was a great example of believing God in the face a what the world declares. If you are going through a difficult period ask your group to help you believe the promises of God.
How does the culture around you affect your thinking? Do you think like your In Christ as I explained?
Do you fear judgement by God?
To finish off, consider the cross and how Jesus took our judgement on himself. Pray for the fear of the Lord to come back to our country.
Justified By Faith
Dave Watmore (Sun, 11 Nov 2018)
Dave spoke about our justificiation with God being through faith and not through excuses.
Did you understand the idea that we are all Vicky Pollard?
How often do you act like Vicky Pollard?
Do you understand the justification by faith and how does this apply to your everyday walk with Jesus.
Do you still have habitual behaviour that hobbles you and stops you running for Jesus?
Do you have labels on you that cloud your vision?
Be honest with each other but pray to be able to walk in righteousness into your future.
Dave Watmore (Sun, 21 Oct 2018)
Dave spoke about repentance from 2 Corinthians 7:10 to show that Paul talks about Godly sorrow and worldly sorrow in repentance.
Dave referred to the scene in The Jungle Book where Shere Khan meets Kaa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXjviLBYrS8.
Dave also used the example of worldly sorrow as a “get out of jail free card “.
Please discuss if this is understood. For example you ask God to forgive you simply to be able to carry on living the way you were.
Paul was looking for the repentance to result in a life style change.
A good example of the way to repent is Psalm 51.
Discuss how David’s repentance is first to God and then asks for the Holy Spirit to cleanse him and change him.
If people keep sinning in the same area, then discuss if they have truly understood Godly repentance.
This could be a very sensitive issue with many. We need to move on from a 'simple' understanding of cheap grace like the get out of jail card, but not slip into guilt. Worldly sorrow leads to guilt. Remember 1 John 1 v 7.
What Is The Message Of The Church?
Dave Watmore (Sun, 01 Jul 2018)
Dave used lessons from Jonah to show thta the message of the church is about forgiveness.
Jonah hated the Assyrians because of their violence towards the Israelites.
He did not want the Lord to relent from judgement because be felt he had a genuine reason for their destruction.
The Lord however loves the whole of his creation not just his people but those who don’t know him yet.
Question: What is your view of the Lord? Are you working your way toward showing those around you what God is like? Slow to anger, full of compassion and mercy.
We see at the end of the story of Jonah that the Lord supplies a plant for shade but then takes it away. This is a prophetic picture of Jonah. He wants mercy and grace for himself but his bitterness and unforgiveness (the worm) means that the Lord has to show him justice (something he deserves)by taking away the shelter of the plant.
The story of the cricketers shows the everyday effects of our sin.
Question: The story you might regard as an extreme for them and not you of revenge because of humiliation. Do you wish to see others fail or suffer because of hurts they have inflicted on you? (Schadenfruenden)Be honest because it is a very human reaction. We however have one who has set us free from the sinful nature. We have to apply that.
Corrie Ten Boom.
Please see the link to the story of forgiveness.
I recommend that you read this. What struck me was the analogy of the church bell ringing.
Remember you will wait for ever if you are waiting for the feeling to come and forgive someone. You need to make the choice
Do not say “God help me to forgive”. He has done this already by dying on the cross and giving us his word to be obedient and forgive.
Can you help each other pray and choose to forgive people brings to your mind.
Pray, I choose to forgive ....... they made me feel ....... (angry, humiliated rejected for example).
Then ask for the Spirit to come and heal you all.
Remembrance Sunday : Spiritual Warfare
Dave Watmore (Sun, 12 Nov 2017)
Remembrance Sunday service
Dave spoke on spiritual warfare, drawing parallels between the Israelites fight with the Amalekites and our position in Christ.
The Amalekites are the personification of evil reflecting unbelief, bitterness and despising of God.
Rephidim means place of rest.
Joshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus
Moses holding up his hands is symbolic of surrendering to God and allowing God to search you in your inner being.
Moses grew tired but Aaron (which means exalted) and Hur (which means liberty or freedom) seat Moses on the rock and hold his hands up.
Remained steady is the same as being in faith.
How do you make sure you are at rest in your life?
How do you remain at rest? 1Thess 5 v 16 -18 How do you defend your vulnerable and weak areas of your life?
Have you exchanged your previous family identity to that of being in Christ? “All my family are rebellious, unforgiving, lazy........”
What does cultivating an awareness that God is always with you, mean to you? Psalm 139. Good place to finish off with contemplating this is worship.
Baptism Service: Faith And Obedience
Dave Watmore (Sun, 01 Oct 2017)
Today was a special baptism service for Nikki and Kirsty.
Following the baptisms, Dave spoke about the faith and obedience that we need when we follow Jesus and the parallels there are with Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt.
Dave showed two clips from the "Prince of Egypt".
The Israelites leaving Egypt:
The Israelites crossing the Red Sea:
Further notes and questions may follow in due course.
After the service, we had our own mini-Passover meal: lamb pittas.
Love, Sin And The Prophetic Church
Dave Watmore (Sun, 23 Jul 2017)
Dave spoke about Love, Sin and the Prophetic Church.
Further notes and questions may be available in due course.
Words Of Knowledge And Wisdom
Dave Watmore (Sun, 19 Feb 2017)
Dave continued our series on spiritual gifts looking at words of knowledge and wisdom.
A word of knowledge is a way that the Holy Spirit conveys that the Father knows everything about us and this can open up people and situations to bring people back to the Father or bring clarity to someone seeking the will of God.
The word of wisdom is a verb to help someone move forward.
Pray for each other and ask the Father to speak to you on behalf of the person who you are praying for. Be bold. Be brave and don't be afraid to make a mistake.
I gave the example using Chris and Lucy Spear to pictorially demonstrate how this happens. I could have used some other examples but ran out of time. Perhaps you could act out some other examples to bring clarity to the way the Father and Holy Spirit work to set people free and bring glory to God.
There are no questions this week. Groups can practice moving in the gifts of knowledge and wisdom.
Tongues and Interpretation
Dave Watmore (Sun, 06 Nov 2016)
Continuing our series on the gifts of the Spirit, Dave looks at tongues and interpretation.
All Gods gifts are unmerited but He wants us all to eagerly desire them.
Our Father has given us the gift of mission to our community and he has also given us the gifts to work to achieve this with Him.
The gift of tongues is one that is there to build each one of us up before God.
I used the illustration of the three gifts, a ring, a screw driver/drill and a bottle of moisturiser to illustrate my point.
The gift of tongues for personal use is a very flexible gift helping us to pray into difficult situations when we don't know the facts or have run out of words to pray.
It says in I Corinthians 14 that the gift of tongues is to edifying the born again Christian. Edifying means to build up. Share examples of when the gift of tongues has been useful to you in building you up when in a difficult situation.
Think of situations in the local community when it would be useful to pray in tongues to see the Holy Spirit break in.
Please consider my illustration of the Christmas gift that I did not remember having and had left unused for a year. Are you using the gift of tongues either in private or public?
What is holding you back from desiring the gift or using it?
Paul says eagerly desire the spiritual gifts. That includes speaking in tongues.
The gift of tongues is a wonder gift. Does it thrill you? If not, would you like to be thrilled with this gift that builds up?
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
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.
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?