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.
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?
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.