Study The Book Of Instruction Continually
Neal Garratt (Sun, 03 Feb 2019)
Neal continued our series on the book of Joshua. This morning we looked again at Joshua Chapter 1 and read in particular vs 8 which reads:
“Study the book of instruction continually, meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all that you do”
This is as true for us today as it was for the children of Israel and they only had five books to read – we now have the whole bible! This book is our instruction book for life and yet we often treat it like some instructions for putting a wardrobe together or setting up our TV – we probably don’t even read them most of the time!
Getting the right bible for you is important – Read some different ones and see which one you like – So long as you read it, meditate on it and let the Holy Spirit speak to you – this is one of the ways that God speaks to us, directs us and leads us in our day to day lives? We looked at some scriptures to assist us:
Psalm 119 vs 105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path – Light in the darkness – Thinks of what this means for us – Its very practical!
Psalm 1 vs 1-3 – Planted and rooted in the word- Bearing fruit and prospering in all you do – Isn’t that a great promise?
Colossians 3 vs 16 – Let the word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom
Ephesians 6 vs 17 – Take the sword of the spirit which is the word of God – offensive weapon – Attack the enemy with the word of God when he speaks lies and untruths – Speak back truth form the word and it will make a huge difference!
Hebrews 4 vs 12 – For the word of God is alive and powerful- It is sharper than the sharpest two edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit between joint and marrow – Its powerful!
Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan and Jesus cam against that by quoting from the bible each time – From Deuteronomy actually - It is alive and powerful to keep the enemy quiet – However to do that you need to know the bible and the promises of God so you can quote them back to him!
The bible talks about us setting our minds on the things of the spirit – This is important as we need to SET our minds and not them wander – Its amazing that when you sit down to read the bible everything else will crowd in and try to take your mind away – This is a trick of the enemy – we have to learn to recognise it and deal with it!
Romans 8 vs 5-6 and Colossians 3 vs 2 speaks of this?
Lamentations 3 vs 21-23 is a great promise to learn – This I call to mind and therefore I have hope – The steadfast Love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end – Great is his faithfulness, his mercies afresh each morning.
We need to “call to mind” God promises and remember his works in our lives
Psalm 72 vs 11-12 – Then I recall all you have done, I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago, They are constantly in my thoughts”
At the end of the meeting we meditated on Psalm 23 to see what God would show us and reveal to us through the Holy Spirit speaking to us.
This week – spend time in the word of God – Not chapter after chapter but perhaps a verse or two and meditate on what is said and how it affects you and what God is saying – You can use the following examples if you wish in group or by yourself?
Lamentations 3 vs 21-24
Romans 8 vs 1-3
James 4 vs 7-10
Philippians 4 vs 6-8
Dreams For 2019
Phil Hardy Neal Garratt (Sun, 06 Jan 2019)
Phil and Neal set out the dreams for Church in the Peak for 2019.
The dreams are:
- The Lime Tree full on a Sunday morning - multiple services
- 3 new groups in places we don't yet have a group
- People saved and added through our Jigsaw projects
- Limelight and TotZone increased serving in the local community
- 20 people in their 20s
- 40 youth at the weekly drop-in
- Whole familes saved and added
- Our children to encounter God through KidZone and Treasure Tots
- Make disciples who make disciples
- Increase in signs, wonders and miracles.
Precious To God (Christmas Day Service)
Neal Garratt (Tue, 25 Dec 2018)
Neal spoke at our Christmas Day service, reminding us that we are all precious to God.
Sactification And Justification
Neal Garratt (Sun, 25 Nov 2018)
Following on from Dave’s talks on repentance Neal looked at Sanctification – The work of the Holy Spirit to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and make us Holy – more Christ like.
We started by looking at 1 Corinthians 6 vs 9-11
And such were some of you But God came
You were washed – Baptised in Water/Cleansed by the blood Of Jesus
You were sanctified – Made Holy – Free from sin or guilt
You were Justified – You are not Guilty!
Justified is about our position in Christ – Not based on our experience - You are either condemned or justified and we have been found not guilty – so we are justified by the blood of Jesus and found not guilty.
Romans 8 vs 1 – There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus – Why? Because we have been found not guilty! There is no condemnation for past sins, for present sins and for future sins.
Romans 5 vs 18-20 –
Sanctification – We are like rough diamonds – we need to be washed, cleansed and cut to create something beautiful – that is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives – taking us as sinners and creating something beautiful.
Romans 6 vs 12-23 – The picture Paul gives is one of being slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness – We are no longer slaves to sin - sin may call but you do not have to follow – resist the enemy and he will flee from you!
We hear people say
Its just how I am?
Its part of my character
I was born like that
Its just my nature
And yet we are told that we are a new creation and we have been born again by the Holy Spirit? God changes us day by day, week by week, year by year – He renews our thinking and our actions – we are no longer controlled by our own nature but are a new creation in Christ!
2 Corinthians 5 vs 17-21 and Colossians 3 vs 5-15 were the readings
So why doesn’t God just sanctify us completely when we become a Christian – It would be so much easier! We know that eventually when Jesus returns the Church will be presented to Jesus as a beautiful bride, holy and pure – and that’s us – but why wait? Because this is part of God’s great plan and we have to reply on him to achieve it! It’s based on our relationship with God rather than being told what to do – based on love – we sin and it breaks our relationship so we need to come back – be forgiven and be filled back up everyday. Also would pride be an issue? We could and probably would think that we had something to do with our own righteousness rather than our total reliance on God.
2 Corinthians 4 vs 7- 10 – Treasure in jars of clay
Titus 3 vs 4-6 – He saved us not on the basis of deeds done in righteousness but according to his mercy!
Sanctification works in us day by day to cleanse us, smooth down the rough edges and bring forth something of value and beauty – Galations 5 vs 16-26 – The result – The fruit of the spirit – This is what we want – to be more like Jesus and have the fruits of the spirit evident in our daily lives – more love, more joy, more patience, more kindness, more goodness, more faithfulness, more gentleness and more self control.
How? If we live by the spirit – let us also walk by the Spirit!
1. We looked at the difference today between justification and sanctification? Are we clear on the differences?
2. How does my natural person/personality sit with the fact that we are a new creation in Christ – Does this make a difference in our lives?
3. Slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness? Why is this such a battleground in our lives?
4. Can you see the work of sanctification in your lives – are you the same now as when you first became a Christian?
The Cure For Anxiety
Neal Garratt (Sun, 30 Sep 2018)
This Sunday Neal looked at something that affects us all – almost every day and has a profound effect in our lives – That being worry and anxiety.
Matthew 6 vs 25 has the heading in my bible “the Cure for anxiety” which makes me wonder why we don’t look at these verses more often when worry comes? I also looked at Philippians 4 vs 6-9 which starts with “ don’t worry about anything” – Great in theory but what about practice? How do we make these verses work for us when we are in stressful situations and worry kicks in which can lead to anxiety? We need to look at these verses and see what they offer us practically?
Matthew gives some pointers to help:
Vs 26 – You are valuable to God – You have value which puts truth to the lie that you are worthless and useless which is what the enemy will always tell you!
Vs 30 – God cares for you! What me? Yes – He cares for you which is backed up by 1 Peter 5 vs 7 – “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”
Vs 30 – Action – Why do you have so little faith? Believe what God says that you have value and that he cares for you and trust him – There is a faith dynamic here that is very important – don’t be passive – exercise your faith muscle!!
Vs 32 – God already knows all your needs – Why would he withhold good things from you – That is not his heart?
VS 32 – Action – Seek first the kingdom of God above all else – Seek God and he promises he will be found –
Philippians also gives us help
Vs 6 – Pray about everything! Perhaps you feel you can only pray about big things – God is not interested in the small things of life – but actually he is! We can pray about anything and everything no matter how small or how big!
Vs 7 – Remember what he has done – This helps our faith and trust in God – the old chorus we used to sing said “Count your blessings name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done” – Then we are told we will experience God’s peace and his peace will guard your hearts and minds – This is a lovely picture that Paul uses as if he was talking about soldiers guarding something of value – they surround it with their bodies and protect it – This is what God says he will do for you and me.
Vs 8 – Fix your thoughts – another action word – we have to fix our hearts and minds and not worry – Paul says fix your thoughts on what is TRUE, honourable, right, pure, lovely and admirable – things that are excellent and worthy of praise – Jesus would be a good place to start!!
Vs 9 – Put into practice all you have learned and received – then The god of peace will be with you – This is not a one off fix – we have to continue to put into practice what we have learned as we move forward.
Ephesians 6 vs 10-18 Tells us how to deal with the enemy when he attacks – which he will do = particularly in the area of the mind –
Vs 10 – Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power – so often we try and deal with issues ourselves and use our own strength? God says my power is perfected in weakness – so why are you trying to be strong? The worlds mantra is “when the going gets tough – the tough get going” – but that is not the kingdom way?
We have a sword and a shield – Use them in the fight and bring the word of God to the battle – so important in bringing truth to the lies of the enemy!
God’s promises are so important for us to remember in the heat of battle – I have chosen 5 which have helped me – Choose 3 yourselves this week and share them together – they will encourage you and help build up your faith and trust in God who never fails!
My five were:
Jeremiah 29 vs 11-13
Psalm 145 vs 13-14
Psalm 94 vs 18-19
2 Corinthians 12vs 9
Romans 8 vs 38-39
God bless and have a great, worry free week!
Neal Garratt (Sun, 12 Aug 2018)
Neal re-told the story of the loaves and fishes... complete with visual aids.
Unfortunately, the is no audio available from this morning. Sorry for any inconvenience.
This morning we looked at the story of the feeding of the five thousand from John 6 vs 5-14
We started by talking about sharing our “things” and how some us may find that quite difficult –
We hear phrases like
I might never get it back
People forget about things
Things get lost
It will come back damaged or broken
People don’t treat things the way I do and more….
What don’t we like to share? We looked at the following as examples,
Clothes, food, money, cars, books, Garden Utensils, Our house, Our time
We then looked at the story from the boys point of view and told the story as though he was coming home from the day and telling him mum what had happened! Starting with “mum you are not going to believe what happened today!
We looked at God’s provision which is always more than we think
Ephesians 3 vs 20 “ Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think …”
Five points to note about the story and what can we learn?
1. The boy had to share his lunch – without that sharing there would have been no miracle!
2. Don’t try and work it all out in your head as it will not compute! Phillip tried to work out how they would feed all the people and stated it would take eight months wages to feed everyone! Impossible! Yes – God does the impossible! We are prone to trying to work out everything in our head and do the maths – God does not work like that!
3. We need to give God the little we have and let him use it for his glory- In God’s hands it can be multiplied into abundance!
4. No matter what you bring trust God that he can use iot for his glory. You are never too young to bring your gift to God.
5. Don’t hold onto things so tightly that they cannot be a blessing to others – God owns it all anyway!
God does impossible things! Faith is believing God for the impossible -whatever the situation!
We looked briefly at the Widow of Zarapeth from 1 Kings 17 and saw how she had to trust Elijah and give him the first bread she made – then God multiplied the oil and flour so she had enough – We are called to trust and have faith in God so he can provide plenty for everyone and there be 12 baskets left over as well!!
The Presence Of God
Neal Garratt (Sun, 06 May 2018)
Neal preached from Exodus 33 on the importance of the presence of God.
Further notes and questions may be available in due course.
It Is Finished
Neal Garratt (Sun, 01 Apr 2018)
!! Alleluia, Christ is risen !!
At our Easter Sunday Service, Neal spoke on Jesus's final words "It is finished". Neal focused on five things that finished and five others that began at that moment on the cross.
Further notes and questions may follow in due course.
God's Plan Of Salvation
Neal Garratt (Sun, 28 Jan 2018)
Neal continued our series in Exodus, looking at Chapters 25-31 regarding The Tabernacle, its construction, fixtures and fittings, clothing and rules and regulations.
It seems onerous when first reading through these chapters but they are rich in imagery and everything has its purpose and all leads to one aim which is that God wants his presence to be with his people.
Exodus 25 vs 8 “ Have the people of Israel build me a Holy Sanctuary – So I can live among them” - This is God’s aim – The King is with his people.
This is important for two main reasons
1. It told other nations that Jehovah was with them – The King was in residence!
2. There was “Holy Ground” wherever they went and sins could be forgiven by the shedding of blood and sacrifice – God restoring a relationship with his people that was broken in the Garden of Eden.
We looked at the layout of the temple which showed how far we would have been from God even if we had been Jewish and not a gentile and that any relationship was always through the High Priest.
So what does this mean for us today and what relevance does it have?
John 1 vs 14 “and the word (Jesus) became flesh and blood and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only son from the father, full of grace and truth”
Dwelt among us literally means “pitched his tent” or “tabernacled among us” - He has pitched his tent in your heart if you are a Christian – This is how personal our relationship is now!
Hebrews 9 vs 11-15 – Christ has now become the Great High Priest – he has opened up a new and living way and fulfils the old covenant.
Hebrews 10 vs 1-18 – This outlines the old covenant and its practices and how different the new covenant is under Christ. He is the perfect Lamb that was sacrificed once for all time that we might be saved from our sins.
John 1 vs 29 – When John first sees Jesus he declares “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”
Mark 15 vs 38 – When Jesus died the symbolic tearing of the curtain from top to bottom opens up our access to God – no longer to go through the High Priest – but we have access to the father through Jesus and are encouraged to enter his presence!
No longer is salvation base on Race, tribe, family, circumcision, burnt offerings and sacrifices – but instead on Grace, mercy, free gift, salvation, The Holy Spirit and Forgiveness.
The change between the old and the new is so well illustrated by Paul in Ephesians 2 vs 12-19
Separate - Brought near
Excluded - Included
Strangers - Fellow citizens
No hope - Complete hope (Christ in you!)
Without God - With God through Christ
I used the illustration of an apple that is ¾ apple and ¼ pear to describe a new kind of fruit – I can show it to you, I can talk about it, I can write a poem about it and I can even take a video of it but until you taste it you will not know or fully understand what it tastes like – It’s the same with becoming a Christian – you have to experience it for yourself – Taste and see that the Lord is good says Psalm 34 vs 8 – and that is our cry!
1. The temple was lavish and very intricate – why do you think that was? What was God trying to achieve here?
2. We talk about Jesus being the fulfilment of the law – what do you think that means and how does the old covenant compare with the old?
3. Do we take being under the new covenant for granted and does that make us spiritually lazy?
God's Heart For Us
Neal Garratt (Sun, 26 Nov 2017)
Neal looked at Exodus chapter 19 and God’s covenant promises to Israel, understanding that God’s heart was for his people and how that same heart affects us today.
1. God says that we are his treasured possession – We don’t always feel like that – sometimes we feel more like a burden than a blessing but how can we believe this not just with our mind but also our heart?
2. Who or what has the throne of your heart? There is often a battle for the throne and we have to ensure God has the rightful place? How can we ensure that happens?
3. We talked of us being God’s temple and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us – What responsibilities does that put on us? Do we need to be more careful than we are?
4. In Hebrews we read that we can have confidence to enter the Holy Place by the blood of Jesus. What so often holds us back from doing so and how can we overcome this?