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.
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
The Danger And The Blessing Of The Half Tribe Of Manasseh
Peter Williams (Sun, 27 Jan 2019)
Peter continued our series on Joshua, looking at the danger and the blessing of the half tribe of Manasseh.
A Prophetic provocation
Joshua 1:10-18 NLT
I could not get over the half tribe.
Joshua wrote this, or his source was used much later by Samuel or Josiah.
Half tribe of manasseh
Why half a tribe?
Manasseh was the firstborn of Joseph.
He didn't command half the tribe to go.
But he writes it as such
How did it make them feel always being a half?
They were a split people, never a full tribe.
If they were all together they would have had the biggest land of any tribe. But they were divided.
How does this fit with their grasshopper mentality?
Vv16-18 if they did not obey, if they had small thinking, they were to be put to death! They were taking this command to go seriously.
There is a mentality of I'll not bother going, cos I'm quite comfy here thanks.
We cannot afford to have that kind of mentality.
What happened to the other half of the tribe? We never hear of them again. They disappear, intermingle with other tribes, and we don't see or hear from them.
This is the consequence of the half tribe.
I believe God says if we settle, we die.
We need to go on mission, and there will be blessing of fertile lands for us.
We can go in partnership with others, like the tribes of Gad and Benjamin.
But we cannot afford to not go.
They all had to move, not a few. They all needed to cross the Jordan.
Matthew 5v10. You are the salt of the Earth
Not might be, could be, but are. It's your job to preserve
But if you are not salty, you have no purpose....
Not about being lukewarm although that wouldn't help
It's a no thanks I’ll stay put thanks.
The first week, Phil introduction, lukewarm.
Half tribe is essentially the same warning.
It doesn't say so as they all understood what he was saying implicitly.
It is possible to lose your identity and be lost to history.
Revelation 3:15-21 NLT
Phil. If you don't use your prophetic gift, you rob them, and yourself of blessing
Which half are you? Will you stay or will you go now?
People said they'd kill Joshua after he spies out the land and says that they should take the land - now you’ll die if you don't go!
What are you doing with the command to take the peak district?
Yes, I'm doing that. No question
No. That's completely terrifying
Oh that's nice God, and you move on. Lukewarm response.Would you want to lead that kind of people? - This is the half tribe response
Facing the future with faith and courage.
Our past experience can hinder us moving forward. (Desert and finally settled, cake by the ocean)
We need to look forward with faith
There is no going back with God.
We can inherit things from the past, but we enjoy them in the future.
Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.
Hebrews 6:12 NLT
First half is relevant....Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent.
We exist to worship God & encounter his presence, committed to advancing his Kingdom through local church communities caught up in mission here and to the nations.
What does the vision look like?
Securing Matlock, and taking the Peaks.
What have we achieved?
What are we doing?
So there is an invitation to go on the journey. Who is coming?
Pew filler or activist?
What are you going to do to help CitP take the land?
Joshua does not take the land, the people do.
What does that look like?
What practical steps are you going to take to help in that?
Facing The Future With Faith And Courage
Phil Hardy (Sun, 20 Jan 2019)
Phil continued our series looking at Joshua. Phil spoke about how Joshua needed to face the future with faith and courage. We do too.
Joshua 1 : 1-7
• Last week Vicki introduced our series on Joshua and talked about how we are to respond to what God has said
• I have lived with a prophetic word for over 5 years now
• That word is The Moses Years are over the Joshua era is coming
• Moses my servant is Dead
• Joshua taking over from Moses – You can’t follow a dead man God appointed Joshua to lead the people, he was to fill Moses, Big shoes to fill
• God Given Territory was the promise to the people of God
V 2 - Therefore the time has come for you to lead this people
Maybe all of Joshua's life was leading to this point
Or maybe he was taken by surprise that God chose him to lead
Why not someone else why not Caleb he was the other f the 12 spies that went into the land and saw with Faith.
Maybe God knew Joshua already had it within him to be strong and very courageous
How do we go through a time of change with Faith and Courage ?
We live in times of uncertainty and change seems to be happening all the times
Times have changed
From joining this church some 30 years ago times have changed.
Things have changed, I've obviously changed in my appearance, but also i have changed as a person
• Not all change seems good - not quite as thin as i was, grey hair and a bit less of it
• Change can affect or even upset our plans or our routines
• Times of change bring fresh challenge, different ways of doing things
• Times of change can cause us to question God, ourselves and sometimes everything we have known
If nothing changes things will stay the same!
Is it time for something to change in your life?
So On the other hand
• Change can be good
• It can take us into what God has promised
• It can take us to full our dreams and visions
• It can bring us out of places where we have been stuck and feeling hopeless
What was changing for Joshua and the People?
• This was a time of use change for Joshua and the people of God
• Moses dies, he had led the people for 40 years,
• Joshua had served the vision God had given to Moses for those 40 years
• The people had only known Moses as their leader, that had only known mana fro Heaven, clothes and shoes that had never worn out. They only knew dessert life,
• A nomadic people
• Joshua had been their through all their journeying and seem the people guve themselves to idols, to immorality, to grumbling and complaining and accusing Moses
So how do we handle the changes being strong and courageous
Video clip - Evan Almighty
1. Whats your perspective, are you looking at the change being critical or negative?
2. Whats your response to change, its not like it used to be, the good old days things were better then
3. Things aren't the same now their not here, its all falling apart
As in the clip if some asks for strength and courage does God give them a nice warm fuzzy feeling or does he give them the opportunity to be strong and exercise courage?
God said the Joshua v5
No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
Joshua 1:5 NTL
Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance. Esv - Patience
Hebrews 6:12 NLT
If God has spoken to us about our future and the promise he made that is yet to be fulfilled both personally and as a church, how are we responding?
• What opportunity is there for you to be strong and courageous?
• How are you looking at your situation the changes in your life or even church life?
• Is it critical, complaining grumbling ?
• Are you looking with faith or fear to the future? In what way?
Are we getting ourselves ready and responding to the change with faith and Courage
1. God’s revelation concerning His promises,
2. His purposes for the peaks, and His presence with us.
Introducing Joshua: The Weight Of Destiny
Vicki Mottram (Sun, 13 Jan 2019)
Vicki started our new series looking at the book of Joshua.
To view Vicki's slides (in PDF format), click here.
The book is written as prophetic history. This means that the emphasis is placed primarily on showing a coherent account of God's plan and action in leading his people into the promised land, rather than on exact historical accuracy.
The story so far - Joshua's life before the events in the book of Joshua
- Born in Egypt.
- Led the army (Ex 17)
- Moses' assistant (Ex 24)
- Sent out as 1 of the 12 spies (Num 13) - Argued to take the land (Num 14)
- Recognised as Moses' successor (Num 27)
The weight of destiny
Joshua knew the law, with all its intricacies and harsh consequences. He had seen the consequences of disobeying God, and the risks of displeasing the people. He had been marked out for great things, and on taking over as the leader of the Israelites, was told 3 times by God to "Be strong and courageous"
How would you have been feeling?
We all have a number of God's promises from scripture that apply to us. Many of us have also received specific words of prophecy.
Think of examples in your life that you have responded to in the following ways:
- Felt like it just clicked into place.
- Made you feel absolutely terrified.
- Left you feeling fairly indifferent.
How should we respond to prophetic words / Biblical promises?
What have you found useful or not useful in the past?
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.
Thanking God For Good Things
Phil Hardy (Sun, 30 Dec 2018)
Phil reminded us to be thankful for all the good things that God has done for us - individually and as a church - in 2018 as we look forward to what God has for us in 2019.
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.
God Gives Good Gifts
Peter Wililams (Sun, 23 Dec 2018)
Peter spoke from Luke 11:9-13, reminding us that God always gives good gifts.
Phil Hardy (Sun, 16 Dec 2018)
At our Christmas Celebration, Phil spoke about Jesus being the perfect Christmas gift.