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Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice

Vicki Mottram (Sun, 08 Jul 2018)

Vicki spoke from 1 Samuel 15 about Saul and the Amelekites, but not in the way that God had told him to do.

Saul and the Amekalites (1 Sam 15)
Moses at Meribah (Numbers 20)

Sometimes the God we see in the Old Testament can seem harsh or petty. This is partly because He wants to get across the message that He is in charge, and we alter His instructions at our peril. When we tweak His instructions, we are taking charge, and saying to God that we know better than Him.

The OT has several overarching themes. One of them is the repeated cycle of the people slipping into meaningless ritual, and God, through the prophets, calling them back into relationship with Him. He has made us for relationship, but it is a relationship which we bring nothing to other than ourselves.

We can slip into 3 particular traps when it comes to dealing with obedience / sacrifice.
1. Trying to make it up to God when we have sinned by sacrificing, when Jesus has already paid for it all.
2. The repetitive cycle of sin and repentance, without change.
3. Slipping out of relationship and into meaningless ritual.

Questions

How does the OT portrayal of God differ from our own experience? Why is this?
What does “the fear of the Lord” mean to you?
Sometimes we are so uncomfortable with the absolute power imbalance between us and God that we do daft things to feel the gap has lessened? Can you think of any examples either from scripture or your own experience?

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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.
https://www.guideposts.org/better-living/positive-living/guideposts-classics-corrie-ten-boom-on-forgiveness
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.

Application
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.

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God Sets Us Free

Phil Hardy (Sun, 24 Jun 2018)

Phil continued to look at Exodus and how God sets us from from fear.

Further notes and questions may be available in due course.

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The Need for Spiritual Fathers and Mothers

Justyn Pride (Sun, 17 Jun 2018)

On Father's Day, Justyn looked at the the need for the church to be spiritual fathers and mothers and to demonstrate the spirit of sonship rather than orphanship.

Unfortunately, there is no audio from this morning.

Sundays talk was based upon 1 Cor 4:15 where Paul is writing to the church in Corinth about how they are lacking in spiritual Fathers & Mothers in the church, but have many guides/teachers.

It’s easy to be one who tells others what to be doing, but harder to be a Father or Mother. A guide has followers, but a Father/Mother has children, and walk the journey.

God has revealed himself as a Father, and sent Jesus so that we could be reconciled to him, and be adopted into his family. He has done it all for us!

Fathers bring many things which include:
• Unconditional love, that brings amazing security and freedom. We don’t perform for love, but operate out of being loved.
• Our identity as dearly loved children. We are children of the King - royalty. How amazing is that! Fathers aid their children’s growth to maturity and to fulfil who they are. They ‘call out the gold’ in their children.

Sons are always sons, but grow and have sons and daughters of their own. They need to keep honouring their fathers and mothers, and be learners from their fathers and mothers.

The opposite of a son is an orphan. We can have an orphan spirit/heart which can be independence, always looking at the lack, operating for love, and not from love, or living in fear not freedom. We are not made to be orphans, but sons and daughters of God.

Questions

1. Have you had, or still have spiritual mothers and fathers in your life. What impact have they had?
2. Are you a spiritual parent to someone either in the church or not? Ask God to put someone on your heart.
3. Are there areas in your life where you feel more than an orphan than a son? Do you know what caused this? What is the truth that you need to believe, and any actions needs to operate in a different spirit?

Baptism Service

Phil Hardy (Sun, 10 Jun 2018)

Phil spoke on journeying with God at our baptism service.

Further notes and questions may be available in due course.

Sue's testimony and baptism

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Relationship With The Holy Spirit

Andy Davies (Sun, 03 Jun 2018)

Andy explained that we needed a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Our reaction to the Holy Spirit is often like how four different animals react to water:

(i) Cat - hates water and tries to avoid it;
(ii) Baboon - doesn't like water but is prepared to use it in certian situations;
(iii) Human - goes to the seaside on a hot day and then talks about it afterwards;
(iv) Hippo - gets in the water first thing and stays in there all day.

Further notes and questions may follow in due course.

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Royal Priesthood

Peter Williams (Sun, 20 May 2018)

Peter spoke about the fact that we are a royal priesthood.

End of an era!
Last time in tent or mobile home
Moving in.
30 years

Tension, presence of God and moving on
Key is knowing who we are and what we are here for.
Accomplish our purpose
Enjoying the presence of God is essential in us being complete
When we are in the right place, we will see God's purpose accomplished

That's what Moses is telling Israel

Deuteronomy 7:6‭-‬9 and 7:12‭-‬15

Some responsibilities (keep rules, old covenant)
Many blessings mentioned

They only knew God in this way because they came into his presence and had relationship. Out of that came incredible blessing.

Royal wedding. Who could identity with what it must be like to be royal?

Who here is royal?
Who here is a priest?

Old covenant, new covenant.

1 Peter 2:4‭-‬10

Exodus 19:6

Priests had access to the temple, and thus God.
Priests were the intermediary between the people and God.
Priests had no possessions

We are the priesthood of all believers,
so we have full access to God….
We can be an intermediary for the non believer...
and we have no possessions….

How do we live in response to what/who we are?
Do we live in the knowledge of this?

Ephesians 4:1‭-‬3

All about identity.
Do you know who you are?

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Do you know who we are?

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Questions
What have you achieved in the last 30 years?
What do you want to achieve in the next 30?
What are your dreams for the church in the next 30?
What is your place in that?

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God's Goodness

Phil Hardy (Sun, 13 May 2018)

Phil continued looking at God's goodness and how we can experience it.

Unfortunately, there is no audio from this morning.

And he said, "Behold, I am making a . Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭34:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/exo.34.10.esv

Or in the NTL

“The Lord replied, “Listen, I am making a covenant with you in the presence of all your people. I will perform miracles that have never been performed anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the Lord —the awesome power I will display for you.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭34:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/exo.34.10.nlt

Gods Goodness is Displayed in what he does

• He is good whether he does anything or not
• He is good by his very nature, he cannot be anything but good
• But God being God wants us to know by experience his goodness
• I think we get little a see little because we expect little
• God wants our expectation and experience of his goodness to increase
• Manifestations of the spirit are a demonstration of his goodness
• Stories of jewels and Gold Dust appearing in meetings
• Instant healing's
• Stories of impossible situations changed in a moment
• God wants to show to us his Goodness
• I don't believe he ever wanted for us to have just head knowledge, he wants us to experience his goodness

God Promises extraordinary things

• We sing all your promises are Yes and Amen - promises made to Moses and his people were fully fulfilled.

• So just as Bad things happen to good people doing the right things It also has to be true that Good things happen to people doing the right things

• Goodness from God not reserved for the few, God promises good to all who love and follow him

• Psalm 23 most famous psalm that most of us probably know off by heart
David speaks of a loving, caring, devoted one that David calls a Shepherd. He speaks of his experience of the tender care and goodness he has experienced. Even in the valley of the shadow of death he is protected and comforted and s fears are calmed

He also declares and as certainty "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life"

It's as though there's no question about it, it's going to happen because it's who my God is

• God wants us to live in the extraordinary as we move forward together into is good and perfect will for us

• I don't just think Goodness and mercy should follow us around like some sort of shadow my prayer would be that his goodness and mercy overwhelm us as we sing about his love that chase's us down

• God wants us to experience his goodness he wants the people of the peaks to know he is good but if they do not see that in our lives that we live in the experience of his goodness how are they going to know

• Signs, wonders and miracles are just expressions of his goodness and signs a that point to Jesus and he promised greater things we will do than he did

• By not pursuing him to see his goodness made known we are robbing ourselves and those who do not yet know him of the the knowledge and experience of his goodness

• The provision and work on The Lime Tree is evidence of his goodness to us, a physical expression that can be seen

Conclusion

We are going to take communion

I want to read John 10 - The Good Shepherd - He leads well and knows his people, there is no one like him

Whilst we take communion reflect on his Goodness in that he chose to give up his life and take it up again that you might have life and live it in the knowledge of his saving grace and Goodness and that he wants to show you and us together his Glory and goodness

Questions
Remembering that every good and perfect gift is from God who is alway Good - James 1:17
• How many good gifts can you list?
• How often do you thank God for these gifts?
• How often do we ask and expect God to reveal and demonstrate his goodness?
• What are you believing God for as we enter the next phase of the journey as a church?

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.

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God's Goodness And Times Of Suffering

Phil Hardy (Sun, 29 Apr 2018)

Phil married the preaches from the previous two weeks, looking at God's goodness in times of suffering.

Please note, the recording starts with Jon's word about us all being on a threshold with God.

Introduction

Marry the last 2 weeks together
God is good all the time - true
In this life we will have trouble - fact

The reality is sometimes Bad things happen to good people doing the right things

Moses had a hard time as did the people of God but they did not understand or know what God was like

The promise was there own land flowing with milk and Honey, Gods plan was good and for their Good. But failed to see that as the Journey to get there was fraught with troubles

Even though they messed up God's goid plan was still going to be fulfilled and it seems it came with greater glory

God's glory reveals his goodness and his goodness is seen in his glory.

It was to the Glory of God that jesus should suffer - there was a bigger picture and redemptions plan would bring greater glory to God.

There are some worship songs that talk about suffering and are easy to sing when your not but very hard to sing when you are

Very often our worship is determined by how we feel and affected by our circumstances

If God is good and always good then he is always worthy and deserves our worship our praise our adoration irrespective of our circumstances or situation

So how can we live in Gods goodness particularly when times as Matt Redman put it "the road marked with suffering" in his song Blessed be your name?

Songs like this are very often birthed out of experience as this was

1. Does suffering come from God?
We live in a fallen world
Men love evil rather than good so do bad things that hurt people
Our bodies are subject to disease, infection, and decay
Families breakdown
Finances can become tight or non existent
We can fall into sinful behaviour and habits that carry consequences in areas of our lives
The bible says we have an enemy who goes around like a lion seeking someone to devour

To answer the question No it does not and cannot if he is Good all the time. He cannot therefore do bad stuff

2. How to enjoy God's goodness even when life is hard
Psalm 130
Moses experienced Gods Goodness as he passed before him, in chapter 34 God renews the covenant spend 40 days and nights on the mountain with God who descends in a cloud and passes before him

“And he said, "Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭34:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/exo.34.10.esv

When Moses comes down the mountain having spent time with God his face is shining and has to cover it.

“Whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭34:34-35‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/exo.34.34-35.esv

Moses spent time with God both in the good and in the bad. And his grace shone

not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:13‭-‬18 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/2co.3.13-18.ESV

3. How should we respond ?

• Spending time with God being honest about how we are and feeling
• Remember the good things he has done
• I know it is hard, you can have both good and bad things that seem to run together or you have a season of good soon followed by a season of difficulty
• We can rejoice in Gods goodness when all is well but easily forget that he is good even when we are suffering.

Jesus said

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/mat.11.28.esv

I'm working on this one right now had some sleepless nights recently different things happening lately

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3‭-‬7 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/2co.1.3-7.ESV

There are many scriptures we could go to and they are great but ultimately we need to to go to our good father who is the God of all comfort

So God is good and sometimes life sucks. The rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteousness alike. It's the way it is but we as Christians have one good father we can go to and find comfort and rest and are able to know his goodness even in the trial.

We've had stories of healing and yet not all have been healed
We have had stories of breakthroughs but not all have seen breakthroughs in their situations yet

There were good thing promised and planned for God's people but it was not all plain sailing they went through trial and testing posses the fulness of the promise and they God there and saw all God promised

Another song that reveals truth
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord one our strong deliverer

Do you need your good loving Heavenly Father to comfort you today?

Questions

1. How do we reconcile God's goodness and suffering whether its personal suffering or what we see in the world

2. What is your understanding of a Good good father?

3. Bad things happen to good people doing the right thing. How does that affect our understanding of a good father?

4. Have you a story of how you have known God's goodness in difficult time. How has this helped you in other difficulties? How can we help one another to grasp this truth and live in the good of it daily?

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