Our Weekly Message

January 30, 2018
30 Jan 2018

James 5:13-18
The Prayer of Faith
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

Our Weekly Message

January 24, 2018
24 Jan 2018

Colossians 3:12-17
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Continuing from last week’s message on going out into our weekly lives with the message we learn in church, this letter from Paul to the Colossians gives a good grounding in how we should live our lives and conduct ourselves. If we follow the instructions here we should not go far wrong.

Our Weekly Message

January 17, 2018
17 Jan 2018

Ephesians 1:15-23
Thanksgiving and Prayer
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

The purpose of prayer and worship is so we can come to know God and understand his purpose for us. If we come to church and sit through a service we don’t understand then go home and forget all about it, then we may as well not be here, for it is in understanding the message that we come to know God better. Only when we understand what is being asked of us can we become better people and closer to God. We should try and live what we learn through the whole week and not just while we are in church.

So – if you go to church and don’t understand what is being said then ask someone to explain it afterwards! The services will become more enjoyable and our lives will start to improve too as we become more in tune with what God wants for us.

Our Weekly Message

January 10, 2018
10 Jan 2018

Romans 12:1-2
A Living Sacrifice
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

God has a purpose for all of us that will ultimately be the best path we can follow, but our minds must first of all be open to listening out for that message. If our minds are closed to change or we stubbornly follow what we always have – for no reason other than that we always have – then we will fail to hear God’s message. Bad habits can be broken if we allow God to renew our minds and lead us forward.

Our Christmas Message…

December 25, 2017
25 Dec 2017

Isaiah 9:6-7
6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Today we celebrate the birth in Bethlehem of our Lord Jesus Christ who came to earth to save us. He left us with the message of how we should live our lives and how we should treat others. It’s a message that will end the problems of the world if we all follow it, so let us keep reading until we get it right. Today is for spending with family too, but we should also remember those who have no family to go to, those children who had no presents this morning and those who are without a home because of the wars or the greed of the wicked.

So remember why we celebrate and have a Happy Christmas. May the Peace of the Lord be with you now and for always.

Our Weekly Message…

December 20, 2017
20 Dec 2017

John 1:6-8
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

John 1:19-28
John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Our Weekly Message

December 12, 2017
12 Dec 2017

Mark 1:1-18
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”—
3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”

4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

The Baptism and Testing of Jesus
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

Jesus Announces the Good News
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Jesus Calls His First Disciples
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,”
Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

Our Weekly Message

December 1, 2017
01 Dec 2017

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

On Sunday we held the commissioning service for the Reception Class of St James’ School which was to welcome them into the school and ask God to watch over them now and as they grow up. Our children are born innocent and are closer to God than most of us, not being corrupted by the bad things of the world. While we cannot keep them completely isolated from those things, with the help of God we can help them to make the right choices so that they are able to reject what is bad when they do see it. The Lord will protect those who let him into their lives.

Also as it is the beginning of Advent, we have given out Advent calendars that come with a story explaining the real meaning of Advent and Christmas instead of the meaningless commercial propaganda that we are bombarded with from the TV and that adorns many so called Advent calendars. If you want one for your child they are free from church.

Our Weekly Message

November 19, 2017
19 Nov 2017

Matthew 25:14-30

The Story of Three Slaves
14 “Again, here is what the kingdom of heaven will be like. A man was going on a journey. He sent for his slaves and put them in charge of his money. 15 He gave five bags of gold to one. He gave two bags to another. And he gave one bag to the third. The man gave each slave the amount of money he knew the slave could take care of. Then he went on his journey. 16 The slave who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work. He earned five bags more. 17 The one with the two bags of gold earned two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went and dug a hole in the ground. He hid his master’s money in it.

19 “After a long time the master of those slaves returned. He wanted to collect all the money they had earned. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you trusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have earned five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘You have done well, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you trusted me with two bags of gold. See, I have earned two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘You have done well, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man. You harvest where you have not planted. You gather crops where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid. I went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You evil, lazy slave! So you knew that I harvest where I have not planted? You knew that I gather crops where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money in the bank. When I returned, I would have received it back with interest.’

28 “Then his master commanded the other slaves, ‘Take the bag of gold from him. Give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 Everyone who has will be given more. They will have more than enough. And what about anyone who doesn’t have? Even what they have will be taken away from them. 30 Throw that worthless slave outside. There in the darkness, people will weep and grind their teeth.’

At first sight this passage might appear to say “Go out and get rich…” but it is in fact saying something very different. Jesus always spoke in parables in order that the people of the day would easily understand and business was something they all understood – as they do today. The bags of gold given out, represent the knowledge, love and talents given to us (the slaves) by God (the master). The return on them in turn represents the extent to which we share those things to show more people His love. When we hear the message, we are to share it with as many as possible in order to give those people the joy it brings, and the chance to be part of God’s Kingdom.

At the second coming of Christ, he will ask us what we have done with the knowledge he has given us – have we kept it to ourselves, or have we shared it with others? When I heard this message in church this morning was I to think “Okay that was a good sermon Tim” and come home and watch TV and forget all about it; or was I to spend a bit of time putting this on the internet where it can be seen by others? Equally others will talk about the message at work or even in the pub. If you have read this and want to know more, then please come to one of our churches and someone will gladly answer your questions – we hope to see you soon!

Our Weekly Message

November 8, 2017
08 Nov 2017

Matthew 23:1-12

A Warning Against Hypocrisy
23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Here Jesus once again exposes the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and teachers of the law. They tell others to follow the Commandments of God, yet they do not follow them themselves. They are full of self importance but have no humility; nor do they act in a righteous manner unless someone is watching.  The reason Jesus always questioned the Pharisees was that they were the leaders of the established church at the time and knowing the scriptures as they did, they had no excuse for not living by them.

A modern example of this hypocrisy might be a politician who publicly professes to support “Christian Values” and yet once in office advocates policies such as  austerity that are blatantly unchristian and not in the interests of the people. Equally, I’m sure we’ve all met people who are regular churchgoers and appear to be “pillars of the community” but in private treat others badly, or gossip about them behind their backs.

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