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Showing posts from July, 2014

The assurance of the love of God in our suffering

ROMANS 8:28-38
listen to ‘The assurance of the love of God in the face of suffering’ on Audioboo


For the last three weeks we have been looking at Romans 8.
It is a magnificent chapter. If Romans are the Himalayas of the Pauline letters, chapter 8 is the Everest of Romans. And today we come to the summit, particularly looking at verses 28-39.
They speak of
1. The inevitability of troubles
V28: ‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good’.
Those ‘all things’ are listed later, in verses 35-37: ‘Who shall separate us from the love of God? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors ..’
These are the sufferings that come from living in a fallen world: the sufferings that come to all people that are caused because this world is subject to decay an…

What does it mean to be led by the Spirit (all age version)

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Romans 8:12-17
I’d like to tell you a story about a princess! Or perhaps more to the point, about her crown.
1. The crown gives her assurance - she is the princess
She wakes up in the morning and there is the crown. 
She may behave in very un-princess like ways: throwing her teddy on the floor She may say some very un-princess like things: 'I don’t want to do that' She may feel very un-princess like.
But the crown says she is still the princess
2. The crown promises her that she has an inheritance - our inheritance is what we are going to get in the future.
The crown tells her that she has an amazing inheritance: one day she is going to be queen. All the palaces, corgis, servants, jewels, the whole country - in fact, everything - will belong to her!! 
3. The crown reminds her of her job
It is not all fun being a princess.  In fact it is not an easy job being a princess:
You have to work very hard, you still have to go to school, and in the afternoon there are extra lessons in princessing. …

What does it mean to be led by the Spirit.

Romans 8:12-25

We continue to look at Romans 8. And today I particularly wish to focus on verses 14-17.

We are told that a person who has received the Spirit of God will be led by the Spirit of God. And if we are led by the Spirit of God, three things will follow.

We will be children of God
We will suffer with Christ
We will share in the glory of Christ

1. If we are led by the Spirit then we will be children of God

'For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God' (v14)
We can call God 'Father'
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he taught them to say, ‘Our Father’.

When he appeared to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection he said to her, 'I am going to my Father and to your Father'

And Paul writes here, 'For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" (Romans 8:15-16)

This is the most amazing privilege. We can call the eternal God, w…

Joseph and the big picture

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Genesis 50:15-26

Imagine our opening scene. We meet 11 men with their heads bowed. One man is standing over them. He is pretty impressive. He is the prime minister of Egypt. 
There is an image of that man in one of our South windows. 
His name is Joseph. The 11 are his half-brothers. And they are terrified that Joseph is going to order their execution. 
Many years earlier these 11 had done something dreadful to Joseph. They had seized him, dropped him in a pit with the intention of leaving him there to die, and then - when they realised they could get some money for him - had sold him as a slave to some passing traders.
Yes, Joseph was an arrogant brat. He was 17, the youngest of the family so far, and the favourite son of their father. His father had made that blatantly clear by giving him an honoured robe.  He swaggered around in that robe. He snitched on his brothers. He even told them of his dreams: I dreamt that you all bowed down before me. And they hated him. So when they had the op…