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Showing posts from February, 2017

Meeting God

Acts 8.26-40 Our reading today is a story of how a person meets God and discovers joy. Philip has been in Samaria, up here, and God tells him to go south because there is someone he wants him to meet. I note in passing that all of this happens because Philip is obedient to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, not just once but twice (v26, 29). Martin Lloyd Jones writes, “Now there are leadings such as that . . . If you read the history of the saints, God's people throughout the centuries and especially the history of revivals, you will find that this is something which is perfectly clear and definite―men have been told by the Holy Spirit to do something; they knew it was the Holy Spirit speaking to them, and it transpired that it obviously was his leading. It seems clear to me that if we deny such a possibility we are again guilty of quenching the Spirit” But that is for another talk. But because Philip is obedient he goes to the desert road from Jerusalem t

Why we should introduce people to Jesus

2 Corinthians 5.11-21 Our fifth and final vision statement is that we seek to introduce people to Jesus. There are many different things we differ on: prefer different styles of worship, attitude to tradition, music, how long sermons should be! Maybe we have different attitudes to our sources of authority – Bible, Church, experience and reason – and we will combine them in different ways. We will have different views on politics: Brexit, human sexuality, the environment, Donald Trump But I hope that there is something that we do agree on: And that is that at the heart of our community, and at the centre of our individual life, and our life together, is faith in Jesus Christ, who loved us, was crucified and who rose from the dead. We are Christ-ians. We are the people of Jesus Christ. And we gather because of him, around him and to meet him. And because of that: 1.       We are people who have a shared motive. Paul writes, ‘For Christ’s love compels u

The command to love and the gift of love

Matthew 22.34-40 This evening we begin a new series looking at several passages from the Bible about love And today we begin with a really important passage: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and ... love your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22.37-40) It is a command that appears in Matthew, Mark and Luke. John doesn't include it, but he does include Jesus saying, ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.’ (John 15.12) 1.   Love is the rock on which all the other commandments stand There was a debate between the school of Shammai and Hillel about whether the law could be summarised. A story is told that a man went to Rabbi Shammai and asked him if he could teach him the whole of the law while standing on one leg. The Rabbi smacked him round the face for being so impudent. The man then asked Rabbi Hillel the same question, and Hillel, standing on one leg, said, "Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is one