From the series 'The Real Deal - Part 2' - The Pursuit of Godliness (Hebrews 12:12-29)
As followers of Jesus we are called to walk by faith and walk in holiness, and this can only take place once we recapture the salience, the grandeur, the utter awesomeness of God. These verses are designed to do just that, to re-introduce the Christian to a God who is utterly other. Too often we like to think of the Lord, not as God all mighty, but God all matey and we start ascribing awesomeness to all and everyone and anything that we choose. What does this mean for us in our discipleship?
Chris Burgess 21.05.23
From the series 'The Real Deal - Part 2' - Growing Through the Trial (Hebrews 12:4-13)
The question of suffering and making attempts to make sense of some of these issues is one of the great challenges to the Christian faith. However, scripture may not give us a neatly packaged answer, but instead offers us glimpses from time to time as to the Lord’s purposes in times of trial.
In these verse the writer to these Christians pulls back the curtain on suffering, just a little, and offers a glimpse as how the Lord take what is painful and brings something beautiful from it. It is not the whole picture, because much remains a mystery, but still offers purpose and meaning into what could otherwise be just a dark void.
Mark Gibson 14/05/23
From the series 'The Real Deal - Part 2' - How to Please God (Hebrews 11:32-12:3)
Faith under pressure often produces diamonds and Hebrews 11 offers a glimpse into lives who, by faith, offer their whole lives up to the Lord of all the earth as what Paul says in Romans 12: 1 but what do we do though when things get difficult? How do we keep going and 'run the race with perseverance'?
Paul Rogers (07/05/23)
From the series 'The Real Deal - Part 2' - How to Please God (Hebrews 11:1-40)
Here we are at the Hebrews ‘hall of fame’ with this Great Cloud of Witnesses (Heb. 12:1) and faced with a question 'What does biblical faith look like?' Often when we talk about faith in our pluralistic society, we are often are left with a rather fuzzy definition of what faith actually looks like, and many think that faith is just a blind leap, which it is most certainly not.
Erica Richmond (30/04/23)
From the series 'The Real Deal - Part 2' - In the Eye of the Storm (Hebrews 10:19-39)
As Christians, we may not (yet) face the outward persecution in the same way others do around the world, but the battle for the mind can be just as vicious and often harder to resist, but resist we must. These verses call the Christian to persevere (10:36) in all areas of life. How do we live in the eye of the storm?
Paul Rogers (23/04/23)
From the series 'The Real Deal - Part 2' - New Life, Not More Effort (Hebrews 10:1-18)
We are starting a new series by finishing an old one! We are finishing the book of Hebrews and we are starting by digging into what Jesus' sacrifice means for us as believers. Do we struggle with the temptation for ongoing religious activity as a means to earn God’s approval? Our thinking may drift towards other churches, but even as evangelicals we have a propensity to do this, even in ways we may not have even considered.
Mark Gibson (16.04.23)
From the series 'Cruciformed - Discipleship shaped by the Cross' - The Resurrection (Mark 15:40-16:1-8)
From this passage we will be unpacking the significance of the resurrection. It is also important for us because if we are convinced that Jesus is the Son of God and long-awaited Saviour, then our lives should reflect our faith in daily obedience and faithfulness to him.
From the series 'Cruciformed - Discipleship shaped by the Cross' - The Cross (Mark 15:15-39)
At the very beginning of Mark 1 it says…’The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God…’ Mark 1:1a. Why is the cross of Jesus good news for us? This whole book has been leading to this point and we are about to read it’s conclusion. Mark’s description in this passage was without comment or interpretation but just as it happened. This final period of Jesus’ ministry…in his suffering, his death and resurrection.
Chris Burgess (02.04.23)
From the series 'Cruciformed - Discipleship shaped by the Cross' - Stand Firm (Mark 13:1-13)
In our discipleship we are called to pick up our cross, deny self and follow Jesus. In this passage we see Jesus describe the persecution for those who follow him so how do we stand firm in light of this? What might this look like for us in the West? How might we prepare for such difficulties?
Mark Gibson (26.03.23)
From the series 'Cruciformed - Discipleship shaped by the Cross' - The Choice (Mark 8:27-9:1)
Following Peter’s confession of who Jesus was, Jesus then predicts his own death which challenges the view of what the Messiah would do. He then challenges those that follow Him must deny themselves and pick up their cross (Mk.8:34). Sacrificing SELF is at the heart of discipleship so what does it mean for us to ‘deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him’?
Erica Richmond (19.03.23)
From the series 'Cruciformed - Discipleship shaped by the Cross' - The Crowd (Mark 3:1-19)
In this passage, Jesus’ focus was on the 12 rather than the crowd. How is this counter to our society/church cultures? Looking at our being refined as Jesus matures us as his disciples as we follow Jesus' example found in John 4:19, "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does."
Paul Rogers (12.03.22)
From the series 'Cruciformed - Discipleship shaped by the Cross' - Cruciformed (Mark 2:14-20)
What does it mean to follow Jesus? As disciples who follow Jesus Christ, we are called to surrender every aspect of our lives completely to him. What does the cost, and privilege, of being called to follow mean for us today?
Paul Rogers (05.03.23)
From the series 'Prayer Fuelled Mission' - When God Has Faith In Us (Matthew 6:13)
We often encounter the temptation to sin in this fallen, broken world. But whenever we’re enticed by the idea of doing something we know is wrong, we can always rely on help from God to overcome temptation. God leads us but doesn’t tempt us. Jesus encountered temptation during his earthly life. Satan tempted Jesus in the desert wilderness three times, in ways that represented common types of human temptations. Each time, Jesus proved that good triumphs over evil. When we encounter temptation ourselves, we can count on God to help us whenever we reach out to him. The bible is clear that we’re in a spiritual battle. How do we overcome? How can we pray God’s kingdom will come in the midst of a spiritual battle?
Paul Rogers 19.02.23
From the series 'Prayer Fuelled Mission' - Freedom from Debt (Matt 6:9-15)
We should ask God for forgiveness and can ask for forgiveness. The problem comes with the words in this prayer, ‘as we.’ Christians understand that God wants to forgive them of their sins; He showed that by sending His Son to die for them. They can accept the idea that they are supposed to forgive others, as hard as that may be. Things get serious when they put in the words ‘as we.’ This is an invitation to examine ourselves. Why is this important? What do we need to lay down before Him and let go of?
Erica Richmond 12.02.23
We are designed to walk and talk with God. We are to pray for daily needs, be dependant on Him & trust in Him. How do we still ourselves and listen to what God is saying? Do we look for our daily bread?
Matthew 6:9-13 & Deuteronomy 8
Paul Rogers 05.02.23
From the series 'Prayer Fuelled Mission - Your Kingdom Come.' Luke 11:1-4
No King is a King without a kingdom to rule. Jesus is telling all those listening to align themselves with God’s will. How do we pray for others within this? Why is it important to pray on behalf of others? What does it look like to intercede for others within God’s will? How did Jesus do it?
Phil Gregg 29.01.23
From the series 'Prayer Fuelled Mission - Coming to the Father.' Luke 11:1-4
When we pray we recognise that God is God and we are not but also invited into a relationship and call him Father. Much as King David lifted his eyes to the Lord in prayer (Psalms 123:1), a lifting of eyes, thoughts, soul, and all our heart toward God should be our position as we come before God. Need to remember who we are talking to! This is also a call to praise and worship. It is good to take time to honour the Lord and consider His greatness. Time to remember His faithfulness and be encouraged by His promises.
Paul Rogers 22.01.23
From the series 'Prayer Fuelled Mission - Dependency.' Luke 11:1-4
The prayers of Jesus encourage us in our own prayer lives as it did when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. He was intentional in seeking out solitary or quiet places to pray. He made it a priority. How do we follow Jesus' model for a prayer fuelled mission?
Chris Burgess 15.01.23