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Sunday, 05 July 2015
Passage: Acts 18:1-22
Duration: 30 mins 46 secs
The gospel is not just the answer for our own sin and broken relationship with God, but it is the answer for everyone's sin and their own broken relationship and fellowship with God. As Paul enters Corinth he is determined not to be discouraged in presenting the gospel and he surrounds himself with people who are willing to support and encourage him in his ministry. How can we avoid giving up serving God? We need to surround ourselves with kingdom building people, but also be prepared to support and encourage others. We need to keep a spiritual perspective in our life and not be influenced by the world around us. We need to recognise God's assurance that He is always with us, whatever the circumstances, and we need to be serving God in His will for our life.
Sunday, 28 June 2015
Passage: Acts 17:1-15
Duration: 26 mins 12 secs
It does not matter how often you read the bible, but it does matter how you respond when reading it. It is easy to take short cuts and look for the end result rather than acting on what the bible currently challenges us to do. In this passage we see how people responded differently to Paul and Silas's preaching about Jesus. Some people accepted whilst others challenged and dimissed God's Word. Is this any different today? The message of Jesus Christ is one of hope but many will resist and not accept this hope. How do you respond to the Word of God? As Christians we are responsible to tell others about the good news of Jesus but we are not responsible for the end results. Our mission is to plant the seeds and then allow God to handle the growth.
Sunday, 21 June 2015
Passage: Acts 15:1-35
Duration: 33 mins 16 secs
It is easy for us to close the door on people who have ideas that do not resonate with us. We see in the early part of this passage how some of the church leaders struggled with how the Gentiles could come to a true faith in Jesus without following the law of Moses, the test of such compliance being circumcision. Peter, Paul, Barnabas and James highlight that there is no difference in God's eyes between Jew and Gentile. What distracts us and stops us from focusing on our call to share Jesus with others?
Sunday, 14 June 2015
Passage: Acts 13:42-52
Duration: 29 mins 46 secs
Coming to church is the opportunity to engage in God's Word, engage in fellowship and engage in community, but what about when we leave? Are we engaging in our local community or global community for Christ? From verse 47 in this passage, what are you doing to be a light, what are you doing to bring salvation to the ends of the earth? We are ordinary people serving an extraordinary God. We do not need to be special to be the light of Jesus in the world. We need to take the first step and concentrate on progress rather than perfection. We will never feel adequate but we need to trust in God and take the opportunities presented to us to share the good news about Jesus because He is more important than life itself.
Sunday, 07 June 2015
Passage: Acts 7:54-8:8
Duration: 26 mins 50 secs
Paul describes himself, when he was Saul, as a Hebrew of Hebrews - he had all the right qualities of being a great Jewish leader including being a Roman citizen. He saw persecuting Christians as upholding the law of God. Saul's view of God's Kingdom was very narrow, limited to the nation of Israel. He was ignorant in his unbelief, but Jesus elected to save him. Because of the persecutions of the Christians, many were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. Philip is an example of one of those who took the opportunity to spread the gospel and good news of Jesus to the people of Samaria - a natural enemy of Israel. Where is God leading you to reach out to those in our society that don't quite fit in? Who are the people in our life that need to know about the gospel and love of Jesus?
Sunday, 31 May 2015
Passage: Acts 3:1-16
Duration: 39 mins 44 secs
Do we know the people in our neighbourhood? How do we as a church or as individuals connect with them? In this passage we see a man who was lame from birth ask Peter and John for money as they entered the temple to pray. With no money to give, Peter was able to give this man much more, the ability to walk again! Jesus' name was used as a name of authority, power and reputation. His name was one of salvation and healing for the lame man that money could not buy. How do we see the people around us, through our eyes or through the eyes of Jesus. We need to show the love of Christ to the people we come across in our everyday life and be prepared to share the gospel with them when the opportunity arises.
Sunday, 24 May 2015
Passage: Acts 2:14-41
Duration: 37 mins 28 secs
You've probably heard the ancient Chinese proverb that says "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". In choosing to follow Jesus, the disciples took a first step, leaving their jobs and families behind to become His disciples. In Acts 2, we see how far they've come. They started out as unlearned fishermen and tax collectors, and now at Pentecost, with the coming of the Holy Spirit, they stand declaring the gospel in foreign languages that the people gathered understood. Peter is quick to proclaim that this is God's power at work in them. He then points the people to Jesus, showing how what they are witnessing is a fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies brought about through Jesus. Finally he brings people to Jesus by calling them to repentance and baptism. It's one thing for a person to have understanding about Jesus, but it's not until they meet Him, repent, accept and follow Him that their lives are transformed. It's clear from this passage that we cannot carry out God's mission in our own strength. We are called however to make a first step towards helping someone encounter Jesus. And then another. And then another. As Samwise Gamgee put it, "If I take one more step, it will be the farthest away from home I've ever been." That's where Jesus is leading us. All we have to do is follow.
Sunday, 17 May 2015
Duration: 33 mins 26 secs
Jesus’ command was for us to go to all the nations and teach them everything He commanded, but we can’t do this alone. The ‘you’ in the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and in Jesus’ final command to His disciples on earth (Acts 1:8) is a collective ‘you’. It for all disciples of Jesus to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth, and we are to do this in unity. Similarly, in Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus says we are collectively the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Salt preserves and adds flavour, while light brings warm and comfort. This is who we are. For us to live out the great commission we must first start with prayer. Prayer for us as a church reaching out into our community and prayer for those who God has placed on our heart individually. Evangelism becomes powerful when it becomes personal.
Sunday, 10 May 2015
Duration: 40 mins 45 secs
This passage is often referred as the Great Commission. Jesus indicates that He has all authority in heaven and earth. This was shown throughout His ministry on earth through His teaching, His power to heal people, His power over nature, His authority to forgive sins, His power over death and His power over satan. As Christians we know that Jesus has this authority. We need to trust in Him and step out and act under His authority in whatever circumstances that we face in our life as we witness to others about the love of Jesus. We don't need to do this in our own strength because Jesus gives us the ability and is always with us. What is it that you need to be doing to carry out this Great Commission?
Sunday, 03 May 2015
Passage: Acts 2:36-41
Duration: 37 mins 11 secs
In this passage Peter shares with the people that it was they who had crucified Jesus, both Lord and Messiah - the person thay had been waiting for. The people showed remorse and were sorry for what they had done, but Peter told them they also needed to repent and be baptised. We too can be sorry and show remorse for the wrong things we have done, but it is important to also show repentance - a commitment to do whatever it takes to turn our lives around from the wrong way we are heading. The good news Peter shared, and is still true for us today, is that by repenting and making a commitment to Jesus, our sins are forgiven. The great news is that we also receive all the blessings from God and know that He sees each of us as a reflection of Jesus! We know we can't earn God's love but it is also true that no matter how many times we think we have failed God, we never lose His love.