Weekly Sermon

Come Near to God

Would you like to see into the future? Would you really like to know that a bad thing was going to happen if you couldn’t do anything to stop it?

Jesus knew that He would be betrayed, arrested, and killed, so He warned His disciples to prepare them for when it happened. He also told them that He would be raised back to life, but they didn’t understand what He was saying.

Instead of asking about it, they began to argue amongst themselves about who was the greatest. They missed the point. True greatness is not about “blowing your own trumpet”, it is about serving others by being useful to them in God’s name. Jesus is the perfect example for us to follow.

 

Scripture Readings

Jeremiah 11:18-20
A plot against Jeremiah

James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a
Wisdom from heaven

Mark 9:30-37 
Who is the greatest?

Which is Which?

One day Jesus asked His disciples: who do people say I am? When they told Him what they had heard He made the question more personal by asking: What about you. Who do you say I am?  Peter answered, “You are the Christ”.

There are many opinions about Jesus these days, even among so-called Christians. But if we want to  truly know Him we must accept Him as the “Christ”, the Son of God (yet One with the Father), Lord, Saviour, and Friend. Who we are and how we live as Christians is determined by who Jesus is, and what place He has in our hearts.

 

Scripture Readings

 

Isaiah 50:4-9a
The obedient servant of the Lord

James 3:1-12
Taming the tongue

Mark 8:27-38
Who is Jesus?

How does Faith show itself

Some people have a reputation for “telling it like it is”. They speak their mind and you are left in no doubt as to what they think. This can be confronting or it can be quite refreshing. James, the brother of Jesus, seems to be one of those people.

In todays’ reading he says: whoever keeps the whole law, yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it (James 2:10).  That would include every human being! We all need God’s forgiveness, no matter how good we may think we are, so instead of looking at the faults of others, we ought to spend more time thanking and praising God for His grace towards us. Then we will be able to love one another, as He commands.

 

Scripture Readings

Isaiah 35:4-7
God’s promise to save His people

James 2:1-10, 14-17
Faith shown in love

Mark 7:24-37
Jesus shows God’s love through healing the sick

Clean or Unclean?

Jesus was under attack from the religious leaders (Pharisees) because His disciples didn’t wash their hands correctly before eating. Sounds ridiculous but it’s true. The Jews gave their hands a ceremonial washing before eating, whenever they came into contact with Gentiles. This was to prevent them from becoming “unclean”, as they considered Gentiles to be unclean.

It was a tradition which had become law but Jesus wasn’t having any of it. Rather than be bound by man-made traditions He called them to obey God’s law. We too have an obligation to be obedient to God; not so that we earn His favour but because we already have it. Our response ought to reflect His grace and mercy.

 

Scripture Readings

 Deuteronomy 4: 1-2, 6-9
M
oses urges the people to keep God’s command

James 1:17-27
Listening and doing

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Clean and unclean

Be Strong in the Lord

Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6: 10-11). This is good advice from St Paul and we would all do well to take notice. The devil is always scheming against the church, trying to disrupt and harm us in our walk with God and each other. Has the devil been at you lately?

Our strength to overcome is not our own. We are to stand in God’s mighty power as we put on His armour. That means we let God rule in our hearts and minds. We put aside our own human will and let the Holy Spirit shape and mold us to be more like Christ. We don’t have to give in to the devil’s schemes, we can be strong in the Lord.

Scripture Readings

1 Kings 8:22-30, 41-43
Solomon’s prayer of dedication

Ephesians 6:10-20
Put on God’s armour

John 6:56-69
Jesus has the words of eternal life

He Chose You

King David celebrated with gusto when the “ark of the covenant” (not to be confused with Noah’s ark) was brought into Jerusalem. The “ark” was extremely important because it was the earthly throne of God, indicating that God was living among His people. But as David celebrated others looked on with disgust.

God always draws a reaction from us; either we love and worship Him or despise and reject Him. Jesus said whoever is not for Me is against Me, so there is no middle ground. David celebrated because he knew the Lord, and we too can celebrate because the Lord has made Himself known to us.

 

Scripture Readings

2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12-19
David rejoices before the Lord

Ephesians 1: 3-14 
Spiritual blessings in Christ

Mark 6: 14-29 
The death of John the Baptist

Love Comes to Life

Jesus was warning the disciples that the time of His crucifixion was near and He would be returning to His Father in heaven and would no longer be with them.

Jesus had taught His disciples so much during the time He was with them, but He had one last commandment for them, and us. Love one another, as Jesus loves you. If you love each other everyone will know that you are Jesus Disciples.

Every one claiming to be a Christian will be seen by others as a person who loves and cares.

Like the stained glass windows come alive with light shining through them, so do we with the love of Jesus in our hearts – for all to see.

 

Scripture Readings

2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10
David becomes king over Israel

2 Corinthians 12:2-10
Paul’s vision and his thorn

Mark 6:1-13
Jesus sends out the Twelve

Jesus Heals and Restores

Jesus was surrounded by a large crowd. People flocked to hear Him and receive ministry from Him. Among them was a man whose daughter was dying, and a woman who had been ill for many years. The man was able to speak to Jesus directly and ask for help but the woman could only reach out to touch His cloak. Both received healing and generous love from the Lord and their lives were changed for the better.

Generous love is God’s gift to each of us. St Paul calls it “grace” and he reminds us that this is what caused Jesus to become poor for our sakes, so that we, through His poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).  What sort of response do we give for such generosity?

 

Scripture Readings

2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27
David mourns for Saul and Jonathan

2 Corinthians 8:7-15
Paul encourages generous giving

Mark 5:21-43
Jesus heals and restores

Continue to live in Him

Jesus gave His disciples quite a few surprises while they were with Him. At different times He healed sick people, gave sight to the blind, helped the lame walk again, fed great crowds, and even calmed a fierce storm on a lake. No wonder they asked in amazement: “Who is this?” It’s also important that we too know who Jesus is.

The most important thing to know about Jesus is that He is our Lord and Saviour. He is the One who paid for our sin when He died on the cross, and He is the One who has given us new life by His own resurrection back to life. But even more important than knowing things about Jesus is knowing Him personally. He is real, and so is the life He gives us.

 

Scripture Readings

Psalm 103:1-17    God’s love for His children

Romans 3:21-26    God’s grace and our faith

Mark 4:35-41   Jesus calms a storm

God speaks to His people

Jesus often used parables to illustrate truths, and stimulate those who were listening to think about what He was saying. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God using parables of the growing seed and of the mustard seed. The truth behind these parables is that from a small beginning the kingdom of God would grow to be experienced by all the world.

The Lord still speaks to His people and we need to listen to what He says. God’s truth is timeless. The message of God’s kingdom and our salvation is as relevant today as it was when Jesus spoke to the crowds by the lake.  We are in the Word, being encouraged to learn it, love it, and live it.

 

Scripture Readings

1 Samuel 16:1– 13    David is anointed as king

2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17  We live by faith, not by sight

Mark 4:26-34  The growing seed

Come for a Chat & Cuppa

In the hall after each worship.
EVERYONE WELCOME

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