This week we look in Joshua 2 and consider how God and His people had a reputation in Jericho, the parallel with Jesus’s life as ‘news about him spread…’ at the start of his earthly ministry as a result of the filling of the Holy Spirit and finishing with an encouragement to dream and bring into being a time when Jesus is the talk of the town in Market Harborough.
Joshua is repeatedly commanded and encouraged to “be strong and courageous” as he leads God’s people into their inheritance, and the same simple phrase is spoken into the lives of several others at different times in the Bible. What does this mean for us today? What is God calling us to that requires great strength and courage, and on what grounds can we be strong and courageous, brave and fearless? We pray that this message will bring fresh confidence to you and your church as you serve the Lord together…
At the cross, Jesus Christ’s body was broken and His blood was shed. His broken body has brought us into eternal unity with one another and his blood poured out has purchased for us life in new covenant relationship with God. We can’t just sit back, however, expecting to enjoy all of the goodness of these great truths. We are called to stand shoulder to shoulder, soldier to soldier and lay claim of our wonderful inheritance – just like Joshua and the Israelite army!
Everything about being a Christian and walking with the Lord depends on Faith but what exactly is Faith and what difference does it make? This message looks both at Hebrews 11 and at what Jesus said about the power of faith showing that it is never blind. It aims to encourage Christians to use the faith that they already have to fan into flame all the gifts of the Holy Spirit and to live life with a miracle mentality. It highlights seven things that faith does in our lives enabling us live a life of power and demonstration of the Kingdom.
Success and prosperity are often misquoted and misunderstood, but the word of God clearly states that by following God’s word we will be successful and prosperous. Joshua 1:8 encourages us to “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful”. As believers it’s important that we know how to define success and prosperity, especially when it can seem like the world is obsessed with greed, status and position. In this message we discover what the word says and how it applies to us as followers of Jesus.
As we share bread and wine together, John 13 introduces us to Jesus’ most lavish hospitality as we gather around His table. So here we are – invited by our Host, Jesus, announced as His ‘Loved Ones’, named and placed at His generous table, washed and cleansed to the core and free to feast on His abundant provision. What a banquet!
Paul concludes his letters to the Corinthians by commending the church to “The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit”. In this message, Arne Skagen explores what this means for us practically: How do we enjoy a close relationship with the Holy Spirit? How does He lead and guide us day by day? And how do we play our part in this wonderful fellowship with Him?
We read in Ephesians 4:16 about how God is building His church: “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”. As we look at this further we discover that the Church that is being built is not made of bricks and mortar, but of people! It can be easy to become focussed on physical buildings, but as we develop our understanding of the Church, we see how each person fits in to the whole ‘building’ and how we can make room for each of us to be shaped and cut to size, in order that God’s Church is built according to His plan and purpose.
This week we consider Paul’s description of the believer – not controlled by sinful nature but rather in radical relationship with the Holy Spirit. We think about how the Holy Spirit confirms our adoption, identity and inheritance as children of God and we take a look how Paul’s ‘theory’ found in the book of Romans played out in practice in his real-life care for the churches.
Romans 13:8 tells is about one ‘debt’ that you will always owe and can never pay off – the debt of love to others. As we explore what this means together, we see how we will never be able to reach the point where we can say “now I love others as much as I should”! No matter how much we have grown as a Christian, we still have room to grow in love.
As we read through Romans 12, we see what our ’new life’ should look like. Paul encourages us in this chapter that we are no longer bound by sin and death because Christ has been raised up and we sit alongside him in heavenly places. In this message, Stephen unpacks what this means for us and gives us some practical ways that we can enjoy our new life in Christ.
In Romans 5 Paul continues to tell of the God-given Radical Righteousness that is freely ours when we repent and make Jesus the Lord of our lives. Unless we are completely convinced that God has given us a free gift of righteousness that makes us completely acceptable to Him, we can be forever battling a sense of guilt and unworthiness which can paralyse us spiritually and if uncorrected will prevent us from being effective within our families, in the body and in the mission of the church.
God is a God of restoration, and He does not want to return things to their original condition, but rather to advance all things to the fullness His original intention! As the church we are to play our part in this, to be restored and to be restorers, those who are giving our all to serve God’s purposes in our generation.
Jesus said “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. Jesus has given a great commission to carry on His work in the world today, equipped by the “same” spirit. The fields are white for harvest, and we are the labours – therefore go, and bring in the harvest!
We can be passionate about lots of different things in our lives, but are we passionate about Jesus and His Kingdom? In this message, Stephen encourages us to be those who are consumed by Jesus and know what it means to have a passion for the things of God. Will we be known as those whose passions for God define our lives?