Isaiah 9:1-7. A famous passage from Isaiah that will be read many times over the coming weeks and especially on Christmas Day. But how do the promises made, apply to us as individuals and how do we discover for ourselves the hope that lies at the heart of these verses?
Colossians 3:12-17 In the previous verses of this chapter Paul describes the old life that we need to leave behind, now that our lives are 'hidden with Christ in God'. Now he moves on the explain the characteristics of the life that we should now live and how to live it.
Three people share their first hand experiences of the difference Jesus makes when: you're on your own in a difficult situation; when you need to overcome your fears; and when you're faced with the loss of a loved one through illness. And of course the greatest difference Jesus makes is on the day this this life ends and we stand before Him knowing that we have trusted in Him and accepted His offer of forgiveness and salvation.
Colossians 1:15-20 Three contemporary questions: If there is a God what is he/she/it like? Why is our world so full of chaos, conflict and suffering? What can be done to make the world a better place? These few verses provide the answers: God is like Jesus; Jesus holds all things together - remove Him and all things fall apart; reconciliation with God through Jesus leads ultimately to the restoration of creation.
Colossians 1:9-14. With the story of Exodus in the back of his mind, Paul reminds the Colossian Christians that Jesus has won for them a new exodus from the slavery of sin to freedom of life in the Spirit. He prays that they may know the will of God, but perhaps more importantly, that they will know God Himself.
Colossians 1:1-8 This term we are studying this letter from Paul, written from prison in Ephesus to a church he never actually visited. In our passage today he reminds them of the hope they have 'stored up in heaven' and commends the example of Epaphras 'a faithful minster of Christ' who brought the Gospel to them.
At the start of a new term we look at the two 'bolts of life' that we need to have in place to live life to the full. The two 'bolts' are the answers to the questions 'Who am I?' and 'What is my life for?'. Get those 'bolts' in the right place at the beginning and the rest of life will hold together.
Luke 10:1-20. If building the Kingdom of God is a matter of following Jesus, listening to what He says, watching what He does and then doing the same, how come we so often find it so difficult? This morning we explore five reasons why we stumble and make things difficult for ourselves.
I Corinthians 2:26- 2:5 and Mark 1-3. Jesus steps into history, announces that the Kingdom of God is coming, and invites people to follow Him. As they do they listen to what He has to say and watch what He does. Then he issues a second call to follow Him, but this time the call involves not just learning about who He is, but also about becoming like Him and doing the things He does. At all points it is Jesus who takes the initiative and our part is simply to listen, observe and then obey. Easy!
Gideon has misunderstood who God is and who he is as a child of God. As a result he finds himself hiding in a winepress rather than taking on his enemies. The recovery of a proper perspective in both of these areas lead him to a great victory in the power of God. The story is a challenge and encouragement to us who often make the same mistakes.