Sermons

From time to time I put sermons I give up here. Not because I think they are particularly good, even less that they are model sermons. I can't even guarantee that I agree with everything I said then - I am (of course) learning all the time. But someone may be interested.

You can use the filters below to restrict which sermons you see. Sermons will be sorted newest first, which means that they appear in reverse order from that in which they were delivered.

Ezra 10: Action time

Sun, 28/04/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Old fashioned ideas about God, that turn out to be very important.

Two weeks ago, we looked at guilt. Ezra 9 showed us what God is like, and what we are like. Guilt may be out of fashion, but it turns out it’s very important.

Today, we look at repentance. Also out of fashion. Also very important. And, as we’ll see, extremely costly.

Ezra chapter 10 is a shocking chapter. Did you feel an element of shock as it was read out?

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Ezra 9: Confession Time

Sun, 14/04/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Guilt gets a bad press today.

Many secular counsellors would say it’s unhealthy to feel guilty. We need to let go of our sense of guilt. And if someone is trying to process issues and problems in their life, the last thing they need is to be made to feel guilty for things they’ve done wrong.

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Philippians 4:1-3: Truth United

Sun, 31/03/2019 - 10:00 -- James Oakley

Which is more important in the life of the church: Truth, or unity?

It’s a trick question, of course, but it’s one we often ask all the same.

Some people say that truth is all-important. What matters is that we hold onto the truth. If that means relationships get strained with those who don’t agree with us, then that’s a price worth paying.

Others say that unity is what matters. Jesus prayed that his church should be one. If a church falls out with itself or with others because of its stand for truth, then that’s a total tragedy and a defeat.

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Ezra 8: God of Small Things

Sun, 24/03/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

If you’re trying to achieve something, there are many obstacles.

It might be a business, a community project, a building, a sports team.

Many obstacles.

Including being discouraged at the small scale, and little progress.

Including complacency from those you look to for support.

Including opposition from those who don’t want to see your project succeed.

The same applies if what you’re building is the kingdom of God.

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Ezra 7: Meet Ezra

Sun, 17/03/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

I take it we all find it frustrating when people just tick the boxes of whatever it is they’re doing. Pay lip service, but their heart is not in it.

Someone at work. They turn up, they do the hours, but the moment their not being observed they’re at half pace.

Memories of school PE. The frustration of half a rugby team who want to win this thing, playing with team mates who have to be there.

Box-ticking lip-service is especially ugly when it comes to Christians.

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Ezra 5-6: Temple Complete

Sun, 10/03/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

If you were here two weeks ago when we last looked at the book of Ezra, we ended on a slightly scary and somewhat sombre note. As we seek to live for Jesus Christ and to build his kingdom, there is real opposition. We will be opposed. And sometimes that opposition will succeed. We looked together at the tactics that the devil will use to oppose us. We concluded that we must not write this off as scaremongering. They had to stop rebuilding the temple for 16 years, which was a very long time.

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Ezra 4: Into the buffers

Sun, 24/02/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

If someone is going to oppose you, you want to know how they think. How they will act. Be one step ahead of them.

Sports professionals spend hours watching replays of the teams they are due to face. How does that striker line up for a goal? How does that tennis player respond if you hit a ball into that corner?

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Ezra 3:7-13: Whether to Laugh or Cry

Sun, 10/02/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Let me ask you two questions.

Number 1: What makes you celebrate? What absolutely thrills you, has your phoning your mum or your best friend with excitement, is cause for a celebratory drink or meal, puts a smile on your face for a week?

I’d reckon the safe arrival of a healthy baby in a family is one of them. New job. The all clear at the hospital. She said “yes”. What else?

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Ezra 3: First Things First

Sun, 27/01/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Have you ever returned home from holiday, and struggled to decide what to do first. There’s a car full of luggage to unload. The heating is turned down to frost levels. There’s two weeks’ post on the doormat. You discover you forgot to do the washing up before you went away. And to empty the bin. Everyone’s hungry. And what you really need is a cup of tea. So many things to do. But what are the priorities? What do you do first?

We’ve been following the story of the Jewish exiles as they returned home from Babylon in the year 539 BC.

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Ezra 2: 42,360 Amazing People

Sun, 20/01/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Many people find this list of names dull. But in other contexts we find lists fascinating. It all depends on whether you have a connection or not.

Some of you will remember listening to the day’s football scores on the radio, before the days of ready internet news. Manchester City, 2; Crystal Palace, nil, expertly read by James Alexander Gordon. People would listen, fascinated, to the whole thing, every week.

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