Kemsing with Woodlands

Daniel 3: A Statue and a Fire

Sun, 24/09/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Have you ever felt the pressure to compromise? To compromise your principals? Above all, to compromise your identity as a Christian, to compromise your relationship with God?

I’m sure many of us have. How do you resist? How do you remain faithful?

You’ve worked for your employer for years. Long hours. Turned away other offers. They call you in. From now on, they take priority over everything else in your life. It doesn’t matter what promises you’ve made to your family or your church; regularly drop everything for the company.

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Daniel 2: A Dream and A Statue

Sun, 17/09/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

The more reliably you know the future, you more accurately you can plan in the present.

If you know what weather we’ll get here next summer, you can decide whether to save up to try and go abroad.

One decision many of us have taken is to go through life trusting the person of Jesus. We’ve done that, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. When we get to the future, will we be glad we did so? As we look back on now, will we see trusting the person of Jesus as a wise move, or not?

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Daniel 1: Eating Vegetables for God

Sun, 10/09/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Immigration is one of the biggest challenges for our nation. What kind of welcome do we give those from other lands? How many can we welcome? And the big question: How do they fit in? How do they integrate into life here?

One option is to form a ghetto. They don’t integrate. You get a section of a town or city where the majority are from a particular cultural background.

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Acts 4:23-37 Jesus the Appointed King

Sun, 13/08/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Here’s the question: Have Jon and Hannah just done something marvellous, or something mad, in having Eben baptised?

He will grow up in a very different world from the one I grew up in. Christians are less welcome in modern Britain than they used to be. Well, it’s fine to be a Christian, provided you keep your views to yourself. But insist on speaking about Jesus — even more, if you insist on seeking to influence society based on the teaching of Jesus — you’ll find you’re less and less welcome.

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Acts 4:1-22 Jesus the Cornerstone

Sun, 23/07/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

How do you keep speaking about Jesus when you’re persecuted for doing so?

Assume for the moment that you want to share the good news about Jesus, how do you keep doing so if you’re threatened, or silenced in other ways?

That may not be the question some of you are asking. Some of you may be wondering: “Why would I want to tell other people about Jesus at all?” We’ll answer that question as well. If we come up with some good reasons to keep talking about him when it’s costly, those will also be good reasons to start talking about him.

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Acts 3 Everything Restored

Sun, 16/07/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Sadly, we live in a world that is full of pain and suffering.

It’s easy to feel powerless to help. Even if we wanted to alleviate everyone’s pain, we just don’t have the resources to help more than a few people. We resonate with Peter’s words from that reading: “Silver and gold I do not have.”

The government also does not have the resource to help everyone who is in need. You could print Acts chapter 3 verse 6 and display it above every hospital reception desk: “Silver and gold have I none”.

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Acts 2:42-46 The Perfect Church

Sun, 25/06/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

You only have to look at the news to see ways in which society is broken.

There are deep levels of mistrust, hatred, resentment and racism. People are lost, unsure of their purpose in life. Many are angry. Many are bored. Many are lonely.

Jesus did not just come to mend broken people. He came to mend broken society, to build a new society, one which functions in a healthy way, one which is deeply attractive, one which we’d all like to be a part of.

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Acts 2:22-41 Our Gracious King

Sun, 18/06/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Heaven and earth revolve around Jesus. Life and death revolve around Jesus.

If you were here last time, we looked at these same verses in Acts, and I said two really quite shocking things about how central Jesus needs to be to life.

Number 1: Jesus does not call us to have him as a hobby or an interest, but to have our entire lives revolve around him, his priorities and his purposes.

Number 2: Not one us does this. We all treat Jesus as less important than he really is. And this is the number one thing wrong with the world today.

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Acts 2:22-41 After The Biggest Mistake

Sun, 11/06/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

We’ve just baptized Finlay. I don’t know what you make of baptism.

The Bible reading we had told the story of one of the biggest baptisms in history. About 3000 people,  baptised on a single day. 3000. That’s most of the population of Kemsing. What could possibly make that number of people decide to be baptized on a single day?

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Acts 2:1-21 A New Era

Sun, 28/05/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

We live in a broken society. A fragmented society. A scattered society.

Our relationships with each other are broken. Our relationship with God is broken.

Let me illustrate by listening in on the questions people have been asking since Tuesday’s bomb attack in Manchester.

“How could someone do that to their fellow human beings?” Our relationships with one another are broken.

“Why does God not stop something like that from happening?” Our relationship with God is broken.

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