Kemsing with Woodlands

Malachi 2:1-9 (part 1): You have not resolved to honour me

Sun, 04/10/2020 - 09:30 -- James Oakley

We’re continuing to look at the gap that there is between God’s great love for, us his blessings to us, and our response to that.

It’s a good thing to think about at harvest time, because harvest is when we call to mind the rich blessings that God gives us in so many dimensions and areas of life. To do that, and then to look at what our response both should be and is, is a very fitting exercise to do.

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Malachi 1:6-14 (part 2): Disregard for God's name

Sun, 27/09/2020 - 09:30 -- James Oakley

So, we’re looking this morning at the mismatch between God’s great love for us, and our response to that love. So: I know in myself that God’s love is really very great. It’s a very big and wonderful thing. But if you were to read how much God loves us from how I respond to him, you would not get the impression that God’s love is very big and very wonderful. There’s this gap which is a big gap, and that’s what we’re thinking about.

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Malachi 1:6-14 (part 1): Offering defiled food

Sun, 20/09/2020 - 09:30 -- James Oakley

That Bible reading is set in the world of animal sacrifice which means it seems a bit remote. It's hard for us to relate to, to connect to. We don't have animal sacrifices today and hopefully most of you think that's a very good thing indeed.

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Malachi 1:1-5: I have loved you

Sun, 13/09/2020 - 09:30 -- James Oakley

“Do you love me?”

It’s a question we sometimes ask of each other. We question the way someone acts towards us. Does this person really love me?

We ask it of God as well. When life takes a sour turn, or is just plain flat. When tragic illness strikes, or you lose your job. “God, do you love me?”

That’s the question we’re asking this morning, as we look at the opening verses of the book of Malachi.

Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament.

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Psalm 3: Deliverance belongs to the Lord

Sun, 15/03/2020 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Have you ever felt as if everything is against you? As if everything you touch goes wrong? As if you’re experiencing difficulties from which there is no way out? Felt the pressure of people who are determined to stand in your way and make your life difficult, and you’re just powerless to clear your own path?

I know some of you have been there, because you’ve shared that with me. I’ve certainly been there.

It can be a black place to be, hemmed in, with others deliberately making things difficult.

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Psalm 2: The Path to Blessing

Sun, 08/03/2020 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Most people would appreciate some help when it comes to praying.

Many of us doubt whether God hears us if we pray. Many of us are unsure what we ought to pray for. Which means many of us don’t.

If you were here last week, we began a journey through the first few chapters in the book of Psalms. Psalms is part of the Bible, which means it’s God’s word to us. But unusually, it also contains our words to God. It’s a collection of hymns and prayers, for the people of God, all down the ages. It’s God giving us words to pray, and words to sing.

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Psalm 1: The Successful Man

Sun, 23/02/2020 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep; If I should die before I wake, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to take.”

At 13, I started at a new school. My parent were abroad, so it was a boarding school. And one of my new friends had been taught by his parents to pray that prayer every night.

It’s not a bad prayer as it happens. But it’s clearly a child’s prayer.

For an adult, life is messy and complicated. And we need a prayer life that is fit for the real world.

Many of us don’t pray. Or if we do, we’re unsure what we ought to pray for.

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2 Peter 3:17-18: Be on your guard

Sun, 15/12/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

So many things feel uncertain. We don’t know what the future holds.

People have been holding out making big decisions until we know the outcome of last week’s election, or until we know how Brexit will play out.

But if you know where the future’s going, you can map your way through life with confidence.

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2 Peter 3:10-16 Be Prepared

Sun, 08/12/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

I’d hate people to think that the things we talk about here on a Sunday are not relevant. That the Bible is not relevant. That Jesus is not relevant.

Of course, that’s far from true. Jesus is very relevant. So the Bible is very relevant. So what we talk about, week by week, is very relevant.

But sometimes things can seem a bit abstract.

This autumn, we’ve been working our way through the letter of 2 Peter. Written by Simon Peter, former fisherman, one of the first disciples, as he’s growing older and knows he will die soon.

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