Genesis 12-22

Genesis 22 - We love because he first loved us

Sun, 22/07/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

What is the most precious thing that you would give up for someone?

In some ways, that’s a measure of love, isn’t it? The more you love someone, the more you would sacrifice for them.

That’s one of the problems with our society today. We are reluctant to give things up. Our attitude is that if I’m entitled to it, then I’m entitled to it. And yet love doesn’t try and claim my rights, but freely gives up my rights.

When I was at school, the question was about your last Rolo. The one at the end of the packet. You’d only give that to a very good friend.

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Genesis 21 - Eyes fixed on the future

Sun, 15/07/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Picture the scene. You’ve taken the bus into Sevenoaks, and you’re waiting at the bus station for a bus to bring you back to Kemsing. The timetable says that the last bus of the day is due to leave in two minutes. There’s no sign. So you wait until the appointed time. And there’s still no sign. At which point, you start to wonder whether the bus timetable was a cruel joke. Perhaps the bus will never come.

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Genesis 20 - A Church Full of Hypocrites

Sun, 08/07/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

I’m sure you’ve often heard it said that the it’s not worth being a Christian. After all, the church is full of hypocrites.

And, of course, the second half of that is certainly true. The church is full of hypocrites. And what a good thing that is – otherwise there wouldn’t be space for someone like me.

This morning we continue reading the story of Abraham.

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Genesis 18:16-19:38 - Being one of God's People

Sun, 24/06/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Those of you who were here last week will remember that I said God is holding out to us the most amazing offer. He offers not just to be a God, but to be our God.

I also said that this amazing offer comes to us only through Jesus.

What I didn’t do was elaborate on what that means. Why is it so special to have God as our God? What difference does it make? What does it look like? What blessings come from it?

Basically: Why would anyone want to be a Christian? And what’s so good about being one if you are?

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Genesis 17:1-18:15 - God as your God

Sun, 17/06/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It’s comforting to know that there’s someone looking out for us, isn’t it?

It’s even better if we know that someone has made it their special business to take care of us. They’ve taken us under their wing. There’s what the Americans call a “special relationship”.

Lots of men in the world are fathers. Only one of them is my father. Lots of women in the world are wives. Only one of them is my wife.

There’s the world of difference between know that someone is a father, and knowing that they are my father.

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Genesis 16:1-16

Sun, 10/06/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

What do you do when bad things happen?

I was speaking to someone last week, and we were reflecting on some of the sad things that have happened. Surely, he said, at a time like that, the most natural thing is to give up on God. What good has God done?

And he’s right, isn’t he? If God’s promised to look after us, what use is he if he doesn’t deliver?

Bad things don’t happen all the time. But we all know the frustration of seeing good things that God has promised fail to materialise. He’s promised to answer my prayers, but he didn’t answer that one.

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Genesis 13-14

Sun, 20/05/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

One problem with the Christian faith is that it’s largely about trusting in some promises that we can’t see. You can’t see God. You can’t see heaven. You can’t see sin or the forgiveness of sin. Which can make it all seem a bit “up in the clouds”. A bit unreal. Like the Christian faith isn’t in the real world.

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Genesis 12:1-20

Sun, 13/05/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

I wonder how you think of God? Do you regard God as a blessing God, or a cursing God? Would you say that he is a God who enjoys spoiling our fun, or a God that is a delight to know? Does God dish us up with good things in life, or does God take from us the things that are most precious? What kind of God do you think God is?

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