Matthew 11:25-30 Jesus Judged by ... Little Children

Sun, 22/05/2016 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

How does a person ever become a Christian?

That’s a question you might be asking if you’re here this morning, but you wouldn’t yet call yourself a Christian. You’re interested in the person of Jesus. He’s starting to make sense. But somehow, you’re not convinced. How do things come together enough so that you can take that first step of faith? How do you reach the point where you’re ready to sign up?

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Matthew 11:20-24 Jesus Judged by ... His Neighbours

Sun, 15/05/2016 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

There’s no doubting it. Having young children is exhausting. Most parents of young children have a fairly long wish list; but rest is fairly high up the list for most of us.

The promise of rest

The Bible reading we had comes from Matthew chapter 11. If you’ve got the Bible open, just glance to the end of the chapter, the climax the chapter is heading to. Verse 28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I defy any new parent to say to me that that is not immensely appealing.

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Matthew 11:1-19 Jesus Judged by ... John the Baptist

Sun, 08/05/2016 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Last Thursday was election day. Here in Kent we only elected the Police Commissioner, but other parts of the country saw local councils and mayors elected.

There are many problems in our country. Always have been. Unemployment. A creaking health service. Education policies. Environmental issues. We’re always on the lookout for someone who can step in and solve our problems. Preferably fix my problems.

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Matthew 10:26-42 Supreme Love

Sun, 24/04/2016 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

If you’ve been with us the past couple of weeks, you’ll know that we’ve been thinking about the theme of persecution.

With a slightly heavy heart, we return to that subject today. I say with a heavy heart, because it’s a risky subject to talk about. If we talk about the possibility that we will be persecuted, there is a danger it generates one of three reactions within us, none of which are welcome. Those are fear, anxiety, and coldness. We might become afraid, we might get worried, or we might lose some of our enthusiasm for the person of Jesus.

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Matthew 10:16-25 Standing Firm

Sun, 17/04/2016 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Persecution is a reality in the Christian church. We wish it wasn’t, but it is. It’s been so since the time of Christ, and there hasn’t been a century since when his followers have not been persecuted.

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Matthew 10:1-15 Speaking Out

Sun, 10/04/2016 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

As Christians, we are sometimes very reluctant to share our faith with the others.

There are all kinds of reasons for this. Some of them are internal. Maybe we lack confidence. Or maybe it’s inclination we need. Or if it’s not that, maybe we worry how we will be received. What if we share something that is very precious to us, only to find out their friends don’t want to know? Or maybe it’s external. Perhaps we tried to share our faith in the past, and had a bad experience. Perhaps we worry that life might get more difficult for us if we don’t just keep our faith to ourselves.

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Matthew 1:18-25 Jesus Adopted

Sun, 20/12/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It’s easy to feel sorry for Joseph. He finds the girl of his dreams. They get engaged to be married. And then he discovers she’s pregnant.

What is Joseph to do? Most people would react in one of two ways. Some would simply forgive. Everyone makes mistakes, and this is Mary’s. Let draw a line on under it. We won’t speak of this again. For others, that would be too hard. They could never forgive unfaithfulness like this. The wedding’s off, and if Mary is humiliated in the process it’s no more than she deserved.

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Matthew 1:1-17 Jesus Anchored

Sun, 13/12/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Well, wasn't that reading boring?!

Some bits of the Bible leave you wondering why they're there. And this is one of them.

In fact, it's worse than that! This is how Matthew chose to open his gospel. It's even how the New Testament begins. Plenty of people attempt to read the whole Old Testament, and give up when they get bogged down in long lists of names and obscure laws. But surely you should be able to read the New Testament without getting stuck on page one!

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Matthew 9:35-38 The Lord of the Harvest

Sun, 10/05/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

We’ve just baptized Arianne and Arthur.

Does it matter? Does it matter whether they grow up as Christians, as followers of Jesus Christ?

Does it matter whether any of us do that? Or is it just a lifestyle choice like many others, and it’s really neither here nor there?

We had a Bible reading from the end of Matthew chapter 9. Just to fill us in on a bit of background, we’ve just had two amazing chapters. Matthew wants to show us Jesus’ total authority. He could heal the sick, give sight to the blind, forgive our sins and even raise the dead.

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Matthew 9:27-34 The Messiah

Sun, 26/04/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

What do you make of Jesus?

He’s a fascinating character.

Most people today don’t want to dismiss him too quickly. He’s a big figure in history. He’s impacted the world in more ways than you could list.

But at the same time, many people want to keep him at arm’s length. Jesus may be interesting. He did some amazing things. But let’s not get too involved!

Of course, it all depends who Jesus is.

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