OT Sermons

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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Ezra 1: Our God reigns

Sun, 13/01/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It’s easy to wonder if God will achieve his purposes.

In the second half of last year, we worked our way through 1 Corinthians. Chapter 15 was just magnificent! Amazing views of the future God has promised all who follow the Lord Jesus. A future when our bodies are renewed, transformed to be glorious like Jesus, perfect for enjoying the renewed world God will give us to live in.

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Daniel 10-12: The Last Battle

Sun, 17/12/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Let me ask you a question. Is history haphazard, or is it going somewhere? Is it like watching tennis, as the ball of power gets passed from one nation to the other, and then back? Or is it like going on a journey? For all the twists and turns in the road, we’re heading to a destination?

This effects how you live. If history is haphazard, there’s no more to life than making the most of the hand you get dealt. If history is going somewhere, your life needs to line up with where things are going.

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Daniel 9: Waiting for God

Sun, 10/12/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Life can be tough. And we come to God, come to church, read the Bible, wanting to feel better. And often we do. But sometimes, God raises our hopes that things will get better, not just that we’ll feel better. We have to live in a world where there’s a mismatch. A mismatch between the promises of God and the realities of life. A mismatch between sermons that invite us to trust God and a life that feels like it’s falling apart anyway.

Daniel knew all about this. He was in captivity, in Babylon. And then he opened his Bible.

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Daniel 8: The ram and the goat

Sun, 26/11/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

On Thursday, we had our monthly church prayer meeting.

We prayed for Christians in Egypt. Here’s a report from one website:

Coptic Christians in Egypt do not accept the condition of submission imposed on Christians in Islamic societies: they continue to build churches and even promote television networks to spread the Christian proclamation. This is why they must be attacked as "infidel fighters", and their churches must be blown up. This is, in short, the message of instigation.

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Daniel 6: Saved from the Lions

Sun, 22/10/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

This is one of the most famous stories in the Bible. Daniel in the lions’ den.

It’s a story that fascinates, captures the imagination. Children love it, because it’s about lions, loins that roar. Adults love it, because it’s a story extremely well told, and a dramatic rescue miracle.

But it can be hard to relate to. It’s a good story; it’s entertaining. But how does a one-off, miraculous rescue of hero named Daniel speak to the lives of ordinary Christians like us?

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Daniel 5: The Writing on the Wall

Sun, 15/10/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

They say that wise people learn from their mistakes. And really wise people learn from the mistakes of other people, without having to make them themselves.

Today, we come to one of the great cautionary tales in the Bible, Belshazzar’s banquet. It’s in the Bible so that we might learn from Belshazzar’s mistake. We’re going to look at what his mistake was, and what we need to learn if we are to avoid repeating it.

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