From time to time I put sermons I give up here. Not because I think they are particularly good, even less that they are model sermons. I can't even guarantee that I agree with everything I said then - I am (of course) learning all the time. But someone may be interested.

You can use the filters below to restrict which sermons you see. Sermons will be sorted newest first, which means that they appear in reverse order from that in which they were delivered.

Ezekiel 18:1-29 Sour Grapes

Sun, 16/11/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It’s hard to imagine your life being on any path, other than the one you’re on.

If your life is going well, you tend to think it will always be like this. If you know God loves you, he’ll always do so.

Or perhaps life’s going badly. You’ve made some big mistakes; maybe you feel you’re paying for them. God will always judge you. He’s written you off.

It’s inevitable. Inevitable God will bless you. Inevitable God will push you away.

It’s easy to feel like that.

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Jeremiah 18:1-12 The Potter

Sun, 19/10/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Who determines Olivia’s destiny? The kind of girl / lady she’ll end up? The course her life will take?

John and Emma would love to think it’s them, I’m sure. Parents, godparents, friends – all have an influence, but they don’t determine anything. Sorry.

There are two people who do decide the outcome of Olivia’s life.

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Jeremiah 3:6-18 Go on, Admit It!

Sun, 12/10/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Most people today, if they believe in God at all, think that they are alright with God. He approves of them. They’re in his good books.

That extends to most of us as well.

The trouble is, if you think that way about God, you stand to miss out on an awful lot. If you don’t have a right view of yourself, you lose in the long run.

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Isaiah 35 Highway to Heaven

Sun, 28/09/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Are you ever tempted to give up? Give up your job? Give up as a Christian? Give up living?

Isaiah chapter 35 was written for people who were tempted to give up.

It’s a little tricky – it was written for them, rather than to them. Isaiah ministered from around 740 BC to 680 BC – roughly the 8th Century before Christ. But lots of what he wrote was written for the people who would live some time later – in the 6th Century.

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Isaiah 17 The World: Is Anyone Driving This Thing?

Sun, 21/09/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Who’s got their hand on the tiller of history?

That’s our question for this morning.

Sometimes you look out at the world. You see conflict in the Ukraine, decades of peace seemingly being unpicked. You see violent people taking a hold of parts of Iraq and Syria. You see Christians on the receiving end of the worst atrocities. You see some in Scotland wanting to be independent, and the actual vote going the other way, and at least one half of that makes you scratch your head.

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Ecclesiastes 12 While You are Young

Sun, 14/09/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

How do you make the most of your life? That’s the subject of our passage today. But let’s start with a bit of background.

The book of Ecclesiastes describes one man’s search for meaning in life. Most of the book was written by someone called “The Teacher”. Some kind of wise man with a public ministry in ancient Israel.

How did he get on with his quest for meaning? Pretty well. Look at verses 9 and 10 in our chapter: He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

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Job 38:1-27 Out of the Whirlwind

Sun, 31/08/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Sadly, we live in a world where there is much pain, much sadness, much suffering.

This is not academic. Many of us live with hardship on a day-to-day basis. And if it’s not us, it’s friend we know, love and care for.

What does God have to say about this? We’re tempted to put God in the dock sometimes. To ask him what he’s playing at.

The Bible contains the story of a man who wanted to do just that. His name was Job. He lived about the time of Abraham. He was a righteous man. Not perfect. Not sinless. But very good and upright.

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Job 9 Don't Say Pray

Sun, 24/08/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Today’s Bible reading will come from the book of Job.

I thought I’d introduce it to us before we hear our reading.

Job’s a long book, tucked just before the Psalm in our Bibles. It tells the story of a man named Job, who probably lived about the time of Abraham. We’re told he was rich and righteous. He was rich, with 7 sons, 3 daughters, and so many cattle that he was the greatest man in the east. He was righteous, obsessively devoted to God, concerned that he and his family did not sin.

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2 Chronicle 17 Reviving a Flagging Church

Sun, 27/07/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It’s easy to feel discouraged by the state of the church.

The state of our church: Why can’t we be bigger?

The state of the national church: Why are we such a laughing stock in the media, portrayed as out of date and in decline?

The state of the church around the world: Why are Christians in places like Iraq subjected to such horrendous persecution?

God knows how we feel, and he’s given us many passages in the Bible to encourage a despondent church. And 2 Chronicles chapter 17 is one of them.

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1 Chronicles 28:1-12 Obeying as King, Obeying the King

Sun, 20/07/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

That reading from 1 Chronicles a scene as King David, Israel’s king at around 1000 BC, hands over the reins to his son Solomon.

It may be some of you are wondering why we’re looking at this story. It’s a piece of Ancient History, that seems to have little relevance to modern life or Christian worship. But we worship Jesus, who didn’t arrive in a vacuum. God had carefully prepared for his arrival. And one of the things he did was to send his people a line of earthly kings. Some good. Some bad. All flawed. But they set the scene for Jesus the king.

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