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.

Matthew 8:18-22 The Cost

Sun, 08/02/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Jesus would have made a terrible salesman.

At times, it almost seems as if he’s trying to put people off from following him.

Bible passages like this are hard to preach from. I’m instinctively a salesman. I’d love everyone to follow Jesus. I want to sell him to people. I want everyone I know to sign on the dotted line. So passages like this are a bit of a nuisance. Jesus takes the small print, and makes it the largest writing on the page, with bright highlighter pen through it. It makes it much harder to sell Jesus to people when it feels like you’re putting them off.

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Matthew 8:14-17 The Malaria and The Crowd

Sun, 25/01/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Many of us struggle with poor health. Some of us just have coughs and colds, scratches. Others have more serious things wrong.

Nationally, the NHS is at breaking point. We’re all living longer, and with that come more health problems. The system was never set up to handle the loads that doctors and other healthcare staff are facing.

What does the Bible have to say about our health? Unless the Bible addresses the real issues we face, Jesus is not a saviour worth following.

In Matthew chapter 8, we discover that Jesus came to heal.

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Matthew 8:5-13 The Valet

Sun, 18/01/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

He wasn’t the obvious person, and he knew it. The trouble was, he was also desperate.

The centurion was a powerful Roman soldier. Technically, he was supposed to command a hundred Roman troops. That alone was a prestigious position in the mighty Roman army. If one of his soldiers disobeyed him, they were disobeying the emperor. Truth be told, though, it wasn’t exactly a hundred. In this backwater of the empire, he could basically recruit his own men. He’d lost count of exactly how many were under his command.

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Matthew 8:1-4 The Leper

Sun, 11/01/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

“Do you trust me?”

That’s the question you find Jesus asking you as you read Matthew’s gospel.

The loyalty Jesus asks for is extraordinary. When he asks us to follow him, he asks us to give him everything.

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Jonah 4 Did It Have to be Them?

Sun, 21/12/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Picture the scene.

It’s Christmas afternoon, and the family is sat in your front room. Someone was given a particularly nice box of chocolates, and they’re being passed around. You have your eye on the coffee creams. There are two in the box. To your dismay, you watch two other people each take one before the box can get to you. Dashed hopes. … And a piece of Turkish delight.

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Hosea 11:1-9 Father God, I Wonder

Sun, 14/12/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Most of us have too small a view of God’s fatherly love.

There are a number of reasons for that.

Some of us have had bad experiences of fathers; our memories are not all happy ones. So we take our own experience, and imagine that God is like fathers we knew. He domineers. He’s a tyrant. He looks out for himself but not for us. Or whatever it is.

Others of us had really good fathers. They loved us; we knew it; we respected and loved them. So we assume that God as father is like them. Like them, but no better than them.

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Ezekiel 30:1-19 The Biggest God

Sun, 23/11/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It’s not hard to find institutions that seem all powerful. Nobody can stop them. They’re all over the world. The Mafia. Islamic State in Northern Iraq. The regime of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. In some parts of the world, the United States, even our own nation, can feel that way. Even in our own country, maybe the government, maybe your employer, seem unstoppable. They can do what they want.

This is nothing new. In Bible times, there were regimes that felt just like that. Institutions, nations, leaders, so powerful, nobody tells them what to do.

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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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