Sermons

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.

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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2 Kings 10:18-31 The Judicial Kingdom

Sun, 29/06/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Does it matter which God you follow?

Many people today would say no. What matters is that it works for you. What matters is that you’re sincere. What matters is that you tolerate others. But beyond that – your religion is your choice. Do as you please.

In a world that thinks like that, the Bible reading we had from 2 Kings 10 is a sharp wake-up call.

Grace Spurned

It’s a shocking story.

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1 Kings 22:29-44 The Corrupt Kingdom

Sun, 22/06/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

All over the world, people suffer at the hands of unjust and corrupt rulers.

Sometimes it’s rulers of nations. In the past 5 years, the people of several countries have risen up to try and overthrow an unjust government. Either it succeeds, or the oppression gets worse.

Other times it’s rulers in the workplace, the bullying boss with unreasonable demands you can’t refuse.

Some people have to put up with tyranny in their own homes.

In all spheres of life, there are many good leaders, but many others who bully and repress.

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1 Kings 11-12 The Divided Kingdom

Sun, 15/06/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

On 18th September the people of Scotland will be asked one question: Should Scotland be an independent country?

If the majority vote yes, the wheels would be set in motion to disband the United Kingdom.

It’s been a carefully planned process, with dates, deadlines, votes and procedures.

Whether or not you want to live in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, God is building his own, united, kingdom. It’s the best place to live. You wouldn’t vote yourself out of that one.

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1 Kings 2:1-12 Securing the Kingdom

Sun, 08/06/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

In a moment, we’ll have our reading from 1 Kings chapter 2.

I thought before we do, I’d give you a bit of the background to it. Various characters from King David’s past pop up in the reading. We’ll understand the story a lot better if we’re up to speed on who these people are, and how they featured in David’s life before this point.

Perhaps if you turn to 1 Kings 2, page 336, that would help.

We meet 3 main people here.

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1 Samuel 31 The Disaster of a Bad Leader

Sun, 25/05/2014 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

This was election week. We got to vote for our MEPs. From time to time we have to choose our leaders. Members of Parliament. Councillors. Churches have to choose leaders – choosing the next vicar, who’s on the PCC, and so on.

Many of us also get to be leaders. Leaders at work. Leaders at home. Leaders in the church.

We all know that there are good and bad leaders.

1 Samuel chapter 31 brings to a close the story of the first king of Israel, King Saul. And what we see here is that it’s disastrous for people if they have a leader like him.

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