Growing in God

19th June “It takes a whole village to raise a child!”
What a pleasure to dedicate Etty Primrose on Sunday. As part of the service, we looked at Deuteronomy 6v4-9, which gave us some very good pointrers on how to be part of this:
– The most significant thing has to be in verse 5. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” As we love God with all our heart, soul and strength, so the children in our family and church will learn what it really means to love him.
– Verse 7 Encourages us to talk about God to our children constantly: at home, on journies, at night and in the morning
– Verse 8,9 Talks about visually demonstrating God to our children eg reading Bible stories to them.
1. HOW do these verses encourage you to be a Christian role model to the next generation?
2. DISCUSS how you can play your part in bringing up a child in the Christian faith as a parent/ relative/ Godparent/ church member?
3. WHAT can you feed back to church next week to help others?
4. PRAY for the next generation

12th June 2022 Pre-festival: “How to deal with busyness”
In Tony’s pre-festival sermon, we took a long hard look at the tension between busyness and “actively doing nothing” as beautifully demonstrated in the account about Martha & Mary from Luke 10v38-42. You can watch it here (starting on 45:30)
A number of people contributed and a few of the points raised include:
1. Busyness wasn’t Martha’s problem. being “worried and upset” was.
2. We need to have a Martha- mary balance
3. Some of us like to be busy, but mustn’t begrudge those who aren’t
4. Mary sitting at jesus’ feet was “actively doing nothing”. Not a waste of time! She “chose to sit at his feet.
5. As a church, we have spent a lot of Martha time, so before the Fringe Fest outreach are choosing to spend some Mary time, worshipping at Jesus’ feet this Wednesday 7.30pm. A case of “Sit before we do!”. That way when we are busy, we will protect out hearts from being worried and upset. We will commune with Jesus, hear from Jesus and receive from him. Please join us if you possibly can

5th June 2022 “The year of Jubilee”
In Tony Anderson’s message on Sunday, he spoke about “Jubilee”. As the nation celebrates the Queen’s platinum Jubilee, we see that the Bible brings out the origins of the word “Jubilee” and understanding this is transformational in our walk with God.
We read in Luke 4v14-21 that when Jesus started his ministry, he went to the Temple and read from the prophet Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to preach good news to the poor, proclaim fredom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour
Jesus was referring to the Year of Jubilee (see Leviticus 25v8-55) when in Jewish law once every 50 years slaves were freed, debts were cancelled and property was returned to the original family. Jesus now used the same passage to proclaim liberation from sin and all it’s consequences, declaring, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4v21).
This helps us to understand what Jesus has done for us on the cross. We are no longer slaves to sin (See John 8v34-36). Our debt of sin before God no matter how large has been cleared (See Matt 6v9-13; Rom 5v5-9).

April, May 2022

As we work towards our Mission, starting on 24th May, our big hope is that people encounter Jesus. This applies to everybody from the person who has been a Christian for 50 years to someone who has only heard of Jesus that day.
On the lead up to this we will be looking at and applying accounts from the Bible of people encountering Jesus after his resurrection from the dead.

PART 1: The road to Emmaus
1. READ Luke 24v13-35, the account of the road to Emmaus, where two of Jesus’ disciples met him and walked along the road with him, but did not recognise him, until the point that they stopped and he broke bread with them (v31). They then looked back and realised that their “hearts were burning” when he spoke with them on the road.
2. DISCUSS things that strike you from this reading.
3. ASK: Are there times in your life when looking back, Jesus walked with you, but at the time you did not recognose it?
4. ENCOURAGE each other that whatever you are currently facing, jesus walks with you
5. PRAY for each other and loved ones that they will recognise Jesus walking with them through life, knowing the strength, joy and peace that only he can bring. Also for the forthcoming mission, that eyes will be opened and many will encounter Jesus.

PART 2: Peter’s restoration
Remember the back story. Peter had denied jesus three times just before the crucifixion. Even though Jesus had appeared to Peter after the resurrection, their friendhip needed to be restored.
1. READ John 21v15-19, the account of how Peter’s broken friendship with Jesus was lovingly restored.
2. DISCUSS what stands out to you from this account
3. SHARE times when Jesus has restored your relationship with him or areas of your life
4. PRAY: Restoration is ongoing. What areas are we looking for restoration in today?
5. MISSION: Only 3 weeks to go. Please consider how you can get involved and also pray that many will encounter Jesus.

PART 3: A Holy Spirit encounter
Tony’s story was that an electric bike makes life much easier when going up a hill. Similarly, Jesus never wanted us to do the Christian life in our own strength. Rather he wants us to have regular Holy Spirit encounters, where we can receive his power, his peace, his presence, enabling us to fulfil the Great Commision Jesus left us (Matt 28v18-20)
1. READ Acts 1v1-14 An account of the promise of the Holy Spirit. What stands out to you?
2. READ Acts 2v1-13; 40-47 Look at the huge difference a Holy Spirit encounter made to the church.
3. PRAY for each other other to be filled with the Spirit and for the Mission starting in just one week.

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