February 24, 2019

Faith that doesn’t limit God

Chris Turner | Genesis 17:15-27 

Sometimes, in the face of pain and disappointment, it's easier to laugh than cry. Here it was again: another repeat of the promise, first made many years before, that Abraham and Sarah would have a son who would be the father of many nations. As Chris explains, it's hard to keep going when there is no sign of a promise being fulfilled. Yet God kept faith with them despite their disbelief, and turned it into joy as a hope and example for us.

Discussion questions can be downloaded here.

God also said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.’ Abraham fell face down; he laughed and said to himself, ‘Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?’ And Abraham said to God, ‘If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!’

February 17, 2019

By faith in the name of Jesus

Geoff Lanham | Acts 3:1-16 

Day after day the lame man lay begging outside the Temple gate. We don't know how many times Peter and James had passed by without noticing him, but on this particular day he got their attention. Just as Jesus healed people during his earthly ministry, so his healing power was exercised through his followers - and it still is today, says Geoff. Healing often takes the form of receiving the grace to cope with disease and death, yet sometimes apparently impossible physical healing does occur. Will we be bold enough to pray for healing, and to notice and respond to the needs of those around us?

Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk.

February 10, 2019

Faith that pleases God

Graham Romp | Matthew 17:14-20 

While Jesus was up a mountain revealing something of his true glory to Peter, James and John, his other disciples were having a "valley bottom" experience. They publicly failed to heal a boy, even though on other occasions they had been able to heal in Jesus' name. When things don't work out as we hope or expect, we may start to wonder... is it my fault? What's wrong with me? Graham draws both challenge and encouragement from the way that Jesus deals with his disciples.

Discussion questions can be downloaded here.

When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. ‘Lord, have mercy on my son,’ he said. ‘He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.’

February 3, 2019

Living faithfully

Susan Haynes | Luke 2:22-40 

For those of us who struggle to wait for the kettle to boil, how do we match up against Simeon, who had to wait all his life to see God's promise fulfilled? Or - later in the same passage - Anna, who was well into her eighties before she got to meet Jesus? Speaking in an All In service, Susan explains how we should wait faithfully: not passively, but actively, looking for God to work in our lives.

image of rachel making tea

Before Susan spoke, Rachel made a cup of tea as an example of waiting: for the kettle to boil, for the tea to brew, to fetch the milk. Eventually...

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God.