April 28, 2019

Burning hearts

Allan Bartlam | Luke 24:13-35 

On the first Easter day, two disciples are making a journey in a state of confusion and doubt. What should they make of these reports of an empty tomb? A mysterious stranger joins them on the road, and proceeds to give them what must surely have been the greatest Bible study of all time. Only later, when they reach their destination and Jesus breaks bread with them, does the truth dawn: "We have seen the Lord!" As Allan explains, on our journey with Jesus we may experience times of doubt, disappointment, revelation and joy. If we make space to listen to him, we may know - as those two disciples did - our hearts burning within us as we respond to his voice.

Discussion questions can be downloaded here.

[Jesus] said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

April 21, 2019

He is not here

Geoff Lanham | Mark 16:1-8 

The three women who arrived at the tomb were utterly shocked to find Jesus' body gone - too afraid, as Mark's account goes on to say, to tell anyone. Over the next few hours, days and weeks that sense of fear and bewilderment would spread to many more people - as would the total conviction that Jesus really was alive. How can we make sense of it today? Geoff challenges us all to think afresh about the Resurrection and what it means for us. The recording starts with a short, separate talk from Geoff which is quite explosive in nature!

As [Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome] entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. ‘Don't be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here.’

April 14, 2019

Faith in the fire

Geoff Lanham | 1 Peter 4:12-19John 15:18-25 

Fiery ordeal? Sufferings? Hated by the world? This wasn't mentioned in the sales pitch! Yet, if we truly follow Jesus, along with all the countless blessings will come opposition: anything from suspicion and misunderstanding to imprisonment and execution. As Geoff explains, we need perseverance to live by different values and to accept whatever the consequences might be.

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

[Jesus said,] ‘If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.’

Rachel Fasham | Luke 4:1-13 

When times of testing come, what resources have we got to help us to stand against temptation? Speaking in an All-In service, Rachel explains how Jesus stood up to three different kinds of attack. After Rachel spoke we had the opportunity to respond through a range of activities. The recording begins with service leader Chris exposing us all to temptation - with chocolate biscuits!

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone.”