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Welcome Home

September 1st, 2011

Graham Marsh

Luke 14:1-22

  • Jesus was invited to the meal but it was set up – they invited a sick man to see if Jesus would heal him – which He did
  • The Sabbath is a day for recreation – it is for our benefit
Jesus didn’t mind being with those who were out to get him
  • We often feel uncomfortable around those we don’t have anything in common with – what did Jesus have in common with them?
  • We need to be in these situations – we are called to be salt and light
  • We need to remember our position and be clear headed – Jesus said stop promoting ourselves – don’t put yourself at the top of the table
  • We exist for God’s glory not our own. It is Jesus seated on the throne, not us
  • Don’t take the seat – wait to be offered it
  • To stop being self-centred, look at Jesus
  • Philippians 2:1-5
  • Humility is knowing our place and being thankful we’re even invited
Everyone on the guest list is disadvantaged
  • This is a room full of ordinary people
  • Why is this story in Luke? Because we are all invited and we all arrived in the same way – we were invited by Jesus
  • We have more in common with the London rioters than we do Jesus
  • In humility, we are invited
  • When we’ve been here a while, we forget what it is like to be new.
  • When we go multi-site there will be many who don’t know what to do
Practical Tips
  1. Not everyone knows someone – be inclusive
  2. Not everyone knows where to go – be helpful
  3. Not everyone knows the routine – be accepting
  4. Not everyone knows they’re welcome – be reassuring
  5. Not everyone knows they’re amongst people just like them – be genuine
  6. Not everyone knows Jesus – be Jesus
  • If you are in, remember the cost and how you got there
  • Come to the feast, there is room at the table

Lessons From a 12 Year Old

August 23rd, 2011

Phil Moore

Luke 2:41-47

  • The context: in the Jewish culture of that day, boys were treated as men when they reached the age of 13. Until then they were seen as “nothing”.
  • Jesus is always surprising in the gospels – he acts differently to what we expect. Here we would expect Him to boast about being the Son of God and preach at everyone, but instead He sits and listens.
  • We can learn a lot from the 12 year old Jesus about how to share our faith.
  1. Love like Jesus
    • ‘sitting among the teachers’
    • Jesus was simply spending time with others – not the obvious thing we think of when it comes to sharing our faith.
    • We’re so consumed with communicating the message that we often forget to act like the messenger.
    • Jesus told many parables about people leaving everything and going after the one seemingly insignificant thing (the lost sheep, the lost coin, etc). The parables Jesus told were not meant to be nice stories but were told to surprise us and make us question their seeming ridiculousness.
    • We need to see people as each life that is precious to God. He treasures people – His love is for each person.
    • Sometimes we don’t share Jesus because of fear – but most of the time it’s down to a lack of love.
    • If you genuinely love people, even if you “fail”, God can still use you.
    • Being a smart alec, a self-righteous know-it-all, won’t get you anywhere.
    • Love people and help them.
  2. Ask like Jesus
    • ‘listening to them and asking them questions’
    • Jesus was the last person who needed to ask questions! But questions are the best way to start a conversation about the gospel.
    • Find out about the person you’re with – be quick to listen and slow to speak.
    • We think sharing the gospel is about talking about ourselves.
    • People want to be listened to.
    • Asking questions keeps the conversation going.
    • If you give too much too fast – ramming stuff down people’s throats – they won’t be able to take it; they’ll “vomit” it back up. Prov. 25:16.
    • Questions help you to find out where people are coming from and realise what it is they need to hear.
    • You can’t have a one-size-fits-all message.
    • Ask questions about what people care about.
    • Questions help people realise they need answers.
  3. Share like Jesus
    • ‘Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers’
    • This is where people then start to ask you questions back.
    • The more you ask people about what they believe, the more they’ll ask you about your beliefs.
    • You don’t attack a person – you talk about their beliefs and suggest they may be wrong.
    • People need tour guides not Bible bashers. You see God where other people don’t and you point Him out.