20 Sept Forming Foundations of Faith - God is all Powerful

20 September, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

Forming Foundations of Faith - God is our Provider

READ

Elijah and the Prophets of Baal - 1 Kings 18:20-39

Here’s what happens.

Ahab is one of the bad kings of Israel. He marries Jezebel and they worship Baal, a false god and proceed to kill all the good prophets. Elijah stands up to them and challenges the prophets of the idol Baal to a duel. Each will build an altar and ask their god to light the sacrifice on fire. The prophets of Baal dance and cry out, but their idol doesn’t respond. Elijah douses his altar with water and still God shows his mighty power by licking up the water with flames.

Memory Verse “No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

DISCUSS

1. Describe what you remember about the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

2. Why do you think Elijah made such a spectacle of this event?

3. What was he trying to prove?

4. Who was Elijah’s audience?

5. What are the powers or false idols that are common in our society today?

6. What are the powers or false idols that you struggle with?

7. What do you do, or what can you do this week to focus more on God’s love and less on those challenges.

PRAY

Let us pray

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” [1 John 5:21](https://biblia.com/bible/esv/1%20John%205.21)https://biblia.com/bible/esv/1%20John%205.21

Father, You are so glorious and merciful. You created every good thing, and still You would choose to redeem me and make me Your treasure. There’s nothing I could do to deserve this mercy in Christ, yet You lavish it upon me in ways too great to fully comprehend.

And yet my sinful heart draws me away from You to other things—sometimes subtly, and sometimes deliberately. This idolatrous world, my weak flesh, and our cunning enemy entice my heart to set my affections on aspects of Your creation instead of loving and honouring You as Creator. Why would I turn to an object of wood or stone or flesh or plastic or metal that cannot speak or heal or feel or understand or save? Because my sin blinds me to spiritual reality and makes me a fool.

Lord, rip off the blinders! Untangle the webs of sin that have encapsulated my heart and drawn me from You! Forgive me for my gross spiritual adultery and have mercy on me, a sinner!

Loving and sovereign Lord, don’t leave me in this wretched place, but give me a pure and undivided heart that comes before You in awe at Your power, majesty, glory, and mercy. Keep me from trying to quench my thirst with filthy water from broken cisterns, rather continually draw my heart to Christ, the all-satisfying wellspring of Living Water. Make serving idols so despicable and so unsatisfying to my soul that I would quickly confess the smallest step toward sin and run with all my might to the cross in worshipful repentance.

Keep me from worshipping the many good gifts You have given me instead of thanking and worshiping You for them. Keep me from the smallest hint of idolatry and remind me during temptation that to choose an idol is to reject grace and grieve Your Spirit. Remind me that the wicked worship of money, sex, power, family, [possessions](https://www.kevinhalloran.net/jesus-is-better-than-materialism/), or [work](https://www.kevinhalloran.net/five-lies-i-believed-about-faith-and-work/) is both worthless and tragically foolish, like trying to quench my thirst with a gallon of saltwater. Discipline me in your grace when I stray, and convict me by Your Spirit.

Lord, You know that even on my best days I sin against You. From my disappointment, fix the eyes of my heart continually on the grace You poured out on the cross. May that cross take away all shame and free me to worship You by drawing near in joyful repentance and fully hoping in the beautiful restoration You bring in Christ. More than anything, bind my wandering heart to You in joyful worship, knowing that for this reason I was created.

We pray all of these things in the mighty name of Jesus,

AMEN.

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13 Sept - Forming Foundations of Faith - God is our Provider

13 September, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

Forming Foundations of Faith - God is our Provider

READ

John 6:1-13

Here’s what happens… John tell us the well-known story of Jesus feeding the 5000. A large crowd of 5,000 men, plus women and children, follows Jesus. But when dinnertime comes around, the disciples suggest Jesus send the crowd away since they can’t possibly feed that many people. Or can they? Jesus turns five loaves of bread and two fish into a meal for everyone—with leftovers.

DISCUSS

1. Last week you were asked to focus on one part of your life to allow God to transform. Please share how that went.

2. Why was the crowd of people following Jesus and what were they expecting?

3. Have you ever been hungry and not had enough to eat, or have you tried fasting. Share what it felt like.

4. Who do you relate to more the crowd or the disciples.

5. What is the key take away for you from this story? What will you not forget?

6. When has God stretched your limited resources (physically or emotionally) far beyond what you could have imagined? .

PRAY

Let us pray God of our hopes and dreams, we are empty, and long to be filled; we are hungry, and long to be fed; we are lost, and long to be found. Gather us into your love, and pick up the pieces of our lives, just as Jesus gathered up the fragments of the five loaves and two fish that remained after feeding the five thousand. Call us anew to eat our fill and to find our true nourishment in Jesus, the bread of heaven. Amen.

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6 Sept - Forming Foundations of Faith - God is Kind

6 September, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

Forming Foundations of Faith - God is Kind

READ

Genesis 21:1-7 : God provides for Hagar and Ishmael

Titus 3:4-8 : God provides for the whole of humankind

Here’s what happens… 

Hagar and Ishmael, having been banished by Abraham and are. near death when God meets them and cares for them. Titus speaks of God’s kindness and goodness to us through the sacrifice of Jesus.

DISCUSS

1. Last week you were asked to commit to one action that would bless someone. Share how it went.

2. If you can make a timeline of Abraham’s life, the events that have happened and how old Abraham and Sarah were at the time. What do you notice.

3. Hagar seems to have a tough life and yet God came through for her and Ishmael. Would you describe your life as hard or easy.

4. Share any examples of how you have experienced God’s kindness in your own life.

5. Titus shows a contrast between our old self and our new self. What parts of yourself have been transformed and what parts are still a work in progress. Please be specific if you can.

6. Is there one part of your life you want to particularly focus on this week to allow God to transform? Commit this to prayer

PRAY

A prayer based on Titus 3

Let us pray

Heavenly Father, I pray that I will be respect our leaders, rulers and authorities, being obedient and ready to do whatis good. Challenge us so that we do not slander or speak evil of anyone. May we be peaceable and considerate, and willing to show true humility and courtesy to all people. Free us from foolishness, disobedience, and from being deceived and enslaved by dark passions and pleasures. May we have victory over all malice, envy, and hate. I pray that we will have a humble gratitude to you for causing your kindness and love to appear in Christ, for saving us because of your mercy, and for generously and richly pouring out on us the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ our Saviour. May we always be grateful that you have saved us through the washing of rebirth, regeneration and renewal by the Spirit. I claim for us your promise that having been justified by your grace we are now heirs of the hope of eternal life. Help us to devote ourselves to doing what is good, so that may we may live fruitful lives and be able to help others with urgent needs. May your grace be with us all. This I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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30th August 2020 - Forming Foundations of Faith - God is Faithful

30 August, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

Forming Foundations of Faith - God is Faithful

READ

Genesis 12:1-4 : God’s call and promise to Abram

Genesis 15:1-7 : God re-affirms this call

Genesis 21:1-7 : God gives Abraham and Sarah a son Isaac

Here’s what happens…

God calls Abram to leave his people, his country and his father’s house and go where God leads him. God promises to give Abraham descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. Years go by, and Abraham and his wife, Sarah, are very old, but finally God keeps his promise. Sarah gives birth to a baby, and Abraham names him Isaac.

DISCUSS

1. Review any commitments from last week.

2. How much have you moved around in the course of your life or have you stayed mostly in the one place or area?

3. How do you think God has blessed you? (possessions, skills, talents). Pray and give thanks for these.

4. How do you try and bless others with what God has given you?

5. Can you commit to one action this week that you will do to bless others.

6. How has God blessed your time at Emmanuel? What are you going to do about that.

PRAY

Let us pray

Father I know that I am a special person made in God’s image and re-created in Jesus Christ. Give me the courage and strength to do great things that you have prepared for me. I pray that as I continue my walk with you, I will also be a blessing to those I meet today. Let the light and love of Jesus shine so bright within me and through me that others will see you in me. Lord thank you for all the blessings I have received, and may I use these to bless others. IN Jesus name I pray.

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23rd August 2020 - Forming Foundations of Faith - God is Holy

23 August, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

Forming Foundations of Faith - God is Holy

READ

Exodus 40:34-38: God entering the tabernacle

Hebrews 9:24-26, 10:19-25 Christ entering the heavenly temple

Here’s what happens… 

God gives very specific instructions for the Tabernacle, a transportable temple where his holy presence can live among his people. When the Tabernacle is built to specification, God comes and fills the building, hovering over it with a cloud by day and a cloud that glows with fire inside it at night. 

Christ enters the heavenly temple and through him we can have confidence to enter the heavenly sanctuary and enter into the presence of God

DISCUSS 

- What does it mean to say God is holy?

- Why does sin create a barrier between God and humankind?

- What is God’s ‘rescue plan’?

- Is there a tension between God is holy and God is loving/ Discuss.

- How does all this affect you and how you live your life?

- How do you ‘provoke others to good deeds (Hebrews 10:24)

PRAY 

Let us pray

Awesome and great God, whose holiness is beyond our capacity even to imagine - we worship you. God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we glorify you as our God also. Your care for your people of old is evident through the stories of your involvement and constant covenant with them. Your care for us is evident through your grace and mercy which we experience in Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit. From the very beginning you desired to be with us and journey with us. Father help us to have confidence in your grace and mercy, to be provoked, and to provoke others to good deeds. We offer our praise and adoration and this time of worship as our response to your extravagant initiative of entering our lives in the person of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.!

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16th August 2020 - Forming Foundations of Faith - God is Creator

13 August, 2020 Dom Chan

16th August 2020 - Forming Foundations of Faith - God is Creator

Please be advised: the sermon recording will be available on YouTube with the whole service on Monday

READ

God Responds to Job – Job 38

Here’s what happens…

After enduring loss upon loss, Job’s cries of anguish are finally answered by God who, in answering, reminds Job that God is the creator of the universe.

DISCUSS

- What aspect of creation in Job 38 stood out to you?

- When have you been amazed by the achievements of another person?

- When being reminded of God’s creative nature do you respond with a sense of responsibility, a sense of resonance, or a sense of appreciation?

- What do you believe God is trying to teach you in this passage?

- What would you like to dig deeper into or learn more about?

- What are you going to do to respond to what God is teaching you in this passage?

PRAY

Let us pray

God in heaven, in the beginning you created all. You, the uncreated God, the one who set creation into motion, the one who guides and shapes the universe. We are amazed when we think of the works of your hands, the attention to detail, the vastness of your design. Our prayer is that you would guide us to follow your leading in your creation. To create, to appreciate, and to share. Father in heaven, let your will be done on earth, and may our lives be a reflection of your will as we continue to live not only as created beings, but also as creative beings.

In Christ’s name we pray. Amen!

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9 August

9 August, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

9 August 2020 - Forming Foundations of Faith - God is Real

READ

Moses and the Burning Bush - Exodus 3:1–15

Here’s what happens…

Moses is tending his sheep when he sees a strange sight: a bush that’s on fire but not burning up. When he goes to investigate, he hears God speak to him and sees God give clear signs of who he is. Moses’ encounter makes it clear that God is real. God calls Moses to be the person who goes and sets the Israelites free from Egyptian oppression. If you have time read the full story Exodus 3:1 to 4:17. Read how God calls Moses. The excuses and reasons that Moses gives as to why he can’t do it and how God calls him anyway and gives him the ability and the support to fulfil his calling

DISCUSS

1. What did Moses see?

2. How did he know it was really God?

3. How did he respond and what did God do?

4. How do you know God is real?

5. What would help you to know that God is more real?

6. How does God speak to people today?

7. What is or might God be saying to you at the moment?

8. What are you going to do about it?

PRAY

Let us pray

Awesome and great God, whose holiness is beyond our capacity even to imagine - we worship you. God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we glorify you as our God also. Your care for your people of old is evident through the stories of your involvement and constant covenant with them. Your care for us is evident through your grace and mercy which we experience in Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit. You love us so lavishly, and empower us so mightily, that we come to see the world as a place charged with blessing - your blessing. We realise that we stand on holy ground whenever we are in your presence Oh God, which is always and forever when we praise you as we ought. We offer our praise and adoration and this time of worship as our response to your extravagant initiative of entering our lives in the person of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.!

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2 August - Fruit of the Spirit: Self Control : Growing disciples who Exalt

2 August, 2020 Rev Brian Hoole

2 August 2020 - Fruit of the Spirit: Self Control

Congregational purpose : Growing disciples who Exalt

LISTEN & WATCH (songs, sermon & video)

Sermon

Worship Playlist

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wdvwmE6huo

READ

Titus 2: 11 - 14, 1

Peter 5: 8 - 11

This week we continue the series on the Fruits of the Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit are described in Galatians 5:22-23 as being love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are fruit or outward signs that people are filled with the Holy Spirit. Alongside this we will be exploring the congregation’s purpose of growing Disciples who Exalt, Explore, Embody, Engage. This week we will be looking at self control and how self control is about honouring God and putting God first rather than idols. Idols can be drugs, sex, food, power, business, busyness, success any thing that we put first before God.

DISCUSS

• How would you define self control?

• Why is self control a fruit of the spirit?

• What are your idols?

• Do you believe in Spiritual warfare?

• What are your tools or weapons in Spiritual warfare (you may refer to Ephesians 6:10-20)

• How do you develop Godly self-control?

• What are you going to do about this, this week?

PRAY

Let us pray

Almighty Father, in this world filled with goodness, evil, pleasure, leisure, lust and temptations, my desire is to have the fruit of Your Spirit evident in my daily life. Grant me Father I pray, a spirit of self control. Father, please forgive me for the times I have said and done things rashly. Please remind me to consider self-control as “God-control”. It’s not trying to control myself with human effort. But rather it is depending on the Holy Spirit to guide my ways and choices

In my relationships, may I practice self-control Help us Lord to pray and receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all our decisions of family work, friendship and relationships.

May I grow in deeper mutual understanding, respect, honor. And, most of all, may I grow in love for my brothers and sisters, even as I grow in self control to be able to counter and defeat most issues in life. I pray for a spitit of self-discipline as I deal with money, wealth, my daily living habits and my pleasures. Help me to do all in moderation and in accordance with your will.

Lord Jesus, I believe and trust that You will deliver me from temptations and self indulgence as I place my heart in Your loving care. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. May I be renewed daily with a fresh filling of Your Spirit, as I come and surrender myself. In Your blessed name Lord Jesus Christ I pray, Amen!

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