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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Looking for Jesus

Small group study gives you an opportunity to find Jesus in odd ways.

Discussing His life and work brings home the reality of His life-changing power in people's lives today.

We learn patience and perseverence as He teaches us to get on with eachother and work together; appreciating oneanother's strengths and compensating for eachother's weaknesses. Grdually, we see Him formed in their lives, giving them strength and insight.

We see His hand in their circumstances - as they share intimate details of their lives, looking for prayer;and rejoice with them as we see His hand in answering their prayers.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Experimentation and risk-taking

You have a great opportunity ahead of you - the chance to make a lasting impact on the lives of a small group of people. One thing to consider is that faith often calls for taking risks. This includes Bible teaching. Just because you have always done something a particular way does not mean that it always have to be done in that manner.

God is a God of variety - hence the number of different species of beetle in the world. He has made us to be stimulated by this. We don't like to listen to a monotone.

So, pray. Look for opportunities to take a step of faith to try something challenging, branch out to minister in a way you have not done before - allow the God of breakthroughs to use your experiments to break through to the group in new ways and encourage them to take risks too. You model a life of faith to them through your actions.

A word of warning: obviously, we don't eperiment or make changes just for the sake of it either. Unnecessary innovation is unwelcome because it obscures the real message that God is trying to get across through you.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sermon Illustration...

It wouldn't fit in too well here, so I'm starting up a new weblog on sermon illustration - plus a support site at - it will be interesting to see how this one turns out.

There are issues that are common to both small group work and speaking to larger audiences. You will notice that Jesus did both - speaking to large crowds as well as investing His life in a small group of trusted followers.

Paul and the other Apostles continued in this vein - indeed Paul instructed Timothy to do the same in 2 Timothy ch.2 v.2 - speaking to both large audiences and intimate groups.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Year - New Developments

Happy New Year, everyone!

The latest of my projects has started to take shape. The prayer board at is now up - along with the first drafts on some notes about finding God's will for your life.

I'm pleased with the way it is taking shape - now all I need is to find some people to help in their quest to find God...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Christmas!

A quick Happy Christmas to my loyal readers - plus a short meditation.

In Luke's Gospel we are introduced to to individuals who had studied the scriptures, who had prepared for the coming Messiah, and were secure enough in their relationship with God to dare to believe that He would promise them they would see the Messiah.

They were people of faith - and great patience. How else ca you explain someone hanging on all those years in anticipation - not becoming wearied through disappointment as time passed?


Can you think of any other Biblical examples of 'prepared people' - whose faith and patience are tested and ultimately rewarded?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Chracter Studies - the shepherds

It's woth taking a look at how shepherds are depicted across the entire Bible. Examine thecharacteristics of both the good and bad shepherds listed in both the Old and New Testaments.

There was a good reasn why David was sent out to look after the sheep - he as the youngest, and most importantly, no-one else wanted to do it. It didn't have the status assocated with being a warrior or tradesman. It was certainly inconvenient, lonely, hard work. It had specific dangers associated with it, but also long periods on mind-numbing inactivity.

It wasn't a career choice for the upwardly mobile.

But it was to these people that the angels appeared to announce the saviour's birth. Not the rich or skillful. Society may have excluded them - but God decisively included them, as if to say, "You have significance, you matter to me just as much as those who have been blessed with more in this life."

This is an important lesson for us. If God is impartial, then it is essential that e follo His example in the way we treat others.


God often compares himself to a shepherd. How do you reconcile the shepherd's low status with the image of an all-powerful king?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Character Study 1

Herod - the character who lost the plot

It is difficult sometimes to have sympathy for someone who beomes a victim of a problem of their own making. This is certainly true of Herod the Great.

As a political wheeler and dealer he had schemed and connived himself into a position he had no right to possess, and that ws where his troubles started.

Essentially he was squeezed in he middle - with an occupying army that could remove him on a general's whim on one side, and a rebellious nation who did not recognise his claim to rulership on the other. He had to appear to be strong - but not too strong. He had to be co-operative, but not appear weak enough to be a target for the same manoevering that put him on the throne in the first place.

Then, into the mix for a paranoid king of a people whose culture and aspiraions he neither shares nor respects, there arrives a party of wise men bringing news of a royal birth. In this context, his genocidal outburst seems natural.

But what he doesn't realise is that unwittingly, his madness fulfills prophecies laid down centuries beforehand. His behaviour had been predicted. Not the first Biblical despot to find that his fate was sealed before he acted. Not the last either.


Despotic rulers can be found in many parts of the world today; as well as foolish leaders. There are plenty of prophecies concerning the return of Jesus. Discuss how God's purposes are unwittingly advanced by those who do not realise they are actually fulfilling God's word, but act to protect their own selfish ends.