Author Archives: Church Office

Seven Questions 24 – 30 July 2017

 

SERMON SERIES: HALF TRUTHS

WEEK 3: GOD WON’T GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN HANDLE

 (Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 24-30th July 2017)

ICE BREAKER: “I know you’re going through a tough time right now. You feel like you’re sinking. The burden is too heavy. You don’t know how much more you can bear. But it’s going to be all right. You’re going to make it through. Remember, God never gives us more than we can handle.”  Well-meaning words meant to encourage and strengthen us/someone going through a tough time – or are they?

 

FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: 1 Cor. 10:1-13; Psalm 23:4; Matthew 9:1-8

 

  1. READ: 1 Cor. 10:1-13. The context of the day is that Corinth, a port town in Greece, was inhabited with people and influences from all over the world. Pagan influences were everywhere. A phrase “to live like a Corinthian” became popular. What do you think this could have meant?

 

  1. Verse 13 is the focus verse. The Greek word Paul used leads some to interpret ‘temptation’ as being ‘tested’. What do you think is the difference? Share examples of what form temptation comes to you in?

 

  1. This passage is more about God helping you when you are tempted. Temptation tests our resolve, character and faith, and is not about adversity and difficult situations we face daily. Adam Hamilton says, “Temptation comes our way… it isn’t God who tempts us, nor does God fail to provide a way out – it’s that when that way appears, we usually don’t pursue it.” Have you experienced a ‘way out’ in the face of temptation – did you pursue it?

 

  1. The first 4 words “God won’t give you…” imply that the source of the trying circumstances is God alone (sounds like week 1). Scripture doesn’t promise we won’t go through hard times, but that at all times God wants to be our help and our strength. When someone is facing a difficult time what could be a more helpful response to support them?

 

  1. READ: Matthew 9:1-8. Who have been ‘stretcher bearers’ in times of stress, trauma and sorrow?

 

  1. READ: Psalm 23:4. What if we revised this half-truth to give us a better promise: “God will help you handle all that you’ve been given.”? How does this verse by the Psalmist give us a new perspective of the truth of this better promise?

 

  1. READ: Zechariah 9:12 and Romans 8:35-39. How would you define what Zechariah calls ‘prisoners of hope”? In what ways can you give thanks to God for his affirming presence and help in times of trial that have enabled you to cope and journey towards healing?

 

PRAYER TOPICS:

Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.

 

Please pray for our Nation and Community:

  • Pray for tangible signs of the Gospel in our places of influence – where we spend our days.
  • Pray for the homeless and organisations that work to provide shelter for these people.
  • Pray for those who are struggling with illness or uncertainty – think especially of those on our pew leaflet.
  • Pray for those experiencing brokenness, ourselves and others, asking for healing of body, mind and soul for all. And where we can aid that process let us not be a hindrance but assist so that faith is strengthened and hope is encouraged.
  • Pray for the Church, Church Leaders and Members, that we will all consider our response to the many challenges faced by the Church.

 

Pray aloud together this poem “What God Hath Promised” by Annie Johnson Flint:

“God hath not promised skies always blue,

Flower strewn pathways all our lives through;

God hath not promised sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

 

But God hath promised strength for the day,

Rest for the labour, light for the way,

Grace for the trials, help from above,

Unfailing sympathy, undying love.”

AMEN!

 

The Upside

 

The Upside 10am 25th July 2017

“An economy of enough”

 

Join us alongside Dr. Craig Bartholomew who is the H Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy at Redeemer University College in Canada.

A South African by birth, he is the author of many books, most recently

Beyond the Modern Age: An Archaeology of Contemporary Culture,

co-authored with the Dutch economist Bob Goudzwaard.

Arrive early for a coffee

 

Seven Questions : 17 – 23 July 2017

THEME: PURPOSE

GOD GIVES JOSEPH A DREAM

(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 17-23rd July 2017)

ICE BREAKER: What does it mean to you when something useful breaks?

FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE: Genesis: Chapters 37-50 (specific verses will be noted below)

OVERVIEW: Our Duke Student, Johnny Bravo will be sharing on Purpose based on Joseph’s story that begins with a dream in Chapter 37. He will track through Joseph’s story in Genesis. God plants a dream (purpose) in our hearts – will we embrace it and run with it in order to fulfill that purpose?

1. READ: Genesis 37:1-11. This is the story of Joseph’s dreams. What dream has the Lord given you? Have you prayed about it, shared it with others and asked God for wisdom in living out that dream? Share with your group.

2. READ: GENESIS 39:19-23 Joseph is sold by his brothers, and find himself in prison due to the false accusations of Potiphar’s wife. What happens to your dream when you face challenges in life? Do you think God has forgotten you or do you cleave closer to God?

3. What was the quality that Joseph possessed that was a powerful testimony in the face of trials? How do you deal with temptation?

4. READ: GENESIS 41:1-56. Joseph managed his success well. He always depended on the Lord, acknowledging God as the provider of all his needs and the source of the blessings he received. Can you find any parallels in your life that follow this part of Joseph’s story?

5. READ: GENESIS 45:1-15. Joseph displays humility throughout his story. In this passage he forgives deeply. Have there been times when pride and unforgiveness have been a stumbling block for you? How does this passage encourage you to embrace humility and forgiveness?

6. When we hear the word prosperity most often we think of material wealth. However, it is so much more than this. How does your relationship with Christ demonstrate spiritual and relational prosperity?

7. READ: GENESIS 48. In this case, Jacob (Israel) experienced the blessing of being able to bless his grandchildren Ephraim & Manasseh because relationships were restored. What, if any, has been your experience of restored relationships? How has that been a blessing to you and which glorifies our Lord?

THEME: PURPOSE
GOD GIVES JOSEPH A DREAM
PRAYER TOPICS:
Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.
Please pray for our Nation and Community:
 Protection of Journalists so that they are able to report with integrity and honesty.
 Pray for our Leaders in National, Provincial and Local government.
 Pray for the EThekwini Municipality that they govern with integrity to provide services for all of the community – especially in respect of the Gleblands Hostel situation, and the management of protest situations, which in itself highlights deep crisis in our communities.
 Pray for the Church, Church Leaders and Members, that we will all consider our response to the many challenges faced by the Church.
Pray aloud together:
Go forth in peace, for you have followed the voice of the Good Shepherd on the good road.
Go forth without fear, for God who created you, has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a Parent.
As we leave to go into the world, we go with confidence, trusting that Christ is walking with us.
Amen

Seven Questions 10 – 16 July 2017

 SERMON SERIES: HALF TRUTHS

WEEK 2: GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES

(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 10-16th July 2017)

ICE BREAKER: At mealtimes one usually pronounces a blessing over the meal. Consider the roles that many play so that this food ends up on your plate?

 

FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Ps 10:14b, 17-18a; 2 Thess. 3:10-12; Lev. 23:15-22; Ps 121:1-2

 

OVERVIEW: Adam Hamilton recounts the scenario of people on the street being asked to name of the Ten Commandments, who reply with this exact statement! Of course it is not one of the Ten Commandments but originated in Greek mythology in the 5th Century BC, and has echoed down the millennia forming part of many people’s thinking today. It’s not found anywhere in Scripture, although Scripture may hint at this, so what is the spiritual truth we are to embrace?

 

  1. Whether its food, applying for a job, or selling a possession, God has blessed us with brains, strength and wisdom, and others to assist us – it’s up to us how we use these gifts. Adam Hamilton says, “So we pray – and we work.” Discuss this statement.

 

  1. READ: 2 Thess. 3:10-12. Sometimes, simply praying for God’s help will not suffice. The Benedictine Monks use the Latin phrase ora et labora – “Pray and Work”. How does this Scripture and statement shape your understanding of how God provides for you?

 

  1. Scripture reveals over and over that God works through people. How does our time of prayer empower and guide us into action to help ourselves or others?

 

  1. Jesus calls us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves (Lev. 19:18, Mark 12:31). Sometimes they are in such a deep hole they’re unable to climb out without help. Read: Lev. 23:15-22. What do you think is God’s intention?

 

  1. Showing compassion and mercy is God’s character and typically meets the needs of the poor, the struggling and hurting. How can we demonstrate this without creating situations of dependency?

 

  1. God’s help for the helpless = Grace. When we are in a place of despair, perhaps because of circumstances, sin, temptation or lack of a sense of belonging/trust, God extends grace towards us. Share an experience of receiving grace from God.

 

  1. TRUTH NUGGET: READ Ps. 121:1-2. God says, “I am here”. The essence of grace is that God helps those who cannot help themselves. Sometimes we can help ourselves, at other times we can’t. God prompts us and others to help each other – we become God’s answer to someone else’s prayer. What do you think?

 

PRAYER TOPICS:

Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.

 

Please pray for our Nation and Community:

  • Protection of Journalists so that they are able to report with integrity and honesty.
  • Pray against the upsurge of fake news and news sites.
  • Pray for the on-going disaster management in Knysna as a result of fires – many are still without homes, clothing and food. Many churches and organisations are still involved in this disaster management.
  • Pray for the EThekwini Municipality that they govern with integrity to provide services for all of the community – especially in respect of the Gleblands Hostel situation, and the management of protest situations, which in itself highlights deep crisis in our communities.

Pray for the Church, Church Leaders and Members, that we will all consider our response to the many challenges faced by the Church.

 

Pray aloud together:

“God, thank you for grace. Thank you for the many times you have helped me when I did not deserve it. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your forgiveness. Thank you for the meaning you bring to my life. Thank you for rescuing me. Please use me, Lord, as your instrument to help others who are in need. I offer myself to you. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Adam Hamilton.