We all need liberation - the ability to be free! In this episode we explore how the cry for freedom always captures the heart of God. We see this in the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt and most clearly through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Here we trace the message of liberation in four key areas: the sense of unknowing; the fear of dying; the grip of evil and the power of sin and conclude it's in knowing what we believe and how we act that so often determines the level of freedom we experience.
How would you describe God's love? Even the suggestion is to make several assumptions. In this episode we look at Psalm 107 which starts with the amazing declaration: 'Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures for ever.' The enduring love of God goes to heart of the Christian story: it both defines and determines how we receive and share that story with others. This Psalm provides a fascinating insight as to how enduring God's love is and how in his paternal love for creation, never gives up on us. This has to be good news!
If ever there was a time for courage, it is now. The singer, Robbie Williams said, 'You may not have confidence to face the future, but you do need courage.' How true. Many of us lack confidence in all sorts of areas but what we need is courage. Courage is the response we make to fear. Fear brings disconnection and discouragement - and courage helps us overcome. This is our second talk on the subject and that is because there is so much to learn about how we grow in this area of life. As the philosopher Soreen Kierkegaard said, 'And now Lord by your grace I shall become myself.' Well one thing is for sure without courage we will never achieve that goal.
Pentecost opens the door to the era of the Church and along with it the coming of the Spirit. But who is the Holy Spirit? How does he work in the world - and, what does it mean for you and me to walk in the new way of the Spirit today? In this episode we look at Paul's letter to the Ephesians and see how he views living in the Spirit around the themes of: security, revelation, dwelling, strengthening, living and infilling.
We all need courage - but where does it come from? Are we left to ourselves to discover it or is there a source, a place we can go to in order to find it? In this session I build on an earlier talk given at our Hope Online Service (you can view these on our Facebook page @hopechurchnottingham or our You Tube channel) to talk about how God's compassion leads to comfort that releases courage. I trust you find it helpful.
After David leaves his friend Jonathan he has to face his fears alone. His journey takes him to places where he encounters betrayal under the hand of a man called Doeg - Saul's chief shepherd, who listens into a conversation between David and the High Priest. Information is power in certain hands; but David is now holding the sword of Goliath - here's a story of how our past victories can equip us for our future battles.
David is given more space in the OT than any other character and this should tell us something about the importance of this person. Not only this, but we also have great insight into his strengths and weaknesses which is an area from where we can learn the most. Over next few episodes we will jump into David's life and look at it from the perspective of the Psalms asking how and why he wrote as he did. We will then take some of those lessons and ask how we can apply them to our own life. This introduction sets the tone for what will follow as we understand David as a man being sought out because of someone else's jealousy.
What we search for reveals something of who we are…
Each year Google produces a video looking into some of the trends in what people searched for in the last 12 months. It’s become a tradition at Hope that at the start of each year we watch the video together and talk about its contents. This is my reflection for the past year. The theme was Heroes - I hope you enjoy it!
There are many ways to enter the Christmas story, approaches we can take to draw value from its message: from considering prophecy to looking at history to embracing the characters which bring it to life. Christmas is the great story of inclusion - that God came in human flesh is at the heart of this mystery. To know that we belong is the message it carries and the Gospel writers go to great lengths to show how true this is. If ever there was a message of hope for the world - it's found here, in the birth of the Christ Child.
What do you do when you are feeling troubled? Where do you turn when your heart is not a ease? These are real questions which we all face. In this session I look at the words of Jesus: 'Do not let your heart be troubled,' and with a combination of both historical context and practical application take a look at three responses we can make to help manage our troubles by - guarding, gauging and giving our heart.