Category Archives: Preaching Notes

My Opportunity to Give Generously

I have been preparing for a sermon I shall preach this weekend (28th February), I shall preach on the subject of “Looking at, and becoming Like, Jesus”. During this time I remembered John Wesley and his practice of giving. Whenever I read of Wesley’s practices I know I am not Christlike in my finances, I have many opportunities to give more generously than ever I choose to accept.

The following version describing Wesley’s giving habits was taken from Mission Frontiers magazine:

While at Oxford, an incident changed his perspective on money. He had just finished paying for some pictures for his room when one of the chambermaids came to his door. It was a cold winter day, and he noticed that she had nothing to protect her except a thin linen gown. He reached into his pocket to give her some money to buy a coat but found he had too little left. Immediately the thought struck him that the Lord was not pleased with the way he had spent his money. He asked himself, Will thy Master say, “Well done, good and faithful steward”? Thou hast adorned thy walls with the money which might have screened this poor creature from the cold! O justice! O mercy!–Are not these pictures the blood of this poor maid?
Perhaps as a result of this incident, in 1731 Wesley began to limit his expenses so that he would have more money to give to the poor. He records that one year his income was 30 pounds and his living expenses 28 pounds, so he had 2 pounds to give away. The next year his income doubled, but he still managed to live on 28 pounds, so he had 32 pounds to give to the poor. In the third year, his income jumped to 90 pounds.
Instead of letting his expenses rise with his income, he kept them to 28 pounds and gave away 62 pounds. In the fourth year, he received 120 pounds. As before, his expenses were 28 pounds, so his giving rose to 92 pounds.
Wesley felt that the Christian should not merely tithe but give away all extra income once the family and creditors were taken care of. He believed that with increasing income, what should rise is not the Christian’s standard of living but the standard of giving.
This practice, begun at Oxford, continued throughout his life. Even when his income rose into the thousands of pounds sterling, he lived simply, and he quickly gave away his surplus money.
One year his income was a little over 1400 pounds. He lived on 30 pounds and gave away nearly 1400 pounds. Because he had no family to care for, he had no need for savings. He was afraid of laying up treasures on earth, so the money went out in charity as quickly as it came in. He reports that he never had 100 pounds at any one time.

Preaching notes – LTCi Chapel Service 11th July 2014

Why was Paul obsessed with knowing Christ (and why should we be)?

GK Chesterton, “Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair”

1. Because Jesus is the supreme source of revealing God 

Heb 1:1-3

Radiance – shining brightness, brilliance, the blazing glory, the splendour

2. Because he is the author and perfecter of the life we are called to

Heb 12:1-3

Do you want to know how to live this life, really live it? He wrote the book – he is the book

 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

3. Because I belong to him – and him alone

Gal 2:20…I have been crucified

1 Cor 6:19…you are not your own

Ravi Zacharias: Jesus did not come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people live.

You were not made by or for anyone or anything else – and nothing else is worthy of your life

4. Because there is no other proclamation or source of glory

2 Cor 4:5…for what we proclaim is not ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord 

Gal 6:14…may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ


5. Because we are called to abide in him

continue, remain, survive, last, persist, stay, hold on, live on…

John 15:4-10 ESV

…and without him you can do NOTHING

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 

6. Because he is the goal and because only through him do we get resurrection

Prov 29:18

We are called to be obsessed by Jesus – consider…

Heb 12:2 — fix your eyes on Jesus

Heb 3:1— fix your thoughts on Jesus

Our life ends that his life might shine forth – and in that way we find our fulfilment and bear much fruit – by simply abiding in him

Php 3 (TM)

7-9 The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.

10-11 I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.

12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

Come Holy Spirit

Pentecost.jpgMore sermon notes from Bob on the subject of the Holy Spirit…

* Wigglesworth – 1947
* Obbold – Ezekiel 37



1 John 4:13 – “By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”


John 14:16,17 – “He dwells in you and will be in you” (the eyes of the Lord)


1 Pet. 4:14 – “The spirit of glory and of God rests upon you”

2 Cor. 3:17,18 – “The Lord is the Spirit”

– from glory to glory


1 Cor. 3:16 – “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you”

James 4:5 – “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”


1 Cor. 2:10 – “God has revealed it to us by His Spirit”

1 Cor. 2:12 – “not the spirit of the world”


Acts 1:8 – “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”


Romans 5:5 – “Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”


1 Cor. 12:7-11

When the Holy Spirit really comes

Pentecost.jpg[Pentecost is celebrated this weekend – it seemed an appropriate time to post this sermon – Ed]

1. TANGIBLE – ACTS 2:1-4

– Something actually happened – phenomena

– Physical – violent wind

– Perceivable – tongues of fire

– Audible – other tongues

v12 – Aamazed and perplexed

2. PROPHETIC – ACTS 2:14-21

– They became prophetic

– The purpose of God / desire of God fulfilled in us.


– See the real meaning of Jesus

– Acts 2:22-41

v38 – Repent – Baptized – Received

4. CORPORATE – ACTS 2:44-47

– Teaching

– Fellowship

– Awe

– Signs and Wonders

– Community

– Worship and Praise

= Growth – v47

5. POWERFUL – ACTS 3:1-10

Let signs follow – don’t follow signs


v11 – the fear of God

– Implications – personal – John 7:38

– Corporate

– Message – declare Jesus

– Ministry -demonstration of power


1. 1 Cor. 3:9-11 – GOD’S FELLOW WORKERS

For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

John 5:17

My Father has been working until now, and I have been working

2. 1 Cor. 4:1-4 – STEWARDS OF MYSTERY

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.

1 Cor. 2:7,8 – The wisdom of God is a mystery – which none of the rulers of this age know

3. 1 Cor. 4:6-13 – SPECTACLE TO WORLD

I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.

“The Spirit of God dwells in us. In this light let us ask ourselves again the age-old question; “What is man?” We know how we appear to other men, but if God is truly within us, how do we appear to angels or devils? What light marks us in the spirit-world, what illumination surrounds us, what glory declares to the invisible realm: ‘Behold and beware, here walks a son of God!’
Think of it: The Spirit of the Creator, who purposed in the beginning to make man in His image is in you … now!”

Francis Frangipane

4. 1 Cor. 4:14-21 – FATHERS IN GOD

I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me. That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

5. 2 Cor. 2:12-17- FRAGRANCE OF CHRIST

When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.


for Christ – the anointed one

7. 2 Cor. 6:4 – SERVANTS OF GOD


1 John 2:12-14


2 Cor. 1:3,4


1 Cor. 11:1


Heb. 5:14


1 Tim. 4:14


ACTS 14:22 – We must go through many tribulations to enter the Kingdom of God.

A list of persecutions in ACTS is given at the bottom of the page.

MARK 10:29, 30

MATTHEW 10:24, 25

1 PETER 4:12-19 – v14 – on their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.



Tropical Fish Tank
John 17:15, 16 – Anot of this world@


URC Youth Event
Acts 17:6 – Aturned world upside down@


monthly expenses

1 Peter 2:20 – when you do good and suffer this is commendable before God

Matthew 5:10 – blessed


Acts 28:22 – Athis sect we know that it is spoken against everywhere@


the devil hates faith
Eph. 6:16 – the fiery darts of the wicked one


theological college exams
– jealousy/hatred


grocers shop/ouija board/Bible

2 Tim. 2:9 – gospel for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer


1. Develop a martyr complex

– chip on shoulder

2. Excuse for own stupidity

Prov. 10:7 – when a man’s ways please the Lord he makes even his enemies to be a peace with him

3. Cover for dishonourable actions

4. Escape from reality

– unbalanced lifestyle/odd views

5. Failure to change where necessary

6. Transfer blame to others for own incapabilities



– Prayer Meeting in bushes

– Paul – Felix/Festus/Agrippa

Sometimes it is only turbulence that will bring us
to the attention of leaders/media etc.


– a new phase of life often emerges out of the


1 Cor. 10:13 – no temptation has…you – but God is faithful – but with the temptation will also
make a way of escape

Acts 22:28-30 – Paul’s citizenship


Phil.. 3:8-10 – that I may know him


2 Cor. 1:8,9 – Athat we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead@


Gen. 50:20 – as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good


1 Peter. 4:17 – Atime for judgement to begin at the
house of God.


Matt. 5:44 – Apray for those who spitefully use you
and persecute you@

1 Peter 4:1


ACTS 4:3 apostles were arrested and imprisoned

5:18 apostles were taken into custody

5:27 were interrogated by the religious authorities

6:12 Stephen was forcefully brought before the Council

7:58 Stephen was driven out of the city and stoned to death

8:1 strong persecution broke out against the church

9:24,25 Jesus spoke to the newly saved Saul – “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

12:2 James (John’s brother) was executed by the sword

13:45-50 Paul was reviled, contradicted and driven away from Antioch

14:5-19 Paul fled Iconium and was stoned in Derbe

16:22-24 Paul was whipped and thrown into jail in Philippi

17:5-10 an uproar broke out in Thessalonica; Paul fled to Berea

18:6 Paul encountered opposition in Corinth. He was reviled by the Jews and brought before the judgement seat (v12)

19:29 an uproar broke out in Ephesus. There was controversy over “the Way” (v23)

21:11 Paul was warned by the prophet, Agabus, of the persecution which would arise in Jerusalem. Rioting broke out in Jerusalem and Paulwas imprisoned.

22:25 Romans wanted to take Paul hostage

23:1 Paul stood before the Council as a prisoner and was then taken to prison in Caesarea

24 Paul was brought before the governor, Felix, and was imprisoned for two years

25 Paul was brought before the governor, Fetus

26 Paul was brought before King Agrippa

27 Paul was sent as a prisoner to Rome

28 Paul was in Rome. He was opposed, but had liberty to preach

A Prayer for the Ephesians

Eph 3:14-19 (ESV)

14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

1.EPHESIANS 3:14-19

significance of text

2. KNEEL / BOW – v14,15

idea of bowing is foreign
yet the most healthy thing is a sense of accountability

Romans 10:9 “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Human spirit out of socket


John 7:38“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”


“Ben the hoose”


? good language for ladies

Romans 5:5“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us.”


2 Corinthians 5:17“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old had gone, the new has come!”

The Holy Spirit 1 Cor. 2:6-16

I recently used Bob’s outline for preaching 1 Cor. 2:6-16 in a chapel service at college.

The presentation can be found here and here.


* 1 Cor. 2:9-16

* Wigglesworth – 2 great moves of the Holy Spirit.

*  Divine Principle of Action from the beginning.


v10 – God has revealed it to us by His Spirit

* Nee

Two different realms; one is that of doctrine – the other is that of revelation: the first can be attained with a little effort, a little cleverness, and a little eloquence, the second is beyond human ability.

* Eph. 1:18 – the eyes of your heart my be enlightened

Inner Illumination of the Spirit

Immediate Breakthrough in Spirit

Three Important Stages – Enlightenment

– Thought

– Expression


v11,12 – that we may understand what God has freely given us

* Ps. 119:130 – The entrance / unfolding of your words brings light.


v13 – expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words

* Acts 6:1-6 – not serve tables … give ourselves to the ministry of the word

* 2 Cor. 3:6 – not of the letter, but of the Spirit – gives life

* Not just Physical but Spiritual

* Nee

We learn from the Bible that God has a prime work to perform on earth which is to utter his word.  If the word of God is taken away then almost nothing is left of God’s work.  No word, no work.  When the word of god is eliminated the work of God is reduced to near zero.


v14,15 – The spiritual man makes judgements about all things

*Rom. 12:2 – Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s word is.


v16 – we have the mind of Christ

* Is. 30:21 – whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying

* John 15:15 – a servant does not know his master’s business

* James 1:21 – Humbly accept the word planted in you.

Concentric Circles of Jesus

I am preaching on Colossians 1:15-23 this coming Sunday and have been reading some research, opinions and sermons from other people about it. Some of it is brilliant, I especially liked some of Ray Steadman’s comments, here are a couple.

[Verse 15] Many Christians are like this today. Many true believers appear to have little sense that Jesus is active in their lives here and now. Some churches seem to treat Jesus as the British treat their monarch: they strip him or her of all political power, and do not expect the sovereign to do anything at all except to look good. They treat their monarchs with great respect and reverence, and pay much lip service, but they really do not expect anything from them. That is the way Christians all too often treat the Lord Jesus. This passage calls us back to face the fact of who Jesus is: simply, he is in charge of the universe!


[Verse 17] But creation is not only by him, it is also for him. It all operates for his honor and glory. A few decades ago Albert Einstein announced to the world a new view of space. He declared that space is not, as we had thought for centuries, a linear concept, extending outward in a straight line, but that it was curved upon itself. This is what this passage is proclaiming as well. Though creation originated with the Eternal Son—perhaps in a “Big Bang”—it also converges again toward him in a great concentric cosmic cycle. Thus it is totally under his control. He is the reason why all things have been made. Eventually all the cosmos and all the events of history will find their place in the great purpose of the Father to honor and glorify the Son.

For some reason the idea of history as a concentric circle coming from, and going back to, circling around the glory of Jesus, caught my mind and heart.