sermon starters

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Rev. E. Anderson

A DECLARATION OF LOVE                              

Hosea 11

This is quite some chapter that makes in no uncertain way and terms the immense and intense love of Jehovah for His own people. At the outset, Hosea is called upon to love and demonstrate love for a woman in quite an amazing manner, illustrating His love. Here, the Lord discloses the tremendous affection that He has borne and still bears to His elect Household. God’s people are summoned to reflect upon and recognise the depth of desire and love that their God has towards them. The knowledge of this should have impacted their beings and brought about a fundamental and essential spiritual change in them.

1/. IT HAD BEEN REVEALED AT THEIR BEGINNINGS – v1

From the earliest moment He had set His affections upon them. He had clearly and dearly loved them when they were they were small and when they were in unfavourable circumstances in Egypt. He was not put off but in the time of espousal, whilst young and small, He had made them the apple of His eye, His choice possession. He could look back to the start without embarrassment and affirm, they had fixed themselves in His heart.

2/. IT HAD BEEN MANIFESTED IN HIS CALLINGS – v2

Throughout their history, amidst all their sin and indifference, there had been no want of love on His part and this was reflected in the way He had used many good messengers to speak to His own. They were words from His heart and they should have appealed in a strong and personal way to them. The call overall was the call of love.

3/. IT HAD BEEN DEMONSTRATED IN HIS UNTOLD CARE – v3

There is the disclosure that throughout He had been watching over them diligently, taking them by the hand in their infancy and seeking to bless them in every way. He was jealous of their good and development. They had been able to take their place in the world of nations because of His intervention, goodness and love. He went to great lengths to see them advanced.

4/. IT HAD BEEN IN HIS UTTER CONSISTENCY – v8

Though they had miserably failed and fallen short and brought much trouble on themselves, He could and would not ‘give them up.’ His love was tested to the hilt but did not breakdown. His love endured and persisted in spite of all the way they had treated Him. He is bound to them in an eternal manner.

5/. IT WILL BE EXPRESSED IN THE ULTIMATE – vv10,11

Although they are to be reduced to great straits and seemingly written off, His love could not be written off, so they would be renewed and their future would be restored. His love would come shining through and be recognised at last. The love of Jehovah is a profound message that must be meditated upon and its effect should be dynamically manifested in the hearts of His elect people.

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powerful quotes

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Rev. Leigh Goodwin

POWERFUL QUOTES

“Joy comes from using your potential”Will Schultz 

“Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all of your energies on a limited set of targets”Nido Qubein 

“Courage is not a virtue or value among other personal values like love or fidelity. It is the foundation that underlies and gives reality to all other virtues and personal values” –  Rollo May 

“We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it” Thomas Jefferson

“Goals are new, forward moving objectives. They magnetize you towards them” – Mark Victor Hansen

“I don’t try to jump over 7 foot bars, I look around for 1foot bars that I can step over”.

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prayer dynamics

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Rev. E. Anderson

PERSIST IN PRAYER

Taken from Word for Today

“This, then, is how you should pray…” – Matthew 6:9 NIV

IF PRAYER came naturally, God wouldn’t have to remind us so often to do it. A consistent prayer life requires crucifying our selfish nature. But when prayer doesn’t seem rewarding, we’re apt to abandon it. So how can you pray and get results?

1/. BEFORE YOU ASK, ADORE! Any prayer that begins with asking can become self-centred and shallow. ‘Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name’ (Psalms 100:4 NIV). When God’s love, goodness and faithfulness are your starting point, you’re lifted out of yourself, your spirit is prepared for ‘connecting’ with God, the content of your prayer becomes more scriptural, and you get results. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus directs our attention first to God’s name, then His kingdom and then His will. After that, we ask for ‘our daily bread.’ Thanksgiving doesn’t condition God to bless you—it conditions blessing.

2/. WHEN YOU PRAY, PERSIST! God’s not an automated cash machine. You are supposed to stay engaged with Him until He decides to answer you. This involves an-attitude of faith, persistence and patience. Jesus gave us a parable about a woman who kept pleading with a hardhearted judge to grant her petition. When she finally wore him down, he gave her what she asked. Jesus had only one purpose for the parable: ‘To show them that they should always pray and not give up’ (Luke 18:1 NIV). The point is not that persistence forces God’s cooperation, it’s that God wants you to pray and not quit. When you persist God will answer.

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illustrious men and ministries

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Thomas Walsh of Limerick

The young man was Thomas Walsh, a 19 year-old youth from Ballylin, in the Parish of Croagh. That day he listened to the words preached from Matt.12:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” As he listened, he was deeply moved. In personal conversation with Swindell Thomas was convinced as to the truth of God’s Word.

Young Thomas was born in Limerick in 1730 in a staunchly Catholic home. He was raised and taught that all those outside the Church of Rome were heretics destined for eternal damnation. When he thought about the day of judgement he trembled with fear. He was utterly ignorant of God’s truth but carried on in prayers to saints and angels. Although trying to follow a religious and devout form he still found pride, anger, self-will, revenge, evil speaking, lying and other sins holding great power in his heart, mind and actions.

The first ray of light that came to him was when his brother who had been training for the priesthood resigned his studies as a result of closely studying the written scriptures. Every question he asked his brother was answered by a verse from the Bible. Thomas took to reading the Bible and soon realised the error of his religion, his need of forgiveness through the Blood and his own need of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Later that year in the month of September, young Thomas joined himself to a Methodist class meeting in Newmarket with the hope of finding true salvation. He went through a prolonged wrestling in his search for true salvation and forgiveness. After four long months while in attendance at one of the meetings, the power of salvation broke upon him and he was born again of the Spirit of God amidst the prayers and the singing of the saints.

It was here that he experienced real power and love in true Christian fellowship. In this gathering there was great joy, it was Heaven on earth. One Methodist Circuit rider would later say it was difficult to proceed preaching to these gathered believers as his voice was drowned out by their prayers and praise.

Young Thomas was soon ridiculed by both Catholics and Protestants. They called him a hypocrite, mad, deceived and worse but he simply pressed on in Christ desiring to be taught more concerning Christ by the Holy Spirit. He said at this time “I desired to be ever in the school of Christ, learning the lessons of His grace.”

A quick work was done in this young man’s heart and God began to raise him up to preach the Gospel. He could see in this new move of God in the land all the marks of the early Apostolic Church of the New Testament, and so gave himself to study in order to help forward this work.

Beside his own Irish language he mastered English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. He had such success in his studies that he truly believed he was being divinely helped and prepared for future ministry. While studying he frequently broke forth into praise unto God for His great goodness and mercy.

It was not long until he was able to talk with John Wesley personally. Mr Wesley was on a three month tour of Ireland and Thomas asked him concerning the call of God he believed was on his life. Mr Wesley asked him to send a written testimony of his conversion and spiritual experience to him for consideration. In response to this information Mr Wesley returned the following advice in a note.

“My Dear Brother, It is hard to judge what God has called you to till trial is made. Therefore, when you have an opportunity, you may go to Shronil, and spend two or three days with the people there. Speak to them in Irish.”

Along with a friend he walked thirty miles to his first preaching appointment at Shronell. Here a large congregation gathered in a barn and he preached from Romans 3:28 “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

As he continued to preach for the next few days, some mocked and others turned to the Lord. His calling was sealed by the conversion of sinners. Feeling the burning call of God he gave himself unto the ministry of the Gospel. From then on he preached twice every day at Limerick with great power. Souls who heard him began to come under deep conviction of sin and as a result got saved.

Next, leaving his work as a schoolteacher in Limerick, he travelled through other parts of the south of Ireland, often travelling great distances. By now there was a little harvest gathered in scattered places which he helped, encouraged and strengthened. He had a great love and burden for preaching in the open-air which he did two and three times a day and he had great success in opening up new areas. Multitudes from all denominations would come to hear him preach. In country towns many would stop to listen to him out of curiosity, but soon were found weeping their way to Christ. The poor would literally drop to their knees and cry out for the mercy of God. He could turn anyplace into a pulpit. He preached on “mountains and highways, in meadows, private houses, prisons and ships.”

The priests and other enemies of the Gospel were outraged at his success and influence and so began to spread false reports and rumours about him. This did not work, so mobs were stirred up against him. Frequently he was attacked with sticks and stones; even whilst preaching he would have to run for his life from a stone-throwing mob.

One such time in January 1752, when travelling to Roscrea, just a mile from the town, a group of men armed with sticks and stones who had taken an oath to harm him, took him captive. They brought both a Catholic and Protestant priest out of the town in the hopes of turning him to either, just as long as he rejected Methodism.

After confounding all their comments with his wise responses they promised to let him go as long as he never returned to Roscrea, to which he responded that he would rather choose martyrdom than do that. They then took him into the town and threatened to throw him down a well if he didn’t promise that he would not return. Again he refused.

As part of the crowd cried out for him to get thrown down the well and others called for his release a local minister came to his aid and escorted him away to safety. Shortly after this however, on the same day, he made his way out on to the street amidst the market crowd and boldly lifted his voice in proclaiming the Gospel.

He was quickly seized by the crowd and violently thrown out of the town. As he mounted his horse he bowed his head and raised his voice in prayer to God. Unmoved by opposition he again returned at later times to this town where some believed and formed a new Wesleyan Society.

By 1752 he was one of only nine itinerant Methodist preachers in the land. Mr. Wesley paid a long visit to Ireland that year arriving in Limerick on August 13th, to hold the first Methodist Leaders Conference in Ireland.

In conference it was decided that unless a man could preach twice a day he ought to remain a local preacher as opposed to an itinerant. The whole of Ireland was then split into six circuits which were designated Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Athlone, Wexford and the North. Each circuit would take a preacher about three months to travel.

Walsh was given four areas, Dublin and Cork in the East and South, Limerick in the West, and in the North those counties around Belfast. Walsh then traveled with Mr. Wesley preaching side by side to large gatherings across the country.

In May 1754 Thomas attended the main Methodist conference in London. Whilst there he lifted his voice in the open air and preached to great crowds of his own countrymen in their own language. Then a week later at the famous Moorfeilds he preached to a great host both in Irish and English that by all means he might gain some.

It was at this stage that John Wesley said of him that he did not know any preacher who in so few years was the instrument of converting so many sinners from the error of their ways. This was very high commendation from such a great Evangelist in this early Methodist movement.

He also said of him “Such a master of Biblical knowledge I never saw before, and never expect to see again.” He believed that with six men such as Walsh he could turn England upside down.

Walsh returned from London to Cork where he had a good hearing from great crowds of Catholics who gladly heard him even though the priests did all in their power to hinder this. All opposition was to no avail; Walsh was fervent in his labours, prayers, and tears in seeing men turn to Christ.

One day when journeying from Cork to Bandon he entered into conversation with a man until the point of opening up the Gospel to him. The man suddenly broke forth into a religious rage threatening to kill Walsh that very moment for the ‘deceits’ he preached. Walsh replied to the man in Irish which shocked him and stopped him in his tracks. The Gospel was given to him in his own tongue and the man went away broken and contrite.

While travelling on the Limerick circuit Walsh fell seriously ill. When writing to Wesley at this time he said, “I find, as it were, an infinite desire to preach the Gospel, and if I could, to set the nation on fire. But the providence of God keeps me weak, and often visits me with afflictions of body. I do not murmur, neither do I count my life dear unto myself…”

At the same time a number of the other itinerant preachers were laid aside by illness through the great labour they were undertaking. The weather, oppositions and amount of constant travel and labour took its toll on these men’s bodies but worked for good in the plan of God as it caused other young, holy, zealous and faithful men to be called out into the ministry.

LAST DAYS

In 1756 during Wesley’s first visit to the North, Walsh visited Newtownards where he set out to preach in the open air. While opening in pray a man called Mortimer accompanied by a mob caught hold of him and dragged him through the streets. With some help he broke free from them and then made another attempt to preach but again he was attacked by this mob and had to run for his life. This escape forced him to run through the fields to the mountains causing him to get thoroughly soaked.

This incident was attributed to his soon fatal illness. The same Mortimer followed him next to Lisburn in the hope to stir up the same trouble for him there, but a butcher with a sharp knife came to his rescue and the ‘would be’ persecutor very soon left town.

When Wesley saw Walsh in 1758 he said of him that he was alive but only just. He carried all the symptoms of consumption of which he was in the last stage and beyond human help. In earlier days when urged to ‘take things easy’ all he could say was “the sword is to sharp for the scabbard.” Though he was not yet thirty he had the looks of a man in his fifties. He had literally worn out his body in abundant labours not to mention his mind.

Frequently he would be up late studying and then up at four in the morning as normal to seek God. Again when challenged by someone to slow down and get more sleep his reply was, “Should a man rob God?” When looking at his life self-denial was both seen and heard. Throughout these years his sermons were rarely less than an hour and were as loud as they were long.

For a time, very sick he returned to the place of his birth to be nursed by family and friends. Then by request he was moved to Dublin where he stayed in a room over the Methodist Chapel. It was here that he fell into a terrible mental and physical conflict of great darkness which was almost too much for him. But just before the end the Lord came to him; the battle broke from off him and he cried out “He is come! He is come! My beloved is mine, and I am His; His for ever;” and with that he went into the presence of His Master.

Multitudes who had experienced the power and joy of salvation owed much to this young Apostle of Ireland who after only nine years as a Christian went to his reward aged just twenty eight. The godly John Fletcher of Medley said his death was a “heavy loss” to the Methodist cause and to Christ’s kingdom. May God raise up more Thomas Walsh’s in this day!

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points to ponder

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Rev. E. Anderson

DEATH

“Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved”    Mark Twain (Birth, Grief)

“If you attempt to talk with a dying man about sports or business, he is no longer interested. He now sees other things as more im­portant. People who are dying recognize what we often forget, that we are standing on the brink of another world”- William Law   (Eternity, Priorities}

“If you live wrong, you can’t die right” – Billy Sunday (Righteousness, Life)

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minute message

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Rev. E. Anderson

STEP OUT IN FAITH!

Taken from the Word for Today

2 Kings 7:3 NLT  “Why should we sit here and die?”

UNLESS YOU’RE willing to take risks you won’t succeed in life. Yes, there’s a time for playing it safe. But when caution becomes a lifestyle, you get bogged down in mediocrity and failure while life passes you by. When you finish praying, searching the Scriptures and listening to godly counsel—you’ve got to step out in faith. Four lepers sat outside the famine-stricken city of Samaria. They considered their situation. ‘We’re starving to death. There’s food in the city. Enemy soldiers are in the city. We can play it safe, sit here and die. Or go into the city and see whether they feed us or kill us!’ They knew their worst option was playing it safe and doing nothing. So what happened? They were saved by taking a step of faith. Now, your risks may be less dramatic. But unless you take them, you’ll never fulfil your God-given assignment in life. The Bible says, ‘Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them’ (Ecclesiastes 10:8-9 NIV). By trying to avoid falls, bites, injuries, danger, etc., you miss out on life’s opportunities.

Walking by faith means:

1) Accepting worthwhile risks. You’ve got to go out on a limb, for that’s where the fruit is.

2) Preparing wisely for your risks. God rewards excellence. ‘Using a dull axe requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed’ (Ecclesiastes 10:10 NLT). So go ahead, step out in faith!

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message by rick warren

rick warren

Rev. Rick Warren

ASK GOD FOR A REPEAT PERFOMANCE

“King Jehoshaphat went and stood before them and prayed aloud.” (2 Chronicles 20:5b-6a NLT)

 There is no problem that is too big or too small for you to pray about. Chronicles 20:5-6 says, “King Jehoshaphat went and stood before them and prayed aloud.” That’s a good thing to do!

It’s important when the odds are stacked against you to pray a certain way that is different from the way you normally pray. Jehoshaphat gives us a model of the three things you need to pray when you feel overwhelmed.

Remind yourself who God is. “O Lord God of our ancestors, you rule in heaven over all the nations of the world. You are powerful and mighty, and no one can oppose you” (2 Chronicles 20:6). Before you talk to God about the problem and focus on it, remind yourself that God is bigger than the problem you are facing. King Jehoshaphat realizes that three enemy nations are coming at him, yet he stops and says, “You’re bigger than all the nations, God. You are bigger than anything I will ever face.”

Remind yourself of what he has done in the past. Think of the times when God has helped you and the miracles he’s already done in your life. “When your people Israel moved into this land, you drove out the people who were living here and gave the land to the descendants of Israel, your friend, to be theirs forever” (2 Chronicles 20:6). Jehoshaphat recalled all the ways God had worked in Israel’s past.

Ask God for help now. How about a repeat performance, Lord? Do it again! In verse 9, Jehoshaphat mentions three kinds of situations: war, epidemic, and famine. He says, “None of this is too hard for you. You’ve helped us in the past, so do it again!”

His prayer is built around three questions: Are you not? Did you not? Will you not?

“Are you not God?” Yes, you are in charge, and you’re big enough to handle it.

“Did you not help us in the past?” Yes, you did help us in the help us in the past.

“Will you not do it again?” Yes, you will do it again!

That’s the way you need to pray when you’re overwhelmed. No matter what the situation is, remind yourself first who God is, what he’s done, and then ask him to do it again. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to talk about your problem.

TALK IT OVER

How will remembering that God is bigger than your problems change your perspective on the difficult situation you’re facing?

What is the difference in praying in expectation? How do the three questions about God help you pray expectantly?

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just a thought

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Rev. Aaron Linford

DEO VOLENTE (GOD WILLING)

 This Latin phase, often reduced to DV, expresses a profound and essential concept. But the expression, “Thy will be done”, may be understood in different ways. Let us consider three of them.

FIRST, ACCEPTANCE OF THE INEVITABLE (ACTS 21:14). The friends of Paul could not change his mind, so they said (with a shrug of the shoulders?), “The will of the Lord be done”. A well-known motto says: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”. It is a way of peace: why bash our head against a brick wall?

SECOND, ANTICIPATION OF THE INCALCULABLE (JAMES 4:15). Life is uncertain, but we can pre-empt disappointment and dismay by committing our way unto the Lord in simple faith (Ps 37:5), trusting Him to direct our path. “If the Lord will” can banish uncertainty and fear.

THIRD, ADOPTION OF THE INVINCIBLE. In the Garden of Gethsemane our Lord prayed, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt 26:39). It was hard, it cost sweat and blood and tears and torture, but once Jesus accepted the will of His Father, victory was assured. “He that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (1 John 2:17). We are impregnable when we are in the centre of God’s will. Accept the will of God, and be “more than conqueror”.

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illustrations that up life

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Rev. E. Anderson

THINKING BIG

It’s tremendous to be learning that no matter how big you see things or how simple you keep them you’ll never reach the ultimate. No man has ever seen things as big as they could have been or kept them as simple as they might be. Sometimes we do well in one area at the expense of the other—like the little boy on the corner with his flop-eared pup.

A salesman passed the corner each day, and after a week he began to pity the boy who was striving to sell his puppy. The salesman knew the boy didn’t See It Big. He stopped and said, “Son, do you really want to sell this dog?”

The boy replied, “I certainly do.”

“Well you’re never going to sell him until you learn to See It Big. What I mean is, take this dog home, clean him up, doll him up, raise your price, make people think they’re getting something big, and you’ll sell him.”

That noon the salesman came by and there was the boy with a puppy that was groomed, perfumed, and beribboned alongside a big sign: TREEMENNDOUS Puppy For Sale—$5,000.

The salesman gulped and realized he had forgotten to tell the boy about Keeping It Simple. That evening he stopped by to tell the boy the other half of the formula, only to discover that the boy was gone, the puppy was gone and the sign lay there with “SOLD” written across it in big letters.

The salesman couldn’t believe it. This kid couldn’t have sold the dog for $5,000. His curiosity got the best of him and he rang the boy’s doorbell. The boy came to the door and the salesman blurted, “Son you didn’t really sell that dog for $5,000 now, did you?”

The boy replied, “Yes, sir, I did and I want to thank you for all your help.”

The salesman said, “How in the world did you do it?” The boy replied, “Oh, it was easy. I just took two $2,500 cats in exchange!”

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meet the chrstian ministers

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Rev. Chris and Usha Scott

 Chris and Usha are the senior leaders at the BridgeChurch. Chris is a fully accredited minister with AOG and has been in pastoral work since 1991. He was professionally trained as a building control surveyor and worked for a number of local authorities in London. He and his wife Usha have two teenage children, Joshua and Naomi.

He and Usha have felt the call of God in 1988, while serving on the leadership of a church in Hounslow. Three years later they were leading a re-pioneered church in Southall. Chris joined the church in January 2001 and has a passion to “know Jesus and make him known”.

He believes “we were all created with a unique and amazing God given destiny which can only be fulfilled when we know Christ as saviour and Lord” and his goal is to “re-connect people to God and equip them to fulfil their life mission for which they were created.”

As well as leaders, we also have a team of Trustees that together with the leadership team form the Church Council, which oversees the legal, financial and charitable operations of the church. BridgeChurch leaders are sold out and passionate about building the kind of church that Jesus promised he would build.

We want to give you a very warm welcome to our website today!

We are seeking to redefine the image of church!!……. We are a community of ordinary people who have found peace, joy and purpose in an extraordinary God.

The BridgeChurch is a place where you can belong, where you can discover God’s purpose for your life, and where your dreams can come true. We are based in Woodford in East London, UK, but our heart and vision extends to our capital, our nation and beyond!!

We are passionate about worshipping God yet we realise that life is far more than just meeting together on Sundays.

We aim to make our faith count in everyday life and to maximise every opportunity to make a difference in our world.

The BridgeChurch is autonomous, which simply means we are not controlled by a denomination but we govern our own affairs. Having said that, we are fully affiliated to the ‘Assemblies of God of Great Britain and Ireland’, which currently has around 800 Pentecostal churches nationwide. We are a member of the Evangelical Alliance, and a registered charity (Charity no. 1054387).

OUR VISION AND PURPOSE

To achieve anything in life you must first know why you exist. The BridgeChurch has a clear fourfold purpose.

We exist to:-

  • to honour God
  • build his house
  • reach the lost
  • help the needy

THE DREAM

We dream of a church of a thousand Christians actively living out their faith in God’s grace and power, demonstrating that the Christian life is relevant and significant in the 21st century

We dream of serving our community in a practical and spiritual way and making a difference through a multi-purpose Christian centre.

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