25th February to 4th March 2018
HBC has reached a stage in its story where we are seeking God about our next steps. By his grace, we have been able to grow, replace our old building with a property that has enabled more growth and development, seen two churches planted, and now, with the addition of Paul, Dave and Abby, we have a staff team which opens the door to further progress. We have arrived at this place not to settle, but to ask what God wants us to adventure into as our next step.
To this end, we are in a season of waiting on God. This week we have an 8am to 8pm prayer chain running (use the button above to chose your time, let James know & he will enter your name into the table), and we will have an hour of prayer each day, Monday to Saturday, 7 – 8pm, 26th Feb to 3rd March, at HBC.
Why do we ‘wait on God’? We’ve had six sermons covering the following titles. Included are a key verse to go with each as you thank God and wait on him.
He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.’ (Ps 46:10)
1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labour in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain. (Ps 127:1)
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. (Is 40:31)
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. (2 Peter 3:11-12)
1 I will sing for the one I love, a song about his vineyard:
my loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside.
He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines.
2 He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well.
Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. (Isa 5:1-2)
Loving the Church
‘A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)
Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. (Rom 12:10)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Eph 5:25)
A useful prompt as you pray about the church might be to click on the ‘Stories’ tab, above, and scroll through the headings and pictures. This will remind you of some of the things we have done. Alternatively you could take a look at the under the ‘What’s On?’ tab and start praying for some of the things we are involved with.
I have included some links below to a few key pages in the website.
Loving the World
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
‘But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms round him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)
- At 20% we have 5% more 19 to 34 year olds than is the England average, but 5% less than the Oxford average.
- We are more ethnically diverse than the average.
- We have less people who claim to be Christian and more who are clear they have no religion.
- We know there is significant reported isolation.
The Lord will surely comfort Zion
and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
he will make her deserts like Eden,
her wastelands like the garden of the
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the sound of singing. (Isaiah 51:3)
Our God is always eager to rebuild, to bring life, and to create joy and gladness. He desires to reach our community with his saving love and grace. Our calling is to invite our Heavenly Father to impart to us that same love for his world.