Category Archives: Talks

Finding God’s purpose in Scripture

On Bible Sunday 23rd October Sally preached on Finding God’s purpose in Scripture. You can listen again by pressing red button

The Scripture for this talk was Luke 4: 16-21:

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’[a]

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’


a. Luke 4:19 Isaiah 61:1,2 (see Septuagint); Isaiah 58:6

Armour of God All-Age Talk

An All-Age Talk on the Armour of God given by Rev Sally Baily as part of a series on the Lord’s prayer ‘Lead us not into temptation by deliver us from evil’.  The scripture for this talk was Ephesians 6: 13-18.  Many thanks to Callum who was dressed up in all Sally’s motorcycle protective clothing as part of this demonstration.

Ephesians 6: 13-18 NIV

13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Jesus teaching on forgiveness talk by Rev Sally Baily

You can listen here to Rev Sally Baily’s moving talk on Jesus teaching on forgiveness which was given as part of a series on the Lord’s prayer at St Margaret’s Edgware on Sunday 2nd October. The scripture reading for the talk was Luke 15: 11-31 Parable of the two sons.

Luke 15: 11-31  (NIV)

11 Jesus continued: ‘There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, “Father, give me my share of the estate.” So he divided his property between them.

13 ‘Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 ‘When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.” 20 So he got up and went to his father.

‘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.

21 ‘The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

22 ‘But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate.

25 ‘Meanwhile, the elder son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 “Your brother has come,” he replied, “and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.”

28 ‘The elder brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, “Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!”

31 ‘“My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.

Your kingdom come your will be done – talk by Rev Sally Baily

At Rev Sally Baily’s first Sunday in St Margaret’s Edgware she gave a talk on The Lord’s Prayer – Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as in heaven. This talk includes some of her testimony on responding to God’s call to leave her job in the City.

The scripture reading for this talk is shown below.

Psalm 99

The Lord reigns,
let the nations tremble;
he sits enthroned between the cherubim,
let the earth shake.
Great is the Lord in Zion;
he is exalted over all the nations.
Let them praise your great and awesome name—
he is holy.

The King is mighty, he loves justice—
you have established equity;
in Jacob you have done
what is just and right.
Exalt the Lord our God
and worship at his footstool;
he is holy.

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel was among those who called on his name;
they called on the Lord
and he answered them.
He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;
they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.

Lord our God,
you answered them;
you were to Israel a forgiving God,
though you punished their misdeeds.
Exalt the Lord our God
and worship at his holy mountain,
for the Lord our God is holy.

Sally speaks at Women’s meeting in Lahore

Having arrived safely in Lahore a few days ago, we got in touch with our good friend Dr. Rev. Yousaf Bhatti who runs Jesus disciple-making nation (JDMN) ministry and Holy Fire TV. He is a wonderful evangelist, a humble man and the star of story-board in Hammad’s featured song Maen charagh hoon – Pastor’s song. He invited us to visit on Wednesday 1st June so that Sally could address the Women’s meeting at 4pm. Sally full length speaking 40 smaller

With just a few day’s notice I prayed for inspiration about what passage I should speak on to these ladies, something that would touch their lives and work within their culture. God guided me to Luke 13: 10-17 the story of Jesus healing a crippled woman on the Sabbath who had a spirit of infirmity.

Hammad kindly agreed to sing Psalm 23 in Sally at Women Meeting 75 smallerUrdu and then I sang The Lord’s my Shepherd in English before I started sharing testimony from my own life and how Jesus wanted to set each of us free from the spirits that hold us down.  I then brought the scripture to life with Rev Yousaf doing amazing translation.  The women listed intently as they sat on the floor in an upstairs room with fans a full speed. We ended with freedom prayer and Hammad sang the featured song.

The purpose of John’s gospel

This talk was given by Sally at Christchurch Waterside, Chesham on Sunday 10th April during the Church@4 service. Although not recorded this is one of the few talks that was actually written up.

John 20: 30 -31 The purpose of John’s gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

He spoke, and galaxies whirled into place, stars burned the heavens, and planets began orbiting their suns – words of awesome, unlimited, unleashed power.

He spoke again, and the water and lands were filled with plants and creatures running, swimming, growing and multiplying – words of animating, breathing, pulsing life.

Again he spoke, and man and woman were formed, thinking, speaking, and loving – words of personal and creative glory. Eternal, infinite, unlimited – he was, is, and always will be the Maker and Lord of all that exists.

And then he came in the flesh to a speck in the universe called planet earth. The mighty Creator became a part of the creation, limited by time and space and susceptible to aging, sickness and death. But love propelled him, and so he came to rescue and save those who were lost and to give them the gift of eternity. He is the Word; he is Jesus, the Christ.

It is this truth that the apostle John brings to us in this book. John’s gospel is not a biography – the life of Christ; it is a powerful argument for the incarnation [embodiment of God in the flesh], a conclusive demonstration that Jesus was, and is, the very heaven-sent Son of God and the only source of eternal life.

Who wrote John’s gospel and why should we believe him?

It is widely agreed that it was the disciple John – son of Zebedee who wrote John’s gospel (brother of James – called sons of thunder).  There is clear indication in the gospel of knowledge of Jewish culture and customs – which would fit with John – son of Zebedee – a Jew from Palestine.  Also there are many eyewitness details in John’s gospel which could only have come from one of the 12 disciples.  It is clear that the author wished to remain anonymous referring to himself only as ‘the disciple Jesus loved’ and desire for anonymity can be further supported by the fact that John son of Zebedee is not mentioned in the gospel (except 21:2 – passing reference to sons of Zebedee on the fishing trip).  External sources such as Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons reports in early 2nd century that John the Lord’s disciple wrote and published the gospel in Ephesus.

The fact that John was an eye witness of Jesus teaching, miracles, death and resurrection make his gospel an important book as we seek to understand who Jesus really is.

Why did John write this gospel?  What was its purpose?

John tells us in 20: 30-31 why he wrote the gospel. Not as a life history or biograph of Jesus but as a selective record of signs that lead us to believing in Jesus as the son of God:

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John’s gospel is unique and 90% is different from the 3 other gospels (synoptic gospels – means a general summary).  Matt & Luke record Jesus birth, Mark starts with the OT prophecy fulfilled in John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus. But John takes us back to creation to show that Jesus is God and was with God in creation.  The famous prologue John 1: 1-14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

John continues this theme throughout his gospel as an eyewitness to the signs of Jesus divinity and human nature and his life-giving mission.

There are 8 signs:

  1. Turning water into wine (2:1-11)
  2. Healing the officials son (4:46-54)
  3. Healing the invalid at Bethesda (5:1-9)
  4. Feeding the 5,000 with a few loaves & fish (6:1-14)
  5. Walking on water (6:15-21)
  6. Restoring sight to the blind man (9:1-14)
  7. Raising Lazarus from the dead (11: 1-44)
  8. Giving disciples overwhelming catch of fish (after resurrection) (21:1-14)

Every chapter reveals Jesus’ divinity, and his true identity is underscored in the titles John uses for Jesus – The Word, The one and only, Lamb of God, Son of God, true bread, life, resurrection, vine. John’s formula is the ‘I am’ sayings of Jesus:

  1. I am the bread of life (6:35)
  2. I am the light of the world (8:12, 9:5)
  3. I am the gate (10:7)
  4. I am the good shepherd (10:11, 14)
  5. I am the resurrection and the life (11:25)
  6. I am the way, the truth and the life (14:6)
  7. I am the true vine (15:1).

The greatest sign being of course the resurrection and the empty tomb to which John was an eye witness. He also records important post-resurrection appearances by Jesus to the disciples including Thomas who doubted, and Peter who was restored after his denial of Jesus.

Whilst the other gospels focus heavily on Jesus ministry in Galilee and his teaching through parables, John focuses on the drama around Jerusalem and features 5 chapters of discourse from the Upper Room when Jesus is talking to his disciples in the lead up to his death. (Chapters 14-17)

John gives us the signs to help us believe, to make that step of commitment, not just of reading the facts and filing them away with other knowledge to recall as trivia in a pub quiz. He wants us to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and in doing so to receive forgiveness and eternal life with him.

John 3: 16 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.

The song we sang at the start is designed to help us remember that most important scriptural verse. [For God so loved the world…]

Believing in Jesus is a decision that each of us can make, and when we make it we receive forgiveness and eternal life.

But what does it mean ‘to have life in his name’.  Well for me it’s about Jesus being the centre of everything and the most important thing in my life. It means Jesus is the person I speak to last before I go to sleep and is the person I speak to as soon as I wake up. He is the inspiration for my life, his love fills my heart, his strength and joy keep me going when things are tough.  It means my life is full to overflowing with Jesus and he pops up conversations with strangers, he guides me when I’m lost, I never feel alone because I know Jesus is with me.

And I would really love for you to feel the same. If you haven’t made that decision to follow Jesus yet and you want to we can pray a prayer of commitment to ask Jesus to become the Lord of your life.  If you’re not sure you’re ready for that but you want to find out more, I suggest you read John’s gospel from the beginning. One chapter a day and in 3 weeks you will know the facts which will help you to believe.

Let’s pray…

Jesus Mocked & Insulted

Featured image painting by Jeremy Total Phoenix Arizona USA

On 13th March Sally gave a talk on Jesus being mocked and insulted and explained the significance of the Suffering Servant prophecy from Isaiah 53.  The relevant scripture verses are shown below:

Luke 22:63-65(NIVUK) The guards mock Jesus

63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, ‘Prophesy! Who hit you?’ 65 And they said many other insulting things to him.

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 (NIVUK) The suffering and glory of the servant

13 See, my servant will act wisely;
    he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him –
    his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
    and his form marred beyond human likeness –
15 so he will sprinkle many nations,
    and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
    and what they have not heard, they will understand.

53 Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians

Sally spoke at St Mary’s Chesham on Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians as part of a series on Prayer in January 2016.

Ephesians 3:7-21 (NIV)

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

A Prayer for the Ephesians

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


  1. Ephesians 3:15 The Greek for family (patria) is derived from the Greek for father (pater).