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Archive for July, 2008

WISE – Serving

Partake – Words In Scripture Explored –Service

As Christian Disciples, we are called to a life of serving God and other people. You are not alone, but part of a larger body where each member is called to perform a serving function. By serving others as a Christian Disciple, it shows unity and solidarity to those outside of the church who frequently accuse the church of infighting and “devouring one another”.

Serving

The Christian life is to be dynamic and active. The word “servant” is key in Scripture and is used at least 500 times in its various forms. When a Christian Disciple serves, God’s honour is released, and shows Jesus Christ’s beauty and glory, to those being served and to those watching. That is to be your motive for service. Serving is never to be about what you and I can get out of it. When that is the motive, God is not glorified. God’s glory and the total supremacy of Jesus over all things, is to be the goal in the life of all Christian Disciples.

Spiritual Growth Comes From Serving

If you desire to grow spiritually, then serve! For spiritual growth comes from serving rather than you being served. This is because what you give in service of God and others, your faith grows and Jesus Christ gives back even more to you. Jesus speaking in Matthew 25v15-30 tells of the rewards for faithful service and the penalties for being faithless. When you serve others, it is a sign of your trust and faith in God.

Serving Reflects Jesus Christ’s Life

By serving, we reflect in some small way the greatest servant of all, Jesus Christ, who came to serve and give his very life for others (Mark 10v45). As a Christian Disciple, you are In serving others fulfilling the command that Jesus gave to love God and love others. Showing love and serving others achieves this aim of total obedience to Jesus.

Salvation is not through Your Service!

However a warning! Don’t be led into the trap of thinking that your service will lead to your salvation, as some will say. It will not! The only reason you have salvation, is because of the service of Jesus Christ, who was fully God and fully human. Your acts of service would never be able to pay that price, but your acts of service will help point others to Jesus, who paid the price for your salvation and others. So as you go from here, go to serve others and by doing so, you will also be showing your service to Jesus Christ your Master. Thank you.

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POD – Psalms On Demand

Click on the picture to go to my main website where all the Psalms will be available for both streaming and downloading, recorded by different people from around the world… It is updated weekly and currently there is about 30 Psalms completed…

Link to the main Psalms on Demand site...

Link to the main Psalms on Demand site...

WISE – Holy Spirit

Partake – Words In Scripture Explored – Holy Spirit

G’day and welcome to WISE! The word for today is God the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the Trinity. As such we do not refer to the Spirit as “it” or “that”, but rather Him! Wherever the Holy Spirit is, the Father and Son are also present because they are one (John 14v18-23).

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

What is the ministry of the Holy Spirit and His relationship with you as a Christian Disciple?

1. Glorify Christ: His prime role is that He will glorify Jesus Christ the Son of God (John 16v13-14). He does this by testifying (John 15v26) and witnessing for (Acts 1v8) Jesus Christ.

2. The Paraclete – Comforter: He stands alongside (John 14v16) and lives in all believers (John 16v7).

3. Declares God’s Word: For you, the Holy Spirit interprets and illuminates the Bible, as you submit to Him and the Bible (John 16v12-15; 1 Corinthians 2v10-16)!

4. Convicts: The Holy Spirit convicts you of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16v8)

5. Salvation: As Christian Disciple, you are born of the Holy Spirit (John 3v3-8). For without the Holy Spirit, nobody can be a Christian Disciple (Romans 8v9; Gal 2v20; Colossians 1v25-27)

6. Sealing / Ownership: The Holy Spirit indwelling you is assured proof of you being God’s possession (2 Corinthians 1v22; Ephesians 1v3), for the Holy Spirit is a deposit, guaranteeing your future redemption, salvation and inheritance (Ephesians 1v13; 2 Corinthians 1v22).

7. Filling: This speaks of the Holy Spirit’s control or domination of your life. The imperative here is that we are to be filled, and go on being filled (Ephesians 5v18).

8. Sanctification: As you walk, live in, and are led by the Holy Spirit, you are being transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 7-18), (Galatians. 5v16; Romans 8v13).

9. Baptism: While this Holy Spirit baptism usually occurs at your conversion, it does sometimes after afterwards! The Biblical accounts show both of these occurrences. As Billy Graham once said “I don’t care how you get Him – get Him!”

10. Service: The Holy Spirit equips you for service by giving you spiritual gifts and working in you to will and to act according to His purpose (Philippians 2v13).

Finally, how is the Spirit seen? The Spirit’s work is in greatest evidence, where people’s lives become more holy and more like Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12v3; 2 Corinthians 13v7). Look back on your life and see how the Holy Spirit has been working in and transforming you since your conversion. Then ask Him to reveal to you the areas you still need transforming.

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WISE – Fellowship

Partake – Words In Scripture Explored – Fellowship

G’day and welcome to WISE. The word for today is “fellowship”.

I meet people who tell me they are Christians, but don’t want to go to a church anymore. But by not doing so, they are missing out on perhaps one of the greatest blessings of being a Christian: fellowship. One of the great things about belonging to a church is the act of fellowship, which results from walking with one another (1 John 1v7). God has created us for fellowship and Jesus Christ has redeemed us so that we can have this fellowship together (Colossians 1v3-5).

What is fellowship? This is rooted in the words koinōnia and koinōneō, which is a mutual sharing together, and not merely a mutual association. Fellowship is both in having fellowship and giving fellowship.

Why fellowship? When Christian disciples fellowship with each other, God is glorified as a result (Romans 15v7). It is as a collective body that the Church fellowship grows in grace and maturity together, overcoming by grace, the weaknesses of each individual member (Ephesians 4vv12-16). You are commanded to continue meeting others for fellowship, so that mutual encouragement “toward love and good deeds” can take place (Hebrews 10v25)! By this you can live a consistent godly life, particularly if sins are confessed to each other (James 5v16)!

Victory is also seen in the eyes of a fellowship, rather than singular individuality (1 Corinthians 15v57; 1 John 5v4). Whilst God deals with us as individuals, it is through fellowship that God strengthens you, for you are supported, healed and compensated by other Christians. These are all very good reasons why Christians need to find a Church to attend!

How do we fellowship? Biblical fellowship sees the church having common purpose (Psalm 133v1-3), belief (Acts 2v42), hope (Hebrews 11v39-40) and needs (2 Corinthians 8vv1-15). Just as Christians have fellowship with the Father (1 John 1v3), Jesus (1 Corinthians 1v9) and the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2v1), so do they have with each other (1 John 1v7). The things a fellowship shares are, but not limited to, possessions (2 Corinthians 8v4), sufferings (Philippians 3v10) and the Gospel (Galatians 2v9; Philippians 1v5). By participating in His suffering and having fellowship with Jesus through his own sufferings, Paul was able to enter a deeper relationship with Jesus.

How have you enjoyed fellowship this week and how will you enjoy it in the week to come?

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WISE – Faith

Partake – Words In Scripture Explored – Faith

People always say that faith is blind! However the Bible says that faith is a total confidence in God’s faithfulness, which leads to reliance, trust and total obedience to Him (Hebrews 11v6). We see this faith in the Godly obedience of those around us and from the Bible and church history.

Faith in Salvation

For salvation, faith is a voluntary change of mind and heart in the sinner in which the person turns to God, relying on and accepting His offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.

  1. Mind – recognition of your need of salvation. Acknowledging Christ’s death on your behalf and your need of forgiveness.
  2. Emotional (Heart) – your personal assent to the gospel. You ask yourself, “What must I do to be saved?” and then you agree to make salvation a part of your life.
  3. Will – Personal trust in Jesus Christ.

Now as a follower of Jesus, you are to continue having faith in Him. Four things at least you are to have faith in Him for:

By faith – He is praying for you

Jesus Christ is making intercessions for His followers (Romans 8:34). He knew the disciples troubles (Mark 6:48), just as He knows your troubles now. He feels your cares and knows what you are going through (Hebrews 4:14-16).

By faith – He will come to you

Ever felt like God is far away? Well you aren’t alone! King David often felt God was far away and unconcerned. However he also knew God would ultimately rescue him. Jesus always comes to you through difficult times, although He may not come in the time you think He should come, because He knows when you need Him most.

By faith – He will help you grow

When the disciples were in the storm and Jesus came to them walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33), the purpose of this incident was to show that Jesus would be leaving them soon, so they had to learn to trust in Him when He wasn’t physically present. Peter wrote later on in his life, “for the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers” (1 Peter 3v12).

By faith, He will see you through

At the same event, Jesus said “Come” and Peter went with Him. This must have encouraged the other disciples, for upon seeing Jesus’ power they worshipped him. Whatever troubles you are undergoing are temporary, and Jesus will see you through.

By faith, you have salvation. By faith Jesus is praying, will come to you, grow you and help you through troubles. By being obedient to God, you are showing others your salvation and showing that faith, is not blind, but active!

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WISE – Angel

Partake – Words In Scripture Explored – Angel

Gday and welcome to WISE! The word for today is Angel.

Lorna Byrne claims in a recent article in the Daily Telegraph, that for her, “seeing angels is natural”…

Bookshops are filled with books on Angels! But we must beware, for not all angels are good! We know from the Bible that there are good angels and bad angels.

Angels

From the Bible, we know that angels are created beings (Psalm 148v2-5) possibly created before humanity (Job38v7). We know that angels carry God’s message (Luke 1)

Hebrews 1v14 tells us that they serve humans who are inheriting salvation! They appear in human form, as in Abraham’s visitor (Genesis). Whilst they are genderless, they invariably when appearing to people have masculine names such as Michael and Gabriel. They do not die (Luke 20v36), or marry (Mark 12v25).

Being personal and intelligent, they communicate with humans. They have a will (2 Peter 2v4), are separate from humanity (1 Corinthians 6v3) and powerful yet also finite. There are large companies of angels (Revelation 5v11), which are organized into ranks! For example: Michael the archangel (Jude 9) and legions of angels (Matthew 26v53). God’s Angels constantly rejoice at God’s work (Revelation 5v11-12); and at a sinner’s conversion (Luke 15v10).

Bad Angels

Bad angels are often referred to as demons. The Bible says that some angels rebelled against God and were put out of heaven (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28). Their leader is satan who has established his kingdom on earth, and is the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). They know Jesus and His authority and also know their eternal fate is destruction and torment (Matthew 8v29-31). Because of this, they want to take as many humans with them as possible. So they tempt humans to disobey God (Genesis 3); possess people (Mark 5) and give inspiration to false teachers (Galatians 1v8). They seek to hinder God’s program and hatefully oppose all God’s of work and God’s people (Mark 4:15; Job 2:4-5).

How can we know the difference between good angels and bad angels? We listen to what they are telling us. If what they say is bringing all glory to God and to Jesus Christ, and they are always giving the glory to God, then they must be from God. If everything they say or do doesn’t match this standard, then they cannot be from God.

Finally, the job of spreading the Gospel is not for angels. It is for Christian Disciples to do as commanded by Jesus (Matthew 28v18-20). God obviously thinks it is a much more efficient and effective method, than getting angels to do it! That method involves you – going to tell somebody else the glorious message of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.

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POD – Psalms On Demand

As part of this blog, I am now hoping to produce POD: Psalms On Demand, for people to download and listen to, at a time convenient for them… They will also be given to a friend of mine who is going overseas on mission to a country where Christianity is severely restricted due to government legislation… Knowing my church, they may even be given to the housebound members on CD…  Now I could do it myself, but that would get very boring very quickly for anybody listening!  Just ask my wife how tedious it is to listen to me reading aloud for more than 10 minutes!! LOL So, I am endeavouring to recruit other people into this project as well…

Why am I doing it?  Good question and glad you asked!!

  • Most of the Psalm MP3 series, I hear are of one persons voice only! I would like to change that.
  • I have people across the globe contributing, including my own local church. So hopefully not only building bridges between continents, but also between the virtual and the local churches, because it will also involve some people I know, who have very little interest in, or knowledge of, virtual church and the internet in general…
  • To reflect the universality of the Psalms across nations, age and gender.   Currently I have 20 people involved from several different nations, ranging in age from 18 to 70 and both male and female.

More people are needed, thats why I am asking you, internet afficionados! I was wondering if some people here would like to contribute by recording themselves reading a Psalm (or several)… The Psalm(s) could be your own choice, providing somebody else hasnt already picked them! Currently the Psalms still available are:

7, 10, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 27, 28, 31, 33, 35, 37, 40, 41, 43, 44, 47, 48, 52, 53, 58, 59, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 71, 73, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 85, 86, 88, 89, 91, 93, 94, 95, 97, 99, 101, 102, 103, 106, 108, 110, 111, 112, 114, 116, 121, 122, 125, 126, 129, 133, 136, 138, 140, 141, 143, 145, 146, 148

Psalm 119 is still available, but it would be great if 23 different people did that one, each taking a section!  So maybe you might like to contribute a portion of that one!  Altogether that would be about 14 minutes. If one person were to read that, it may soon get tedious, but if 23 different voices were heard, certainly would be less so!

A sample of the sort of thing I am doing, can be heard by clicking here

What do you need?

You need a computer with a sound-card and a microphone… If you dont have voice recording software already, there are numerous programmes available to download free of charge…

Details

  • You can use any standard translation of the Bible, just tell me what version you will use so I can check the audio against the translation…
  • At the beginning, say what number the Psalm is, such as “Psalm One Hundred”…
  • No need to say the verse numbers… No music in the background, because people with hearing problems probably wont be able to hear you speak…
  • Record it and save the file at the highest possible quality…

I am sure you probably have further questions, so put them here and I shall endeavour to do my best to answer them!

Thank you and Blessings

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