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Archive for July, 2015

Friday Prayers 30 July 2015

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

31st July 2015

We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations – that reveals Church unity! Come! Let us pray together!

Prayers for the Persecuted Church

Sovereign God, we worship you and acknowledge that you know all of those who suffer in your name because they follow you. We remember those who are imprisoned for their faith and ask that they would join with the Apostle Paul to see that even though they remain captive, their chains have furthered the gospel, not frustrated it. May they inspire and embolden their fellow believers to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. Amen

God of all comfort, for those who are tortured both in body and mind, give them the grace to endure and to see their suffering as part of following in Christ’s footsteps. Merciful God, for those asked to pay the ultimate price; who are martyred because of their love for you, may they truly know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Amen

Father God, for those who are widowed and orphaned may they know the comfort that comes from your promised presence even when they walk through the valley. May they be strengthened by your Spirit, enabling them to rejoice with the psalmist as they proclaim that the LORD will not abandon them in death. Amen

Heavenly Father, we ask that you would make us ever mindful of our brothers and sisters around the world who need us to stand with them as they suffer in your name. Teach us what it means to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony; we pray that we would not love our lives so much as to shrink from death.

We ask these things O Father, through the name of Your Son, Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us. Amen


 

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Issues – Dealing with Doubt

Issues – Dealing With Doubt


Jeremiah in Lamentations 5v20-22 writes “Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us so long? Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may return; renew our days as of old unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure.”

Living the Christian Life

When you became a Christian, you started an exciting journey in the Christian life. Success in the Christian life is not an accident, but rather it is a direct result of living in harmony with the basic principles of life set forth in the Bible. The Christian life is not a matter of expecting spiritual maturity to occur overnight. The Bible lays down standards and principles of living which we need to follow with God’s strength, if we are to continue living at peace with God, our fellow men, and ourselves. We need to know what God expects of us and what guidelines He has given us to achieve this quality of life. As we apply the principles and guidelines of Bible to our lives, we are transformed into the likeness of Christ – which is the journey we are on (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3v18).


Jesus said ‘I have come to bring them life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10). This is achieved as we allow Jesus Christ to live this life through us so that we start to think and respond like He does, to the people and circumstances around us. We need to learn how to see circumstances and people from God’s perspective, rather than reacting on the basis of feelings. When we respond to circumstances on the basis of our feelings that is when conflict, stress, tension and depression enter. When we respond to circumstances by looking from God’s perspective, it builds and shows a transformed character as we become more like Jesus.


When Doubt Sets In

However, it is a very rare person indeed who has not suffered some form of doubt, and asking questions similar to that of Jeremiah in the passage of Lamentations I read earlier. By doubt, I do not mean as in doubting God’s very existence, but rather doubting some aspect of the Christian life such as assurance of salvation, any of the other of God’s promises or doubting an attribute of God such as His innate sovereignty or His infinite goodness.

When your doubt arises concerning God’s assured promise of salvation of you; that usually occurs after engaging in wilful sin or having lost a spiritual battle. Doubting God’s sovereignty will usually occur after experiencing a great personal tragedy or of reading about an international disaster. When this occurs, it is important to have faith. Have faith in your knowledge of Scripture, and to trust in its authority as God’s Word. When we sin, not only do we forget who we are as His children, but we also doubt what God has said is true in the Bible. The Christian Disciple leans to believe and trust God regardless of circumstances however divergent the experience is or was.


Origins of Doubt

The originator of a lot of doubt in the life of a Christian Disciple is Satan, just as it was for Adam in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3v1). Remember that Satan roams the earth like a devouring lion in order to stop Christian Disciples trusting in God and their testimony about God’s goodness (1 Peter 5v8).

Another source of doubt is the world we live in, with its own moral codes and perceived wisdom contrary to that of God expressed in the Bible. Whereas the Christian Disciple gains wisdom from God through having the indwelling Holy Spirit and reading the Bible, the world often has wisdom that is contrary. One only has to look at the perceived wisdom of atheistic scientific materialism countering the Christian arguments.

One final source of doubt, is the spiritual immaturity of the Christian Disciple. Doubting prayer works is often down to being double minded (James 1v8). Elsewhere Paul writes that doubt arises because of not knowing the basic doctrines of God (Ephesians 4v14). This source of doubt is only defeated through experience and having a maturing, disciplined life of obedience through prayer, studying the Bible and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform. In doing these things, the relationship between God and a Christian Disciple is nurtured and growing.


Overcoming Doubt

Confess – Confess your doubt as sin to God, and He will listen and cleanse you (1 John 1:9). If doubts persist, try talking to somebody whom you trust and confessed to them of your doubts, and they may well be able to help you (James 5v16).

Salvation – have assurance of salvation. Be assured and let your mind be controlled by the Holy Spirit, so that you are not led astray. Your salvation rests in nothing apart from God’s promises and Jesus’ righteousness! Test yourself as Paul exhorts in 2 Corinthians 13v5.

Righteousness – live a righteous life. Live the truth! When we started as a Christian Disciple, before God we were given the righteousness of Jesus! But that righteousness needs to be lived out in the lives of Christian Disciples. Living right helps overcome any doubts!

Faith – show total trust in God for your life. The faith we have is a defensive weapon against the mistruths the doubts that enter our minds. By maintaining our trust in God’s promises and God’s power, doubts are extinguished.

Bible – read and study God’s Word so as to know, understand and live truth. Our lives are to be controlled by truth as revealed in Bible. When we know truth so well, we can recognize the lies that we are told! The Word of God, the Bible, is there to be studied diligently so that by trusting in the Holy Spirit to lead and reveal it to us, we get to know God and His promises! We are to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus according to 2 Peter 3v18 and that is only achieved through studying the Bible! Then when we hear that nagging little voice that says “God didn’t say that”, we can say “Oh yes, He did!!”

Prayer – talk to God. This is how we are energized! Fighting doubt in our own power is useless! Ask Him to help you overcome your doubts, and He will help you! When we talk to God, we strengthen our relationship with Him! When we ask other Christian Disciples to pray for us, the Church unity is strengthened! When we see God answer prayer, our faith is matured and doubts are easily cast aside.

For more to think about please do ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

Q1. Read Hebrews 6v1-9. What does this tell me of the link between maturity overcoming doubt?

Q2. Read 2 Corinthians 13v5. What comfort can I gain from knowing I have salvation as a means to overcome doubt?

Q3. Read 1 John 4v1-3. How can “testing the spirits” help me overcome any lingering doubts?


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Wednesday WOW Worship – 29 July 2015

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Worship Wednesday

Order of Service



Opening Prayer



Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,


We praise you and give you glory:


We bless you for calling us to be your holy people.


Amen!

Continuing on, we now have a song.
Today it is

Abigail Miller, singing Lord, I Must Be Yours!

Visit her at: http://www.abigailmiller.com/

(Song originally downloaded at http://www.godlychristianmusic.com)



Bible Talk



The Apostle Paul writing in Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

The Apostle Peter writing in 1 Peter 5:5-6 “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Those verses probably highlight what those who call themselves the Lord’s people are to be and do! Humility! Looking to others first!

Contrast those values to those of the twenty first century society. A society where the prevalent attitude is: “There are no other people. The order is ‘me, me and more me! I am far more important and higher than anyone else!'” This is individualism, an individualism where the individual’s importance is placed higher than all others! Individualism, which is imbued with self-reliance and personal independence. Even when help and compassion are offered, so often there are strings attached and hoops to be jumped through: “If you do this, we will do this for you.” That’s the view in 21st century Western countries such as the USA, UK and Australia. Sadly, it is not just within society that this exists, but also within the church and amongst Christians.

How opposite is that view, compared to the view of Peter and Paul in the Bible reading! It is as if we are denying the basic rule of compassion and mercy, which dictates that we, as Christians, are to be serving others, because they are also humans created in the image of God, loved by God and so should be loved unconditionally by those who proclaim to be God’s people – the Church. Denying that basic need to others is pure unadulterated selfishness and places others below our own selves.

Individualism within the church, lends itself to hypocritical behaviour and attitudes, which are inconsistent with Scripture and behaviour. Individualism, where you as an individual are placed at the front of the queue, is not loving others and not considering others higher than yourself. It certainly could not be construed as serving other people to always place your own desires above all others. There is an old acronym JOY – Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. So as we live our lives, let us be determined to be counter-cultural, love and serve others, being willing to listen to them and giving them practical support when we can.

Think time


Now a time, where I put before you a couple of questions for you to ponder and think about, before we continue in prayer. Perhaps you could write them down for later.

Q1. In what areas of my life do I usually put myself before other people and sin against them?

Q2. What impact could I make on my church and local community if I was more willing to serve and practically love others, rather than be served and supported by them?

Prayer Time!



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POD – Psalm 108

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Psalm 108


1-2 I’m ready, God, so ready,

ready from head to toe.

Ready to sing,

ready to raise a God-song:

“Wake, soul! Wake, lute!

Wake up, you sleepyhead sun!”


3-6
I’m thanking you, God, out in the streets,

singing your praises in town and country.

The deeper your love, the higher it goes;

every cloud’s a flag to your faithfulness.

Soar high in the skies, O God!

Cover the whole earth with your glory!

And for the sake of the one you love so much,

reach down and help me-answer me!

7-9 That’s when God spoke in holy splendor:
 “Brimming over with joy,

I make a present of Shechem,

I hand out Succoth Valley as a gift.

Gilead’s in my pocket,

to say nothing of Manasseh.

Ephraim’s my hard hat,

Judah my hammer.

Moab’s a scrub bucket-

I mop the floor with Moab,

Spit on Edom,

rain fireworks all over Philistia.”

10-11 Who will take me to the thick of the fight?

Who’ll show me the road to Edom?

You aren’t giving up on us, are you, God?

refusing to go out with our troops?


12-13
Give us help for the hard task;

human help is worthless.

In God we’ll do our very best;

he’ll flatten the opposition for good.

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40 Days of Color

40 Days of Color

The latest Partakers Publication – 40 Days of Color…

A devotional life is important for Christians. A time each day spent learning more about God and developing their relationship with Him. Most of the ways for the doing that are word-based. However an increasing number of people learn and engage more easily with the use of images. This is where this book can help you if that is you.
Coloring-in for adults is a fun, relaxing way to engage your innate creativity with your devotional life. Whether just starting a daily devotional life or you want a different way to refresh your daily time with God. Consider it Messy Church for your devotions!

Come inside with Alphy the WOWChurch Cat to see how these daily coloring-in devotionals can stimulate your imagination and develop your relationship with God! It is great for adults but also fabulous for family devotions, spending quality time having fun in this simple way while thinking about God.

Over the 40 Days of Color, we cover Jesus’ I AM statements, the Lord’s Prayer, the Spiritual Armor and the Fruit of the Spirit.

You can buy on Amazon.co.uk (£5) –  Amazon.com ($10) or at davegroberts.com

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