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Archive for January, 2017

POD – Psalm 28

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Psalm 28

1 To you, Yahweh, I call.
My rock, don’t be deaf to me; lest, if you are silent to me,
I would become like those who go down into the pit.
2 Hear the voice of my petitions,
when I cry to you,
when I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.
3 Don’t draw me away with the wicked,
with the workers of iniquity who speak peace with their neighbours,
but mischief is in their hearts.

4 Give them according to their work,
and according to the wickedness of their doings.
Give them according to the operation of their hands.
Bring back on them what they deserve.
5 Because they don’t respect the works of Yahweh,
nor the operation of his hands,
he will break them down and not build them up.

6 Blessed be Yahweh,
because he has heard the voice of my petitions.
7 Yahweh is my strength and my shield.
My heart has trusted in him, and I am helped.
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices. With my song I will thank him.
8 Yahweh is their strength.
He is a stronghold of salvation to his anointed.
9 Save your people, and bless your inheritance.
Be their shepherd also, and bear them up forever.

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Think Spot 30 January 2017

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Think Spot – 30 January 2017

 

G’day! Welcome to Partakers Think Spot at the start of new week!.

Romans 1:1-5

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-  the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures  regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David,  and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.

Jesus is Unique

The man of history who we know as Jesus Christ is unique – totally and completely unique! Never before and never to be repeated again – ever! Jesus Christ is the standout person from all of history! He is embedded resolutely in human history. In all of human history, Jesus Christ is incomparable!

Yet in human form, we read that during his earthly ministry he had no physical beauty that would draw people naturally to himself. We read that Jesus’ body on the cross was disfigured and tortured beyond that of human likeness. His perfect life, His salvation work on the cross and His subsequent rising from the dead, is what makes Jesus Christ unique – a once and for all lifetime Messiah or Saviour for the entire world! 

This great God of creation, stepping into His creation as a human, with the purpose of reconciling the world back to Himself! WOW!! Jesus’ uniqueness meaning I can have an active and dynamic relationship with God. As you go into this week may your relationship with God be active and dynamic! Go and thank Jesus Christ for his uniqueness which allows this to occur.

Prayer

Father, we thank you for Jesus Christ your Son! We thank you that because of Him, we can enter into a dynamic and active relationship with you! We ask this prayer and give you praise, through your Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside all those who are following! Amen!

 

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Exploring the Bible – 03. New Testment – 2 John

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Exploring The Bible

3. New Testament

Book of 2 John (AD90-95)

 

G’day and welcome to our series, “Exploring the Bible” This is also the title of our latest book available on Amazon by clicking here or visiting PulpTheology.com

Key Verses:

  • 2 John 8-11

 

John writes to remind this lady and her children (which may be code for the church and the members of the church) that their lives should be an expression of the Word of God in all areas. This expression is called love or loving one another.

 

The believers are to continue loving, abiding in God’s Commandments and pay no heed to the false teachers who deny Jesus’ incarnation. They need to be sure he was a real human person and not just a god figure.

 

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Gems in the Gospel of John – Part 85

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Gems in the Gospel of John

Part 85 – John 19:25
The foundation of the church

There are three strange verses in John’s account of the crucifixion that do not fit into the rest of the story. Much of it is the straight-forward account of what happened to Jesus. There are also four events mentionied because they are all direct fulfilments of prophetic statement. But then there are these three verses:
John 19:25 – 27, “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”


The obvious question to ask and try to answer is ‘why are they included?’ There seem to be two reasons: first to emphasize the importance of the disciple Jesus loved, and second to point to a particular call that all the future disciples of Jesus should follow.


John, who was probably the loved disciple, is keen to highlight the importance of his witness to the crucifixion and the resurrection that he was in a specially privileged position to bear. He was there. It seems that most, or all, of the apostles had disappeared from sight, presumably because of the risk that they would be caught and imprisoned, or worse, as followers of Jesus. A small group of women, of whom some of the most important are named in most of the gospels, had continued to stay close to the cross, reckoning they were not in the same danger. (What a terrible time that must have been, particularly for Mary the mother of Jesus.) John may have been so young that he was able to join with the group of women without too much danger.

In 19: 35 he says, “The man who saw it has given testimony”. Later we read in 21: 24, “This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.” Those words were written by somebody else who knew John really well and was most probably the person who actually wrote the gospel down as John dictated it, or compiled it from his letters and documents.

If we turn to John’s first letter, in 1 John 1: 1 – 4 we read, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched —this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” This all emphasize s the importance of what John knew and how anxious he was that we should all understand the true significance of what he was privileged to see and be involved in.


The second reason John has included these verses in his Gospel is his desire to ensure that the church, still a young church as he wrote, should follow the example that he had been able to set. It is almost possible to say that this is the practical beginning of the church, not the spiritual beginning which was still to come after the resurrection, but the simple practical first move. One believer is to look after the mother of another.


How much this example is followed where you live will depend on your culture and how strongly and well within that culture believers carry out this part of the Christian commission. In our culture people are reasonably quick to support members of their family who have fallen into difficulty, but are nowhere near as quick to do so for those who, although fellow believers, are not part of their natural family. Perhaps yours does better.


So there is much to think about in these few verses. How firmly have we grasped the strength of the witness of John and the rest of the New Testament people and made it part of the central core of faith? And how ready are we to help other members of the Christian faith and church to whom we are not related?

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Friday Prayers 27 January 2017

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

27th January 2017

 

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!

 Today we say a series of prayers for the world, in order to lift others to the Lord God and to encourage ourselves!


Prayer Outline
Opening Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Prayer for the World
Prayer for Individuals
Prayer for the Church

 

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Thursday Story – John

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Thursday Story

People meeting Jesus

 The story of John from Hampshire, UK…

We continue apace into the twentieth century and hear the story of a friend of mine. His name is John and he is from Hampshire in the UK! Come on in, and listen to his story about his own Christian journey and the relevancy of Jesus Christ to his life.

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Issues – Words

 Partake - Issues

Words

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G’day and welcome to Partake and our series looking at some of the issues facing Christian Disciples in the twenty first century.  Last time we looked at Materialism, and today we look at something that has the capability of affecting every person on the planet.Jesus, our Master, said in Matthew Chapter 12 How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, which gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is blight on the orchard. Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.” Jesus took words extremely seriously and so must we for we are a result of our speech and we will be judged for what we say.

Words Alive!

Have you guessed what issue we will be talking about? Yes – that’s right – the issue is about Words! Words matter and for the Christian disciple they are off the utmost importance as the building blocks of communication: whether by thought or through the tongue. One of the greatest sins of the twenty first century, that all Christian Disciples need to be wary of, is the use of words.  Communication, which is cynical, sarcastic, murderous and discouraging, surrounds us and we are coerced to join in, when in fact we should be standing alone against it. The twenty first century is the communications century – everything can be communicated around the world at the click of a mouse button.  What we say, think and write has the potential to be a sinful action or a sinful inaction.  Regardless of what other people say or do, we are to speak, think and write without sinning. Let those be responsible before God for their own actions and inactions – you are only responsible for yours!Words are the central means of communication regardless of our language, nationality or culture. Needless to say that every one of us has either been hurt, or has hurt others, by communicated words.  The power of the tongue in communication and speech is awesome. It has the power of life & death and those who love it will eat & bear its fruit.  The tongue is a fire, which left unguarded, can corrupt the whole body and set the whole course of life on fire. We need to watch the words we speak and control our speech, or it will control us.

A Right Use!

So what is a right use of the tongue in communicating?  We are to use our words to nourish others, encourage and lift them up.  For the tongue of the righteous is choice silver. (Prov.10:21).  Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet in the soul and healing to the bones.  We find that if we give an apt reply we will find joy and discover the goodness and healing a timely word brings!  But we are not to speak glibly and hypocritically but with truth, sincerity and love – as a mother speaks to her daughter.

Guard it!

How can we guard its use?  By asking the Holy Spirit to watch over our lips and set a guard over our mouth, according to the Psalmist in Psalm 141:3.  It is a measure of wisdom to speak words when required and with discernment.  Any fool can speak words all the time, but sometimes there is a need for silence, for even then foolish people are thought to be wise.  Frequently, we are told by the world to be quick to speak and slow to listen. But as Christian Disciples we are to do the opposite, and stand alone against it!  We are to be slow to speak and quick to listen, according to James 1:19.

Jesus’ Words

Jesus’ words encouraged and healed, such as to the woman caught in adultery, when he used discernment and wisdom.  He actively encouraged others gently towards paths of right living.  He spoke words lovingly to his mother.  He even spoke words of kindness whilst He hung from His cross, during his last moments before death! He is to be our guide and Master in the use of speech, thoughts and words.  That is not to say he didn’t rebuke with an attitude of love, as he most certainly did on occasion to the Pharisees and other religious leaders.Matthew 5v21-22 is an example of the seriousness of words. Jesus speaking: “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.“Here Jesus equates calling somebody a fool with the physical act of murder! Murder has its beginning in anger developing into uncontrollable rage! Words, thoughts and attitudes of anger can lead the Christian Disciple to sin even more if they aren’t stopped quickly. Similarly, adultery has its beginning in lustful thoughts!  The words we formulate in our minds and those that proceed via our mouths are of utmost importance to God and therefore should be of utmost importance to us!  Let the words you communicate and think about, be like those of Jesus – “full of grace”.  Do not sin, either in your deeds, in your thinking and all means of communicating.

How are you doing?

How are you doing in your use of words?  Are your actions backing up your words? Are the words you use always full of grace, uplifting, encouraging and building! Sure there are times when words are to be used for rebuking in love, but always used under the control of the Holy Spirit.  The words you speak reflect your inner attitudes, your inner thoughts and your inner being.  The words you speak and communicate reflect who you are.  If the words you communicate are derogatory, inflaming and cursory then that reflects your inner thoughts and attitudes.  Control your tongue, commands James.  A person who controls their tongue can be likened to a ship with a rudder, and able to be steered to safety!  An uncontrolled tongue reflects a ship that is heading into dangerous water! Your words and all your communication have the power to bring life and encouragement but also on the contrary, has the power to bring corruption, degradation and death.  Let the Holy Spirit who lives inside you if you are a Christian Disciple; help you to use your words for the supreme glory of Jesus Christ, who after all is your Master! By doing that, you will truly be seen to be one of His disciples and be Standing Alone for Him and His majesty!  He is to have supremacy over all things in your life, including your words! Make no mistake, one of the issues facing Christians and a possible barrier to standing alone, is the use, abuse and misuse of words.

For more to think about please do read James 3vv1-11. Ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

Q1. Are the words I speak, words that heal and encourage, or are they also used to hurt and damage people?

Q2. When I am talking with other people, is it for gossiping, maliciousness or are they for healing, encouraging and uplifting others?

Q3. When was the last time I confessed and asked forgiveness for my sinful use, misuse and abuse of words?Thank you.

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