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Archive for February, 2017

Think Spot 13 February 2017

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Think Spot 13 February 2016

God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9

 

All over the world, people share a common desire for peace! But what is peace? The peace the world wants varies from the peace the Christian knows. The world sees peace as the absence of conflict and people being generally ‘nice’ to one another. Peace in the Christian context goes further, saying peace is perfect harmony with God, other people, circumstances and self. Therefore perfect peace will not come until Jesus Christ comes again, and takes Christians to be with Him.

That doesn’t give us as Christians a mandate to sit around not doing what we can for peace, because we are commanded to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9), our God is a God of peace (1 Thessalonians 5:23), and the Kingdom of God is about peace in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Peace is to be our business!

In a world full of conflicts, such as conflicts between nations, conflicts between neighbours, conflicts even within families and conflicts within and between churches, Christians are to be peacemakers!With that in mind, here are some thoughts on what the Bible has to say on peace, to help you this week be a peacemaker:

1. Peace with God

  • Justified by faith (Romans 5:1-2)
  • Christ is our peace between God and man and between men (Ephesians 2:13-18)

2. Peace with others

  • Live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:17-20)
  • Do everything possible which leads to peace and mutual encouragement (Romans 14:13-19)
  • Be a peacemaker – a sign of real wisdom producing a harvest of righteousness (Matthew 5:9, James 3:17-18)

3. Peace within/circumstances

  • Peace is a gift of God (John 14:27, 2 Thessalonians3:16)
  • Worldly peace requires manipulation of circumstances, God’s peace comes regardless of circumstances
  • We have peace in troubled times – an untroubled, unfearful heart and mind (John 16:33)

Go in peace this Monday, into this week, knowing that the God of peace lives inside you if you are one of His children! Yesterday churches around the world celebrated the feast of Pentecost – the coming of the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus. If you desire peace with God, with others and in all circumstances, ask this Holy Spirit who lives inside you to help you! If you would not consider yourself as one of His children, ask Him to help you become one!

Father, I pray that this week we will do all we can to be peacemakers and make a difference in world in conflict. I ask this through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside all those who have peace with you. Amen

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Exploring the Bible – 06. New Testment – Jude

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Exploring The Bible

6. New Testament

Jude (AD68-70)

 

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:

  • Jude 3-4

 

Jude, another brother of Jesus and James, writes warning against apostasy. He urges his readers to recognize the problem and fight for the faith. He uses graphic illustrations from the Old Testament.

Jude is careful to emphasise the positive things they should do as well as instructing them to condemn the errors of some. He closes with a statement of confidence and of praise to God.

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Gems in the Gospel of John – Part 87

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Gems in the Gospel of John

Part 87 – John 20:17
The ultimate Purpose
 

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” (John 20:17)

Mary eventually recognised Jesus. Her initial failure to do so is in line with what happened when other people met the risen Jesus. Luke reports that the couple who met him on the road to Emmaus also failed to recognise him, at first. It seems that he was at one and the same time both recognisably the same Jesus and distinctly different.


This ties in with what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15: 42 – 44, “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” (I find this very encouraging. Perhaps we will be raised not with the bodies in which we die which may be old and bent and wizened but with something a bit more like the way we were in our prime!)

Matthew says that the women, presumably Mary as here, clasped his feet as they fell to the ground in adoring worship. But Jesus, although he might be touched as happened with some others, did not want to be held. That would have suggested a too permanent relationship when he was due to ascend back to his Father. And his ascension was a vital part of the journey he was on. He had left his heavenly home, descended to earth to be a man as well as God, completed his work in his death on the Cross, announced ‘it is finished’ and was now on his way back to the right hand (the place of honour) next to his Father. There it would be as the writer to the Hebrews says in his 8: 1, 9: 24 – 25, “We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary … now to appear for us in God’s presence. … to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
Or, as Paul said in Romans 8: 35 – 39, “Christ Jesus who died —more than that, who was raised to life —is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This is the ultimate purpose for which Christ came and died – that he might make continual intercession for us in the judicial throne room of heaven and we should have total confidence in him. Nothing must hinder that, not even the heartfelt worship of Mary, the most faithful disciple of them all. Let us rejoice and be glad on what has been done and is being done for us – even now.

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Friday Prayers 10 February 2017

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Friday Prayers

 

 CS Lewis…

Today on Partakers we are praying a prayer based on the poem “Love is as hard as nails” by CS Lewis. Come on in, download the mp3 and pray with us!

Love ‘s as warm as tears,
Love is tears:
Pressure within the brain,
Tension at the throat,
Deluge, weeks of rain,
Haystacks afloat,
Featureless seas between
Hedges, where once was green.

Love’s as fierce as fire,
Love is fire:
All sorts – internal heat
Clinkered with greed and pride,
Lyric desire, sharp-sweet,
Laughing, even when denied,
And that empyreal flame
Whence all loves came.

Love’s as fresh as spring,
Love is spring:
Bird-song hung in the air,
Cool smells in a wood,
Whispering ‘Dare! Dare!
To sap, to blood,
Telling ‘Ease, safety, rest,
Are good; not best.’

Love’s as hard as nails,
Love is nails:
Blunt, thick, hammered through
The medial nerves of One
Who, having made us, knew
The thing he had done,
Seeing (with all that is)
Our cross, and his.

Amen

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Thursday Story – Richard

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Thursday Story

Richard meeting Jesus

A story of Richard

We continue apace into the twentieth century and hear the story of salvation and healing coming to the life of Richard.

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