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Archive for September, 2021

Partakers Bible Thought 30 September 2021 – Big Story 08

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Partakers Bible Thought

30 September 2021

1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. (Mark 16:1-8)

1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized withthe Holy Spirit.”
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:1-10)

In our last podcast, we saw that Jesus Christ died. The long awaited Messiah, who people were trusting in had died. Was the death of this man, an ending? Or was it a beginning!

The most difficult part of the Big Story of the Bible to talk about is the Resurrection of Jesus. The big question is ‘did it really happen?’ All those of us who live in the modern Western world are in a culture that says it did not. The primary reason for this is that our culture says something is only true if it can be replicated. If an experiment carried out in the USA is true it must be possible to repeat it in Australia for it to be legitimate. And, of course, the return to life of the dead Son of God is the ultimate event that cannot be replicated. The assassination of Julius Caesar cannot be replicated either, but many national leaders have been assassinated in recent times so that is a near enough repetition for that ancient event to be accepted as having truly happened. But the resurrection of a man from death is another matter altogether. How do we get out of this problem?

Today we are looking at the resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ and His ascension back to God the Father. We explore together questions such as: Could Jesus really have risen from the dead? Who were the witnesses to such an event? Are they reliable? What did Jesus’ resurrection from the dead mean and achieve?Where and how does His resurrection fit into the over-all story? When Jesus ascended into the sky, where was he going? What was the reaction of his disciples and followers to all this? Listen or download the mp3 podcast to find out more in this part of telling the Bible’s big story and the rising from the dead of the long awaited for Messiah, Jesus Christ.

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Partakers Bible Thought 29 September 2021 – Big Story 07

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Partakers Bible Thought

29 September 2021

32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
(Mark 10:32-34)

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.” (John 19:28-37)

Jesus Christ died, falsely accused of plotting to destroy the temple, committing blasphemy and threatening insurrection against Rome. None of those things were true – at least in the way those who heard him interpreted them.

Today we are looking at the death of the Messiah, Jesus Christ and look back on the series so far and see how this is part of the culmination of the big story of the Bible. We explore together questions such as: How do the events we have looked at together so far meet at the death of Jesus Christ? What is the glory of his death? What has been achieved through His death? Was Jesus’ death, an end, or was it simply a beginning? Listen or download the mp3 podcast to find out more in this part of telling the Bible’s big story and the death of the long awaited for Messiah, Jesus Christ.

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Partakers Bible Thought 28 September 2021 – Big Story 06

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Partakers Bible Thought

28 September 2021

1 I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant,
4 ‘I will establish your line forever
and make your throne firm through all generations.’”
(Psalm 89:1-4)

1 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.
2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Matthew 11:1-6)

We are now approaching the climax of the Biblical story: the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. But there is a curiosity here. The ancient creeds of the Christian church say things like: “… born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate …” without a word about his life in between. We, too, give a great deal of attention to Christmas and Easter, but probably not so much to his life in between. Yet, at a rough count, there are only 4 chapters in total in the 4 Gospels about his birth, 14 about his death, but no less than 73 about his life in between. What, in our excitement about his birth as a human being, the incarnation, and his death, for our salvation, are we missing?

Today we are looking at the coming of the long awaited for Messiah, Jesus Christ. We explore together questions such as: Who was this Messiah that the nation of Israel had been told to wait for? What would this Messiah do? What is going to happen to the Kingdom of God? Listen or download the mp3 podcast to find out more in this part of telling the Bible’s big story and the coming of the long awaited for Messiah, Jesus Christ.

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Partakers Bible Thought 27 September 2021 – Big Story 05

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Partakers Bible Thought

27 September 2021

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.
19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”
20 After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. 21 By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. (Exodus 33:17-22)

1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 The priests could not enter the temple of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled it. 3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the LORD above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying,
“He is good; his love endures forever.”(2 Chronicles 7: 1-)

Most of the Old Testament is taken up with the steady decline of the life and faithfulness of Israel from the high point of the Exodus and their understanding, experience and the closeness of the Lord. To trace that decline we will follow the story of the place where the Lord was: the tent of meeting, the tabernacle and the Jerusalem temple.

Today we are looking at the long and steady decline of Israel away from closeness with the Lord God. We explore together questions such as: We explore together questions such as: How were Ancient Israel to worship God? How would God be present at the middle of His people, Israel? What occurred to show God’s displeasure with Israel’s unfaithfulness? What hope was there still to come?

Listen or download the mp3 podcast to find out more in this part of telling the Bible’s big story, the long and steady decline of Israel away from closeness with the Lord God.

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Partakers Bible Thought 26 September 2021 – Big Story 04

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Partakers Bible Thought

26 September 2021

3 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:1-6)

8 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.”
10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had said. (Exodus 7:8-13)

The next major action in the Biblical story is the return from Egypt of all the descendants of Jacob/Israel 400 years after Joseph took them there. What are most interesting are not the details of their history but the way in which God, the LORD, reveals himself to them. He does this in 3 ways:

  1. He tells them his name
  2. He carries out many overt acts demonstrating the power of his activity on their behalf
  3. He stations himself in the middle of his people to travel with them.

That is knowledge, action and presence. Today we are looking at how and why God reveals Himself. We explore together questions such as: In what way does God reveals Himself to Moses? Why does God reveal Himself? In what way is knowledge, action and presence part of God’s working with Moses and Israel? Listen or download the mp3 podcast to find out more in this part of telling the Bible’s big story, God revealing Himself to Moses.

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