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Think Spot 27 January 2020

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Think Spot – 27 January 2020

The third day there was a marriage in Carta in Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: and both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. John 2: 1-2.

It is indeed a high honor paid to married life for Christ himself to attend this marriage, together with his mother and his disciples. His mother is present as the one arranging the wedding, the parties married being apparently her poor relatives or neighbors, and she being compelled to act as the bride’s mother ; so, of course, it was nothing more than a wedding, and in no way a display.

The second honor is his giving good wine for the humble marriage by means of a great miracle, making himself the bride’s chief cup-bearer; it may be too that he had no money or jewel to give as a wedding present. He never did such honor to the life or doings of the Pharisees; for by this miracle he confirms marriage as the work and institution of God. No matter how common or how lowly it appears in the eyes of men, God none the less acknowledges his own work and loves it.

Since then marriage has the foundation and consolation that it is instituted by God and that God loves it, and that Christ himself so honors and comforts it, every one ought to prize and esteem it; the heart ought to be glad that it is surely the state which God loves, and cheerfully endure every burden in it, even though the burdens be ten times heavier than they are. For this reason there is so much care and unpleasantness in married life to the outward man, because everything that is God’s word and work, if it is to be blessed at all, must be distasteful, bitter and burdensome to the outward man.

Marriage is a state that cultivates and exercises faith in God and love to our neighbor by means of manifold cares, labors, unpleasantness, crosses and all kinds of adversities that are to follow everything that is God’s word and work. Christ also shows that he is not displeased with a marriage feast, nor with the things which belong to a wedding, such as adornments, cheerfulness, eating and drinking, according to the usage and custom of the country. God is not concerned about such external things, if it be in moderation, and faith and love reign.

(An excerpt taken from “Devotional Readings From Luther’s Works For Every Day Of The Year” By Rev. John Sander, L.H.D.) in the Public Domain.

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Think Spot 20 January 2020

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Think Spot – 20 January 2020

Hatred stirs up strife; but love covers all sins. Proverbs 10:12.

Where hatred and enmity dwell in the heart, they must inevitably stir up strife and bring misfortune. Animosity cannot restrain itself. It either bursts out in pernicious language, clandestinely uttered against the object of enmity, or it openly demeans itself in a manner indicating its ill will. Hence follow revelling, cursing, quarrelling and fighting, and, when wholly unrestrained, cruelty and murder. Hatred has but one desire, namely, that everyone be an enemy to his neighbour and speak the worst about him, and if he hears aught in his neighbour’s favour, he puts upon it the very worst construction with the result that the other is embittered and in turn comes to hate, curse and revile. Thus the fire burns until only discord and mischief can obtain.

On the other hand love is virtue pure and precious. It neither utters, nor thinks any evil of its neighbour. It rather covers sin; not one sin, nor two, but a “multitude of sins.” Love has no desire to reflect itself in a neighbour’s sins and maliciously rejoice in them. It conducts itself as having neither seen, nor heard them. If they cannot be overlooked, it readily forgives, and as far as possible mends matters. Where nothing else can be done, it endures the sins of a neighbour without stirring up strife and making a bad matter worse. Where people dwell together there will be mutual transgressions; it cannot be otherwise. No one will always do what is pleasing to others, and each is liable to commit open wrong. Since men must live together in their respective stations of life, he who would live peaceably must so control himself as to be able to bear with others, to overlook their imperfections, to cover their transgressions and thus avert further resulting evil.

Now if you would live as a Christian and enjoy peace in the world, you must make every effort to restrain your anger and not to give way to revenge. You must suppress these passions, subduing your hatred by love, and be able to overlook and bear, even though you have to suffer great pain and injustice. So doing you will develop a noble character fitted to accomplish much good through patience and humility, to allay and abolish enmity and strife, and thereby to reform and convert others.

(An excerpt taken from “Devotional Readings From Luther’s Works For Every Day Of The Year” By Rev. John Sander, L.H.D.) in the Public Domain.

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Think Spot 13 January 2020

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Think Spot – 13 January 2020

Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which Were spoken of him. Luke 2:33.

What are the marvellous things spoken of him ? They are the things of which Simeon had spoken immediately before, when in the temple he took the child Jesus upon his arms, saying: “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word ; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” They marvelled that this aged and holy man stood there before them in the temple, took the child in his arms and spoke of him so exultingly, calling him the light of the world, a Saviour of all nations, a glory of all the people of Israel.

It must indeed excite wonder that such things were proclaimed openly by Simeon in that public and sacred place with reference to that poor and insignificant child, whose mother was so humble and lowly and whose father Joseph was not wealthy. How could such a child be considered the Saviour of all men, the light of the Gentiles, and the glory and honour of all Israel? At present, after we have had so many proofs of Christ’s greatness, these words no longer seem so wonderful; but then, when nothing as yet was known of Jesus, they were indeed marvellous. Joseph and Mary believed them nevertheless, and on that very account they marvelled. If they had not believed them, the words of Simeon would have appeared insignificant to them and not at all wonderful.

If Joseph and Mary had judged according to the outward appearances, they would have considered Christ no more than any other poor child. But they disregard the outward appearance and cling to the words of Simeon with a firm faith, therefore they marvel at his speech. Thus we must also disregard all the senses when contemplating the works of God, and only cling to his words, that our eyes and our senses may not offend us. The fact that they marvelled at the words of Simeon is also to teach us that the Word of God is never preached in vain. The Word of God must produce results, even if there are only a few who believe it. There are always some who receive it with joy and admiration.

(An excerpt taken from “Devotional Readings From Luther’s Works For Every Day Of The Year” By Rev. John Sander, L.H.D.) in the Public Domain.

 

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Think Spot 2 December 2019

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Think Spot 2 December 2019

G’day and welcome to Partakers and our Monday Think Spot! We have the start of a new week! Its Monday! I don’t know how your weekend went, but I had a weekend that I want to forget quickly! It could be said that I did not have a peaceful weekend dealing with situations that arose unexpectedly. I am at peace now but was not at the time! I had this little voice inside me repeatedly saying “Trust me… Be at peace with yourself.” The Holy Spirit was ministering to me amidst the turmoil despite my often not wanting to hear that!

Matthew 5:9 records Jesus speaking these words “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”

 
All over the world, the majority of people share a common desire for peace! But what is peace? The peace the world wants varies from the peace which we as Christian know to be true. 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, perfect harmony with other people, with circumstances and with self. While we are to aim for peace in all those areas, perfect peace in all those areas will not come until Jesus Christ comes again, and takes Christians to be with Him.
 
However, that doesn’t give us as Christians a mandate to sit around not doing what we can for peace. Unsurprisingly the Bible has a lot to say about peace! Jesus commanded us to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9) because our God is a God of peace (1 Thessalonians 5:23), and the Kingdom of God to which we belong is about peace in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Peace is to be our business! In a world full of peaceless-turmoil, such as conflicts between nations, conflicts between neighbours, conflicts even within families and conflicts within and between churches, Christians are to be peacemakers!
 
If you are a Christian, you have peace with God because Jesus Christ is your peace between God and yourself (Ephesians 2:13-18)! More than that, we are to be at peace with others! Now this can be hard! We are commanded to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9, James 3:17-18), living at peace with everyone (Romans 12:17-20) and do everything possible which leads to peace and mutual encouragement (Romans 14:13-19).
 
And even more! We are to remain at peace when confronted with peace-less circumstances and events! We are to seek peace in these events which is a gift of God (John 14:27, 2 Thessalonians3:16)! Whereas worldly peace requires manipulation of circumstances, God’s peace comes regardless of circumstances! When faced with circumstances, events and troubled times, we are to grasp hold of the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding! This inevitably leads you to have an untroubled, unfearful heart and mind(John 16:33)! WOW!
 
Go in peace this Monday, into this week, knowing that the God of peace lives inside you if you are one of His children! Go dispense this peace as God’s peacemaker where you go! You can be the peacemaker in your place of work, where you live, where you visit, where you socialize and even where you shop or play sport! If you are struggling to be a peacemaker in a difficult circumstance then ask this Holy Spirit who lives inside you to help you! He will help you if you ask! If you would not consider yourself a Christian and at peace with God, then ask Him to help you become one!
 
Father, we pray that this week we will do all we can as your followers to be peacemakers, to do all we can for peace and to make peace where ever we go and make a difference in world in conflict. We 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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Think Spot 25 November 2019

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Think Spot 25 November 2019

 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8


Isn’t it great to be a believer? Or maybe yesterday’s meetings at Church were not much of an inspiration to you as you begin a new week? You just didn’t get much from the services yesterday. You listened but other thought you allowed to crowd in. Concerns for certain family members, friends or neighbours. So you have not started the week with gusto. Even your morning quiet time today didn’t go well. Your prayer life hit rock bottom. Your prayers, you thought didn’t get any higher than the ceiling. You had to not only drag yourself out of bed but also through your devotions. “Is this what the Christian life is all about?” you ask yourself. Am I not meant to be a joyful triumphant Christian?

Our minds are fertile ground and must be guarded and guided. They are open to all kinds of infiltrations and our part is to guard our minds and put useful good healthy thoughts in. The key is to ask ourselves the question “What would Jesus have me do?” “What can I do for His Kingdom and name sake?” “Is there someone today I could meet up with and encourage? Someone to offer financial help to? Someone who needs my sympathy? Someone who needs a car lift to hospital? We need to take our minds off of our own needs and focus on others and their needs.

Minds can soak up all kinds of useless stuff if we let them. Jesus took time to prepare himself for each day. He began with several hours in prayer. Maybe we should see Him as our example as well as reading a good Christian biography, including a commentary on a passage from the Bible each morning and pray it in. If we did we might have a much better day. It’s our relationship with Jesus that will determine our state of mind throughout the day. Think on these things .Have a great day and a great week!

Dear Lord, take care of my mind and do not allow those awful thoughts to continue in my mind. Help me think upon good useful thoughts that are sweet and helpful to building others up which will glorify God. I am sorry for allowing such rubbish to fill my mind. Instead, fill my mind with thoughts such as “How would Jesus think about this situation where I have anger, jealousy or even hatred. The truth is I want to be like You Lord.” In Jesus name.
Amen!

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Think Spot 18 November 2019

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Think Spot – 18 November 2019

 

Here we are Monday again. Are you pleased? Are you ready for a new day at the office, or at college or in the factory or at a desk? You are a Christian right? So what are you thinking as you resume where you left off last week?

Did you pray before you left home? Great for that’s the best way to start off. You spent a little time with the Lord in His Word and have sought his leading through the day. That is also commendable. Have you sought protection from the Lord also? Have you realised there is someone who is anxious that you don’t triumph in Christ today. That of course is satan. He is someone who wants to safeguard his territory and his prisoners – those who are already under his control.

So look at this day as an exciting day with all kinds of great prospects. If you are walking and talking with God you couldn’t be in better company or stronger. He will be your shield and refuge a very present help in time of trouble. He is at your right hand and will be in control as you yield yourself confidently to His direction through the day. Ok a lot of routine stuff but do it as well as you can and cheerfully. But you don’t know my boss?

No but God does and he has you there in that place for a reason never doubt. You may not see anything terrific happen today no miracles but you are a light shining for Jesus and will make an impact upon someones day today as you come into contact just your presence in the same room. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify God in Heaven.

Trust in the Lord and be not afraid. Watch your behaviour and enjoy God’s presence with you. You are in the centre of his will and its going to be a great Monday. Our confidence is in the Lord.

Psalm 23 reads “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Believe and act upon those words spoken by David and at the end of day you may well be able to also say with him “My cup runs over”

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Think Spot 30 September 2019

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Think Spot 30th September 2019

As part of our living as followers of Jesus, here is something which has the capability of affecting every person on the planet.

Jesus, our Master, said in Matthew 12:36-37 “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgement for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Jesus took words and thoughts extremely seriously. Jesus’ words encouraged others gently towards paths of right living. He spoke words of love, kindness, rebuke, forgiveness, encouragement and blessing upon and to others. Jesus is to be our guide and Master in the use of thoughts and words.

In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus equates calling somebody a fool with the physical act of murder. Murder has its beginning in anger developing into uncontrollable rage. Improper attitudes, words and thoughts can lead you and I to sin if we don’t stop their destructive use quickly. May the words we communicate and think about, be like those of Jesus – “full of grace”. How is your WOW factor of Jesus now?

When Jesus Christ called you to follow Him, He called you to follow Him wholeheartedly and be committed to only Him. Jesus calls you and I, to love God and be totally committed to Him.

Here is a brief prayer to help us into the new week.

Father, help us this week to be totally committed to you in all aspects of our lives. May those we live with, work with and interact with, know we are your child by the words we speak. We ask this, through the mighty name of your Son, Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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