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Partakers Bible Think Spot 10 May 2021

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Bible Think Spot 10 May 2021

Matthew records Jesus speaking these words:

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? As ever, Jesus has a lot to say about that subject, so come and listen to the podcast to find out more!

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Think Spot 7 September 2020

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Think Spot 7 September 2020

 
What we say, as well as what we don’t say, as Christians is very important. The Bible is very clear on that.
 

1 Peter 2:1 “Therefore rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind.”

James 4:11-12 “Brothers do not slander one another…who are you to judge your neighbour?” The definition of slander is words falsely spoken that damage the reputation of another or an abusive attack on a person’s character or good name or to attack the good name and reputation of someone.So next time you go to say anything negative about someone or to criticise their actions, think again, you might be disobeying God and breaking a command.

The Apostle James powerfully shows how a small thing such as the tongue is able to cause much damage. He says that the tongue is a world of evil that corrupts the whole person …and is itself set on fire by hell (James 3:3-8).

Christians are very good at gossiping but disguising it as prayerful concern. We pass on a juicy bit of information about someone and then ask the person to pray about the situation. As Christians we should not pass on any information about anyone else unless the person concerned has asked us to. It is not our place to do so even if it is for prayer.

However, sometimes it is also what we don’t say that causes problems. We stay silent when in fact we do need to give that word of love, encouragement, rebuke or kindness. Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook can be fabulous sites if used properly. How often to we stay silent when we should say something kind? We get a message from a friend and we don’t reply to it.  How often do we say something when we should stay silent instead of slandering, complaining, gossiping or bickering?

Prayer

Now, a prayer to help you into this new week. Father, we thank you for words. We thank you that we can communicate words of life to other people. Help us to use words wisely as we interact, communicate and deal with other people, especially our loved ones and work colleagues. May the Holy Spirit, guide, rebuke and counsel, as we use the amazing gift of words to us, as we seeks to live a life worthy of Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

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Think Spot 31 August 2020

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Think Spot – 31st August 2020


God has made us able ministers of the new Covenant; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6.

The “letter” is the whole law of Moses, or the doctrine of the ten commandments, which teach how we should obey God, honour parents, love our neighbours, and the like— the very best doctrine to be found in all books, sermons and schools. There is another message, which Paul terms the “ministration of a new covenant or of the Spirit.” This doctrine does not teach what works are required of man; but it makes known to him what God would do for him and bestow upon him, indeed what he has already done ; he has given his Son Christ for us ; because, for our disobedience to the law, which no man fulfils, we were under God’s wrath and condemnation. Christ made satisfaction for our sins, effected a reconciliation with God and gave to us his own righteousness. This doctrine is revealed through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit works in the hearts of them who hear and accept the doctrine. Therefore this ministration is termed the ministration “of the Spirit.”

It is of design that the apostle does not term the two dispensations “law” and “gospel,” but names them according to the respective effects produced. For it is impossible to keep the law without Christ, though man may, for the sake of honour or property, or from fear of punishment, feign outward holiness. The heart which does not discern God’s grace in Christ cannot turn to God, nor trust in him ; it cannot love his commandments and delight in them, but rather resists them.

Therefore, God would have his gospel message unceasingly urged as the means of awakening man’s heart to discern his state and recall the grace and lovingkindness of God, with the result that the power of the Holy Spirit is increased constantly. No influence of the law, no work of man is present here. The force is a new and heavenly one — the power of the Holy Spirit. He impresses upon the heart Christ and his works, making it a true book which does not consist in tracing mere letters and words, but in true life and action.

(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 24 August 2020

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Think Spot – 24th August 2020

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Romans 8:14.

Like ourselves, Paul had to deal with two classes of people, the true and the false Christians. There is not so much danger from the adversaries of the doctrine; their opposition is so open that we can readily beware of them. But since the devil sows his seed among us who are called Christians and boast of the gospel, it behoves us to take heed of those who claim to be Christians. It is easy enough to boast of God and of Christ and of the Spirit. But whether such boasting has any foundation depends on whether or not the Spirit so works and rules in us as to subdue and mortify sin. For where the Spirit is, there assuredly he is not idle, nor powerless. He proves his presence by ruling and directing man and prevailing on him to obey and follow his promptings.

To be “led by the Spirit of God” means to be given a heart which gladly hears God’s Word and believes that in Christ it has grace and the forgiveness of sins ; a heart which confesses and proves its faith before the world ; a heart which seeks, above all things, the glory of God, and endeavours to live without giving offense, to serve others and to be obedient, patient, pure and chaste, mild and gentle; a heart which, though at times overtaken in a fault, and may stumble, soon rises again by repentance and ceases to sin. All these things the Holy Spirit teaches one if he hears and receives the Word, and does not wilfully resist the Spirit.

The devil, who is also a spirit, persuades the hearts of the worldlings ; but it soon becomes evident that his work is not that of a good or divine spirit. For he leads men to do the reverse of that which the Spirit of God leads them to do ; they find no pleasure in hearing and obeying God’s Word, but despise God, and become proud and haughty, avaricious, unmerciful. Let every one therefore take heed that he deceive not himself. For there are many who claim to be Christians and are not. We perceive this from the fact that not all are led by the Spirit of God.

(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 17 August 2020

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Think Spot – 17th August 2020

If you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. Romans 8:13.

Here the apostle confesses that even in the Christian there is a remnant of the flesh, that must be put to death — all manner of temptation and lusts in opposition to God’s commandments. These are active in the flesh and prompt to sin. They are here called the “deeds of the body.” Of this nature are thoughts of unbelief and distrust, coldness and indolence with respect to God’s Word and prayer, carnal security and presumption instead of the fear of God, impatience and murmurings under suffering, anger and vindictiveness, or envy and hatred against our neighbour, avarice, unchastity and the like. Such inclinations as these dwell in flesh and blood and cease not to move and tempt man.

Because of human infirmity they at times overtake him when he is not careful enough about transgression. They will surely overpower him unless he resolutely opposes them, and puts to death these “deeds of the body.” To do this means a severe struggle, a battle, which never abates, nor ceases as long as we live. The Christian dare never become slothful or negligent in this matter. He must constantly put to death the flesh lest he himself be put to death by it.

This constitutes the difference between those who are Christians and sanctified and those who are without faith and the Holy Spirit, or who grieve and lose the Spirit. For although believers, as well as unbelievers, are not wholly free from the sinful lusts of the flesh, they yet remain in repentance and the fear of God ; they hold fast to the belief that their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake, because they do not yield to them, but resist them. Therefore they continue under forgiveness, and their remaining infirmity is not fatal, nor damning to them as it is to those who, without repentance and faith, go on in carnal security and purposely follow their evil lusts against their own conscience, casting away from themselves both faith and the Holy Spirit. Having received the Holy Spirit, Christians are to comfort themselves with the fact that they have help and strength to resist and mortify sin.

(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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