Aug 23, 2016

POD - Psalm 96

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Psalm 96

96:1 Sing to Yahweh a new song!

Sing to Yahweh, all the earth.

96:2 Sing to Yahweh!

Bless his name!

Proclaim his salvation from day to day!

96:3 Declare his glory among the nations,

his marvelous works among all the peoples.

96:4 For great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised!

He is to be feared above all gods.

96:5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols,

but Yahweh made the heavens.

96:6 Honor and majesty are before him.

Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

96:7 Ascribe to Yahweh, you families of nations,

ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength.

96:8 Ascribe to Yahweh the glory due to his name.

Bring an offering, and come into his courts.

96:9 Worship Yahweh in holy array.

Tremble before him, all the earth.

96:10 Say among the nations, “Yahweh reigns.”

The world is also established.

It can’t be moved.

He will judge the peoples with equity.

96:11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice.

Let the sea roar, and its fullness!

96:12 Let the field and all that is in it exult!

Then all the trees of the woods shall sing for joy

96:13 before Yahweh; for he comes,

for he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with righteousness,

the peoples with his truth.

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Aug 22, 2016

Think Spot 22 August 2016

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Think Spot - 22nd August 2016

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 first word I would use for Jesus is that He is unique - totally unique! Never before and never to be repeated again - ever! Jesus Christ is the standout person from all of 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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Aug 21, 2016

Sermon - Hebrews 3 - A Strategy to Cope

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A Strategy to Cope

Hebrews 3

1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God's house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.

7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice,8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,9 where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did.10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.'

11 So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.' "12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.15 As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion."

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

The first thing we do is to consider Jesus or as the NIV here puts it “fix our thoughts”. Now remember, that these are Hebrew believers. I guess we would call them Messianic Jews today. They believed that Jesus was their Messiah, Saviour and Lord. They were obviously coming under pressure from their Jewish friends and leaders to deny this Jesus and return to the fold. They would have been told how great Moses was.

In the previous chapter we read how Jesus is greater than the angels, because He is God, but was made a little lower than the angels when he became a man.


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Aug 20, 2016

Gems in the Gospel of John - Part 43

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Gems in the Gospel of John
Part 43 - John 10:11-15
I am the good shepherd


Now we come to one of the most well-known things Jesus said. He compares himself to a shepherd: a good shepherd. From what he goes on to say he uses the word ‘good’ mainly because he is prepared to die for the sheep. This is the first time Jesus has made any allusion to his death in John’s gospel.

We have to be careful here. We may be so used to thinking of the leaders of Christians as shepherds - which is what pastor means - that we tend to think of Jesus here as simply the top shepherd, the boss shepherd, but Jesus is using the imagery here to emphasize his relationship to his people. He even equates his relationship to his people - that is to you and me - to his relationship to his father, to God. That is amazing! Once again we are seeing the difference between their way of thinking, dominated by the significance to them of the small group to which they belonged, and our (Western) way of thinking where the individual is much more important than anyone else or any group of people. We are, of course, fully entitled to our culture and there is nothing much we can do to escape from it but we must make every effort to grasp hold of the full import of this teaching of Jesus. We have seen it again and again in many different sorts of comments and metaphors throughout John’s Gospel.

Jesus says ‘I am the Good Shepherd’ and then goes on immediately to say that he will lay down his life for the sheep. This leads us to some important made up words for the way the Gospel should be presented. First we get ‘Christocentric’ which clearly emphasises that our Gospel must be centred on Christ. Then we get Cruco-Christocentric which says that our Gospel must be centred on the Crucified Christ. This is important. We must not place the emphasis on the Social Jesus by seeking to emulate him in his many good works - important though those are and our imitation of them is; we must not place the emphasis on his work in outreaching to other people which we copy in evangelism; not even on his divinity as that would lead us to try to emphasise his Glory in pageants of glorious worship and praise. No! Our sole emphasis is to be on the great work that he accomplished on the Cross, for our redemption, our salvation, our growth in purity and holiness, and our eventual glorification with him in the eternal kingdom. There is nothing in what he did that we can emulate at all. He alone did those things and achieved those purposes. That may seem to be an almost useless abstraction. Should we not concentrate on doing things to the glory of God and the benefit of his Kingdom? No! Our central core emphasis must always be on Christ and him crucified. We must be Cruco-Christocentric. Only Jesus, his death and the resurrection that validated that death, are to lie at the centre of our thinking and all our activity. Only then will our motivations be right and acceptable to the Lord God.

Then will we be good and obedient sheep at the centre of his flock, following his guiding, living the sort of lives as we go in and out to the Kingdom pastures that are the best and greatest of all lives to live. Note here how much in this Gospel the emphasis falls not so much on sin, though it is a consideration, but on the importance of the continuing life that is opened up for the Christian as they set out to follow him. Jesus was always looking forward to his follower’s futures, not deeply concerned about their pasts. His was an orientation to the future not the past. Even to the woman caught in adultery he said “go now and leave your life of sin”. As we saw last time .‘Jesus is the gate’; he is about us going in and out to find pasture - it is our continuing lives that are now the prime concern of our most gracious Lord. To keep them strong we must always centre and focus all our beings on Christ and him crucified. We must be Cruco-Christocentric in everything.

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Aug 19, 2016

Friday Prayers 19 August 2016

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

19th August 2016

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 are praying a prayer of Clement of Rome - for those in authority over us.

You, O Lord, have given the authority of the kingdom to them through Your almighty and unspeakable power,
so that we, knowing the estimation and honour given to them by You,
might submit ourselves to them,
in no way opposing Your will;
to whom give, O Lord, health, peace, concord, stability,
so that they may discharge the rule given to them by You without offence;

For you, heavenly Master, King of the ages, give to the sons of men glory and honour and authority over those upon the earth.

Lord, direct their plans according to what is good and pleasing in your sight,
so that by devoutly administering in peace and gentleness the authority which you have given them they may experience your mercy.

You, who alone are able to do these and even greater good things for us,
we praise through the high priest and guardian of our souls, Jesus Christ,
through whom be the glory and the majesty to you both now and for all generations and for ever and ever.

Amen

(A prayer taken from 1 Clement 61.1-3).

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Aug 18, 2016

A Simple Way To Pray - Martin Luther - Part 9

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A Simple Way To Pray
Martin Luther

Study 9


The Ten Commandments


If I have had time and opportunity to go through the Lord's Prayer, I do the same with the Ten Commandments. I take one part after another and free myself as much as possible from distractions in order to pray. I divide each Commandment into four parts, thereby fashioning a garland of four strands. That is, I think of each Commandment as,

First, instruction, which is really what it is intended to be, and consider what the Lord God demands of me so earnestly.

Second, I turn it into a thanksgiving;

Third, a confession; and

Fourth, a prayer. I do so in thoughts or words such as these:

"I am the Lord your God, etc. You shall have no other gods before me," etc. Here I earnestly consider that God expects and teaches me to trust him sincerely in all things and that it is his most earnest purpose to be my God. I must think of him in this way at the risk of losing eternal salvation. My heart must not build upon anything else or trust in any other thing, be it wealth, prestige, wisdom, might, piety, or anything else.

Then I give thanks for his infinite compassion by which he has come to me in such a fatherly way and, unasked, unbidden, and unmerited, has offered to be my God, to care for me, and to be my comfort, guardian, help, and strength in every time of need. We poor mortals have sought so many gods and would have to seek them still if he did not enable us to hear him openly tell us in our own language that he intends to be our God. How could we ever-in all eternity-thank him enough!

Then, I confess and acknowledge my great sin and ingratitude for having so shamefully despised such sublime teachings and such a precious gift throughout my whole life, and for having fearfully provoked his wrath by countless acts of idolatry. I repent of these and ask for his grace.

Lastly, I pray and say: "O my God and Lord, help me by Your grace to learn and understand Your Commandments more fully every day and to live by them in sincere confidence. Preserve my heart so that I shall never again become forgetful and ungrateful, that I may never seek after other gods or other consolation on earth or in any creature, but cling truly and solely to thee, my only God. Amen, dear Lord God and Father. Amen."


(‘A Simple Way To Pray by Martin Luther’: Prayer, the Lord's Prayer, the 10 Commandments, and the Creed - A Letter to His Barber, Master Peter Beskendorf, Spring 1535. The ebook or PDF is widely available to download for free online.)


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