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Friday Prayers


O all-transcendent God
what other name describes You?
What words can sing Your praises?
No word at all denotes You.
What mind can probe Your secret?
No mind at all can grasp You fully.

Alone beyond the power of speech,
all people can speak of springs from You.
Alone beyond the power of thought,
all people can think of stems from You.


All things proclaim You – things that can speak, things that cannot.
All things revere You – things that have reason, things that have none.

The whole world's longing and pain mingle about You.
All things breathe You a prayer,
a silent hymn of Your own composing.

All that exists You uphold,
all things in concert move to Your orders.
You are the end of all that is,
You are one, You are all;
You are none of the things that are,
You are not a part and not the whole.

All names are at Your disposal;
how shall I name You, the only unnameable?
What mind's affinities with heaven
can pierce the veils above the clouds?
Mercy, all-transcendent God,
what other name describes You?
Amen

A prayer of Gregory Nazianzus (329 – 390)

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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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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

WOW Word - God of Judement

~Today Alphy the WOWChurch Cat shares about

the WOW Word - God of Judgment!

 

We have all at some point liked to think of God as being only about love and never judging. People say “It will be alright in the end, because the love of God conquers all.” Well, remember also, that love involves judging. God is the judge of all the earth, the writer of Hebrews reminds us (Hebrews 12:23). This judgment has several aspects to it:

Unbiased

God shows no favoritism (Romans 2:11). God is eternally just and righteous. It is a reflection of His mercy, that nobody can claim God is unfair.

Unavoidable

Jesus Christ will judge the whole world with justice (Acts 17:31). Everybody is destined to die once and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). What is common to everybody, is a universal sinfulness (Romans 2:1). What is in the murderer or the thief is in everybody, everywhere and all the time. That is rebelliousness against God and that is sin and it must be judged. Judgement will be before the Great White Throne of Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

Universal

Judgment of unbelievers: Those who do not profess Jesus, as God, will be judged according to their sinfulness. They are already guilty, because they didn’t take up the offer of salvation through Grace during their earthly life. These people will be cast into the lake of fire with satan and his angels (Revelation 20:15; Matthew 25:41). This punishment is eternal (Matthew 25:46). Judgment of Christian Disciples: And that is not all.

 

Judgment of believers: Those who are believers, Christian disciples, and are actively engaged in a relationship with Jesus Christ, will also be judged. Does that surprise you? While these people have accepted God’s free offer and are declared righteous by faith, they will be judged according to the things they have done with, and in, their faith. Belief and faith are to be supported by good works (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

As a Christian Disciple, you will not be judged for sin - this has been judged (Isaiah 53:4-6; again I find that odd since it is quoting from before the event, which raises all sorts of questions about scripture. Why not Romans 6:21? Peter 2:24), and you have salvation on that basis. This judgment is not for your salvation but for your crown, your rewards (2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4). As a Christian Disciple, you will be asked to give an account of yourself (Romans 14:10), and you will be judged according to what you have done (2 Corinthians 5:10). The quality of your work will be tested (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Your motives will be exposed – either you did things for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 4:4-5) which is acceptable, or you did them for some other reasons which are not.

As a Christian Disciple, you will give account of the opportunities and abilities entrusted to you (Matthew 25:14-30). Rewards may be gained or lost (1 Corinthians 3:14-15). These rewards are described as:

  • an incorruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9:25)
  • a crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4)
  • a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8)
  • a crown of rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19)
  • a crown of life (James 1:12)

So, go this day. Go this week. Go tell somebody of the crown waiting for them, if only they are willing to enter into a living and dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. Remember - do all you do, for God’s glory and not your own.

~

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POD - Psalm 57

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Psalm 57

For the Chief Musician. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.”
A poem by David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave.


Be merciful to me, God, be merciful to me, for my soul takes refuge in you.

Yes, in the shadow of your wings, I will take refuge, until disaster has passed.
I cry out to God Most High, to God who accomplishes my requests for me.
He will send from heaven, and save me,
he rebukes the one who is pursuing me.

Selah.

God will send out his loving kindness and his truth.

My soul is among lions.
I lie among those who are set on fire, even the sons of men,
whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.
Be exalted, God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be above all the earth!
They have prepared a net for my steps. My soul is bowed down.
They dig a pit before me. They fall into its midst themselves.

Selah.

My heart is steadfast, God, my heart is steadfast.
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises.
Wake up, my glory!
Wake up, psaltery and harp!
I will wake up the dawn.
I will give thanks to you, Lord, among the peoples.
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your great loving kindness reaches to the heavens, and your truth to the skies.
Be exalted, God, above the heavens.
Let your glory be over all the earth.

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Think Spot - 14 August 2017

 

We now enter a new week! Do you claim to trust God? How is trust in God exhibited? One of the natural outcomes of trusting God is joy - often an unspeakable joy that bubbles within you! A joy resulting from overcoming all that life throws at you, and overcoming those hurdles! It involves taking a daily commitment to follow Jesus Christ and not just a one off. It takes commitment, not comfort, to throw off hindrances and barriers. True joy results from being willing to allow the Holy Spirit to work in you, transforming you into the image of Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God the Father.

All of these things being done daily in your life lead to what I am convinced is the key to the reality of a successful Christian life - that key being joy. As you grow closer to Jesus, living in peace, trust and obedience, then your spiritual life will be your natural life and your natural life be your spiritual life! Your joy will abound and shine a light giving people a reason to ask "Where do you get all your joyous hope from?". You will then be able to· share Jesus as your source of joy. A joy that is anticipatory, expectant and true! Joy comes from putting Jesus first, others next and then yourself! Go practise it this week!

You can show this joy by singing, laughing, smiling, shouting praises to God, lifting hands in worship', and crying, but that is only the external part of joy. True joy also incorporates an internal joy. Real joy is when you can believe in: the mountain top when you are in your deepest valley. Abundant joy is being surrounded by darkness and still believing in 'the light'. Anticipatory joy is when amidst total confusion you still believe God has a plan of love for you. It was this type of joy that Jesus had, when in the garden praying, the night before he was betrayed, when full of mixed emotions and anguish he said "Not my will, but yours, Father!"

As sons and daughters of God, we have many reasons to be full of joy. Yet how often we forget! Here are some reasons for joy!

  • Psalm 51:8 & 12 - Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me-now let me rejoice. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
  • Jeremiah 15:16 - When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven's Armies.
  • Luke 15:8-10 "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won't she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbours and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God's angels when even one sinner repents."
  • 1 Peter 1:8-9 - You love Jesus Christ even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

Do you desire to be' overflowing with joy today and this week? Go into this week with a joy that is anticipating and expectant! Do you need to hand over to Jesus a particular area of your life' where Jesus does not fully reign and have control?

I pray that the Father will reveal more of Himself to you, as you daily seek His face, overcoming all hindrances to living a successful and joyful-Christian life. May the Holy Spirit who lives within you, if you are a Christian, continue to transform you into the image of the Son Jesus Christ, and all to the praise and glory of God the Father. Amen.

 

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Exploring The Bible

27. New Testament

Gospel of Matthew - AD50-60

 

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:

  • Matthew 1:23
  • Matthew 28:18-20

 

Matthew writes primarily to Jews, presenting Jesus as the long waited for Messiah, predicted in the Old Testament. He also records Israel’s attitude towards Jesus as Messiah.

Matthew gives us the Jesus’ genealogy and proceeds to tell us about Jesus’ presentation, and authentication as the Messiah. Matthew tells of Israel's opposition to and rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. This causes Jesus to reject Israel due to her unbelief. Matthew then records the death and resurrection of Christ. He concludes with Christ commissioning the disciples.

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