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Archive for September 2015

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Worship Wednesday

September 30, 2015


Opening Prayer


O Merciful Father, We thank you that you are a loving God! We thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ! We thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit! We thank you for life and that we can know you personally!
Amen!

A time now to confess our sins! Now we are free to give our God praise, knowing that we have confessed our sins, He has forgiven us and there is no impediment to our praise!

Time of praise with Psalm 134!

Psalm 134

(The Message)

Come, bless God, all you servants of God!
You priests of God, posted to the nightwatch in God's shrine,
Lift your praising hands to the Holy Place, and bless God.
In turn, may God of Zion bless you - God who made heaven and earth!

 

My Jesus!

I wonder how you view Jesus Christ! What is your opinion of the man whose very birth splits history into two parts - before his birth and after his birth! This Jesus, the Word of God!


In the beginning, this Jesus the Word, already existed. This Jesus the Word was with God, and this Jesus the Word was God! Jesus the Word existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Jesus the Word, and nothing was created except through Jesus the Word! Jesus the Word gave life to everything that was created, and his very life brought light to everyone. This light, Jesus the Word, shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish the light. That's Jesus Christ! The man who was and is God! Jesus Christ who is the visible image of the invisible God. Jesus Christ who existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation!


Indeed, for through Jesus Christ, God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. Jesus Christ made the things we can see and the things we can't see - such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Jesus Christ and for Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Jesus Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. Jesus Christ is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. Therefore, Jesus Christ is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Jesus Christ, and through Jesus Christ alone, God reconciled everything to himself. Jesus Christ made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of His very own blood on the cross.

That's my Jesus! My Jesus who is fully divine, fully human, glorious in His death and resurrection! My Jesus who is supreme over all, the creator of all! My Jesus who is my eternal leader, eternal sustainer! My Jesus who has all power and all authority! My Jesus who reconciles me with God, my peace-maker with God and is the one who gives perfect peace!

There is only one Saviour for the world. There will never be another because there is no need of another. This Jesus is coming back as well!!!! But Jesus is not coming back as baby next time but as the living holy Almighty Son of God!

What does Jesus look like now? His close friend John saw him some years after Jesus' ascension back to the right hand of God! Here is what John saw!

Jesus, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on Jesus' head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. Jesus' feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace! Jesus' voice was like the sound of rushing waters. Jesus' right hand held seven stars! Coming forth out of Jesus' mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. Jesus' face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

That was an amazing moment when Jesus beloved friend, John, saw Jesus in all his majesty!

This John, who records these words from Jesus! "It is finished! It is complete! I, King Jesus, am the Alpha and the Omega-the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I, King Jesus, will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I, King Jesus, will be their God, and they will be my children.

"But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars-their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death."

"Look! I, King Jesus, am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I, King Jesus, am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."

That's my Jesus, who called me to follow Him almost 30 years ago now! It has been a rollercoaster ride, but I have always known that He is in charge! Are you one of His followers or are you continuing to be one of His deniers?


Song


Now let us finish up with a song! Today it is Marjorie Reece singing a "Praise Song to Jesus"
Jesus! Jesus! You are the King of Kings! Blessed Jesus, Sweet Jesus, You are my everything.

And, Lord, I love you. I love You. And I'll love you more and more. O Lord, I love you, I love You. You loved me long before.

Lord, I worship You. I worship You. You are the Ransomed Lamb. O Lord, I worship You. I worship You. You are the Great I Am.

O Lord, I praise You. I praise You. Praise You for all You've done. O Lord, I praise You. I praise You. You are God's Only Son.

Yes, You're Jesus, blessed Jesus. You are the King of Kings. Blessed Jesus, sweet Jesus. You are my Everything.

And, Lord, I love You. I love You. And I'll love You more and more. Oh, yes, I love You. I love You. 'Cause You loved me long before. You loved me long before.


Words and Music by Marjorie Reece (c) 1986 by TJM


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POD - Psalm 119

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Psalm 119


' Aleph

1 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,

who walk according to the law of the LORD.
2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.
3
They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways.
4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.
5
Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!
6
Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.
8
I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.

b Beth

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
10
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
11
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
12
Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.
13
With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
14
I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
15
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
16
I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

g Gimel

17 Do good to your servant, and I will live; I will obey your word.
18
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
19
I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me.
20
My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.
21
You rebuke the arrogant, who are cursed and who stray from your commands.
22 Remove from me scorn and contempt, for I keep your statutes.
23
Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees.
24 Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.

d Daleth

25 I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.
26 I recounted my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees.
27
Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.
28
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
29
Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law.
30
I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.
31
I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD; do not let me be put to shame.
32
I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.

h He

33 Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
36
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
37
Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared.
39
Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good.
40
How I long for your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness.

w Waw

41 May your unfailing love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise;
42
then I will answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word.
43
Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws.
44
I will always obey your law, for ever and ever.
45
I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.
46
I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame,
47
for I delight in your commands because I love them.
48
I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.

z Zayin

49 Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.
50
My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
51 The arrogant mock me without restraint, but I do not turn from your law.
52
I remember your ancient laws, O LORD, and I find comfort in them.
53
Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your law.
54
Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge.
55
In the night I remember your name, O LORD, and I will keep your law.
56
This has been my practice: I obey your precepts.

x Heth

57 You are my portion, O LORD; I have promised to obey your words.
58
I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.
60
I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
61
Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law.
62
At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.
63
I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.
64 The earth is filled with your love, O LORD; teach me your decrees.

X Teth

65 Do good to your servant according to your word, O LORD.
66
Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands.
67
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.
68 You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.
69
Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law.
71
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
72
The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

y Yodh

73 Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.
74 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.
75
I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76
May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.
77
Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.
78
May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on your precepts.
79
May those who fear you turn to me, those who understand your statutes.
80
May my heart be blameless toward your decrees, that I may not be put to shame.

k Kaph

81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation,

but I have put my hope in your word.

82 My eyes fail, looking for your promise;

I say, "When will you comfort me?"

83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,

I do not forget your decrees.

84 How long must your servant wait?

When will you punish my persecutors?

85 The arrogant dig pitfalls for me,

contrary to your law.

86 All your commands are trustworthy;

help me, for men persecute me without cause.

87 They almost wiped me from the earth,

but I have not forsaken your precepts.

88 Preserve my life according to your love,

and I will obey the statutes of your mouth.

l Lamedh

89 Your word, O LORD, is eternal;

it stands firm in the heavens.

90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;

you established the earth, and it endures.

91 Your laws endure to this day,

for all things serve you.

92 If your law had not been my delight,

I would have perished in my affliction.

93 I will never forget your precepts,

for by them you have preserved my life.

94 Save me, for I am yours;

I have sought out your precepts.

95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me,

but I will ponder your statutes.

96 To all perfection I see a limit;

but your commands are boundless.

m Mem

97 Oh, how I love your law!

I meditate on it all day long.

98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,

for they are ever with me.

99 I have more insight than all my teachers,

for I meditate on your statutes.

100 I have more understanding than the elders,

for I obey your precepts.

101 I have kept my feet from every evil path

so that I might obey your word.

102 I have not departed from your laws,

for you yourself have taught me.

103 How sweet are your words to my taste,

sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 I gain understanding from your precepts;

therefore I hate every wrong path.

n Nun

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet

and a light for my path.

106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it,

that I will follow your righteous laws.

107 I have suffered much;

preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word.

108 Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,

and teach me your laws.

109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,

I will not forget your law.

110 The wicked have set a snare for me,

but I have not strayed from your precepts.

111 Your statutes are my heritage forever;

they are the joy of my heart.

112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees

to the very end.

s Samekh

113 I hate double-minded men,

but I love your law.

114 You are my refuge and my shield;

I have put my hope in your word.

115 Away from me, you evildoers,

that I may keep the commands of my God!

116 Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live;

do not let my hopes be dashed.

117 Uphold me, and I will be delivered;

I will always have regard for your decrees.

118 You reject all who stray from your decrees,

for their deceitfulness is in vain.

119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross;

therefore I love your statutes.

120 My flesh trembles in fear of you;

I stand in awe of your laws.

v Ayin

121 I have done what is righteous and just;

do not leave me to my oppressors.

122 Ensure your servant's well-being;

let not the arrogant oppress me.

123 My eyes fail, looking for your salvation,

looking for your righteous promise.

124 Deal with your servant according to your love

and teach me your decrees.

125 I am your servant; give me discernment

that I may understand your statutes.

126 It is time for you to act, O LORD;

your law is being broken.

127 Because I love your commands

more than gold, more than pure gold,

128 and because I consider all your precepts right,

I hate every wrong path.

p Pe

129 Your statutes are wonderful;

therefore I obey them.

130 The unfolding of your words gives light;

it gives understanding to the simple.

131 I open my mouth and pant,

longing for your commands.

132 Turn to me and have mercy on me,

as you always do to those who love your name.

133 Direct my footsteps according to your word;

let no sin rule over me.

134 Redeem me from the oppression of men,

that I may obey your precepts.

135 Make your face shine upon your servant

and teach me your decrees.

136 Streams of tears flow from my eyes,

for your law is not obeyed.

c Tsadhe

137 Righteous are you, O LORD,

and your laws are right.

138 The statutes you have laid down are righteous;

they are fully trustworthy.

139 My zeal wears me out,

for my enemies ignore your words.

140 Your promises have been thoroughly tested,

and your servant loves them.

141 Though I am lowly and despised,

I do not forget your precepts.

142 Your righteousness is everlasting

and your law is true.

143 Trouble and distress have come upon me,

but your commands are my delight.

144 Your statutes are forever right;

give me understanding that I may live.

q Qoph

145 I call with all my heart; answer me, O LORD,

and I will obey your decrees.

146 I call out to you; save me

and I will keep your statutes.

147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;

I have put my hope in your word.

148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,

that I may meditate on your promises.

149 Hear my voice in accordance with your love;

preserve my life, O LORD, according to your laws.

150 Those who devise wicked schemes are near,

but they are far from your law.

151 Yet you are near, O LORD,

and all your commands are true.

152 Long ago I learned from your statutes

that you established them to last forever.

r Resh

153 Look upon my suffering and deliver me,

for I have not forgotten your law.

154 Defend my cause and redeem me;

preserve my life according to your promise.

155 Salvation is far from the wicked,

for they do not seek out your decrees.

156 Your compassion is great, O LORD;

preserve my life according to your laws.

157 Many are the foes who persecute me,

but I have not turned from your statutes.

158 I look on the faithless with loathing,

for they do not obey your word.

159 See how I love your precepts;

preserve my life, O LORD, according to your love.

160 All your words are true;

all your righteous laws are eternal.

S Sin and Shin

161 Rulers persecute me without cause,

but my heart trembles at your word.

162 I rejoice in your promise

like one who finds great spoil.

163 I hate and abhor falsehood

but I love your law.

164 Seven times a day I praise you

for your righteous laws.

165 Great peace have they who love your law,

and nothing can make them stumble.

166 I wait for your salvation, O LORD,

and I follow your commands.

167 I obey your statutes,

for I love them greatly.

168 I obey your precepts and your statutes,

for all my ways are known to you.

t Taw

169 May my cry come before you, O LORD;

give me understanding according to your word.

170 May my supplication come before you;

deliver me according to your promise.

171 May my lips overflow with praise,

for you teach me your decrees.

172 May my tongue sing of your word,

for all your commands are righteous.

173 May your hand be ready to help me,

for I have chosen your precepts.

174 I long for your salvation, O LORD,

and your law is my delight.

175 Let me live that I may praise you,

and may your laws sustain me.

176 I have strayed like a lost sheep.

Seek your servant,

for I have not forgotten your commands.


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28th September 2015

Deceivers or Receivers

2 Tim.3:7, "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Approaching two young ladies and two young men who belonged to a certain religious cult (I knew this as I had met the two men previously. They were now resting from their door to door visitation at a local coffee house I go to regularly.. I had felt deep concern for them for some while and feeling compassion for them after prayer really felt pressed to ask them a particular question . This question along with its answer had been on my mind and heart all morning and I knew I was meant to use it in my work as an evangelist with someone who God would place in my path that day.


Now it seemed God had led me deliberately to these particular four people. God is sovereign and never makes a mistake. So I began. “May I ask you a question. I am unsure as to what your organisation would teach you to say to someone you came across who had little time to live.

For instance, If you as Bible Believer's were visiting a very sick man who had been told by his doctors he might die at any time what would be the most important, most wonderful, encouraging, news in the Bible you could share with him? Say, he only had ten minutes to live, what would be the most important truth from the Bible you must share with him.?”

I admit I was desiring most assuredly to share the gospel message to all four young people before me, who I believed were blinded by their teachers and presented with false teaching concerning our Lord Jesus Christ. So I considered this was a good way to go about it. With this particular cult they are hungry for questions put to them as they believe they alone have the answers to life and death and love to impart knowledge to those of us who are lacking it in their opinion. They just love to be the teacher.

So I was pretending I was not as knowledgeable as they were. So how did I get on, you ask? One of the men said “I would tell him it was important for him to address God as Jehovah.” I encouraged the speaker by saying “good point”. But added “But was this the most urgent news he needed to hear? Is there a scripture which helps us in that situation? What was the vital information this man needed to hear in order for this man if he was about to die if he was to be assured of a safe arrival in Heaven?

Surely with eternity at stake this man needed to be able to hear the answer to this very important question. One of the young men said “Well he hasn't time to be taught the way to eternal life in the new earth so he would miss out” The truth is they didn't know so I gently asked if I might quote a scripture which I considered would be a brilliant illustration to help the dying man. This they readily agreed to.

I took them to Acts 16 and the question asked by a very frightened Philippian jailer whose life was about to be taken from him by those who employed him if his prisoners escaped. You see an earthquake had recently taken place causing the doors of the cells to come off their hinges and they were flung open wide allowing the prisoners to flee.

So what question was asked by this Jailer as he fell trembling on his knees before Paul and Silas who had been his prisoners “Sirs what must I do to be saved?” Paul instead of running for his life answered with the most wonderful news he could have given to anyone in need of knowing the way to heaven. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

The young ladies who had been listening intently were very impressed by this illustration from the Bible and said ”Yes surely that is great news , the best” However they didn't know that it would be upsetting to the young men who were their teachers that morning. Guys who were teaching them what their cult taught that Jesus is not the Son of God. Yet the Bible addresses Jesus as The Lord Jesus Christ. A term for God.

Well, very little else was said after that but I had placed Scripture in their minds and Hebrews 4:12; informs us how important that was.

I only hoped that later they may have looked up Acts 16:31; in its context, and saw how that man was gloriously saved through the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ as well as his family who on hearing from Paul the gospel, made a quick response and became followers of Jesus Christ and were made ready for heaven.



There are none so blind as those who do not want to see. Blinded and none so deaf to Jesus words. These peoples minds were closed to the great gospel truth and needed their eyes and ears opened by God.

There are many people who follow teachers who lead them away from the Bible. They teach them only to use the scriptures to their own movements advancement. They are are on a slippery slope 'the blind leading the blind” and need to be taught a better way and be brought to a true understanding of scripture which will then place their feet on a sure foundation, secure as an anchor in Christ our Saviour.

If you have been taught the better way (see John 14:6) be thankful and be ready to share with others as opportunities fall your way. Remember when you do so to use the “Sword of the Spirit,which is The Word of God” (Hebrews 4:12;)

Joy's Prayer

Dear loving Heavenly Father,
How thankful we are that you have put good Bible teachers on this earth and placed them in our way to show us the Truth concerning the way to Heaven. Help us to be discerning as to what is The Truth and to study God's Word to show ourselves approved by God and to always read the Bible in context as we know a word not in context is a pretext.
Many fall into error because of false teachers. If we are to come to a knowledge of the truth we have to take special care to listen to evangelical teachers who believe all of the Bible and rely on The Holy Spirit to speak through them . We know there are some cults which do not even believe The Holy Spirit is a Person sent by You to help us to discern and steer clear of such teachers. Show us clearly which churches are truly biblical and those which are not.

Thank you Lord for hearing our prayers

In Jesus name.
Amen.


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Gems in the Gospel of John

Part 5 - John 1:6–8, 15, 19-28 - John was not Jesus



The other John, John the Baptist as we call him, though he is never called that in this Gospel, flits in and out of this chapter. Reading John 1: 6 – 8 and then 15 and 19 – 28.

First in the prologue, the introduction to the Gospel we read ‘There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.’ This introduces John as that most important person, a true witness giving testimony to Jesus.
Those words ‘witness’ and ‘testimony’ are just about the same in the original Greek, both coming from the word ‘martyr’. John is important in his role as the first and most prominent witness to Jesus. He gets more space than Jesus does in the history of the time written by a guy called Josephus, probably because he acted much more like an Old Testament prophet than did Jesus and so was more easily understood by the Jews of those days.
He is a good reminder to us that we too should be good witnesses to Jesus. As Peter said, ‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect’.

Second: later in the chapter we read that ‘(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.“)’ and then there are several verses explaining how John testified. ‘Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord. ’”
Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
“I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

All of which is a sharp reminder that when we witness we should not do it to increase our own self-image to ourselves or to the Lord, but purely for the sake of our Savior Jesus. Such a caution is probably unnecessary if we are witnessing privately to one or two other people, but if we are up on a platform, or behind a microphone, then we may well fall into the trap of glorying in what we are doing. John did not do that.

The people sent down from Jerusalem were fairly sure he was someone very important: the Messiah, Elijah come to life again, or the promised prophet like Moses. No – says John. ‘I am just a voice in the wilderness preparing the way for a much more important person who is to come. Not even slaves were expected to take people’s sandals off but John was prepared to do even that for the one who was to come. You can’t get much lower, more humble than that. And that is the way we should be. Oof!



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Partakers Friday Prayers!

2nd October 2015!

Cardinal Desire Joseph Mercier
(1851-1926)



O Holy Spirit,
soul of my soul,
I adore You.

Enlighten, guide,
strengthen and console me.

Tell me what I ought to do
and command me to do it.

I promise to be submissive in everything
that You permit to happen to me,
only show me
what is Your will.

Amen.


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Worship Wednesday

Order of Service

Opening Prayer

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
We praise you and give you glory:
We bless you for calling us to be your holy people.
Amen!

Abigail Miller - Lord, I Must Be Yours!

Visit her at: http://www.abigailmiller.com/


(Song originally downloaded at http://www.godlychristianmusic.com

Bible Talk

The Apostle Paul writing in Philippians 2:3-4 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

The Apostle Peter writing in 1 Peter 5:5-6 "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."



Those verses probably highlight what those who call themselves the Lord's people are to be and do! Humility! Looking to others first!

Contrast those values to those of the twenty first century society. A society where the prevalent attitude is: "There are no other people. The order is 'me, me and more me! I am far more important and higher than anyone else!'"

This is individualism, an individualism where the individual's importance is placed higher than all others! Individualism, which is imbued with self-reliance and personal independence. Even when help and compassion are offered, so often there are strings attached and hoops to be jumped through: "If you do this, we will do this for you."

That's the view in 21st century Western countries such as the USA, UK and Australia. Sadly, it is not just within society that this exists, but also within the church and amongst Christians.

How opposite is that view, compared to the view of Peter and Paul in the Bible reading! It is as if we are denying the basic rule of compassion and mercy, which dictates that we, as Christians, are to be serving others, because they are also humans created in the image of God, loved by God and so should be loved unconditionally by those who proclaim to be God's people - the Church. Denying that basic need to others is pure unadulterated selfishness and places others below our own selves.

Individualism within the church, lends itself to hypocritical behaviour and attitudes, which are inconsistent with Scripture and behaviour.

Individualism, where you as an individual are placed at the front of the queue, is not loving others and not considering others higher than yourself. It certainly could not be construed as serving other people to always place your own desires above all others. There is an old acronym JOY - Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. So as we live our lives, let us be determined to be counter-cultural, love and serve others, being willing to listen to them and giving them practical support when we can.

Think time

Now a time, where I put before you a couple of questions for you to ponder and think about.
Q1. In what areas of my life do I usually put myself before other people and sin against them?


Q2. What impact could I make on my church and local community if I was more willing to serve and practically love others, rather than be served and supported by them?

Bryony Prays!

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You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!



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