Archive for May 2017

WOW Word 11 - Heaven

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Heaven

John 14:1-4 (New International Version) - "‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.’" What is heaven like? People, both believers and non-believers have an opinion about Heaven! To some its where everybody will meet up after death providing they weren’t too bad in this earthly life! The caricature of the comedians is that heaven will be floating around on clouds and playing a harp! So what does the Bible, the foundation for all serious Christian thought, have to say about heaven?

  • Physical Place
  • Characteristics
  • Who?
  • Christian Attitude
  • Prepared Place
  • Pure Place

What does this mean now? : All this doesn’t mean you are not to be so heavenly minded, that you are of no earthly use. Rather, you are not to be so earth bound, that you are not tied to Jesus in your eternal home – heaven! Won’t you tell somebody today, about heaven and how they can get there with you? Go and tell somebody else!

 

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POD - Psalm 17

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Psalm 17

 

17:1 Hear, Yahweh, my righteous plea; Give ear to my prayer, that doesn’t go out of deceitful lips.

17:2 Let my sentence come forth from your presence. Let your eyes look on equity.

17:3 You have proved my heart. You have visited me in the night. You have tried me, and found nothing. I have resolved that my mouth shall not disobey.

17:4 As for the works of men, by the word of your lips, I have kept myself from the ways of the violent.

17:5 My steps have held fast to your paths. My feet have not slipped.

17:6 I have called on you, for you will answer me, God. Turn your ear to me. Hear my speech.

17:7 Show your marvelous loving kindness, you who save those who take refuge by your right hand from their enemies.

17:8 Keep me as the apple of your eye. Hide me under the shadow of your wings,

17:9 from the wicked who oppress me, my deadly enemies, who surround me.

17:10 They close up their callous hearts. With their mouth they speak proudly.

17:11 They have now surrounded us in our steps. They set their eyes to cast us down to the earth.

17:12 He is like a lion that is greedy of his prey, as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.

17:13 Arise, Yahweh, confront him. Cast him down. Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword;

17:14 from men by your hand, Yahweh, from men of the world, whose portion is in this life. You fill the belly of your cherished ones. Your sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children.

17:15 As for me, I shall see your face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with seeing your form.

 

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Think Spot 29 May 2017

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Think Spot 29 May 2017

 

 

G’day. Welcome to Partakers Think Spot at the start of this new week!


25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:25-30)

Jesus is strong enough and capable enough, to carry any burden that is laid upon Him. Jesus Christ gives a solid and sure foundation for all aspects of life, which will not fall or be destroyed. Indeed Jesus Christ will never fall or decay such is His imperishability as the everlasting God. Jesus Christ is solid, dependable and strong; nobody and nothing can stand against Him. Jesus’ strength means I can go to Him for protection and strength when I am weak and knowing He will supply my needs. Just as He has done for the last 35 years of following Him and will continue to do so throughout my life here on earth.

Unlike people offering self-help approaches and quick fixes for life, Jesus offers us Himself. He is able to help because of who He is – the giver and author of life. He is entirely and utterly dependable. Just as your body needs water to survive, so do the souls of people need Jesus in a personal encounter with Him. That is how dissatisfaction with life is beaten – Jesus reaching out to grasp you by the hand. Let him take your life and He will change your life. That is His promise – as He satisfies the urges in your soul it is as if a spring of water bursts into you – life giving, sparkling streams of water… WOW!

Go into this week with that promise of Jesus.

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Exploring The Bible

16. New Testament

Philippians-A.D. 60-62

 

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:

  • Philippians 1:21 / Philippians 4:12-13

 

Paul is in a Roman prison as he writes this letter. It is a very personal letter to loyal friends in ministry. It is amazingly full of joy and joyfulness. He acknowledges that his friends are growing in spiritual maturity and ministering.

He writes to them about his ministry, growth, stability, and happiness during times of suffering. He has been truly blessed himself and encourages the Philippians to experience these same blessings. He also talks about Jesus’ humility and their responsibility to maintain unity, having the mind and knowledge of Jesus.

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Gems in the Letter of 1 John

Part 98 - 1 John 1:7
Walking in the light


John does not hesitate. He says immediately, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all”. He is making an obvious connection with his gospel, which started with “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. … The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.”

He is also immediately giving an example of his common way of working in this epistle. I like to think of it as a game of tennis. He plays both sides of the net and picks up an idea and bats it backwards and forwards across the net. (The game of Squash racquets would be a better analogy but not everyone will know how that works.) Sometimes he then picks up another idea and has 2 ‘balls’ in play at the same time, or even three. His first ‘ball’ here is ‘light’ and then he adds to it ‘darkness’ and then ‘fellowship’.

 

He is remembering the words of Jesus ‘I am the light of the world’ and the Old Testament equation of darkness with sinfulness, such as in Job chapter 24: 13 - 17 where we read, “There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths. When daylight is gone, the murderer rises up, kills the poor and needy, and in the night steals forth like a thief. The eye of the adulterer watches for dusk; he thinks, ‘No eye will see me,’ and he keeps his face concealed. In the dark, thieves break into houses, but by day they shut themselves in; they want nothing to do with the light. For all of them, midnight is their morning; they make friends with the terrors of darkness.”

 

In John’s thinking when he talks about light there is no dusk, when the light is slowly fading, or dawn, when it is slowly growing, no half light. That makes life difficult for our thinking if, as in many parts of the Christian church, people are expected to come slowly to faith with no clear line of distinction between their pre-Christian life and their faith life. Perhaps that is inevitable because we are human and that is the way we think. But from the point of view of God there is a clear sharp line of distinction between before we are born again and when we are just a hidden potential Jesus follower. We are either members of his kingdom with a passport that says something like ‘in the name of Jesus’ or we are not. We either have the Spirit gifted to us or we do not. We cannot be stuck in the birth canal, only half born; there are no short term visas for the Kingdom; there are no short term loans of the Spirit available for us.

In some ways this is very odd. It is not uncommon for someone to drift along as a fellow traveller with the people of God, even being listed in the church catalogue of members with some such label as adherents, or named in italics instead of full script. All such things are human devices, not the way God works.

Beware! The Kingdom of God is not a democracy, let alone a free for all where we are allowed to make up the rules. It is a theocracy - the only true theocracy where the Lord of All, the Creator of all, the Upholder and sustainer of all, makes up the rules. And he has asked us - what an act of condescension that is - to join him, to join his family, to become one of his children, saved and honoured by our acceptance of the leadership of his son. WOW!

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Prayer for Manchester

O God,
Watch over those who wake, or watch, or weep today,
In the aftermath of the terrorist bombing in Manchester.
Give Your angels charge over that great city.

Tend & heal the sick ones,
Rest the weary ones.
Bless the dying ones.
Soothe the suffering ones.
Pity the afflicted ones.
Shield the joyous ones.

Give wisdom to the medics and others helping to heal and counsel
May those who died in this attack rest in peace and rise in glory.
May the perpetrators be bought to justice.

Where there is chaos, let us be agents of your peace
Where there is hatred, let us be agents of your love
Where there is fear, let us be agents of your security.
And all, for Your love's sake, O God
For we know you love Manchester
Amen.

 

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