google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2017 May

Archive for May 2017

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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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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Think Spot 22 May 2017

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Think Spot 22 May 2017

 
Matthew 17:1-8 - After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
 

The Jesus I see is full of majesty and awe. He is not simply a king with a crown on his head. He is the King of all Kings and the Lord of Lords. This Jesus Christ did not decay in the grave - He overcame death in the grave and was raised again majestically.

As Paul said that Jesus is “the first-born from among the dead”. Paul writes later in Colossians 2:3, that “in Jesus Christ, all the majestic treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.” Jesus Christ the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who with unparalleled majesty, is the head of His body, the church. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, the church would not be in existence 2,000 years later, let alone 2 years after his death. Jesus’ majesty meaning I can depend upon Him for all matters of life.

Go into this week in full confidence that Jesus is fully of majesty! WOW!

 

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Exploring The Bible

16. New Testament

Colossians--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:

  • Colossians 2:9-10
  • Colossians 3:1-3

 

Paul is in prison as he writes this too. He writes to believers that are growing in spiritual maturity. His major thrust is toward their continued growth, even in the face of opposition.

Paul stresses the pre-eminence of Jesus, the Christian’s relationship to him and his own divinely given function in God’s purpose. Paul warns them about false teachers and discusses the Christian's life with Jesus, and daily life in various settings. Again, most of what he says is remarkably upbeat. It shows the power of the gospel and the Holy Spirit in one’s life.

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Gems in the Letter of 1 John

Part 97 - 1 John 1:4
Discipling



‘We write this to make our joy complete’ says John. And even before we start into the epistle proper that simple statement raises a big question. Who are the ‘we’? (I am going to call it an epistle, even although that word really means ‘letter’. It is a slightly posh word, appropriate here because it has no statement about who wrote it, or who it was to, or any of the other things we expect to find in a true letter. It is more like an essay, a statement of intent, a document to be sent to many people.

 
So an epistle it is.) Because neither the Gospel of John nor this epistle ever says who wrote them we cannot be sure who they were. The writers of the very early church very soon decided that John, one of the sons of Boanerges, the apostle, the beloved disciple, was the author of both. The decision makes good sense so I am going to refer to the writer as John and assume it was the same person as the writer of the gospel. Both assumptions seem to be very likely right. The other assumption we must make is that this epistle was written after the gospel, although, as we saw in the last study of the gospel John was probably very old when he wrote the gospel and it may even have been put together by some close helper. That person, a close disciple of John, may also have had a hand in this letter, compiling it on the basis of things John had said and taught in his old age in the city of Ephesus. That is important to note because quite a lot of the things he says in this epistle seem to refer to a particular atmosphere and line of teaching which was building up in the fellowship of which John was, or had been, a part and probably the leader.

Another reason for assuming the direct authorship of John is the tone of these first few verses. They clearly refer back quite deliberately to the opening words of the Gospel, which in turn refer back to the opening words of the book of Genesis. ‘In the beginning’ figures large in all three places. But then John goes on here to express his joy at what he has been privileged to be a part of. Had he been a child he would quite clearly have been jumping up and down with exuberant joy at what had happened. We heard, we saw, we touched, he says - obviously meaning he heard and saw and touched Jesus. He wants to share the emotions those facts and the attitudes that they caused to erupt in him that he enjoys so much. That way he feels that he will be able to establish a joint shared delight with his readers in the words, the actions and the meaning of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection.

I started off accepting that verse 4 is about ‘our joy’ but you will note that the footnote in your Bible almost certainly suggests it might equally be ‘your joy’ and since we are the recipients of the epistle that is now ‘our joy’. Wow! . Let us try to believe and therefore to act in the sort of way that John does, even if our experience is necessarily not as exciting as his, for we do not hear, see and touch the real living Jesus, the Son of God, as he did.

Think back. Count up the top moments of your walk as a Christian follower of Jesus and rejoice. Perhaps, like me, you are too old to literally jump up and down with joy but do so in your heart, in your imagination. He is worthy. He is glorious. He is our promise of eternal life as John has just pointed out.

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

19th May 2017

 

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!

 

A Prayers Of William Laud

Lord,
Here I am,
Do with me as seems best in your own eyes;
Only give me, I beseech you, a penitent and patient spirit to expect you.
Make my service acceptable to you while I live,
And my soul ready for you when I die.

Lord,
Take our minds and think through them;
Take our lips and speak through them;
Take our hearts and set them on fire
with the desire to do your holy will.
In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

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POD - Psalm 69

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Psalm 69

 

 

 

1 Save me, O God!

For the waters have come up to my neck.

2 I sink in deep mire,

Where there is no standing;

I have come into deep waters,

Where the floods overflow me.

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3 I am weary with my crying;

My throat is dry;

My eyes fail while I wait for my God.

4 Those who hate me without a cause

Are more than the hairs of my head;

They are mighty who would destroy me,

Being my enemies wrongfully;

Though I have stolen nothing,

I still must restore it.

5 O God, You know my foolishness;

And my sins are not hidden from You.

(more...)

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Think Spot 15 May 2017

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Think Spot 15 May 2017

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.

James 3:3-8 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.

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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