Archive for July 2017

Think Spot 31 July 2017

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Think Spot - 31July 2017

 

G'day! Welcome to Partakers and the start of new week!.

Jesus is Unique

Did you know there are a group of forgotten people within the Church? A group of people, who are Christian, yet in the vast majority of cases, are generally forgotten about, marginalised and often patronised. These people want to be involved in Church, attend a Church worship service and use their gifts and talents within the Church, to the glory of God - and yet often, as I said, at best forgotten about and at worst, patronised.

I am talking about those people who are Christians, but are stuck in their home for most of the time due to debilitating illness for example. You may be one of these yourself or you will know somebody who is.

They are people, yet often are pretty much dehumanised and depersonalised. I wonder how the Church you lead or attend, helps them to play a part in the life of the Church? How does the Church give them an interactive worship service, if indeed, they do at all?

This is a growing issue for the Church as a whole. God accepts them as His children, wants them to worship Him with others, has given them gifts and talents to be used for His glory and the building up of His Kingdom. Yet, as I have said, these Christians, these people, are at best forgotten about.

If you are one of these Christians, or you know of somebody who is, then please do all you can to help them use their talents and to also take an interactive worship service to them in their own home! It can be done, because I have done it myself. Pray to God to expand your imagination and see how you can help others this way on this issue! Contact me here and I will help if I can or please do visit ICanTGoToChurch.com

 

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Exploring The Bible

24. New Testament

Gospel of Luke - AD 60-61

 

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:

  • Luke 1:3-4 / Luke 19:10

 

Luke presents Jesus as the God-Man, a saviour for the entire world. He writes primarily for Gentiles in the Roman and Greek world. He does this from a broad vantage point that is compatible with the fact that he is himself Greek.

Luke traces Jesus’ incarnation, introduction, public ministry, rejection, subsequent teaching in view of His rejection, the cross, resurrection and ascension. Even though a Gentile, Luke emphasizes the kingdom program, with Israel's place in the kingdom, but he makes it clear that the kingdom is for all people.

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Gems in the Letter of 1 John

Part 107 - 1 John 2:15-17
The World

John said, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (2:15-17). He was addressing the society of his day. When he spoke of ‘the world’ he was referring to the human world in which he lived, as did the people over whom he had pastoral care. We would usually call that ‘our society’. Our problem in understanding what he said is, of course, that we do not live in the same society as he did. The facets of our society that people say that we may fall in love with, and should not, are: sex, money and power. Quite how those relate to John’s three facets I do not know but that does not matter because what matters to us is our society and not theirs. John has pointed us very strongly to a principle – of loving something in our world more than we do the Lord our God.


A further problem for me writing this is that you, my listeners and readers, live all round the world in many different societies. That means your situation will differ according to where you are although human nature is such that there will be many common factors wherever you are. Western society all round the world is changing rapidly and that is a further source of problem for us. Most other societies are being dragged along behind the Western developments, not least because of the Internet.

We need to be careful. It is not the case that what our parents thought and did was Christian and the oncoming culture pervading our society is not, or less so, though it often looks that way to us. We have been said to be living in a post-Christian society. That certainly looks to be true but it will still be far from as anti-Christian as the society John’s people were living in. Whatever I say here the most important thing is that we, all of us, have to work out what is God honouring in our day and generation. If we then manage, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to take that as the commands of the Lord and to follow them we shall be doing all that it is possible to do and we shall be displaying our love for the Lord. If we do not think these things out or if, having done so, we fail to follow the lines our conscience has mapped out for us we will have fallen short of the standards the Lord expects of us.

John talks about ‘the lust of the flesh’. That is referring to our sexual drive. That we all have to a greater or lesser extent. There is nothing wrong with the drive. The errors, the sins, may arise from the ways we use it. Attempts have been made to suppress it in some societies but the usual outcome is a great deal of hypocrisy with society leaders making claims about how good their society is when a great deal of the sexual behaviour has just been driven underground. The practice in some societies of delaying marriage until the man is well established is not at all helpful.

Even more than with sexuality there is difficulty over money. We all need to earn a living for our family and ourselves. That must be done. Only a very small percentage of any population can depend on the charitable giving of others for its sustenance. The critical thing is the question of ‘love’. We need sufficient money to keep us going. We do not need a vast surplus even if that will let us do many exciting and desirable things. We need a house. We do not need an enormous mansion or a second house for our holidays. We need to be good stewards of what we have and that need not include the gathering a superabundance of possessions.

Power is not so obviously sort by everybody, though it is curious how those who have no real power outside their household may act in ways that ensure they are the ones with power within the household.
There are so many ways we can demonstrate our love for some aspect of the world. And the real trouble is that, as John says, if we do so we are showing traits that do not come from the Father.

Many Christians used to think the solution was to withdraw from the world into a monastery, or a nunnery or some small Christian group. That is not the teaching of the New Testament. Living in the world may be tough, but it is what we are to do. Jesus, in John 17, says ‘we are still in the world’, ‘we are not of the world’, ‘we have been sent into the world’ and he prays that ‘we may be protected from the evil one’.

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Friday Prayers

28 July 2017

 

 A prayer of John Wycliffe

A prayer for the presence of Jesus

Luke 24:29 - But they urged him strongly, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them.

My Lord, from here on never leave me,
but stay and dwell with me;
for your presence is my only comfort and consolation,
just as your absence is my only sorrow.
O Holy Spirit, come into my heart,
and draw me so near to God,
that the things of the world may be as nothing to me.
Inflame my heart with your love,
and there let it burn without ceasing.
Come, I pray, for you are my true joy,
my only desire,
and my sweetest love.
Amen.

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A Simple Way To Pray
Martin Luther

Study 6

 

The sixth petition. "And lead us not into temptation."

Say: "O dear Lord, Father and God, keep us fit and alert, eager and diligent in Your word and service, so that we do not become complacent, lazy, and slothful as though we had already achieved everything.

In that way the fearful devil cannot fall upon us, surprise us, and deprive us of Your precious word or stir up strife and factions among us and lead us into other sin and disgrace, both spiritually and physically.

Rather grant us wisdom and strength through Your spirit that we may valiantly resist him and gain the victory. 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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WOW Word - Meekness

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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

WOW Word - Meekness

~Today Alphy the WOWChurch Cat shares about

the WOW Word - Meekness!

 

Matthew 5:5, Jesus said "You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought." In other words: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

It must be said right from the beginning that meekness is NOT weakness. It takes a strong character to deliberately set aside their rights. For example Moses was the meekest man in all the earth (Number 12:1-3) and Moses was not a weak willed character! Meekness is accepting God's dealings with us as good, without dispute or resistance. Meekness is effectively trusting God to be God!

 

The Christian disciple is to be a person who claims no rights of their own, and who is willing to yield all possessions and personal rights to God. The Christian disciple sees possessions as being loaned to them by God for His work & glory. We see this in Jesus’ example (Philippians 2v5-6) and also in the early church (Acts 5:12). It is also a necessary part of carrying our cross as Jesus commanded in Luke 9:23

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But why should Christian disciples give up their rights? 

 

Download the audio mp3 to hear what Alphy the WOWChurch Cat has to say about this intriguing WOW Word - Meekness!

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