google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2017 September

Archive for September 2017

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Thursday Story

People meeting Jesus

 

The story of Malcolm Muggeridge...

Today we are looking into the 20th Century again, this time at Malcolm Muggeridge. He was, by his own volition and renown, a determined sceptic and vocal non-believer. Until that is, he encountered Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Come and listen to his story of faith...

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WOW Word - Adoption

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Adoption

The word for today is adoption. Imagine you are an orphan left on the streets. You are hungry and thirsty. Begging for scraps of food. Your last job you were treated like a slave, so you escaped. Even your only friend, a stray dog, has abandoned you! You are friendless, lonely and miserable.


Then one day a big stretch limousine pulls up beside you. You recognize the limousine. It is the one you scratched with a key because you were bored and belongs to the enemy of your former boss. The driver asks you to get in, and reluctantly you do. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The limousine drives and eventually goes through some large gates and there is a huge house on top of the hill. The owner is there to greet you. He tells you that you are now part of his family now, if you want to be. You have no need to go back to begging for scraps. You are part of his family now, with all the legal standing as one of his children.

That is adoption in the Christian sense. If you are a Christian, God has accepted you as a member of His family with all the legal standing of an heir and a true son or true daughter.

The bible says in Galatians 4:7 "Now you are no longer a slave b ut God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir."

Because of adoption, we know that:

  • God purchased us from slavery into a family (Ephesians 1:7)!
  • God will supply all our needs, just as all good fathers always do!
  • God comes to live inside us!
  • We are reconciled with God, even though once we were His enemies (Romans 5:9)!
  • We have transformed relationships with others and ourselves!
  • We now seek His honour rather than our own!

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POD - Psalm 40

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Psalm 40

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.

40:1 I waited patiently for Yahweh.
He turned to me, and heard my cry.
40:2 He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay.
He set my feet on a rock,
and gave me a firm place to stand.
40:3 He has put a new song in my mouth,
even praise to our God.
Many shall see it, and fear,
and shall trust in Yahweh.
40:4 Blessed is the man who makes Yahweh his trust,
and doesn’t respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

40:5 Many, Yahweh, my God,
are the wonderful works which you have done,
and your thoughts which are toward us.
They can’t be declared back to you.
If I would declare and speak of them,
they are more than can be numbered.
40:6 Sacrifice and offering you didn’t desire.
You have opened my ears.
You have not required burnt offering and sin offering.
40:7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come.
It is written about me in the book in the scroll.
40:8 I delight to do your will, my God.
Yes, your law is within my heart.”

40:9 I have proclaimed glad news of righteousness in the great assembly.
Behold, I will not seal my lips,
Yahweh, you know.
40:10 I have not hidden your righteousness within my heart.
I have declared your faithfulness and your salvation.
I have not concealed your loving kindness
and your truth from the great assembly.
40:11 Don’t withhold your tender mercies from me, Yahweh.
Let your loving kindness and your truth continually preserve me.
40:12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me.
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up.
They are more than the hairs of my head.
My heart has failed me.

40:13 Be pleased, Yahweh, to deliver me.
Hurry to help me, Yahweh.
40:14 Let them be disappointed and confounded together
who seek after my soul to destroy it.
Let them be turned backward and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt.
40:15 Let them be desolate by reason of their shame that tell me, “Aha! Aha!”
40:16 Let all those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you.
Let such as love your salvation say continually, “Let Yahweh be exalted!”
40:17 But I am poor and needy.
May the Lord think about me.
You are my help and my deliverer.
Don’t delay, my God.

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Think Spot - 18th September, 2017

 

G’day and welcome to Partakers! Welcome also to Monday and our Think Spot together!

God's love in the Bible is seen as unfailing, everlasting, intimate, sacrificial, unbreakable, all-conquering, personal, great, immeasurable and all-knowing. This is seen supremely in the Cross of Jesus Christ, when He died for the sins of the world. Supreme love overcoming all that is not love. Even when great acts of evil are committed in the world, such as the slaughter of innocents this past week in parts of the world where terrorism and genocide are rife, love is all around. Love continues despite such acts. How are Christians to respond to this love of God?

The apostle John writes in 1 John 4:15-16

"If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."

Our motivation as Christians is to love and to be love. This is a love, which is sacrificial and self-less. It is tough love which is of service to other people. Loving and serving others, are the primary ways of showing you love God! It is easiest to love your friends. But Jesus commanded that his followers also love their enemies (Matthew 5:43-45)! Now that is very radical and can be difficult! We see constantly in the media and elsewhere, that regards our enemies, we are to be confrontational or at best to just ignore them!

How is it possible to love our enemies? It is only with the help of God and His abundant grace towards us! We depend on the Holy Spirit who lives inside all Christians to empower and guide! To only love those who love you is what is expected by people everywhere as normal behaviour. But as a Christian, you are to do more! You are to be seen to love more than other people. You don’t have to like others as friends, but you do have to love them as fellow human beings!

Go into this week, being prepared to show your love of Jesus Christ, remaining close to Him and serving other people generously with abundant grace-filled love! By loving and serving others, you become God’s arms and legs in a physical world. One of the greatest limitations you face in loving and serving other people is a severe lack of imagination!

So as you go into this week, ask God to expand your imagination to love and serve; as well as asking for the opportunities to do them. Loving and serving are hallmarks of an authentic Christian life. Love continues even amidst chaos and turmoil all around. Go and be part of the continuing of love.

 

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Exploring The Bible

32. Old Testament

Habakkuk - 697BC

 

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:

  • Habakkuk 2:4; Habakkuk 3:17-19

 

Habakkuk preached repentance to Judah in 697 BC, but they refused to change. His message was that God’s people should live by faith alone. Habakkuk did not always understand God’s ways, but concluded by praising God’s wisdom anyway.

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Gems in the Letter of 1 John

Part 114 - 1 John 4:4
Comparative powers



This is a delightful part verse, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world”, but extraordinary difficult to see the truth of it in our world! Of course, theoretically, it must be true. It was the Triune God, Father, Son and Spirit which created this world we live in. They have not relinquished control of it so it must be greater than any created thing or being. But does it really seem to be true in the real world as one national leader after another organises things so that tens, and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people are killed in order that they can stay in power. Surely they are all driven on by the same evil power rampant in our world. It is good to assert that the power of the Lord is in all things greater than that of any other, but is it true.

We have a real problem in understanding the reality of this assertion. It is true because we have not really thought through what ‘greater’ means. Our knowledge of God must be basically founded on Jesus. The accounts we have of his ministry are by far the most information we have about God. He did nothing that his Father would not have done. He said, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” And we can be sure that relationship was reciprocal: what we see the Son doing we know the Father could also do. If the Son mirrors the Father in what he does, then the Father mirrors the Son.

Jesus very clearly redefined many things, amongst them greatness, all the things that it is great to do. Perhaps most famously he told off James and John when they asked to have the privileged positions next to him in the kingdom they thought he was going to set up. He said; “you know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10: 41 – 45).

Also famously he took a towel and washed their feet. His explanation of his action was, “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13: 12b – 17).

If we put these sayings of Jesus alongside what John says we realise that in the world of the kingdom of God man,y things are indeed greater than they are in the outside world. The Spirit that is in us is the chief conveyor of that greatness. Our problem and difficulty is to live up to the possible potential of what has been given to us.

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