google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2017 September

Archive for September 2017

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Gems in the Letter of 1 John

Part 116 - 1 John 5:4
Comparative powers



John says, “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” Oh, really, we may feel like retorting. Many of us will feel that we have no sort of victory much of the time, or even ever. Unfortunately that is the way life often is. We may be overworked, stressed, ill, subject to family problems, or financial problems, unemployed, frightened of dying (no Christian should ever be afraid of death but dying can be an uncomfortable process!), frightened of being killed, bored or whatever. Christians are not invulnerable to those sorts of things. How then can John say that we have a victory because of our faith?
In fact if we look back through this lovely letter he has written we will see that he deals out a great deal of encouragement to the people he is writing to.


In 1 John 2:27, 28 he says, “…the anointing you received from him remains in you, … his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him. … so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.”

Then in 1 John 3:21, “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God”.
In 1 John 4:17, “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment; In this world we are like Jesus.”

And in 1 John 5:14, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

There is plenty there about confidence. Of course, it is not sufficient for the Olympic athlete to be confident as they crouch down ready to run; they need to come first to get the victory. But then the victory we are talking about is of quite a different nature; it is a victory in the sense of overcoming all our worries and anxieties our fears and our failures. How are we to do that?

John cleverly parcels up the answers in this short passage of the first 5 verses of this chapter. He starts with “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.” And finishes with “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” All that he has said in between – well worth reading if you have a Bible handy – is gathered up between those 2 statements about believing Jesus is the Messiah and that he is the Son of God.
 
If we keep those 2 facts well held in our minds, grow from our starting points as the babies of God and allow the Spirit to work in our lives we shall overcome. Nothing is more certain; it is the great Creator and Sustainer God of all the earth who has you in his hand. It probably wont be at all obvious to your neighbours that you are operating at a different level to them – if they are not believers in Jesus – but that will be the true fact of what is happening.

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Partakers Friday Prayers! 

29th September 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! 

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A Prayer of Thomas a'Kempis (1380-1471)


Grant me, O Lord,
to know what I ought to know,

To love what I ought to love,
To praise what delights thee most,
To value what is precious in thy sight,
To hate what is offensive to thee.

Do not suffer me to judge
according to the sight of my eyes,

Nor to pass sentence
according to the hearing of the ears of ignorant people;

But to discern with a true judgement
between things visible and spiritual,

And above all,
always to inquire
what is the good pleasure of Your will.

Amen

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Thursday Story - Heidi

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Thursday Story

People meeting Jesus

 The story of Heidi...

We continue apace into the twentieth century and hear the story of a friend of mine. Her name is Heidi and she is from England. Let's look together at how and why she started her Christian journey and the relevancy of Jesus Christ to her life! Come and listen to her story of faith...

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WOW Word 23 - Giving

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Giving

 

A story - King's Cross to Caledonian Road. And what happened when...

Time, possessions and money

Giving is seemingly one of the three forbidden subjects for Christians to discuss in the 21st century! The other two being sex and power. Jesus talked about all three often!

Every person has in differing quantities: time, talent, possessions and money. In relationship to giving, the Church is to be a community where the strongest members support the weakest members. This applies not only to the local church, but also at a national and international level as well.

Too often, even as Christian Disciples we are found turning a blind eye to the suffering of others where the bare necessities of life are in sparse existence. Too often we gather possessions and people, instead of giving up our time and money generously to help the poor and needy of both our world and local communities. Too often we keep our time and talents selfishly to ourselves instead of giving them to others in need.

Spiritual Growth Indicator

Perhaps the greatest indicator of spiritual growth in the Christian Disciple concerns their giving – particularly financial giving. Paul writing to the Corinthians commands that giving is to be done whole-heartedly and cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7). WOW! For the Christian Disciple, it is not so much how much is given, but how much is left after giving. God looks beyond the amount that is given to the motive and attitude behind the giving. All of our money, time, talents and possessions belong to God anyway, so giving is to be in response to this. Giving is to be done out of love for God. Paul offers in 1 Corinthians 16:2 a three-point system for giving financially: regularly, methodically and proportionately.

Failure to give back to God's work what He has given the Christian Disciple in the first place, robs God (Malachi 3:8). The reason it robs is because the giving cannot be used to support those who are working for God. As a result of giving, the Christian Disciple will be blessed (Malachi 3:10) and have their needs satisfied (Philippians 4:19).

Old Testament
In the Old Testament, Widows were important to God, because justice is important to God as He is a God of perfect justice and consummate mercy. In the Old Testament, under the Law of Moses, God commanded provision for those who were widows, oppressed or uncared for.

The 12 Apostles would have known about God caring for the widows and through Jesus’ teaching about justice for the poor and the oppressed. We know this because if you read the Book of Acts, people were selling and sharing possessions and ensuring that all people within the Christian community were being looked after and cared for. This included making sure that everyone got fed, particularly those who had no family to care for them. And it was not just for those within the church – but from the wider community!

New Testament
The New Testament church made sure that financial giving was done and that the poor, the oppressed, the lonely and the widows were taken care of. People working fulltime for the Lord, were given recompense by others for their efforts. People gave. Paul in Romans 12:6-8 places giving as a spiritual gift! I wonder how many people have asked specifically for that particular gift. Perhaps it’s the least asked for gift; after all it isn’t one of the supposedly spectacular ones!

You and I
How are you doing? How is your giving of your time, your talents, your possessions and your money on a local, national and international level? The get out clause for a lot of Christians is that it would not be good stewardship to give to that person or that cause. Or they say the passages in the book of Acts are only descriptive of that particular time and have no relevance for us today.
Each of us has in varying quantities: time, talents, possessions and money. How is your giving of those to others doing? God gave everything so that you and I may have life and life in abundance. So by giving generously of your time, your talents, your possessions and your finances, you are reflecting that. Just as God gave and gives generously, and gave His Son as a ransom for sin. If you have run out of ideas about how to give what you have, ask God to show you and give you some creative ideas! Go live! Go give!

How’s that for a WOW word?

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POD - Psalm 26

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Psalm 26

26:1 Judge me, Yahweh, for I have walked in my integrity.
I have trusted also in Yahweh without wavering.

26:2 Examine me, Yahweh, and prove me.
Try my heart and my mind.

26:3 For your loving kindness is before my eyes.
I have walked in your truth.

26:4 I have not sat with deceitful men,
neither will I go in with hypocrites.

26:5 I hate the assembly of evildoers,
and will not sit with the wicked.

26:6 I will wash my hands in innocence,
so I will go about your altar, Yahweh;

26:7 that I may make the voice of thanksgiving to be heard,
and tell of all your wondrous works.

26:8 Yahweh, I love the habitation of your house,
the place where your glory dwells.

26:9 Don’t gather my soul with sinners,
nor my life with bloodthirsty men;

26:10 in whose hands is wickedness,
their right hand is full of bribes.

26:11 But as for me, I will walk in my integrity.
Redeem me, and be merciful to me.

26:12 My foot stands in an even place.
In the congregations I will bless Yahweh.

 

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Think Spot - 25th September 2017

 

Welcome also to Monday and our Think Spot together!

Obedient Life
As a Christian you are to be a little Jesus! In your local communities, wherever you happen to live, work, study or be! You are to live a life of obedience, of and to, Jesus Christ! For you are being transformed by the Holy Spirit who lives inside you! You are to be totally and willingly obedient to Him! Obedience, not out of some kind of slavish duty or ritual, but obedience borne from willingly loving God and loving others.

Imagine
People will know you are a follower of Jesus, if you are obedient to Him, practically showing love to all! Imagine the community where you are transformed for Jesus Christ! Imagine your community filled with people seeking to know about our Jesus, because you and other Christians were sacrificing their time and possessions! Imagine the communities you are involved with wanting to give Jesus the glory and honour in every aspect of life!

Transformation

Transformed communities of people devoted to Jesus and experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in bringing people back to God the Father! Loving God and loving each other as He commanded would help do this in your local community!

Be Obedient! Be bold! Be strong! Be courageous! But you need to be lovingly obedient to Jesus Christ in both small and large things. Jesus said in John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them."

You will face pressure to disobey Him, even sometimes from those within your church. But if He has commanded you to do something for Him, you are to obey Him. It is far better to obey God and disappoint people than to obey people and disobey God.

Go into this week, lovingly willing to be obedient to God! Trust in Him and ask Him for the strength to be lovingly obedient to Him. He will help as you ask! It can sometimes be very difficult to be obedient to God, particularly as some people, even other Christians, will try to get you to disobey. Be strong in the Lord! Be bold! Be courageous! Need help? Then ask somebody to pray with you! Then be prepared for opportunities to be lovingly obedient to Jesus – in small and big things!

A prayer to help you this week.


Father, help us to live obediently to you. May the Holy Spirit encourage us as we seek to live worthily of Jesus Christ, in loving obedience to Him. Father, it is in His name we pray and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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