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Archive for February 2018

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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POD - Psalm 27

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Psalm 27

By David.
27:1 Yahweh is my light and my salvation.
Whom shall I fear?
Yahweh is the strength of my life.
Of whom shall I be afraid?

27:2 When evildoers came at me to eat up my flesh,
even my adversaries and my foes,
they stumbled and fell.

27:3 Though an army should encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear.
Though war should rise against me,
even then I will be confident.

27:4 One thing I have asked of Yahweh,
that I will seek after,
that I may dwell in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life,
to see Yahweh’s beauty, and to inquire in his temple.

27:5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me secretly in his pavilion.
In the covert of his tabernacle he will hide me.
He will lift me up on a rock.

27:6 Now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me.
I will offer sacrifices of joy in his tent.
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to Yahweh.

27:7 Hear, Yahweh, when I cry with my voice.
 Have mercy also on me,
and answer me.

27:8 When you said, “Seek my face,”
my heart said to you,
“I will seek your face, Yahweh.”

27:9 Don’t hide your face from me.
Don’t put your servant away in anger.
You have been my help.
Don’t abandon me, neither forsake me,
God of my salvation.

27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
then Yahweh will take me up.

27:11 Teach me your way, Yahweh.
Lead me in a straight path, because of my enemies.

27:12 Don’t deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
for false witnesses have risen up against me,
such as breathe out cruelty.

27:13 I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living.

27:14 Wait for Yahweh.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage.
Yes, wait for Yahweh.

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Think Spot - 26 February 2018

 

Last Monday we looked at serving God where ever you are with a clear conscience. How did you get on with doing it?

Today we look at a follow on from that to meekness. What is meekness? Isn’t meekness, merely weakness? That’s what we are told often enough by people outside the church! Yet meekness is not weakness! Meekness is giving up our personal rights to God alone!

A meek person is one who claims no personal rights of their own, and who is willing to yield all possessions and personal rights to God. A meek person sees these things as being loaned by God for His work and glory. Being meek in all situations takes a strong character, for example Moses (Numbers 12:1-3).

Giving up your rights and all you own to God alone, is talked about often in the Bible. Some of the results of giving up your rights to God can be found in: - Psalm 22:26; Psalm 25:9; Psalm 37:8-11; Psalm 149:4 Isaiah 29:19; Matthew 11:28-30. (1.15)

As followers of Jesus you and I need to give up our own rights and possessions to Him because:

  • You and I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)#
  • We are instructed to be meek by Jesus (Luke 9:23)
  • It follows the example. of the New Testament church (Acts 5:32)

When we insist on our own personal rights and those rights are violated, the main consequences are anger and anxiety. They occur when we try to control or change something God never intended us to change or control. When we react and resist, we deny God His right to do what; He wants to do. When we get angry and when we worry, these are signs that there are rights God wants us to yield to Him.

How do you yield rights and possessions over to God?

Firstly, identify them! Check where in your life anger and or anxiety exist. Then ask the Holy Spirit to work on your heart, prayerfully considering each area, yielding all to Jesus. When you do that, God becomes responsible for those areas.

Secondly, expect God to test His rights. Having handed them to God, He may allow situations to occur which will deny you these rights, to see if that right was really given to Him. It may be necessary to once again yield that right to Jesus. As you respond to each test, meekness develops.

Go into this week, knowing that God is at work in you! You are to be His servants and you are not your own! You were bought at a price by God! Through the meekness of Jesus Christ’ work on the cross.

Father I pray that as we give our personal rights to you, that you give us strength to overcome with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us as your children. We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ! Amen!

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Exploring The Bible

51. Old Testament

Nehemiah

 

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:

  • Nehemiah 6:15-16
  • Nehemiah 8:8-10


The Book of Nehemiah continues the story of Ezra. It tells of the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, and the leading of the third and last return to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile.

There is a much more positive atmosphere about the book than in the previous histories.

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Gems in the book of Revelation

Part 133 - Revelation 3:21
Lukewarm

The ‘gem’ is in the promise that ends the letter following the words ‘to the one who is victorious’. Here is the rest of the letter :
4 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne,just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

The last of the seven cities is probably the best known one. Laodicea was the most important and wealthiest of three cities relatively close together in the Lycus valley. Unfortunately, it did not have a good water supply of its own so it had to get water from the other two; from Hierapolis where the water came from hot springs and was heavily mineralised. By the time it reached Laodicea it was lukewarm and not really drinkable. Alternatively, the water from Colosse was cold mountain water but it had to come so far in the heat of the day that it was no longer cool but well warmed up. Hence the picture of the situation of the city as applied to the church - ‘neither cold nor hot’ and fit to spit out. The riches of the city were founded on banking, a medical school focused on ophthalmology (eye treatments), and a particular type of black sheep’s wool. All these facts are used in the description of the church as being ‘poor, blind and naked’.

It all adds up to the most remarkable description of any of the churches in terms of their surrounding situation. There is no mention of any sort of persecution or antagonism from neighbours, so we must conclude that their problem was apathy. There was simply nothing in their situation that excited any sort of positive reaction.

That is a situation all too familiar in much of the Western world. Because our culture says that everyone’s ideas are as good as those of the next person we encounter no real resistance to our beliefs except the sort of comment of ‘that’s what you think, that is fine for you, but I think differently’ we too can be described as lukewarm in our beliefs, and thinking we are doing fine as a society, a church or an individual when the reality is that we are spiritually ‘poor, blind and naked’.

The solutions offered are interesting. First there is the well-known ‘I stand at the door and knock … open the door ... and I will eat with that person’ statement. This is often used as a call to unbelievers to faith but, in context, it is a call to the lukewarm believer to let Jesus have a greater and complete role in their lives in the figure of having him sit down to a meal with the person.

Then there is the even more startling suggestion that the one who is a truly victorious believer will have a significant part in the final judgement ‘the right to sit with me on my throne’. The mind boggles at the very idea! It suggests that Messiah Jesus is so close to his believing people that he will share his sovereignty, his progress and even his justice with them. Yet it is in line with other statements in scripture: ‘Do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world’ (Paul in 1 Corinthians 6: 2). What a challenge it is to live in a way worthy of such trust and confidence!

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Friday Prayers

23 February 2018

Order of Service!

 

Opening prayer

Praise time

Prayers for those grieving and lonely

Prayers for justice and peace

Prayers for those facing challenging situations

Prayers for churches and Christians worldwide

Prayers for healing

Time of silence for your own prayers

Benediction

 

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Thursday Story

People meeting Jesus

 The story of Life from the Faroe Islands...

We continue apace into the twentieth century and hear the story of a friend of mine. Her name is Life and she is from the Faroe Islands. 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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POD - Psalm 20

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Psalm 20

20:1 May Yahweh answer you in the day of trouble.
May the name of the God of Jacob set you up on high,
20:2 send you help from the sanctuary,
grant you support from Zion,
20:3 remember all your offerings,
and accept your burnt sacrifice.

Selah.

20:4 May He grant you your heart's desire,
and fulfill all your counsel.
20:5 We will triumph in your salvation.
In the name of our God, we will set up our banners.
May Yahweh grant all your requests.
20:6 Now I know that Yahweh saves his anointed.
He will answer him from his holy heaven,
with the saving strength of his right hand.
20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses,
but we trust the name of Yahweh our God.
20:8 They are bowed down and fallen,
but we rise up, and stand upright.
20:9 Save, Yahweh!
Let the King answer us when we call!

 

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Think Spot - 19th February 2018

Charlotte Bronte - “Life appears to me to be too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrong.

Many people nurse a guilty conscience owing to holding onto animosity or wrongs done to them or having done wrong things to others. As a consequence, their life is filled with turmoil and bitterness. You may well be like that – I don’t know!
What I do know is that your conscience is the faculty which is sensitive to right and wrong, and judges your actions and attitudes. Everybody has a conscience and all are sensitive to spiritual truths, whether they are immediately aware of it or not.

According to the Bible, a clear conscience is essential for inner peace and joy, confidence in prayer, good health, effective service, .right relation-ships, effective witnessing, making right decisions, and victory in spiritual battle. A clear conscience is the inner joy and peace of spirit which results from having all personal wrongs made right with those whom a person had offended - either God or someone else.

However- many Christians carry around guilty consciences due mainly to unconfessed sins, affecting relationships with God, other people and themselves. If left unchecked, a conscience which is guilty, slowly grows 'dead', cold and silent. That is until such time that the guilt has been assuaged and put right.

If at the moment you are burdened by a guilty conscience, ask the Holy Spirit to show you clearly what is affecting your conscience. Then decide, at any cost, to clear it up in the power of the same Spirit. He will help you! Pray to the Father and ask forgiveness, (1 John 1:9), and fully accept His love and forgiveness. If there is anyone else involved, then you will also need to ask for their forgiveness (Matthew 5:23-24).

Ask the Father to help you go, and the Spirit will help you, because one of the hardest things in the world to say is: “I was wrong! Please forgive me." Your conscience can be cleansed because of what Jesus did on the cross!

Hebrews 9:14 “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

Go into this week, ready to serve the living God, being confident that the Holy Spirit living within you, empowers you, is transforming you and desires that your conscience be clear. He will help you overcome if you ask!

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Exploring The Bible

50. Old Testament

Esther

 

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:

  • Esther 4:14
  • Esther 8:16-17

 

The Book of Esther tells about God’s hand of providence and protection on behalf of His people. It describes the faithfulness and courage of Esther, in many ways an ordinary sort of girl, and how this leads to the deliverance of God’s people.

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Gems in the book of Revelation

Part 132 - Revelation 3:12
The city of the name

The ‘gem’ is in the promise that ends the letter following the words ‘to the one who is victorious’. Here is the rest of the letter :

To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David.What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.


11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Names are important in the letter to Philadelphia. People are named for one of 3 reasons:
i) the parents liked the name, the way it sounds or some association it brings to their minds;
ii) it is a family name handed down through the generations - though that may be a trap as some names may go very out of fashion, for example someone who ought to be call Euphemia, a very old fashioned and clumsy name in our culture, may be called Effie for a generation or two and then that is boiled down to Fay, a much nicer sounding name;
iii) the name may be given to express the character and personality of the person.
All 3 can be found in the Bible but the important one for our purposes is the last, the name that expresses personality and character.

To start with the name of the city is significant, phila = love and delphia = brother, so brotherly love.

The small Christian community in the city did not enjoy brotherly relations with the Jewish community. The latter would have been a large and respected part of the city with many good buildings, big houses and a well understood part in the community including non-participation in some activities because of their belief in one god. The Christians would probably have been only a few dozen strong and from the poorer section of the society with no great respect shown to them.

 
So their problems were not with the pagan groups as in most of the cities that received letters but with the ancient people of God who they were always trying to convince should now be setting out to follow a convicted criminal Jew! Hence the talk about keys of David “ I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” (referring to a new leader of the people; Isaiah 22:22) etc. They had survived and done more than just survive - they had used what strength they had well and earned the promise that they would be kept from further trials.

As a result they are told they will be pillars in ‘the temple of my God’, bearing the names of the great city of the new heaven and the new earth, the name of God and the new name of Jesus. That is a promise that all the power and personality of the triune God will somehow be theirs. That is a tremendous promise to them - and to us. That makes it well worth persevering in our walk with Jesus even if we have but little strength. It is not necessary to be a member of some great and famous church. A little struggling church will do provided it has ‘kept my word and not denied my name’.

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Friday Prayers

 

 Prayers for Refugees...

Today on Partakers we are praying a prayer from the Church of England for refugees worldwide. As we know, Jesus our Lord, was a refugee when a baby, as Joseph & Mary escaped to Egypt with him. Come on in, download the mp3 and pray with us!

Heavenly Father,
you are the source of all goodness, generosity and love.


We thank you for opening the hearts of many
to those who are fleeing for their lives.
Help us now to open our arms in welcome,
and reach out our hands in support.
That the desperate may find new hope,
and lives torn apart be restored.


We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Your Son, Our Lord,
who fled persecution at His birth
and at His last triumphed over death.
Amen

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