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Archive for the 'Partakers' Category

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Exploring The Bible

33. Old Testament

Nahum - 660 BC

 

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:

  • Nahum 1:7-8
  • Nahum 3:5-6

 

Nahum preached against Nineveh in 660 BC. The inhabitants of Nineveh had forgotten about God and how they came to repentance under Jonah.

Nahum announced God’s judgement upon Nineveh, as they had abandoned God and returned to violence, idolatry and arrogance. Nineveh was to be destroyed and never rebuilt!

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Gems in the Letter of 1 John

Part 115 - 1 John 4:16
God is love.


This is one of the diamonds of John’s gems! Unfortunately, the first thing I must say is to be careful and not think of it as ‘Love is God’. It isn’t! Even though many pop songs etc. would seem to suggest it is. The verses before and after this phrase stand out and we need to read them. We have:

 
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.
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. 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. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”

How can we summarize what we have there and put it together into one idea. I would suggest that we should go back to the idea which is dominant in the first 3 Gospels but which John used very little. And that is the idea of ‘kingdom’, the kingdom of God. One of the dominant characteristics of that kingdom, if not THE dominant characteristic is ‘love’

We live in a world in which more people than ever before are changing the kingdom, or nation, within which they are going to live. There are huge numbers of displaced people and migrants all over the world. They are causing problems. Many of them want to live in a different country but without changing their culture. But the existing people of the country demand that they should change culture, accepting theirs and fitting in properly. The outcome is conflict.

Jesus followers have no choice. They are to change their culture to that of the kingdom of God. The dominant feature of it is ‘love’. They are to receive the love of God because they are born of God; they have received all the benefits of the death of the Son of God through his atoning sacrifice on the cross. That love must be reflected out from their lives. If it isn’t they are not truly born of God and have not received those benefits: the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Spirit. That reflection means that we love one another. We will also have confidence for the moment when we have to approach the throne of judgement. Fear will not be a factor on that day and should not be now.

Our task now is not to be careful not to break a long list of rules. It is to live as true citizens of the Kingdom, rejoicing in our relationship to its Lord and Ruler and in our relationships to every other member of that Kingdom. What a prospect! What a challenge! What a joy!

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

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!

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are the gentle moon and joyful stars,
and watch over the darkest night.
You are the source of all peace,
reconciling the whole universe to the Father.
You are the source of all rest,
calming troubled hearts,
and bringing sleep to weary bodies.
You are the sweetness that
fills our mind with quiet joy,
and can turn the worst nightmares
into dreams of heaven.

Amen

(A prayer of Erasmus from the 16th century)

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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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