Jul 21, 2014

Think Spot 21 July 2014

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Think Spot - 21st July 2014

G'day! Welcome to Partakers Think Spot at the start of new week on Monday the 21st July 2014!

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, 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 4v15-16 - 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!

Love and serve everyone

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!

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.  Thank you.

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Jul 14, 2014

Think Spot 14 July 2014

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Think Spot 14 July 2014


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

~

We have the start of a new week! Its Monday! If you are a Christian, Jesus Christ wants to be number one in the life of all those who choose to follow him! Jesus wants supremacy over everything in our lives, including family, friends, and possessions!! Alas, that’s a cost too high for some! Within the Gospels, there is the story told of Jesus’ encounter with a man, who we shall call, Basil. Basil runs up to Jesus and wants eternal life, wants it now and asks Jesus about how to get it. He has fully kept the commandments listed by Jesus.

~

However when Jesus said to Basil that in order to follow Him, he would have to give up all his wealth and possessions in order to have treasure in heaven and eternal life, Basil leaves disconsolate and shattered. The life of Basil, this rich young ruler, reflected a life of absorption with his own self-interest and self-importance!

~

It was a step too far for Basil. He wanted his riches and also everlasting life, but Jesus said he couldn’t have both. He remains the only person that we know of, who left Jesus’ presence sorrowful, and that due to putting his trust in himself, his riches and wealth alone. Now riches, in and of themselves, are not necessarily wrong! But for Basil, well, he was not willing to make the sacrifice required to follow Jesus. He couldn’t count the cost of following Jesus– it was too high a price for him to pay!

 ~

What have you given up in and as a result of your decision to follow Jesus? Making sacrifices to follow Jesus is all part of following of Jesus. Jesus demands His being number one and supreme over everything else in your life - yourself, family, others and material goods including money and possessions. Those areas of your life which God calls sinful, but you call it your right, your nature, just the way you are. God wants all of you for Himself! You can hand all things over to Him and if you ask the Holy Spirit to help you, it will be done much easier and with less struggle than if you try to do it in your own strength! Go into this new week, determined to be living for God in all facets of life, and then you will be salt and light for God in your community.

~

Father, I pray that You would help us to trust in You and that You would help us to love You and others more fully, handing over to you those areas of our life which we are keeping our hands on! I ask this through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside all those who have peace with you. Amen

~

Listen to and/or download the mp3 file below to hear this short podcast to help you into this new week!



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Jul 7, 2014

Think Spot 7 July 2014

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Think Spot 7 July 2014

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

We have the start of a new week! Its Monday! How and in what circumstances are you going to be trusting God this week? How did Jesus Christ trust in the Father? Jesus knew that the Father was going to bring Him back to life after his death on the cross. Jesus trusted the Father in this area of His life, just as he did in all aspects of his life. How are you doing? Do you have concerns and areas of your life where you need an assurance that God the Father will help you?

Here are some simple steps which may help you maintain a trust in God.

  • Pray, casting all anxiety on God. He cares for you because you are His personal concern (The great apostle Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends wrote this in 1 Peter 5:7 “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”)

  • Accept and thank God that His peace has filled that area (Another great apostle, Paul, wrote this in Philippians 4:7 says “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”)
  • Learn to be content whatever your circumstances are, resting in God (Paul goes on in Philippians 4:11-12 “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.”)
  • Allow the Spirit to control your mind for life and peace (and again from the pen of the apostle Paul, this time in Romans 8:6 “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”)
  • Trust God to fulfil your every need (Matthew records these words of Jesus in Matthew 6:32-33 “but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” )
  • Obey and follow God's commands to love God and love others (Jesus is recorded in Matthew 22:37-40 “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”)
  • Finally, be prepared to be obedient to the Father, in supplying the needs of others you meet and therefore showing you love God and other people! One way to show you are trusting and loving God is to be the answer to the prayers of somebody else and showing that love to them! Ask God to show you, how you can help somebody else in need this week and showing your love.

Go in peace this Monday, into this week, knowing God is worthy of your trust! God will take care of you, but not always in the way you expect! Expect Him to allow circumstances and situations to arise where you are to trust Him fully! He will help you if you ask! After all, He knows you better than anybody! And don’t be afraid to help somebody else because by doing that, you show you are loving and trusting in God!

Father, I pray that You would help us to trust in You and that You would supply our needs, calm our concerns and help us to love You and others more fully. I ask this through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside all those who have peace with you. Amen


Listen to and/or download the mp3 file below to hear this short podcast to help you into this new week!



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Jun 30, 2014

Think Spot 30 June 2014

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Think Spot 30 June 2014


This week I ask how you are heeding the words of Jesus and issue a challenge to you about loving others! Come hear how you can make a difference in the world - not in your own strength but in the power of the Holy Spirit!

The apostle John writes in 1 John 3:16-18 "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth."

He continues 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."


Listen to and/or download the mp3 file below to hear this short podcast to help you into this new week!

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Jun 23, 2014

Think Spot 23 June 2014

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Think Spot 23 June 2014

G’day and welcome to Partakers Think Spot on Monday 23rd June 2014.

This week I ask how you are heeding the words of Jesus and issue another challenge to you! Come hear how you can make a difference in the world - not in your own strength but in the power of the Holy Spirit!

Listen to and/or download the mp3 file below to hear this short podcast to help you into this new week!

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Jun 16, 2014

Think Spot 16 June 2014

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Think Spot 16 June 2014

G’day and welcome to Partakers Think Spot on Monday 16th June 2014.

This week I ask 3 questions to help you to continue serving God in every aspect of your life – this week and beyond - online and offline!


Listen to and/or download the mp3 file below to hear this short podcast to help you into this new week!

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Jun 9, 2014

Think Spot 9 June 2014

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Think Spot 9 June 2014

Today to help you into the new week, we hear about London, painted nails, high heels, Jehovah Witnesses, Muslims and the Gospel! Listen to the Podcast to find out how they fit together!


Listen to and/or download the mp3 file to hear this short podcast to help you into this new week!

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Jun 2, 2014

Think Spot 2014 06 02

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Think Spot 2 June 2014

Today to help you into the new we look at being radical! How radical? Listen to the Podcast to find out!

Mark 12:28-31: "One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one” answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.""


1 John 4:20 “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.”


Listen to and/or download the mp3 file to hear this challenge to the Church in the 21st century! It will help you into this new week and see your Christ-light shining out!

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May 26, 2014

Think Spot 26 May 2014

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Think Spot 26 May 2014

Philippians 2:4,21 "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ."

Listen to and/or download the mp3 file to hear this challenge to the Church in the 21st century! It will help you into this new week and see your Christ-light shining out!

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May 19, 2014

Think Spot 2014 05 19

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Think Spot - 19th May 2014

I wonder what your last week was like! I know for me it was full of trial and yet with a deep-seated trust that God was in control, despite the events and discouragements I was undergoing! Our car had to go in for repair. The water pump had given out again! Aggh! The repairs? Just a little under what we had spare (thanks to generosity of others which had come in that week!) Also I managed to be in severely ill on the Wednesday night through until Saturday.

So, whether it was a week for you to forget or a week for you to remember, we now enter a new week! Throughout Scripture, we are commanded to trust God! One of the natural outcomes of trusting God is joy - often an unspeakable joy that bubbles within you! A joy resulting from overcoming all that life throws at you, and overcoming those hurdles! It involves taking a daily commitment to follow Jesus Christ and not just a one off. It takes commitment, not comfort, to throw off hindrances and barriers. True joy results from being willing to allow the Holy Spirit to work in you, transforming you into the image of Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God the Father.

All of these things being done daily in your life lead to what I am convinced is the key to the reality of a successful Christian life - that key being joy. As you grow closer to Jesus, living in peace, trust and obedience, then your spiritual life will be your natural life and your natural life be your spiritual life! Your joy will abound and shine a light giving people a reason to ask "Where do you get all your joyous hope from?". You will then be able to· share Jesus as your source of joy. A joy that is anticipatory, expectant and true! Joy comes from putting Jesus first, others next and then yourself! Go practise it this week! ~~

You can show this joy by singing, laughing, smiling, shouting praises to God, lifting hands in worship', and crying, but that is only the external part of joy. True joy also incorporates an internal joy. Real joy is when you can believe in: the mountain top when you are in your deepest valley. Abundant joy is being surrounded by darkness and still believing in 'the light'. Anticipatory joy is when amidst total confusion you still believe God has a plan of love for you. It was this type of joy that Jesus had, when in the garden praying, the night before he was betrayed, when full of mixed emotions and anguish he said "Not my will, but yours, Father!"

As sons and daughters of God, we have many reasons to be full of joy. Yet how often we forget! Here are some reasons for joy!

  • Psalm 51v8 & 12 - Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me-now let me rejoice. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
  • Jeremiah 15:16 - When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven's Armies.
  • Luke 15:8-10 "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won't she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbours and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God's angels when even one sinner repents."
  • 1 Peter 1:8-9 - You love Jesus Christ even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

Do you desire to be' overflowing with joy today and this week? Go into this week with a joy that is anticipating and expectant! Do you need to hand over to Jesus a particular area of your life' where Jesus does not fully reign and have control? I pray that the Father will reveal more of Himself to you, as you daily seek His face, overcoming all hindrances to living a successful and joyful-Christian life. May the Holy Spirit who lives within you, if you are a Christian, continue to transform you into the image of the Son Jesus Christ, and all to the praise and glory of God the Father. Amen.

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