Dec 8, 2014

Think Spot 8 December 2014

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Think Spot 8th December 2014

Christmas Expectations


As we come closer to Christmas, most of the presents sent off to relatives and friends, (we had to make sure we hadn't forgotten anyone) arrangements have been made as to where we shall be spending Christmas day and who would be cooking the turkey. We have been Hurrying through crowds of people all looking tired , extremely happy and looking forward to be having a few days holiday with family and friends. There is also the anticipation of making new friends or meeting friends we have not seen for years yes, Christmas is a very special time of year isn’t it?


Well of course it is but how very special for us who have a vibrant living faith in Christ our Saviour and Lord and over this past year we have much to thank God for as we look back and count our many blessings.

May be we had illness or money problems, family squabbles, or the church wasn't so friendly but now we are happy to attend and it might well be that things are waking up at your church and there is a greater sense of anticipation at this time of year as we hope those who do not regularly worship at any church may come along because why? Because It is Christmas.

Here in Great Britain we were made to think of Christmas way back in September when Christmas gifts were being placed on display and we began to think of who to give what. So here we are then with just about eight days before the event and we are reminiscing over former Christmas’s and for some of us sad recollections, maybe your loved one died or left the family home. You may not be looking forward to this Christmas as you think you will be alone.

If however are a Christian their is every chance you will be already thought of by someone at your church and they will invite to over to their home for Christmas day t share the roast with them.

Our local Golf Club Committee foresaw this happening and quite a long while before Christmas sent round invitations for single lonely persons to come to their club dining hall on Christmas Day and have a free dinner. Now if a secular Golf Club will do this what is your church doing about it? I would love to know.

My Christmas present from you this year would be very special to me if you wrote and let me know if your church is having a Christmas dinner on the church premises and you are inviting lonely people to it?

When the shepherds saw and heard the angel Gabriel and the whole host of angels singing glory to God on high there was a very special reason. The full glory of God had arrived in the form of a baby. (Isaiah 40:5;) No ordinary baby but one who had come into this world for a specific purpose to save sinners (you and me) God in flesh to the manger came.

He had been promised ages back but now had come. “Glory to God on high and peace towards men.” they sang. This peace is a very special peace. For the only worthwhile peace and a peace that transcends all is the peace of God ruling and reigning in our hearts.

That my friends can only be actuated when we confess our sins, and believe in our hearts that Jesus is not only the Saviour but the one who came to be your Saviour and mine. Its a personal matter and only you can make sure of your salvation by reaching out to Him in faith in prayer. He has never turned any away yet who came honestly and sincerely seeking Him. He waits with open arms to receive you.

(Luke 15) “The glory of the Lord has been revealed!”



Joys prayer

Gracious God and loving heavenly Father, May we not be caught up only in the excitement of giving and receiving gifts around the Christmas tree and eating perhaps a lot more than we should. Help us to concentrate on the real meaning of Christmas in receiving Jesus Christ the Saviour into our world and ultimately into our hearts. We remember He was not given much of a reception at the hotel and had to be born in a humble cattle shed or even worse. There was said to be no room for Him.

It is important Lord that we do make room for Him in our hearts not on the circumference but in the central place the throne room of our hearts where we ask Him to rule over us and accomplish His purposes both in and through us out to a needy world.. We praise and worship You our wonderful Saviour and Redeemer! Amen


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Dec 1, 2014

Think Spot 1 December 2014

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Think Spot - 1 December 2014

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

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! So, whether it was a week for you to forget or a week for you to remember, we now enter a new week! Last week we thought about trusting God in all circumstances! 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 51:8 & 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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Nov 24, 2014

Think Spot 24 November 2014

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Think Spot - 24th November 2014

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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 trusting God? 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.

  1. 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 5v7 "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.")

  2. Accept and thank God that His peace has filled that area (Another great apostle, Paul, wrote this in Philippians 4v7 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.")
  3. Learn to be content whatever your circumstances are, resting in God (Paul goes on in Philippians 4v11-12 "Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  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.")
  4. Allow the Spirit to control your mind for life and peace (and again from the pen of the apostle Paul, this time in Romans 8v6 "So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.")

  5. Trust God to fulfil your every need (Matthew records these words of Jesus in Matthew 6v32-33 "but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." )
  6. Obey and follow God's commands to love God and love others (Jesus is recorded in Matthew 22v37-40 "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.")
  7. 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

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Nov 17, 2014

Think Spot 17 November 2014

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Think Spot 17 November 2014

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

Matthew 5:9 records Jesus speaking these words "God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God."

All over the world, people share a common desire for peace! But what is peace? The peace the world wants varies from the peace the Christian knows. The world sees peace as the absence of conflict and people being generally ‘nice' to one another. Peace in the Christian context goes further, saying peace is perfect harmony with God, other people, circumstances and self. Therefore perfect peace will not come until Jesus Christ comes again, and takes Christians to be with Him.

That doesn't give us as Christians a mandate to sit around not doing what we can for peace, because we are commanded to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9), our God is a God of peace (1 Thessalonians 5:23), and the Kingdom of God is about peace in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Peace is to be our business! In a world full of conflicts, such as conflicts between nations, conflicts between neighbours, conflicts even within families and conflicts within and between churches, Christians are to be peacemakers!

With that in mind, here are some thoughts on what the Bible has to say on peace, to help you this week be a peacemaker:

1. Peace with God

  • Justified by faith (Romans 5:1-2)
  • Christ is our peace between God and man and between men (Ephesians 2:13-18)

2. Peace with others

  • Live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:17-20)
  • Do everything possible which leads to peace and mutual encouragement (Romans 14:13-19)
  • Be a peacemaker - a sign of real wisdom producing a harvest of righteousness (Matthew 5:9, James 3:17-18)

3. Peace within/circumstances

  • Peace is a gift of God (John 14:27, 2 Thessalonians3:16)
  • Worldly peace requires manipulation of circumstances, God's peace comes regardless of circumstances
  • We have peace in troubled times - an untroubled, unfearful heart and mind (John 16:33)

Go in peace this Monday, into this week, knowing that the God of peace lives inside you if you are one of His children! Yesterday churches around the world celebrated the feast of Pentecost - the coming of the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus. If you desire peace with God, with others and in all circumstances, ask this Holy Spirit who lives inside you to help you! If you would not consider yourself as one of His children, ask Him to help you become one!

Father, I pray that this week we will do all we can to be peacemakers and make a difference in world in conflict. 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

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Aug 4, 2014

Think Spot 4 August 2014

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Think Spot - 4th August 2014

Is the Church Failing Single Parents? God’s plan is for a man and a woman to meet, marry, have kids and stay together “till death do we part”. That is God’s plan, and that is the best plan. For many reasons this model works best. Studies show that children thrive better in a loving home where Mommy and Daddy are committed to each other. Life (which we all know is not easy) is easier when there are 2 parents to share the load of parenting. As Christians we have been called by God, by our Lord, to set the example, to show the world that marriages can last 50+ years and be blessed and joyful, be full of romance and fun.

 It doesn’t always happen. We live in a culture where divorce is rampant. We live in a time when women get pregnant before they get married. There are a lot of single moms out there, a lot of single dads too. The singleness happens for a variety of reasons, each single parent has a story. Maybe the mom was raped. Maybe the dad is a widower. Maybe Mom did everything right, she was married and then Dad for whatever reason, abandoned his family. Maybe they are a military family and Mom or Dad was transferred and then deployed right away, so all you see is 1 parent bringing the kid(s) to church.

What is the church doing to reach out to single parents? To make us feel just as welcome, just as loved, just as valuable as everyone else? Sadly, not nearly enough.

Too often the single parent is judged. The single parent feels like he/she is walking around with a scarlet letter. We are the lower class of the church. We see the looks, we hear the whispers, we strive to fit in, but we don’t. We don’t go to the couples classes, but we are parents so we don’t feel like we fit in with the childless singles. Finding the right Sunday School class is hard!

Then, there is service. We sit there alone, surrounded by families. We are doing our best to teach our kids to sit quietly and be proper worshipers during service and before Children’s Church. What do we do when our toddler needs to use the rest room? Do we make the others come with us (and disrupt everyone around us as we get up), or leave them? Logistics are hard when there is just 1 parent and multiple young kids.

We’d love to come to mid week Bible studies, but our budget is TIGHT and affording a sitter is a luxury.

There are easy fixes the church could do to be the church to single parents.

Be friendly! Don’t judge. I know it is hard to give up judging, to let God do that. Take the time to get to know us. Ask us our story. Chances are we haven’t had many people take the time to listen. If you do you will probably find out we are not harlots. Even if we did choose to have sex outside of marriage and we have a child that does not give you a right to judge & treat us differently. You sin too! Jesus went to the cross for you too. This is the biggest thing the church needs to do. LOVE US!

Have a Sunday School class for parents or even for single parents. Meet our needs. We want to grow in our relationship with Jesus. We want our kids to grow up to love Jesus, to serve Him and have compassion for others. To do that, we need to have our spiritual needs met, we need to be fed. We need a safe place where we can share our lives with others. That is what Sunday School should be.

If you offer mid week services or Bible studies, offer free child care. There may be married couples that need this as well as the single parents.

Celebrate the single parent. They doing something that is very hard for married couples, and single parents are doing it alone. We love our kids, but our job is often without praise. We are hesitant about Mother’s/Father’s Day. We feel weird buying something for ourselves, so take our kids and help them! Buy Mom pizza once in awhile, and have a picnic with her. Take Dad and the kids fishing.

The Church exists to show Jesus to world, to lift up and encourage Believers. We each have a personal journey. We made the attempt and we are at church. Now, it is up to each member to be lift each other up. To look beyond the situation and see the soul, see what Jesus sees and love as Jesus loves. Every member (single, married, whatever) needs to feel loved, welcomed and at home in church.

Let’s do better for our single parents, let’s be their safe, loving, helpful place. Let’s end the judgment and be Jesus to them. Single parents should look forward to church, to the chance to be loved, to worship freely, to be fed and encouraged.

How is your church doing? How are YOU doing?

Love,
Jessie

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Jul 28, 2014

Think Spot 28 July 2014

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Think Spot - 28th July 2014

Revelation 22:12-13 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Do you believe this? Do you really believe this? If you do, then how are you doing at telling and showing others the gospel of grace of Jesus Christ?

~

I was in London recently. A busy place! But I did notice something. The only people I saw doing any kind of outreach, were members of the Jehovah Witnesses cult. They do it out of slavish obedience to the Jehovah Witnesses Governing body. It is not out of love for others as we as Christians are to! But… Where were the Christians? For sure they were operating the foodbanks, looking after the homeless and others in need. Practical evangelism and outreach – and rightly so. But where was the verbal witness of Christians? We are commanded to go and tell – so evangelism is not just looking after the physical needs of people but also telling them verbally. Two days in London and we didn’t see one Christian evangelising. Where I live in the UK, I have lived in our current location 4 years and not once have I been presented with the Gospel. Why? I would suggest apathy. A sense of loss of urgency in the UK church today.

~

As the church, God’s representative body, here on earth, we have a mission. The church is all those who call Jesus Lord and let Him be master over there life. We have a mission. Our mission is to tell other people about a God of love and that this God of love wants people to come into a relationship of love with Him. God is a missionary God! The Father sent the Son on a mission! The Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit on a mission! We are to emulate the God we claim to love, by being on a mission to tell others about this amazing God of love who wants all people to be in relationship with Himself. If you don’t tell that person, who will? They may not get another opportunity to hear! The church as a whole, particularly in the West, seems to have lost its sense of urgency to tell and show others this missionary God of love.

~

Why urgency? Because Jesus, who is the Lord of the Christian and Lord of the Church, is coming back again. Coming back to gather to Himself all those who are engaged in a loving and dynamic relationship with Himself. Coming back soon. Could be today! Could be tomorrow, this week, this month, this year, this decade, this century! Nobody knows! But Jesus is coming back. Be ready for when He does and I hope there is at least one other person there because you took a risk and told somebody about Jesus.

~

As the church, as Christians, we have this message of life, and yet so often we neglect to take the opportunities to tell and show others. When was the last time you said to somebody “God loves you. Will you love Him back?” We are, by all means possible, to get this message out. Go. Tell. Show. The Gospel. GodLuvsYou.com Go into this week and tell at least one person somewhere & somehow about God’s love. Thank you.

~

O Father God, I pray that this week, each of us will do all we can to tell and show the Good news of your Son. Enable us through your Holy Ghost who lives within us, to see the opportunities to tell others that you love them and want them to be in relationship with you, O Loving God! Help us through the power and wisdom of the Holy Ghost to tell about the love mission done by your Son two thousand years ago. I ask this O God my Father, through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside all those who have a relationship with you. Amen

~

Thanks for listening! Come back every day to Partakers where you will find resources to help you live the Christian life where you are.

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