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Archive for the 'WISE' Category

Wise - Partaker

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Words in Scripture Explored - Partaker

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To partake, or to be a partaker of something, can mean at least three things! Firstly, it means having the qualities or attributes of something. Secondly it can mean having, giving or receiving something. Finally, to partake of something, means to consume!

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Jesus was, and is, a Partaker!

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Jesus Christ was a Partaker! Did you know that? He was a Partaker, in so much as that when He became human, He adorned human flesh and blood Hebrews 2:14-18.

As a Christian Disciple, you also are a Partaker, for you are to hunger and thirst for righteousness or in other words, be Partakers of righteousness. In this pursuit of partaking after righteousness, the New Testament has a lot to say about what Christian Disciples are to be Partakers of.

Here is a list of other things the Bible says that Christian Disciples are Partakers of:

  • When you became a Christian, you became a Partaker of the Gospel - 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.
  • When you take communion, you are a Partaker of the Lord's Table - 1 Corinthians 10:14-33.

Additionally as a Christian Disciple, you are a: ~

  • Partaker of spiritual things Romans 15:25-27
  • Partaker of the material benefits of one's labour 1 Corinthians 9:1-23
  • Partaker of suffering and consolation 2 Corinthians 1:6-7
  • Partaker of the promises in Christ Ephesians 3
  • Partaker of Grace Philippians 1:3-7
  • Partaker of the crops that are sown 2 Timothy 2:6
  • Partaker of His holiness Hebrews 12:10-11
  • Partaker of Christ's suffering 1 Peter 4:12-13
  • Partaker of the glory that will be revealed 1 Peter 5:1-4
  • Partaker of the divine nature through God's promises 2 Peter 1:1-4

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These things that you are to partake of, which lead to a full experience of the Christian life. Lets go, as Partakers of Jesus Christ, to show the world that He is alive through us. ~

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WISE - God of Love

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A God Of Love

We live in a world that is in love with love. Love, according to some people, is what makes the world go around. Valentines day and the endemic materialism associated with it is evidence of that! There are more songs written about all kinds of love than perhaps any other subject!  In the Bible, God’s love is revealed. The Apostle John in 1 John 4 does not simply say that God loves, but rather that God is love. Remember that God is the Holy Trinity, three persons in one. The Trinity is a living, vibrant community of love, and every activity of the Trinity, is an expression of love. God loves because that is His very nature. Throughout the Bible, God’s love is described as an unfailing, everlasting, intimate, sacrificial, unbreakable, conquering, immeasurable and all-knowing. How is God’s love seen? It is seen in two ways.

Firstly, it is shown supremely in that He has given His Son to be the Saviour of the world, so that if a person takes up that opportunity, they can know and enjoy God in a personal relationship. God had only one Son, Jesus Christ, and He sent Him on a rescue mission to seek the lost and to reconcile people to God. This is love in action. The lover dying for the ones He loves.

Secondly, God’s love is shown when Christians love. As a Christian, you are a child of God, so you should want to be like your Heavenly Father, by showing the world your love for others and your transformed character. The Christian Church should be a community of love, for this is how the world sees God

If people see Christians that are not loving and kind, rightly or wrongly, the whole Church is branded as a bunch of fakes and hypocrites. Worse still, God is seen at best as nothing more than a distant uncaring irrelevant figure. The love between Christians is seen as a visible showing of the invisible God. The very character of the church should always be to reflect God in all aspects. The ultimate example of showing people God, is for you as a Christian, to love and be love. People should be seeing God’s love, through your love. For as Jesus said, “All men will know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another” (John 13:35).

His love releases us from the things that so easily entangle our daily walk with Him. The more you hold onto His love, the more you will desire it and the more it will be revealed in your daily life. Your love in action today, reflects God’s love in action on the cross. How will you reflect this God of love today, to the world around you? Go and love - to the glory of God! Maranatha!

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WISE - Faith

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Faith


People always say that faith is blind! However the Bible says that faith is a total confidence in God’s faithfulness, which leads to reliance, trust and total obedience to Him (Hebrews 11v6). We see this faith in the Godly obedience of those around us and from the Bible and church history.

Faith in Salvation

For salvation, faith is a voluntary change of mind and heart in the sinner in which the person turns to God, relying on and accepting His offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.

  1. Mind - recognition of your need of salvation. Acknowledging Christ’s death on your behalf and your need of forgiveness.
  2. Emotional (Heart) – your personal assent to the gospel. You ask yourself, “What must I do to be saved?” and then you agree to make salvation a part of your life.
  3. Will - Personal trust in Jesus Christ.

Now as a follower of Jesus, you are to continue having faith in Him. Four things at least you are to have faith in Him for:

By faith - He is praying for you

Jesus Christ is making intercessions for His followers (Romans 8:34). He knew the disciples troubles (Mark 6:48), just as He knows your troubles now. He feels your cares and knows what you are going through (Hebrews 4:14-16).

By faith - He will come to you

Ever felt like God is far away? Well you aren’t alone! King David often felt God was far away and unconcerned. However he also knew God would ultimately rescue him. Jesus always comes to you through difficult times, although He may not come in the time you think He should come, because He knows when you need Him most.

By faith - He will help you grow

When the disciples were in the storm and Jesus came to them walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33), the purpose of this incident was to show that Jesus would be leaving them soon, so they had to learn to trust in Him when He wasn’t physically present. Peter wrote later on in his life, “for the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers” (1 Peter 3v12).

By faith, He will see you through

At the same event, Jesus said “Come” and Peter went with Him. This must have encouraged the other disciples, for upon seeing Jesus’ power they worshipped him. Whatever troubles you are undergoing are temporary, and Jesus will see you through.

By faith, you have salvation. By faith Jesus is praying, will come to you, grow you and help you through troubles. By being obedient to God, you are showing others your salvation and showing that faith, is not blind, but active!

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WISE - Joy

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Joy

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The Battle for Joy!

G'day! Welcome to Partake WISE. The word for today is joy!  Let us ask ourselves at the very beginning what is joy? Is joy merely a form of bloated happiness as many people believe, including those in the church?  Can joy be seen as going around everywhere with a silly grin etched into your face!  That kind of joy is dependent upon circumstances and feelings!  True joy is not to be confused with mere pleasure or feeling good!  True joy is to be a way of life and it is to permeate every facet of the person and not just the emotions!  True joy is to be a deeper, inner joy whereby the source, object and target is to be God and God alone! As Christians, we are all instruments in the orchestra of God's joy.  Does that describe your experience of joy?

To enhance that thought, hear what C.S. Lewis once wrote: "Joy is never in our power, and pleasure is. I doubt whether anyone who has tasted true joy would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasure in the world."

True Joy Can Be Yours!

True internal, biblical joy is always separated from our circumstances and is a heartfelt response that endures regardless of what happens around us. The world says happiness is looking out for your own interests in everything you do and at all times, because the greatest good is your own personal happiness! That is what the world calls ‘joy'. That kind of happiness or type of joy doesn't last long so the perpetual search for happiness continues in a circle - like a dog chasing its tail.  But that is not true biblical joy! Now I am not saying happiness is a bad thing, but in comparison to true joy - well there really is no comparison!

Joy, in the Bible, is frequently mentioned with peace and salvation rather than just an emotional state! In the New Testament, joy is often associated with all kinds of suffering. True joy is always for the good of others, not for our own selfish gain. When we give away our will, for the sake of others, we receive the joy that Jesus desired for us. Happiness and joy are radically different.

Joy Is Jesus

True joy is never an end in itself. It is only as Jesus Christ is made our overwhelming first priority, that true joy, almost without our knowing it, bursts in! The source, object and target of our joy as Christians, is to be Jesus Christ and Him alone! Where Jesus is glorified in the power of the Holy Spirit, so is the Father and this pure, unadulterated joy is released upon us and in us!  If we seek joy for joy's sake alone, we will mislay it, because it cannot be caught. People of the world think that by crying  "Me, me, me", they will have joy!  When in fact, true joy is "Jesus, Jesus and yet more Jesus!" True and unbridled joy, is given only by Jesus Christ and we receive it by serving Him and Him alone.

Joy Is Jesus Over Yourself

Joy is "Jesus Over Yourself" and letting Him have total control over all aspects of life! In Hebrews 12:2 we read this "Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our saviour is now experiencing glorious joy in all senses of the word!

Go out with joy and allow Jesus' joy to permeate every facet of your life and make a difference in your local community! Remember, you are a part of God's orchestra of joy, so go be an instrument of joy for God's greater glory!!

Thank you!

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WISE - Forgiveness

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Forgiveness

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What is forgiveness?

True forgiveness is not just saying sorry!! Forgiveness is to include penitence and also a desire never to do that same thing again. Forgiveness of course is a major part of Christianity, both in the way that God forgives when approached in penitence and repentance, but also in the way Christians forgive others and themselves! In both giving and receiving forgiveness, consider Jesus Christ and the enormity of His forgiveness.

Paul writes in Colossians 3v12-14 that forgiveness is part of being in God’s family of Christians! If God forgave you for all that you have done wrong, then you also should forgive others, regardless of how difficult that might be to do. Nobody said it would always be easy though! Forgiveness enables you to have the same openness toward the person after they offend you, as you did before the event – if not more! When you truly forgive the person who has wronged you, any hurt you have will diminish.

Receiving and Giving Forgiveness

But why do we need to both receive and give forgiveness? Apart from being commanded to, a vast number of emotional and psychological problems are caused by failure to either give or to receive forgiveness.

  • There is a failure to receive forgiveness. Many people try to pay for their sin by trying to punish themselves for they're past sins. These people should let go, because God has forgiven them, just as they asked!
  • There is a failure to give forgiveness. When forgiveness is not offered to a person who has done you wrong, bitterness, resentment and anger may spring up in your life. There are parents who hurt; siblings who fail; and close friends who betray and reject. Yet forgive is the command, and it can only be done as the Holy Spirit and His power is relied upon.

By receiving and giving forgiveness, you will find an ability to love God more and love others more openly. Don’t let bitter unforgiveness destroy you and others, but rather let love & forgiveness build and strengthen.

God and Forgiveness

God’s ultimate concern is your holiness and not just your happiness, as you are transformed into the image of Jesus Christ! God is concerned not just about what is happening to you, but also what you are learning and how you are responding in His workshop of life, as you are being transformed. This involves both giving and receiving forgiveness.

Tests to see if there is someone I need to forgive

  • Resentment test - Is there anyone you resent?
  • Responsibility test - Do you find yourself thinking, "If only this other person or persons had done this, things would have been different!" and therefore blaming others?
  • Reminder/reaction test - Do you find yourself reacting negatively against a person because they remind you of someone else?

Thank you!

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WISE - Prayer

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Prayer

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I wonder what you think prayer is and how much of it you have experienced? Is your vision and experience of prayer too small? Let us find out together, a small part of prayer!

Prayer is to be at the centre of the relationship between God and the Christian. It is the major interaction and fellowship between God and humans, and of humans communicating with God, both in talking and listening. Prayer is allowing God to be consciously in to all aspects of Christian's life and enjoying God's companionship. John Calvin, said that part of praying was asking for "what we have learned to be available" in God's love and of His being the infinitesimal good giver. He goes on to say our "only security" is achieved by calling on the Father for His providence out of His infinite mercy.

Prayer is ultimately what humans were made for: conversing with God. Regardless of status or maturity or any other man-made barrier, God is always accessible, through prayer, to all those seeking Him with a contrite heart and a humble spirit. This dynamic relationship enables the Christian to engage in prayer that is both personal and relational. All prayer consists of a desire or longing to know God better, and that is to be the prime motivation: to know God better and more intimately.

Prayer's function is to a constant yearning for God's assistance! It is to be a strengthening of desire towards eternal happiness, holiness and worship and knowledge of God. God Himself assists us as we pray! Did you know that? He does this by correcting and strengthening the yearning we express. Prayers express desires and thoughts in a contributory way to the journey of the Christian Disciple.

Prayer emits our words from ourselves to the God we seek to know, as a response to His reaching out to us. Through prayer, God is able to comprehend the Christian Disciple regardless of language, grammar or oratory skill as long as the Christian Disciple approaches with a correct attitude.

Words however, are not just to be a mental action but also an emotive act, conveying emotions and feeling. Prayer is to convey deep emotions to God, regardless of our language skills. The words spoken in prayer portray our innermost feeling to Him. Because God is personal, He values language and expects His people to talk to Him. Prayer is intimacy with God! If for some reason, the Christian Disciple is unable to convey their words in prayer, then Romans 8v26, intimates that the Holy Spirit intercedes. Prayer epitomises the Father-child relationship symbolized in the Christian Disciple's relationship with God. It further symbolizes the freedom and peace in prayer, advocated by Jesus to communicate His deepest desires, as in the Lords Prayer (Matthew 6v9-13) and in John 17.

Don't just have your prayer time in the morning or evening and leave it at that. Pray throughout the day as well, asking God for His assistance as you go about your daily life! Go! Pray!

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