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Archive for the 'WOW Word' Category

WOW Word 23 - Giving

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Giving

 

A story - King's Cross to Caledonian Road. And what happened when...

Time, possessions and money

Giving is seemingly one of the three forbidden subjects for Christians to discuss in the 21st century! The other two being sex and power. Jesus talked about all three often!

Every person has in differing quantities: time, talent, possessions and money. In relationship to giving, the Church is to be a community where the strongest members support the weakest members. This applies not only to the local church, but also at a national and international level as well.

Too often, even as Christian Disciples we are found turning a blind eye to the suffering of others where the bare necessities of life are in sparse existence. Too often we gather possessions and people, instead of giving up our time and money generously to help the poor and needy of both our world and local communities. Too often we keep our time and talents selfishly to ourselves instead of giving them to others in need.

Spiritual Growth Indicator

Perhaps the greatest indicator of spiritual growth in the Christian Disciple concerns their giving – particularly financial giving. Paul writing to the Corinthians commands that giving is to be done whole-heartedly and cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7). WOW! For the Christian Disciple, it is not so much how much is given, but how much is left after giving. God looks beyond the amount that is given to the motive and attitude behind the giving. All of our money, time, talents and possessions belong to God anyway, so giving is to be in response to this. Giving is to be done out of love for God. Paul offers in 1 Corinthians 16:2 a three-point system for giving financially: regularly, methodically and proportionately.

Failure to give back to God's work what He has given the Christian Disciple in the first place, robs God (Malachi 3:8). The reason it robs is because the giving cannot be used to support those who are working for God. As a result of giving, the Christian Disciple will be blessed (Malachi 3:10) and have their needs satisfied (Philippians 4:19).

Old Testament
In the Old Testament, Widows were important to God, because justice is important to God as He is a God of perfect justice and consummate mercy. In the Old Testament, under the Law of Moses, God commanded provision for those who were widows, oppressed or uncared for.

The 12 Apostles would have known about God caring for the widows and through Jesus’ teaching about justice for the poor and the oppressed. We know this because if you read the Book of Acts, people were selling and sharing possessions and ensuring that all people within the Christian community were being looked after and cared for. This included making sure that everyone got fed, particularly those who had no family to care for them. And it was not just for those within the church – but from the wider community!

New Testament
The New Testament church made sure that financial giving was done and that the poor, the oppressed, the lonely and the widows were taken care of. People working fulltime for the Lord, were given recompense by others for their efforts. People gave. Paul in Romans 12:6-8 places giving as a spiritual gift! I wonder how many people have asked specifically for that particular gift. Perhaps it’s the least asked for gift; after all it isn’t one of the supposedly spectacular ones!

You and I
How are you doing? How is your giving of your time, your talents, your possessions and your money on a local, national and international level? The get out clause for a lot of Christians is that it would not be good stewardship to give to that person or that cause. Or they say the passages in the book of Acts are only descriptive of that particular time and have no relevance for us today.
Each of us has in varying quantities: time, talents, possessions and money. How is your giving of those to others doing? God gave everything so that you and I may have life and life in abundance. So by giving generously of your time, your talents, your possessions and your finances, you are reflecting that. Just as God gave and gives generously, and gave His Son as a ransom for sin. If you have run out of ideas about how to give what you have, ask God to show you and give you some creative ideas! Go live! Go give!

How’s that for a WOW word?

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WOW Word 25

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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

 

WOW Word 25

Joy

 The Battle for Joy!

Hebrews 12:2 “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.

As Christians, we are all instruments in the orchestra of God's joy. Does that describe your experience of 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!

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 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!

What is joy and how can you experience such joy? Play or download the mp3 audio to hear more about joy and its place within the life of the Christian Disciple!!

~

 

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WOW Word 12 - Disciple

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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

 

WOW Word - Disciple

 

Today Alphie talks about being a disciple of Jesus Christ!

Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’

 

What is a Disciple? How are you doing at being an active disciple or follower of Jesus Christ some 2000 years after he said those words? Come and listen to hear answers to these questions and more!

 

 

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WOW Word 05 - Peace

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WOW Word

Peace

The world we live in, wants peace! The world is unified around the concept of peace! However, the peace the world wants requires the manipulation of circumstances. God's peace, however, comes regardless of circumstances. Peace Definition: 'Shalom' was the Hebrew word used in the Old Testament. It means a wholeness of well-being & mind; the total absence of conflict and turmoil evidenced by an untroubled mind and a heart that does not fear! It is total harmony with God, man, circumstances & self. That is true peace!

 

History of Peace

The end of peace was when Adam sinned and fellowship was broken with God and between humans. 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). Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9v6). As a Christian Disciples, you have peace with God through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection! There are three scopes of peace.

Peace with God.

As a Christian Disciple, you have peace with God because you are justified by faith. This peace gives you access into God's grace and blessings (Romans 5:1-2). Jesus Christ is your bridge of peace between God & yourself. Jesus is also the peace between other people and you, and all hostility has been removed (Romans 2:13-18).

Peace with Others

You are to live at peace with everyone and not to be proud or vengeful (Romans 12vv17-20). You are to do what is right in the eyes of other people and exhibit positive goodness. You are to make every effort to do what leads to peace & mutual edification Romans 14:13-19, and not place stumbling blocks in front of others!

Peace within

As a Christian Disciple, you have the gift of peace with God, from the God of peace (Philippians 4:4-9) given to you by Jesus Christ who is the Prince of Peace! (John 14:27). You are to be a peacemaker, by having internal peace, this shows the fruit of the Spirit. When faced with troubled times & a troubled world, you can have peace through an untroubled, unfearful heart & mind (John 16:33).

How do you gain peace within?

As you live a life in obedience to Jesus, you bear the fruit of righteousness, which is peace, quietness and confidence (Isaiah 32:17). A mind controlled by the Holy Spirit of peace gives a life of peace and total trust in God! (Isaiah 26:3; Romans 8:6). Lastly, when you are content whatever the situation , this enables the peace of God to guard your heart & mind (Philippians 4:11-12). Go, and be at peace with God, others and yourself!

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WOW Word 58 - Temptation

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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

WOW Word - Temptation

~Today Alphy the WOWChurch Cat shares about

the WOW Word Temptation!

 

Agghhh! Temptation! Temptation to sin! We all face them as Christian disciples.

Who are we tempted by? We are tempted by the arch-enemy, the devil! We are tempted by other people to disobey! We are tempted by our old nature fighting against our new nature given to us by God!

But that’s what we as Christians are facing when we are tempted to sin and disobey God! When you are tempted to disobey God, either in action or inaction, you are not to touch it – just like you wouldn’t try to stop a chainsaw with your hands!!

Christians face constant temptation to disobey God and sin. However temptations are common experiences for all Christians. God allows temptations, but He will never let you be tempted beyond what He knows you can handle – that’s His promise. And even more, He always provides a means of escape from temptation! Paul wrote about that to the church in Corinth and we read that in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has come your way that is too hard for flesh and blood to bear. But God can be trusted not to allow you to suffer any temptation beyond your powers of endurance. He will see to it that every temptation has a way out, so that it will never be impossible for you to bear it.” WOW!

Temptation it must be noted is not sin. If it was, Jesus the sinless one would not be sinless! Rather it is the giving into temptation that causes us to sin. By dealing with temptation at the very moment it confronts you, you show you are living a life worthy of Jesus Christ.

Here are some short guidelines to help us deal with temptation:

  • Remember the need to love God with a greater love than whatever is tempting us (1 John 2:15).
  • Acknowledging and remembering that sin’s power was nullified by Jesus’ death on the cross (Romans 6:11)
  • Remembering that as Christian Disciples, we are to continue living under the control of the Spirit’s power (Galatians 5:16) – the Holy Spirit who lives within you! WOW!.
  • Remembering that you are as a Christian to be living a moment-by-moment dependence in faith on the Holy Spirit’s power, and make a conscious decision by an act of your will to benefit from the Holy Spirit’s power and assistance. He will help you if you ask!

Remember to continue to grow as a Christian! The key to growing as a Christian Disciple is to submit everything to God and keep on submitting everything to God. If you are growing as Christian Disciple, you are grow more in love with God, and therefore your desire to sin and disobey Him becomes increasingly less.

Finally, here is a WOW for you! Remember that the Holy Spirit lives inside you, and greater is He that is in you than anything else in the world (1 John 4:4). Now that is a comforting thought, because it means we don’t face these temptations alone! How easily that is forgotten!

So next time you are faced with temptation to sin and disobey God - pray and ask for God’s help! But be prepared for the answer, because it may not be the answer you expect! Be alert to the possibilities! If you have specific sins that entangle you habitually, ask that the Holy Spirit will help you avoid the temptation! It may also mean that you are to avoid the situation or circumstance where you are being tempted. You could also get close friends to pray for you as you also pray for them!

Temptation – how is that for a WOW word!!

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WOW Word 17 - Your Cross

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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

 

WOW Word - Your Cross

 

Luke 9:23-26 Jesus speaking “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

 

What is our response to this to be? As followers of Jesus Christ we are commanded to count the cost of following Him. That is how we carry our own cross for the sake of Jesus Christ. Jesus 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! Here is one man who couldn’t give up something to follow Jesus! Let’s call him 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!

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. That was due to Basil 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 the WOW factor of Jesus. Jesus demands that He is number one and supreme over everything else in your life - yourself, family, others and material goods including money and possessions. How is this done? This is done by consistently ensuring that your works and words match your lifestyle and that no hypocrisy can be found, or indeed will be found. It means standing up for God in the face of adversity. It means loving others even though they hate you.

Just a couple of examples. In the UK, we aren’t systematically persecuted. We are marginalized, ridiculed and ignored but some of our Christian family around the world who daily face death simply because they chose to follow Jesus. They are carrying their cross for Jesus! What about us in the UK? For example: if we as Christians were known by our self-sacrificial love of all others, then Jesus whom we claim to love, follow, worship, and adore would be seen.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote "When Jesus Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. ... Discipleship is not an offer that man makes to Jesus Christ, nor is it hero worship, but intimacy with Christ." (The Cost of Discipleship). Bonnhoeffer knew that as a Christian, a person has to take up their own cross in following Jesus and count the cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

 

Finally, let’s look at 1 John 3:16 “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 others.” Jesus told us to take up our own cross if we are to follow Him as His Disciple. How is that possible? If we try to do that in our own strength and wisdom, we will fail. If we do that using the power and strength of the Holy Spirit within you, then you will succeed at following Jesus’ command. Are you as a Disciple of Jesus Christ willing to take up your cross? What a difference that would make to the community where you live! 

 

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WOW Word 27 - Serving

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 37. Serving

Serving God and serving other people is the mark of a spiritually mature Christian Disciple. Did you know that? For it is through serving, that the Christian Disciple reflects the greatest servant of all - Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ came to serve and to give his life for others.

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Philippians 2:5-8 - In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!

As followers and partakers of Jesus, Christian Disciples are to be as Jesus Christ and to serve. Yet if we are honest, we sometimes feel incapable. That is because we forget that God the Holy Spirit is within us to empower us to obediently serve God and serve others.

Go Serve!

As a Christian Disciple, a partaker of Jesus Christ, you are called to a life of service: serving God and other people. Your church is to be a body of people, where each person is to have a serving function – serving God and serving others. Why serve others? By serving others as a church, a group of people, it shows unity and solidarity to those outside of the church who frequently accuse the church of infighting and “devouring one another”.

The Christian life is not to be static or inactive, but rather it is to be dynamic and active. The word ‘servant’ is key in Scripture. It is used at least 500 times in its various derivations. Spiritual growth comes from serving, rather than being served. This is because what ever is given in service of God and others, faith grows and Jesus Christ gives back even more. Jesus speaking in Matthew 25:15-30 tells of the rewards for faithful service and the penalties for being faithless. Serving others is a sign that you, as a Christian Disciple, trust God and are having faith in Him.

In serving others, you fulfil the command that Jesus gave to love God and love others. Showing love and serving each other through your Spiritual Gifts and giving, achieves this aim of obedience to Jesus. As the church, we are dependent upon each other, just as one part of the human body has dependence on another part. That is why we serve each other and use the gifts generously given by God.

When you, as a disciple and partaker of Jesus Christ, serve in any capacity, then God’s honour is released. This is done because service shows the beauty and glory of Jesus Christ to those being served and to those watching. That is to be our motive for service. Serving is never about what you can get out of it. When that is the motive, God is patently not glorified. God’s glory and supremacy is the goal of all those who would call themselves a Christian Disciple.

So go … serve. How’s that for a WOW Word?

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WOW Word 47 - Holiness

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Holiness

I wonder what the biggest fence, wall or barrier is that you have either seen or that you know about! Perhaps one of the biggest walls in the world is the Great Wall of China. It is seen from space and is over 4000 miles long, about 25 feet high and up to 30 feet thick! It is huge and enormous!! It was built to keep out invaders – for that is what walls and barriers do: Keep out enemies!

Holy Barrier

However big the Great Wall of China is, there is one barrier that is even bigger! I wonder if you know what it is!! The biggest barrier to exist is the one, which separates God from all His creation. This barrier is holiness, for God is a holy God. Ezekiel 1:27-28 gives us a vivid picture of the holiness of God and is seen in the fire, light, radiance, full of glory and majesty.

What is holiness?

Holiness is what separates God from all His creation. For God alone is holy and full of glory. Exodus 15:2 “Who is like you, O God, glorious in holiness!” Or Isaiah 60:25 “To whom will you liken me, or shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. Holiness is also a moral attribute of God, of purity and freedom from the stain of ALL sin. Habakkuk 1:13 “of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look upon sin. Holiness is still more than that! It is in fact the sum of all His attributes! God is holiness and holiness is God!

Holy People:

Perfect holiness, while to us is inconceivable, has been revealed; revealed in the sinless man, Jesus Christ. As a Christian, you also are declared holy! That is because of what Jesus did on the cross… He has broken down the barrier between God and man. And if you are a Christian, you are declared holy, and therefore you are to live a holy life worthy of Jesus Christ.! As a Christian, the Holy Spirit is transforming you into the very image of the holy one, Jesus Christ. As a Christian, you are no longer an enemy of God but a friend of God and belong to God! So live out your faith and live your Christian Discipleship in holiness.

 

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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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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

WOW Word - God of Judement

~Today Alphy the WOWChurch Cat shares about

the WOW Word - God of Judgment!

 

We have all at some point liked to think of God as being only about love and never judging. People say “It will be alright in the end, because the love of God conquers all.” Well, remember also, that love involves judging. God is the judge of all the earth, the writer of Hebrews reminds us (Hebrews 12:23). This judgment has several aspects to it:

Unbiased

God shows no favoritism (Romans 2:11). God is eternally just and righteous. It is a reflection of His mercy, that nobody can claim God is unfair.

Unavoidable

Jesus Christ will judge the whole world with justice (Acts 17:31). Everybody is destined to die once and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). What is common to everybody, is a universal sinfulness (Romans 2:1). What is in the murderer or the thief is in everybody, everywhere and all the time. That is rebelliousness against God and that is sin and it must be judged. Judgement will be before the Great White Throne of Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

Universal

Judgment of unbelievers: Those who do not profess Jesus, as God, will be judged according to their sinfulness. They are already guilty, because they didn’t take up the offer of salvation through Grace during their earthly life. These people will be cast into the lake of fire with satan and his angels (Revelation 20:15; Matthew 25:41). This punishment is eternal (Matthew 25:46). Judgment of Christian Disciples: And that is not all.

 

Judgment of believers: Those who are believers, Christian disciples, and are actively engaged in a relationship with Jesus Christ, will also be judged. Does that surprise you? While these people have accepted God’s free offer and are declared righteous by faith, they will be judged according to the things they have done with, and in, their faith. Belief and faith are to be supported by good works (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

As a Christian Disciple, you will not be judged for sin - this has been judged (Isaiah 53:4-6; again I find that odd since it is quoting from before the event, which raises all sorts of questions about scripture. Why not Romans 6:21? Peter 2:24), and you have salvation on that basis. This judgment is not for your salvation but for your crown, your rewards (2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4). As a Christian Disciple, you will be asked to give an account of yourself (Romans 14:10), and you will be judged according to what you have done (2 Corinthians 5:10). The quality of your work will be tested (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Your motives will be exposed – either you did things for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 4:4-5) which is acceptable, or you did them for some other reasons which are not.

As a Christian Disciple, you will give account of the opportunities and abilities entrusted to you (Matthew 25:14-30). Rewards may be gained or lost (1 Corinthians 3:14-15). These rewards are described as:

  • an incorruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9:25)
  • a crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4)
  • a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8)
  • a crown of rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19)
  • a crown of life (James 1:12)

So, go this day. Go this week. Go tell somebody of the crown waiting for them, if only they are willing to enter into a living and dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. Remember - do all you do, for God’s glory and not your own.

~

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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

 

WOW Word - Cross of Jesus Christ

 

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Our WOW Word today is Cross! Cross, as in the Cross of Jesus Christ!

John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life”.
Mark 10:45 – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Even a cursory look at the world around you, will tell you that the world is messed up. Is there any hope? Yes there is! That is why God sent Jesus! Jesus is the hope! Jesus came to serve rather than be served. That is why Jesus came to give His life, so humanity may have a hope! God made the world perfect and humanity was in a harmonious relationship with God. Humanity messed it up and broke the relationship bonds with God. When the time was right, God became human, in order to bring humanity back into relationship with Himself.

That man was Jesus Christ and it was His death on a Roman cross about 2000 years ago which was the act of a generous God reaching out to the world that he loves. Without Jesus’ death on the cross would there be no hope for the world! That He died is without doubt, but why did He have to die and what gain do we have as His Disciples?

Alphy the WOWChurch Cat explains the significance of Jesus' death on the cross for the sake of all humanity. Play or download the mp3 audio to discover what Alphy has to say! Bless ya!

 

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WOW Word 19 - Love

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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

 

WOW Word - Love

 

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Today Alphy shares about the WOW Word - Love!

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Mark 12:28-34: 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 all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.’ ‘Well said, teacher,’ the man replied. ‘You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.’ When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions."

What is the response of a Christian to be to these words of Jesus? Play the audio, download the video or audio, to see what Alphy has to offer about this!

 

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