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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 - 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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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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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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WOW Word - Baptism

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Baptism

Jesus came and told His Disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make Disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new Disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Baptism is commanded for all who believe in Jesus (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38) and it naturally followed after conversion (Acts 2:37; Acts 10:47; Acts 16:33). But what does it mean?

What is baptism?

Christian Disciples are baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3), and into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is to show a total identification with Jesus Christ, whereby Christian Disciples are baptized into His body (1 Corinthians 12:13) and His death (Romans 6:1-6). Our old inherent sinful natures are seen as buried with Christ and we are raised to live a new life with a new nature! Baptism is also a public testimony that Christian Disciples have entered into God’s blessings.

Who should be baptized?

There are two main schools of thought over who should be baptized.

Firstly there is “Believers baptism”, which is for all who confess faith in Christ and is mentioned frequently in the New Testament (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41). This was by full immersion, usually in a river or other public place.

Secondly, there is what is called in some parts of the church as “Christening” or “Infant baptism”. This practice and teaching was also passed down by the Apostles and was current by the time of the early church Fathers, Origen and Tertullian. The basis for Infant Baptism lies in the Old Testament, where the sign of the covenant between God and His people was circumcision of the male babies. Baptism can be thought of as the equivalent in the New Testament and therefore applicable to infants (Colossians 2:6-12).

Suffice to say, that God has used proponents of both opinions! If you have not been baptized and would call yourself a Christian, then go and ask your church leader about how you can undergo this vital part of Christian life.

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WOW Word 60 - Truth

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WOW Word - Truth

~Today Alphy the WOWChurch Cat shares about

the WOW Word - Truth!

 

Truth! What is truth? Today we hear consistently that there are no absolute truths anymore! We hear all the time that for twenty first century people “What is true for me may not be true to you! What is true for you may not be true for me?”

So what is truth? Truth in the Old Testament was used in two ways…. Firstly, facts may be either true or false – an intellectual truth. An example would be that Moses existed as a person. That is a true fact. Or it could used to define a characteristic of a reliable person, such as Joseph’s brothers in Genesis 42:16.

These are also used to describe God as a true God, rather than the pagan gods belonging to the nations around Israel. Truth, or being true, is described as a characteristic of Yahweh, the God of Israel. He is consistently true and therefore trustworthy in all His ways. His loving care is trustworthy and seen in His dealings with Israel.

In the New Testament, Christianity, is seen as Truth (Galatians 2:5; Ephesians 1:13)! Indeed Jesus said that He was the only truth, the only life and the only way to God. Jesus is the true bread and the true vine! Furthermore, truth is God’s word to be obeyed actively and not dismissed passively.

What role does active truth and being actively true play in the life of a Christian? Truth develops character, Peter writes (2 Peter 1:3-9). The strongest Christians are those with a good growing knowledge of biblical truth. Since understanding the Bible increases your knowledge of God, it also increases the possibilities for love, growth and service. "Ignorance is the mother of superstition, not of devotion". "Truth combats error".

satan and the world, do and will, distort scripture to put people off the truth. Therefore, you need to get to know what the Bible does say, so that you will not be led into error by others who would want to deceive you. As John writes “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.” (1 John 4:1-3)

However, for truth to be effective, it needs to be an animated truth. This is done by being a doer of the Bible and not merely a passive hearer. Your life as a Christian must be a balance of love and truth. Both coexist with each other and through your knowledge, service and faith in Almighty God, you will continually grow and be strengthened.

~

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