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Think Spot - 13 August 2018

 

We now enter a new week! Do you claim to trust God? How is trust in God exhibited? 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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An Almighty God

of Almighty Love

Throughout the Bible, God is proclaimed as one! We hear the cry echoing throughout! This one God is also frequently called Almighty! How is He Almighty? God is Almighty, in that He is an Almighty God of Almighty Love. In the Bible, God’s love is revealed.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 John 4:16 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.

Did you note that the Apostle John in does not simply say that God loves, but rather he writes “God is love.” There is s a difference! God is love and God loves because that is His very nature. We love God because He first loved us! 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? Download the mp3 to find out more!

Reading 1 - 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, 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.’"

Reading 2 – John 14:15-21- ‘If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.’

Reading 3 – 1 John 4:13-20 - This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. 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. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: in this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

 

We love because he first loved us. 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.

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Highlights in Hebrews

Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)

Part 1 - Hebrews 1:3
Jesus: the image of God

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

The word ‘better’ is oft-en seen as dominant in the book of Hebrews (I call it a book because it does not read like a letter or epistle. It is more like a treatise, but that is an unduly posh word!). But it is not the subject of this wonderful book; that is Jesus. The writer (no one knows who that was) starts his thesis with the statement that Jesus was ‘the exact representation of his being’. The ‘his’ is God. Like all good Christian thinking, writing and preaching everything starts with God.

One problem they had in those days was that they had not worked out how to advertise! They had no billboards lining the streets, no newspapers printed every day, no televisions to annoy us with their perpetual breaks for adverts, really very few opportunities to say what they were good at. Only the Emperor had an opportunity and that was with the coins. Everyone knew what the current emperor looked like because his image had been stamped on every coin. The coin was made of a comparatively soft metal. The stamp was made of very hard metal so that it could be pushed down under pressure on the face of the coin and thus you had the face of the emperor. This was what Jesus referred to in Matthew 22: 18 - 21 when he said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Which rather caught them out because they were admitting that they had the picture of an idol in whatever they used in place of pockets.

The primary reference of the exact representation has to be to the character and actions of Jesus. He was supremely oriented to other people. He cared for them, he healed them; he showed great grace and mercy towards them. He set a completely new standard of human behaviour focused on love. That is what God was, and is, like. Most paintings that attempt to show God get it completely wrong. They portray a big old white man with a long beard looking very stern and judgmental. No! If we want to know what God is like we have to look at Jesus because if he is the exact representation of God that has to be what God is like: Jesus, probably a small brown man looking rather scruffy and dirty because he walked so many miles on dusty tracks is the nearest we can get to what God looked like. But we can get much closer in the non-visual things that matter so much more. He was a God of love indeed he was Love. So all those lovely things that Jesus did as he walked this earth reflect the personality of God himself.

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

10th August 2018

 

We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity! Come! Let us pray together!

 

Almighty God,
you have given us grace at this time
with one accord to make our common supplication to you;
and you have promised through your well-beloved Son
that when two or three are gathered
together in his Name
you will be in the midst of them.

Fulfil now, O Lord,
our desires and petitions as may be best for us;
granting us in this world knowledge of your truth,
and in the age to come life everlasting.

Amen.

 

 


A prayer of John Chrysostom c347 – 407, Archbishop of Constantinople

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Testimony - Greg Richardson

Christian testimony - the son returns

The story of Greg, who became a christian largely due to the effort of others praying for him! Thanks be to God!

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WOW Word 57 - Sin

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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

WOW Word - Sin

~Today Alphy the WOWChurch Cat shares about

the WOW Word - Sin!

 

I wonder if you have ever played tennis and went to hit the ball but missed.  Or you actually hit the ball and it went outside the court!  Or perhaps you are a golfer, and one day you went to putt the ball in the hole, and you missed! The tennis player who hit the ball out of court or the golfer who missed the hole can be both be said to have committed a sin, because they missed!  And that is what a sin, in biblical terms, is:  it is missing the mark that God has set.

Big and Little Sins

 

And everybody, particularly in the West, including those who would not call themselves Christians, has some idea of sin.  They generally call doing things like telling lies or speeding in the car, “little sins” because everybody does those, they say!  And of course, only a tiny minority of people commit the real big sins, such as murdering other people or robbing banks!  So to most people’s minds, there are degrees of sins, depending on how many people actually do that kind of sin.

 

Sin actually is...

 

So what actually is the biblical definition of sin?  Sin is the lack of conformity, , to the Moral Law of God, either in deeds, attitudes, or state. Do you remember Jesus saying the two greatest commands were to love God and love others? Any breakage of those two commandments is sin, whether by a lot or a little. There are two kinds of sin. Firstly there are the sins, which are active disobedience, or the sins of commission. These are where God’s commands are actively broken! Secondly there are the passive kinds, which are sins of omission. These occur when people are not doing, as they ought to do (James 4:17)!

 

Stop! Confess! Live!

 

Everybody, including Christian Disciples, sin in one of those two ways!  Of course Christian Disciples have accepted Jesus Christ and have had their sins forgiven.  But Christian Disciples, still sin!  But as a Christian Disciple, you are to take God’s view of sin! You cannot claim to be without sin, because as 1 John 1 says, you would be living in self-delusion and making God out to be a liar! So, when you realise you have sinned, be quick to confess it, so that your relationship with Jesus Christ remains at peak intimacy! For as 1 John 1v9 says, “Jesus is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Jesus wants us to have complete fellowship with him, and by confessing sin; your fellowship with Him is made richer, more intimate and stronger.

 

Thank you

 

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