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POD - Psalm 41

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Psalm 41

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.

1 Blessed is he who considers the poor.
Yahweh will deliver him in the day of evil.
2 Yahweh will preserve him, and keep him alive.
He shall be blessed on the earth,
and he will not surrender him to the will of his enemies.
3 Yahweh will sustain him on his sickbed,
and restore him from his bed of illness.
4 I said, "Yahweh, have mercy on me!
Heal me, for I have sinned against you."

5 My enemies speak evil against me:
"When will he die, and his name perish?"
6 If he comes to see me, he speaks falsehood.
His heart gathers iniquity to itself.
When he goes abroad, he tells it.
7 All who hate me whisper together against me.
They imagine the worst for me.
8 "An evil disease," they say, "has afflicted him.
Now that he lies he shall rise up no more."

9 Yes, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted,
who ate bread with me,
has lifted up his heel against me.
10 But you, Yahweh, have mercy on me,
and raise me up, that I may repay them.
11 By this I know that you delight in me,
because my enemy doesn't triumph over me.
12 As for me, you uphold me in my integrity,
and set me in your presence forever.
13 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel,
from everlasting and to everlasting!

Amen and amen.

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Think Spot - 9th October 2017

 

 

Luke 2:42-52 - Every year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.

Thinking he was in their company, they travelled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. ; Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.When his parents saw him, they were astonished.

His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." "Why were you searching for me?" he asked.

"Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Matthew 13:53-55 - When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked.  "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?

 

Wise

Jesus is the ultimate wise man! As we read the Gospels, we see that when Jesus spoke words, people were amazed! They were astounded that He spoke with wisdom, elegance and yet with authority. They had never heard anyone speak like He did - with both grace and authority.

The same is true today, if we are listening. That is why we read the Bible to find out what He would say to us. That is why we seek to hear Him speak to us and why we speak to Him. That is why preaching is to be seen as an act of worship - by both the preacher and the listener! Jesus' wisdom meaning I can ask Him for advice and seek His imagination to solve problems!

As you go into this week ask Jesus to help you, guide and speak to you through the Bible, regardless of what situation you face! Jesus, Son of God, the ultimate wise man!

Prayer

A prayer to help you into this new week. Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ! We thank you for the Bible! We thank you for godly men and women who preach and teach this wisdom of Jesus to us, explaining and exploring how we can put this wisdom into practise! May the Holy Spirit within each believer, rebuke and counsel, as that believer seeks to live a life worthy of Jesus Christ. Amen!

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Exploring The Bible

35. Old Testament

Jonah - 760BC

 

G'day and welcome to our series, "Exploring the Bible" This is also the title of our latest book available on Amazon by clicking here or visiting PulpTheology.com

Key Verses:

  • Jonah 2:8–9
  • Jonah 4:2

 

Jonah preached to the city of Nineveh 760 BC. This is a book about mission. It explores the motives of those who go on mission in a very subtle way.

Jonah is reluctant to preach repentance to Nineveh because he knows that God’s mercy will follow. The book tells of God’s gracious compassion for sinful men.

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Gems in the Letter of 1 John

Part 117 - 1 John 5:11
Testimony



. John says that amongst other things, “this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” I say ‘amongst other things’ because this verse is in the middle of a group of verses centering on ‘testimony’, a word which appears some 8 times in 6 verses. John is picking up again the idea he started his letter with when he talked about the things they – the apostles – had seen and heard and touched. Unfortunately this whole passage is somewhat confused. In particular it is not possible to be quite sure what he meant when he was referring to ‘water’ (the verse omitted from most Bibles is a translation of words that do not appear in any manuscript earlier than the 14th century). Water may refer to the believer’s baptism, to the baptism of Jesus, or the water that came from his side when he was hanging on the cross – the 3 most likely possibilities.

But the detail doesn’t matter. What he is telling us, loud and clear, is that what does matter is that we place our faith firmly and securely on the matter of testimony. Our faith is not founded on ideas but on facts. It all happened a long time ago but it did happen and so these things matter. That is what John is intent on convincing his people. Those who had left his fellowship were probably gnostics – people who placed their faith on gnosis = wisdom. They thought, as all too many people think these days, that you could achieve all you needed to achieve by thinking. You can’t. The Lord of all creation has made himself known to us – isn’t that amazing – and if we ignore that simple fact we end up in a cloud of our own ideas which have no validity beyond our own thought processes.

What we believe is not what someone, in one instance of time or even over a lifetime, thought. It is the result of more than a thousand years in which the peoples of one nation related to the Lord God. They wrestled and struggled with how they were to understand him. They sometimes worked hard to get to know him better. At other times they tried hard to forget about him and go their own way. Then finally they were challenged by his presence in human form and that became the critical point of their experience. It was still many more than one person’s experience of him. We have the four Gospels, a history of the first few years of the church and a collection of writings from those years. Everything they wrote down and that we still have constitute an enormous testimony to the ways of God, his provision for us and the ways we should respond to him. In the end it comes down to a simple statement, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (5:12).

Once again, as he has done before, John is drawing a very firm line between those who believe in Jesus, who have set out quite determinedly to follow him, and those who haven’t. Those who have have the promise of God of eternal life, the life of the age to come.

The obvious question each of us must ask ourselves is, ‘which side of the line am I on?’

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Partakers Friday Prayers

6 October, 2017

for the Persecuted  Church Worldwide

 

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!

 

Prayers for the Persecuted Church

Sovereign God, we worship you and acknowledge that you know all of those who suffer in your name because they follow you. We remember those who are imprisoned for their faith and ask that they would join with the Apostle Paul to see that even though they remain captive, their chains have furthered the gospel, not frustrated it. May they inspire and embolden their fellow believers to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. Amen

God of all comfort, for those who are tortured both in body and mind, give them the grace to endure and to see their suffering as part of following in Christ’s footsteps. Merciful God, for those asked to pay the ultimate price; who are martyred because of their love for you, may they truly know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Amen

Father God, for those who are widowed and orphaned may they know the comfort that comes from your promised presence even when they walk through the valley. May they be strengthened by your Spirit, enabling them to rejoice with the psalmist as they proclaim that the LORD will not abandon them in death. Amen

Heavenly Father, we ask that you would make us ever mindful of our brothers and sisters around the world who need us to stand with them as they suffer in your name. Teach us what it means to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony; we pray that we would not love our lives so much as to shrink from death.

We ask these things O Father, through the name of Your Son, Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us.
Amen

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Exploring Islam 01

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Exploring Islam

Introduction

About Myself

Welcome to this new series where we shall be exploring the depths and diversity of Islam found in our world today. I am a born again Christian living in the UK and I have found that our understanding of this faith is somewhat lacking in Churches and in the general public. Whilst attaining my undergraduate degree in Applied Theology I studied Islam from an academic perspective and spent time in several UK cities meeting with Muslims of all types from many different cultures in their homes and in the Mosques. I am now occupied in looking after our one year old son and studying at Postgraduate level in Biblical Interpretation. But Islam still remains a personal interest of mine, and as a Christian we should be looking to build friendships with our Muslim neighbours and never be afraid of learning something new about their faith whilst always being prepared to sensitively share our own. My hope is that whatever your background you will enjoy and benefit from this podcast series.

Introduction To The Podcast Series

The media can deliver much of our experience and understanding of the Islamic faith from far reaching locations across the world. However, the tragedy of this is for most us who do not know Muslims personally we commonly paint them with the same brush, assume that they are all ‘out to get us’ or seem so different and unknown that we avoid them. This series will attempt to fill in the potential gaps and maybe even correct some misunderstandings all done in the spirit that ‘loving our neighbour’ includes those of a different faith or ethnic origin. However, it must be appreciated from the outset that we embark on a journey to better understand one of the largest world religions which despite its own ambitions for unity and uniformity contains significant diversity of expression. Here is our first lesson; there can be a big difference between official orthodox Islam found in the text books, and the understanding and practice of individual Muslims across the world. I must qualify that what I bring to these podcasts is based not only on my own academic study of Islam but also in meeting with individual Muslims living in the UK from different cultural backgrounds. Much of what is accessible to Christians regarding Islam is written by Christians on the mission field and this is of great worth. However, I have found that first hand conversations with the Muslims who live nearby provides a unique perspective which will help us pray for them, build friendships, witness in love, and ultimately accept them into the Church as new believers. The journey starts here.

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This now is available to buy as a book on Amazon at £5 :

UK/Europe - £5 - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exploring-Islam-exploring-diversity-Christian/dp/1507774567/

USA - $7 - http://www.amazon.com/Exploring-Islam-exploring-diversity-Christian/dp/1507774567/

 

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