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Think Spot - 19th February 2018

Charlotte Bronte - “Life appears to me to be too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrong.

Many people nurse a guilty conscience owing to holding onto animosity or wrongs done to them or having done wrong things to others. As a consequence, their life is filled with turmoil and bitterness. You may well be like that – I don’t know!
What I do know is that your conscience is the faculty which is sensitive to right and wrong, and judges your actions and attitudes. Everybody has a conscience and all are sensitive to spiritual truths, whether they are immediately aware of it or not.

According to the Bible, a clear conscience is essential for inner peace and joy, confidence in prayer, good health, effective service, .right relation-ships, effective witnessing, making right decisions, and victory in spiritual battle. A clear conscience is the inner joy and peace of spirit which results from having all personal wrongs made right with those whom a person had offended - either God or someone else.

However- many Christians carry around guilty consciences due mainly to unconfessed sins, affecting relationships with God, other people and themselves. If left unchecked, a conscience which is guilty, slowly grows 'dead', cold and silent. That is until such time that the guilt has been assuaged and put right.

If at the moment you are burdened by a guilty conscience, ask the Holy Spirit to show you clearly what is affecting your conscience. Then decide, at any cost, to clear it up in the power of the same Spirit. He will help you! Pray to the Father and ask forgiveness, (1 John 1:9), and fully accept His love and forgiveness. If there is anyone else involved, then you will also need to ask for their forgiveness (Matthew 5:23-24).

Ask the Father to help you go, and the Spirit will help you, because one of the hardest things in the world to say is: “I was wrong! Please forgive me." Your conscience can be cleansed because of what Jesus did on the cross!

Hebrews 9:14 “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

Go into this week, ready to serve the living God, being confident that the Holy Spirit living within you, empowers you, is transforming you and desires that your conscience be clear. He will help you overcome if you ask!

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Exploring The Bible

50. Old Testament

Esther

 

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:

  • Esther 4:14
  • Esther 8:16-17

 

The Book of Esther tells about God’s hand of providence and protection on behalf of His people. It describes the faithfulness and courage of Esther, in many ways an ordinary sort of girl, and how this leads to the deliverance of God’s people.

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Gems in the book of Revelation

Part 132 - Revelation 3:12
The city of the name

The ‘gem’ is in the promise that ends the letter following the words ‘to the one who is victorious’. Here is the rest of the letter :

To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David.What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.


11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Names are important in the letter to Philadelphia. People are named for one of 3 reasons:
i) the parents liked the name, the way it sounds or some association it brings to their minds;
ii) it is a family name handed down through the generations - though that may be a trap as some names may go very out of fashion, for example someone who ought to be call Euphemia, a very old fashioned and clumsy name in our culture, may be called Effie for a generation or two and then that is boiled down to Fay, a much nicer sounding name;
iii) the name may be given to express the character and personality of the person.
All 3 can be found in the Bible but the important one for our purposes is the last, the name that expresses personality and character.

To start with the name of the city is significant, phila = love and delphia = brother, so brotherly love.

The small Christian community in the city did not enjoy brotherly relations with the Jewish community. The latter would have been a large and respected part of the city with many good buildings, big houses and a well understood part in the community including non-participation in some activities because of their belief in one god. The Christians would probably have been only a few dozen strong and from the poorer section of the society with no great respect shown to them.

 
So their problems were not with the pagan groups as in most of the cities that received letters but with the ancient people of God who they were always trying to convince should now be setting out to follow a convicted criminal Jew! Hence the talk about keys of David “ I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” (referring to a new leader of the people; Isaiah 22:22) etc. They had survived and done more than just survive - they had used what strength they had well and earned the promise that they would be kept from further trials.

As a result they are told they will be pillars in ‘the temple of my God’, bearing the names of the great city of the new heaven and the new earth, the name of God and the new name of Jesus. That is a promise that all the power and personality of the triune God will somehow be theirs. That is a tremendous promise to them - and to us. That makes it well worth persevering in our walk with Jesus even if we have but little strength. It is not necessary to be a member of some great and famous church. A little struggling church will do provided it has ‘kept my word and not denied my name’.

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Friday Prayers

 

 Prayers for Refugees...

Today on Partakers we are praying a prayer from the Church of England for refugees worldwide. As we know, Jesus our Lord, was a refugee when a baby, as Joseph & Mary escaped to Egypt with him. Come on in, download the mp3 and pray with us!

Heavenly Father,
you are the source of all goodness, generosity and love.


We thank you for opening the hearts of many
to those who are fleeing for their lives.
Help us now to open our arms in welcome,
and reach out our hands in support.
That the desperate may find new hope,
and lives torn apart be restored.


We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Your Son, Our Lord,
who fled persecution at His birth
and at His last triumphed over death.
Amen

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Thursday Story

Butterfly with Deb Jarzabek

 

I was tiny,
A mere dot in a huge world.
I could have been blown away
or devoured by something larger than myself.
Yet, I increased in size and strength.

My legs took me on a
seemingly endless journey
Repeatedly, as I grew,
I removed my decorative coat
for a new one.

I had all I needed
and my life was carefree.
Eventually, my body began to change.
To protectively hide,
I covered myself with my silk blanket
What is happening to me?

Oh the agony.
No one sees as I tightly hide.
New shapes begin to form.
I feel all alone,
and the only sound I hear is my own.

Lord what is happening?
I am deformed! Rescue me please!
I do not understand!
Then, I hear a soft voice,
it gets clearer and clearer.
I've heard it before.

"Come out", it said
I struggle with all my might.
In great determination
I crack open my hardened silk blanket.
I can see the light.

I felt blinded and alone for so long!
Little by little, and now I am finally OUT!
Oh to breathe the fresh air,
to see the sun shinning again!

Then I remember,
I remember who I was.
I remember how deformed I became and I wonder,
what has become of me now.

He tells me,
"I allowed you the time of brokenness.
I allowed you the time of pain.
I was with you through it all.

Because of Me you are not the same.
I gave you wings for freedom
to go beyond where you could imagine.
I decorated your wings.

As others see your beauty
they will be reminded of Me."

©2014 Debra Jarzabek

 

 

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WOW Word 33

God of Love

 

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.

We live in a world that is in love with love. Love, according to some people, is what makes the world go around. 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.

How is God love? How is God's love revealed today? How is that relevant to you?

Play or download the audio below to hear Alphy the WOWChurch cat explain more and how this affects you as a Christian in the 21st century!

 

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