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 Prayers for Refugees...

Today on Partakers we are praying a series of prayers - ancient and modern - for refugees worldwide regardless of where they are from. Currently there are over 21,000,000 refugees, those who have been forced to leave their home country due to natural disasters, war or persecution due to race, religion, politics, or social group. 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!

We commence with a prayer from the ancient Syrian church...
O my God,
You are the unsearchable abyss of peace,
the ineffable sea of love,
the fountain of blessings,
and the bestower of affection!
You are the God who sends peace to those that receive it;
open to us this day the sea of Your love,
and water us with the plenteous streams from the riches of Your grace.
Amen

Download or listen to the mp3 to hear more prayers! Come on in!

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G'day! Today we are praying a series of prayers concerning the Ukraine Russian conflict and war. Молитви за Україну / Molytvy za Ukrayinu

Come! Let's pray together!

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

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The Spirit Explodes
Part 22 of 22 -
The journey to Rome – at last.
Acts 27:1 – 28:31

by Roger Kirby

It really is rather puzzling that Luke spent so much space on his precious scroll describing this sea journey from which we, like everybody else, are not going to be able to get much spiritual nourishment.

~~ There are at least 3 possible reasons:

  1. this sort of exciting sea voyage complete with shipwreck was commonplace in Greek literature and Luke wanted his work to fit the normal pattern to make it as acceptable a read as possible;
  2. this is a ‘we’ passage, indicating that Luke himself was on this voyage and so was complying with the expectation of those days that historical writers should have had some involvement in the events they described;
  3. Luke wanted to set Paul’s journey to Rome and his death there in parallel to Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and his death, thus showing how the life of a Christian should imitate that of Jesus.

Question 1: What was Paul’s attitude to his fellow travellers and the ship’s crew?

Read Acts 28:1–10.
Question 2: What, therefore, is Luke suggesting by the way he described this voyage?
Question 3: What picture of the relationships between Christians and non-Christians do the events on Malta place before us?
Read Acts 28:11–31~~

Question 4: Triumph or tragedy? What do you think of what Luke says happened in Rome to summarize his long and vivid account of the acts of the apostles? ~~

Question 5: What does that imply for the work of the gospel today? ~~

Right Mouse click or tap here to download episode 22 as an audio mp3 file

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The Spirit Explodes
Part 21 of 22 -
Roman Justice.
Acts 23:12 – 26:32

by Roger Kirby

This lengthy section, though important in showing to Theophilus that Paul was innocent of any crime against Roman law and providing the opportunity for Luke to recount the story of Paul’s conversion for the third time, is of no great interest to us. So we will take it at the gallop.

First there is the rather amusing account of how Paul started out on his much desired journey to Rome.

Read Acts 23:12 – 35.

What is interesting here is that the young man, Paul’s nephew, is able to gain access to the commander of the garrison. This suggests that he, and therefore Paul’s family, were of some considerable status and rank. Their society was exceedingly status conscious. Everyone knew where they stood in the hierarchy and acted accordingly. We have already seen this in the way that the commander reacted to the information that Paul was born a Roman citizen while he had to purchase his. That this comparatively young man is able to speak to the senior authority suggests he was from a well known and respected family. So late in the evening Paul set off for Rome escorted by 470 Roman soldiers.

Question 1: What would Paul’s reaction to this have been likely to be?

Read Acts 24:1 –26.

Question 2: In countries where bribes are expected even for things like justice, should Christians be prepared to pay them?

Read Acts 24:27 – 25:27

Read Acts 26:1 – 23.

Question 3: What is the crux of what Paul said?

One again it is the resurrection of Jesus as the first to rise from the dead. Should this not still be the focal point of all evangelism?

Read Acts 26:24 – 32.

Right Mouse click to download episode 21 as an audio mp3 file

 

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The Spirit Explodes
Part 20 of 22 - 
Jewish justice.
Acts 21:1 – 23:11


by Roger Kirby

From this point on Luke tells his story with big incidents, difficult to ask questions about. These first two and a half chapters are about how Paul was tried before the Jewish authorities and found innocent; the next two and a half are about how the Romans found him innocent; the last two tell the story about his voyage to Rome. We will have to take them in those big chunks with more explanation and less questioning than we have been used to.  But first Paul still has to get to Jerusalem. Luke is still with him on this journey and so we get a vivid account of where they went.

Read Acts 21: 1–16.
Luke must have been aware that he was leaving a great puzzle behind for all this readers. In the last chapter he records Paul saying: ‘compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem’. Here he tells us the Christians in Tyre ‘through the Spirit urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem’.

Question 1: How can the Spirit have said these two apparently contradictory things? How can we resolve the conflict and what should we learn from it?
Question 2: Would they be able to do carry out those or equivalent ministries in your church? If, why not?
Read Acts 21:17–22:22.
Question 3: What particular aspects of human nature does this teach us about?
Read Acts 22:23–23:11.
Question 4: Why did he not do so? What should we learn from his experience?

Right Mouse click to download episode 20 as an audio mp3 file

 

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