Archive for January 2009

WISE - Truth

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Partake - Words in Scripture Explored - 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 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, so 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 truly effective, it needs to be an animated truth, by your 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 both your knowledge, service and faith in Almighty God will continually grow and be strengthened.

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Testimony

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Audio for the testimony of how I became a Christian Disciple...  It is unscripted and sounds just as if I were talking to you face to face...

Be blessed and live a holy life

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WISE - Prayer

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Prayer

I wonder what you think prayer is and how much of it you have experienced? Is your vision and experience of prayer too small? Let us find out together, a small part of prayer!

Prayer is to be at the centre of the relationship between God and the Christian. It is the major interaction and fellowship between God and humans, and of humans communicating with God, both in talking and listening. Prayer is allowing God to be consciously in to all aspects of Christian's life and enjoying God's companionship. John Calvin, said that part of praying was asking for "what we have learned to be available" in God's love and of His being the infinitesimal good giver. He goes on to say our "only security" is achieved by calling on the Father for His providence out of His infinite mercy. Prayer is ultimately what humans were made for: conversing with God. Regardless of status or maturity or any other man-made barrier, God is always accessible, through prayer, to all those seeking Him with a contrite heart and a humble spirit. This dynamic relationship enables the Christian to engage in prayer that is both personal and relational. All prayer consists of a desire or longing to know God better, and that is to be the prime motivation: to know God better and more intimately.

Prayer's function is to a constant yearning for God's assistance! It is to be a strengthening of desire towards eternal happiness, holiness and worship and knowledge of God. God Himself assists us as we pray! Did you know that? He does this by correcting and strengthening the yearning we express. Prayers express desires and thoughts in a contributory way to the journey of the Christian Disciple.

Prayer emits our words from ourselves to the God we seek to know, as a response to His reaching out to us. Through prayer, God is able to comprehend the Christian Disciple regardless of language, grammar or oratory skill as long as the Christian Disciple approaches with a correct attitude.

Words however, are not just to be a mental action but also an emotive act, conveying emotions and feeling. Prayer is to convey deep emotions to God, regardless of our language skills. The words spoken in prayer portray our innermost feeling to Him. Because God is personal, He values language and expects His people to talk to Him. Prayer is intimacy with God! If for some reason, the Christian Disciple is unable to convey their words in prayer, then Romans 8v26, intimates that the Holy Spirit intercedes. Prayer epitomises the Father-child relationship symbolized in the Christian Disciple's relationship with God. It further symbolizes the freedom and peace in prayer, advocated by Jesus to communicate His deepest desires, as in the Lords Prayer (Matthew 6v9-13) and in John 17.

Don't just have your prayer time in the morning or evening and leave it at that. Pray throughout the day as well, asking God for His assistance as you go about your daily life! Go! Pray!

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WISE - Judgment

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Words In Scripture Explored - Judgment

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There is certainty of judgment - He will judge the whole world with justice (Acts 17v31).

Who is the Judge?

Almighty God is the judge of all the earth (Hebrews 12v23). God the Father has given all judgment to the Son, Jesus Christ (John 5v22-27)! All of humanity is destined to die once and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9v27). But what kind of judgment, and for which kind of people?

Judgment of unbelievers

For all those who do not profess Jesus Christ as Lord and God in this earthly life, judgment will come to them. They will appear before the great white throne of Judgment (Revelation 20v11-15) to give an account for their sin and wickedness. Because they have no righteousness of their own to pay for their life of sin and wickedness, they will be cast into the lake of fire with satan and his angels (Revelation 20v15; Matthew 25v41). This punishment is eternal (Matthew 25v46).

Judgment of Christians

There will also be a judgment for all those who profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour! Did you know that? Not a judgment for sins and wickedness, because their sins are forgiven! Not judged for sin, because this has already been judged (Isaiah 53v4-6; 1 Peter 2v24).They will be accepted by the Lord Jesus Christ! Accepted because during their life on earth, they responded to the offer of forgiveness from God, which is an act of grace. This group of people are forgiven through the Lord Jesus Christ, and his blood that was shed as he died on the cross.

However, we will be judged for the things we have done, with the gifts and talents we have been given!. We will all, if we profess to be Christian, give an account of ourselves to God (Romans 14v10), and will be judged according to what we have done with what we have been given (2 Corinthians 5v10). The quality of our work will be tested (1 Corinthians 3v11-15), and our motives will be exposed. Exposed as to whether things were done for God's glory (1 Corinthians 4v4-5) or for our own glory.

As we give account of the opportunities and abilities entrusted to us (Matthew 25v14-30), rewards may be gained or lost (1 Corinthians 3v14-15). Rewards such as the Incorruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9v25); the Crown of glory (1 Peter 5v4); Crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4v8); Crown of rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2v19) and the Crown of life (James 1v12)

So as you go, do all you can for the glory of God, as you submit to the Son Jesus Christ in the power of God the Holy Spirit! Go and tell somebody the good news of Jeuss Christ, so that there may well be one person with you in heaven, because you told them about the free gift of grace who is the Lord Jesus Christ!

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