June 30, 2011

WISE - Holy Communion

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36. Holy Communion or the Lord's Supper

Luke writes “He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the Disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.” (Luke 22v19-20)

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Depending on your church, it can be called amongst other things, the Eucharist or The Lord’s Supper. Christians are commanded to participate, as Jesus said: “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22v19). Some churches do it every service and others do it monthly. Whenever we participate in it, we do it regularly as a remembrance of Jesus until He comes again (1 Corinthians 11v26)! The bread symbolizes His body broken on the cross and the wine symbolizes His blood shed on the cross. Therefore before we partake of the bread and wine, we are to examine ourselves and confess any unforgiven sin (1 Corinthians 11v28-29). This is done so because it would be hypocritical to eat it while harbouring known sin in our hearts and having fellowship with Jesus and others in the church!

What does it all mean?

It symbolizes the following things:

  • It also symbolizes the death of Christ for our sin (Luke 22v19)

  • It symbolizes our acceptance of Christ’s death for us.

  • Symbolizes our dependence on Christ for spiritual life.

Through your participation in it, you have:

  • fellowship with other believers in the universal church (1 Corinthians 10v17)

  • We receive the benefits of His sacrifice (1 Corinthians 10v16)

  • We spiritually feed upon Christ (1 Corinthians 11v24)

It also reflects the New Covenant between God and Jesus’ Disciples – a Covenant which guarantees salvation!

Two other main views insist that it is more than just symbolic! Firstly, there is transubstantiation, which believes that the bread and wine actually become the blood and body of Jesus Christ. Secondly there is, consubstantiation, which believes that the body and blood of Christ are present in the Communion meal.

However, it must be noted, that both of these views would indicate that Jesus Christ is being re-sacrificed and Hebrews 7v27b-28 (But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins. The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever.) seems to refute these views. The bread we eat and wine we drink at Holy Communion are only symbolic of Jesus' sacrifice and not a re-enactment.

Through the act of Baptism and the partaking of Communion, we remember the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection on our lives.

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June 29, 2011

Worship 20110629

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Worship Wednesday

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1. Opening Prayer

O God our Father! We thank you for a new day in which we can serve you! Thank you for placing joy into our hearts and life, even when we are not aware of it! As we come before you now, still our hearts and enable us to worship you. Thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross so that all those who follow Him, may have new life in Him! We ask this in Jesus' name and in the power of the Holy Spirit, who was sent to dwell in all those who follow the Son. Amen!

2. Song - When I Survey

3. Message Part 1

It is no exaggeration to say that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the centre point of all human history. When God came in human form, in order to bring salvation to humanity, through that man's death on the cross - the wondrous cross the singer sang about.  The wondrous cross where the Prince of glory died and upon which we survey. The wondrous cross where we see this Jesus bleeding from all parts of His body, so that humanity could choose to take up his offer of salvation or reject it.

Blood flowing from his hands, feet and side and where a crown of thorns was impaled into his head -  the eternal prince of glory died, in an act of love beyond our human comprehension! But he didn't just die, because He rose again from the dead three days later - which was part of the joy set before him as he endured the cross! That's the Jesus we celebrate today! That's the Jesus, in whose name we pray now, to God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit.

4. Prayers

We now come to prayer! Please do give to God our Father, with a grateful and expectant heart, either out loud or silently, the names of people who are in need. Our God knows the details and is faithful to respond.  Let us pray!

5. Revelation 19v11-16

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

6. Message Part 2

Jesus! Faithful and True! Word of God! Prince of Glory! King of Kings! Lord of Lords! The rider being talked about is Jesus, the Prince of Glory, Son of God and decreed "Word of God!" That must have been an awesome sight! Jesus, the Prince of Glory who is now entitled the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Nobody can get into heaven except  by being a follower of Him! It was his death, resurrection and ascension that allows Him to be the one and only way, one and only truth and one and only life. Nobody can get to God without Him and nobody can enter the gates of heaven without Him.

To enter heaven you need to be declared sinless and right with God! That is only achieved by accepting Jesus Christ as your only Lord and Saviour.  He paid the price that nobody else could pay - dying on a cross, rising to new life and ascending back to right hand of God the Father. You can do it right now, by simply saying, "Jesus I choose to follow you!"  I cannot promise you an easy life if you do choose to be a follower of this Jesus, but I can promise you a fulfilled life as you do so and stick with Him! He will be with you through both the hard and good times of life! You don't need to know everything about Him to start following Him, but when you do start to follow, you will quickly learn about Him. If you decide for Jesus now, please let us know! So we conclude with a prayer.

7. Closing Prayer

Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitations of your glory and dominion, world without end. (John Donne)

For those that don't know you, around the world, I pray that they would come to a saving knowledge of you - the praise and glory of the Father, in the name of the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

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June 27, 2011

Think Spot 2011 06 27

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Think Spot - 27th June 2011

G'day and welcome to Partakers! Welcome also to Monday and our Think Spot together!

I wonder what your last week was like! I know for me it was full of trial and yet with a deep-seated trust that God was in control, despite the events and discouragements I was undergoing! So, whether it was a week for you to forget or a week for you to remember, we now enter a new week! Last week we thought about trusting God in all circumstances! 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 51v8 & 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 15v16 - 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 15v8-10 "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 1v8-9 - 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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