Archive for September 2011

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Friday Prayers!

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Order of Service!

G'day and welcome to Partakers Friday Prayers on the 30th of September, 2011.

1.   Welcome

2.   General Opening prayer

3.   Time for you to offer praise

4.   Prayers for individuals: Pam, Kerry, Claire, Denise, Peter, Christine, Nicole, Melinda, Bob, Jane, Joy, Ruth, Darren, Doug and Sarah.

5.   Time for your own petitions

6.   Prayers for church services worldwide

7.   Prayers for the world

8.   Benediction

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satan

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satan

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Paul writes in Ephesians 6v10-12: “God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.”

I said last time that I was going to probably start discussing more directly about the God we enjoy and in whom we have an abundance of life as Christian disciples. However, it was laid on my heart by God, that it would be prudent to do two more discussions in regards to dealing with sin & temptation.

Paul here says that just as God is strong, He wants us to be strong against sin, the world, our old nature and our ultimate enemy, satan. We have seen enemies in the world. But behind the world and the old nature, is the unseen enemy in the spiritual domain. A bit like the terrorists who try to strike surreptitiously at our cities. Satan is real, and we know this because Jesus spoke about him more than anyone else! Two errors made by the church are to have blind ignorance about satan or giving him far more importance and privilege than he deserves or warrants.

So who is satan and his minions? What does the Bible say about him? Some angels fell, rebelled against God and were put out of heaven (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28). Their leader is satan who has established his kingdom on earth. The role of Satan against the Christian is summed up by his various names’ adversary, devil, accuser, angel of light, the arch-deceiver. He stands hatefully opposed to all God’s work, God’s people and resourcefully promotes defiance among people (Mark 4:15; Job 2:4-5).

When satan sinned, he was expelled from Heaven (Luke 10:18), although apparently he still had some access to God (Job 1:6). A multitude of angels decided to follow him in his fall and subsequently became the demons mentioned often in the Bible (Matthew 12:24; Revelation 12:7). Although Satan’s doom was secured by Jesus’ death on the cross (John 16:11), he will continue to hinder God’s program until he and his demons are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10)

1. Satan’s kingdom - darkness

  • The Prince of this world (John 14:30)
  • Controlling the whole world (1 John 5:19)
  • Prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2)
  • The God of this age. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
  • Ruler, authority, power of this dark world (Ephesians 6:12)

Other names of Satan

  • The adversary (means Satan). Devil - The accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10); Murderer (John 8:44); Liar - the father of all lies (John 8 44); Tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5); Deceiver (2 Corinthians 4:4); Schemer (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:11); Destroys by Death (Heb. 2:14); Destroys by Disease (Luke 13:11, 16); Destroys by Devouring (1 Pet. 5:8)
  • The Wicked One - snatches away the good seed (Matthew 13:19); sows bad seed (Mt. 13:39)
  • Masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14)
  • His servants masquerade as angels of righteousness

2. Satan’ s attack on believers.

What Satan does to us?

  • Goes around like a roaring, devouring lion (1 Peter 5:8)
  • Deceives, and leads astray - wrong thinking (2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 4:1; James 3:15)
  • Temptation (1 Thessalonians 3:5)
  • Attacks (Ephesians 6:16) & sifts (Job; Luke 22:31) by God’s permission only.
  • Cause doubt, uncertainty, confusion, fear, anxiety and darkness.

3. How to resist the attacks of Satan.

He is defeated

  • Christ came to destroy satan and his works (1 John 3:8)
  • Christ’s death leads to satan’s destruction (Hebrews 2:14)
  • Satan has been disarmed (Colossians 2:15) & condemned (Matthew 25:41)
  • Christ is greater than satan (1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:18)
  • Resist satan and be steadfast in the faith (1 Peter 5:9). Resist and he will flee, when we submit to God (James 4:7). Don’t give Satan an opportunity/foothold in your life - anger, lust etc. (Ephesians 4:22).

Remember this:

  • Do not blame Satan for your own sin.
  • Don’t believe the lies he tells you in your head! For example if you sin and you hear in your head “You are a failure now. God wont forgive you again.” These are lies!! Lies! Lies! Don’t believe it! That is him trying to undermine and discourage you! Yet we know the truth is that if we confess our sins, that God will forgive us 1 John 1:9
  • Rely on the authority of God’s Word (Mt. 4:1-11)
  • He is a defeated creature! He was defeated when Jesus went to the cross and rose again 3 days later!
  • Being a Christian is the best thing that could ever happen to anyone! Don’t believe anything to the contrary.
  • Remember also what John wrote in 1 John 4: “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” You have the victory because the Holy Spirit indwells you as a Christian disciple.
  • Finally, put on full armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). This is what I will discuss next time. But as a preliminary, know this about the armour: it is given and designed by God so it is a key part of Christian discipleship and of living the Christian life. A fantastic book to get about the spiritual battle and our armour is William Gurnall’s seminal work: “The Christian in Complete Armour”. It comes as either one large book or an abridged version in 3 small books.

For more to think about, please do read for yourself Ephesians 6:10-18. Ask yourself the following question and suggestions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

Q1. Who are our real spiritual enemies?

Q2. What are the gaps in my armour and what can I do to fill those gaps?

Q3. Is there somebody I can talk to if I am feeling weak and discouraged?

Thank you.

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POD - Psalm 11

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Psalm 11

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11:1 In Yahweh, I take refuge.
How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain!”
11:2 For, behold, the wicked bend their bows.
They set their arrows on the strings,
that they may shoot in darkness at the upright in heart.
11:3 If the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?
11:4 Yahweh is in his holy temple.
Yahweh is on his throne in heaven.
His eyes observe.
His eyes examine the children of men.
11:5 Yahweh examines the righteous,
but the wicked and him who loves violence his soul hates.
11:6 On the wicked he will rain blazing coals;
fire, sulfur, and scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
11:7 For Yahweh is righteous.
He loves righteousness.
The upright shall see his face.
World English Bible
As read by Sharona

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Friday Prayers!

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Order of Service

G'day and welcome to Partakers Friday Prayers on the 23rd of September, 2011.

Opening Prayer

Father, as we commence, let our hearts and minds be right before you.  We thank for your Son Jesus. It's in His name we offer you these praises, prayers and petitions in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside those who are your children. Amen

Praise time!

Let's have a time for you to offer your own praises to God! If for some reason words are failing you, simple say "Lord God, I lift up thanks and praise to you alone."

Father God, accept these praises as sweet smelling perfume! Amen!

Psalm 100

We are told that it's a great thing to praise our God! So let's now have a Psalm of praise! We have Psalm 100, read to us today by Jenny!

Time of Silence

Now there will be a short time of prayer where you can give to God things that are on your own mind and heart.

If for some reason, words are failing you, then pray this short prayer based on Psalm 40 "O God, Help and deliver me from this pit for I am poor and needy!"

Time of silence

Father, we pray that your love will take over our lives! We also pray that we would follow you faithfully, live lives obediently and give praise to you alone in all circumstances we face together.

Lord in your mercy hear these prayers of your children.  Amen

Prayers for the World

Father, we now lifts this troubled world to you! From your wellspring of mercy hear these petitions!!

May justice and peace come to places where injustice, strife and conflict currently dominate!

Where there is chaos, bring order.

Where there is hatred, may love be sown.

We pray that in areas of need following natural disasters, that aid will get through and infrastructure rebuilt.

Lord in your mercy, hear these prayers of your children! Amen!

For churches and Christians worldwide

We now pray for church services around the world this weekend.

Our Father God, we lift before you all those who are preaching, leading, serving and participating in church services around the world this weekend, we ask that the Holy Spirit would guide their minds and that the worship will be in Spirit and in truth, that the Word as it is faithfully preached.

For those in countries where to meet other Christians is illegal or not condoned by the government, we ask that you continue to strengthen, guide, grow and uplift them. Let them know through Your Spirit, the Spirit that lives within all believers that we are praying for them.

Amen!

Prayers for others

Father, be the strength for all those who are grieving and mourning the loss of loved ones. Father, we pray that those in despair will be helped and where there is darkness there will be light. O Lord God, give strength to the week.

We lift before you, O merciful Father, all those facing challenging situations: such as loneliness, confinement at home, geographical isolation, lack of employment, health issues, and financial pressures.  O Father, please meet their needs in what ever challenging situation is being faced, and we put ourselves in your hands to help meet those needs where we can.

We ask these things, our Father God, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Amen!

Benediction

And now, as we close: Hebrews 13v20-21

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,  equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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Worship Wednesday

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G'day! Welcome to Partakers Wednesday Worship on the 21st of September 2011.

Song - Only A Boy named David sung by Daniel Martin

Bible Talk

Jesus spent complete nights in prayer seeking strength and wisdom from His Father in Heaven. We dare not go into battle with the enemy in our strength alone. The hymn writer wrote "Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer."

How do we put the gospel armour on? The armour we need is supplied by our Lord. It is described for us by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18: "Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might that you may stand in the evil day" He then goes on to say "Take unto yourself the whole armour of God. "Leave no unguarded place" are the hymn writer's words. Very apt as we can be so easily forgetful and neglectful. We need to be aware of our weak points where we ma be unguarded. "Give the devil no room."

I find as a great help each morning to spend some time putting the gospel armour on. How? As I get dressed physically taking time to put each piece of my clothing on carefully making myself presentable before the mirror, I also take by faith my spiritual armour piece by piece coming before the mirror or God's Word the Bible, reminding myself of which piece does in order to be strong for the day's battles, whatever they may be.

(a) The helmet of salvation. To protect the mind. Here is a point of entry If I do not protect it. How? By the Scriptures. "Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus." I ask for the mind of Christ.

(b) Breastplate of righteousness. This time I remind myself I am clothed in Christ's righteousness to gain me Heaven. This truth prevents me boasting and it keeps me humble. each moment of every day ever grateful to Jesus for His robe of righteousness. I need also to know there needs to be an outworking of that righteousness in my life through the power of The Holy Spirit. To seek to be like Jesus living to honour Him and be a light shining for Jesus.

(c) The belt of truth. I believe I must be held in by God's truth the Bible in all I think say and do. Not what I think but how God says I should react in any given situation during the course of the day. Not legalistically but trusting The Holy Spirit to bring the truth to memory to protect and instruct me.

(d) Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. The Roman footwear had to be strong and able to grip rough terrain. To walk steadily through the day without deviation to left or right not slipping into sinful habits but standing firm as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

(e) Sword of the Spirit and shield of faith in our hands. Having Scripture ready to hand and mind to fight off scurry attacks from satan as he tries to buffet us. Do you remember how Jesus used these weapons in the wilderness when tempted by the devil? "Has God said" He reminded the devil of the word of God. How important for us to memorise God's Word to hide it in our hearts as the psalmist wrote. Read God's Word regularly improving our knowledge day by day. The devil never lets up neither should we.

(f) Putting on all prayer. Living through the day in an atmosphere of prayer with a prayerful spirit. Ready to call upon the lord for any special needs but also ready to praise Him for any blessing that he brings our way. Talk to Him, as you walk with Him. Strengthened and satisfied by Him. We glorify Him by so doing. "Jesus is my Rock and Fortress, in Him I trust for ever.

Prayer with Joy

Dear Heavenly Father,

We know we have failed to put on the Christian armour and some of us have fallen dreadfully. We know it is important to acknowledge this to you. To be honest and admit our faults. We know the devil appears like a roaring lion at times, but sometimes as an angel of light and we fail to see him coming and we fall.

Forgive us Lord and help us to take the advice given and to take time to be holy by spending time with you Lord and to put on the gospel armour and trust you Lord to make us aware of the enemy attacks of satan and to stand up against him in Your strength and power.

David fought against Goliath and won because he knew the battle was the Lord's. He had confidence in your strength and had faith in You.

Paul the apostle said "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Help us to remember to pray that same prayer for our safety and Your glory, Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Benediction

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Think Spot

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Think Spot - 19th September 2011

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G'day! Welcome to Partakers Think Spot at the start of new week on Monday the 19th of September 2011. We have a guest today again! Welcome back Pauline as she shares some insights with you.

When we are going through a difficult time it is sometimes hard to believe that you are the apple of Gods eye. God gave me a picture once.  I asked God what I was worth. God tied a tag round my neck with a piece of string, the kind of price tag that they have in old fashioned shops.  The tag read £10, then he removed the tag and replaced it with one that read £100, then he removed that one and replaced it with one that had £1000 on it. He replaced the £1000 price tag with one that read £100,000 and then replaced that one with a million pound price tag. The final price tag simply had ONE LIFE written on it.   I find it mind blowing that God chose to let His Son die a hideously painful death so that I can enjoy a personal relationship with him that I am so valuable that even if I was the only human being that existed, God would have allowed Jesus to die on a cross for me.

Remind yourself of this fact frequently and you will get a glimpse of your father's heart. He loves you to bits and is proud of you no matter what you have done in the past - if you have said sorry and meant it - it is forgotten. The slate is completely clean. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come."

God's love for you is unconditional. God created us with a thirst to be secure, to have self worth and to have a sense of our own significance. That thirst is intended to be quenched by God himself, by His unconditional love for us and unconditional acceptance of our work.  1 John 3:1 says "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God.! And that is what we are!" Ephesians 2:10 says "We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepares for us in advance to do."

Unfortunately many of us try and get our security and sense of self worth from our spouses or parents.  Whilst that can be okay if we have a particularly adoring spouse or an encouraging mum and dad, it goes badly wrong if we have a critical spouse or a parent that withholds praise. Our self esteem really suffers in the case of a verbally critical spouse or parent and is affected just as badly by someone who is slow to give praise.

Galatians 4:7 "Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out ‘Abba, Father.' So you are no longer a slave but a son and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir."

Our aim should be to please God and fulfil his purposes for our lives. If it is we will discover a sense of security, value and significance in God and then it will not matter if our boss does not appreciate us or if our spouse criticises us.

We should be aiming to enjoy God, to have a life of worship and to get to know God better each day. God adores us and considers us adorable. He is proud of our achievements but is so much more thrilled with our efforts to get to know Him better.

Thanks for joining us on Partakers ThinkSpot! See you again real soon!

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