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Archive for November 2011

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Twelve Days to Christmas

Introduction

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Today we start a "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Each study ill be, by necessity, just brief introductions to the themes contained within them.

The birth of Jesus Christ is the most celebrated around the world. The celebrations transcend cultures, peoples, and languages. The celebrations are also just as diverse. Of course most people stop with Jesus being a baby and continue no further with Him. Jesus Christ is the most unique person in history. Jesus Christ is also the most divisive person to be found at any time and anywhere. Almost everyone has an opinion about Him, even if that opinion is based on ignorance, silence or misinformation.

As Christians we believe that Jesus' birth was the culmination of thousands of years of God telling the world that He was coming. From the time of the Fall when people showed active rebellion and disobedience towards God in Genesis 3, God was planning the time when He would step into history in the man, Jesus Christ. Throughout the Old Testament, we see that the birth, life and mission of Jesus Christ is the aim and focus of attention. We see it in the stories of people like Abraham and Moses. We see it in the nation of Israel, which was to be God's light to all the nations. We see it in the Israelite sacrificial system and law. We see it during the time of the Judges and the Kings. We especially see it through the prophets.

The whole Old Testament is joined together, because it all speaks about this baby, Jesus Christ. This baby, who was both 100% human and 100% divine, grew in wisdom and stature. This baby was born in order that He would die on a cross some 33 years later. He did not die for his own sins, but for the sins of the entire world - all past, present and future sins. This baby was born to die so that the entire world may have life and life everlasting, if each individual chooses to accept it.

Let us discover together what two people had to say about him. These twelve studies will based in the book of Isaiah and the book of Zechariah. Firstly, let me introduce these two books to you.

Isaiah

The author is self-identified as Isaiah, and his name means "The Lord Saves". Isaiah wrote around the same time as Amos, Hosea and Micah. He started about 740BC and it was during this time, that Israel was declining and the Assyrian Empire rapidly expanding.

In his writings, Isaiah reveals a great deal regarding God's judgment on sin and salvation from sin. During these studies, as we have seen, will primarily focus on the later chapters.

Key verses are:

Isaiah 9:6-7 - For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 9:7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from that time on, even forever. The zeal of Yahweh of Armies will perform this.

Isaiah 53:5-6 - But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray. Everyone has turned to his own way; and Yahweh has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Zechariah

The author, again, is self-identified, in this case Zechariah. Zechariah, a young man, was not only a prophet, but also a member of a priestly family. He was born in Babylon and had returned to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel's leadership. Zechariah was active around the same time as the prophet Haggai.

This period of time, 520BC to 480BC, occurred in the postexilic period after Israel was restored from Babylonian captivity.

Key verses are

Zechariah 8:3 - Thus says Yahweh: "I have returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called ‘The City of Truth;' and the mountain of Yahweh of Armies, ‘The Holy Mountain.'"

Zechariah 9:9 - Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you! He is righteous, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

So there we have a very brief introduction to the book of Isaiah and the book of Zechariah.

Thank you.

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Think Spot

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28th November 2011

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Friday Prayers

25 November 2011

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Order of Service!

Opening prayer

Time of confession

Time for praise

Lord’s Prayer

Prayers for others

Time for your own prayers!

Closing prayer/Benediction

Prayers for others

Let us now pray for these people who are ill.

Father we lift before you these people who are ill before You:

Milly, Dorothy, Kath, Joy, Christina, Margaret, and Ron!

Give comfort to them and all those who are ill, give wisdom to medical staff treating them and from your wellsprings of mercy grant a healing touch!

Father, we especially lift to you Patti who was recently diagnosed with lupus and recovering from surgery. We ask o Lord that you would provide a healing touch and patience for her to endure. Grant also, most merciful Father, peace to her mother and family - a peace that only You can provide. Amen!

We also lift to you Florence who was baptised last Sunday! We ask O merciful Father, that You would protect her! Give her, O great and marvellous God, a sense of peace and grant her boldness!

We ask these things O gracious Father in the name of your majestic son, Jesus and in the power of the Spirit who lives within us. Amen!

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Thursday Bible Quiz

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Bible Quiz

24 November, 2011

5 questions!

1 minute!

Are you ready?

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Worship Wednesday

November 23, 2011

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G'day! Welcome to Partakers Wednesday Worship on 9th of November, 2011!

Order of Service

Song - Oh for a thousand tongues - Peter Schrock

Jesus - Part 1 - My Jesus

Poem - I fell in love with Jesus

Jesus Part 2 - Why I am a christian

Song - I have decided - K

Jesus Part 3 - Jesus calls you by name

Song - Come unto me - Julie McMinn

Open prayers

Doxology - Jeff Wooldridge

My Jesus

Almost everybody has an opinion of the man Jesus Christ! Countless millions worship him today and down through history! People sometimes ask me "Who is my Jesus?" So, let me answer that briefly - "Who is my Jesus?"

My Jesus Christ, is the man who splits history BC & AD! The man who we claim is the messiah and saviour as spoken about by the prophets of old and written about by those who met Him...

My Jesus Christ, the man who healed the sick, fought for justice, did many great deeds, filled with compassion, driven on by joy and in constant conversation with God the Father.

My Jesus Christ, is the man who claimed to be God and was God! Jesus who emptied Himself, made Himself nothing, so as to take on human form. Jesus Christ, fully human and yet fully God.

My Jesus Christ, is the most amazing man who ever lived, born of a woman, in a humble stable. Jesus Christ, the man born to die that he may come back alive and give all people a chance to live forever.

My Jesus Christ, is the man who died on a grubby Roman cross, pierced, battered, bruised and scarred. Jesus Christ, the God-man who died physically. Jesus Christ, buried within and sealed into a cold empty tomb.

My Jesus Christ, is the man who conquered death, came back alive as witnessed by uncountable others. Jesus Christ who defeated the sting of sin, so that humanity may choose to live forever!

My Jesus Christ, whose very death and resurrection we celebrate at Easter, who ascended to the right hand of God the Father. This Jesus Christ, who with the Father, sent the Holy Spirit to transform into His own image, all who choose to follow Him.

My Jesus Christ, who covers His followers in His own robe of righteousness so that they would be acceptable to God the Father.

Jesus Christ, coming again soon in glory to judge humanity and claim those who follow Him. Jesus Christ who calls to you and I "Come and follow!"

Why I am a christian

If that's my Jesus Christ, why am I a Christian and identify myself as such?

The Apostle John, writing in 1 John 5:9-12 - "We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

The reason that I am a Christian is not because I chased God, but rather He chased me

I am a Christian Disciple not because of anything I have done, but rather because He first chased me, and because He first loved me. Jesus himself said "I came to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19v10). God was chasing me and following my every path with the urgency of a lover after the beloved, just as described in the Song of Songs 2v2-14.

If you are a Christian today, it is not because of anything you have done. It is because of the events at Christmas and Easter that you are a Christian, when God entered this world as a human baby and took all the necessary steps so that all people could have the choice to be His people or not. In my more smug moments I used to congratulate myself for being a Christian. How proud I was that I, was a Christian and that God was a jolly lucky God that I had decided to follow Him. It was during one of my less self-deluded moments, that I examined myself and I found God pricking my conscience and correcting me, and I read the New Testament "For the Son of Man came, not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark10v45).

Jesus calls you

This Jesus, my Jesus, also calls you!

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.  During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.  But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

"Come," he said.  hen Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. hen those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." Matthew 14:22-33

If you would not call yourself a Christian today, and this Jesus appeals to you, this Jesus who speaks with authority, and you want to become a Christian there are three simple steps to follow.  Firstly, admit that you have done wrong against God and His ways.  Secondly, believe and trust in Jesus.  Call on Him, receive, trust, obey and worship Him, recognizing Him for who He is and what He has done.  Lastly, confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.   Once sin has been confessed, and Jesus is believed in and trusted as Saviour, then you are a Christian. Now you are ready as Peter writes in the Bible, "to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).  Welcome to the family of God. God has chosen you; Jesus has paid for you and has put His mark within you through His Spirit (Ephesians 1:1-13).

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Think Spot

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21st November 2011

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