google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2011 December

Archive for December 2011

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Friday Prayers

30 December 2011

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Order of Service!

Opening prayer!

Praise time!

Time for your praise

Prayers for healing

Prayers for those going through challenging times

Prayers for churches around the world

Time for your own prayers/petitions!

Closing prayer

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Partakers Nativity

Part 2

Readings from:

Birth of Jesus Christ Luke 2:1-7 Milly
Shepherds visit Jesus Luke 2:8-20 Toby
Magi visit Jesus Matthew 2:1-12 Sharona

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Partakers Nativity

Part 1

Readings from:

Pre-existence of Christ John 1:1-18 Natalie
Gabriel visits Mary Luke 1:26-38 James
Mary visits Elizabeth Luke 1:39-56 Bryony
Angel visits Joseph Matthew 1:19-24 Amber

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Part 2 tomorrow!

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Friday Prayers

23 December 2011

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Order of Service!

Opening prayer

Psalm 11

Time for your praise

Prayers for those grieving

Prayers for justice to be done

Prayers for healing

Prayers for those going through challenging times

Prayers for churches around the world

Time for your own prayers/petitions!

Closing prayer/Benediction

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I AM 8

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I AM - Altogether Now

So there we have it - Jesus the I AM of history. We saw together how Jesus loudly proclaiming he was the the living bread; the light of the world; the good shepherd and the gate; the resurrection and the life; the way, the truth, and the life; and finally declaring He and He alone was the true vine! Jesus as the long waited for Messiah or Saviour, was the reality , whereas Israel was the symbol. All the things the nation of Israel was to be but failed to do so, is embodied in Jesus Christ. All the I AM statements reflect this.

All through this, Jesus knew what his mission on earth was. Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." He knew that the cross and his being raised from the dead was his ultimate mission to defeat sin and death. If it were to be any other way, do you not think God would have done it another way? The cross and the resurrection show that Jesus' exclusive proclamations are true, because Jesus life and actions support Jesus' claims. No other religion, apart from Christianity, offers a guarantee of salvation and everlasting life based on faith and grace alone. This is because the offer is all down to God's salvation work on the cross and not due to the efforts of humans to appease a God or gods.

Jesus - the "I AM..." Jesus never said "I am a true vine; a way, a truth and a life." Nor did He say "I am a resurrection and a life." Jesus never said "I am a door to life", just as He did not say "I am a shepherd, a door, a light or a bread of life." No! Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life. Jesus is the one great shepherd and the only door to life. Jesus is the only light of the world and the only true bread of life.

What are you going to do with this Jesus? What options are open to you?

CS Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, puts it this way, "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

So, as we finish this short series, who is Jesus to you?

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I AM 7

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I AM - the true Vine!

John 15:1 "I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser."

All the things the nation of Israel was to be but failed to do so, is embodied in Jesus Christ. All the I AM statements reflect this.  Isaiah 5 starts out as a love song between God and His chosen people, Israel. Israel was to be a vineyard, and despite all the love God had given tending to her, Israel had only produced bitter and sour fruit. This bitterly sour fruit is described in Isaiah 5:8-25. In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was to be a vine or vineyard (Isaiah 5:1-7, Ezekiel 15:1-6). Therefore, God will abandon her.

So if this vineyard is abandoned, will God raise a new vineyard? Juxtaposed against Israel's failure to be a vine, Jesus states that he is the true vine. Jesus was the reality, whereas Israel was the symbol. The fruit of Jesus Christ' life was and is abundant, fresh and sweet to the taste! We as Christians some 2000 years later are the result of Jesus being the true vine!

As the purpose of a vine is to produce fruit, the focal point is on what it takes to produce fruit (John 15:2). As Christian Disciples, we are to bear fruit by remaining close to Jesus, as He is the vine and we are the branches. And why is the Christian Disciple to bear fruit? So that God the Father is glorified (John 15:8) by the Christian Disciple, and thereby proving their Discipleship. As part of the ultimate mission of Jesus to glorify God the Father (John 12:28, John 17:4), it is imperative that Jesus' disciples be fruit-bearers. This means that all Christian Disciple are to be His witnesses and therefore a commitment to mission and evangelisation is necessary. That is why the Christian prays "your kingdom come" in the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:10)

Jesus, "I AM the true vine"

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