February 29, 2012

WISE - Evangelism



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What is evangelism?

Evangelism is telling & showing others of God’s message of reconciliation to all people of all time. Down through the ages, the church has made two mistakes when it comes to evangelism. Firstly, it is not forcing people to adopt Church standards (1 Corinthians 5v12) and nor is it simply a message of join the church as a symbol of good works (Ephesians 2vv8-10). God has a message for all people. This message from God says that everybody has sinned against God (Isaiah 53v6; Romans 3vv10-11); nobody can earn their reconciliation with God (Ephesians 2v9); that God sent His Son Jesus to be born, crucified and resurrected so that salvation can be had by all people of all time (John 3v16; 1 Timothy 1v15); Because of that, it is only by acquiescing to God, by faith in Jesus alone that people are saved (John 5v24; Acts 16v31). That is the message of evangelism. Finally, evangelism is also lifestyle! Jesus Christ is to permeate every area of your life! You are a messenger of Jesus Christ, and a message from Jesus Christ, whether you want to be or not! The way you conduct yourself, both in public and in private, shows Jesus Christ to people.

Why evangelize?

The prime motivation for evangelism is out of gratitude for what God has done for you, in that the you love God because He loved you first (1 John 4vv10-12, 14,19). It was this sentiment Paul refers to when he writes, “For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.” (2 Corinthians 5v14). When you evangelise, you reflect something of the character of God, because God Himself is a missionary God. Jesus was sent to save the lost and redeem mankind! The Holy Spirit was sent from the Father and the Son!

You are called to go!

While you may not be called to be an evangelist (Ephesians 4v11), you are called to do the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4v5). In Jesus’ last words on earth, His church was commanded to be witnesses for Him (Acts 1v8). You are a member of that church, and as a part of the Church, you are included in the way God has chosen to spread His message of reconciliation (Acts 4v12; 2 Peter 3v9). Remember Paul’s words from Romans 10vv14-15: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"”

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February 27, 2012

Think Spot


27th February 2012

G'day and welcome to Partakers ThinkSpot on Monday, the 27th of February 2012. Play the audio and see how Jim and Joy are challenging you to live your faith out this week!

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February 26, 2012

Luke Looks Back 03


Luke Looks Back Chapter 3

Luke 3:1-18

Heralding the Messiah

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Luke continues with his careful introduction to Jesus' ministry. He tells us all about John because John came before, and announced, Jesus. One thing he is going to make very clear throughout his book is that while John was a prophet Jesus was more than a prophet.

First we read Luke 3: 1-9

Luke in 3: 4 - 6 uses Isaiah's great picture of hope in Isaiah 40: 3 - 5, which prophesies the return of the Lord and his people to Jerusalem after the exile, as a picture of the coming of the Lord Jesus to the people of God. John is the voice. Jesus is the Lord.

An obvious first question to make you think, although it does not come directly from this passage is this:

What is your hope? How far does your hope change the way you live from day to day? Where should our hope be placed?


Obviously the first part of that question has an individual answer, not an only right one. Our hope should be placed on being with Jesus in his heavenly kingdom and then after our resurrection on being part of his kingdom when heaven and earth meet to form the new heaven and new earth that is our ultimate destination.

Second question: the basic message that John preached was 'a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins'.  How does this compare with the messages you hear preached these days? Are the differences only because John was preaching before the life and death of Jesus and the preaching you hear is from long after?  Or are there differences there ought not to be?


Again the answer to that question depends on your situation.

The last verse we read: ' the axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.' Is harsh.

Third question: in what ways can we see that happening in our day and in our society?


Yet another question where the answer depends on who we are and where we are. When you look at the world today and see what a mess it is in because of men's greed and lust for power it hasn't improved much since John's day.

Part B

Read Luke 3: 10 - 18

When the people asked him how they were to live to show they had truly repented John gave them 4 practical examples in this passage. Two ways they were to look after the poor: giving tem clothes and food. Two ways they were not to be corrupt and to be good and honest in all things: the examples of the tax collectors and the soldiers.

Fourth question:          if he had been talking to us what examples would he have given? Were his examples, particularly the first two, really practical? (It would not be long before they ran out of spare clothes and food.) How realistic are the examples you think he might have given to you? How well can we follow these examples when we have to live in the real world we find ourselves in?


Yet again the answers will all depend on who and where you are.

John talked about 3 things: a prophetic warning of coming judgement (flee from the wrath to come... the axe at the root of the trees ...); calling for justice and compassion in our dealings with others (sharing clothes and food ... honesty in all things ... ); and a right attitude to the coming Messiah (accepting the baptism of the Holy Spirit ).

Question 5:      Different churches major on one or other of the present day equivalents of these.'  Which do our churches make the most of? On which do we fall short?


Like all the questions on this passage we have to ask ourselves how they apply to us. And I cannot tell you what your answers should be!

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February 23, 2012

Thursday Ponderings


23rd February 2012

Fear of the Lord

It is not popular or common in Christian circles to talk about the fear of the Lord. People much prefer to emphasis a loving, fluffy God who forgives everything. They tend to ignore the discipline side of God. In Acts 5, we have a chilling account of how God deals with two Christians who lie. Basically they drop dead. That is how seriously God takes sin and we would do well to remember that on a daily basis.

We are all in the land of the enemy and are subject to his attacks in spirit soul and body, but God says, "Give no place to the Devil" Eph 4:27 That means that the devil cannot take a place in us if we do not let him. We open the way for him to come in if we sin the smallest sin in word, thought or deed and gives place for the devil to do us harm. I'm going to repeat that because it is very important.

We open a way for the devil to come into our lives and attack us when we commit the smallest sin in word, in thought or in deed.

Another way we can let the devil in to attack us is to become apathetic, to become lazy in the amount of time we spend with God seeking his will. If you fit your quiet time in whilst you're eating your breakfast, or making your packed lunch do you expect anyone to believe that God is the most important thing in your life.

Or if you get into bed last thing at night and read your bible for 20 minutes before putting out the light. That's not loving God.

If you love someone you spend lots of time with them, you hang around them as soon as they come in the door you stop watching your favourite TV prog in order to spend time with them. You get up an hour earlier in the morning to be in their prescence. You spend lunch with them. You spend time listening to them, asking them what their desires are? Your weekends are planned around them, so you can be together as much as possible. Does that sound like the time you spend with God?

1 Peter 5:8
-  be vigilant (watch all the time) because your adversary the devil walks about liking a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.'

Job 28:28
- And he said to the human race, "The fear of the Lord-that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding."

Psalm 33:8
- Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him.

It's a choice! We choose to fear the Lord or to not fear the Lord

Proverbs 1:29
- since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD.

How do fear the Lord in practice

Deuteronomy 6:2
- so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.

Psalm 112:1
- Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.

Psalm 128:1
- Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him

Psalm 34:11-14

Come, my children, listen to me;

I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Whoever of you loves life

and desires to see many good days,

keep your tongue from evil

and your lips from telling lies.

Turn from evil and do good;

seek peace and pursue it.

Benefits of fearing the Lord

Psalm 112:1 -
Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.

Psalm 128:1 -
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him

Psalm 25:14
- The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

Psalm 34:7 - The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

Psalm 34:9
- Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing

Psalm 103:13
- As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
Psalm 147:11 - the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.

It's hard work

Proverbs 2 v 1-6

My son, if you accept my words

and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom

and applying your heart to understanding-

indeed, if you call out for insight

and cry aloud for understanding,

and if you look for it as for silver

and search for it as for hidden treasure,

then you will understand the fear of the LORD

and find the knowledge of God.

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February 22, 2012

WISE - Temptation



Welcome to Partake WISE. The word for today is temptation. A word every human being who has ever lived, including Jesus Christ, has faced at some point in their life.

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I don’t know if you have ever seen what appear to be silly safety signs such as this one that I saw on a chainsaw which said “Do not attempt to stop the chain with your hands." That would not be a temptation to me! But that’s what we are facing when we are tempted to sin and disobey God! When you are tempted to disobey God, either in action or inaction, you are not to touch it – just like you wouldn’t try to stop a chainsaw with your hands!!

Christian Disciples face constant temptation to disobey God and sin. However temptations are common experiences for all Christian Disciples. God allows temptations, but He will never let you be tempted beyond what He knows you can handle – that’s His promise. And even more, He always provides a means of escape from temptation! (1 Corinthians 10v12-13)!

Temptation it must be noted is not sin, or Jesus the sinless one would not be sinless! Rather it is the giving into temptation that is causes us to sin. By dealing with temptation at the very moment it confronts you, you show you are living a life worthy of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that as Christian Disciples we face temptation from three different angles: the world, our old nature and satan.

Here are some short guidelines to help you deal with temptation:

  • Remembering the need to love God with a greater love for whatever tempts us (1 John 2:15).
  • Acknowledging and remembering that sin’s power was nullified by Jesus’ death on the cross (Romans 6:11) and in living under the control of the Spirit’s power (Galatians 5:16).
  • Remembering that you are as a Christian Disciple to be living a moment-by-moment dependence in faith on the Spirit’s power, and make a conscious decision by an act of your will to benefit from the Spirit’s power and assistance.
  • Remember to continue to grow as a Christian Disciple and submit everything to God. If you are growing as Christian Disciples we grow more in love with God, and therefore our desire to sin and disobey Him grows less.

Remember that the Holy Spirit lives inside you, and greater is He that is in you than anything else in the world (1 John 4v4). Now that is a comforting thought, because it means we don’t face these temptations alone! So next time you are faced with temptation, pray and ask for God’s help! If you have specific sins that entangle you habitually, ask that the Holy Spirit will help you avoid the temptation! It may also mean that you are to avoid the situation or circumstance where you are being tempted.

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