google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2013 April

Archive for April 2013

Think Spot

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Think Spot

28th April 2013

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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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Ask Dave - Question 6

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Question 6

What are your thoughts on the

infilling of the Holy Spirit?

I will be hoping to return to the US & Canada in 2013! If you want a visit, leave a comment and we will see what ministry we can do together there!

However, over the following 6 weeks I will be answering one question a week:

  1. What inspired you to visit the USA in 2010?
  2. What Does Jesus Christ Mean to you?
  3. How do you help a new convert to become a disciple?
  4. When does one truly receive their salvation?
  5. If somebody is struggling with God and salvation, what can they do and how can we help them?
  6. What are your thoughts on the infilling of the Holy Spirit?

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HAHA 03

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HAHA 03

Church Begins!

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G’day and welcome to Partakers and to our series, HAHA – Heroes and Heretics Abound. Together we will look at the story of the church from its origins to the Age of Reasoning in the 18th century. Last time we looked briefly at the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church. Today in Part 3, we look briefly at the beginnings of Jesus’ church and its rapid spread across the Roman empire and beyond.

History is the story of the human family. From the Christian perspective all of history is encompassed in 2 statements “In the beginning…” and “I will come again…” Christianity is a historical religion, which stands or falls on the basis of historical fact that God entered into history in the person Jesus Christ. His life, death and resurrection are open to investigation. Disprove and of those facets and Christianity falls. The history of the Church is one of both glory and failure, depending on how closely if followed the teachings and practice of Jesus Christ. Paul writes in Galatians 4:4 “When the time was right, God sent His Son.”

How was the time right for when Jesus came?

  • Common language through much of the Roman Empire (Greek) allowing good communication.
  • There was relatively free travel throughout the Empire allowing the quick spread of God’s Good News.
  • There was discontent with the religions of the day.
  • Many Jews expected the Messiah!

Key thinking about the Church!

  • The Church's Foundation - Mt. 16:17-20 "On this rock, I will build my Church...". Christ loves the Church, builds the Church and nothing will prevent the building and growth of the Church.
  • The Church's Commission - Mt. 28:18-20 "Make disciples of all nations..."; Acts 1:8 "Be my witnesses..."
  • The Church's Mission - Acts 1:8...Jerusalem (Home), Judea (Home State/Province), Samaria (Neighbouring State/Province), Ends of the Earth (Overseas).
  • The Church's Authority - Matthew 28:18 - All authority is given to Jesus, He is with us as witnesses.

With the Church’s Authority established the Church spreads The Gospel Message (Acts 2:36-38) that Jesus is the Lord and the Christ; Acts 20:21 "Repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ.

As we saw last time, the Holy Spirit came at what is called Pentecost! (Acts 2:8). There the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ was preached to an international audience as Jews from every nation under heaven was there to witness this great event! Many were saved and thus returned to their home nations with this good news that Jesus was their Messiah! WOW!

In Jerusalem alone, according to Acts 4:4 5000 men were added to the Church in Jerusalem. Persecution & scattering come upon the early Church as it would have been normal for the Christians to make Jerusalem the focus of their ministry. For whatever reason, they still did not understand that the Gospel was also for the Gentiles. However, they soon discovered that the Gospel was indeed for the Gentiles and for throughout the world! How did God achieve this with His church?

For the answer to that, you will have to wait for the next in our series HAHA where we will see the Church spreading and getting organized! Thanks for listening! Come back to Partakers, where every day there is something new to encourage your walk as a Christian in the 21st century.

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Friday Prayers

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Friday Prayers

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26 April 2013

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~A Prayer (based on a prayer of Bonaventure)

Lord Jesus, as God's Spirit came

down and rested upon you, may

the same Spirit rest upon and be within us.

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O Yahweh, Grant us the gift of

understanding, by which your

precepts may enlighten our minds.

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O Jehovah, Grant us counsel, by

which we may follow in your

footsteps on the path of righteousness.

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O Great God, grant us courage, by

which we may ward off the

Enemy's attacks.

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O Sovereign God, grant us knowledge.

by which we can distinguish

good from evil.

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O Merciful God, grant us piety, by

which we may acquire

compassionate hearts.

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O Holy God, grant us fear, by which

we may draw back from evil

and submit to what is good.

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O ineffable God grant us wisdom,

that we may taste fully the

life-giving sweetness of your love.

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For we ask this O God our Father,

In the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us

Through the Son who died and rose again to ascend to Your right hand!

Amen.

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

25th April 2013

About Healing!

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Healing doesn’t always happen first time. It is ok to ask again. Even when Jesus prayed for healing it didn’t always happen completely first time and he had to pray again. In Mark 8 verses 22-26, Jesus spits on a blinds mans eyes and puts his hands on him, then asks him if he can see. The blind man replies he can see people that look like trees walking around. Jesus puts his hands on the blind mans’ eyes once more and only then is his eyesight restored to normal.

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Healing does not require the person being healed to have faith. Jesus healed people who had no faith for healing. Luke 7:11 -15 tells of Jesus raising a man from the dead without being asked to do so, by anyone. Again in Luke 13:10-13 Jesus heals a woman who had been crippled for 18 years, she doesn’t ask him to and demonstrates no faith that she believes he can heal her, he just chooses to do so.

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Ill health can be a sign that there is sin in the person’s life but not always. Many times when Jesus heals someone there is no mention of sin. In John 9:2 the disciples ask Jesus about a blind man.’ Rabbi’, they said ‘who sinned, this man or his parents?’ Jesus replies’ Neither this man nor his parents sinned, this happened that the works of God may be displayed in him.’ At other times as in Matthew 9: 2 the person is told your sins are forgiven. Interestingly the mans health is not restored. It is only when the teachers of the law accuse him of blasphemy that He decides to heal the man. Obviously faith can play a part in healing. In Mark 10 Jesus heals Bartimaeus, with the words ‘ your faith has healed you’.

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Think Spot

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Monday Think Spot

22 April 2013

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G’day and welcome to Partakers and our Monday Think Spot! We have the start of a new week! Its Monday! I don’t know how your weekend went, but I had a weekend that I want to forget quickly! It could be said that I did not have a peaceful weekend dealing with situations that arose unexpectedly. I am at peace now but was not at the time! I had this little voice inside me repeatedly saying “Trust me… Be at peace with yourself.” The Holy Spirit was ministering to me amidst the turmoil despite my often not wanting to hear that!

Matthew 5:9 records Jesus speaking these words “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.

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All over the world, the majority of people share a common desire for peace! But what is peace? The peace the world wants varies from the peace which we as Christian know to be true. The world sees peace as the absence of conflict and people being generally ‘nice’ to one another. Peace in the Christian context goes further, saying peace is perfect harmony with God, perfect harmony with other people, with circumstances and with self. While we are to aim for peace in all those areas, perfect peace in all those areas will not come until Jesus Christ comes again, and takes Christians to be with Him.

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However, that doesn't give us as Christians a mandate to sit around not doing what we can for peace. Unsurprisingly the Bible has a lot to say about peace! Jesus commanded us to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9) because our God is a God of peace (1 Thessalonians 5:23), and the Kingdom of God to which we belong is about peace in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Peace is to be our business! In a world full of peaceless-turmoil, such as conflicts between nations, conflicts between neighbours, conflicts even within families and conflicts within and between churches, Christians are to be peacemakers!

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If you are a Christian, you have peace with God because Jesus Christ is your peace between God and yourself (Ephesians 2:13-18)! More than that, we are to be at peace with others! Now this can be hard! We are commanded to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9, James 3:17-18), living at peace with everyone (Romans 12:17-20) and do everything possible which leads to peace and mutual encouragement (Romans 14:13-19).~

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Go in peace this Monday, into this week, knowing that the God of peace lives inside you if you are one of His children! Go dispense this peace as God’s peacemaker where you go! You can be the peacemaker in your place of work, where you live, where you visit, where you socialize and even where you shop or play sport! If you are struggling to be a peacemaker in a difficult circumstance then ask this Holy Spirit who lives inside you to help you! He will help you if you ask! If you would not consider yourself a Christian and at peace with God, then ask Him to help you become one!

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Father, we pray that this week we will do all we can as your followers to be peacemakers, to do all we can for peace and to make peace where ever we go and make a difference in world in conflict. We ask this through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside all those who have peace with you. Amen!

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