google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2014 July

Archive for July 2014

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God Loves You 06

 

主耶稣爱我、主耶稣爱你

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For God so loved the world, that He gave is one and only Son, so that who ever believed in Him would have everlasting life. John 3:16.

Today we have Cathie from Hong Kong and London!  主耶稣爱我、主耶稣爱你


God loves you. God is beckoning you to love Him in return. He wants you to be in relationship with Him. Nothing you can do will make Him love you more than He already does. If you are not in relationship with God already, now is the time!


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Think Spot 28 July 2014

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Think Spot - 28th July 2014

Revelation 22:12-13 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Do you believe this? Do you really believe this? If you do, then how are you doing at telling and showing others the gospel of grace of Jesus Christ?

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I was in London recently. A busy place! But I did notice something. The only people I saw doing any kind of outreach, were members of the Jehovah Witnesses cult. They do it out of slavish obedience to the Jehovah Witnesses Governing body. It is not out of love for others as we as Christians are to! But… Where were the Christians? For sure they were operating the foodbanks, looking after the homeless and others in need. Practical evangelism and outreach – and rightly so. But where was the verbal witness of Christians? We are commanded to go and tell – so evangelism is not just looking after the physical needs of people but also telling them verbally. Two days in London and we didn’t see one Christian evangelising. Where I live in the UK, I have lived in our current location 4 years and not once have I been presented with the Gospel. Why? I would suggest apathy. A sense of loss of urgency in the UK church today.

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As the church, God’s representative body, here on earth, we have a mission. The church is all those who call Jesus Lord and let Him be master over there life. We have a mission. Our mission is to tell other people about a God of love and that this God of love wants people to come into a relationship of love with Him. God is a missionary God! The Father sent the Son on a mission! The Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit on a mission! We are to emulate the God we claim to love, by being on a mission to tell others about this amazing God of love who wants all people to be in relationship with Himself. If you don’t tell that person, who will? They may not get another opportunity to hear! The church as a whole, particularly in the West, seems to have lost its sense of urgency to tell and show others this missionary God of love.

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Why urgency? Because Jesus, who is the Lord of the Christian and Lord of the Church, is coming back again. Coming back to gather to Himself all those who are engaged in a loving and dynamic relationship with Himself. Coming back soon. Could be today! Could be tomorrow, this week, this month, this year, this decade, this century! Nobody knows! But Jesus is coming back. Be ready for when He does and I hope there is at least one other person there because you took a risk and told somebody about Jesus.

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As the church, as Christians, we have this message of life, and yet so often we neglect to take the opportunities to tell and show others. When was the last time you said to somebody “God loves you. Will you love Him back?” We are, by all means possible, to get this message out. Go. Tell. Show. The Gospel. GodLuvsYou.com Go into this week and tell at least one person somewhere & somehow about God’s love. Thank you.

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O Father God, I pray that this week, each of us will do all we can to tell and show the Good news of your Son. Enable us through your Holy Ghost who lives within us, to see the opportunities to tell others that you love them and want them to be in relationship with you, O Loving God! Help us through the power and wisdom of the Holy Ghost to tell about the love mission done by your Son two thousand years ago. I ask this O God my Father, through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside all those who have a relationship with you. Amen

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Thanks for listening! Come back every day to Partakers where you will find resources to help you live the Christian life where you are.

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

25th July 2014


We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity! Come! Let us pray together!

Order of Prayer Service

Opening Prayer

1 John 1:8-10

Confession

Lord's Prayer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Prayers for those facing challenging situation

Prayers for those grieving & in despair

Prayers for those imprisoned

Prayers for Churches Worldwide

Prayers for the world

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Time for your own prayers

The Creed

Benediction

Closing Prayer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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Creation Book Corner 24 July 2014

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Claire's Creation Book Corner

24 July 2014

Our Christian faith is about much more than turning up on Sunday mornings or growing our churches. Each and every one of us is called to make the world a better place. The only trouble is, if only we all knew how!

With 7 billion people on this planet, human life is complicated and very very large. What can one person do to make a difference?

Some individuals, like Martin Luther King, can make a big difference to an entire country. But most of us are not called by God to act on such a large scale - because small scale makes a difference too. When large numbers of people choose to do the good they're capable of, the world becomes a much kinder place.

Lots of people nowadays are talking about how Twitter and Facebook have changed our outlook. With these social media we can watch and communicate with those in power in an unprecedented way. It's an amazing thing, but also far too seductive.

As a Christian have you ever wasted hours of your time being indignant online because you think it's going to help a cause of social or environmental justice? I have.

I've no doubt that making a noise for justice online is a good thing and that for some people it is a special calling from God ... but for the rest of us it's a lot of effort in an arena where we may not be at our most effective.

This week I've decided to try something different. I've realised that my main power to make a difference rests not in how much noise I make online, but in which corporations I vote for with my money.

When I buy food from a farm that genuinely loves animals, that is a powerful vote of support for animal rights. In my opinion it's worth more than a hundred tweets or Facebook posts.

So, I've decided to try an experiment. For two months I'm going to stop making a noise for social and environmental justice online. I'm going to put all that campaigning energy into making shopping choices that support justice for all Creation.

I've got quite a big task ahead of me. Among other things I've got to cut down on the amount of packaged food I buy and check carefully whether animal products are ethically sourced. Whew! I feel exhausted just thinking about it!

But the question is. What are you going to do?

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Question 8

 

What Happened In 2013 on the WOW USA trip?

(as interviewed by Mrs Heidi Trotman)

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POD - Psalm 91

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Psalm 91


91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

91:2 I will say of Yahweh, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust."

91:3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence.

91:4 He will cover you with his feathers. Under his wings you will take refuge. His faithfulness is your shield and rampart.

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91:5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day;

91:6 nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that wastes at noonday.

91:7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you.

91:8 You will only look with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked.

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91:9 Because you have made Yahweh your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,

91:10 no evil shall happen to you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.

91:11 For he will put his angels in charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.

91:12 They will bear you up in their hands, so that you won't dash your foot against a stone.

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91:13 You will tread on the lion and cobra. You will trample the young lion and the serpent underfoot.

91:14 "Because he has set his love on me, therefore I will deliver him. I will set him on high, because he has known my name.

91:15 He will call on me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him, and honor him.

91:16 I will satisfy him with long life, and show him my salvation."

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Think Spot 21 July 2014

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Think Spot - 21st July 2014

G'day! Welcome to Partakers Think Spot at the start of new week on Monday the 21st July 2014!

God's love in the Bible is seen as unfailing, everlasting, intimate, sacrificial, unbreakable, all-conquering, personal, great, immeasurable and all-knowing. This is seen supremely in the Cross of Jesus Christ, when He died for the sins of the world. Supreme love overcoming all that is not love. Even when great acts of evil are committed in the world, love is all around. Love continues despite such acts.

How are Christians to respond to this love of God?

The apostle John writes in 1 John 4v15-16 - If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

Our motivation as Christians is to love and to be love. This is a love, which is sacrificial and self-less. It is tough love which is of service to other people.

Loving and serving others, are the primary ways of showing you love God! It is easiest to love your friends. But Jesus commanded that his followers also love their enemies (Matthew 5:43-45)! Now that is very radical and can be difficult! We see constantly in the media and elsewhere, that regards our enemies, we are to be confrontational or at best to just ignore them!

Love and serve everyone

How is it possible to love our enemies? It is only with the help of God and His abundant grace towards us! We depend on the Holy Spirit who lives inside all Christians to empower and guide! To only love those who love you is what is expected by people everywhere as normal behaviour. But as a Christian, you are to do more! You are to be seen to love more than other people. You don't have to like others as friends, but you do have to love them as fellow human beings!

Go!

Go into this week, being prepared to show your love of Jesus Christ, remaining close to Him and serving other people generously with abundant grace-filled love!  By loving and serving others, you become God's arms and legs in a physical world.  One of the greatest limitations you face in loving and serving other people is a severe lack of imagination! So as you go into this week, ask God to expand your imagination to love and serve; as well as asking for the opportunities to do them. Loving and serving are hallmarks of an authentic Christian life.  Love continues even amidst chaos and turmoil all around. Go and be part of the continuing of love.  Thank you.

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The Spirit Explodes

Part 22 of 22 - The journey to Rome – at last.

Acts 27:1 – 28:31


by Roger Kirby


It really is rather puzzling that Luke spent so much space on his precious scroll describing this sea journey from which we, like everybody else, are not going to be able to get much spiritual nourishment.

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There are at least 3 possible reasons:

  1. this sort of exciting sea voyage complete with shipwreck was commonplace in Greek literature and Luke wanted his work to fit the normal pattern to make it as acceptable a read as possible;
  2. this is a ‘we’ passage, indicating that Luke himself was on this voyage and so was complying with the expectation of those days that historical writers should have had some involvement in the events they described;
  3. Luke wanted to set Paul’s journey to Rome and his death there in parallel to Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and his death, thus showing how the life of a Christian should imitate that of Jesus.

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Read Acts 27:1–12.

Sea voyages around the eastern end of the Mediterranean in those days were difficult and dangerous. Most ships hugged the coast, putting into a safe harbour every night if they could. The date of the Fast, mentioned in this passage, was variable but it probably fell in October, by which time sailing had become very dangerous because of the autumn storms. Paul was an experienced sea traveller and clearly had as good an idea of what was safe as the sailors and a better one than the centurion. There is a good example of Luke’s accuracy here: Paul suggested there might be loss of life, and there wasn’t. This is presumably a bit of everyday advice rather than prophetic insight. Getting Egyptian grain to Rome was such a high priority that the Caesars promised to reimburse the owners of any ships lost on the passage, hence the willingness of the owner to take the considerable risk of proceeding.

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Read Acts 27:13–26.

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Paul even says ‘I told you so’ which cannot have endeared him to the sailors. But his general sense of optimism based on his certainty through visions that he would reach Rome would have helped everybody aboard the stricken vessel. The Syrtis mentioned is off the coast of Africa so a long way from the course they intended to sail, which is an indication of how panic struck they were.

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Read Acts 27:27–44.

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By this time it seems that Paul was effectively in charge of events. It is easy to imagine that, prisoner though he was, everyone was looking to him for wise guidance.

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Question 1: What was Paul’s attitude to his fellow travellers and the ship’s crew?

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He showed great sympathy to them as fellow human beings. He did not start trying to ‘save souls’ in this dire emergency!

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Read Acts 28:1–10.

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It would seem that Julius, the centurion, had by now given all control over to Paul. There was a widespread belief in paganism in those days (and perhaps in Judaism too – think of the story of Jonah) that those who were guilty of crime would not survive a sea voyage. It is interesting, therefore, that Luke says it was the islanders who thought Paul must be a murderer getting his just deserts from the snake. Those who had been in the ship with him clearly had a very different view of him. By the time they left the island when the better weather came in springtime the islanders respected him as well. The whole episode is a great example of how a Christian should carry him or herself in times of difficulty and adversity.

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Question 2: What, therefore, is Luke suggesting by the way he described this voyage?

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In the eyes of his fellow travellers, perhaps even including some of the less perceptive Christians, Paul was innocent of any crime. To them trial before the Emperor was unnecessary as he had already been judged by the sea and found innocent.

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Throughout the story there is a wonderful blending of natural wisdom on Paul’s part and the open statement of occasional visions from the Lord that directed them all to safety against all the odds.

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Question 3: What picture of the relationships between Christians and non-Christians do the events on Malta place before us?

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There is a remarkable sense of friendship and mutually beneficial relationships presented here. The islanders show ‘unusual kindness’ to the shipwrecked folk, the local big man is friendly towards them, Paul is ready with help to sick people, and the islanders honour the disciples when they come to leave. It is a reminder that although we may think theologically of non-believers as sinners they are also our fellow human beings and we should relate to them as such.

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Read Acts 28:11–16.

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The last part of Luke’s ‘we’ passage is first an easy trip by ship from Malta, round Sicily and up the west side of Italy to Puteoli some 200 rough Kms south of Rome. Then something of a triumphal procession for Paul by land, meeting various Christian groups on the way. The ‘we’ passage ends as they reach Rome so Luke presumably left them at that point.

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Paul’s treatment in Rome was very relaxed. There is good reason to think that he met up with a high Roman official and was placed under only a form of house arrest with a soldier keeping an eye on him. This all suggests that the documentation about Paul sent from Caesarea did not contain a serious case against him.

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Read Acts 28:17–31.

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Paul’s explanation to the Jewish leaders that he had done nothing, and did not intend to do anything, contrary to their interests suggests that the case against him had been dropped by the Jews of Judaea. He did not intend to bring a counter case of wrongful arrest. What follows is a repetition of events in many cities in the east when Paul started to preach, but without the rioting and general antagonism evident in so many of them. Presumably the presence of the Roman authorities in this great city had a quietening effect on their sensibilities.

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The great unsolved mystery about this final chapter is what happened after the two years of house arrest. Did Luke write another scroll that has since been lost? We have no evidence to that effect. Was Paul acquitted after the two years and go on mission again? That is what an historian called Eusebius thought writing 250 years later. Did he reach Spain as he had hoped? We have no solid evidence of that? Was he eventually martyred in Rome? There is a strong tradition that he was.

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Question 4: Triumph or tragedy? What do you think of what Luke says happened in Rome to summarize his long and vivid account of the acts of the apostles?

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There is much more triumph than tragedy here. Luke started off his scroll by emphasising the way that the good news of Jesus was to be taken to the ends of the earth. A necessary step in that direction was to take it to the centre of the earth. The saying is ‘all roads lead to (and from) Rome.’ Even today if you live anywhere in the southern half of Europe you will probably have seen how true that was. Their roads were so well built they still exist in many places. Paul had used them to best advantage for the message of Jesus. Paul must have been approaching the end of his natural life span anyway. He would be happy to die, especially if that was in the service of Jesus. To him it was a triumph indeed.

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There was, of course, some tragedy mixed in as well. Paul’s comment to the Roman Christians a little earlier had been “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart … for those of my own race, the people of Israel.” Once again here, in the heart of Empire, the Jewish population was split right down the middle, as it had been nearly everywhere Paul had been.

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For one last question think back over the way Luke has described the work of Paul in all these many places he visited. He has consistently described Paul as starting with the Jews and the Gentiles associated with the Jewish faith.

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Question 5: What does that imply for the work of the gospel today?

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It seems to suggest that the right place to start with the preaching and teaching of the gospel is with the nature of God, the Law and our struggles with it. So much modern preaching starts with the benefits of following Jesus as a way to a more satisfactory sense of personal fulfilment. That does not seem to be the place where Paul started. Should we copy him rather more than we currently do?

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Luke had given Theophilus an exciting and challenging story to read, as he has us. I hope it has excited and challenged you as you have read or listened to it. His very last sentence captures so well the whole story “he proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus – with all boldness and without hindrance!” We, you and I, cannot do anything about the “without hindrance “ bit. The rest we can! Let’s do so. May the Lord bless you in your endeavours to that end.

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

18th July 2014

We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity! Come! Let us pray together!

A prayer from St Mark's Liturgy

(From the 2nd century)

O Sovereign and Almighty Lord,

Bless all Your people, and all Your flock.

Give Your peace, Your help,

Your love toward us Your servants,

The sheep of Your fold.

That we may be united in the bond of peace and love,

one body and one spirit,

in one hope of our calling,

in Your divine and boundless love.

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Creation Book Corner 17 July 2014

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Claire's Creation Book Corner

17 July 2014

Do I sound like an overheated Brit? I feel like one. We're having a very warm summer. You may disagree with mainstream scientific opinion about the causes of climate change, but you can't disagree that it's happening. That's clear for all to see in the Arctic.

People in Greenland, Alaska, Northern Canada, Siberia and far Northern Europe are all reporting big changes in their local environments due to the warming of the planet. There's no land on the very top of the world. Animals that live there rely on the thick sea ice. Polar bears travel long distances across the ice to hunt out food for their young.

Unfortunately there's been overall decrease in the amount of ice cover since 1978. People who live in the Arctic region report that more polar bears are coming into their towns and villages, taking their food and putting lives at risk.

Another animal that's suffering is the walrus. These enormous lumbering beasts have started gathering on land, and crushing each other to death in terrible stampedes because there isn't enough sea ice.

The change in climate is affecting people too. It's becoming more dangerous for indigenous people to hunt out on the ice. The warmer temperatures mean that it isn't as stable as it used to be. Houses are also suffering from subsidence as the ground melts underneath them.

It's a shame that in some powerful countries like the United States, climate change has become such a political topic. Political tensions stop people from recognising that regardless of what's caused climate change, the places most affected by it need our help. That's why many people are campaigning for the Arctic seas to be made into a wildlife sanctuary. If this happens it means that animals there will have the chance to adapt to their new environment without humans making it worse for them.

As it is, now that there is less ice than there used to be, big businesses are making plans to exploit the Arctic. They want to send to send container ships through its waters and drill for oil in the seabed. It will be impossible for them to do that without making the Arctic dirty with oil, fuel residues, sewage and trash. The Arctic seabed is a unique environment and the small other worldly creatures that live on it evolved to survive extreme cold, in isolation from those on seabeds in other parts of the world. They are extremely sensitive to pollution from human activities.

It'd be a shame to lose beautiful creatures such as the polar bear, the walrus and their unusual looking seafloor friends. It will happen if we let money and the accumulation of riches matter more than the protection of the Arctic. Can you and your church community do something to support the call for an Arctic sanctuary?

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Pod - Psalm 25

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Psalm 25

25:1 To you, Yahweh, do I lift up my soul.
25:2 My God, I have trusted in you.
Don’t let me be shamed.
Don’t let my enemies triumph over me.
25:3 Yes, no one who waits for you shall be shamed.
They shall be shamed who deal treacherously without cause.

25:4 Show me your ways, Yahweh.
Teach me your paths.
25:5 Guide me in your truth, and teach me,
For you are the God of my salvation,
I wait for you all day long.
 25:6 Yahweh, remember your tender mercies and your loving kindness,
for they are from old times.
25:7 Don’t remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions.
Remember me according to your loving kindness,
for your goodness’ sake, Yahweh.
25:8 Good and upright is Yahweh,
therefore he will instruct sinners in the way.
25:9 He will guide the humble in justice.
He will teach the humble his way.
25:10 All the paths of Yahweh are loving kindness and truth
to such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
 25:11 For your name’s sake, Yahweh,
pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
25:12 What man is he who fears Yahweh?
He shall instruct him in the way that he shall choose.
25:13 His soul shall dwell at ease.
His seed shall inherit the land.
25:14 The friendship of Yahweh is with those who fear him.
He will show them his covenant.

25:15 My eyes are ever on Yahweh,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
 25:16 Turn to me, and have mercy on me,
for I am desolate and afflicted.
25:17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged.
Oh bring me out of my distresses.
25:18 Consider my affliction and my travail.
Forgive all my sins.
25:19 Consider my enemies, for they are many.
They hate me with cruel hatred.
25:20 Oh keep my soul, and deliver me.
Let me not be disappointed, for I take refuge in you.
25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.
25:22 Redeem Israel, God,
out all of his troubles.

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Think Spot 14 July 2014

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Think Spot 14 July 2014


G’day and welcome to Partake! Welcome also to Monday and our Think Spot together!

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We have the start of a new week! Its Monday! If you are a Christian, Jesus Christ wants to be number one in the life of all those who choose to follow him! Jesus wants supremacy over everything in our lives, including family, friends, and possessions!! Alas, that’s a cost too high for some! Within the Gospels, there is the story told of Jesus’ encounter with a man, who we shall call, Basil. Basil runs up to Jesus and wants eternal life, wants it now and asks Jesus about how to get it. He has fully kept the commandments listed by Jesus.

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However when Jesus said to Basil that in order to follow Him, he would have to give up all his wealth and possessions in order to have treasure in heaven and eternal life, Basil leaves disconsolate and shattered. The life of Basil, this rich young ruler, reflected a life of absorption with his own self-interest and self-importance!

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It was a step too far for Basil. He wanted his riches and also everlasting life, but Jesus said he couldn’t have both. He remains the only person that we know of, who left Jesus’ presence sorrowful, and that due to putting his trust in himself, his riches and wealth alone. Now riches, in and of themselves, are not necessarily wrong! But for Basil, well, he was not willing to make the sacrifice required to follow Jesus. He couldn’t count the cost of following Jesus– it was too high a price for him to pay!

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What have you given up in and as a result of your decision to follow Jesus? Making sacrifices to follow Jesus is all part of following of Jesus. Jesus demands His being number one and supreme over everything else in your life - yourself, family, others and material goods including money and possessions. Those areas of your life which God calls sinful, but you call it your right, your nature, just the way you are. God wants all of you for Himself! You can hand all things over to Him and if you ask the Holy Spirit to help you, it will be done much easier and with less struggle than if you try to do it in your own strength! Go into this new week, determined to be living for God in all facets of life, and then you will be salt and light for God in your community.

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Father, I pray that You would help us to trust in You and that You would help us to love You and others more fully, handing over to you those areas of our life which we are keeping our hands on! I 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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