google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2016 October

Archive for October 2016

00:0000:00

TS.jpg

Monday Think Spot

31 October 2016


We read this in Luke 2:42-52 - Every year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they travelled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."

"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

And later on in his life, this event occurred!

Matthew 13:53-55 - When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?

Wise

Jesus is the ultimate wise man! As we read the Gospels, we see that when Jesus spoke words, people were amazed! They were astounded that He spoke with wisdom, elegance and yet with authority. They had never heard anyone speak like He did - with both grace and authority. The same is true today, if we are listening. That is why we read the Bible to find out what He would say to us. That is why we seek to hear Him speak to us and why we speak to Him. That is why preaching is to be seen as an act of worship - by both the preacher and the listener! Jesus' wisdom meaning I can ask Him for advice and seek His imagination to solve problems!

As you go into this week ask Jesus to help you, guide and speak to you through the Bible, regardless of what situation you face! Jesus, Son of God, the ultimate wise man!

Prayer

A prayer to help you into this new week. Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ! We thank you for the Bible! We thank you for godly men and women who preach and teach this wisdom of Jesus to us, explaining and exploring how we can put this wisdom into practise! May the Holy Spirit within each believer, rebuke and counsel, as that believer seeks to live a life worthy of Jesus Christ. Amen!

Thanks for joining us on Partakers ThinkSpot! See you again real soon!

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

WOW Tour USA 2016

00:0000:00
WT2016.jpg

WOW Tour USA 2016

We start a new series for these Sundays, whereupon I give some personal reflections on my recent 7 weeks in the USA...  During that time in the USA, I sought to enable and encourage others in their faith byteaching, training and most of all, WOWing for God! It is my prayer that I was able to do that for the glory and honour of God alone.

Today I look back at the Why I went, my accent or lack thereof, and I also share about a vision of me, that was given by God to a friend of mine, Jenny, about this WOWTour. Come and listen!

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

00:0000:00
JohnsGems.jpg

Gems in the Gospel of John

Part 73 - John 18:4
Who is in control?

As we move into chapter 18 John changes his style of writing quite abruptly. Up to this point he has concentrated on major incidents, mostly not covered by the other gospel-writers, exploring them in some detail. From here on he gives us a much more straightforward account of what happened following very much the same pattern as the other writers, with only detail changes as he added items of knowledge of what had happened which he had but they clearly lacked.


We need to note one all important fact about these next three chapters - easily missed. Who was in charge? Who was in control of what happened? We read in 18: 4 “Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” That is indicative of all that was to follow. The amazing fact is that he knew he was the one they wanted and all that was to follow. He was the one who asked who the arresting squad were after. He argued with Pilate as an equal even as the blood poured off his back and brow; He organised the future of his mother even as he hung on the cross; He directed events after his death and resurrection. Always it was Jesus who was in control even in the hour of his death and throughout the subsequent events.

Jesus did not just go knowingly to his death; he went deliberately; he went of set purpose; he went controlling what was happening when he might at any moment have changed his mind and called in squadrons of angels to the rescue. He had made himself of no reputation; he had taken on the form of a servant; he had humbled himself, he had become obedient to the wills and passions of other people – yet he was, in a strange way, still in control.

And why did he act in such a counter intuitive way? The answer is for you, for me. Isn’t that absolutely amazing!
“at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. … God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

John said in the introduction to his Gospel, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” It was very unclear then what John meant. Now we can see the full glory of it – the Glory. His glory was in his death, for us, for you, for me, which he carried out through every awful detail, in control, in command. The Lord of all the earth reigned in his death.

You can now purchase our Partakers books including Roger's latest - 

The Puzzle of Living - A fresh look at the story of Job!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or HomepageAdd to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

00:0000:00

PFP2013.jpg

Partakers Friday Prayers!

28th October 2016

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!

Prayers for the Persecuted Church

Sovereign God, we worship you and acknowledge that you know all of those who suffer in your name because they follow you. We remember those who are imprisoned for their faith and ask that they would join with the Apostle Paul to see that even though they remain captive, their chains have furthered the gospel, not frustrated it. May they inspire and embolden their fellow believers to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. Amen

God of all comfort, for those who are tortured both in body and mind, give them the grace to endure and to see their suffering as part of following in Christ’s footsteps. Merciful God, for those asked to pay the ultimate price; who are martyred because of their love for you, may they truly know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Amen

Father God, for those who are widowed and orphaned may they know the comfort that comes from your promised presence even when they walk through the valley. May they be strengthened by your Spirit, enabling them to rejoice with the psalmist as they proclaim that the LORD will not abandon them in death. Amen

Heavenly Father, we ask that you would make us ever mindful of our brothers and sisters around the world who need us to stand with them as they suffer in your name. Teach us what it means to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony; we pray that we would not love our lives so much as to shrink from death.

We ask these things O Father, through the name of Your Son, Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us. Amen


 

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

~Click on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

00:0000:00


Walking with Jesus 01


We start this series, Walking With Jesus, today by looking at Jesus and asking if the Jesus of Matthew 16 is the same Jesus you are walking with. There are many pictures of Jesus, but which one are you walking through life with?

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me." (Matthew 16:24)


Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!



Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

00:0000:00

think_spot.jpg

Think Spot 24 October 20116

Right mouse click here to download as a MP3 audio file

Have you ever wondered what constitutes a growing church? Do you know that it isn't just a list of names on the church roll or a social club. Neither is it a large number of people who have made "decisions for Christ". So, what constitutes a church which is living and growing in both spiritual quality as well as numbers? Here are 4 pointers for you as a Christian to go into the week thinking about how you can contribute to the church you attend:1. Full of 'Kingdom of People' - people who declare Jesus is Lord, reflecting His values in word thought and action.2. Full of people who are filled with the Holy Spirit, that is people who allow their lives to be totally controlled by the Spirit, and letting the Spirit flow through them.3. Full of people involved within their local community, utilizing their spiritual gifts for the glory of God.4. People whose lives are oriented around

  • Commitment to Jesus Christ - following Jesus' commandments, and learning daily hww to be more like Him.
  • Commitment to the Body of Christ, the Church; Loving the Body and Bride of Christ just as Jesus loves the Church.
  • Commitment to working within the local community - utilizing the gifts God has given them (and everybody has them you know!) for the glory of God and exhortation of the other people.

There is no such thing as a full Christian life without those three things in the above set priority - Jesus, church, community. If the priority is shifted in any area then our priorities are wrong. Christians aren't to just to be Christians on a Sunday but 7 days a week. Not just to associate with other Christians, but to affect their local community throughout the week for the glory of Jesus Christ. To do this, this week, think about these questions:

  • Am I fully committed to Jesus and His teachings?
  • Am I fully committed to working within my Church?
  • Do I want the Church to grow in quantity and quality?
  • Am I fully committed to my local community and seeing Jesus glorified within it?

Go into the week, knowing God can use you to help extend His kingdom in your local community. Thank you.

Right mouse click here to download as a MP3 audio file

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

Psalm On Demand - Psalm 56

00:0000:00

podintro.jpg

Psalm 56

A poem by David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.


1 Be merciful to me, God,
for man wants to swallow me up.
All day long, he attacks and oppresses me.
2 My enemies want to swallow me up all day long,
for they are many who fight proudly against me.
3 When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
4 In God, I praise his word.
In God, I put my trust.
I will not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?

5 All day long they twist my words.
All their thoughts are against me for evil.
6 They conspire and lurk,
watching my steps,
they are eager to take my life.
7 Shall they escape by iniquity?
In anger cast down the peoples, God.

8 You number my wanderings.
You put my tears into your bottle.
Aren’t they in your book?

9 Then my enemies shall turn back in the day that I call.
I know this, that God is for me.
10 In God, I will praise his word.
In Yahweh, I will praise his word.

11 I have put my trust in God.
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
12 Your vows are on me, God.
I will give thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered my soul from death,
and prevented my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of the living.

Right mouse click to save this Podcast as a MP3.

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!



Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

00:0000:00


Gems in the Gospel of John

Part 72 - John 17:21

Solidarity



Now, after praying for himself and his apostolic band Jesus prays for all those who will follow his teaching passed on to them from the apostles. That is – for you and me! Have you got that – Jesus prayed for you? It is so easy to overlook the enormity of that. But that is what he said: “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us”. That is hard to get your mind round properly. What did he mean when he used that simple little word ‘in’? It is not too hard to understand in that Jesus and God were ‘in’ each other but how can we possibly be ‘in’ Jesus and God. That kind of identity with some one else is particularly hard for Westerners with their culture’s great emphasis on individuality to get their minds round.

The only place in our culture where we get anything like that level of group solidarity seems to be in football team supporters (of whatever sort of football). It would not be at all surprising to hear one Manchester United (ManU) supporter say to another, “we have never been the same since Alex Ferguson retired!” but the big question in that statement is ‘who are ‘we’? Neither of the supporters will be likely to have ever played for ManU; neither of them may even be members of the supporters club, or have any significant connection to the team except for turning up at some of their home games – and maybe not even that. Yet the level of identification with ManU is such that ‘we’ is the appropriate pronoun. (And I am sure you can replace ManU with some other team identifier – at least if you are male!) Why? It is something to do with the sense of personal identification of the supporters. They are solid in support of ‘their’ club, hence the use of the word ‘solidarity’ to express this sense.

I am sure you will see where I am going. It is that sense of solidarity that Jesus is praying may be ours.

Unfortunately some Christians have seized on these verses and interpreted them as a command to bring churches together in an organisational sense, rather than a spiritual one. The result has been the World Council of Churches, which has had a very chequered career. Churches that give all authority to scripture tend to keep away from that organisation but, if you have ever been abroad and reliant on Christians from other churches, you will know that the label we bear is of little significance compared to our allegiance to the Lord.

There is one other important thing to note in these last few verses of his prayer. Jesus tells us what the glue is that makes this level of solidarity possible. It is love. The sort of love we looked at a few weeks ago. Love which starts with steady development as we move into the area of this sort of Jesus based love, and then moves on to action and great deepening. The love which comes down from him to us and that we must then allow to spill out sideways from us to other people, the rest of the world.

Finally, note the result: if there is even a small amount of this in our experience we shall see his glory, “the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (17: 24)<

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books including Roger's latest - The Puzzle of Living - A fresh look at the story of Job!

Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!



Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

00:0000:00


Gems in the Gospel of John

Part 71 - John 17:17

Set apart



At first in Chapter 17 Jesus prayed for himself. Now, in verses 16 – 19 he prays for the small apostolic band that had been with him for the 3 years of his ministry, faithfully, doggedly, sometimes not understanding at all, but still with him. So the detail of what he wanted to happen to them is not for us - but the principles are, and they are quite clear. For the very first time in John’s Gospel we get the word ‘holy’ and the words ‘sanctify’ which mean ‘make holy’ twice. The basic meaning of the word ‘holy’ is simply ‘set apart’. Unfortunately in common usage, in English anyway, it has come to mean being a bit lost in religiosity, a bit disconnected from reality, not quite with the rest of the world – which thought connects with the original meaning of ‘set apart’. But Jesus has just been talking about the way that although he was soon to leave the world, they were to remain in it. They were stuck in it. He was not talking about any possibility of them withdrawing to a special group for living and going into the world of ordinary people as little as possible.

What Jesus wanted his followers to be was set apart from the rest of the world but playing a full part in it. But there are right and wrong ways of being set apart. It is not about outward appearance; things like the clothes we wear. Paul told the women of the church in Corinth off because the way they did their hair and the things they wore, or didn’t wear, on their heads made them stand out from other women. They could be identified in the street. We used to drive to church in Glasgow some Sunday evenings and be passed by a car. Ooh look, we would say: there are the Christians going to church as we saw the car was full of women wearing hats such as no one else wore except to very special occasions. They were quite wrong to do that. In obeying the letter of scripture they were contradicting its principle completely.

No. we are to be set apart but not that way. It is about setting ourselves apart from language full of sexual innuendo, from groups wallowing in gossip, from the modern equivalent of idolatry such as the close worship of a sports team, from drinking parties or drug parties. Only if we set ourselves apart from these things can we have any hope of being fully accepted by the Lord as one of his. Yes, we shall have been saved but only as through fire and flood.

There is a big problem here. Different churches in different countries view this differently. Some think the follower-of-Jesus should try to be as much like the ordinary guy in the street as possible so as to remove any potential barrier to him visiting church. Other churches try to be closer to the view we see that Jesus took here, arguing that those were very different days and a very different culture.

The most important thing to do is to think about the situation you are in and not let a situation develop which is not appropriate because you have not thought and prayed about it. There are right and wrong ways of going about everything like this. I remember going to work in a small firm. One of my predecessors had been a declared Christian. I don’t know what he did but he succeeded in upsetting just about everybody he came into contact with. I have to confess that as a result I kept my head down seeking to avoid conflict. He was wrong; I was wrong. There must be a right middle way somewhere between those two extremes. Seek it; find it

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books including Roger's latest - The Puzzle of Living - A fresh look at the story of Job!

Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!



Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »