google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2018 July

Archive for July 2018

POD - Psalm 66

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Psalm 66

For the Chief Musician. A song. A Psalm.

66:1 Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!
66:2 Sing to the glory of his name! Offer glory and praise!
66:3 Tell God, "How awesome are your deeds! Through the greatness of your power, your enemies submit themselves to you.
66:4 All the earth will worship you, and will sing to you; they will sing to your name."

Selah.

66:5 Come, and see God's deeds- awesome work on behalf of the children of men.
66:6 He turned the sea into dry land. They went through the river on foot. There, we rejoiced in him.
66:7 He rules by his might forever. His eyes watch the nations. Don't let the rebellious rise up against him.

Selah.

66:8 Praise our God, you peoples! Make the sound of his praise heard,
66:9 who preserves our life among the living, and doesn't allow our feet to be moved.
66:10 For you, God, have tested us. You have refined us, as silver is refined.
66:11 You brought us into prison. You laid a burden on our backs.
66:12 You allowed men to ride over our heads.
We went through fire and through water, but you brought us to the place of abundance.
66:13 I will come into your temple with burnt offerings. I will pay my vows to you,
66:14 which my lips promised, and my mouth spoke, when I was in distress.
66:15 I will offer to you burnt offerings of fat animals, with the offering of rams, I will offer bulls with goats.

Selah.

66:16 Come, and hear, all you who fear God. I will declare what he has done for my soul.
66:17 I cried to him with my mouth. He was extolled with my tongue.
66:18 If I cherished sin in my heart, the Lord wouldn't have listened.
66:19 But most certainly, God has listened. He has heard the voice of my prayer.
66:20 Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor his loving kindness from me.

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Think Spot 30 July 2018

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Think Spot 30 July 2018

 

We start this new week with a challenge! Each of us can make a difference in this world. Are you aware of that? Let's see what we can do together!

One of the most well-known bible verses is when Jesus says “Love your neighbour as yourself.” But did you know he is actually quoting from Leviticus 19:18b "love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord." What does that mean for us today?


As Christians we are to live right lives - to be holy. That is a fundamental about being a Christian. It means being practical and loving others - not just in words but in action. Not just saying I love you but showing that you do. It means sometimes doing things we don't want to do. Or not doing things we want to do. It means putting others first and ourselves last. It means not showing favouritism – to the rich or the poor, to the beautiful and the not so beautiful.


Loving others as yourself, does not mean loving yourself less. It means loving others more. It means holding the interests of others higher than your own. It means honouring others above yourself.


How are you doing at loving others - all others? Are you loving others generously & selflessly? Or are you saying you love them, but only on your own terms or only in words and not in action. Loving them selfishly by putting your own needs first and others after yourself.


Here is a challenge for you. Go into this new week determined to love others – all others – without favouritism. Each of us has ways in which we feel the love of others. We all have our own needs & wants. Ask somebody else today that what it is that you could do for them that would make them feel that they are loved and valued. You may well be surprised that it is something very simple and you would never have found out what it was unless you had asked.


Let's be committed to showing practical love to all we meet - one person at a time. Imagine the difference that could make to the world! WOW!

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Sermon - A God of Wonder

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Sermon

A God of Wonder - Genesis 1:1-19 & John 1:1-14

We read Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…”

This is that moment in time when God, who is outside of time and space, created the universe which is 90 billion light years across. Within this universe, He created galaxies, including our own, the Milky Way. Within the Milky Way, God created a Solar system which contains our Planet Earth. God created the planet Earth and placed it so that it would always be just the right distance away from the Sun in order to support life. Never too close and never too far away as the Earth orbits the Sun. Just right. Though I am sure there are some people here who think that in the past couple of weeks it has got a bit too close for comfort.

We see in this story from Genesis 1, that Almighty God created, hovered, separated, made, let be, gathered, called, saw, commanded, set, gave and blessed. He said let there be light, and there was! A great God of Wonder is He! Do you know this God?

For the remainder of this sermon, use the link to download the mp3. Thank you...

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Gems in the book of Revelation
(Authored by Roger Kirby)

Part 150 - Revelation 21:1-27
Final Destination

Where are we going when we die? The immediate answer is the presence of the Lord. He called it ‘paradise’ to the man crucified with him on the cross. Paul says “to be with Christ is better by far” (Philippians 1:23). But that is not the end of the story. Our final destiny is the resurrection, following Jesus who unexpectedly led the way being resurrected ahead of time. Ezekiel says in his 37:12, 13 “ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.”

Or as Jesus said in John 5:28, 29 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.”

Chapter 21 is John’s picture of what that will be like. We, in our resurrected bodies, will return to earth, a new glorious earth closely linked to heaven. This is what we pray for when we say “your kingdom come … on earth as it is in heaven”. This is John’s picture of the final days of the Kingdom that began in the gospels when Jesus walked this earth for the first time.

The best place John knew on earth was the city of Jerusalem before it was destroyed by the Romans, most probably before he was writing, so he enhances that to the most glorious vision he can think of. It is now a great cube 2200 kilometres in each dimension - a very unlikely shape for a city, but no matter, it is the perfect shape. The walls and streets are all made of gold. The gates were special, made of pearls. The foundations were all of precious stones.

It is brilliant - but totally impractical. It is a vision after all and like almost all the pictures of Revelation meant to convey a meaning rather than a reality. I think that means we can have our own visions of what this final earth and heaven will be like. If, like me, you do not like cities and avoid them if you can, then we can create our own image of the most lovely place on earth where we would like to be for ever. For me that is like a Scottish hilltop in the spring. Blue sky overhead, crisp snow, barely taking a boot mark, underfoot, clear air and a vision of range after range of snow covered hills stretching away into the distance!

That is my vision. What is yours? Let your imagination fly although you know the reality will be even better when you get to it.

Having excited our imaginations with his vision John tells us some important things about it in the final paragraph of the chapter. There will be no temple there (21:22) because there will no longer be any need for any sort of intermediary between us and the Lord. There is no need of the lights in the sky because the Lord God and the Lamb will lavish so much grace upon it, upon us. There is no limit to the access - the gates are not shut at night, as they would have been in the earthly Jerusalem - all those from any nation whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life can enter at will. All that is true, is noble, is right, is pure, is lovely, is admirable, all that is excellent or praiseworthy is welcome there. What a prospect, what a future, and it is ours!

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Partakers Friday Prayers

27 July 2018

 

Come and join in praying for the world and yourself, offering praises to God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit!

 

Order of Service

 

Opening prayer

Confession

Psalm 65

Prayers for Churches and Christians worldwide

Prayers for others

Silent time (Prayer for your own concerns)

Prayers for the world

Prayer of Benedict of Nursia

 

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Dave's Story

"Why am I a Christian?"

 

The Apostle John, writing in 1 John 5v9-12 - "We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

Why Is It So?

A testimony is an assertion offering firsthand authentication of a fact. For the Christian Disciple, classically it is generally expressed as how they became a Christian Disciple. But I think it is more than just how, and should expressly include why you are a Christian Disciple. I wonder what is your testimony about how you became a Christian Disciple? When was the last time you thanked our God for your testimony? Have you even thought about your testimony of how you became a Christian Disciple? I am sure you have all heard kids in the supermarket yelling out "Why?" to their parents. We all have, I am sure, questions we want to know the answer to. Why? The question I am often asked is "You are a Christian. Why is it so?" My father, was and remained throughout his life a convinced agnostic and in the few conversations we had about religion and Christianity, he could never understand why it was, that I could not just admit that I would never know if God existed or not, far less a God who was personally interested in me. My reply as ever, was that the very question "Why is it so?" needed to be answered, in order for me to be satisfied.

Why I am a Christian?

Now I could say that at the age of 12, we moved to a town on the coast of Australia, and was invited along to a local youth group and several weeks later, gave my life to Christ and became a Christian. Of course that is partly true. I can't even claim to be a Christian because I was raised in a Christian country. Australia was and is probably the second most secular country on this planet. Sure Australia has its moral base grounded in historic Christianity, but for the latter part of its history, Australia has been thoroughly secular and non-religious. Even if I had been raised in a country such as England, with Christian parents, that would also, only be partly true and I could have rejected Christianity as many people do. The reason that I am a Christian is not because I chased God, but rather He chased me. Unknown to me at the time, God was chasing me and following my every path with the urgency of a lover after the beloved, just as described in the Song of Songs 2:2-14.

God had been pursuing me

This piece of poetic Scripture speaks about the love that God has for his people, and the energy He puts in to calling his people to Himself. He is always reaching out, for all to return to His arms. As for me, it wasn't until I was a 12 year old that I heard that I needed to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Before that I didn't know I had to do anything with this Jesus. Jesus was only a curse word for me at the time. That or was just someone or something that the RE teachers bored me with at school. We are primarily Christians, not because we come to church services or just happened to have been born in a supposedly Christian country. We are primarily Christians, because God first chased and harried us into His arms. We are Christians, if you are one, because God first loved you. And as a tremendous lover, He beckons and calls people all the time to respond to His call, and back to Him.

How does He chase us with His love? He chases each person differently, just as each Christian testimony is different. Take for instance the Apostle Paul in Acts 8 & 9. God chased him through Paul's mind and his religious upbringing and education. Paul had known about God from his childhood. Paul was a righteous Pharisee who saw persecuting these ‘Christians' as his religious duty, so that he may somehow find favour with God. As Paul was gloating over the death of the martyr Stephen, God was pursuing Him, probably raising doubts in Paul's mind as to why Stephen would say at the point of death "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit and forgive them for what they do" (Acts 7v54-60). Surely doubts must have been raised in Paul's mind as he approved of this death (Acts 8v1). Paul was also wrestling with his conscience. Externally he was a righteous man, a Pharisee of Pharisees.

Yet when he internally examined himself and his heart, he found himself failing regarding covetousness, which is the last of the Ten Commandments. Then finally, Jesus himself makes a sudden and dramatic appearance before Paul and confronts him directly, "Why are you kicking against me? Why are you rejecting my advances?" (Acts 9) Paul's conversion to Christianity is often described as being sudden. But the only thing sudden about his conversion was this climatic appearance of Jesus.

Just as that was true of Paul, it is true of me, just as it is true of all those who profess to call themselves a Christian Disciple. I am a Christian Disciple not because of anything I have done, but rather because He first chased me, and because He first loved me. Jesus himself said "I came to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19v10).

If you are a Christian today, it is not because of anything you have done. It is because of the events at Christmas and Easter that you are a Christian, when God entered this world as a human baby and took all the necessary steps so that all people could have the choice to be His people or not. In my more smug moments I used to congratulate myself for being a Christian. How proud I was that I, was a Christian and that God was a jolly lucky God that I had decided to follow Him. It was during one of my less self-deluded moments, that I examined myself and I found God pricking my conscience and correcting me, and I read the New Testament "For the Son of Man came, not to be served but to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark10v45).

For more to think about please do ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

Q1. What were the events leading up to my choosing to be a Christian disciple which symbolize God running after me?
Q2. How am I, as a Christian Disciple, continuing to listen to God's voice?
Q3. Will I be ready to give my testimony the next time somebody asks me as to why I am a Christian?

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WOW Word 47 - Holiness

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Holiness

I wonder what the biggest fence, wall or barrier is that you have either seen or that you know about! Perhaps one of the biggest walls in the world is the Great Wall of China. It is seen from space and is over 4000 miles long, about 25 feet high and up to 30 feet thick! It is huge and enormous!! It was built to keep out invaders – for that is what walls and barriers do: Keep out enemies!

Holy Barrier

However big the Great Wall of China is, there is one barrier that is even bigger! I wonder if you know what it is!! The biggest barrier to exist is the one, which separates God from all His creation. This barrier is holiness, for God is a holy God. Ezekiel 1:27-28 gives us a vivid picture of the holiness of God and is seen in the fire, light, radiance, full of glory and majesty.

What is holiness?

Holiness is what separates God from all His creation. For God alone is holy and full of glory. Exodus 15:2 “Who is like you, O God, glorious in holiness!” Or Isaiah 60:25 “To whom will you liken me, or shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. Holiness is also a moral attribute of God, of purity and freedom from the stain of ALL sin. Habakkuk 1:13 “of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look upon sin. Holiness is still more than that! It is in fact the sum of all His attributes! God is holiness and holiness is God!

Holy People:

Perfect holiness, while to us is inconceivable, has been revealed; revealed in the sinless man, Jesus Christ. As a Christian, you also are declared holy! That is because of what Jesus did on the cross… He has broken down the barrier between God and man. And if you are a Christian, you are declared holy, and therefore you are to live a holy life worthy of Jesus Christ.! As a Christian, the Holy Spirit is transforming you into the very image of the holy one, Jesus Christ. As a Christian, you are no longer an enemy of God but a friend of God and belong to God! So live out your faith and live your Christian Discipleship in holiness.

 

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POD - Psalm 65

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Psalm 65

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David. A song.

65:1 Praise waits for you, God, in Zion. To you shall vows be performed.

65:2 You who hear prayer, to you all men will come.

65:3 Sins overwhelmed me, but you atoned for our transgressions.

65:4 Blessed is one whom you choose, and cause to come near, that he may live in your courts. We will be filled with the goodness of your house, your holy temple.

65:5 By awesome deeds of righteousness, you answer us, God of our salvation. You who are the hope of all the ends of the earth, of those who are far away on the sea;

65:6 Who by his power forms the mountains, having armed yourself with strength;

65:7 who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.

65:8 They also who dwell in faraway places are afraid at your wonders. You call the morning's dawn and the evening with songs of joy.

65:9 You visit the earth, and water it. You greatly enrich it. The river of God is full of water. You provide them grain, for so you have ordained it.

65:10 You drench its furrows. You level its ridges. You soften it with showers. You bless it with a crop.

65:11 You crown the year with your bounty. Your carts overflow with abundance.

65:12 The wilderness grasslands overflow. The hills are clothed with gladness.

65:13 The pastures are covered with flocks. The valleys also are clothed with grain. They shout for joy! They also sing.

 

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Think Spot 23 July 2018

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23rd July 2018

G'day and welcome to Partakers ThinkSpot! Listen to the audio and see how you are challenged to live your faith out this week!

 

The most famous verse in the Bible is probably this one. I wonder if you have heard or read it. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Isn’t that simply amazing! Love! God is love! Every exhibition of love, even by those who deny His existence, is an example of God’s love. God’s love is also seen in all tenses – past, present and future. Past - God has loved you. Present - God is loving you. Future - God will love you! Amazing! WOW!

 

Moreover, 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 Jesus died for the sins of the world on the cross, it was 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 we to respond to this love of God?

The Apostle John in 1 John 3:16 says “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Further on in 1 John 4:15-16, John writes “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, sacrificially, 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, if you are one, 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. Give people a smile! If you are happy, let your face show it to others! Help that work colleague! Help that unemployed person to find work. One of the greatest limitations you face in loving and serving other people is a severe lack of imagination! 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.

 

Prayer

Father, we thank you, that you are love! We thank you Jesus, that you demonstrated great love by going to the cross and showing your love for the world by dying on the cross! Holy Spirit enflame our imagination and cause us to desire to show love to others – even others who we think don’t deserve it! As we go into this week, O God, remind us to love you wholeheartedly and to love others sacrificially.

For we ask this, O Father of Love, in the name of the Son of Love, Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit of Love.

 

Amen.

 

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Exploring The Bible

66. Old Testament

Genesis

 

G'day and welcome to our series, "Exploring the Bible" This is also the title of our latest book available on Amazon by clicking here or visiting PulpTheology.com

Key Verses:

  • Genesis 3:13-15
  • Genesis 12:2-3

The first 11 chapters of The Book of Genesis tell of the creation of the world. They tell the story of the first human beings and their fall into sin. Sin spreads throughout the world, occasioning the flood.

The second part of the book, chapters 12 to 50 concentrates on God’s dealing with Abraham, the man he chose to correct the problems that human sin was causing, the one man through whom God promises to bring salvation and blessing to the whole world.

From Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, to Joseph, God’s promises begin to result in the nation whose mission it is to bring back the world of mankind to the love and service of the Lord. (They fail – Jesus is necessary!)

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Gems in the book of Revelation
(Authored by Roger Kirby)

Part 149 - Revelation 20:1-15
 
Cleansing and Judgment


And so we come to the great but perplexing chapter on judgement. We are glad to read of the final demise of the dragon and the beasts, which reflect all the evil on the earth, but it is difficult to know what to make of some of the circumstances. We have to remember that it has been fairly impossible to take almost anything in this book literally so far. It is strange if we can suddenly start to do so here.

I have neither the space nor the desire to say anything about the possible implications of the thousand years which have caused so much argument over the centuries. There are 3 major approaches known as the pre-millenial (the events described and those possibly discovered elsewhere in the New Testament occur before the thousand years), the post-millenial (the events occur after the millenium, and the a-millenial (the thousand years are not to be taken literally).

There are at least 5 things that follow from what is written in this chapter regardless of which belief (or none!) that you hold as to how it is all going to happen.

1. At some date in the future all evil will be eradicated from this world of ours. (Revelation 20:10)


2. This will not happen all at one clean sweep. There will be many problems before that final, very desirable, event occurs. (Revelation 20:1-9)

3. It will not all happen at the cosmic level. Human beings will be involved at certain stages before the evil is completely eradicated. (Revelation 20:4, 9)

4. Once evil is removed there will be a time of judgement. No one will be exempt from this. (Revelation 20:12, 13) My picture of how this will happen is: arrival at an airport in your home country. First you have to show your passport. If you have the right passport (we are citizens of heaven says Paul in Philippians 3:20) you are immediately welcomed into your home country, but you still have to go through the luggage checkpoint to see that you have no contraband in your cases. So, we too although welcomed because we are justified by faith - we have been promised now that we shall be welcomed by the Lord when we go to meet him - we are still to give account of what we have done in the years allocated to us since we set out to follow Jesus (1 Corinthians 3:12-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10-12). Like all illustrations, that one of mine is not perfect but it should help you to see what the scripture is saying. It is not the case that we are born again and need worry no more that all our future is without concern. That is a popular misunderstanding of the implications of being ‘born again’.

5. Not everybody is guaranteed a comfortable after life. (Revelation 20:15) what exactly will happen to them is much debated. A literal ‘lake of fire’ scarcely seems compatible with a God who is Love.

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Partakers Friday Prayers

20 July 2018

 

Order of Service

 

Welcome to Partakers Friday Prayers on Friday the 20th of July, 2018. Let us pray together!

Father, as we commence, let our hearts and minds be right before you.  May your everlasting mercy, grace and love be shown in hearing these petitions! Father, we come before you now as your children. We thank you that you are a personal and intimate God and that we can call you Father. We thank you that you are interested in every facet of every person. We thank you that you are an active and dynamic God and not a mere block of wood or stone that is placed on a shelf. Amen

2. The Prayer Jesus taught us

3. The World!

4. For church services and this world

 

 

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