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Archive for October 2018

WOW Word 60 - Truth

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WOW Word - Truth

~Today Alphy the WOWChurch Cat shares about

the WOW Word - Truth!

 

Truth! What is truth? Today we hear consistently that there are no absolute truths anymore! We hear all the time that for twenty first century people “What is true for me may not be true to you! What is true for you may not be true for me?”

So what is truth? Truth in the Old Testament was used in two ways…. Firstly, facts may be either true or false – an intellectual truth. An example would be that Moses existed as a person. That is a true fact. Or it could used to define a characteristic of a reliable person, such as Joseph’s brothers in Genesis 42:16.

These are also used to describe God as a true God, rather than the pagan gods belonging to the nations around Israel. Truth, or being true, is described as a characteristic of Yahweh, the God of Israel. He is consistently true and therefore trustworthy in all His ways. His loving care is trustworthy and seen in His dealings with Israel.

In the New Testament, Christianity, is seen as Truth (Galatians 2:5; Ephesians 1:13)! Indeed Jesus said that He was the only truth, the only life and the only way to God. Jesus is the true bread and the true vine! Furthermore, truth is God’s word to be obeyed actively and not dismissed passively.

What role does active truth and being actively true play in the life of a Christian? Truth develops character, Peter writes (2 Peter 1:3-9). The strongest Christians are those with a good growing knowledge of biblical truth. Since understanding the Bible increases your knowledge of God, it also increases the possibilities for love, growth and service. "Ignorance is the mother of superstition, not of devotion". "Truth combats error".

satan and the world, do and will, distort scripture to put people off the truth. Therefore, you need to get to know what the Bible does say, so that you will not be led into error by others who would want to deceive you. As John writes “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.” (1 John 4:1-3)

However, for truth to be effective, it needs to be an animated truth. This is done by being a doer of the Bible and not merely a passive hearer. Your life as a Christian must be a balance of love and truth. Both coexist with each other and through your knowledge, service and faith in Almighty God, you will continually grow and be strengthened.

~

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POD - Psalm 63

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Psalm 63

 

63:1 God, you are my God. I will earnestly seek you.
My soul thirsts for you. My flesh longs for you,
in a dry and weary land, where there is no water.
63:2 So I have seen you in the sanctuary,
watching your power and your glory.
63:3 Because your loving kindness is better than life,
my lips shall praise you.
63:4 So I will bless you while I live.
I will lift up my hands in your name.

63:5 My soul shall be satisfied as with the richest food.
My mouth shall praise you with joyful lips,
63:6 when I remember you on my bed,
and think about you in the night watches.
63:7 For you have been my help.
I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings.
63:8 My soul stays close to you.
Your right hand holds me up.

63:9 But those who seek my soul, to destroy it,
shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
63:10 They shall be given over to the power of the sword.
They shall be jackal food.

63:11 But the king shall rejoice in God.
Everyone who swears by him will praise him,
for the mouth of those who speak lies shall be silenced.

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Think Spot - 15 October 2018

 

 

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-  the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures  regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David,  and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name's sake. Romans 1:1-5

Jesus is Unique

The man of history who we know as Jesus Christ is unique - totally and completely unique! Never before and never to be repeated again - ever! Jesus Christ is the standout person from all of history! He is embedded resolutely in human history. In all of human history, Jesus Christ is incomparable!

Yet in human form, we read that during his earthly ministry he had no physical beauty that would draw people naturally to himself. We read that Jesus' body on the cross was disfigured and tortured beyond that of human likeness. His perfect life, His salvation work on the cross and His subsequent rising from the dead, is what makes Jesus Christ unique - a once and for all lifetime Messiah or Saviour for the entire world! 

This great God of creation, stepping into His creation as a human, with the purpose of reconciling the world back to Himself! WOW!! Jesus' uniqueness meaning I can have an active and dynamic relationship with God. As you go into this week may your relationship with God be active and dynamic! Go and thank Jesus Christ for his uniqueness which allows this to occur.

Prayer

Father, we thank you for Jesus Christ your Son! We thank you that because of Him, we can enter into a dynamic and active relationship with you! We ask this prayer and give you praise, through your Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside all those who are following! Amen!

 

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Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 6
Who is Jesus?

 

Jesus is the most talked about person in history. Almost everyone has an opinion about Him. He was born to confirm God's promises, to reveal God as a Father, and to be our representative before Him. He gave us an example of how to live life to the full. He was not merely a man who received some special power. He was not some strange creation that was half man and half God, with his human nature somehow absorbed into the divine. He was much more than those ideas as we will discover as we continue in through our studies about Him in this book.

God’s salvation plan for humans involved triumphant victory over sin, death and the grave. However, no person could be found that was eligible or capable to do this. Therefore, God stepped into human history, so that this victory could be achieved. This God-man would be fully human, so that he would be able to live every feature of humanity, including suffering and death. This God-man would also need to remain fully God, so that he would be able to defeat sin, death and the grave. God’s mission of salvation to earth is clearly seen in these words of his good friend and disciple, John:

16 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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:16-17).


Jesus, being sinless, was this God-man, consisting as he did of two complete natures, the God nature and the human nature. That is why Jesus being simultaneously fully God and fully human is essential. If Jesus Christ was not fully God and fully human, if he lacked in either way, he could not be the long-awaited Messiah. That Jesus is both God and human is what makes Christianity unique. It is why Jesus’ claims to be the only way to God are true and it is why millions of people today worship Him and acknowledge Him as their God. We investigate more about that next time. With that said, from what little we know of his childhood and early life, we know that Jesus grew in stature and wisdom amongst his peers and community (Luke 2:52)

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Highlights in Hebrews
Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)

Part 10 - Hebrews 3:14
Hold on tight

Or as the NIV has it “let us hold firmly to the faith we profess”. That is very good advice, perhaps particularly for older folk, like me. (Sorry - if you can count yourself still young. Though it is probably worth while reading or listening on because one day we may all hope to become old if the Lord does not take us early.) It is very easy as our natural vigour slides away from us to begin to lose the vigour of our faith. Once we used to spend a lot of time working with the Sunday School or the young people of the church- now we are too old; or we used to do a lot of preaching but now our voice is beginning to betray our age, our memory is not as good as it was and it takes us many more words to say something than it used to do; or we have simply been active around the church but now we are too arthritic, or lazy, to do so.

Some of that is natural. In fact we can divide what happens into two parts: there is natural energy and vigour and there is spiritual energy and vigour. We quite inevitably lose some of our natural energy as we get older. For some of us this becomes evident to us, and other people, as we get into our 60s or even 50s. For some it is not so evident even as we get into our 70s or 80s. This we cannot fight or do much about apart from aiming to keep ourselves active and fit as long as possible by exercising or walking nearly every day, assuming you do not live in one of the parts of the world where you are expected to work until you are completely incapable of doing so.

But our spiritual energy is another matter. To some extent it will fade as our natural energy fades but it is also true that we can control it better. It may well change its shape as we get older. But we can hold on firmly to our faith. We can pray more when we pass retirement age, or the need to work everyday. We will have more time to explore the foundations of our faith. We can aim to become more knowledgeable about scripture and more loving towards our Lord as we gain an ever increasing understanding of what he has done for us and therefore what he means to us. We may become much better equipped to be a mentor to a younger person. Fundamentally we never know when we may not be called to use some skill in the Lord’s service even in our very old age.

If I may intrude a personal comment: I, a mathematician by training, never for one moment expected that I would be writing short encouraging things for the Internet in my mid-eighties. But I am thrilled to be able to help Dave Roberts, who happens to be in the same church, in the wonderful work he is doing in reaching out to encourage and teach folk all round the world.

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Partakers Friday Prayers

12 October 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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Testimony - Sharon

The story of Sharon, from China, who converted to Christianity from Daoism/Buddhism. Please do listen to the mp3 online or takeway as a download... If you find this story encouraging, please do leave a comment... Thank you...

 

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WOW Word 35 - Born Again

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Born Again!

 

Come hear the explanation of today's WOW Word "Born Again"! It confused an ancient and educated Jewish leader, Nicodemus! It continues to confuse some people even today! Perhaps you? 

John 3:3-7 - Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’ Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’ ‘How can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.”

 

 

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POD - Psalm 128

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Psalm 128

A Song of Ascents.

Blessed is everyone who fears Yahweh, who walks in his ways.
For you will eat the labor of your hands.

You will be happy, and it will be well with you.
Your wife will be as a fruitful vine,
in the innermost parts of your house;
your children like olive plants, around your table.

Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears Yahweh.
May Yahweh bless you out of Zion,
and may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life.

Yes, may you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel.

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Think Spot - 8 October 2018


As I reflect upon the life of Jesus as given to us through the Gospels, I see that in his interaction with people he exhibits his loveliness. An example of this is found in Matthew 20:29-34


As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us.”
The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us.”
Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

See how Jesus exhibited his loveliness to those two men, through an act of compassion and mercy. Jesus gave those two men great joy in receiving their sight and enabled them to overcome the rejection by the crowd. Those two men could testify that Jesus is altogether lovely and lovely altogether. Jesus is beyond compare for the things He has done and the things He will do.

Jesus Christ is altogether lovely in regard to his divinity, humanity, birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, exultation, glorification, grace, protection, tenderness, power, wisdom, vengeance, judgment, majesty, redemption and pardon. Jesus’ loveliness means I can have His incomparable inner joy when I feel defeated, dejected and discouraged. Jesus oozes loveliness.

As you go into this week, remember that when you are feeling defeated, dejected or discouraged, that Jesus joy is inside you. Joy is not necessarily loud and obtrusive but also quiet and peaceful. Allow that joy of Jesus to carry you through. Let His loveliness embrace you and allow Him control over your circumstances.


A prayer to help you into this new week:

Father, we thank you for sending Jesus. We thank you Jesus that you are altogether lovely and lovely altogether. We thank you that you are with us when everybody else rejects, despises, defeats or discourages us.
Amen.

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Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 5
Jesus' Birth

 

The writer of the Gospel of Luke, tells us this about the birth of Jesus Christ


In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. (Luke 2:1-8)


That Jesus was a human male is not really disputed. The birth of Jesus is extraordinary at every level. The primary documents about him, found in the Bible, states that he was born of a woman, which tells us that at least in a prenatal state, Jesus was nurtured and formed as any other male baby is.

On the physical level, Jesus was born as any person is, but about his conception, he was conceived like no other person – conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). This was so that Jesus would not be given the sinful nature past that all humans have. Jesus was fully human and fully divine. Other documents, outside of the Bible from that period of time, also attest to Jesus and his existence.

Throughout the Old Testament, there is a witness to the birth of the Messiah, the Saviour. From the time of the first sin done by Adam, through the creation of Israel, the life of the Patriarchs and Kings and the oracles of the Prophets – all looking forward to the Messiah coming. The Covenants that God made with people all looked forward to when this Messiah, this Savour, this King would come and rescue Israel. This King was to be their hope, their Saviour.

Christians believe this Messiah King was Jesus Christ. Jesus’ genealogy takes his physical line back to Abraham via David. Abraham was the father of Israel and David the first King. He grew into maturity as any young Jewish boy did. Anything further than this, we have no historical record, although there are several unverified apocryphal stories circulating.

When Jesus was born, his name imbued the very reason he was born. His conception and birth were extraordinary at every level. So, important is our understanding of the birth of Jesus that no fewer than 4 angels come to give us a full picture of the event. Do you think that his parents, Joseph & Mary, or God, ever gazed upon him, and thought “How misnamed he is?” They did not, because they knew the very purpose for which he was born. The name Jesus means ‘one who saves’, or ‘a rescuer’. The entirety of his birth, life and death were centred on this very role - to save or rescue all those who would follow Him.

More about the events surrounding Jesus' birth next week

 

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Highlights in Hebrews
Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)
Part 9 - Hebrews 3:13

Working Together

Hebrews 3:13 tells us we should “encourage one another daily”. That was presumably good advice in those days when everyone lived on top of each other in very small and cramped accommodation. It does not work so well with many of us who may be living in one place, working in another and finding fellowship in a third place. In our last study I suggested that we should be careful to work out a schedule for our personal time with the Lord and stick to it - even if it was not the ‘approved’ version.


Exactly the same thing is true here. We need fellowship, preferably fellowship of the sort that encourages each other with the sort of friendly fellowship contact that a small group can give. We need to have a good schedule for such things and stick to it. Once a week in a big church building listening to a preacher is not really the best way to do this, popular though it is! If you live in one of those parts of the world where the small shops are closing and everyone does most of their shopping in big stores, supermarkets, then also driving to a big church once a week, or even less often, would seem to fit with that lifestyle. But we are people, naturally gregarious people, if not quite pack animals, who need human contact to live good and happy lives. Going in to a big church once a month for some entertainment is not what we were designed to do!

Some of you reading this may be those for whom Dave Roberts puts together his Partakers web site. If you cannot get out or meet other Christians because of ill health or safety concerns then the thoughts that he and some other people write are a good substitute. It is not ideal, face to face fellowship is always better, but it is much better than nothing.
As our writer goes on to say,
“ See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.” (Hebrews 3:12–14).

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