google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2018 October

Archive for October 2018

WOW Word 10 - Evangelism

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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

WOW Word - Evangelism

~Today Alphy the WOWChurch Cat shares about

the WOW Word Evangelism!

 

All Christian Disciples are called to do the work of evangelism. Not everyone is called explicitly to be an evangelist, such as Billy Graham. However. All Christian Disciples and Disciples are called to tell and show others about Jesus Christ and the good news which He alone can offer. That is evangelism. I know it is a word that scares a lot of people who call themselves a Christian. But what can we learn and overcome to do this basic of the Christian faith? Download the mp3 using the link below to learn more.

Evangelism – how is that for a WOW word!!

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POD - Psalm 130

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Psalm 130

 

 

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

1 From the depths of despair, O Lord,

I call for your help.

2 Hear my cry, O Lord.

Pay attention to my prayer.

3 Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,

who, O Lord, could ever survive?

4 But you offer forgiveness,

that we might learn to fear you.

5 I am counting on the Lord;

yes, I am counting on him.

I have put my hope in his word.

6 I long for the Lord

more than sentries long for the dawn,

yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

7 O Israel, hope in the Lord;

for with the Lord there is unfailing love.

His redemption overflows.

8 He himself will redeem Israel

from every kind of sin.

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Think Spot - 29 October 2018

 

When we are going through a difficult time, as we all do at one time or another, it is sometimes hard to believe that you are the apple of Gods eye. God gave me a picture once. I asked God what I was worth. God tied a tag round my neck with a piece of string, the kind of price tag that they have in old fashioned shops. The tag read £10, then he removed the tag and replaced it with one that read £100, then he removed that one and replaced it with one that had £1000 on it. He replaced the £1000 price tag with one that read £100,000 and then replaced that one with a million pound price tag. The final price tag simply had ONE LIFE written on it. I find it mind blowing that God chose to let His Son die a hideously painful death so that I can enjoy a personal relationship with him that I am so valuable that even if I was the only human being that existed, God would have allowed Jesus to die on a cross for me. Remind yourself of this fact frequently and you will get a glimpse of your father's heart. He loves you to bits and is proud of you no matter what you have done in the past - if you have said sorry and meant it - it is forgotten. The slate is completely clean.

To learn more about this most fascinating of topics and commands, download the mp3 using the link below.

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Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 8
Witnesses to Jesus

In our last episode, we looked at the witness of John the Baptist, as to the true identity of Jesus Christ. Today we continue by looking at 2 more witnesses: God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

 

Witness 2 & 3

Jesus presents Himself John for baptism. John at first refuses to do it (Matthew 3:13-15). Why so? Because John knew that Jesus was the perfect Son of God, and as such had no need to repent of sin. Through his baptism, he identified with all sinners that he came to save. We have seen already that it is the start of his public ministry (Acts 1:21-22, 10:37-38). But why did Jesus get baptized?

In replying to John’s initial refusal to baptize him, Jesus said: “…it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). This looks forward Jesus’ death on the cross, because it is only through the baptism of suffering that Jesus endured on the cross, that God can fulfil all righteousness. The “us” referred to means Father, Son and Spirit. When Jesus came up from the water, God the Father spoke from heaven and identified Him as the beloved Son of God, and the Spirit visibly came upon Jesus in the form of a dove.Witnesses as to who Jesus was from God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. So, who was this Jesus? What was so special about him, that he would go on to be the person we are studying today, some 2000 years after his death? As Christians, we think that Jesus was not only fully human but is also fully God – the God-man.


Jesus - Son of God


"the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God." (Luke 3:38).

The first man, Adam, had come into the world bearing the true image of a son of God, but, when Adam actively disobeyed God, that image was marred and scarred due to sin entering the world. All of humanity that is, except for Jesus Christ.

The voice from God the Father ratified Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus was not a son of God as some may claim, but the one and only Son of God. This genealogy recorded by Luke, points to the unbroken relationship between Jesus and God Himself. Jesus is, as Adam was, before Adam’s disobedience against his maker & creator, God.


Jesus - Son of Man (Matthew 3:23-38)


The genealogy here reminds us that the Son of God was also the Son of Man, born into the world, identifying with the needs and problems of mankind. Through the genealogy, we see down through the generations Jesus’ link to Adam and ultimately God.

The phrase “the son of” generally means any remotely connected descendant or ancestor. It is a reminder that Jesus, being Joseph’s legal son was part of a human family, tribe, race and nation. Jesus’ line goes back through the Old Testament from Joseph to King David to Judah, Jacob, Isaac and Abraham, to Methuselah to Noah and Adam. The genealogy, with its link to David, shows Jesus’ right to ascend to David’s throne (Luke 1:32-33).

The genealogy also shows Jesus’ total human-ness, and because he is linked to Adam, identifies with all humanity and not just the ancient nation of Israel. But there is one difference between Jesus and all other humans. In that Luke, doesn’t stop the genealogy at Adam, as he would have for all other humans, Luke ultimately leads and links Jesus to being God’s Son. We investigate that in the next podcast of this series.

 

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Highlights in Hebrews
Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)

Part 12 - Hebrews 4:12-13
Under the knife.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

It is hard for us to see any benefit in the work of a sword. The writer will not have known anything about a surgeon’s scalpel so he could not have used that picture for what he wanted to say. But that does not stop us doing so. A surgeon’s scalpel, that little thin knife, is probably the sharpest sort of blade that there is around these days so it would make a good illustration.

‘The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any surgeon’s scalpel ….’few of us modern people will not at some time in our lives had to willingly submit ourselves to a surgeon carrying out an operation on us. He (or it may have been a she) may have had to sort out some part: a finger, an arm or a leg, that got broken. He will cut to make it better, to ensure that things naturally heal in the way that they should and not in some twisted way that will leave us permanently crippled. Or there may have been something wrong with one of the major organs in our body and he has had to go deeper in and try to sort things out. Yes, a surgeon’s scalpel is a better illustration of what the writer wants to say than a double-edged sword because its purpose is beneficial

The word of God that the writer was thinking about would almost certainly have been mainly the Old Testament. It may, or may not, (we don’t know when this book was written) have included any of the New Testament we know, but will almost certainly have included information about the life and words of Jesus. Our Bible has both Testaments, of course. Paying close attention to these Words of God will not always be a comfortable process. Sometimes, it will cut deep in order to straighten us out, make sure we do not get twisted in our thinking, keep us long term healthy when things were beginning to go wrong.

Make sure that you live a long and healthy life by paying close attention to the wonderful Word of God that we have in the scriptures. Sometimes they may cut deep to sort us out so that we continue along the good and narrow way. That will then ensure that we reach the ‘rest’ we were thinking about a few verses back, the Kingdom of God both in this life and the next. Another psalmist said, (Psalm 119:11) “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” The writer of Hebrews was thinking of what we should do; the Psalmist was more concerned with the outcome.

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

26th October 2018

 

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!

 

Prayer of St Patrick

Lord,
be with us this day!

Within us to purify us;
Above us to draw us up;
Beneath us to sustain us;
Before us to lead us;
Behind us to restrain us;
Around us to protect us.

Amen.

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Jesus and You 2

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WOW Word 33

God of Love

 

John 3:16 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.

1 John 4:16 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.

We live in a world that is in love with love. Love, according to some people, is what makes the world go around. In the Bible, God’s love is revealed. The Apostle John in 1 John 4 does not simply say that God loves, but rather that God is love.

How is God love? How is God's love revealed today? How is that relevant to you?

Play or download the video below to hear Alphy the WOWChurch cat explain more and how this affects you as a Christian in the 21st century!

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POD - Psalm 135

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Psalm 135

 

1 Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord! Praise him, you who serve the Lord,
2 you who serve in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; celebrate his lovely name with music.
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel for his own special treasure.
5 I know the greatness of the Lord- that our Lord is greater than any other god.
6 The Lord does whatever pleases him throughout all heaven and earth, and on the seas and in their depths.
7 He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses.

8 He destroyed the firstborn in each Egyptian home, both people and animals.
9 He performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt against Pharaoh and all his people.
10 He struck down great nations and slaughtered mighty kings-
11 Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan, and all the kings of Canaan.
12 He gave their land as an inheritance, a special possession to his people Israel.
13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever; your fame, O Lord, is known to every generation.
14 For the Lord will give justice to his people and have compassion on his servants.

15 The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands.
16 They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see.
17 They have ears but cannot hear, and noses but cannot smell.
18 And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.
19 O Israel, praise the Lord! O priests-descendants of Aaron-praise the Lord!
20 O Levites, praise the Lord! All you who fear the Lord, praise the Lord!
21 The Lord be praised from Zion, for he lives here in Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!

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Think Spot - 22nd October 2018

 

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.

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!

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Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 7
Witnesses to Jesus

 

21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry.  Luke 3:21-23

Jesus’ baptism, is the commencement of Jesus’ public ministry. Jesus is now about 30 years old. John the Baptist precedes all Gospel accounts of the start of Jesus’ ministry, and this is because repentance before God is the key to starting a new life in God’s Kingdom.


Witness 1- John the Baptist

When John came (Luke 3:1-2) – When John the Baptist appeared on the scene, no prophetic voice had been heard within Israel for almost 400 years. His coming was part of God’s perfect timing, for everything that relates to God’s Son is always on time (John 2:4; John 13:1; Galatians 4:4).


How John came (Luke 3:3) – Dressed and acting like the Old Testament prophet Elijah, John came to the area near the River Jordan, preaching and baptizing. He announced the arrival of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 3:3) and urged all people to repent of their sins against God and to repent quickly and fervently. John’s baptism looked forward to the coming of the long waited for Messiah, as promised throughout the Old Testament.


Why John came (Luke 3:4-20) – John the Baptist was a voice crying out in the wilderness. This is a reference back to the ancient prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 40:1-5) and recorded for us by both Luke (Luke 3:4) and the Apostle John.
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.
20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Messiah.’
21 They asked him, ‘Then who are you? Are you Elijah?’
He said, ‘I am not.’
‘Are you the Prophet?’
He answered, ‘No.’
22 Finally they said, ‘Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us.
What do you say about yourself?’
23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Make straight the way for the Lord.”’
(John 1:19-23)

Spiritually speaking, the nation of Israel was living in a state of unbelief and twisted spiritual reality. The people desperately needed to hear a voice from God, and John was that faithful voice. It was John’s work to prepare the nation for the Messiah and then present the Messiah to them. John is compared to an axe man cutting down trees that down bear fruit (Luke 3:9) or a farmer who burns useless chaff (Luke 3:17). Many Jews of the time thought they were destined for heaven simply because they were descended from Abraham. A belief that was a misreading of their Scriptures.


John the Baptist spoke boldly and straight forward. We see this clearly throughout the Gospel record. In Luke 3:7, John depicts the crowds as snakes. John the Baptist also was a teacher. He taught people to live their new faith (Luke 3:10-14). Additionally, he told them not to be selfish, but to share their blessings with other people. Tax collectors were told by John to do their work honestly. Soldiers were to stop using their jobs for personal gain. John clearly stated that Jesus was “the Lord” (Luke 3:4) and the Son of God (John 1:34).

But as we shall see next week, John was not alone in being an eyewitness of the man we know as Jesus Christ. Who were these other witnesses? We investigate that in the next of this series.

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Highlights in Hebrews
Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)

Part 11 - Hebrews 4:11
Seeking rest

“Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:11

‘Rest’ now there’s a thing! I hope you manage to get some even if you are a young Mum with several children , a farmer striving to get enough to eat out of a patch of not very good ground, or a busy executive in industry. Our writer never says very much about what he means here, thus indicating that the expects us all to know what ‘rest’ is. He has at least four different sorts of rest in mind:


1. ‘Rest’ is an essential and totally necessary part of the world we live in because even the Lord God rested ‘from all his work’ (Genesis 2:2). Rest is an essential part of creation.
2. Having set this example to all creation it became part of the law set out for all the people of God in Exodus 20: 8 - 11. Leviticus 16:29-31 even associates the day of rest with the cleansing of atonement. Unfortunately it became, and still is, one of the walls built around Israel to keep others, Gentiles, out. So that, instead of being a good thing it became a bit of a bad thing.
3. The Psalmist in Psalm 95:8-11 thinks of the Promised Land, towards which they journeyed through the desert, as a place of rest. There they would be able to settle down, stop travelling and putting up tents every night, build houses, cultivate the land and by generating a little more than they actually needed become richer and be able to have some leisure. Unfortunately that did not go well. They were not obedient in all they did as they travelled; they ‘hardened their hearts and ‘tried’ the Lord making him angry with them, thus delaying their arrival in the land by forty years (Psalm 95: 9, 10) thus serving as a warning to those for whom the psalmist was writing not to behave as they did.
4. The writer to the Hebrews uses all this background as a warning to his readers, including us, about how to behave. He does this by laying emphasis on the word ‘Today’ thus connecting the words of the psalm with the situation of his readers, like us. It is not completely clear what he now means by ‘rest’. He calls it a Sabbath rest but seems to mean something rather more than a weekly day off. One way of thinking of it is as entry into the Kingdom. In the Kingdom of God we will be able to rest; we shall no longer be struggling to gain acceptance by God because Jesus has secured that for us by his death on the Cross; when our days here are done we shall move, still within the Kingdom, into the glory where we shall surely have the real and final ‘rest’.

‘Rest’ number 4 takes us back to number 1 and the greater glory. ‘Rests’ numbers 2 and 3 are but stepping stones on the way. In a practical every day way these things are important. There is a realisation amongst those who know such things that there is a limit to how much work a person can do in a week. If someone is overworked in terms of hours, or demand on them, they become less effective than if they have a reasonable amount of rest. In our society that used to be accomplished by most people taking a Sunday/Sabbath rest. Shops were shut. Fields were not ploughed. By far the greater number of people in our society did not have any work to do on a Sunday.

All that has now changed. In our society the urge to get as many sales and therefore as great an income as possible means many people now have to work on a Sunday. Since the same number of people have the same amount of money to spend (allowing for the increase in population and general levels of affluence) it is hard to see who has benefited by this change. It just makes it harder for ordinary people to get an adequate amount of rest. As so often the Biblical, God-given way of doing things was, and is, better than that developed by ever greedy human beings. I hope you do not have to work beyond gaining a reasonable amount of rest, day by day and week by week.

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