google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2018 November

Archive for November 2018

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Partakers Friday Prayers

30 November 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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God Roars 1

God Roars!

God Roars - How?

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I once heard a lion roaring! He was in London zoo and I was in Regents Park in the quiet of the early morning. I wasn't able to make him roar. That happened in his own time, usually when he was alone early in the morning, when things were quiet and still. Then, his roar would bellow over the trees and buildings, cutting right through any traffic noise. Has God ever roared? As Christian Disciples, we believe that God has indeed roared. We believe that God has spoken to this world because He loves this world. 1 John 4:16 tells us that God is love. Part of love is a desire to both know, and to be known. That is why the prophets spoke and the Bible were written. This is why God became man in Jesus Christ, because God wanted to know and be known in the fullest, human way possible. God roars or speaks to the world by three methods.:

  • Revelation: where God has caused the truth to be revealed.
  • Inspiration: Where God causes the truth to be recorded.
  • Illumination: because God causes the truth to be understood.

These three words, revelation, inspiration and illumination are what Christian Disciples believe about the Bible. It is God's revealed word about His Son Jesus Christ, inspired by His Holy Spirit and only illuminated within us, as we seek Him earnestly.

God Roars by Revelation.

Revelation is how God has communicated truths to people, who otherwise would not know them. The story of creation in Genesis 1 and 2 is a good example of this. As humanity was not created until the sixth day, it must have been God who revealed the knowledge about what occurred on the first five days to the author of Genesis, or it would not be possible to know what occurred. We know God did speak to those who wrote the Bible; but how did He speak? Was it in Hebrew? Greek? Some form of angelic language? We know that He spoke to them in their own language, as he did to young Samuel in the temple. Samuel at first thought that the voice was that of Eli the priest.

At other times God spoke through angels, as when the angel Gabriel informed Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. Another method of communication used by God was through dreams and visions. An example of this is in the birth story of Jesus Christ, whereby the wise men were warned in a dream not to return to King Herod. God has also communicated by way of a burning bush and from within of a cloud. God has even spoken through a donkey, as the prophet Balaam can testify! In the Old Testament, often God spoke through the "Angel of the Lord", which some believe to have been Jesus before He came to earth as a human. The Bible, as God's written word, is revelation because through its pages, the Bible reveals the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

God Roars by Inspiration.

The actual word inspiration is only found once in the New Testament, where Paul explicitly states, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" or more literally "God-breathed." Divine inspiration naturally proceeds from divine revelation. Whilst through revelation God speaks to man's ear, it is by inspiration that God works the pen, thus ensuring that the message is written correctly. This process of inspiration has several theories attached to it. One theory called the content theory, suggests that the author garnered the main idea from God, but God allowed the writer to choose his own words.

Another is the natural theory, whereby the Biblical writers were inspired in the same sense that William Shakespeare was inspired. God did not suppress the writers' personalities. For example, the differences between the writing style of John and the writing style of Paul are easily recognizable. However, Jesus said that God chose the very letters of the words. This view states that God inspires all the words of the Bible. God was able to use humans, even with their limitations to say all that He needed to say. God wanted to communicate to ordinary people, so He used ordinary people to write and produce the Bible.

In response to temptation by satan, Jesus said that man is to live by each of these God inspired words. Writers in the bible, such as Peter that knew their writings were being God guided. Peter said this was true of the Old Testament authors, his own writings and also true of Paul's. However inspiration does not guarantee the inspiration of any translation of the Bible, but only of the original manuscripts written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic.

God Roars by Illumination

God has spoken and He has communicated His Written Word to us. Firstly by revelation when God spoke to the writers. Secondly, through inspiration as the writers were divinely guided by God, in the process of writing His message. However, in order to understand God's revealed and inspired message, illumination is required. This is where God causes the Bible to be understood by both the human heart and the mind. Why do we need of illumination? Without illumination the reader of the Bible, is blinded by both his nature and by Satan. Just as a light bulb needs power in order to give light, so does the Bible need somebody to provide the power!

The person, who does this illuminating, is God the Holy Spirit. He was promised by Jesus to illuminate the Bible to the hearts and minds of all people willing to listen, both Christian and non-Christian. Take for example the Holy Spirit's use of God's Word to illuminate sinners at Pentecost, where after hearing Simon Peter preach, three thousand people became Christian Disciples. However, as a Christian Disciple, you also need this illumination to help you understand God's Word. The Holy Spirit will show these tremendous truths to you as you read the Bible regularly, and ask for His help in understanding it. He will not contradict what the Bible says! By the Holy Spirit illuminating the Bible, people's lives are transformed and changed. By way of the Holy Spirit illuminating the Bible as God's inspired written word, God's Living Word Jesus Christ is revealed.

So, why not pray for His help when ever you read the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate it to you?

For more to think about, please read in the Bible, 2 Timothy 3:14-16; Deuteronomy 29:29; Isaiah 59:21; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16. 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.

1. What are the 3 methods in the Bible that God has used to speak to the world, and how would you define them?

2. Write down some examples from the Bible of "revelation".

3. What are the roles played by God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in regards to the Bible?

4. Can you tell the difference between two writers, such as the writer of 3 John and the writer of 2 Peter?

 

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WOW Word 14

Watch Now:

 

Alfie brings you a WOW Word

 WOW Word - Christ

Our WOW Word today is Christ! We are approaching the Christmas season. I wonder if you know what the word Christ means and where it comes from? The word Christ is the New Testament word for the Old Testament word, Messiah. So we look to the Old Testament first, in order to understand what the New Testament word Christ means! It was appended to His name in the New Testament, as a way of expressing who He was! Play the video to discover what Alphiy the WOWChurch Cat has to say and/or download the file to take away! Bless ya! 

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POD - Psalm 127

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Psalm 127

 

 A Song of Ascents. By Solomon

1 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.

Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat

- for he grants sleep to those he loves.

3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD,

children a reward from him.

4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.

5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

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Think Spot 26th November 2018

As part of our living as followers of Jesus, here is something which has the capability of affecting every person on the planet.

Jesus, our Master, said in Matthew 12:36-37 "But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgement for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Jesus took words and thoughts extremely seriously. Jesus’ words encouraged others gently towards paths of right living. He spoke words of love, kindness, rebuke, forgiveness, encouragement and blessing upon and to others. Jesus is to be our guide and Master in the use of thoughts and words.

In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus equates calling somebody a fool with the physical act of murder. Murder has its beginning in anger developing into uncontrollable rage. Improper attitudes, words and thoughts can lead you and I to sin if we don’t stop their destructive use quickly. May the words we communicate and think about, be like those of Jesus – “full of grace”. How is your WOW factor of Jesus now?

When Jesus Christ called you to follow Him, He called you to follow Him wholeheartedly and be committed to only Him. Jesus calls you and I, to love God and be totally committed to Him.

Here is a brief prayer to help us into the new week.

Father, help us this week to be totally committed to you in all aspects of our lives. May those we live with, work with and interact with, know we are your child by the words we speak. We ask this, through the mighty name of your Son, Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 9
Jesus' Mission - at home

14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
Luke 4:14-15


Jesus’ public ministry on earth has begun. These verses at the end of Luke 4 tell us that his mission is to preach God’s Kingdom. A reluctant John the Baptist had baptized Him and the crowds who witnessed this event. They had heard God the Father speaking to Jesus. He underwent temptations by the arch-seducer, satan, and emerged victorious from that ordeal. Now Jesus, led by the Holy Spirit, has returned home to Galilee (Luke 4:14). What did he do there and how did those who knew Him react as he grew through childhood?


Jesus at home (Luke 4:14-30)

Jesus is back in home territory and because of the power of his teaching, he is becoming known as a great teacher (Luke 4:15). Jesus spent some time in Galilee, became known and aroused the interest, curiosity and excitement of people.

Worshipping (Luke 4:14-18): It was Jesus’ habit to attend public worship wherever he was. But what did a typical synagogue service look like in the time of Jesus? Here is the outline of a typical synagogue service at the time of Jesus in the early first century AD:

  • Opened with a prayer for God’s blessing
  • Traditional Hebrew confession of faith (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21)
  • Prayer and readings from the Law and the Prophets
  • Brief sermon given by one of the men or a visiting rabbi (Acts 13:14-16)
  •  Benediction or prayer


Because of Jesus’ growing renown as a teacher, it is no surprise that he should be asked to read the Scripture and give a short teaching session regarding it. Here in Nazareth, Jesus declared that the day for demonstrating God’s salvation had arrived and the day the prophets looked forward to, was going to be fulfilled in Jesus Himself (Luke 4:20). Jesus was the Servant who Isaiah had talked about long ago (Isaiah 61:1-2). Jesus’ ministry was divinely directed. It was a ministry of hope for all people and a ministry to free the spiritually oppressed (Luke 4:18).

Acceptable Year of the Lord (Luke 4:19): When Jesus said in Luke 4:19 “to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour”, Jesus was referring to the “Year of Jubilee” (Leviticus 25). This was when at every fiftieth year, there was the balancing of the economic system. Slaves were released, set free and returned to their families. Property that was sold, now returned to the original owners. All debts were cancelled and the land lay bare to rest and rejoice in the Lord. Upon hearing this announcement, the reaction by the local people was at first one of astonishment (Luke 4:22) and telling each other he was the son of Joseph. But we remember and know, that Jesus was not the son of Joseph. Rather, Jesus was the Son of God, as announced by angels before he was born. Jesus Christ is the new Adam and the founder of a new humanity. All this, Jesus goes on to explain.

Rejected (Luke 4:20-30): The local people of Nazareth, saw Jesus as the son of Joseph. Admiration turned to anger, because Jesus began to remind them of God’s goodness to the Gentiles. He did this by reminding them about some of the Jewish heroes of the past. People such as the great prophet Elijah who bypassed all the Jewish widows to go and help a Gentile widow in Sidon (1 Kings 17:8-16). Jesus also reminded them that another Jewish hero, Elisha, had healed a Gentile leper from Syria (2 Kings 5:1-15).


Whilst those people in Nazareth could only see Jesus in their local setting, he told them his mission was for all Israel. And if Israel rejected this message of Good News, then the Gentiles would be blessed by it (Luke 4:25-27). Upon hearing this, the astonished admiration turned to furious anger (Luke 4:28-30). Salvation is no longer restricted to Israel but for every child of Adam – every human. Jesus’ mission was not only to be Israel’s saviour but the world’s saviour. When Jesus quoted the proverb “no prophet is accepted in his hometown” (Luke 4:24), he revealed his knowledge of Old Testament history. He knew that God’s messengers often were rejected, and even as God’s Son, he was rejected as well. Next week we look at Jesus away from home.

We investigate that in the next podcast of this series.

 

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