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Archive for July 2019

WOW Word 06 - Words

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Words!

Today's WOW Word is about Words! Words have power! Did you know that? Here is what Solomon said about them...

Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire”

Proverbs 15:4 “Kind words heal and help! Cutting words wound and maim”

Proverbs 15:23 “Congenial conversation—what a pleasure! The right word at the right time—beautiful! “

Proverbs 15:26 “GOD can't stand evil scheming, but he puts words of grace and beauty on display.”

 

Download the mp3 using the available links, to hear what Alphy has to say about the Bible and our use of Words in every day life...

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POD - Psalms 39

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Psalm 39

For the Chief Musician. For Jeduthun.

A Psalm by David.

1 I said, "I will watch my ways, so that I don’t sin with my tongue. I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked is before me.”
2 I was mute with silence. I held my peace, even from good. My sorrow was stirred.
3 My heart was hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned: I spoke with my tongue:
4 "Yahweh, show me my end, what is the measure of my days. Let me know how frail I am.
5 Behold, you have made my days handbreadths. My lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely every man stands as a breath.”

Selah.

6 "Surely every man walks like a shadow. Surely they busy themselves in vain. He heaps up, and doesn’t know who shall gather.
7 Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions. Don’t make me the reproach of the foolish.
9 I was mute. I didn’t open my mouth, because you did it.
10 Remove your scourge away from me. I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
11 When you rebuke and correct man for iniquity, You consume his wealth like a moth. Surely every man is but a breath.” Selah.
12 "Hear my prayer, Yahweh, and give ear to my cry. Don’t be silent at my tears. For I am a stranger with you, a foreigner, as all my fathers were.
13 Oh spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go away, and exist no more.”

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Think Spot 29 July 2019

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Think Spot - 29th July, 2019

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 He died for the sins of the world. Supreme love overcoming all that is not love. Even when great acts of evil are committed in the world, such as the slaughter of innocents this past week in parts of the world where terrorism and genocide are rife, love is all around. Love continues despite such acts. How are Christians to respond to this love of God?

The apostle John writes in 1 John 4:15-16

"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, 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!

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, 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 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. 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.

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TOS.jpgTeachings of Seraphim

 
Part 9. Penitence

 

One desiring salvation must always have a heart inclined towards penitence and contrition: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise" (Psalm 51:19). With such a contrite spirit a person can avoid without trouble all the artful tricks of the devil, whose efforts are all directed towards disturbing the spirit of a person.

By this disturbance he sows tares (i.e., weeds), according to the words of the Gospel: "Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? From where then did the weeds come? He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this’" (Matthew 13:27-28).

But when a person struggles to have a meek heart and to keep peace in his thoughts, then are all the wiles of the enemy powerless; for, where there is peace of thought, God Himself resides: "In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion" (Psalm 76:2). We offend the greatness of God with our sinning throughout our entire lives, and so must always humbly ask the Lord forgiveness for our sins.

An excerpt from the teachings of Seraphim of Sarov of the 18th & 19th centuries. He was one of the most renowned Russian saints in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Seraphim extended the monastic teachings of contemplation, theoria and self-denial to the layperson.

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TOS.jpgSo Great A Salvation

 
Part 3 - The Christian is Declared Clean

However. There is a problem with the words ‘justified’ and ‘righteous’ in English. They sound so different but translate as two words which are very similar, because they share the same root in Greek. We could replace ‘justified’ with ‘righteousified’, and know what it meant better, if only there was such a word in English!

So we are justified (or ‘’righteousified’) – treated as though we are righteous in the eyes of God (Romans 3:24,26). We receive the gift of righteousness and so will reign in life (Romans 5: 17) and the list of the Christian Disciples sins is nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:13-14).

Sanctification

Then there is sanctification or cleansing of which there are 3 stages.

We have been sanctified and made holy (Hebrews 10:10) by the death of Jesus Christ and we are washed clean (1 Corinthians 6:11). As a result, we are challenged to become increasingly sanctified. (2 Corinthians 7:1). We are also being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18) and conformed to His likeness (Romans 8:29-30). We are to be living sacrifices, transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). This holiness is the pursuit of moral excellence, not just obeying the law, and is by necessity a high standard (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8) because we have to do with a Holy God. We are sanctified and cleansed and we are to go on being sanctified and cleansed. We will only be fully and completely holy and pure before the Lord when we join him in the new heavens and the new earth (Philippians 3: 20-21)

In principle, we are saints, and God has already declared all Christian Disciples sanctified. We have been set apart - separated from sin, therefore we have been made holy (Hebrews 10:10) and we are washed and sanctified (1 Corinthians 6:11). In practice, as growing Christian Disciples, we should be perfecting holiness, being careful to avoid the contamination of sin (2 Corinthians 7:1). Christian Disciples are to work hard at the process of becoming Christ-like (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3: 1-4). That is done by renewing our minds in order to transform our character (Romans 12:1-2). The standard all Christian Disciples are to attain and maintain is as Peter says: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16)

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Partakers Friday Prayers

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!

A Prayer of Martin Luther

Behold, Lord,
I am an empty vessel that needs to be filled.
My Lord, fill it.
I am weak in the faith;
strengthen me.
I am cold in love;
warm me and make me fervent,
that my love may go out to my neighbour.
I do not have a strong and firm faith;
at times, I doubt and am unable to trust You altogether.

O Lord, help me.
Strengthen my faith and trust in you.
In You I have sealed the treasure of all I have.
I am poor;
you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor.
I am a sinner;
you are upright.
With me, there is an abundance of sin;
in You is the fullness of righteousness.
Therefore, I will remain with you,
of whom I can receive,
but to whom I may not give.

Amen

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