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Archive for June 2020

POD - Psalms 136 to 140

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Psalm 136 to Psalm 140

 

Often we hear the Psalms one by one, but today we offer you the chance to hear a group of Psalms read as a collection!

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Psalm 136

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures for ever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures for ever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures for ever.
4 to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures for ever.
5 who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures for ever.
6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures for ever.
7 who made the great lights –
His love endures for ever.
8 the sun to govern the day,
His love endures for ever.
9 the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures for ever.
10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures for ever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures for ever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures for ever.
13 to him who divided the Red Sea asunder
His love endures for ever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures for ever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures for ever.
16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures for ever.
17 to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures for ever.
18 and killed mighty kings –
His love endures for ever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures for ever.
20 and Og king of Bashan –
His love endures for ever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures for ever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures for ever.
23 He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures for ever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures for ever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
His love endures for ever.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures for ever.

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Psalm 137

1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
2 There on the poplars
we hung our harps,
3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’
4 How can we sing the songs of the LORD
while in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill.
6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem
my highest joy.
7 Remember, LORD, what the Edomites did
on the day Jerusalem fell.
‘Tear it down,’ they cried,
‘tear it down to its foundations!’
8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who repays you
according to what you have done to us.
9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants
and dashes them against the rocks.

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Psalm 138

Of David.

1 I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart;
before the ‘gods’ I will sing your praise.
2 I will bow down towards your holy temple
and will praise your name
for your unfailing love and your faithfulness,
for you have so exalted your solemn decree
that it surpasses your fame.
3 When I called, you answered me;
you greatly emboldened me.
4 May all the kings of the earth praise you, LORD,
when they hear what you have decreed.
5 May they sing of the ways of the LORD,
for the glory of the LORD is great.
6 Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;
though lofty, he sees them from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;
with your right hand you save me.
8 The LORD will vindicate me;
your love, LORD, endures for ever –
do not abandon the works of your hands.

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Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,’
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand –
when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

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Psalm 140

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 Rescue me, LORD, from evildoers;
protect me from the violent,
2 who devise evil plans in their hearts
and stir up war every day.
3 They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;
the poison of vipers is on their lips.
4 Keep me safe, LORD, from the hands of the wicked;
protect me from the violent,
who devise ways to trip my feet.
5 The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
they have spread out the cords of their net
and have set traps for me along my path.
6 I say to the LORD, ‘You are my God.’
Hear, LORD, my cry for mercy.
7 Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer,
you shield my head in the day of battle.
8 Do not grant the wicked their desires, LORD;
do not let their plans succeed.
9 Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
10 May burning coals fall on them;
may they be thrown into the fire,
into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
may disaster hunt down the violent.
12 I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor
and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,
and the upright will live in your presence.

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Think Spot – 29 June 2020


He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him. John 10:3-4.


This leading them out is Christian liberty. They are now free; no longer penned up and captive under anxious constraint and fear of the law and of divine judgment, but happily pastured and nourished in Christ's sweet kingdom of grace. This liberty does not mean that the sheep, now without a fold and without a keeper, may run from their shepherd unrestrained into error; or that Christians can do whatever the flesh lusts.

It means that now free from the terror of wolves, thieves, and murderers, they may live with their dear shepherd, in love and pleasure following where he leads and guides them; because they know that he defends and lovingly oversees them so that the law dare no longer accuse and condemn them, even though they are weak as to the flesh and have not perfectly fulfilled the law. For the Lord, God's Son, is the shepherd, who takes the sheep under his grace, his shelter and protection; he who will accuse or condemn the sheep must first accuse or condemn the Lord himself.

This is the Christian's life under their shepherd. Christ ever rules, leads and guides them. They remain with him in the liberty of faith, wherein they walk, following his example in obedience and good works. Christ's kingdom was not instituted that we might indulge the lusts of our flesh; but that we, released from the captivity of the law, under which we could not in sincerity do anything good, follow Christ cheerfully and with a good conscience in our lives and works. Each responds as Christ calls him, a special instrument for Christ's use.

To follow Christ means that our whole life and all our works be in the faith of Christ— a constant exercise of faith, wherein we are recognized and are assured that because of this dear shepherd we have favour with God. Thus our works and lives, weak and imperfect in obedience as they are, are also under the wings of the mother hen, and are pleasing to God because of the shepherd. In this confidence we now begin to be obedient, to call upon him in our temptations and needs, confess his Word, and serve our neighbours. To this end a Christian constantly needs the Word of Christ; he needs to learn from it and to exercise himself in it.

(An excerpt taken from "Devotional Readings From Luther's Works For Every Day Of The Year" By Rev. John Sander, L.H.D.) in the Public Domain.

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The Story of Athaliah & Jehosheba (2 Chronicles 22-23)

When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family of the house of Judah. But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes who were about to be murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Because Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of the priest Jehoiada, was Ahaziah's sister, she hid the child from Athaliah so that she could not kill him. He remained hidden with them at the temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled the land. (2 Chronicles 22:10-12)

Jehoiada and his sons brought out the king's son and put the crown on him; they presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him and shouted, 'Long live the king!' When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and cheering the king, she went to them at the temple of the Lord. She looked, and there was the king, standing by his pillar at the entrance. The officers and the trumpeters were beside the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and musicians with their instruments were leading the praises. Then Athaliah tore her robes and shouted, 'Treason! Treason!' Jehoiada the priest sent out the commanders of units of a hundred, who were in charge of the troops, and said to them: 'Bring her out between the ranks and put to the sword anyone who follows her.' For the priest had said, 'Do not put her to death at the temple of the Lord.' So they seized her as she reached the entrance of the Horse Gate on the palace grounds, and there they put her to death. Jehoiada then made a covenant that he, the people and the king would be the Lord's people. All the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. (2 Chronicles 23:11-15)

 

This story has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster! I can see Angelina Jolie playing the role of Athaliah and Julie Andrews as Jehosheba! What do you think? As hard as it is to believe, our two characters tonight are related! There is their family line. Clearly there is a lack of creative imagination in the naming of children though! Jehosheba had the same father as Ahaziah and was Athaliah's step-daughter! All very confusing! With that in mind, let us persevere together.

 

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Developing Intimacy With God

10. The Function of Prayer

The function of prayer, which is the act of communicating and conversing with God, reveals a constant hunger for God’s help. An inner yearning, just as a child yearns for its parent. It is consolidating my desire towards the ultimate goal, of eternal life, joy, worship and knowledge of God – and of being fully known by God. It is also through the Bible that my desire to know God and be known by God, evolves and develops. That is why prayer and Bible reading go hand in hand. Prayer emits my words and thoughts to the God I seek to know, in response to His reaching out to me.

Through prayer, God can comprehend the Christian Disciple, regardless of language, grammar or oratory skill, if the Christian Disciple approaches with a correct attitude. Words, however, are not just to be a mental action but also an emotive act, conveying emotions and feeling. Prayer is a way for me to convey my deep emotions, feelings and expressions to God, regardless of my language skills, or lack thereof. The words spoken in prayer portray my innermost feelings and desires to Him.

This is because God is alive, and what is more, He is personal. He values language and expects His people to talk to Him. If for some reason, I am unable to convey my words in prayer, then Romans 8:26, intimates that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me! WOW! Remember, as a Christian Disciple, the Holy Spirit lives within you and I, seals us as God’s children, unites us as family and He is the Great Comforter and Encourager. How easy it is for me to forget this fact of spiritual life. Prayer epitomises the Father–child relationship, symbolized in my relationship with God. It further symbolizes the freedom and peace in prayer, advocated by Jesus to communicate His deepest desires, as in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13) and as we read in John 17. Prayer is not just me talking to God, but also being silent, to allow God to talk to me.

Now a question we all ask at some time or another. I know I have regularly. We ask it, either consciously or even subconsciously: Does God answer all prayers?
Firstly, the answer I expect, may not be the answer I get! Is that your experience of prayer? I know that it is often my experience! So often I pray, expecting one result and I end up getting another completely unexpected result. I then often think that God hasn’t answered my prayer! Sometimes the answer He gives, is ‘Yes’. At other times, it is ‘No’ or ‘Not yet. Wait.’ When I recall that God works outside of my restrictions of time and space, it is a lesson for me to not only learn, but also to remember. A lesson which says that I am to trust His judgement and wisdom. After all, He is God and I am not. I am to acknowledge that He is the Master and I am His servant. Alas, sometimes when I pray, I like to think I am the Master and He is my servant. Is that also your experience?

Why are some prayers unanswered? There are various reasons, I think, that prayers aren’t seemingly answered. It may well be due to things like:

  • unconfessed sin (Psalm 66:18)
  • disobedience (Proverbs 28:9)
  • pride (Luke 18:11–14)
  • doubt (James 1:5–7)
  • selfishness (James 4:3)
  • others not responding to God’s call upon them to be the answer to the prayer
  • no reason, that for now that can possibly be conceived, seen or understand.

    God knows best and I am to acquiesce to His love and His knowledge – despite my tears and tantrums towards Him. He is the Master and I am to be His servant. He is willing to hear my voice. He wants to hear my voice. He wants to hear of my love for Him. I am in a relationship with God, because of God, and I desire to show my love of God and tell Him that I love Him. His desire is to have me serve Him and for Him to lavish His love upon me, in all manner of ways and in all circumstances of life. Is this your experience of God and your life with Him?

Next week we start to look at Jesus’ teaching on prayer as part of our Developing Intimacy With God.

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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!

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are the gentle moon and joyful stars,
and watch over the darkest night.
You are the source of all peace,
reconciling the whole universe to the Father.
You are the source of all rest,
calming troubled hearts,
and bringing sleep to weary bodies.
You are the sweetness that
fills our mind with quiet joy,
and can turn the worst nightmares
into dreams of heaven.

Amen

(A prayer of Erasmus from the 16th century)

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PulpTheology Book

An Ambassador in God's Orchestra of Joy

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An Ambassador is an official and accredited representative of their own sovereign state to another place or country. The Ambassador speaks not for themselves but represents the ideals, thoughts and actions of the one who sent them and with their authority.All Christians, as Disciples of Jesus Christ, are Ambassadors for Jesus Christ into the world in which we live.

Therefore throughout this book, we use both words, Ambassador and Disciple, in relation to the Christian. As Ambassadors for Jesus Christ, we are to be His representatives here on earth. We are His Church, which is an Orchestra of Joy.The Christian Ambassador has a joyous message to present to people about how people can be reconciled with God. A message to all people, of all nations, of all time, without favouritism or corruption.

As Christian Ambassadors, we are sent by our Lord Jesus Christ, into the world, in order to live our lives for Him and Him alone. Inside this book, we look at 6 main characteristics of the life of the Christian Ambassador:

  1. The Ambassador's Identification
  2. The Ambassador's Message
  3. The Ambassador’s New Life
  4. The Ambassador's Serving Life
  5. The Ambassador’s Devotional Life
  6. The Ambassador's Uncompromising Life

The Disciple of Jesus Christ, the Christian, is God's Ambassador, as exhorted by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:20-21:

20 We are therefore Christ’s Ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. 21 God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

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Wednesday Wisdom

Proverbs 21

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1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turns it where ever he will.
2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord ponders the hearts.
3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
4 a high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.
5 The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
7 The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
8 The way of man is perverse and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil: his neighbour finds no favour in his eyes.

11 When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
12 The righteous man wisely considers the house of the wicked: but God overthrows the wicked for their wickedness.
13 Whoso stops his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
14 A gift in secret pacifies anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.
15 It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
16 The man that wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
17 He that loves pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loves wine and oil shall not be rich.
18 The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.
19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
20 There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spends it up.

21 He that follows after righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honour.
22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty, and casts down the strength of the confidence thereof.
23 Who ever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles.
24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who deals in proud wrath.
25 The desire of the slothful kills him; for his hands refuse to labour.
26 He covets greedily all the day long: but the righteous gives and spares not.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he brings it with a wicked mind?
28 A false witness shall perish: but the man that hears speaks constantly.
29 A wicked man hardens his face: but as for the upright, he directs his way.
30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord.
31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord.

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That’s it for today! Come back every day to Partakers Podcasts to hear something to encourage and uplift you as a Christian disciple, regardless of where you are in the world. You can also purchase our books via Amazon at Pulptheology.com

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POD - Psalms 131 to 135

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Psalm 131 to Psalm 135

 

Often we hear the Psalms one by one, but today we offer you the chance to hear a group of Psalms read as a collection!

Right mouse click or tap here to save/download these Psalms as a MP3 file

Psalm 131

A song of ascents. Of David.

1 My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have calmed and quietened myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.

3 Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and for evermore.

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Psalm 132

A song of ascents.

1 Lord, remember David and all his self-denial.
2 He swore an oath to the Lord, he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 ‘I will not enter my house or go to my bed,
4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids,
5 till I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.’
6 We heard it in Ephrathah, we came upon it in the fields of Jaar:[a]
7 ‘Let us go to his dwelling-place, let us worship at his footstool, saying,
8 “Arise, Lord, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.
9 May your priests be clothed with your righteousness;
may your faithful people sing for joy.”’

10 For the sake of your servant David, do not reject your anointed one.
11 The Lord swore an oath to David, a sure oath he will not revoke:
‘One of your own descendants I will place on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant and the statutes I teach them,
then their sons shall sit on your throne for ever and ever.’
13 For the Lord has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling, saying,
14 ‘This is my resting place for ever and ever;
here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
15 I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor I will satisfy with food.
16 I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful people shall ever sing for joy.
17 ‘Here I will make a horn[b] grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame, but his head shall be adorned with a radiant crown.’

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Psalm 133

A song of ascents. Of David.

1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life for evermore.

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Psalm 134

A song of ascents.

1 Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.
3 May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.

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Psalm 135

1 Praise the Lord. Praise the name of the Lord; praise him, you servants of the Lord,
2 you who minister in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be his treasured possession.
5 I know that the Lord is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods.
6 The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.
7 He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth;
he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

8 He struck down the firstborn of Egypt, the firstborn of people and animals.
9 He sent his signs and wonders into your midst, Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10 He struck down many nations and killed mighty kings –
11 Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan, and all the kings of Canaan –
12 and he gave their land as an inheritance, an inheritance to his people Israel.
13 Your name, Lord, endures for ever, your renown, Lord, through all generations.
14 For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.

15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by human hands.
16 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see.
17 They have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
19 All you Israelites, praise the Lord; house of Aaron, praise the Lord;
20 house of Levi, praise the Lord; you who fear him, praise the Lord.
21 Praise be to the Lord from Zion, to him who dwells in Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord.

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Think Spot 22 June 2020

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Think Spot – 22 June 2020


For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. Romans 8:22.

Paul uses forcible language here. Creation is aware, he says, not only of its future deliverance from the bondage of corruption, but of its future grandeur. It hopes for the speedy coming of its glory, and waits with the eagerness of a maiden for the dance. Seeing the splendour reserved for itself, it groans and travails unceasingly. Similarly, we Christians groan and intensely desire to have done at once with the Turks, the Pope and the tyrannical world. Who would not weary of witnessing the present knavery, ungodliness and blasphemy against Christ and his gospel, even as Lot wearied of the ungodliness he beheld in Sodom? Thus Paul says that creation groans and travails while waiting for the revelation and the glorious liberty of the children of God.

He declares creation to be weary of present conditions of servitude, and as eager for liberation as a mother for deliverance in the hour of anguish. Truly it is with spiritual sight, with apostolic vision, that Paul discerns this fact in regard to creation. He turns away from this world, oblivious to the joys and sufferings of earthly life, and boasts alone of the future, eternal life, unseen and unexperienced. Thus he administers real and effectual comfort to Christians, pointing them to a future life for themselves and all created things after this sinful life shall have an end.

Therefore, believers in Christ are to be confident of eternal glory, and with sighs and groans to implore the Lord God to hasten the blessed day of the realization of their hopes. For so Christ has taught us to pray in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy kingdom come." Our faith is not to be exercised for the attainment of earthly riches ; we are not baptized unto the present life, nor do we receive the gospel as ministering to our temporal good; these things are to point us to yonder eternal life. God grant the speedy coming of the glad day of our redemption, when we shall realize all these blessings, of which we now hear and in which we believe through the Word.

(An excerpt taken from "Devotional Readings From Luther's Works For Every Day Of The Year" By Rev. John Sander, L.H.D.) in the Public Domain.

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Sermon - God, the Church and the Internet

(John 17:13-19 & Romans 12:3-13)

13 ‘I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. (John 17v13-19)

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality. (Romans 12v3-13)


Introduction

We are, as I am sure you are aware, in the midst of the COVID19 global pandemic. All gatherings of Christians to gather in Churches has had to cease. How has the Church responded to this. They have gone online and using the internet! But why are they using it when before they largely eschewed it? Let's look together at the what, why and how Church can also fit in with a biblical world view.Not just accepting it but embracing it fully, taking advantages of all the opportunities it affords as well as being wary of any liabilities or warnings. Let's go!

Symptomatic of human history has been the development of different technologies. Each generation seems to have had a great leap forward in some way! Think of the wheel, the printing press, the wireless, the combustion engine and the silicon chip!

One of the developments that I am sure that you have noticed is the internet. Everything is on the internet now it seems – increasingly so at a government & banking level! Everybody here has used it – either directly or indirectly. The internet is here. It isn’t going to go away and it will continue to develop and expand.

Likewise, the church is here too. It also isn’t going to go away (at least at a universal level) and it also will develop and expand. So let’s tonight look at what this internet is, why the Church should be using it and lastly how the church can use it for the glory of God. By using it, I do mean more than just a website with the latest information, events and sermons on it!

1. What is the internet?
2 - Can God interact on the Internet?
3. Why should the Church be on the Internet?
3a. Go into the world but don’t be part of it (John 17:13-19)
3b. Go serve, you gifted people! (Romans 12:3-8)
3c. Love in action (Romans 12:9-13)
4. What are some of the benefits?
4a. Reach out to the world!
4b. Assisting Housebound & disabled people
4c. Assisting the Geographically Isolated


Conclusion

Tonight we have looked together very briefly at God, the Church and the Internet. I hope that you have been blessed by our time together. We saw how God can interact on the internet. We saw why we should be using the internet for God’s Glory as well as some suggested ways as to how to do this. We are on a mission. A mission to tell people the Good News of Jesus Christ and to disciple them.

Part of this mission is the use of our Spiritual Gifts, which each of us have. We are to use every opportunity to develop them, use them and enable others in the use of them. For this is God’s will for you and it reflects His love of you to a world that is dying to know Him. We are to use our Spiritual gifts with the aid of our God-given imagination and creativity. Just because you can’t think of a way to do something, doesn’t mean somebody else can’t think of a way! Just because we don’t understand something, does not mean it is wrong! Don’t limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination! What is more, don’t limit others because of your own limited imagination.

Let’s use the internet communities of Facebook etc to uplift, encourage and support each other. I personally get more encouragement from those outside the church, non-Christians, than I do Christians. They are usually always the first to notice if I am absent without telling them or to tell me some good news.

Let’s go! Let’s go and fulfil our mission – on the Internet as well as in our streets and roads. It will mean more than just having an internet website with the latest events and sermons on it, but we can do it! Are you willing? Let’s go!

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