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The WOW factor of Jesus

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16v24-26)

The Jesus I hear about today from some people outside the church, as well as inside the Church, bears no resemblance to the Jesus who said those words. They are comfortable with a Jesus who is at their mercy and who doesn't ask too much of them! They like putting Jesus in a box and only opening the box to let Him out when required! That Jesus is an insipid, nodding head, Jesus - worthy only of being on the back shelf of a car and that's about all.

But that is exactly the opposite of the Jesus who said those words from Matthew - the Jesus who commands obedience and sacrifice! As I look through the Old Testament, I read about how the world fell out of a living, dynamic relationship with God! But I also read how a Messiah, a saviour or rescuer if you like, was to be sent by God, in order to restore the world back into an intimate, living relationship with God Himself! I read the Gospels in the New Testament and I see this Messiah as the God-man, Jesus Christ.

As I read the rest of the Bible's New Testament and the history of the followers of Jesus Christ and the spread of his followers, the church, through its birth and early life, I get a WOW factor about Him. But for a lot of people today, including those who would call themselves a Christian, their view or vision of Jesus is still too small. So I wonder, is your Jesus too small?

Come and listen to hear more about the WOW Factor of Jesus Christ! Investigating who He is, why He is trustworthy and why I and many other people follow Him!  Jesus Christ is calling you to follow Him, and follow only Him! Have you started following Him yet? If you are following Jesus already, is your vision of Jesus too small?

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Partakers Bible Thought

13 October 2021

Leviticus 10:1-11 Great Judgement

1 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorised fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. 2 So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. 3 Moses then said to Aaron, ‘This is what the LORD spoke of when he said:
‘“Among those who approach me I will be proved holy;
in the sight of all the people I will be honoured.”’
Aaron remained silent.
4 Moses summoned Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel, and said to them, ‘Come here; carry your cousins outside the camp, away from the front of the sanctuary.’ 5 So they came and carried them, still in their tunics, outside the camp, as Moses ordered.
6 Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, ‘Do not let your hair become unkempt and do not tear your clothes or you will die and the LORD will be angry with the whole community. But your relatives, all the Israelites, may mourn for those the LORD has destroyed by fire. 7 Do not leave the entrance to the tent of meeting or you will die, because the LORD’s anointing oil is on you.’ So they did as Moses said.
8 Then the LORD said to Aaron, 9 ‘You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, 10 so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, 11 and so you can teach the Israelites all the decrees the LORD has given them through Moses.’ (Leviticus 10:1-11)

In the podcast yesterday from Leviticus 9, we saw a scene of exuberant joy and where fire represented God’s presence and spoke of His love, warmth, purity and blessing upon His people.! Today though we see fire representing God but a very different outcome! Here in the very next scene from Leviticus 10:1-11, the fire represents a different aspect of God’s presence through his active holiness and therefore danger and judgement.

Come on in and let us look together at Leviticus 10:1-11, which causes a lot of people today some problems.. Together we explore questions such as: Who were Nadab and Abihu? What was their role to be? Why did they come under God’s judgement? What had they done wrong? What can we say about God from this passage? How did Aaron react? What can we make of this ancient scene? Listen or download the mp3 podcast to find out more about this scene of exuberant joy from Leviticus 10:1-11

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Partakers Bible Thought

4 October 2021

8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:8-10; 15-22)

“ 1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:1–5)

There is a marvellous unity to the Bible story even though it was written by many different people over many hundreds of years. It began, after the Creation, with the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2) and it ends with a Garden City (Revelation 22). There are two great differences between them: the Garden of Eden had only 2 people in it; the Garden City is full of people, all those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Only God walks in the Garden of Eden, whereas Jesus Christ, the Lamb, walks with him in the city and the people walk by the light of the lamp, which is the Lamb. Wow!

Today we are looking at the Church of the future – the Church to come of which we are a part. We explore together questions such as: In the light of the Church of the future, what should we as Christians be doing? What will the Church of the future be like? What differences are there between the Garden of Eden and the Garden City of Revelation 22? What sense can we the Church today, make of the Church to come? What promises are there for the future Church, which includes the Church today?

Listen or download the mp3 podcast to find out more in this part of telling the Bible’s big story, the Temple and what that has to do with Christians today.

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