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Archive for the 'Partakers' Category

WOW Word 27 - Serving

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 37. Serving

Serving God and serving other people is the mark of a spiritually mature Christian Disciple. Did you know that? For it is through serving, that the Christian Disciple reflects the greatest servant of all - Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ came to serve and to give his life for others.

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Philippians 2:5-8 - In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!

As followers and partakers of Jesus, Christian Disciples are to be as Jesus Christ and to serve. Yet if we are honest, we sometimes feel incapable. That is because we forget that God the Holy Spirit is within us to empower us to obediently serve God and serve others.

Go Serve!

As a Christian Disciple, a partaker of Jesus Christ, you are called to a life of service: serving God and other people. Your church is to be a body of people, where each person is to have a serving function – serving God and serving others. Why serve others? By serving others as a church, a group of people, it shows unity and solidarity to those outside of the church who frequently accuse the church of infighting and “devouring one another”.

The Christian life is not to be static or inactive, but rather it is to be dynamic and active. The word ‘servant’ is key in Scripture. It is used at least 500 times in its various derivations. Spiritual growth comes from serving, rather than being served. This is because what ever is given in service of God and others, faith grows and Jesus Christ gives back even more. Jesus speaking in Matthew 25:15-30 tells of the rewards for faithful service and the penalties for being faithless. Serving others is a sign that you, as a Christian Disciple, trust God and are having faith in Him.

In serving others, you fulfil the command that Jesus gave to love God and love others. Showing love and serving each other through your Spiritual Gifts and giving, achieves this aim of obedience to Jesus. As the church, we are dependent upon each other, just as one part of the human body has dependence on another part. That is why we serve each other and use the gifts generously given by God.

When you, as a disciple and partaker of Jesus Christ, serve in any capacity, then God’s honour is released. This is done because service shows the beauty and glory of Jesus Christ to those being served and to those watching. That is to be our motive for service. Serving is never about what you can get out of it. When that is the motive, God is patently not glorified. God’s glory and supremacy is the goal of all those who would call themselves a Christian Disciple.

So go … serve. How’s that for a WOW Word?

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POD - Psalm 83

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Psalm 83

A song. A Psalm by Asaph.

83:1 God, don’t keep silent. Don’t keep silent, and don’t be still, God.
83:2 For, behold, your enemies are stirred up. Those who hate you have lifted up their heads.
83:3 They conspire with cunning against your people. They plot against your cherished ones.
83:4 “Come,” they say, “and let’s destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”
83:5 For they have conspired together with one mind. They form an alliance against you.
83:6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab, and the Hagrites;
83:7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
83:8 Assyria also is joined with them. They have helped the children of Lot.

Selah.

83:9 Do to them as you did to Midian, as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the river Kishon;
83:10 who perished at Endor, who became as dung for the earth.
83:11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb; yes, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna;
83:12 who said, “Let us take possession of God’s pasturelands.”
83:13 My God, make them like tumbleweed; like chaff before the wind.
83:14 As the fire that burns the forest, as the flame that sets the mountains on fire,
83:15 so pursue them with your tempest, and terrify them with your storm.
83:16 Fill their faces with confusion, that they may seek your name, Yahweh.
83:17 Let them be disappointed and dismayed forever. Yes, let them be confounded and perish;
83:18 that they may know that you alone, whose name is Yahweh, are the Most High over all the earth.

 

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Think Spot - 18th February, 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!

So as you go into this week, 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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Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 19
Who did Jesus say that He was?
  "Light of the World"

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I AM the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’" (John 8:12).


Jesus is at the Feast of Tabernacles. One of the great symbols of that feast was Light. At the end of the feast, when the lights are extinguished, Jesus said that he was the light of the world. Throughout the Old Testament, light is an important symbol. There is the pillar of fire and cloud leading the nation of Israel on their journey (Exodus 13). In Psalm 27:1, the psalmist describes God as “my light”. The nation of Israel was to be God’s light to all the world.

This is clearly seen in Isaiah 49:6. Why was this to be? Israel was to be God’s light to the world), so that God would be revealed as the world’s light (Isaiah 60:19-22). By referring to Himself as the light of the world, Jesus is saying it is he who shines light into people’s spiritual eyes and gives them understanding, which in turn leads to them seeing their need of God and his ability to satisfy their spiritual needs.

We continue next week looking at who Jesus said that he was.

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