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Archive for the 'Partakers' Category

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Friday Prayers 3rd July 2020

Today on Partakers, we are praying specifically into the CoronaVirus Pandemic which is affecting us all globally... Come and pray with us!

O God, we pray into this situation regarding the CoronaVirus pandemic.
O God our Father, help and heal all those who have this virus
and give wisdom to those working on a vaccine or cure.

We are bereft of the number of people suffering from this,
yet we know you are in control.
We trust in you and we worship you alone. Amen

Father, from your twin wellsprings of grace and mercy,
hear these cries of our hearts and take the burdens we carry...

Amen…

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PulpTheology Book

God, Internet Church & You

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Due to lockdown or quarantine due to the CoronaVirus / COVID-19 Pandemic, Church has moved to using the Internet for its services to the world.  In this little book we seek to answer why the Church is using the Internet, as well as exploring together ways in which we can respond.

Here are some of the questions we will explore together:

  • What is Digital Space & the Internet?
  • Why should the Church be on the Internet and how?
  • Isn't Church on the Internet just a modern form of the ancient heresy of gnosticism?
  • Is God able to interact there?
  • For the Christian, what are some of the liabilities and virtues of the Internet?
  • Could an internet based church be part of the historical church?
  • What can a Church service on the Internet look like?
  • How can this technology be used, so that you as a Christian, can use your talents and serve God on the Internet in the 21st century?

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Wednesday Wisdom

Proverbs 22

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1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
2 The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all.
3 A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
4 By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of those difficult to deal with: he that does keep his soul shall be far from them.

6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
8 He that sows iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.
9 He that has a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he gives of his bread to the poor.
10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yes, strife and reproach shall cease.

11 He that loves pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, and he overthrows the words of the transgressor.
13 The slothful man says, “There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.”
14 The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall into it.
15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

16 He that oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he that gives to the rich, shall surely come to want.
17 Bow down your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge.
18 For it is a pleasant thing if You keep them within you; they shall therefore be fitted in your lips.
19 That your trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to you this day, even to you.

20 Have not I written to you excellent things in counsels and knowledge,
21 That I might make you know the certainty of the words of truth; that You might answer the words of truth to them that send to you?
22 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
23 For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.

24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man You shall not go:
25 unless You learn his ways, and get a snare to your soul.
26 Be not You one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.
27 If You have nothing to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you?
28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.
29 Do you see a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.

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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 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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