Partakers Christian Podcasts

Thought for the Day


8 hours ago

Developing Intimacy With God
6. The Bible Helps Equip You To Serve God
One of the main ways that the Bible helps you, is by equipping you for active service! There are at least four ways, in which the Bible does this in your Christian life!Firstly, the Bible also equips you for doing battle with Satan and resisting temptation. Paul likened this believers’ spiritual armour to that used by Roman foot soldiers (Ephesians 6:11-17). In Paul’s pen-picture here, the Bible is compared to a soldier’s sword. A sword is not only used to defend, but also used to attack. Jesus defended Himself from satan’s attack by using Scripture to show the devil how wrong he was (Matthew 4:3-4).Secondly, is that the Bible equips, and is useful for, evangelism and pointing others to Jesus Christ. In Acts 8 we read that the Ethiopian was puzzled by Isaiah 53. It was in explaining about that, that Philip could talk to him about Jesus Christ and bring him to faith. (It is also thought by some that he was responsible for starting the Christian church in Ethiopia which continues to this day).Thirdly, the Bible equips you as a Christian to use your spiritual gifts. Paul talked often about them and one list is in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. A spiritual gift is an ability given by the Holy Spirit, to you the believer, so that the church is encouraged and God is glorified. Your spiritual maturity derives from building Bible knowledge, which in turn helps you use your talents in the best way possible to serve God and other people.Finally, the Bible equips you in order that you may give counsel to others seeking help. An example is seen in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 where Paul urges Timothy to use Scripture when teaching others.As you read your Bible regularly, ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate it to you! You will start growing in spiritual maturity. As you do, and as you use these methods living the Christian life, you will grow into spiritual maturity.
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2 days ago

Developing Intimacy With God
5. Keys To Understanding The Bible
You may well be asking a particular question by now. Just how does God the Holy Spirit illuminate the Bible to you. What is it that the Holy Spirit uses to help make the Bible easier to understand? The answer is prayer. Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit will help you as you read. That is a major part of his role in your life as a believer. He will use the Bible to enlighten and illuminate your mind, heart and will as you seek to be obedient to the Lord.Remember the Bible is inerrant and infallible. That is, it does not mislead in matters of faith and practice. It does not contain errors or mistakes in its original form. It is the Bible that God intended us to have. God speaks through it so it is totally trustworthy. That statement strictly speaking, only applies to the original manuscripts and languages. Because of that, we are to maintain the Bible as our final authority over all things. We can do this because if any part of the Bible appears to contradict another part, there must be a meaning in the contradiction - even if we find it difficult! The Bible is a balanced and unified message from a God who does not change. By reading the Bible regularly, you will be see how it holds together. I would recommend reading it daily, perhaps first thing in the morning to help your day start off well. As you read, it is a good practise to always ask yourself questions about the Bible passage you are reading. Use a good set of daily devotional studies! There are many available for you and your own taste. Use a Bible you can read easily. There are many translations available to suit your taste and style of reading.Finally, expect to be changed when reading the Bible with an obedient heart, mind and will. The Bible is God’s Written Word because it is active, and God will not cease transforming you into the image of Jesus the Living Word. 
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3 days ago

Developing Intimacy With God
4. God Speaks By Illumination
God has spoken and he has communicated his Written Word to us. Firstly, by revelation when God spoke to the writers. Secondly, through inspiration as the writers were divinely guided by God, in the process of writing his message. However, to understand God’s revealed and inspired message, illumination is required. This is where God causes the Bible to be understood by both the human heart and the mind. Why do we need illumination? Without illumination, the reader is blinded both by their own nature and by satan. Just as a light bulb needs power to give light, so the Bible needs somebody to provide the power! The person, who does this illuminating, is God the Holy Spirit. He was promised by Jesus to illuminate the Bible to the hearts and minds of all those people willing to listen, both Christian and non-Christian. Take for example the event recorded for us in Acts 2. This is where the Holy Spirit uses God’s Word to illuminate sinners at Pentecost, where after hearing Peter preach, over three thousand people became Christians (Acts 2:41).
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ 41 Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (Acts 2:40-41)
Even as a Christian you need this illumination to help you understand God’s Word. The Holy Spirit will show amazing truths to you as you read the Bible regularly, and ask for his help in understanding it. God’s Living Word Jesus Christ is revealed as the Holy Spirit illuminates the Bible as God’s inspired written word. That way people’s lives are transformed and changed.
So, why not pray for his help whenever you read the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate it to you?
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4 days ago

Developing Intimacy With God
3. God Speaks By Inspiration
The actual word ‘inspiration’ is found only once in the New Testament, when Paul in 2 Timothy 3:16 explicitly states, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” or more literally “is God-breathed.” The word ‘inspiration’ is in fact, not a good translation. The original Greek word says that God ‘breathed out’ his Word. Divine inspiration naturally proceeds from divine revelation. We looked at revelation last week.While through revelation God speaks to humanity, it is by inspiration that God works the pen, ergo ensuring that the message is God breathed and written correctly. This process of inspiration has several theories attached to it. One theory called the content theory, suggests that the author was given the main idea by God, but God allowed the writer to choose his own words. Another is the natural theory. This is where the Biblical writers were inspired in the same sense Shakespeare was inspired, but that doesn’t agree with the ‘God-breathed’ word. It is quite apparent that God did not suppress the writers’ personalities. For example, the writing style of John is clearly different from that of Peter or indeed that of Paul. The differences in writing style and in vocabulary of different authors are easily seen. However, Jesus implied clearly that God chose the very letters of the words when he said that not one stroke of the pen would pass from the law (Matthew 5:17-19). From this we can infer that God inspires all the words of the Bible. God wanted to communicate to ordinary people, therefore he used ordinary people to write and produce the Bible. In response to temptation by satan, Jesus said that humanity is to live by God-inspired words. (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10) Writers in the Bible, such as Peter, knew their writings were being guided by God (1 Peter 1:10–12; 2 Peter 1:19, 20; 3:15, 16).Inspiration, is only guaranteed in the original manuscripts which were written in Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic. It is not, however much some people protest, guaranteed in any translation of the Bible.  
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5 days ago

Developing Intimacy With God
2. God Speaks By Revelation
"Then the LORD replied: ‘Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that whoever reads it may run with it." (Habakkuk 2:2 New International Version)
Last time we looked at the God who speaks and a reason why we should develop our intimacy with Him. He is a God of love and to hear him speak we need to read and understand the Bible. We continue with that today, by looking at the first of 3 words which describe what we mean when we say that God has spoken. The word for today is “revelation”. The Bible, as God’s written word, is revelation. Revelation is how God has communicated truths to people, who otherwise would not know them. The story of creation in Genesis 1 and 2 is a good example of this. As humanity was not created until the sixth day, it must have been God who revealed the knowledge about what occurred on the first five days to the author of Genesis, or it would not be possible to know what occurred. We know God spoke to those who wrote the Bible; but how did he speak? Was it in Hebrew? Or Greek? Or some form of angelic language? We do know that God spoke to them in their own language, just as he did to young Samuel in the temple. Samuel at first thought that the voice was that of Eli the priest. (1 Samuel 3:3–9) At other times God spoke through angels, as when the angel Gabriel informed Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. (Luke 1:26–38) In the part of the Bible we call the Old Testament, God often spoke through the “Angel of the Lord”. Some people believe this to have been Jesus before he came to earth as a human (Joshua 5:13–15; 1 Chronicles 21:16). We call those events, a ‘christophany’ – a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus the Son of God. Another method of communication used by God, is in dreams and visions. An example of this is in the birth story of Jesus Christ, where the wise men were warned in a dream not to return to King Herod. (Matthew 2:12). God has also communicated from a burning bush (Exodus 3) and from within a cloud (Exodus 34). God has even spoken through a donkey, as the prophet Balaam can testify (Numbers 22). Without revelation, we could not learn about God. Unless God reveals Himself, we would not know anything about him. As Ecclesiastes 3:11 states, “He (God) has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” We know for certain that this revelation has caused the Bible, the Written Word of God, to reveal Jesus Christ the Living Word of God. WOW! Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

6 days ago

Developing Intimacy With God
1. The God Who Speaks
“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.” 1 John 4:16
Today we are starting a new series where we will seek to help our relationship with God, to develop our intimacy with Him. We will start with 8 studies about reading and understanding the Bible, where God speaks to us. Then we will go on to prayer, where we speak to God but He also, again, speaks to us. We start today by looking at the God who speaks and the basis on which we are to develop our relationship with Him through reading the Bible and praying to Him, listening to Him. Let me know what you think! I won't mind what you say...
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7 days ago

God - so what?
Ezekiel 36v22-28
1. A God who is holy (Ezekiel 36v22-23) 22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. 23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. 2. A God who gathers (Ezekiel 36v24) 36v24 "For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you to your own land." 3. A God who cleanses (Ezekiel 36v25) and operates (Ezekiel 36v26) 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
4. A God who indwells (v27) 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 5. A God to live for (v28) 2
8 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. Conclusion - What about you? 
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Tuesday May 30, 2023

God Comes To Town!
Ezekiel 1:1-4, 24-28 to 2:2
I wonder if there anybody here that is 25 years old?  Anybody turning 25 this year?  How about those who wished they were turning 25 this year? Imagine you are a 25 year old and being trained for the family business.  Then suddenly your enemies invade your city and take you away to a foreign land.  That's what happened to Ezekiel 5 years before this passage of Scripture, Ezekiel 1-2, when the Babylonians, led by Nebuchadnezzar in 597BC took 3000 Jews back to Babylon.  This was the first deportation.
1. Ezekiel - who was he and how did he get there?
2. How does Ezekiel describe this vision of God?
3. God is Holy God
4. God is Universal: Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Mission minded & Personal
5. What does all this mean? Worship & Tell others
6. We speak God's word
I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel like I am in exile.  I don't mean as an Australian living in England, the mother country! Although sometimes it does feel like I am in exile!  We are living in a country, which despite its Christian heritage, evangelical non-compromising Christians are being increasingly marginalized by a society, which decrees that, all religions or none are equal, and that to declare otherwise is simply arrogance and divisive.  How are we to react? When you are faced with a crisis or some trouble, how do you react?  Are you like the ancient Israelites that Ezekiel was sent to?  Do you trust in the holy, all-powerful, all knowing, personal God or do you trust in other things?
God is coming again!
Be Holy and be obedient!
Live a life worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Trust fully in the God of your salvation
Go tell somebody!
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Monday May 29, 2023

Sermon - Understanding the Kingdom (John 3:1-21)
1 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You[d] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”9 “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.10 Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12 But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”(John 3:1-21) New Living Translation
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I wonder what you think the Kingdom of God is.  In the Old Testament we learn of all kinds of different earthly kingdoms. Each one of these kingdoms were doomed to fail from the start, because of the promised commencement of a new and everlasting kingdom. Perhaps by having a brief overview of what Jesus in the Gospels said about the Kingdom will help us understand more about it before we focus on just a couple of aspects. From what Jesus said, we learn that:
The kingdom had small beginnings.
It advances slowly and unspectacularly.
It works in an unseen way, like yeast in dough.
It grows side by side with evil and error.
The members are drawn from every part, for it is a universal part.
When discovered, it is the source of true joy and fulfilment.
It requires sacrifice, submission and surrender.
It ends in an eternal separation of the good from the evil, of the true from the false.
It centres only on Jesus Christ (Luke 9:28-36).
So having seen these descriptions, mainly from Matthew 13, we can now go on to a main definition of the kingdom. We find this ultimate definition in Romans 14:17 'For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.' This is the experience of salvation. Every believer, all those who trust in Jesus Christ, has entered it and been accepted by Jesus when He died on the cross. So, having described it and then defined it, the next question we ask is how do we enter the Kingdom of God. Well, after such a long introduction, we are going to look at this aspect of the God's Kingdom based on our reading of John 3:1-18.  So, if you haven't done so already please do have your bibles open at that passage - John 3:1-18. 1.      Birth (vs. 1-7)a. Pain - Human birth involves pain, both for the parents and for the baby. So does spiritual birth. At Easter we are reminded this of the pain Jesus endured on the cross so that we might become members of the Kingdom of God. Believers in their Christian life should endure the pain of persecution, suffering, and prayer and witness as we seek to win new people to Christ. b. Nature - Children inherit the nature of the parents, and so do the people in the Kingdom of God. We take on the divine nature (2 Peter 1 :4). As believers we should naturally have an appetite for the things of God (2 Peter 2:2-3). As believers we should have no desire to go away from the Kingdom of God (2 Peter 2:20-22). As believers we are to feed on the Word of God and grow in spiritual maturity (Hebrews 5: 11-14). c. Life - Human birth, involves life and spiritual birth into God's kingdom involves the life of God. John uses the word 'life' about 36 times in his gospel. The opposite of life is death, and anybody not in the Kingdom of God, do not and cannot have God's eternal life in His kingdom. d. Future - Human birth involves a future, and we are born again to a living hope, both in the present and the future (1 Peter 1:3). Police cannot arrest a newborn baby because it has no past, and the future is in front of that baby.  When born again into the Kingdom of God, sins are forgiven and forgotten, and the future is bright with a living hope in the Kingdom of God. 2.      The wind (vs. 8-13).
It is possible that the evening wind was blowing just then as Nicodemus and Jesus sat the housetop talking. The 'wind' in the Bible, signifies the Spirit. When Jesus used this symbol, Nicodemus should have remembered Ezekiel 37:1-14. The prophet Ezekiel saw a valley full of dead bones; but when he prophesied to the wind, the Spirit came and gave the bones' life.
Again, it was the combination of the Spirit of God and the Word of God that gave life. The nation of Israel was dead and hopeless, and in spite of the morality and religion of the people, they needed the life of the Spirit. The new birth from above is necessary to enter the Kingdom of God, but it is also a mystery. Everyone born of the Spirit is like the wind: it is impossible to explain or predict the ways of the wind or the Spirit of God.Nicodemus came "by night' and he was still in the dark! He simply could not understand the concept of new birth even after Jesus had explained it to him. Jesus insisted that Nicodemus' Old Testament knowledge should have given him the light he required (John 3:10). Yet, he still could not see how to enter the Kingdom of God. What was his problem? Religious leaders would not submit to Jesus' authority and witness (John 3: 11). The religious leaders continued to believe Moses, yet would not believe Jesus (John 5:35-47). "I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?" 3. The snake on the pole (vs. 14-18).
This story from Numbers was certainly familiar to Nicodemus. It is a story of sin, for Israel rebelled against God and had to be punished. God sent fiery snakes that bit the people, so that many died. Yet it is also a story of grace, for Moses intercede for the people and God provided a remedy. He told Moses to make a brass snake and lift it up on a pole for all to see. Any sick and dying person could look to the brass snake on the pole and be immediately healed. So, it is also a story of faith, punishment, salvation and faith. The phrase lifted up means to be crucified (John 8:28; 12:13-24) and also be glorified and exalted. John points out that our Lord's crucifixion was actually the means for Him to be glorified (John 12:23). However the cross was not the end of His glory, it was the way He achieved His glory (Acts 2:33). Much as the snake on the pole had to be lifted up, so the Son of God, Jesus had to be lifted on the cross. This happened to save all people from sin and death. In the camp of Israel, the solution to the "snake problem" was not in killing the snakes, or taking medicine against the poison, or pretending the snakes were not there, or passing anti-snake laws or by climbing the pole. The answer was to look in faith at the lifted snake. Now, the whole world has been bitten by sin (Romans 6:23). God sent His son to die, not only for Israel, but also for the whole world. The Kingdom of God is not just for Israel, or England or even the United States of America. How does a person enter the Kingdom of God? By being born again from above, which means believing on Jesus and looking to Him in faith. Each of us that are believers have therefore entered into the Kingdom of God and are spiritually living. The difference between living spiritually and being dead spiritually is faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus could well have come to this world as a Judge and destroyed every rebellious sinner; but He came in love. Jesus came into the world as our Saviour, to guide us into the Kingdom of God, and He died on the cross, Jesus became the "uplifted snake". The brass snake in Moses' day brought physical life to dying Jews; but Jesus gives eternal life to all who asks and trusts in Him. He brings the Kingdom of God for a whole world, Nicodemus eventually entered the Kingdom of God, when he spoke up for Jesus in John 7 and came into a "sunlight of confession" when he identified with Jesus at Calvary bringing the spice to prepare the body for burial (John 19:38-42). He realized that the uplifted Jesus on the cross, was the path into the world-wide Kingdom of God
Therefore lets go over tonight's lessons from the meeting between Jesus and Nicodemus. The definition of the kingdom of God is exposed from Romans 14:17 which we also see as the experience of salvation. "For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." The path into the kingdom of God, was defined in the 3 distinct pictures Jesus told to Nicodemus. Firstly in the picture of new birth from above, secondly in the picture of the blowing wind or spirit and thirdly in the Old Testament picture of the snake on the pole. As we finish, what are we to say. For those of us who are in the kingdom of God: are you growing in your faith and immersing more of yourself into the Kingdom of God. Is your story or testimony of what Jesus is doing in your life up to date, or are you living on past memories, last Easters' prayers and past Sundays' sermons. The testimony of how we are living in the Kingdom of God is vital for our witness in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus commanded us to go and tell, so go and tell the wondrous news of an eternal kingdom - one which will never end! God has promised and He always fulfils His promises. Now finally, what stops people from entering into the Kingdom of God?  People want to continue to do things against God, and this keeps them from coming out of darkness into the light of the Kingdom of God. This is because the closer someone who loves darkness gets closer to light, the more their evil ways are exposed to the light of God. It is not any intellectual problems that keep people out of the Kingdom. It is a moral and spiritual problem. It would involve a change of lifestyle, of being 'born again' as it was. What is your reason, for not being yet a believer and follower of Jesus Christ? If for some reason, you are not part of God's kingdom yet, then your opportunity is here. You may not get another chance. You might just walk on out of here tonight, not having entered into the eternal Kingdom of God, and die. It really could be that shocking and happen. Take your opportunity now.  Please do come and see one of the leaders about how you can enter the Kingdom of God this very night!
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Sunday May 28, 2023

The Holy Spirit Comes
G'day! Today is Pentecost Sunday where Christians around the world remember and celebrate the coming of the promised Holy Spirit! Happy Pentecost!
Jesus has now ascended back to the right hand of the Father. The 12 apostles are now back in Jerusalem and waiting. Waiting for the Holy Spirit to come. The coming of God the Holy Spirit is in fulfilment of the promise that Almighty and All-powerful God would indwell all those people who chose to follow Him. This event was prophesied many years before. An example is from the prophet Ezekiel:
“And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:27)
Throughout His earthly ministry Jesus had talked about how after He departed that God the Holy Spirit would come (John 15:26). Starting today and over the coming few days we will look at the Holy Spirit and into the book of Acts seeing how the Holy Spirit worked within and through the early Church. Let's look together!
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