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Archive for the 'WOW Word' Category

WOW Word 23 - Giving

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Giving

A story - King's Cross to Caledonian Road. And what happened when...

Time, possessions and money

Giving is seemingly one of the three forbidden subjects for Christians to discuss in the 21st century! The other two being sex and power. Jesus talked about all three often!

Every person has in differing quantities: time, talent, possessions and money. In relationship to giving, the Church is to be a community where the strongest members support the weakest members. This applies not only to the local church, but also at a national and international level as well.

Too often, even as Christian Disciples we are found turning a blind eye to the suffering of others where the bare necessities of life are in sparse existence. Too often we gather possessions and people, instead of giving up our time and money generously to help the poor and needy of both our world and local communities. Too often we keep our time and talents selfishly to ourselves instead of giving them to others in need.

Spiritual Growth Indicator

Perhaps the greatest indicator of spiritual growth in the Christian Disciple concerns their giving – particularly financial giving. Paul writing to the Corinthians commands that giving is to be done whole-heartedly and cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7). WOW! For the Christian Disciple, it is not so much how much is given, but how much is left after giving. God looks beyond the amount that is given to the motive and attitude behind the giving. All of our money, time, talents and possessions belong to God anyway, so giving is to be in response to this. Giving is to be done out of love for God. Paul offers in 1 Corinthians 16:2 a three-point system for giving financially: regularly, methodically and proportionately.

Failure to give back to God's work what He has given the Christian Disciple in the first place, robs God (Malachi 3:8). The reason it robs is because the giving cannot be used to support those who are working for God. As a result of giving, the Christian Disciple will be blessed (Malachi 3:10) and have their needs satisfied (Philippians 4:19).

Old Testament
In the Old Testament, Widows were important to God, because justice is important to God as He is a God of perfect justice and consummate mercy. In the Old Testament, under the Law of Moses, God commanded provision for those who were widows, oppressed or uncared for.

The 12 Apostles would have known about God caring for the widows and through Jesus’ teaching about justice for the poor and the oppressed. We know this because if you read the Book of Acts, people were selling and sharing possessions and ensuring that all people within the Christian community were being looked after and cared for. This included making sure that everyone got fed, particularly those who had no family to care for them. And it was not just for those within the church – but from the wider community!

New Testament
The New Testament church made sure that financial giving was done and that the poor, the oppressed, the lonely and the widows were taken care of. People working fulltime for the Lord, were given recompense by others for their efforts. People gave. Paul in Romans 12:6-8 places giving as a spiritual gift! I wonder how many people have asked specifically for that particular gift. Perhaps it’s the least asked for gift; after all it isn’t one of the supposedly spectacular ones!

You and I
How are you doing? How is your giving of your time, your talents, your possessions and your money on a local, national and international level? The get out clause for a lot of Christians is that it would not be good stewardship to give to that person or that cause. Or they say the passages in the book of Acts are only descriptive of that particular time and have no relevance for us today.
Each of us has in varying quantities: time, talents, possessions and money. How is your giving of those to others doing? God gave everything so that you and I may have life and life in abundance. So by giving generously of your time, your talents, your possessions and your finances, you are reflecting that. Just as God gave and gives generously, and gave His Son as a ransom for sin. If you have run out of ideas about how to give what you have, ask God to show you and give you some creative ideas! Go live! Go give!

How’s that for a WOW word?

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Peace

The world we live in, wants peace! Particularly at Christmas! The world is unified around the concept of peace! However, the peace the world wants requires the manipulation of circumstances. God's peace, and peace with God, however, comes regardless of circumstances. We look in this video at the following things!

  • How can we define true Peace?
  • Look at a short history of Peace!
  • Look at peace with God, other people and with ourselves!
  • How do we maintain peace within?

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WOW Word 33

God of Love

 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 John 4:16 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.

We live in a world that is in love with love. Love, according to some people, is what makes the world go around. In the Bible, God’s love is revealed. The Apostle John in 1 John 4 does not simply say that God loves, but rather that God is love.

How is God love? How is God's love revealed today? How is that relevant to you?

Play or download the video below to hear Alphy the WOWChurch cat explain more and how this affects you as a Christian in the 21st century!

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WOW Word - Baptism

Baptism

Jesus came and told His Disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make Disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new Disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Baptism is commanded for all who believe in Jesus (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38) and it naturally followed after conversion (Acts 2:37; Acts 10:47; Acts 16:33). But what does it mean?

What is baptism?

Christian Disciples are baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3), and into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is to show a total identification with Jesus Christ, whereby Christian Disciples are baptized into His body (1 Corinthians 12:13) and His death (Romans 6:1-6). Our old inherent sinful natures are seen as buried with Christ and we are raised to live a new life with a new nature! Baptism is also a public testimony that Christian Disciples have entered into God’s blessings.

Who should be baptized?

There are two main schools of thought over who should be baptized.

Firstly there is “Believers baptism”, which is for all who confess faith in Christ and is mentioned frequently in the New Testament (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41). This was by full immersion, usually in a river or other public place.

Secondly, there is what is called in some parts of the church as “Christening” or “Infant baptism”. This practice and teaching was also passed down by the Apostles and was current by the time of the early church Fathers, Origen and Tertullian. The basis for Infant Baptism lies in the Old Testament, where the sign of the covenant between God and His people was circumcision of the male babies. Baptism can be thought of as the equivalent in the New Testament and therefore applicable to infants (Colossians 2:6-12).

Suffice to say, that God has used proponents of both opinions! If you have not been baptized and would call yourself a Christian, then go and ask your church leader about how you can undergo this vital part of Christian life.

 

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WOW Word 12 - Disciple

Alfie brings you a WOW Word

 

WOW Word - Disciple

 

Today Alphie talks about being a disciple of Jesus Christ!

Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’

 

What is a Disciple? How are you doing at being an active disciple or follower of Jesus Christ some 2000 years after he said those words? Come and listen to hear answers to these questions and more!

 

 

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WOW Word 47 - Holiness

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Holiness

I wonder what the biggest fence, wall or barrier is that you have either seen or that you know about! Perhaps one of the biggest walls in the world is the Great Wall of China. It is seen from space and is over 4000 miles long, about 25 feet high and up to 30 feet thick! It is huge and enormous!! It was built to keep out invaders – for that is what walls and barriers do: Keep out enemies!

Holy Barrier

However big the Great Wall of China is, there is one barrier that is even bigger! I wonder if you know what it is!! The biggest barrier to exist is the one, which separates God from all His creation. This barrier is holiness, for God is a holy God. Ezekiel 1:27-28 gives us a vivid picture of the holiness of God and is seen in the fire, light, radiance, full of glory and majesty.

What is holiness?

Holiness is what separates God from all His creation. For God alone is holy and full of glory. Exodus 15:2 “Who is like you, O God, glorious in holiness!” Or Isaiah 60:25 “To whom will you liken me, or shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. Holiness is also a moral attribute of God, of purity and freedom from the stain of ALL sin. Habakkuk 1:13 “of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look upon sin. Holiness is still more than that! It is in fact the sum of all His attributes! God is holiness and holiness is God!

Holy People:

Perfect holiness, while to us is inconceivable, has been revealed; revealed in the sinless man, Jesus Christ. As a Christian, you also are declared holy! That is because of what Jesus did on the cross… He has broken down the barrier between God and man. And if you are a Christian, you are declared holy, and therefore you are to live a holy life worthy of Jesus Christ.! As a Christian, the Holy Spirit is transforming you into the very image of the holy one, Jesus Christ. As a Christian, you are no longer an enemy of God but a friend of God and belong to God! So live out your faith and live your Christian Discipleship in holiness.

 

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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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WOW Word 19 - Love

Alfie brings you a WOW Word

 

WOW Word - Love

 

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Today Alphy shares about the WOW Word - Love!

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Mark 12:28-34: One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.’ ‘Well said, teacher,’ the man replied. ‘You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.’ When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions."

What is the response of a Christian to be to these words of Jesus? Play the audio, download the video or audio, to see what Alphy has to offer about this!

 

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WOW Word - Prayer

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Prayer

I wonder what you think prayer is and how much of it you have experienced? Is your vision and experience of prayer too small? Let us find out together, a small part of prayer!

Relationship

Prayer is to be at the centre of the relationship between God and the Christian. It is the major interaction and fellowship between God and humans, and of humans communicating with God, both in talking and listening. Prayer is allowing God to be consciously in to all aspects of Christian’s life and enjoying God’s companionship. John Calvin, said that part of praying was asking for “what we have learned to be available” in God’s love and of His being the infinitesimal good giver. He goes on to say our “only security” is achieved by calling on the Father for His providence out of His infinite mercy. Prayer is ultimately what humans were made for: conversing with God. Regardless of status or maturity or any other man-made barrier, God is always accessible, through prayer, to all those seeking Him with a contrite heart and a humble spirit. This dynamic relationship enables the Christian to engage in prayer that is both personal and relational. All prayer consists of a desire or longing to know God better, and that is to be the prime motivation: to know God better and more intimately.

Function

Prayer’s function is to a constant yearning for God’s assistance! It is to be a strengthening of desire towards eternal happiness, holiness and worship and knowledge of God. God Himself assists us as we pray! Did you know that? He does this by correcting and strengthening the yearning we express. Prayers express desires and thoughts in a contributory way to the journey of the Christian.

Words

Prayer emits our words from ourselves to the God we seek to know, as a response to His reaching out to us. Through prayer, God is able to comprehend the Christian regardless of language, grammar or oratory skill as long as the Christian approaches with a correct attitude.

Intimacy

Words however, are not just to be a mental action but also an emotive act, conveying emotions and feeling. Prayer is to convey deep emotions to God, regardless of our language skills. The words spoken in prayer portray our innermost feeling to Him. Because God is personal, He values language and expects His people to talk to Him. Prayer is intimacy with God! If for some reason, the Christian is unable to convey their words in prayer, then Romans 8:26, intimates that the Holy Spirit intercedes. Prayer epitomises the Father-child relationship symbolized in the Christian’s relationship with God. It further symbolizes the freedom and peace in prayer, advocated by Jesus to communicate His deepest desires, as in the Lords Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) and in John 17.

Don’t just have your prayer time in the morning or evening and leave it at that. Pray throughout the day as well, asking God for His assistance as you go about your daily life in an attitude of prayer! Go! Pray!

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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

WOW Word - God of Judement

~Today Alphy the WOWChurch Cat shares about

the WOW Word - God of Judgment!

 

We have all at some point liked to think of God as being only about love and never judging. People say “It will be alright in the end, because the love of God conquers all.” Well, remember also, that love involves judging. God is the judge of all the earth, the writer of Hebrews reminds us (Hebrews 12:23). This judgment has several aspects to it:

Unbiased

God shows no favoritism (Romans 2:11). God is eternally just and righteous. It is a reflection of His mercy, that nobody can claim God is unfair.

Unavoidable

Jesus Christ will judge the whole world with justice (Acts 17:31). Everybody is destined to die once and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). What is common to everybody, is a universal sinfulness (Romans 2:1). What is in the murderer or the thief is in everybody, everywhere and all the time. That is rebelliousness against God and that is sin and it must be judged. Judgement will be before the Great White Throne of Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

Universal

Judgment of unbelievers: Those who do not profess Jesus, as God, will be judged according to their sinfulness. They are already guilty, because they didn’t take up the offer of salvation through Grace during their earthly life. These people will be cast into the lake of fire with satan and his angels (Revelation 20:15; Matthew 25:41). This punishment is eternal (Matthew 25:46). Judgment of Christian Disciples: And that is not all.

 

Judgment of believers: Those who are believers, Christian disciples, and are actively engaged in a relationship with Jesus Christ, will also be judged. Does that surprise you? While these people have accepted God’s free offer and are declared righteous by faith, they will be judged according to the things they have done with, and in, their faith. Belief and faith are to be supported by good works (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

As a Christian Disciple, you will not be judged for sin - this has been judged (Isaiah 53:4-6; again I find that odd since it is quoting from before the event, which raises all sorts of questions about scripture. Why not Romans 6:21? Peter 2:24), and you have salvation on that basis. This judgment is not for your salvation but for your crown, your rewards (2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4). As a Christian Disciple, you will be asked to give an account of yourself (Romans 14:10), and you will be judged according to what you have done (2 Corinthians 5:10). The quality of your work will be tested (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Your motives will be exposed – either you did things for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 4:4-5) which is acceptable, or you did them for some other reasons which are not.

As a Christian Disciple, you will give account of the opportunities and abilities entrusted to you (Matthew 25:14-30). Rewards may be gained or lost (1 Corinthians 3:14-15). These rewards are described as:

  • an incorruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9:25)
  • a crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4)
  • a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8)
  • a crown of rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19)
  • a crown of life (James 1:12)

So, go this day. Go this week. Go tell somebody of the crown waiting for them, if only they are willing to enter into a living and dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. Remember - do all you do, for God’s glory and not your own.

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WOW Word - Adoption

Adoption

The word for today is adoption. Imagine you are an orphan left on the streets. You are hungry and thirsty. Begging for scraps of food. Your last job you were treated like a slave, so you escaped. Even your only friend, a stray dog, has abandoned you! You are friendless, lonely and miserable.


Then one day a big stretch limousine pulls up beside you. You recognize the limousine. It is the one you scratched with a key because you were bored and belongs to the enemy of your former boss. The driver asks you to get in, and reluctantly you do. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The limousine drives and eventually goes through some large gates and there is a huge house on top of the hill. The owner is there to greet you. He tells you that you are now part of his family now, if you want to be. You have no need to go back to begging for scraps. You are part of his family now, with all the legal standing as one of his children.

That is adoption in the Christian sense. If you are a Christian, God has accepted you as a member of His family with all the legal standing of an heir and a true son or true daughter.

The bible says in Galatians 4:7 "Now you are no longer a slave b ut God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir."

Because of adoption, we know that:

  • God purchased us from slavery into a family (Ephesians 1:7)!
  • God will supply all our needs, just as all good fathers always do!
  • God comes to live inside us!
  • We are reconciled with God, even though once we were His enemies (Romans 5:9)!
  • We have transformed relationships with others and ourselves!
  • We now seek His honour rather than our own!

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