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Partakers Friday Prayers

5 October 2018

 

Come and join in praying for the world and yourself, offering praises to God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit!

 

Order of Service

 

Opening prayer

Confession

Psalm 65

Prayers for Churches and Christians worldwide

Prayers for others

Silent time (Prayer for your own concerns)

Prayers for the world

Prayer of Benedict of Nursia

 

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Thursday Story

It gradually dawns on Angie - God loves her!

A story of Angie... We continue apace into the twenty first century and hear the story of how Angie came to a gradual realisation of all that Jesus Christ had done for her and changed her life around!

Come and listen!

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WOW Word - Baptism

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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.

 

POD - Psalm 2

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Psalm 2

 

1 Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth take a stand, and the rulers take counsel together,

against Yahweh, and against his Anointed, saying,

3 “Let’s break their bonds apart, and cast their cords from us.”

4 He who sits in the heavens will laugh.

The Lord will have them in derision.

5 Then he will speak to them in his anger, and terrify them in his wrath:

6 “Yet I have set my King on my holy hill of Zion.”

7 I will tell of the decree. Yahweh said to me,

“You are my son. Today I have become your father.

8 Ask of me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance,

the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.

9 You shall break them with a rod of iron.

You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

10 Now therefore be wise, you kings.

Be instructed, you judges of the earth.

11 Serve Yahweh with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

12 Give sincere homage to the Son, lest he be angry,

and you perish in the way, for his wrath will soon be kindled.

Blessed are all those who take refuge in him.

 

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Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

God takes the forgiveness of others very seriously. Notice it does NOT say forgive others if they are sorry for hurting you, or forgive others if you can understand why they behaved in that way. We are to forgive everyone who has wronged us full stop.

Matthew 18:21-22 “Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” Jesus meant that we have to go on forgiving someone who hurts us again and again… No matter how many times they hurt us.

Forgiving someone means not telling others what they did to us so we can get sympathy. It means doing good things for them, praying for them blessing them. Matt 5:44 says “Love your enemies and pray for your persecutors.” Luke 6:35 says “Love your enemies, do good to them” and Romans 12:20 commands “If your enemy is hungry feed him.”

If someone has hurt you so badly that you find yourself replaying what they did in your mind. Try thinking of something kind that the person has done for you, every time their misdemeanour pops into your thinking. If that is not possible, then just actively think about something completely different. It will get to the point that you can think of the person without thinking of what they did, though this can take years.

Actually, like every other thing that God asks us to do, forgiving others is in our best interests. Being angry with someone else just hurts us – it doesn’t affect the other person at all. Not forgiving leads to bitterness and resentment which eats away at us from within and can lead to physical symptoms as well. Forgiving others should be a priority if you’re a Christian.

Father, thank you that you were and are willing to forgive us for the wrongs we have done against you. Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit to forgive us and also may we be willing to forgive ourselves and accept the forgiveness of others. Thank you for the cross of your Son, Jesus Christ, so that forgiveness is possible. We ask these things through the name of the Son, Jesus. Amen.

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Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus

Part 4
Jesus in the Four Gospels

 

In the New Testament, we have four accounts of the life of Jesus Christ which are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These are called Gospels. But what is a Gospel, how are the four accounts different or similar and what were the main points each writer sought to communicate?

Firstly, they are called Gospels, because they gave substance to the Gospel or Good News about Jesus Christ as described by one of his early followers, the man we know as the Apostle Paul (Romans 1:16) We know that during his time on earth Jesus Christ wrote nothing formally. Yet after his ascension, the stories about Him were preserved and passed on by his disciples and other Christian teachers and evangelists. For the first thirty years or so, these stories were possibly collated and stored together. That would explain the similarity in the four accounts of Jesus’ life. They are not an exhaustive biographical detail of all that Jesus did.

Similarly, the Gospels are also not diaries reflecting a daily account of Jesus’ life. Rather they are selective accounts of his life, and were probably factual illustrations used by his disciples when preaching about Him. Therefore, they would represent the theology of the disciples, as each story about is Jesus is told. That is why they are trustworthy accounts as well as rooting Jesus’ life in first century Judaism and the Greco-Roman world

The first three of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke are what are called the synoptic Gospels. This is based on their great similarity and possibly use of a common source. Mark was probably the first Gospel written as it is shorter in length than either account written by Matthew or Luke. Mark writes as if Matthew and Luke used the Gospel written by Mark as a guide and elaborated where required. We see this in that Mark wrote none of the great discourses of Matthew (Mark 13 being the exception), such as the Sermon on the Mount. Nor does Mark show the great parables that Luke recorded. Surely if Mark had used either the accounts of Matthew or Luke, he would have used those two examples. Matthew is closer in similarity to Mark than Luke. Luke does share large portions of Mark and quite often verbatim, and with a greater use of the Greek language.

The Gospel of John on the other hand, while still telling about Jesus’ ministry, has vastly different story content. Whereas in the synoptic Gospels Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God frequently, in the Gospel of John, Jesus talks about Himself much more often, as in the seven I AM statements which we will look at in Chapters 9 and 10. For this reason, the Gospel of John was probably written much later than Matthew, Mark and Luke.

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Highlights in Hebrews
Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)

Part 8 - Hebrews 3:1
Jesus rules


The writer says “Therefore fix your thoughts on Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1) This reminds me very much of the old song that starts ‘fix your eyes on Jesus’. Both of them are very good advice.

The image they bring to my mind is that of a collie sheep dog. We, in this country, herd sheep with the help of dogs who race around the flock and move it in the right direction. A collie will walk alongside its master or mistress scarcely taking its eyes off them and so walking very awkwardly. At the slightest command they are away very fast to follow voice or whistled instructions. Not only are they very obedient they are also very intelligent - one of the most intelligent breeds there is. So if there is a fold in the ground that takes them out of sight of their master they will almost certainly continue to do the right thing.

In the previous chapter the writer has been explaining things about Jesus, how effective his death has been for us in making us acceptable to God in spite of our sinfulness and general waywardness. He has now come to a ‘therefore’, challenging us to live in a way worthy of Jesus. (He does this most of the way through his book, alternating descriptions of what Jesus has done for us with challenges of how we should respond to him.)

Here his ‘therefore’ indicates that we are being challenged to act towards him as a sheepdog does to its master: with complete obedience whenever possible and intelligence when it is not. That is an intelligence that has been well developed by our past history of concern for scripture reading whenever possible, studying it and developing a good working knowledge of what it says.

When and how we do this is important. It used to be that everyone was exhorted to start the day, everyday, with Bible reading and prayer. That is all very well if you are retired and come to life as soon as you wake up. If you have a young family, need to start work as soon as you can, or, like me, are quite hopeless until you have some breakfast inside you, that is not very good advice. What you need to do is to set yourself a pattern of activity with the Lord that will fit into your day or week. I remember one time in my life when it was one evening each week, always the same one, which I dedicated to Bible study and prayer. That fitted into my life in a way that an early morning daily ‘quiet time’, as we used to call it, would not. Don’t worry if you can’t fit into someone else’s idea of what you should do. Make up your own schedule and stick to it. The good Lord will surely approve of you if you do that provided you are consistent and persevering.

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Partakers Friday Prayers

28 September 2018

 

Come and join in praying for the world and yourself, offering praises to God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit!

 

Order of Service

 

Opening prayer

Confession

Psalm 65

Prayers for Churches and Christians worldwide

Prayers for others

Silent time (Prayer for your own concerns)

Prayers for the world

Prayer of Benedict of Nursia

 

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Thursday Story

People meeting Jesus

 

The story of CS Lewis...

We continue apace into the twentieth century and hear the story of perhaps one of the foremost Christian thinkers of our age – CS Lewis. Let’s look together at how and why he started his own Christian journey and the relevancy of Jesus Christ to his life! It may not be what you have heard it said to be! Come and listen to his story of faith...

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WOW Word - Doctrine

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Doctrine

Paul writes in Titus 2:1: “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. “


The word ‘doctrine’ in a lot of places is unfashionable. They say that doctrine belongs to a time gone by, and that new experiences of God and miracles from God are all that matters. Some churches teach only what they think people want to hear, tickling the ears instead of exposing them to biblical truth led by the Holy Spirit and therefore stirring them into living transformed lives for Jesus Christ.

What is Doctrine?

The words translated as “doctrine” are found frequently in the letters written by Paul, primarily 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. The original words are didache (the act of teaching) and didaskalia (that which is taught). They are used fifteen times and are translated as doctrine. Doctrine is the study of God. For Christians, our doctrine is revealed through the pages of the Bible. The more you as a Christian learn about the God you have chosen to follow, the more you will be able to deal with the daily pressures of living in a world who does not want to know about God.

You will continue learning and understanding the very nature of God and therefore be wise in your actions and reactions to conflict and circumstances. You will continue to develop the relationship between yourself and the God you serve. Doctrine is for all Christians, regardless of education, time of knowing the God personally and status within your church. Indeed, everybody, Christian or not, have doctrines whether they want to have a doctrine of belief or not – that includes atheists who have a doctrine of non-belief!

Doctrine Matters

So, for all people, Christians particularly, doctrine matters. Doctrine matters because what you believe about God, ultimately affects how you will behave. If as a Christian you have solid, biblical doctrine being practised in your life, you will be living a life of total obedience to Jesus Christ. For Christians are to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6) and this only comes through the continuing work of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

As the mind is renewed and transformed (Romans 12:1) with teaching about Jesus Christ, what the mind learns is put into practice, and your life is being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. People will start asking you about the reason for the hope you hold onto. That way the Gospel and Good News of Jesus Christ is spread. This hope is also an unending hope, which will enable you to endure to the end and run the race marked out for you.

Finally, learning solid doctrine is important is so that you will be able to discern true Apostolic & biblical teaching from the false teaching of heretics and those who want to lead you astray from the truth. Experiences and miracles are important, but to base your Christian life upon them, and not on solid biblical doctrine, produces a rollercoaster effect and not the constant reliance on the indwelling Holy Spirit for direction, guidance and trust.

 

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POD - Psalm 73

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Psalm 73

 A psalm of Asaph.

1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.

5 They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity ; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression.

9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
11 They say, "How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?"
12 This is what the wicked are like- always carefree, they increase in wealth.

13 Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.
15 If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me

17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.
18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
20 As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.

21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

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Think Spot - 24 September 2018


As I reflect upon the life of Jesus as given to us through the Gospels, I see that in his interaction with people he exhibits his loveliness. An example of this is found in Matthew 20:29-34


As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us.”
The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us.”
Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

See how Jesus exhibited his loveliness to those two men, through an act of compassion and mercy. Jesus gave those two men great joy in receiving their sight and enabled them to overcome the rejection by the crowd. Those two men could testify that Jesus is altogether lovely and lovely altogether. Jesus is beyond compare for the things He has done and the things He will do.

Jesus Christ is altogether lovely in regard to his divinity, humanity, birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, exultation, glorification, grace, protection, tenderness, power, wisdom, vengeance, judgment, majesty, redemption and pardon. Jesus’ loveliness means I can have His incomparable inner joy when I feel defeated, dejected and discouraged. Jesus oozes loveliness.

As you go into this week, remember that when you are feeling defeated, dejected or discouraged, that Jesus joy is inside you. Joy is not necessarily loud and obtrusive but also quiet and peaceful. Allow that joy of Jesus to carry you through. Let His loveliness embrace you and allow Him control over your circumstances.


A prayer to help you into this new week:

Father, we thank you for sending Jesus. We thank you Jesus that you are altogether lovely and lovely altogether. We thank you that you are with us when everybody else rejects, despises, defeats or discourages us.
Amen.

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