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Psalm 131 to Psalm 135

 

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 131

A song of ascents. Of David.

1 My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have calmed and quietened myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.

3 Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and for evermore.

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Psalm 132

A song of ascents.

1 Lord, remember David and all his self-denial.
2 He swore an oath to the Lord, he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 ‘I will not enter my house or go to my bed,
4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids,
5 till I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.’
6 We heard it in Ephrathah, we came upon it in the fields of Jaar:[a]
7 ‘Let us go to his dwelling-place, let us worship at his footstool, saying,
8 “Arise, Lord, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.
9 May your priests be clothed with your righteousness;
may your faithful people sing for joy.”’

10 For the sake of your servant David, do not reject your anointed one.
11 The Lord swore an oath to David, a sure oath he will not revoke:
‘One of your own descendants I will place on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant and the statutes I teach them,
then their sons shall sit on your throne for ever and ever.’
13 For the Lord has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling, saying,
14 ‘This is my resting place for ever and ever;
here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
15 I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor I will satisfy with food.
16 I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful people shall ever sing for joy.
17 ‘Here I will make a horn[b] grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame, but his head shall be adorned with a radiant crown.’

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Psalm 133

A song of ascents. Of David.

1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life for evermore.

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Psalm 134

A song of ascents.

1 Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.
3 May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.

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Psalm 135

1 Praise the Lord. Praise the name of the Lord; praise him, you servants of the Lord,
2 you who minister in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be his treasured possession.
5 I know that the Lord is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods.
6 The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.
7 He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth;
he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

8 He struck down the firstborn of Egypt, the firstborn of people and animals.
9 He sent his signs and wonders into your midst, Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10 He struck down many nations and killed mighty kings –
11 Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan, and all the kings of Canaan –
12 and he gave their land as an inheritance, an inheritance to his people Israel.
13 Your name, Lord, endures for ever, your renown, Lord, through all generations.
14 For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.

15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by human hands.
16 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see.
17 They have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
19 All you Israelites, praise the Lord; house of Aaron, praise the Lord;
20 house of Levi, praise the Lord; you who fear him, praise the Lord.
21 Praise be to the Lord from Zion, to him who dwells in Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord.

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Think Spot – 22 June 2020


For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. Romans 8:22.

Paul uses forcible language here. Creation is aware, he says, not only of its future deliverance from the bondage of corruption, but of its future grandeur. It hopes for the speedy coming of its glory, and waits with the eagerness of a maiden for the dance. Seeing the splendour reserved for itself, it groans and travails unceasingly. Similarly, we Christians groan and intensely desire to have done at once with the Turks, the Pope and the tyrannical world. Who would not weary of witnessing the present knavery, ungodliness and blasphemy against Christ and his gospel, even as Lot wearied of the ungodliness he beheld in Sodom? Thus Paul says that creation groans and travails while waiting for the revelation and the glorious liberty of the children of God.

He declares creation to be weary of present conditions of servitude, and as eager for liberation as a mother for deliverance in the hour of anguish. Truly it is with spiritual sight, with apostolic vision, that Paul discerns this fact in regard to creation. He turns away from this world, oblivious to the joys and sufferings of earthly life, and boasts alone of the future, eternal life, unseen and unexperienced. Thus he administers real and effectual comfort to Christians, pointing them to a future life for themselves and all created things after this sinful life shall have an end.

Therefore, believers in Christ are to be confident of eternal glory, and with sighs and groans to implore the Lord God to hasten the blessed day of the realization of their hopes. For so Christ has taught us to pray in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy kingdom come." Our faith is not to be exercised for the attainment of earthly riches ; we are not baptized unto the present life, nor do we receive the gospel as ministering to our temporal good; these things are to point us to yonder eternal life. God grant the speedy coming of the glad day of our redemption, when we shall realize all these blessings, of which we now hear and in which we believe through the Word.

(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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Sermon - God, the Church and the Internet

(John 17:13-19 & Romans 12:3-13)

13 ‘I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. (John 17v13-19)

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality. (Romans 12v3-13)


Introduction

We are, as I am sure you are aware, in the midst of the COVID19 global pandemic. All gatherings of Christians to gather in Churches has had to cease. How has the Church responded to this. They have gone online and using the internet! But why are they using it when before they largely eschewed it? Let's look together at the what, why and how Church can also fit in with a biblical world view.Not just accepting it but embracing it fully, taking advantages of all the opportunities it affords as well as being wary of any liabilities or warnings. Let's go!

Symptomatic of human history has been the development of different technologies. Each generation seems to have had a great leap forward in some way! Think of the wheel, the printing press, the wireless, the combustion engine and the silicon chip!

One of the developments that I am sure that you have noticed is the internet. Everything is on the internet now it seems – increasingly so at a government & banking level! Everybody here has used it – either directly or indirectly. The internet is here. It isn’t going to go away and it will continue to develop and expand.

Likewise, the church is here too. It also isn’t going to go away (at least at a universal level) and it also will develop and expand. So let’s tonight look at what this internet is, why the Church should be using it and lastly how the church can use it for the glory of God. By using it, I do mean more than just a website with the latest information, events and sermons on it!

1. What is the internet?
2 - Can God interact on the Internet?
3. Why should the Church be on the Internet?
3a. Go into the world but don’t be part of it (John 17:13-19)
3b. Go serve, you gifted people! (Romans 12:3-8)
3c. Love in action (Romans 12:9-13)
4. What are some of the benefits?
4a. Reach out to the world!
4b. Assisting Housebound & disabled people
4c. Assisting the Geographically Isolated


Conclusion

Tonight we have looked together very briefly at God, the Church and the Internet. I hope that you have been blessed by our time together. We saw how God can interact on the internet. We saw why we should be using the internet for God’s Glory as well as some suggested ways as to how to do this. We are on a mission. A mission to tell people the Good News of Jesus Christ and to disciple them.

Part of this mission is the use of our Spiritual Gifts, which each of us have. We are to use every opportunity to develop them, use them and enable others in the use of them. For this is God’s will for you and it reflects His love of you to a world that is dying to know Him. We are to use our Spiritual gifts with the aid of our God-given imagination and creativity. Just because you can’t think of a way to do something, doesn’t mean somebody else can’t think of a way! Just because we don’t understand something, does not mean it is wrong! Don’t limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination! What is more, don’t limit others because of your own limited imagination.

Let’s use the internet communities of Facebook etc to uplift, encourage and support each other. I personally get more encouragement from those outside the church, non-Christians, than I do Christians. They are usually always the first to notice if I am absent without telling them or to tell me some good news.

Let’s go! Let’s go and fulfil our mission – on the Internet as well as in our streets and roads. It will mean more than just having an internet website with the latest events and sermons on it, but we can do it! Are you willing? Let’s go!

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To discover more about this topic, our book: "God, Internet Church and You" is available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon with this link

 

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Developing Intimacy With God

9. Prayer - Some Thoughts

As Christian Disciples, followers of Jesus Christ, we are engaged in spiritual warfare. That can easily be seen in the prayer Jesus taught His disciples, what we call the “Lord’s Prayer”, which we look at together later in this series. If you and I are engaged in spiritual warfare, that means we are to have weapons. Prayer, along with studying and reading the Bible, are our weapons of spiritual warfare!

Prayer is at the centre in the relationship between God and the Christian Disciple, consequently building friendship and intimacy between God and ourselves. Prayer is to be the major action of fellowship between God and humans – of you and I communicating with God, both in talking and listening (Genesis 18:33) – as individuals and with other people. Not just as certain times of the day but also throughout the day – constant communication and not just for 30 minutes in the morning.
Prayer is also a way of “letting God in” to the life of the Christian Disciple, of enjoying the company of God, relating all aspects of life to Him - and into the life of the Church – local, national and global.

Prayer is also a means of protection for the Christian Disciple, in that the Christian Disciple is too weak in their own understanding and strength to withstand all that is against them. God Himself assists me as I pray: where yearnings are corrected and strengthened.

Prayers expressing my desires and thoughts, offer a contributory way to my journey as a Christian Disciple. A cursory look at the book of Psalms in the Bible, will show that they are superb biblical examples of prayer. Prayer is ultimately what we as humans were made for: conversing and communicating with God, all the while developing intimacy and relationship with God. This dynamic relationship enables me to engage in prayer that is personal and relational.

However, prayer is only the penultimate stage in the relationship with God. Prayer is the forerunner of the day when I as a Christian Disciple, will know fully, even as I am fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12). All true prayer consists of a desire, a yearning and a longing to know God better, and that is to be my prime motivation: to know God better. That is why prayer is a spiritual weapon, and it is also the reason satan tries to stop Christian Disciples from praying.

That’s it for this week! Next study in this series we look together at the function of prayer
 

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Friday Prayers

 

 Prayers for Refugees...

Today on Partakers we are praying a series of prayers - ancient and modern - for refugees worldwide. As we know, Jesus our Lord, was a refugee when a baby, as Joseph & Mary escaped to Egypt with him. Come on in, download the mp3 and pray with us!

We commence with a prayer from the ancient Syrian church...
O my God,
You are the unsearchable abyss of peace,
the ineffable sea of love,
the fountain of blessings,
and the bestower of affection!
You are the God who sends peace to those that receive it;
open to us this day the sea of Your love,
and water us with the plenteous streams from the riches of Your grace.
Amen

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PulpTheology Book

"Read this book to learn more about Jesus Christ"

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Jesus Christ is the man who splits history. His birth is what the world celebrates at Christmas. His death & resurrection we celebrate at Easter. He is the most important figure in human history. Almost everybody has an opinion about him - whether positive, negative or indifferent. He has, claims Christians, changed and transformed millions of people down through history who have found him to fulfil their every desire and their search for God.

So many people today, dismiss the claims of Jesus, regard it all as fairy-tales and that he never existed. All the while, relying on hearsay, without exploring documents regarding this most amazing man, Jesus Christ. Come inside and let us explore together this figure of history, Jesus Christ. We will be looking primarily at the Gospel accounts of his life but also looking at the accounts written from those outside the Bible.

"Read this book if you want to learn more about Jesus Christ" available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle with ISBN: 978-1516802470

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Wednesday Wisdom

Proverbs 20

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1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
2 The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provokes him to anger sins against his own soul.
3 It is a honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.
4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

7 The just man walks in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
8 A king that sits in the throne of judgment scatters away all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
10 Diverse weights, and diverse measures, both of them are an abomination to the Lord.
11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord has made even both of them.

13 Love not sleep, in case You come to poverty; open your eyes, and You shall be satisfied with bread.
14 It is nothing, it is nothing, says the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasts.
15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

19 He that goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flatters with his lips.
20 Whoso curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.
21 An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.
22 Say not you, “I will recompense evil”; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save you.
23 Diverse weights are an abomination to the Lord; and a false balance is not good.
24 Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?

25 It is a snare to the man who devours that which is holy, and after vows to make inquiry.
26 A wise king scatters the wicked, and brings the wheel over them.
27 The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
28 Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.
29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.
30 The blueness of a wound cleanses away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.

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Psalm 126 to Psalm 130

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 126

1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
‘The LORD has done great things for them.’
3 The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes, LORD, like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

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Psalm 127

1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
the builders labour in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat – for he grants sleep to those he loves.
3 Children are a heritage from the LORD,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.

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Psalm 128

1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD,
who walk in obedience to him.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labour;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots round your table.
4 Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the LORD.
5 May the LORD bless you from Zion;
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
6 May you live to see your children’s children – peace be on Israel.

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Psalm 129

1 ‘They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,’ let Israel say;
2 ‘they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
but they have not gained the victory over me.
3 Ploughmen have ploughed my back and made their furrows long.
4 But the LORD is righteous;
he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.’
5 May all who hate Zion be turned back in shame.
6 May they be like grass on the roof,
which withers before it can grow;
7 a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,
nor one who gathers fill his arms.
8 May those who pass by not say to them,
‘The blessing of the LORD be on you;
we bless you in the name of the LORD.’

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Psalm 130

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD;
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
5 I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.

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Think Spot – 15 June 2020


How long will you love vanity, and seek after lies? (Psalm 4:2)

To have vanity is not the greatest of evils, for every man is vain, and there is nothing new under the sun, and though it be an evil, it is bearable. For there is not one saint that does not hope, trust, desire, fear, love and hate, more or less, in a way and manner that he ought not. But this body of sin and death, these laws of sin, these vanities, he ought to hate, not to love, nor take pleasure in them. To use the comfort and help of a creature is not sin, nor wrong ; but to love them and rest in them alone, and from a love of them, not to trust in God, is an ungodly sin.

Hence, nothing more pestilential and destructive can be taught a Christian than moral philosophy and the decrees of men, if they be so set before him as to make him believe that he can walk in and by them so as to please God, For by such instruction it will come to pass that, relying on this wisdom, he will judge, condemn, and persecute whatever he sees is against him, and will thereby reject the cross of Christ and utterly despise the way of God, which is in its best and most prosperous state when we are following, as through a desert and wilderness, Christ in a pillar of fire.

But all these things are better understood by experience in time of suffering and adversity than they can possibly be described in words, or imagined by the heart. If the affections and thoughts of men are without faith in God, they are without the Word of God; if they are without the Word of God, they are without truth. Thus all things which are without faith are vanities and lies; for faith is truth by the Word of truth in which it believes and to which it cleaves by believing. The true meaning of this verse then is, that all are ungodly idolaters and polluters of the glory of God who under any tribulation draw back from faith, hope and love, to a confidence and comfort in created things.

(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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Sermon - Living in the joy of salvation (1 Peter 1:3-9)


1 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9)

Introduction

The Apostle Peter was writing to a group of people, followers of Jesus, spread throughout what we know as modern Turkey. These believing sojourners were undergoing trials, suffering & persecution. Peter instructs them toward Christian stability, and the proper expression of this stability and growth.

Throughout the letter, Peter stresses a hope so alive, so glorious and so very certain, that any persecution, trial and suffering can be endured. These people are sojourners or pilgrims on a spiritual journey! Last week we discovered that Peter reminds them of the God they worship and live for - a missional & relational God of salvation. A loving God who is Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God the Father has chosen and is calling all people to Himself, out of amazing love for them. God the Holy Spirit sanctifies and cleanses to allow people to enter God’s holy presence through the obedient sacrifice of God the Son.

Then we learnt together about how within the believer, that there is a battle. A spiritual battle – the old earthly human nature battling against the new nature of the believer given to them by God. Salvation is yours, Peter says, so go let the world know that this salvation can be theirs also, by living so devoted to God that it permeates every facet of your life. That people will know you are God’s possession and God lives through you! WOW! The believing sojourner is to live such a good life that they are good witnesses for the God in whom they believe! We also know that this group of people are undergoing various forms of suffering and grief. Not the least, sporadic events of persecution but also the possibility of systematic persecution to come.


1. God the Joy Giver!

  • Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (v3)
  • His great mercy he has given (v3)
  • Resurrection of Jesus Christ (v3)
  • Jesus Christ is revealed (v7)

2. Living Out Joy!

  • New birth (v3)
  • Living hope (v3)
  • Inheritance (v4)
  • Shielded by God’s power (v5)
  • Salvation – future (v5)


3. Rejoice! (v6

  • Faith’s genuineness (v7)
  • Faith’s love (v8)
  • Faith’s belief (v8)
  • Faith’s joy (v8)
  • Faith’s outcome (v9)


Conclusion

For those of us who would call ourselves a Christian - a sojourner of Jesus Christ – you believe in Him and have placed your faith in Him for new hope, new life and salvation of your soul.

I wonder what trials including alienation and persecution you have undergone in the past, are undergoing at the moment or will persevere through in the future. I don’t even know how I will suffer and grieve in the future. But I do know who has the answers to our trials and testing. It is my God and your God. Our God of love – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He knows the answers and I have to trust in Him. Are you currently undergoing any sort of trial - run to God! He will listen! He is your protector, your guard and your empowerer! Remember He lives within you! He loves you! He cares for you! He is a personal God who has your best interests at heart!

As Christians we worship and serve a God who knows intimately about personal suffering. Our God isn’t an inanimate and passive carving, to be placed on a shelf or a wall which is immune to the suffering of the world. No! Our God is a personal, dynamic and active God who knows the suffering we ourselves endure – because He Himself has suffered. He is an intimate, dynamic, responsive and living personal being who has shared in our sufferings through Jesus when He died on a cross 2000 years ago. This same Jesus who was resurrected and raised to new life and witnessed by our author - the Apostle Peter! WOW! The ineffable God made known to humanity in the man Jesus Christ.

As part of our new hope and new life as Christians, as sojourners of Jesus Christ, we await that glorious day in the future when He has come again. That day when Jesus Christ will take your face in his scarred hands, and wipe away your tears. Wipe away your tears – tears of pain released and tears of ineffable and inexplicable joy! WOW! You and I will know then, that it was all worth it – the sufferings and trials that we have endured in this life, in order to enter the new life to come. Amazing! WOW!

On that final day, when your faith is tested, will it be proven to be genuine? Let this faith of yours always seek to give praise, honour and glory to Jesus and Him alone. May it be a faith being worked out by you living a life which is worthy of Him alone – which is seen by those currently not in the faith. Your genuine faith being expressed with inexplicable joy to those outside.

As Christians here, just as it was last week, it is an imperative that we go and show our new life, new hope, empowered and safeguarded by God’s power alone. Persecution may come and we will in some quarters even now be rejected. But we persevere. As Christians, we have good news for the world – it is up to us to go out living in the joy of salvation. We will be alienated by some, but also embraced by others. God is for us – who then shall we fear? God is a mission God – Peter clearly knows that – and because He is a mission God, we too are also on a mission. We have to take risks in order to continue this mission. History is filled with churches that failed to adapt and take the mission opportunities available to them. Will we be like that? I for one certainly do not hope so. We need to be reaching out, including those forgotten people – the people who cannot get out of their own homes for what ever reason. Helping those people who are already Christians and helping those who are not yet Christian, to find this living hope in God.

God is a tri-unity of Love... The Father loves the Son and the Spirit. The Son loves the Father and the Spirit. The Spirit loves the Father and the Son. We as a church are also to be a community of love. A love which mirrors that of the God of love... A love which looks not to its own interests but to the interests of others... Let's go love... Encourage others - not just your friends or those you like... Let's go encourage others enduring all sorts of tests and trials, just as Peter has done to this group of spiritual sojourners... God loves you... Let's reflect the God we claim to love, follow and obey...

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