Joy, protection and prosperity in serving the poor

The Bible says “Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble. The Lord protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity in the land and rescues them from their enemies.” (Psalms 41:1, 2 NLT)

I love the promises in these verses as we are kind to the poor amongst us.

1. The Lord rescues us in troubled times.

2. He protects us and keeps us alive.

3. He gives us prosperity in our land

4. He rescues us from our enemies.

The Bible often speaks of God’s care for the weak, poor, and needy, and of his blessing those who share this concern. This can give us confidence and we go about our work in serving the poor.

God Bless,
Dave

New Testament in a year reading plan

Hello all,

The church I attend is doing a Bible reading plan in 2014. We are reading the New Testament in one year. As there is 260 chapters in the New Testament and 52 weeks in a year, we are reading five chapters a week on weekdays.

We are wanting people to read their Bible regularly, but we realize people are busy and occasionally miss days. Because of this we are on reading on Mondays-Fridays. This will give people a chance to catch up on weekends if they miss some days.

If you are wanting to read along you can find it here  http://www.passionaustralia.org/52-Weeks-NT.pdf

God Bless,
Dave

 

The four connections of Jesus

I read this today about Jesus. It is what the Angel said to Mary when talking about Jesus.

1. He would be the son of Mary, making Him fully human (1:31).

2. He would be the Son of the Highest, which made Him fully divine (1:32).

3. He would also be the Son of David, giving Him royal lineage (1:32).

4. He would bear the title of Son of God (1:35), giving Him equality with the Father in all things.

There are four connections mentioned that show Jesus was fully human, fully divine, of royal lineage and equal with the Father.

I found it interesting and I thought I would share it.

God Bless,
Dave

Communion message from yesterday

Hello all, I was on communion again yesterday. Here is a copy of what I shared….

In John 20:26-27 we see that Jesus appears to Thomas. Thomas had said he would not believe Jesus was alive until he saw the nail marks. As we know Jesus then appears and shows Thomas the scars.

This passage got me thinking about Jesus being nailed to the cross and the type of nails that were used.

When we look at the Greek word used for nails in that passage it is helos (hay-los). It is not a little nail that you use to tack a back on a bookshelf. It is more like a large peg or nail used to hold railways tracks down to a railway sleeper. They are huge.

After a little more research I found that a typical nail used in a crucifixion was between 10 and 20 centimetres long. They were more like this (hold up railway spike).

When I think about that I can’t imagine that being driven through my hands or wrists or my feet or ankle bones, depending on how one was crucified. I can’t comprehend someone doing that for me…but Jesus did. He endured the nails of love.

Jesus could not live with the idea that your and my sin separated us from God.
So He endured the nails of love.

Jesus could not live with the idea that you would not be redeemed and set free from the curse of sin and death.
So He endured the nails of love.

Jesus could not live with the idea of you not experiencing His peace, hope and abundant life now.
So He endured the nails of love.

And Jesus could not live with the idea of you not spending eternity with Him.
So He endured the nails of love.

Let us remember today the love Jesus has for us and the lengths He was prepared to go to for us to be in relationship with Him.

Before I ask the helpers to come forward I want to symbolically nail in three nails to remind us of what Jesus did for us all. What Jesus did for you and I.

(Bang in three nails to a piece of wood).

3 ways the Apostle Paul described himself

I was thinking about the Apostle Paul the other day and how he described himself. For someone who planted many of the churches mentioned in the New Testament and wrote a big chunk of the New Testament letters, it is a fairly sober opinion.

1. The least of all the Apostles

1 Corinthians 15:9 – For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

2. Less than the least of all the Lord’s people

Ephesians 3:8 – Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ

3. The worst of sinners

1 Timothy 1:15 – Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

The thing I find most interesting about this is the date the words were written. 1 Corinthians was approx 55 AD, Ephesians 60-62 AD and 1 Timothy 63 AD.

For most of us as we age we get more confident in ourselves and our achievements. And sometimes our opinion of ourselves gets puffed up. Not so for the Apostle Paul.

Paul seemed to understand God’s grace and the work that Christ did on the cross. He also seemed to understand that all he did was a result of Christ working in his life. It was nothing he could boast in or get puffed up about.

If someone who achieved as much as the Apostle Paul did could still describe himself as the least of the Apostles, the least of God’s people and the worst of sinners, we have nothing to get puffed up about.

Let’s all purpose in our hearts to have a sober opinion of ourselves and see ourselves in light of all Christ has done and is doing in our lives.

God Bless,

Dave

 

How can a young person stay pure?

Sometimes the Bible needs commentary and explanation in some of the more difficult passages. In this passage from Psalms it is very clear on how a young person can stay pure. It begins and ends by studying, meditating on and being obedient to God’s Word.

Here is a snippet from Psalm 119…

How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. I praise you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us. I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches. I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word. (Psalms 119:9-16 NLT)

God Bless,
Dave

Communion message from today

Hello all, I led communion today at church. Here is a copy of what I shared…

Jesus surrendered three times

This week as I have been reflecting on communion for today one word has kept coming back to me – the word surrender. In particular I have been thinking about Jesus and His times of surrender. In the last week of His life alone, Jesus surrendered three times. I think this is worth reflecting on as we pause to take communion today.

1. Jesus Surrendered His Will in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-42)

A short time before Jesus was crucified He went to a place called the Garden of Gethsemane to spend some time alone in prayer with the Father. He was deeply troubled, as He knew that soon He would be going to die a painful death on the cross.  He threw Himself on the ground and cried out to God, “Take this cup from Me, but still not My will but Yours.” In this one sentence He expressed His heart to God the Father, and He surrendered His will completely and totally.

2. Jesus Surrendered His Rights at Gabatha (Matthew 27:11-20)



When Jesus was taken before Pilate He was taken to a place called Gabatha or the Pavement as it is sometimes known. Pilate questioned Him about the charges brought against Him by the Jewish leaders, but Jesus chose to be silent and do the will of the Father.  In doing this Jesus surrendered His rights. Jesus stood firm when He was challenged and kept focussed on the bigger picture – the salvation of mankind. The salvation of you and I.

3. Jesus Surrendered His life at Golgotha (Matthew 27:32-38)



The Bible tells us that the name of the place where Jesus was crucified was called Golgotha. The heart of the gospel message is that Jesus died on the cross for the sin of mankind. He did this so we could all find salvation and live for eternity with Him. At any stage Jesus could have changed His mind and not gone through with the crucifixion, but He didn’t. He chose to surrender all. He did not even hold back His own life.

So as we prepare to celebrate communion today, let us remember Jesus and what He has done for us. Let us remember the three surrenders He did for us. He surrendered His will at Gethsemane, His rights at Gabatha, and His life at Golgotha.

Meditating on God’s Word

Here is some thoughts from today’s Life Application Study devotion. It is about meditating on God’s Word… Enjoy!

But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. (Psalms 1:2 NLT)

You can learn how to follow God by meditating on his Word. Meditating means spending time reading and thinking about what you have read.

It means asking yourself how you should change so you’re living as God wants. Knowing and meditating on God’s Word are the first steps toward applying it to your everyday life.

If you want to follow God more closely, you must know what he says.