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Exploring The Bible

57. Old Testament

2 Samuel

 

G'day and welcome to our series, "Exploring the Bible" This is also the title of our latest book available on Amazon by clicking here or visiting PulpTheology.com

Key Verses:

  • 2 Samuel 7:12-13
  • 2 Samuel 22:21-22

The Book of 2 Samuel records the highlights of David’s reign, firstly over Judah and then over the nation of Israel. It traces his ascent to the throne, his victories and sins and the consequences of his sins upon his family and the nation.

It is a distinctly mixed story however, given the weakness of human nature, David is the most successful of all the kings and will be looked back to by subsequent generations as the greatest leader of God’s people.

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Gems in the book of Revelation

Part 140 - Revelation 10:9–11
God is in control

We have to move forward past two complete chapters from the last one to find anything remotely like a gem! The gem I find in chapter 10 could be found in many other chapters in this book. It is the fact that John himself is getting involved in the pageant of the action. He is a human being and we must note that God has chosen to do most of his work through human beings. John it is who has to forewarn everyone about what is about to happen.

For instance God could heal directly without human involvement but he chooses not to do so. Almost all healing is done by human beings; doctors, nurses and paramedics. And it is quite clear from what we read in this wonderful book that that is entirely as it should be.

Here we are told that John is to eat the scroll, probably the same scroll that the Lamb opened in chapter 5 even although it is a different word that is used. He is to take into himself powerful words, which will shape the future when he shares them in prophecy.

Not all words have the same effect. If a mother says to her husband “Its bed-time” that is a statement of fact. If however she says to her child in a certain tone of voice “Bedtime!” the word has a quite different effect. It is an action word; it is a command; it makes something happen.

A common saying in our school playgrounds is ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me!’ again that is not true. Words can be very powerful things and very hurtful. They have become even more powerful and hurtful in this day of internet chat sites much used by kids. They lack the maturity to ignore comments posted about them and sometimes suffer very considerably as a result. Words can be powerful.

A famous saying, probably wrongly attributed to St Francis of Assissi (AD 1181 – 12 26), is “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” No, that is not right. It seems to suggest that all evangelism, attracting folk to follow Jesus, can be carried out without saying anything. But it cannot; it is necessary to use words as well and attractively as we can to tell the wonderful stories of the King and his Kingdom. After all – Jesus used words to great effect when he could have spent all his energies on healing and helping people. In imitating him we must spend ourselves both healing and helping people and telling them the good news of the Gospel.

What John says here when he tells everyone what was on the scroll is an action word. It is a prophecy but it is a prophecy which has the word of God behind it. It will make things happen. And the amazing thing is that amidst all these terrifying parts of the vision it is a man, a human being, who is to announce the plans of the Lord God for the whole world to all the world. Such is the power of words.

Our task in this Internet site, ‘Partakers’, is the word bit. Please help us on with prayer and words of your own to tell other people about us and thus about the King. As far as you possibly can make your words action words, not just fact words.

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Partakers Friday Prayers

20 April 2018

Prayers for Syria

 

We pray together and when Christians pray together, including across the internet and from different times, different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity!

 

Today we pray once more for the wartorn land of Syria, with this Morning Prayer from the Syrian Clementine Liturgy. This Liturgy, dates from the 4th century, and was celebrated in Syria and throughout the Church of Antioch. It is the oldest model known in Antioch, and is a liturgy is related to the Apostle James. Come and pray!

 

O God,

You are the unsearchable abyss of peace,

the ineffable sea of love,

the fountain of blessings,

and the bestower of affection.

~~~~~

O God,

You 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.

~~~~~

Make us children of quietness, and heirs of peace.

Kindle in us the fire of Your love;

sow in us Your fear;

strengthen our weakness by Your power!

~~~~~

Bind us closely to You

and to each other

in one firm bond of unity;

for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

 

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Thursday Story

People meeting Jesus

 The story of Adele from Queensland, Australia...

We continue apace into the twentieth century and hear the story of a friend of mine. Her name is Adele and she is from my home country, Australia. Come on in, and listen to her story about her own Christian journey and the relevancy of Jesus Christ to her life! Come and listen to her story of faith...

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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

 

WOW Word - Your Cross

 

Luke 9:23-26 Jesus speaking “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

 

What is our response to this to be? As followers of Jesus Christ we are commanded to count the cost of following Him. That is how we carry our own cross for the sake of Jesus Christ. Jesus wants to be number one in the life of all those who choose to follow him! Jesus wants supremacy over everything in our lives, including family, friends, and possessions! Alas, that’s a cost too high for some! Here is one man who couldn’t give up something to follow Jesus! Let’s call him Basil. Basil runs up to Jesus and wants eternal life, wants it now and asks Jesus about how to get it. He has fully kept the commandments listed by Jesus. However!

However when Jesus said to Basil that in order to follow Him, he would have to give up all his wealth and possessions in order to have treasure in heaven and eternal life, Basil leaves disconsolate and shattered. The life of Basil, this rich young ruler, reflected a life of absorption with his own self-interest and self-importance!. It was a step too far for Basil. He wanted his riches and also everlasting life, but Jesus said he couldn’t have both. He remains the only person that we know of, who left Jesus’ presence sorrowful. That was due to Basil putting his trust in himself, his riches and wealth alone. Now riches, in and of themselves, are not necessarily wrong! But for Basil, well, he was not willing to make the sacrifice required to follow Jesus. He couldn’t count the cost of following Jesus– it was too high a price for him to pay!

What have you given up in and as a result of your decision to follow Jesus? Making sacrifices to follow Jesus is all part of the WOW factor of Jesus. Jesus demands that He is number one and supreme over everything else in your life - yourself, family, others and material goods including money and possessions. How is this done? This is done by consistently ensuring that your works and words match your lifestyle and that no hypocrisy can be found, or indeed will be found. It means standing up for God in the face of adversity. It means loving others even though they hate you.

Just a couple of examples. In the UK, we aren’t systematically persecuted. We are marginalized, ridiculed and ignored but some of our Christian family around the world who daily face death simply because they chose to follow Jesus. They are carrying their cross for Jesus! What about us in the UK? For example: if we as Christians were known by our self-sacrificial love of all others, then Jesus whom we claim to love, follow, worship, and adore would be seen.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote "When Jesus Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. ... Discipleship is not an offer that man makes to Jesus Christ, nor is it hero worship, but intimacy with Christ." (The Cost of Discipleship). Bonnhoeffer knew that as a Christian, a person has to take up their own cross in following Jesus and count the cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

 

Finally, let’s look at 1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for others.” Jesus told us to take up our own cross if we are to follow Him as His Disciple. How is that possible? If we try to do that in our own strength and wisdom, we will fail. If we do that using the power and strength of the Holy Spirit within you, then you will succeed at following Jesus’ command. Are you as a Disciple of Jesus Christ willing to take up your cross? What a difference that would make to the community where you live! 

 

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POD - Psalm 51

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Psalm 51

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

51:1 Have mercy on me, God, according to your loving kindness.
According to the multitude of your tender mercies,
blot out my transgressions.
51:2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity.
Cleanse me from my sin.
51:3 For I know my transgressions.
My sin is constantly before me.
51:4 Against you, and you only, have I sinned,
and done that which is evil in your sight;
that you may be proved right when you speak,
and justified when you judge.

51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity.
In sin my mother conceived me.
51:6 Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts.
You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
51:7 Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean.
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
51:8 Let me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones which you have broken may rejoice.

51:9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all of my iniquities.
51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a right spirit within me.
51:11 Don’t throw me from your presence,
and don’t take your holy Spirit from me.

51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation.
Uphold me with a willing spirit.
51:13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways.
Sinners shall be converted to you.
51:14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness,
O God, the God of my salvation.
My tongue shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

51:15 Lord, open my lips.
My mouth shall declare your praise.
51:16 For you don’t delight in sacrifice, or else I would give it.
You have no pleasure in burnt offering.
51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.
A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
51:18 Do well in your good pleasure to Zion.
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
51:19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of righteousness,
in burnt offerings and in whole burnt offerings.
Then they will offer bulls on your altar.

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