25 February 2012
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength
- Extracted from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians, Chapter 4:
1 So then, my brothers and dear friends whom I miss so much, my joy and my crown, hold firm in the Lord, dear friends.
2 I urge Euodia, and I urge Syntyche to come to agreement with each other in the Lord;
3 and I ask you, Syzygus, really to be a 'partner' and help them. These women have struggled hard for the gospel with me, along with Clement and all my other fellow-workers, whose names are written in the book of life.
4 Always be joyful, then, in the Lord; I repeat, be joyful.
5 Let your good sense be obvious to everybody. The Lord is near.
6 Never worry about anything; but tell God all your desires of every kind in prayer and petition shot through with gratitude,
7 and the peace of God which is beyond our understanding will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, let your minds be filled with everything that is true, everything that is honourable, everything that is upright and pure, everything that we love and admire - with whatever is good and praiseworthy.
9 Keep doing everything you learnt from me and were told by me and have heard or seen me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
10 As for me, I am full of joy in the Lord, now that at last your consideration for me has blossomed again; though I recognise that you really did have consideration before, but had no opportunity to show it.
11 I do not say this because I have lacked anything; I have learnt to manage with whatever I have.
12 I know how to live modestly, and I know how to live luxuriously too: in every way now I have mastered the secret of all conditions: full stomach and empty stomach, plenty and poverty.
13 I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
25 February 2012
The Peril of Falling Away & The Certainty of Godís Promise
-Extracted from the Sermon- the Hebrews, Chapter 6:
1 Let us leave behind us then all the elementary teaching about Christ and go on to its completion, without going over the fundamental doctrines again: the turning away from dead actions, faith in God,
2 the teaching about baptisms and the laying - on of hands, about the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgement.
3 This, God willing, is what we propose to do.
4 As for those people who were once brought into the light, and tasted the gift from heaven, and received a share of the Holy Spirit,
5 and tasted the goodness of God's message and the powers of the world to come
6 and yet in spite of this have fallen away - it is impossible for them to be brought to the freshness of repentance a second time, since they are crucifying the Son of God again for themselves, and are holding him up to contempt.
7 A field that drinks up the rain that has fallen frequently on it, and yields the crops that are wanted by the owners who grew them, receives God's blessing;
8 but one that grows brambles and thistles is worthless, and near to being cursed. It will end by being burnt.
Teach Sound Doctrine -Extracted from the Letter of Saint Paul to Titus, Chapter 2:
1 It is for you, then, to preach the behaviour which goes with healthy doctrine.
2 Tell the older men to be temperate, serious, prudent, sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.
3 Similarly, older women should behave as befits religious people, with no scandal-mongering and no addiction to wine - they must be the teachers of right behaviour
4 and show younger women how they should love their husbands and love their children,
5 how they must be sensible and chaste, and how to work in their homes, and be gentle, and obey their husbands, so that the message of God is not disgraced.
6 Similarly, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.
7 Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity and gravity,
8 and sound speech that cannot be censured; then any opponent will be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us.
9 Slaves must be obedient to their masters in everything, and do what is wanted without argument;
10 and there must be no pilfering - they must show complete honesty at all times, so that they are in every way a credit to the teaching of God our Saviour.
11 You see, God's grace has been revealed to save the whole human race;
12 it has taught us that we should give up everything contrary to true religion and all our worldly passions; we must be self-restrained and live upright and religious lives in this present world,
13 waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Christ Jesus.
14 He offered himself for us in order to ransom us from all our faults and to purify a people to be his very own and eager to do good.
15 Declare these things; exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one look down on you.
9 But you, my dear friends - in spite of what we have just said, we are sure you are in a better state and on the way to salvation.
10 God would not be so unjust as to forget all you have done, the love that you have for his name or the services you have done, and are still doing, for the holy people of God.
11 Our desire is that every one of you should go on showing the same enthusiasm till the ultimate fulfillment of your hope,
12 never growing careless, but taking as your model those who by their faith and perseverance are heirs of the promises.
13 When God made the promise to Abraham, he swore by his own self, since there was no one greater he could swear by:
14 I will shower blessings on you and give you many descendants.
15 Because of that, Abraham persevered and received fulfillment of the promise.
16 Human beings, of course, swear an oath by something greater than themselves, and between them, confirmation by an oath puts an end to all dispute.
17 In the same way, when God wanted to show the heirs of the promise even more clearly how unalterable his plan was, he conveyed it by an oath
18 so that through two unalterable factors in which God could not be lying, we who have fled to him might have a vigorous encouragement to grasp the hope held out to us.
19 This is the anchor our souls have, reaching right through inside the curtain
20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever, of the order of Melchizedek.
3 March 2012