But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2: 9)
Liberty & Charity -Extracted from Galatians, Chapter 5
13 After all, brothers, you were called to be free; do not use your freedom as an opening for self-indulgence, but be servants to one another in love,
14 since the whole of the Law is summarised in the one commandment: You must love your neighbour as yourself.
15 If you go snapping at one another and tearing one another to pieces, take care: you will be eaten up by one another.
16 Instead, I tell you, be guided by the Spirit, and you will no longer yield to self-indulgence.
17 The desires of self-indulgence are always in opposition to the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are in opposition to self-indulgence: they are opposites, one against the other; that is how you are prevented from doing the things that you want to.
18 But when you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
19 When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious: sexual vice, impurity, and sensuality,
20 the worship of false gods and sorcery; antagonisms and rivalry, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels, disagreements,
21 factions and malice, drunkenness, orgies and all such things. And about these, I tell you now as I have told you in the past, that people who behave in these ways will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 On the other hand the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness,
23 gentleness and self-control; no law can touch such things as these.
24 All who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified self with all its passions and its desires.
25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let our behaviour be guided by the Spirit
26 and let us not be conceited or provocative and envious of one another.
21 May 2011
28 May 2011
Peter’s arrest and miraculous deliverance – extracted from Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 12:
The following happened after Pentecost:
1 It was about this time that King Herod started persecuting certain members of the church.
2 He had James the brother of John beheaded,
3 and when he saw that this pleased the Jews he went on to arrest Peter as well.
4 As it was during the days of Unleavened Bread that he had arrested him, he put him in prison, assigning four sections of four soldiers each to guard him, meaning to try him in public after the Passover.
5 All the time Peter was under guard the church prayed to God for him unremittingly.
6 On the night before Herod was to try him, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with two chains, while guards kept watch at the main entrance to the prison.
7 Then suddenly an angel of the Lord stood there, and the cell was filled with light. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him. 'Get up!' he said, 'Hurry!' - and the chains fell from his hands.
8 The angel then said, 'Put on your belt and sandals.' After he had done this, the angel next said, 'Wrap your cloak round you and follow me.'
9 He followed him out, but had no idea that what the angel did was all happening in reality; he thought he was seeing a vision.
10 They passed through the first guard post and then the second and reached the iron gate leading to the city. This opened of its own accord; they went through it and had walked the whole length of one street when suddenly the angel left him.
11 It was only then that Peter came to himself. And he said, 'Now I know it is all true. The Lord really did send his angel and save me from Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.'
12 As soon as he realised this he went straight to the house of Mary the mother of John Mark, where a number of people had assembled and were praying.
13 He knocked at the outside door and a servant called Rhoda came to answer it.
14 She recognised Peter's voice and was so overcome with joy that, instead of opening the door, she ran inside with the news that Peter was standing at the main entrance.
15 They said to her, 'You are out of your mind,' but she insisted that it was true. Then they said, 'It must be his angel!'
16 Peter, meanwhile, was still knocking. When they opened the door, they were amazed to see that it really was Peter himself.
17 He raised his hand for silence and described to them how the Lord had led him out of prison. He added, 'Tell James and the brothers.' Then he left and went elsewhere.
18 When daylight came there was a great commotion among the soldiers, who could not imagine what had become of Peter.
19 Herod put out an unsuccessful search for him; he had the guards questioned, and before leaving Judaea to take up residence in Caesarea he gave orders for their execution.
28 May 2011
4 June 2011
Happenings at Samaria after Pentecost- Extracted from the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 8:
5 And Philip went to a Samaritan town and proclaimed the Christ to them.
6 The people unanimously welcomed the message Philip preached, because they had heard of the miracles he worked and because they saw them for themselves.
7 For unclean spirits came shrieking out of many who were possessed, and several paralytics and cripples were cured.
8 As a result there was great rejoicing in that town.
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
15 and they went down there and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit,
16 for as yet he had not come down on any of them: they had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus.
17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
The Parable of the Rich Man & Lazarus – Extracted from Luke, Chapter 16:
19 'There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day.
20 And at his gate there used to lie a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores,
21 who longed to fill himself with what fell from the rich man's table. Even dogs came and licked his sores.
22 Now it happened that the poor man died and was carried away by the angels into Abraham's embrace. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 'In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his embrace.
24 So he cried out, "Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames."
25 Abraham said, "My son, remember that during your life you had your fill of good things, just as Lazarus his fill of bad. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony.
26 But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to prevent those who want to cross from our side to yours or from your side to ours."
27 'So he said, "Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father's house,
28 since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too."
29 Abraham said, "They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them."
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders, though you do not have to depend on them. (1 Thessalonians 4: 11-12)
28 May 2012
The Saving Justice for the Children of Abraham – Extracted from Isaiah, Chapter 51:
1 Listen to me, you who pursue saving justice, you who seek Yahweh. Consider the rock from which you were hewn, the quarry from which you were dug.
2 Consider Abraham your father and Sarah who gave you birth. When I called him he was the only one but I blessed him and made him numerous.
3 Yes, Yahweh has pity on Zion, has pity on all her ruins; he will turn her desert into an Eden and her wastelands into the garden of Yahweh. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of music.
4 Pay attention to me, my people, listen to me, my nation, for a law will come from me, and I shall make my saving justice the light of peoples.
5 My justice is suddenly approaching, my salvation appears, my arm is about to judge the peoples. The coasts and islands will put their hope in me and put their trust in my arm.
6 Raise your eyes to the heavens, look down at the earth; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth wear out like clothing and its inhabitants die like vermin, but my salvation will last for ever and my saving justice remain inviolable.
7 Listen to me, you who know what saving justice means, a people who take my laws to heart: do not fear people's taunts, do not be alarmed by their insults,
8 for the moth will eat them like clothing, the grub will devour them like wool, but my saving justice will last for ever and my salvation for all generations.
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28 May 2012