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Spiritual Serendipity

Some positive thoughts of encouragement to share in a thirsty land.

Philippians 4 8 ... whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.

Romans 1 12 ... that we may be encouraged together.


All the above images provided by J Kirkwood

Christadelphian
Bible Mission
Editorial
October 2017


2017 12 05 bro cl

Getting to know something of God, means we need to listen to God’s teachings in private and learn to have personal fellowship with God. Traditionally Israel went to the temple to communicate with God. Where is the temple today? The Apostle Paul tells us: Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19 KJV And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 2 Corinthians 6:16 KJV
Considering then that we are God’s temple today, we need to access our temple body in fellowshipping and communicating with God.
Jesus says, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6 KJV To do this (in our private closet or room, our private space), we must empty our minds of all thoughts of worldly things. Having entered this closet, this private space to communicate with God, consciously exclude all other thoughts, as if listening intently to the fading of the sound from a bell until there is total silence. This secret space in your mind becomes uncluttered from the things of the world; this is your private, most holy place, creating a place to go to, to find God; the only place where you can be at peace with God and find quiet unity.
At first it seems like nothing is happening but stay with it and in the space of only two weeks of daily meditational practice, you will find a spiritual closeness to God. Don’t try to force anything, you’re just creating an empty space of empty quietness, called empty mind. 
Now imagine, in this personal quiet space, God offering fellowship to you – you’re in the presence of God. God accepts you through Jesus Anointed. You can’t see God but try to feel the presence and nearness of God in the darkness of your inner space, your Holy place. Feel the unity and oneness with God. Here is where you meet with God in this inner space. Here is where your table of fellowship exists. 
Imagine a table in the midst of this inner space where you can place all your cares and woes, and pour out your failures and receive only love and forgiveness. Communicate with Him. There is no condemnation for honest open confession. When we understand honest, repentant confession before God cancels all sin and guilt, we realise that we now have strength to overcome our anxieties, for it was our sense of guilt that kept us unsure and in prison. Sometimes you may only want to be here, in unity with the oneness of God, resting in the arms of God away from the world, to be at perfect peace. 
When finished, and with practice, you will find a personal relationship with God. 
People talk about it but rarely if ever tell you how to obtain it.
2017 12 02 bro cl based on a class by bro au 

Studying the Bible

Studying the Bible is the best way to get to know and understand God. Here are some tips for Bible Study.

1. Decide what you want to study: a passage of Scripture, a Bible theme, a word study, Scriptural principle. Start small. First timers should select something compact and not too complex (i.e. don’t start on the Epistle to the Romans). Developing your Bible study techniques will not be instantaneous; it takes time and perseverance.

2. Be prayerful. God will always bless your effort.

3. Read and re-read the passage(s); using many and differing Bibles available (translations and occasional paraphrases). If you are studying a theme or word study then a comprehensive Bible concordance is required that matches your preferred Bible version. Bible computer software can make searching the Bible a lot easier.

4. Look into the context as it is important, foundational groundwork. Add to this the historical culture of the time.

5. Structure of paragraphs may indicate narrative, dialogue, prose or poetry.

6. Words may have special meanings; work on understanding what is being said or being described.

7. Visualise what is being described. The Bible is a visual book.


8. Look for emphasis; the amount of space used or the number of chapters or the number of verses devoted to a specific topic or event indicates the importance of that topic.

9. Note the relationships between ideas: cause and effect, ifs and thens, questions and answers, comparisons and contrasts.

10. Ask who, what, where, when, how and why questions.

11. Search for cross-references; particular words or phrases may be repeated elsewhere in Scripture. This helps understanding word meaning and usage. Use a Bible Concordance, the centre margin of some Bibles or look out for the book “Treasury of Scripture Knowledge” (also available online).

12. Insight will come over time. Then begin application! How does God’s message to me affect my relationship with God? How does it affect my relationship with others? Application means putting what God is teaching you into practice. Bit by bit; insight by insight. Develop a plan of action.

13. Again be prayerful, as God will always bless your effort. Again it takes time and perseverance

14. Get into it as it is vital for your relationship with your God.


* NKJ Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

* The Message 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—What God has arranged for those who love him.

2017 11 20 bro pn 


The Judgement Seat poem

2017 02 01 sis dl

One of the latest books in my library is "Events Subsequent to the Return of Christ" by or put together by J. Cowie. It is a compilation of notes on this subject, and is well worth reading. As the title indicates, among its topics are: Events to expect subsequent to the Return; The Jubilee Period; Responsibility question; Resurrection; Judgement Seat; Marriage of the Lamb; The Gogian invasion; Work of Elijah; Second Exodus of Israel; Christ's military strategy; Christ at Jerusalem; Armageddon; The land of Israel cleansed; Subjugation of nations; the lull before the final storm; The time of trouble; Yahweh's controversy with the nations; Duration of national judgement; Christ's reign on earth; A house of prayer for all nations and the final consolation. This book of 111 pages is inexpensive and a very stimulating read, putting together a wonderful description of what a faithful believer can look forward to when our long awaited Lord returns to set up that Kingdom.

2016 12 31 sis dl

For anyone not familiar with the Christadelphian Videos available on the internet, they can be viewed under (searched by): Christadelphian Watchman; Key to the Bible; Bible in the News; Aletheia - Bible Truth & Prophecy; Christadelphian Videos; End Time Bible Prophecy. There is a long list of speakers worldwide if you want to listen / watch anyone in particular. There are literally hundreds of subjects to choose from and all are very stimulating and encouraging in these times.

2016 12 31 sis dl

A new year lies before me
And an unknown path to tread,
but I will put my trust in God
and by Him I shall be led.
I have His great assurance
that I shall not walk alone
and I know He'll walk beside me
on this path - as yet unknown.
Poem by C.H. French (1959)

2017 02 04 sis dl

This translation of Matthew 5:3-12 resonates with me.
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. 4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. 5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. 6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. 7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for. 8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. 9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. 10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. 11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.  (The Message)
2016 12 08 sis sn

A new translation of Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” (NKJ) Rather than the obvious (that our God is a monotheistic God), consider the life focus of “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is the One!” The LORD is the centre and the motivation for our life. The LORD is the One.

2016 11 30 bro pn

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (NKJ) “rest” (Noun – ‘anapausis’) has meanings of intermission, cessation of any motion, business, labour or rest, recreation however Vine highlights that Jesus is contrasting his work to that of the Pharisees who imposed overwhelming burdens. “Christ’s ‘rest’ is not a ‘rest’ from work, but a rest in work, ‘not the rest of inactivity but of the harmonious working of all the faculties and affections – of will, heart, imagination, conscience – because each has found in God the ideal sphere for its satisfaction and development” (J Patrick in Hastings’ Bible Dictionary as quoted by Vine in his Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words).”

2016 12 04 bro pn

Have you considered the YouVersion app?
YouVersion provides 100's of Bible versions for personal reading or listening to Bible readings on a mobile device. It supports personal bookmarks, notes and reading plans. If you register your email with YouVersion you can receive a verse each day by email to meditate on. Certain Bible versions can be accessed offline as well. And it is free from your apps store.

2016 12 07 bro pn

Have you considered thebibleproject.com?
The Bible Project is a non profit, crowd funded venture with the objective of creating excellent summaries of each book of the Bible as well as videos of various Biblical words and themes. They are great to view to give you an overall picture that can lead you on to further reading and study. They are provided freely. As always, view with care and thoughtfulness. The Bible Project includes a read scripture video series, an animated films series on the various sections of the Bible, as well a series of films on Bible themes. To come in 2017 are a how to read the Bible series, Biblical word studies and much more. Again view with care and enjoy these exceptional resources.

2017 01 08 bro pn