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MyDevotions.today We have recently launched our new MyDevotions.today website that will bring you daily devotions that you can access via desk top computer, tablet or mobile phone while on the move. The daily thoughts cover a range of topics and will give you something to think about as you go about your daily activities. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You (the Lord) will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” It is a good idea to seek the Lord first thing in the morning so you can begin your day with Him. It seems as if David the man after God’s own heart used to do the same. He writes in Psalm 5:3 “My voice you shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to you, and I will look up.” Build your faith each morning, keep your mind on Him and let His peace keep you all day.

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Contents

EDITORIAL 4

FEATURE ARTICLES Kingdom of Priests 6 “‘So who is the pastor?’ I had not heard a word from anyone who was projecting himself...” True Portrait of an Apostle 8 We often hear ministers say they were called to shepherd God’s people etc. but an Apostle is called and sent outside the local church Why Did He Do It? 10 Why did Jesus start his last meal by washing His disciple’s feet? Why did Peter get so upset by this? God’s Economy 12 God’s economics is completely opposite to man’s economics. God’s economics says if you keep giving away what you have you will never be in need. Examining the Five Fold Ministry 14 He gave the Apostles, the Prophets, the Evangelists, the Shepherds and Teachers, to equip the saints.

TESTIMONY 18 “Please go back to church mum you were happy when you went to church” - Melisa Flageul REFLECTIONS Why? 21 By Carolyn Harris

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Think! 24 There Is No Place Like Home By David White Jargon Buster 26 Understanding religious terminologies Note to Self Reflections from Thomas A Kempis - By Angela Slack

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The Story Teller Real life stories that grip the very heart of you

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In Praise of Hymn 30 Reviewing Great Christian Hymns – How Can it Be

Tithing 16 The new way is giving not tithing. Cheerful giving from a willing heart has replaced dutiful tithing.

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Conquering the Enemy Within 22 The key is to get our eyes on Jesus and off the problem, self and sin. The Pilgrim Church 25 You will see that God’s true church is rarely ‘successful’ in the World’s eyes. We need to learn what success means in God’s eyes.

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Editorial I

would like to express heartfelt gratitude to all SHARE readers and supporters for your sterling support throughout 2014. I pray that in 2015 you will walk victoriously in grace and experience the peace that Jesus promised to all who believe on His Name. It was at Antioch that followers of Christ were first called Christians meaning Christ like (see Acts 11:26). Before, they were referred to as people of ‘The Way’. Upon observation outsiders could see that the people of ‘The Way’ demonstrated Christ like virtues, they loved and lived like Jesus. That all changed however, when people began to call themselves Christian. The proverb is true, ‘self praise is no recommendation’. The fact is, everyone will speak well of themselves, even the Devil will tell you he is a good Christian. Our Christianity must be a demonstration and not a self recommendation. It is heart breaking to hear what people think of Christianity today and by extension, of our Lord Jesus Christ. In this magazine we are examining issues that affect our perception and understanding of how the Kingdom of God functions. So we endeavoured to correct as much of the prevailing imbalance in thinking and practice as possible. Thus we looked at the true picture of Jesus the servant King and ask the question Why Did He Do It? The article Kingdom of Priests explores the principle that we are all in the Kings service, we looked

at Christian stewardship as seen in the Portrait of Paul as an Apostle, we examined The Fivefold Ministries as God’s blue print for a healthy service oriented church, we discussed the model of God’s Economy as being mutually self-sustaining and free will giving rather than Tithing as the heart of New Testament Christian living and finally our responsibility to demonstrate integrity of character by living victoriously over sin through Conquering The Enemy Within. We also have in Testimony, Melissa Fleageul’s story; That Jesus still does Miracle Make overs. We continued in Reflections to publish new poets and short stories, we welcome Carolyn Harris and David White respectively. Keep them coming... As you read be encouraged to examine your hearts and motives for following Christ, remember many followed Him for what He could do for them, others for what goodies they could get, some out of religious obligation and then there were those who knew that He was The Christ and therefore loved him and worshipped Him as King of Kings. The question that permeates throughout this issue is... If we say we are in the Kingdom of God today what is our position there? Remember, in His kingdom there are no Celebrities or Superstars only Servants... of the King? I remain in Jesus’ Service. Love as always

Angela Slack

Editor and Cofounder 4

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January - March 2015

Volume 3 - Issue 1

About Us

SHARE MAGAZINE is a FREE Christian quarterly that deals with challenging Christian topics that have been mostly ignored or left unanswered. The magazine includes written articles, poems and thoughts etc. Read our online version at www. TheShareMagazine.com/online where you can discuss articles. If you would like to submit articles, join our writers group or get involved in any other way kindly email us. SHARE MAGAZINE is produced by Select Arrow, which is the publishing arm of United In Christ.

Disclaimer

Throughout this magazine the editor & contributors seek to present a balanced and accurate view of Scripture’s teaching. We are all on a journey of studying and understanding God’s Word. Because of this, all we can offer is as balanced an understanding as the Holy Spirit has offered us at this time. The views or opinions represented in this publication are personal to each of our contributors and may not fully represent those of any other contributor or editor.

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Credits: Image on page 9 by: Pedropicco - flickr.com/photos/pedropicco/ - License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/ Image on page 14 by: Michele Eve Sandberg - flickr.com/photos/flasporty/ - License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Image on page 17 by: eFile989 - flickr.com/photos/119903731@N02/ - License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ Image across pages 18-19 by: Rachel Carter - flickr.com/photos/raggle/ - License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/ Chap sitting on floor on page 21 by: Jason Rogers - flickr.com/photos/restlessglobetrotter/ - License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Image across page 22-23 by: Søren Rajczyk - flickr.com/photos/rajczyk/ - License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Photo on page 24 by: Dan Nguyen - flickr.com/photos/zokuga/ - License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ Photo of cat on page 29 by: Roger Luijten - flickr.com/photos/66555186@N02/ - License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Music sheet image on page 30 by: GaÍl - flickr.com/photos/gawelfr/ - License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/ January - March 2015

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A Kingdom of Priests “So who is the pastor?” I had not heard a word from anyone who was projecting himself as the leader and was curious.

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Here I was sitting in a congregation listening for the hundredth time. The pastor was preaching the usual Sunday morning message. “You must be born again!” or “Jesus is coming soon!” Or it could have been any one of his fundamental favorites. We never went beyond the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. As I looked across the sea of members I saw scores of women. A sprinkling of men were scattered here and there. The children had already been dismissed to Sunday School in the hall next door. My eyes began to flutter. I had had a

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very difficult week. There was nothing that could stimulate my interest as a man. I have a hunting instinct. I like a battle, a real fight. The pastor was not saying anything that could challenge my thoughts. I had already heard it all. Besides all this, the ‘stage’ had already been set with beautiful flowers, the songs we sang felt very feminine. We had sung ‘I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses.’ I don’t mind roses, but I would rather watch a soccer match, or even a good fight between two men, or be out myself trying to catch fish, or knocking up a wooden shed for my tools at home. MEN FIND CHURCH BORING! After I read David Murrow’s book ‘Why Men Hate Going To Church’ I understood what he was talking about. We do everything in church to drive away the men then we expect them to come.


I understand that many young men are leaving the church scene and becoming Muslims. Why? There’s some challenge there. There’s opportunity for a fight. They can defend a cause. They can risk their lives. Adventure attracts them. When I read my bible, the Early church seemed exciting and adventurous. Saints were being martyred for their faith. They were a part of an expanding body of believers. Here nothing seems to be expanding. It’s the same group that meets week after week. I don’t see that we are bringing new people in. Most believers seem comfortable to just listen to one man week after week. Where have we gone wrong? Can someone tell me?

I’ve been going to this church since I was in Sunday School. I could tell you what will happen at each step. The Praise Team will come on, the secretary will give the notices, the offering will be taken, someone will give a special solo, the pastor will take over, preach, make an altar call and the service will be dismissed. It flows like clockwork. There’s no variety. And I feel I am watching a show, 52 Sundays every year. THE EARLY CHURCH WAS EXCITING O.K. so you see what I mean. I’m an active young man. I work hard at my job in drawing plans for constructing city housing. I work out every other day at the gym. I go cycling every morning before going to work. What am I doing just sitting down and watching the same show week after week?

HOLY SPIRIT CONTROLLED MEETINGS Perhaps I can share an experience. Years later I attend a conference in Bognor Regis in England. There I saw the Spirit of God moving upon a thousand or more people. The minister said, “God is about to liberate those molested sexually or those with deviant behaviour.” Young men and women came hurrying to the front seeking deliverance from demons. The Monday night at an elders’ meeting in a home in Malden along with elders from our Jamaican fellowship, a brother walked across the room and prophesied to me; “Brother, don’t worry about those six people. They are like six shoots that will spring up!” How did he know what was in my heart? I had been worrying about six of the members I had been pastoring. He was dead right! Later, at a fellowship in Bristol along with my wife, best man and his wife, as a visitor I decided to keep my mouth shut and just listen. Suddenly a young woman with a guitar began ministering under the anointing. We were blessed. Someone else prophesied that God would provide for three or more people who needed jobs. All three stood up and received ministry too.

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While worshiping, the Spirit fell upon me and I begin singing a song God had given me years before. Near the end of the service a brother stood up and remarked, “Brethren, when I came in I was sick, but when that West Indian brother sang, I was healed instantly!” At another point there was dancing and rejoicing as we moved around sometimes arm in arm in tremendous joy and free worship. At the end I asked, “So who is the pastor?” I had not heard a word from anyone who was projecting himself as the leader and was curious. Somebody pointed to a black brother, “That Nigerian brother over there. And that Irish sister is his wife!” NEW TESTAMENT WORSHIP Funny! For he had not spoken a word. This was a New Testament assembly like the Early Church. They also met in homes like the early disciples. Each person was a priest and could rise and minister. The pastors and elders were all priests. Jesus was the High Priest, and everyone had his role to play as in a soccer game. No one was more important than the next. Each person was important and played a role and the game was going well. The Spirit of God was in complete control. Then I understood what God had wanted from the days of the Old Covenant: a kingdom of priests[1]…where the fivefold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers were to be each one fulfilling a role[2] as a priest that is serving each other. There is one High Priest Jesus! He said, “I, if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me!”[3] When I returned to Jamaica I began to teach the church how a New Testament church should function.p By C Richard McCaw author, music teacher and many years as a bible teacher

References: [1] 1 Pet 2:5; [2] Eph 4:11, 12; [3] John 12:32

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APOSTLE M A True Portrait

Mark 3:13-16 “And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the twelve…” (ESV)

APOSTLE MEANS SENT ONE Local ministers are called to preach, teach or to shepherd God’s people but an Apostle is one who is called and then sent outside the local church to reach others. The Picture of a missionary today is the closest fit to the biblical portrait of an apostle. Lets examine biblical criteria for apostleship: 1. Discipleship - An Apostle is firstly called aside by Jesus to spend time with Him and learn obedience. 2. Commissioning - An apostle is then sent to preach the gospel he has received from Jesus Himself once his obedience is complete. 3. Mission - An apostle takes the truth into new geographic and spiritual regions. Spiritually means where error prevails they teach the truth, where darkness/ignorance prevails they come with the light of the gospel. 4. Testimony - An apostle faces and overcomes dangers and great suffering, this includes self induced suffering in order to preserve the integrity of their precious cargo, i.e. the gospel. 5. Ministry - They are given power to perform miracles as proof of the authenticity of their message. PAUL’S APOSTOLIC CREDENTIALS 1. Discipled by Jesus and not man “I was chosen to be an apostle by Jesus Christ and by God the Father, who raised him from death. No mere human chose or appointed me to this work.” (Galatians 1:1) Paul seems to have spent 3 years in seclusion receiving his message 8

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from Jesus. “But even before I was born, God had chosen me… so that I would announce his message to the Gentiles. I didn’t talk this over with anyone. I didn’t say a word, not even to the men in Jerusalem who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went at once to Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus. Three years later I went to visit Peter…” (Galatians 1:15-18) 2. Commissioned by Jesus not man “I want you to know that no one made up the message I preach. It wasn’t given or taught to me by some mere human. My message came directly from Jesus Christ when he appeared to me.” (Galatians 1:11-12) “They realized that God had sent me with the good news for Gentiles…” (Galatians 1:7) 3. Given a mission of great geographic and spiritual scope Geographic Dangers - “I have been shipwrecked three times, and I even had to spend a night and a day in the sea. During my many travels, I have been in danger from rivers, robbers, my own people, and foreigners. My life has been in danger in cities, in deserts, at sea...” (2 Corinthians 11:26) Spiritual Dangers i.e. persecuted by the Devil’s people - “Five times the Jews gave me thirty-nine lashes with a whip. Three times the Romans beat me with a big stick, and once my enemies stoned me… My life has [also] been in danger… with people who only pretended to be the Lord’s followers.” (2 Corinthians 11:24-26) 4. A Lifetime testimony of faithfulness in Suffering “Was it wrong for me to lower

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myself and honor you by preaching God’s message free of charge? ...Even when I was in need, I still didn’t bother you… I have not been a burden to you in the past, and I will never be a burden.” (2 Corinthians 11:7-9) “I have worked and struggled and spent many sleepless nights. I have gone hungry and thirsty and often had nothing to eat. I have been cold from not having enough clothes to keep me warm.” (2 Corinthians 11:27) “We don’t want anyone to find fault with our work, and so we try hard not to cause problems. But in everything and in every way we show that we truly are God’s servants. We have always been patient, though we have had a lot of trouble, suffering, and hard times. We have been beaten, put in jail, and hurt in riots. We have worked hard and have gone without sleep or food. But we have kept ourselves pure and have been understanding, patient, and kind. The Holy Spirit has been with us, and our love has been real. We have spoken the truth, and God’s power has worked in us. In all our struggles we have said and done only what is right. Whether we were honored or dishonored or praised or cursed, we always told the truth about ourselves. But some people said we did not. We are unknown to others, but well known to you. We seem to be dying, and yet we are still alive. We have been punished, but never killed, and we are always happy, even in times of suffering. Although we are poor, we have made many people rich. And though we own nothing, everything is ours.” (2 Corinthians 6:3-10) 5. A Ministry of Verified Miracles “God gave Paul the power to work great miracles.” (Acts 19:11) “When I was with you, I was patient


Further Reading

and worked all the powerful miracles and signs and wonders of a true apostle.” (2 Corinthians 12:12) “I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” (Romans 15:18-20)

“I have been shipwrecked three times, and I even had to spend a night and a day in the sea.”

Title Versus Function

I can find nowhere where Paul was referred to as ‘apostle Paul’ (as a title), but rather as ‘Paul the apostle’ (as a call and function). For example, Dr. Paul may have received an honorary title but has never practiced medicine in his life. Paul the doctor is a totally different story.

The dangers of titles

Titles are dangerous because they label rather than describe. A bottle labelled medicine could contain poison and everyone may believe the lie until someone drinks it. The proof of the cake is in its eating not the beauty of its icing. Jesus warns us against titles. Describing the hypocrisy of the scribes and the Pharisees, who loved notoriety, said this, “But none of you should be called a teacher. You have only one teacher, and all of you are like brothers and sisters. Don’t call anyone on earth your father. All of you have the same Father in heaven. None of you should be called the leader. The Messiah is your only leader. Whoever is the greatest should be the servant of the others. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honoured.” (Matthew 23:8-12) In other words, do not take on titles, to the contrary we must be fathers and be teachers etc. Do the job but refuse the title because none is above the other. We are all on the same level, we are His children, brothers and sisters Paul admonishing Timothy did not say to him ‘see to it that people refer to you by your title, Evangelist Timothy’ but instead Paul said ‘do the work of an evangelist’.[1]

Titles are like coffins

Titles in most cases are coffins made to look good yet filled with decay and stench. Titles destroy meekness by creating a false sense of power and authority. The result is arrogance, insensitivity to the feelings of others, and a tendency to talk rather than listen, boss others rather than serve, impose your way rather than seek God’s way. Like a coffin is sealed shut; those who take on titles mostly end up bound by a false sense of who they really are. Every time they are referred to by their title this nail of deception sinks deeper and hope of escape grows dimmer. Hearts are hardened by the lie of a title. No wonder the scribes and the Pharisees could not receive Jesus. They were so blinded by their own self importance that they couldn’t see His Majesty.p References: [1] 2 Timothy 4:5

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By Homer Slack author, preacher, bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer

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Why Did He Do It?

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“During the meal Jesus got up, removed his outer garment, and wrapped a towel around his waist. He put some water into a large bowl. Then he began washing his disciples’ feet and drying them with the towel he was wearing.” (John 13:4,5) Why did Jesus start His last meal by washing His disciple’s feet? Why did Peter get so upset by this? Many sermons have been given on this question. Is there any way we can better understand what was happening? The answer is, “Yes!” Our picture shows an ancient foot-bath found in Israel. After walking hot dusty roads, the chance to wash your feet was very welcome. Because of this, providing water for a guest was the least thing you could do. However, actually washing someone else’s feet was thought to be very menial work that only the lowest slave would do. Jewish people at the time of Jesus had no custom of washing feet at the Passover (Jesus last supper on earth). In Jesus’ times, disciples would serve their rabbi in many ways. However, untying their master’s shoes was thought of as much too lowly a thing to do. In fact, it was considered too lowly even for ordinary servants; it was said that only ‘Canaanite slaves’ would do such a thing. This is why John the Baptist says this about Jesus, “Someone more powerful is going to come. And I am not good enough even to stoop down and untie his sandals.” (Mark 1:7) John was saying that Jesus was far more important than he was.

Despite His importance, Rabbi Jesus knelt down, untied His disciples’ sandals and washed their feet! No wonder Peter cried out, “You will never wash my feet!” If a disciple would not wash his rabbi’s feet, how could Jesus, his Master, wash his? Wow! Did you get that? Jesus, the King of all kings, not only acted as a servant; He acted as the lowest of all servants, doing one of the worse things a servant could be asked to do. However, Jesus goes further than just washing His disciple’s feet. He goes on to say, they should follow His example and wash each other’s feet. He was saying that the disciples s h o u l d b e c o m e servants and wash other servants’ feet. In effect, they had to make themselves servants of servants, and you can’t get much lower than that. Many people think that when they become leaders in the church, they have reached an important position. Well, Jesus was saying that those who wanted any position within His Kingdom had to become a servant. Their job was to serve His servants. That meant they became a servant of servants – as low as a ‘Canaanite Slave’! p

By Philip Clark author and archeologist specialising in biblical studies

This ancient foot-bath was found in Israel. Normally those used in 1st Century Jerusalem would have been made from stone, due to the belief that stone could not become ‘unclean’.

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God’s Economy The New Testament is rich with examples of God’s economy at work:-

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God’s economy is completely opposite to man’s economy. God’s economy says if you keep giving away what you have you will never be in need while man’s economy says grab and hoard all you can to be successful. What is the ultimate goal of God’s Economy? “The goal is equality, as it is written: ‘The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.’” (NIV) [1] 12

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Sharing with those in need was taught: - “Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” (Luke 12:33) (see also Romans 12:13 (NIV)) Sharing with those in need was practiced: - “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had… 34 that there were no needy persons among them.” (Acts 4:32 (NIV)) (see also Romans 15:26)

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BREAD FOR FOOD & SEED FOR SOWING Paul encouraging us to be generous says, “God gives seed to farmers and provides everyone with food...” [2] If you are not a farmer or one who plants seed do not expect to get a harvest. All we receive from God is to be divided into 2 categories, consumption and production. For CONSUMPTION we should only take what we need and PRODUCTION here is simply giving to those who are in need. When we give to the needy or,


as Paul illustrated, ‘sow seed’ God will supernaturally return a harvest on what we gave. This harvest should again be divided into two categories as before. Continue this cycle and it will keep expanding just as crops do for a natural farmer. “For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give—large or small—will be used to measure what is given back to you.” [3] (TLB) Your seed must go to people (firstly the saints) who are destitute and hungry and to ministers and missionaries who are taking the true gospel to the world and are in need of support and food. Your money must not be ‘tithed’ to mega churches to maintain buildings and cars while saints and preachers are in great need. Kindly note also, that God never sent us chasing wealth but promised that if we make His Kingdom the priority, He would in return see to our needs. Give to those who cannot give back because God is the source of your harvest not man (though He often supplies our needs through others). Give and you shall receive but DO NOT GIVE TO RECEIVE. What you receive will come supernaturally from places and people you least expect.

INVEST IN PEOPLE NOT THINGS! “There are two ways in which a Christian may view his money - ‘How much of my money shall I use for God?’ or ‘How much of God’s money shall I use for myself?’” - I am unable to bring to mind a single New Testament scripture that encourages investments in natural resources but I can think of many that instruct us to use our natural resources to make spiritual investments. You say, “But what about the parable of the talents?” That parable, as all parables, was using a natural scenario to teach a spiritual truth i.e. are we using our God given talents to invest in and expand

His spiritual kingdom? Jesus is returning for a bride not a business. If you believe God gave you money to do business that would be a personal situation and not the general rule. If you wish to do business get an investor or borrow from a bank, and when you receive an income it should be divided into the two categories as mentioned before. The criterion Jesus used to separate the goats from the sheep in Matthew 25 is very gripping. Selfishness could be a sign that the God of love is not dwelling in our hearts but having a willingness to help God’s people who are in need could be a sign that Jesus dwells in our hearts. Stop wasting money on worthless, temporary luxuries and return to your first love. Help God’s people who are in need and see how God will provide for you, and eventually, what great heavenly riches you will inherit.

EARTHLY INVESTMENTS WITH HEAVENLY RETURNS “... ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’” [4] Here in Matthew 25:41-43 Jesus says He is that brother/sister who is hungry and thirsty; He is the weary traveller who needs a home to rest and stay before continuing on His journey; He is the one who was thrown into prison and fell ill there. Jesus, though ascended into heaven, still walks among us and He is not the rich minister with the mega church, mega

house and luxury car. Jesus is the brother/ sister that needs your help. The religious people of Jesus’ time missed Him, could we be missing Him still? Note that Jesus discerned between goat (destined to hell) and sheep (destined for heaven) based on how generous they were. Shocking isn’t it? Sheep bore the fruit of love while goats did not. No mention of how often we went to church, how faithful our tithing was, our knowledge of scriptures or our religious promotions etc. This confirms what Jesus and the apostles said repeatedly i.e. people who are saved love the brethren and do not live for themselves. James comparing genuine faith with genuine love says both must be more than talk. (James 2:14-16) John agrees, “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” [5] If we all give, no one will be in need, that’s how God’s economy works. 

JESUS STILL WALKS AMONG US Our King is here but He is the meek and lowly among us, the one who is in need and dwells in humble circumstances. In Hebrews 13 we realise we could entertain (or neglect) angels unawares as, in Matthew 25, we realise we could neglect Jesus based on how we treat our spiritual brethren who are in need. God takes note of those who help the poor [6] so help the ‘least’ and you are helping Jesus. God is no man’s debtor, when He returns He will reward us according to what we did while alive. Jesus still walks among us in lowly people. How are you treating them, how are you handling the resources God has given you to fulfill His purposes? p By Homer Slack Author, preacher, bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer

References: 1. 2 Corinthians 8:14, 2. 2 Corinthians 9:10, 3. Luke 6:38, 4. Matthew 25:41-43, 5. 1 John 3:17, 6. Acts 10:1-6 (see 2 Corinthians 8:14-15) COMMENT OR DISCUSS ARTICLE AT: www.thesharemagazine.com/archives/0003-01

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EXAM 5 FOLD

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Scripture tells us about Apostles and Prophets. 1 Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11 tell us they are God’s gift to the church. Ephesians 2:20 tells us, they form a part of the foundation of the church with Jesus Christ the cornerstone. This makes it clear, what they teach should be in complete agreement with everything Jesus taught; they build on the same foundation Jesus laid. IMITATORS OF CHRIST Philippians 2:5 tells us we should have the same attitude as Jesus. He left all that was rightfully His in heaven, to come to earth as a servant. He laid down His life, even though that meant He would die. He was humble, not proud. He did not demand money, He had compassion, feeding people when they were hungry, and healed the sick. He lived a simple, inexpensive lifestyle among the poor. He worked with His hands as a builder and spent much time in prayer. He did not have bodyguards to protect Him, and rebuked Peter when he tried to fight off the temple guards who had arrested Him, healing the man Peter injured. He did not curse His enemies, but told us to pray for and love our enemies. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1: “You must follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Leaders should therefore follow Christ’s example, and set an example to others.

He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints. 14

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January - March 2015

THE SIGN OF LIFESTYLE Galatians 5: 19-24 gives us many clues about how true believers live. What they do and do not do. Obviously, Apostles and Prophets must have the fruit of the Spirit in their lives if they are to set us a good example. This fruit was obvious in Jesus’ life. Are those who claim to be “Apostles or Prophets” showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control? Or are they envious, unfaithful to their wives, hateful, angry or greedy?


MINING THE D MINISTRY THE SIGN OF THE SERVANT HEART Mark 9:35 is a difficult verse for many who want to do great things for God. It says this: “If you want the place of honor, you must become a slave and serve others!” But isn’t this what Jesus did? He left the highest place possible reigning as God - became a slave and died in place of sinners! We learn in Acts 18:3 that Paul earned his living making tents so as not to burden the believers and he paid the expenses of those who accompanied him. He did not demand offerings, to pay his bills or fund his lifestyle. Acts 20:33-35 tells us: “I have never wanted anyone’s money or clothes. You know how I have worked with my own hands to make a living for myself and my friends. By everything I did, I showed how you should work to help everyone who is weak. Remember that our Lord Jesus said, “More blessings come from giving than from receiving.” Do the ‘leaders’ you know of live like that? Are they servants of God’s servants? Or, do they expect to be served?

THE SIGN OF MINISTRY In Acts 13 we find a group of men serving in the church as Prophets and Teachers and Apostles were sent out. Barnabas and Saul (Paul) were sent out to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. Apostles and Prophets are first seen serving the local church. The evidence of a servant heart is seen in their daily walk with God. They are faithfully teaching what Jesus taught. Apostles never presumed to exercise authority over the local church. They submitted to the local leadership even in churches they’d planted. On occasion they were unwelcomed in them for varying reasons. They respected the authority of local pastors. THE SIGN OF THE WORD Teachers bring God’s truth to believers while Evangelists bring God’s Word to unbelievers. We have to go back to the bible, to find out if ‘Teachers,’ and Evangelists are sent from God. It’s not a matter of how much we like what they say. The question is does God like it? We have no excuse. Unlike earlier generations, we have the technology to test every word they say. Paul sums up these ministries beautifully in 1 Corinthians 4:9-13:

“It seems to me that God has put us Apostles in the worst possible place. We are like prisoners on their way to death. Angels and the people of this world just laugh at us. Because of Christ, we are thought of as fools, but Christ has made you wise. We are weak and hated, but you are powerful and respected. Even today, we go hungry and thirsty and don’t have anything to wear except rags. We are mistreated and don’t have a place to live. We work hard with our own hands, and when people abuse us, we wish them well. When we suffer, we are patient. When someone curses us, we answer with kind words. Until now we are thought of as nothing more than the trash and garbage of this world.” We are responsible for our own walk with God. He has given us the tools to test what we are taught. If men tell us we should not test what they say, remember, God expects us to put them to the test! 1 John 4:1 says: “Dear friends, don’t believe everyone who claims to have the Spirit of God. Test them all to find out if they really do come from God. Many false prophets have already gone out into the world.”

Test questions, for those in ministry: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Does what they teach agree with what Jesus taught? Check what Jesus said on the subject. Do they follow Christ’s example? Examine their lifestyle. Do they have the fruit of the Spirit in their lives? Check their character. Do they have a servant’s heart? Check their service record. Have they introduced new/different doctrines to what Jesus taught? Do their prophecies come true? Check their accuracy ratings. Do they have a blameless reputation in private and in public? Do they have integrity? p

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January - March 2015

Article by Yve Clark songwriter and speaker with special interest in Biblical Studies

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New Testamen

Tith

C

is it

C

hristians often asked the question; should I tithe? The answer is NO! Reason? We can see no basis in the bible for the prevailing view and teaching on tithing as presented in Churches today. Many things changed with the coming of Jesus Christ. One main thing being the laying of the foundations of the ‘Church’ and the choosing and training of Apostles/ builders to begin its building. Another is that Jesus insisted that mere outward adherence be replaced with inward transformation. While under the Old Covenant tithing was required we can find no such requirement for the New Testament church. GIVING NOT TITHING The new way is giving not tithing. Cheerful giving from a willing heart has replaced dutiful tithing. Nowhere will you find Jesus, who is the foundation of the church, teaching or insisting on tithing although He did have a lot to say about giving. Nowhere will you find the Apostles, the builders of the church, teaching or insisting on tithing. However, they did have a lot to say about giving - but did not insist on people giving to them! If we were to list and briefly expound the many scriptures that command and teach giving the pages of this magazine would not be enough to hold it. HERE ARE A FEW EXAMPLES “Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:8 (NIV))

I will open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that you will not have room enough to receive 16

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January - March 2015

“If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap.” (Luke 6:38) “Sell what you have and give the money to


nt

hing biblcal? the poor.” (Luke 12:33) “...If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” (1 John 3:17(NIV)) “Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don’t feel sorry that you must give and don’t feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give... The Scriptures say, ‘God freely gives his gifts to the poor…’” (2 Corinthians 9:7-9) “I am now on my way to Jerusalem to deliver the money that the Lord’s followers in Macedonia and Achaia collected for God’s needy people.” (Romans 15:26) Above all God the Father and Jesus His Son sets the example of giving. God gave of Himself and not just some material thing, He gave Jesus His only begotten Son. Similarly Jesus did not give up a tenth of His heavenly glory but gave it all up and, in addition to stepping down from

His heavenly glory, came and gave Himself. In like manner we who are in Christ are required to give everything, including ourselves, and not just some of what we have or who we are. WHY THEN, IS TITHING SO POPULAR? Tithing is popular because of greed. Greedy men have crept in among us, false teachers and false prophets who are peddling the gospel and teaching heresy for their own gain. Peter in his second letter says, they are experts in greed, making merchandise of us with fabricated stories. They often tell exaggerated stories about how tithing has worked for them. The truth is however, if we tithe to them only they become richer and us poorer. They argue that tithing is not law because it was practiced by Abram before the giving of the law when he give a tenth to the king of Salem. Consider however, that the Sabbath was also before the law and one much greater than Abram set the example. God Himself set the example when He rested on

the seventh day, so why do these false teachers insist on tithing but not on keeping the Sabbath? Note also that Abram gave a tenth of his war spoils to the king of Salem once, he did not give a tenth of his harvest and flock every month or year. Circumcision was practiced before the law was given so why do they not insist on that? Answer. Because tithing is a much more effective way of plundering our pockets while filling theirs. FOR LOVE’S SAKE Some ministers enforce tithing in their church not because they are greedy but because they are ignorant and are just going along with tradition which, many years ago, may have been harmless but is now turned into a money making machine. To give with any other motive apart from a true compassionate heart and a desire to help even if we base our giving on a plethora of biblical principles is wrong. To give only because we know God will multiply back to us is still giving to receive.

CONCLUSION The fact that Malachi 3:10 is rivalling John 3:16 for popularity is sad. A reminder to the Israelites about the law that commanded them to bring a tenth of their harvest into the stores came with a promise, that if they should obey, God will send a lot of rain (open the windows of heaven) has been twisted beyond recognition by peddlers of the gospel. Tell me, why is it the advocates of tithing keep the contents of Deuteronomy 14:22-29 hidden? Let us advocate what Jesus teaches, give and give generously but to people who are in need, or to those who distribute to the poor, not to those who heap it upon their own lust to get large cars, jets and beautiful buildings with fine interiors etc. Times are difficult and there are many of God’s people who are in great By Homer Slack author, preacher, bible need. For more on how Kingdom economics work see article entitled ‘God’s Economy’. p COMMENT OR DISCUSS ARTICLE AT: www.thesharemagazine.com/archives/0003-01

January - March 2015

teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer

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TESTIM I

thought I had become a born again Christian in February 2006. Looking back, I had knelt on my knees and confessed in prayer that I believed in Jesus. Having done this, I thought that I was saved. I still went out clubbing that night and went to church in the morning with a hangover. I was baptized on the 24”‘ March 2007 and newly married on the 13”‘ October 2007. I did all sorts of Christian activities in that time such as Alpha Courses, Discipleship Explored, Christianity Explored, Christian Based Stepparent Family Course and a Marriage Course. The one thing I ignored was a significant Scripture God kept guiding me to do BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD (NIV) Psalm 46:10. STAND STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD (The Living Bible). It took me seven long hard years to finally take notice of this Scripture. Trouble Brings Change My marriage wasn’t easy at all especially for my three sons Declan, Casey-Joel and Kieran. We went through many struggles. I prayed to God a lot in the first year but gradually stopped. By April 2009 I was no longer attending church, reading the Bible or praying although God still blessed us with my fourth gorgeous son Levi born 12”‘ January 2010. Things did not improve though, especially for my three older boys and on May 11th 2011 my marriage broke down completely. It was awful. I was now a single mum with four sons and seven weeks pregnant. The first year after I was baptized a woman said that all a Christian needs is God and the Bible. So I tried that and

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started reading the book of John along with my son Casey-Joel. But life was stressful being on my own again and pregnant. We lasted about two weeks and the Bible studies stopped. I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Asha-Nais on the 24”‘ December 2011. Then in May 2012 my fifteen year old son Declan came home crying and said, “Please go back to church Mum you were happy when you went to church.” At first I didn’t go but gradually his words affected me and I sometimes went. I quietly read the words in the songs as I couldn’t sing anymore. I decided what I had experienced was God’s love. I didn’t know where to take this or who to talk to. I knew God was amazing and I thanked Him for my five healthy children. But I blamed God for my marriage breakdown as I thought I had married a Christian man. I blamed God for bringing us together but now I see God didn’t bring us together at all, WE DID! The ironic thing is that God used the breakdown of my marriage to bring me to full repentance. One thing I’d always struggled with was the whole thing about needing God and Jesus everyday for strength. So when my marriage broke down I decided that I would manage everything on my own. Four boys and pregnant — do you get what I mean? I did my best juggling everything every day trying to deal with my boy’s pain and hurts as well as my own and a newborn baby to look after. But everything crumbled around me and we hit a crisis point in June 2013 when my eldest son Declan had to move in with his father as living together with all our hurts under one roof was too

January - March 2015

“MumPleaseyougowerebackh went to Church. ”


MONY

k to Church happy when you

of Melissa Flageul

much. I nearly broke down as life was unbearable it was awful. Missing my eldest boy was the most terrible pain. Relapse Then my daughter started over-night contact with her Dad on August 31“ 2013. As it was Dads contact weekend that meant I had none of my children at home. I couldn’t bear it and went out drinking with friends starting in the afternoon, anything to forget. The vicious cycle began on every Dads weekend. I drank myself into oblivion, stayed out all night as I couldn’t bear to be in an empty home without my children. On my fortieth birthday I was out clubbing I bought some cheap nasty ‘Poppers’ (I hadn’t touched any type of recreational drug for years) and drank loads of shots to try and reach oblivion. I was sniffing ‘Poppers’ just to try and reach a place away from my life where I could not feel the pain. Next thing, I felt stillness and everything went quiet. I knew who was trying to reach me when I felt that love again. God was reaching out

to me. Even at my worst God loved me. Now it would be great to say I turned to God at that point but instead I ran to the toilets because I so needed to get away from God! I ran and hid. I sniffed loads more ‘Poppers’ but they stopped working. I drank three shots in a row but nothing would work. I couldn’t shake off God touching my heart, and I did want Him to touch my heart but I felt so ashamed of the way I was living my life. I saw a leaflet for Divorce Care at the Ice House Christian Centre and then weeks later at my boy’s school. I turned up one Saturday morning; the people in the room seemed crazy going on about Jesus being their strength, reading Scripture and I thought, oh no not Christians again, they’re doing my head in. I need to get out of here quickly and hope they don’t start singing. They showed a DVD and it was even worse than Scripture more Christian stuff. I kept my coat on all I wanted was a Jack Daniels, a Coke and a cigarette. But most of all I wanted out of that room but something kept me sitting there. After the

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DVD I vocalized my views angrily and the people listened to me. A man called Graham prayed for me saying he felt God was saying He cared for me and was going to bring me back to Him. I missed God so much but felt my life was in too much of a mess for God to want me back at all. Graham became my friend and he didn’t mind when I said things out of order which I did a lot when I was stressed, angry or annoyed. He listened and did not judge me. He stayed my friend when other people would have walked away thinking, I will pray for her but I’m not getting too involved. Graham showed me patience and kindness I had forgotten was there in Christians. I continued to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes and go clubbing on Dad’s weekends but never touched ‘Poppers’ again. After a couple of sessions I stopped Divorce Care because it did my head in. Through the sessions however, I found out about DC4K which is a course especially for children to help them understand divorce.

I just wanted to forget and not deal with it. But despite all this God did not give up on me and I started Divorce Care in February 2014 every Saturday morning. Every week it all made more sense and I would read the book and answer what questions I could as I still did not believe in all the Bible and God stuff. One day I questioned the Bible and how it didn’t make sense to me and the leader Barbara said, “The Bible would make sense to anyone who is a true Christian.” Another time Barbara spoke about her marriage breakdown and how she turned to Jesus straight away. I questioned why I didn’t do that. Barbara was very passionate about people really KNOWING JESUS and how GOD was in the HEART business. That God wants to know your heart. I thought He will not want to know mine anymore its broken and ruined. I kept being prayed for about things and they really cared about the fact my marriage had been awful and especially how hurt my children and I were. I was shown this wasn’t God’s plan for my

encouraged to read it. It made me realize my error and that ‘God has a wonderful plan for my life!’ As I read it God showed me I was a ‘False Convert’ and showed me how back in February 2006 I hadn’t truly turned my life away from sin. I had carried on breaking all His commandments and I was a sinner and I was condemned to Hell. The good news was I was still alive! I struggled to accept that I had been a false convert and felt embarrassed to talk to my new friends so I messaged the man who runs Living Waters. He was wonderful and helped me to understand what was happening to me. Then on 2nd May 2014 at 23:54 I fully repented, turned my life away from sin and accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I thanked my precious Jesus and fell into a peaceful sleep which I hadn’t done for a long time. My Bible now makes amazing sense to me and I read it everyday. I need to learn about the One who died for me and my Heavenly Father. I attend the Bridge Church where my children and I are loved and cared about and I learn who I am in Christ and are encouraged in my walk with God. I have had Bible Studies at the Ice House to help me learn about praying and the Old Testament and Jesus. I have been freed through prayer from binge drinking which I have done since I was eleven years old and smoking cigarettes which I loved to do when drunk or stressed. I have been freed of unforgiveness and taught how to forgive. I have been delivered and freed from horrible events in my past. Amazingly my eldest boy Declan is back home with me and his brothers and sister. The difference now is that I am not the one holding my family together, God is! I gave my messed up life fully to Jesus at forty years old and God has brought back my children and done all this and much more in just four months! Wow! What a wonderful God we serve. p

As I read the bible God showed me I was a ‘False Convert’... I Learn To Trust Again I struggled at first to trust the workers with my two boys and allow them to be on the course alone but I knew I had to as they needed the space to talk about their own feelings. So eventually I let go and they stayed with Annie, Emma and Graham every Tuesday after school. Some nights they came out very emotional and crying and this was hard to deal with but they always wanted to go back every week so I took them. They loved the games so much and did art activities and a booklet they filled in about their thoughts and feelings. It really is a fantastic and positive course for children affected by divorce and Levi was always asking when DC4K starts again. During the weeks my boys did the course Graham stayed in touch with me. He kept going on about Divorce Care, annoyingly at times, telling me to do the whole course. He annoyed me to the point where eventually I just ignored his text messages. I didn’t want to deal with the whole divorce issue. I didn’t want to face the pain. 20

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marriage at all and God was very unhappy at how things had happened to hurt my children. God Brings True Repentance I kept being drawn to the Friday Night Praise and learnt a lot more about Jesus. I’d cry a lot. One Saturday at DC I met Wendy and Pat. They were lovely to me and helped me through a whole Dad’s weekend. I had now swapped drinking alcohol and clubbing for non-stop cleaning and sorting out our flat to make it nicer for my children. Wendy helped me on my journey of forgiveness and hugged me as I cried about awful hurts. Wendy spoke about Jesus in a very personal way like a friend. I was feeling God’s love again and felt happy. A Christian Ministry called Living Waters visited the Ice House Christian Centre near where I live and I prayed for souls to be saved that night. They gave a talk about the Ten Commandments, I felt very confused. I was given a book called ‘God has a wonderful plan for your Life’ I was

January - March 2015

Revelation 12:11 (The Message) “They defeated him (Satan) through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their witness. They weren’t in love with themselves they were willing to die for Christ.”

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Why? Why is a voice inside my head saying You cannot be saved Why should I think a lowly man Could wash away my shame Why should I hope for eternal love When all I see is blame Am I just the only one Looking where there is no gain Oh Lord forgive this doubting mind Forgive the way I feel For deep within me shining bright Your love alive, so real Each day you walk along with me But it’s hard to see you there When all around evil resounds So desperately hard to bear This is a time when people’s lives Are turning away from you Their untuned hearts and wayward minds Are finding are an easier route But my road Lord, I wish with You Awake my sleeping soul For not mere man died for me It was you who made me whole

© Carolyn Harris 2014

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Death to self Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Paul here is speaking of death to self. Not hating himself but a love for Jesus. Allowing Jesus and the Holy Spirit to live in him. There is no other way to die to self and battle the enemy within. Victory over sin in us is not easy. We already have right standing with God through the blood of Jesus. With God all things are possible... not with us trying to do it alone. Our Spirit is already sorted out so what about our flesh? Flesh is contrary to the Spirit. We are already sufficient in grace, wisdom, power, guidance etc. through the Holy Spirit and yet the enemy knows exactly where and when to prod us to trip us up. Yes we have to go through life and there are so many things that rage and war inside us. We battle the enemy within i.e. sin in our mortal flesh, as the Holy Spirit helps us to exercise self control. The key is to get our eyes on Jesus and off the problem, self and sin. We all have sin in us which we hate and don’t want to do anymore because we love Jesus. Yet it rears up and we desperately want to be in control of whatever is happening. Why don’t we take it to God, listen to Him and cooperate with Him? We don’t always recognize when we are sinning but praise God the Holy Spirit brings it to our attention and we can immediately repent. When we allow Christ to truly live in our hearts the desire to sin leaves us and the Holy Spirit helps us. The flesh however, wants to be in control because the old man is happy when it has its daily dose of sin. Romans 6:11 says, “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Because we should now be spiritually dead to sin it should no longer rule over us. Therefore, as we allow Christ to live in us we must choose to live each moment by faith, believing that we are already dead to sin. When we are tempted, if we call out to God for help He will give us the grace to overcome the temptation. This is how, by God’s grace, we sin less and go on to live purer lives! Take a look at Romans 6 and pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything in us that is not pleasing to God that He might strengthen us to overcome, knowing that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. Remember that even the tiniest disobedience will stop us receiving the abundance of all that God wants for us. Whatever we are focusing on that is not of God can soon become the master within. We have to be careful since this can also affect other people. It is no good being a ‘goodie two shoes’ on the outside but sinning on the inside where we know folks are not able to see. God knows everything about us and we can hide nothing from Him.

Disobedience or Discipline We have a choice to either do it God’s way or our way, there is no middle ground. If we disobey what God has told us to do regardless of the fact that he has provided all we need to do it; then we are in 22

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January - March 2015

CONQU THE EN WIT


UERING NEMY THIN

big trouble. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” All is not lost! If we are obedient then God blesses us because we recognize He is the Almighty, He is the Creator who deserves all the glory. By dying for us on the cross Jesus paid in full for our sin and having accepted Him as our Saviour we receive the gift of eternal life and are free from receiving the ‘wages of sin.’ We grow in grace in our relationship with the Holy Trinity, we feel even better for it because we become stronger in overcoming the sin within.

Daily Transformation Philippians 2:13 says, “for it is God who works in you both to will and do for His good pleasure.” God can change our inner desires. Before we were born again sin ruled but once we accepted Jesus the Holy Spirit began to get to work on our old nature. The nature of Christ is now in us so we want to do Gods will naturally and really hate sinning. By God’s grace a miraculous transformation has taken place from within because Jesus has freed us from the bondage of sin when He died on the cross. Therefore, let us go on each day to to remember His great sacrifice and to ask for grace through the Holy Spirit to overcome the enemy within whenever we are tempted.

Here are some things to reflect on/ pray about: Father God, I praise and bless You...Your ways are higher than mine. l Thank You for all You have done and are doing in my life. l I realize I need You more every day. l There seems to be so much in my life that I battle with but I know the battle belongs to you. l It is only through Your gift of faith to believe that I can overcome sin. l I pray for Your council, wisdom and help to guide me to make the right choices. l Teach me to live by Your word for it is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. l I want to honor You and desire to please You so please give me the grace to resist each temptation.

Here are some Spiritual Survival truths that have helped me. I Accept that: l God is HOLY and His ways are best for me. l I must be thankful for what Jesus did on the cross as I couldn’t please God otherwise. l I live in a sinful world that has filled my heart with evil desires. l My sinful heart will always betray me, my willpower and wisdom will fail me. l Temptation pulls me to fulfil these evil desires. l I must purge my heart daily with God’s word to have the faith to resist temptation. l Sin will never be satisfied until it kills me. Jesus has given me eternal life. l When My heart is filled with faith it renews my spirit and I become sin resistant. l With each victory, I gain more grace to sin less. l Jesus is committed to helping me to be more than a conqueror. p COMMENT OR DISCUSS ARTICLE AT: www.thesharemagazine.com/archives/0003-01

January - March 2015

by Lynda K Smith writer, proof reader, poet and Evangelist

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By David White

Think!

Home

There Is No Place Like

God places us in Community! “You find families for those who are lonely.”[1]

I

n younger days I would run around trying to find that perfect place and perfect people for a perfect life so I could live happily ever after in it. What did I find? Disappointment!

Dietrich Bonhoeffer sums it up perfectly “no one is safe for community if they have first not been disillusioned; if they have not died to their illusions about a community of perfect people, and have been awakened through that disappointment to their call to love the actual people that God places round them.” The place we live and the people we know are God’s providence for us and we may feel disappointed. (It’s not like this on TV!) Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, dissatisfaction with life on a farm in Kansas causes her to become a dreamer Dorothy embarks on a journey along the yellow brick road. She has an adversary, along the Way, the wicked witch, who puts obstacles in her way and tries to make her despair and fear. She overcomes with the help and encouragement from her imperfect friends.

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At the end of her dream she learns that her glory and joy are the people in whose lives she has been privileged to have a ministry in. The Straw Man, The Tin Man, The Cowardly Lion . As she awakens, to her amazement, she discovers that these are real people in Kansas. She ended up finding God’s plan through imperfect people in Kansas via the “yellow brick road”. Paul was similarly home sick to visit with his Christian brethren. “Brothers and sisters, we were separated from you for a while physically but not in our hearts. We made every effort in our desire to see you again face-to-face. We wanted to come to you—I, Paul, tried over and over again—and Satan stopped us. What is our hope, joy, or crown that we can brag about in front of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Isn’t it all of you? You are our glory and joy!” [2] (CEB) Paul found his joy in the community of believers. So now like Dorothy we need to turn our fictitious dreams into a living reality, find or reconnect with our Christian community. Go on ... There’s no place like home! p [1] Psalm 68:6 (CEV), [2] 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20 COMMENT OR DISCUSS ARTICLE AT: www.thesharemagazine.com/archives/0003-01


E. H. Broadbent’s...

“The Pilgrim Church” We need to wake up to the facts: Despite the dominance of the Roman Church, God has always kept His faithful witnesses in every generation. In the world’s eyes, they may have just been a small, trivial group. Yet, in God’s eyes, they have been the faithful remnant (see Romans 11:15 & Revelation 12:17). We need to beware of echoing Elijah’s cry, “They have ... killed all your prophets, except me. And now they are even trying to kill me!” (1 Kings 19:14). God’s answer will be the same, “I have kept … people for myself.” The victor, we are told, writes history. When it comes to the history of the Church, it is true that the largest “Christian” group in the world – the Roman Catholic Church, has written it. Too often, Protestant Churches teach Church history from this biased view. Almost 100 years ago, one man sought to rebalance this bias. His name was Edmund Broadbent, a missionary closely associated with the Brethren movement. His book, ‘The Pilgrim Church’, is probably the best and most complete attempt at this task. The English used may seem dated to modern readers and, of course, it is not a short, ‘easy read’. However, the effort taken to read this book will be well rewarded. You will find the true church bravely standing for the truths of God’s Word. Yes, the author, is biased by his Brethren, Sunday-keeping and relatively Western view of Christianity. However, this book will allow you to see a faithful God. One who has kept for Himself a faithful remnant through all the ages. It will also help you to begin to find the truth for yourself. You will discover, the Roman Church has repeatedly vilified and cruelly persecuted those who sought to remain true to God and His Word. Too often Jewish people have been falsely accused of vile practices; the same people have spoken in the same way about our bible believing brethren. Truth is, the enemy

hates God’s people and uses the same lies about them again and again. You will see that God’s true church is rarely ‘successful’ in the World’s eyes. We need to learn what success means in God’s eyes. Among the many things Broadbent shows us, is his belief that time and time again, God’s faithful remnant has resorted to ‘the sword’ to protect themselves. He suggests, quite rightly, when this occurs, God removes His Spirit from their movement. It is not that he is a Pacifist. Rather, the State might have a right to call us to arms, but we are not called by God to use violence to protect our faithful witness to the Truth. This brave soldier of Christ took seriously His Lord’s words, “But I tell you not to try to get even with

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A REVIEW by Philip Clark

a person who has done something to you. When someone slaps your right cheek, turn and let that person slap your other cheek.” (Matthew 5:39) E. H. Broadbent’s book, ‘The Pilgrim Church’, is available free to read on your computer or tablet at: goo.gl/0wssOV If you prefer a printed copy, ‘The Pilgrim Church’ is still published by a variety of publishers. However, it is not the cheapest of books and it is well worth looking for it in second-hand bookshops. p Examples of where it is easily available are: Amazon (look for the paperback version “by E. H. Broadbent and Resurrected Books”); http://thepilgrimchurch.com/ (not the cheapest); AbeBooks website is always worth checking.

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JARGONBUSTER

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What Do These Mean? Pastor

ek word mes from a Gre co le b Bi e th er of ...in a helper or feed ns ea m lly a er lit that eir job is to ‘Shepherd’. Th the sheep - a they grow people so that care for God’s ants them people God w of rt so e th e b to to be.

Evangelist

...is one who the Holy Spirit particularly gifts to believe and obey the command of Jesus to, “Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15,16) In this way, they add new people to the church.

Teacher

Prophet A prophet brings God’s word to people either by foretelling the future or speakin g God’s mind on a current matter. In this way, they help God’s people to become what Jesus wants them to be by bringing clarity and guidan ce when needed.

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...is a term used by Paul in Ephesians to describe various job roles given to people. “Christ chose some of us to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, so that His people would learn to serve and His body would grow strong. This will continue until we are united by our faith and by our understanding of the Son of God. Then we will be mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like Him.” (Ephesians 4:11-13) These people are given as gifts to the church by Christ. Christ gives these people abilities that help the Church, His ‘body’, become what He wants it to be. Some people think this gives them special ‘privileges as leaders’ in the church. However, the bible teaches that they are servants accountable to the Master.

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A teacher have a special gifting to explain God’s Word. They help us to know and understand how to apply God’s word so that it makes a difference in the way we live and that we pleases God.

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The Five-fold Ministry

Apostle ...means one who is sent. An apostle’s job seems to be starting new churches in places where there are none. Paul describes what he did, as an apostle, in this way: “It seems to me that God has put us apostles in the worst possible place. We are like prisoners on their way to death. Angels and the people of this world just laugh at us. Because of Christ, we are thought of as fools, but Christ has made you wise. We are weak and hated, but you are powerful and respected. Even today, we go hungry and thirsty and don’t have anything to wear except rags. We are mistreated and don’t have a place to live. We work hard with our own hands, and when people abuse us, we wish them well. When we suffer, we are patient. When someone curses us, we answer with kind words. Until now we are thought of as nothing more than the trash and garbage of this world.” (1 Corinthians 4:9-13) Paul also says that he never coveted people’s money but often supported himself and those who traveled with him. (See Acts 20:32-35) COMMENT OR DISCUSS ARTICLE AT: www.thesharemagazine.com/archives/0003-01


Note to Self Ø If you knew the whole bible by heart, and all that philosophers have said, what use would it all be to you without the love of God and grace? Ø Bear in mind this saying - that "the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing." Study therefore, to turn your heart from the love of visible things, and to fix it upon the things unseen. For those who yield to sensual pleasures soil their consciences, and loose the grace of God. Ø Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what is the use of learning if we have not the fear of God? Certainly a humble countryman who serves God is worthier than a proud philosopher who studies the stars, but neglects his soul. Ø Long discourses [debates] cannot satisfy the soul, but holiness of life brings peace of mind, and a pure conscience cause great trust in God. Ø Even if you should see another commit some sin openly, or even commit some grievous crime you must not think yourself any better: you do not know how long you will be able to remain steadfast in God.

Taken from ‘The Inspirational Teachings Of Thomas A Kempis’ 1355, translated by Steven McKenna.

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January - March 2015

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The

STORY TELLER

True stories that grip the very heart of you

No Ash - I Said No!

To book the story teller:

Email : index_us@ yahoo.com Personal Mobile Number : ++7940 875-674 Office Phone Number : ++1472 485-408 Fax Number : ++1472 485-408

M M

y daughter and wife had been trying to convince me to get some kind of family pet for over ten years when I finally gave in. We travelled to a nearby town to collect a beautiful little kitten my daughter had arranged for us to get. I was totally against pets because I knew of the responsibility of caring for them and would not want to have an animal that may be neglected. I clearly stated that I would get this kitten on the understanding that he would get the attention and care he needed and that the responsibility would not fall to me. It happened just as I thought. Soon the little kitty became mine as I worked from home and spent more time with it than anyone else. When preparing a meal he would climb up my trousers to see what was happening on the counter and what I was doing. I had to start wearing full length undergarments to minimise the scratches as he dug his claws into my jeans. When seated at the computer he would climb all the way up the back of my chair into the hoodie of my jumper and go to sleep there, warming the back of my neck as he slept. This little kitty became a great friend and I fell in love with him. I had to schedule times in my

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day to play with him using my daughters hand puppet to mimic another animal. He would sometimes lay in my lap and play with my jumper laces or just go to sleep there. It was wonderful to have an animal meet me at the door each time I came in and to reluctantly see us off each time we had to go out. Ash (as we named him) wanted to be with us and play with us as often as he could, and that was a great feeling. After he grew big enough and started to venture out, as a male cat that was not yet been neutered, he got into a fight with a mature male cat that was marking his territory and got hurt. Ash was really scared and we took measures to protect him. In the midst of this wonderful relationship there was one problem that kept linging in the back of our minds. We lived on a main road and Ash was not a totally ‘in house’ cat. He liked taking a stroll and therefore ventured out from time to time. He would come all the way onto the front fence whenever we were going out as if to ask if he could come along with us. He was almost fully grown by then. After we had him for about a year our neighbours gave me the bad news of what happened to


not understand what we tried to explain about the dangers of the street. The life and death of Ash impacted me greatly.

their cat. I was terrified of the same thing happening to Ash and did not tell my daughter or wife what our neighbours had told me. Not to worry though, because Ash was a very smart cat and we trained him well. Each time he came onto the driveway heading towards the streets we would warn him sternly not to ever attempt to cross that road. We told him off and warned him time and time again. One morning as my daughter was preparing for college and I was just about getting out of bed she came into my room screaming and crying in total shock and confusion. Her mirror was by her bedroom window that opens up towards the road and as she was fixing her hair she glanced across and saw Ash walk out our front gate onto the pathway and then proceed to cross the busy rush hour traffic. She stood and watched as one car hit him, throwing him into the air and into the path of another. My wife and my daughter ran out as fast as they could fixing their robes as they went. I was delayed in going out so when I got there they were already in a passerby’s car and rushing off to the nearest vet. I quickly told them I would get coats etc. for them and meet them there shortly. When I got there my daughter met me in the parking lot and gave me the bad news. Ash was dead and nothing could be done to save him He really got knocked about and had been badly hurt. My daughter wept bitterly for days. We all cried because losing Ash was like losing a family member. How could this be? Why would Ash do the exact thing we warned him over and over not to do? Ash did seem to be able to understand some instructions but obviously he did COMMENT OR DISCUSS ARTICLE AT: www.thesharemagazine.com/archives/0003-01

As I wept over Ash I remember Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. “When Jesus came closer and could see Jerusalem, he cried and said: ‘It is too bad that today your people don’t know what will bring them peace! Now it is hidden from them. Jerusalem, the time will come when your enemies will build walls around you to attack you. Armies will surround you and close in on you from every side. They will level you to the ground and kill your people. Not one stone in your buildings will be left on top of another. This will happen because you did not see that God had come to save you.’” [1] Something very terrible was going to happen to Jerusalem because its people could not understand that their Saviour had come. Remember Adam and Eve the first two created human beings, how God told them not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they did, He told them they would die within the day? It happened that the very thing God warned them not to do was the very thing they did. Natural people relating to God is so similar to how cats relate to human beings. Just as we loved Ash, God loves us and wants to have a long loving relationship with us. He therefore warns us of the dangers and things that could kill us. But do we understand the truth and seriousness of God’s warnings? Jesus said when He quoted Isaiah, “These people will listen and listen, but never understand. They will look and look, but never see. All of them have stubborn minds! Their ears are stopped up, and their eyes are covered. They cannot see or hear or understand. If they could, they would turn to me, and I would heal them.” [2] God pleaded with Israel as He now pleads with us, “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?”[3] p [1] Luke 19:41-44; [2] Matthew 13:14-15; [3] Ezekiel 18:31 January - March 2015

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1

In Praise of Hymn reviewing popular hymns of the church

2

AND CAN IT BE THAT I SHOULD GAIN

And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood! Died he for me? who caused his pain! For me? who him to death pursued? Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me? Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

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’Tis mystery all: th’ Immortal dies! Who can explore his strange design? In vain the firstborn seraph tries to sound the depths of love divine. ‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; let angel minds inquire no more. ‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; let angel minds inquire no more.

He left his Father’s throne above (so free, so infinite his grace!), emptied himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race. ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, for O my God, it found out me! ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, for O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night; thine eye diffused a quickening ray; I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed thee. My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

5

No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in him, is mine; alive in him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine, bold I approach th’ eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own. Bold I approach th’ eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Charles Wesley (December 1707 – 29 March 1788) was the younger brother Of John Wesley sons of Samuel Wesley a Church of England Clergyman, both went on to become leaders of the English Methodist movement. His conversion experience in 1738 had a clear impact on his doctrine, especially the doctrine of the Holy Spirit,and reflected notably in his hymns written thereafter. In the course of his career, Charles Wesley published the words of over six thousand hymns, many of which are still popular. These include: And Can It Be that I Should Gain. This hymn communicates several doctrines; the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, the depravity of mankind, and humanity’s personal accountability to God. This was a vital contribution not only to Methodism, but to modern theology as a whole. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Wesley#cite_note-14 [14]Vickers, Jason E. “Charles Wesley and the Revival of the Doctrine of the Trinity: A Methodist Contribution To Modern Theology.” Charles Wesley. 278–298. Peterborough: Epworth Pr, 2007. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. Web. 1 October 2012. 30

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First runner up in THE SENSATIONNEL BLACK BEAUTY HAIR AWARDS 2013

90 St Peters Avenue, Cleethorpes, United Kingdom, DN35 8HU

@UmojahHairSalon

Umojah Salon

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SHARE Magazine January 2015  

SHARE Magazine is a free quarterly Christian magazine that doesn't shy away from challenging issues but will often go where others fear to t...

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