Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Bible

By Colleen Podmore

Jesus and two disciples on the road to Emmaus, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27 NIV

The Bible

The Holy Bible is an amazing story of God’s dealings with mankind. Some have called it a love letter from God. The word Bible comes from the Greek word Biblia which means books and precisely describes the Bible which although we believe was written by God, nevertheless 40 different authors wrote the words as guided by the Holy Spirit over a period of 1600 years. There are 66 books in our version of the Bible.

The Bible is divided into two major divisions – the Old Testament and the New Testament. The word testament is another name for covenant – so the Old Testament is the old covenant between God and mankind and the New Testament is the new covenant between God and mankind.

In Jeremiah it says “The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel...” Jer 31:31

The Old covenant was like kindergarten. It was preparation for what was to come. Should we therefore just read the New Testament and ignore the Old Testament?

In Paul’s second letter to the Christians at Corinth he makes interesting comparisons between the old and the new covenants, proclaiming the surpassing gloriousness of the covenant that lasts. The old brought glory but the ministry of the Spirit is more glorious. The ministry that condemns men (ie the law) is glorious but how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness. Moses face shone after being with the LORD but it faded whereas our faces reflect the glory of our Lord and never fades but are being transformed into His likeness ( 2Cor 3:7-18).

The new covenant is certainly more glorious than the old but we should not neglect the old. Consider this – those who had the old covenant had their hearts and minds veiled as it were. They couldn’t see what the Spirit was pointing to, that is salvation through Jesus Christ, it was veiled from them. Consider Isaiah 53: 5 where the prophet Isaiah talks about a suffering servant, but the real meaning was veiled to those who were part of the old covenant because they failed to recognise their Messiah, Jesus. But we of the New Testament believe and the veil has been removed so that through the Spirit, we understand the nuances, the hidden meanings,the truthes that are planted in the Old Testament Scriptures, pertaining to the unfolding of God’s glorious plan, and describing the generous kind gracious loving nature of Yahweh

I don’t think we can afford to ignore the Old Testament Scriptures for several reasons

We can know through the Scriptures what God is like for example. How does he respond to sinful, disobedient children? Is He kind? Does He have compassion? How can I please Him? What does He think of me?

Secondly we have the example of Jesus and the early Christians. Jesus knew and read and quoted the Old Testament Scriptures (Luke 24:27). When he was tempted by satan, His reply was is written... Paul read the Scriptures and he preached from the Scriptures (Acts 17:2). The disciples read the Scriptures. Acts 8:28, Acts 17:11, 2Tim 3:15. The Scriptures showed them how to interpret and understand what was happening in their lives and to keep them from error (Matt 22:29)

As Christians we can’t afford not to read all the Scriptures because the veil has been removed if indeed we belong to Christ. Let’s be diligent in searching out the hidden treasures. Imagine how excited God must be when we stumble upon some truth in the Scriptures because he has opened our minds! (Luke 24:45). Now I have some practical suggestions. I’ve always found that if I say I’m going to do something but don’t make a plan - -then I’m usually not going to succeed. I have some suggestions for getting started reading the Bible or to encourage us to assess where we are up to and to make adjustments if necessary, to keep going.

1. We need a good Bible. A version that is understandable. A good concordance. Get a bag or something to protect it when you take it with you to meetings.

2. We need to follow a plan. Do I start at the beginning in Genesis and keep going to the end, or mix it up a bit? - Get a Bible reading plan

Do I read by topic and follow a guided study?

3. Begin a journal – write down the date, the book and chapter and verse numbers – I like to put these in the margin. Write down what you discover as you work through your reading plan. This really helps to keep us on track as it is so easy to forget where we are up to sometimes. Write down verses to memorize, ideas for exhortations and leading, topics you want to research a bit more in depth. If you number your journals you will be able to keep track of the discoveries you made 6 months ago and get a real sense of progress. Keep your exhortations in a folder and watch the folder grow. If you do one exhortation a month, then you will have twelve messages after one year!

4. Finally make a commitment to a time and place where you won’t be disturbed. Night or morning. Night and morning. Turn the TV off and spend time in the heavenlies with your Lord and Saviour who desires to know you more and more. Read your Bible, pray and sing songs and worship Him! Blessings.

Here are some New Testament Scriptures referring to Old Testament Scriptures

Scripture = “the law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms” Luke 24:45

2Tim 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness...”

2Peter 1:20 “ prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.”

Luke 24:45 “Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.”

Matt 22:29 “Jesus replied,”You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”

1Cor 10:11 “These things happened to them as warnings and were written down as warnings for us...”

Acts 17:11 “...for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

John 2:22 “Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken”

John 5:46 “If you believed Moses, you would believe me for he wrote about me.”

John 7:42 “Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David’s family...”

John 10:35 “-and the Scripture cannot be broken-“

1. Study Bible (NIV)
2. Bible Dictionary

"The system of revealed truth which this Book contains is like that of the universe, concealed from common observation yet...the centuries have established its Divine origin." - Isaac Newton

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Bread and the Wine

By Hayley Boud

Why Bread and why wine?

When preparing for communion, I asked myself…”why did God choose bread and wine as the symbols for us to remember Him by? Why not potatoes, or water?” So I took some time to reflect on what is bread and what is wine to find the answer.

What is bread?

Bread comes from a grain which contains all the elements of life. If you were to plant the grain into soil, it would produce life. This is the same as Jesus, He contains all the elements of life and when we are planted in Him, we have eternal life.

In order for the grain to be turned into bread, the grain has to be processed. It has to be separated from the chaff by some sort of pressure. In the time of Jesus, this was done by using the hoofs of heavy animals. The animals would trample on the grain and crush it in order to remove the outer husk. After that more pressure was applied to turn the grain into a fine powder (flour) by passing it through heavy rollers. The grain is completely broken. After that the flour is turned into a dough and placed into an oven of extreme heat. We then eat it and it gives life and joy to our bodies.

Bread is a picture of pressure, crushing, heat, suffering and agony – it is the picture of the torment that Jesus Christ went through for us. He was whipped, He had His beard ripped out, He wore a crown made out of thorns that made His head bleed, He had to carry the heavy cross and then He was nailed to the cross and He was spat on, humiliated and then He died. For us. He was completely crushed but the Word of God said that He endured the cross because of the joy that was set before Him. He accepted that pressure, that suffering, that agony because He knew one day He would see us taking the bread and wine and remembering Him. He had joy knowing that that His suffering would produce life in us.

It is the same for the wine. In order to produce wine, the grape has to be ripped from the vine and crushed by people trampling on it until the juice is squeezed out of the fruit. We can remember that wine represents blood and Jesus was so agonized about what He would face on the cross that the Bible says He sweated drops of blood. He was squeezed to the point that blood (the juice of life) flowed from His pores. Just as the grape is ripped from the vine, Jesus was ripped from His Father and during that time He took our sin on Himself, He was completely separated from the Father.

“He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.”

Isaiah 53:3-7

So now we can take the bread and wine and remember the pressure that Jesus went through and thank Him because we now have the joy of eternal life in Him. The bread and wine is a reminder that through the suffering of Christ we can have eternal life and eternal joy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Horatio Spafford was a prominent lawyer and real estate investor in Chicago when the 1871 Chicago Fire hit and destroyed almost all of his property. Two years later, Spafford sent his wife and four daughters ahead of him to England, where his friend DL Moody would be preaching. On the voyage there, the ship sank and all four children were drowned. His wife alone was saved. The couple went on to have three more children, but tragedy struck again when their four year old son died of pneumonia in 1880. Near the end of his life, Spafford moved to Jerusalem and ran charitable ventures like soup kitchens, hospitals, and orphanages. He died in 1888 of malaria and was buried in Jerusalem.

While Horatio Spafford endured crippling tragedy after tragedy, he is most famous for having written one of the most beloved hymns of all time: "It Is Well With My Soul." In the midst of serious personal sorrow, God brought Spafford to a place of peace and security wholly independent of his circumstances.

It is easy to fear in life. There are no promises of happiness or fairness. If anybody promised you a rose garden, then they were either naive for downright dishonest. In fact, when things seem to be running smoothly, tragedy can and often strikes and knocks us off our temporary pedestals of comfort. In John 16:33, Jesus warned us that in this world we would have troubles. "But be of good cheer," he said, "I have overcome the world."

In 1 Peter 4:17, Peter tells us that as God begins to wrap up time as we know it, He will allow events to happen in the body of Christ that will try us and test us to the max. How will we make it through this time of testing, if we don't understand what God is doing, and if we crumble at the first hint of suffering? We desperately need to have a grasp of what God's purpose is for allowing these kinds of trials and, most importantly, we need to understand what to do and how to act in them.

Night Seasons
During a night season, God initiates a purging, a cleansing and a purifying of our souls from everything that is not of faith. At this time, God crushes our self will, so that He can merge it with His own. In other words, it's our own private Gethsemane. As Jesus cried in the garden, "My soul is exceeding(ly) sorrowful unto death....Nevertheless, not what I will, but what Thou wilt." (Mark 14:34-36) During this dark season, God teaches us to say, just as Jesus did, "Not my will, but Thine." (Matthew 26:39)

During this time, God can begin to transform our reliance on physical things to things of the spirit. He wants us to learn to walk by faith, not by our senses, our feelings or our understanding. God wants to teach us how to detach ourselves from all physical, emotional and spiritual supports, so that we will be able to respond with "Not my will, but Thine."

Because this season can often be a time of desolation, of dried bones and ruined hopes, many Christians - because they don't understand what God's will is or what He is doing - get so discouraged and defeated that they give up and turn back.

Many will feel like Job, who "looked for good" but only "evil came"; and for "light," but found only "darkness." (Job 30:26) Or like Isaiah, who uttered "We wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places like dead men.." (Isaiah 59:9-10)

If we can only remember during our night season that the Holy Spirit has led us into this darkness on purpose. God is not angry at us, and He has not abandoned us – He paid the ultimate price for us, how could He ever abandon us? He brought us to a necessary place where precious things can happen. As he told Mary, whose brother Lazarus had died, "Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" (John 11:40)

It is in these places, when our normal human securities are stripped away and all we have is Jesus, that He can begin to do in us those excellent things that can make all the difference in our lives and in our walk with Him. When the only thing we can do is cling to God, we come to that place where we see Him more clearly than ever before. That's when the fear goes away, and we can join Horatio Spafford in singing with greater appreciation:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pain shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Related Links:
Faith In The Dark Night
- Koinonia House
Faith In The Night Seasons
- Koinonia House
Faith In The Night Seasons Book
- Koinonia House Store

Monday, April 16, 2012

Open My Mind

By Odon Bulamba (15th April 2012)


Tic-Tac Naufrage Is Coming

Small damage, invisible to most, can sink not only a great ship but a great reputation.

Luke 24:45 “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures…”
Ps.108:12 "Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man."



1. Have you seen the movie TITANIC?
2. This fictional movie story is based on the facts concerning the sinking of the Titanic.
3. The Titanic was known as "unsinkable ship."
4. People said, "Not even God Himself could sink the Titanic."
5. Human being was in control. This was the spirit of the day.

1. They all claimed that the Titanic was unsinkable.
2. They said: "We don't need God's protection. We've built an unsinkable ship!"
3. But, a strange, uncontrollable and unpredictable thing happened to Titanic.
4. It sank on its first voyage out to sea.
5. Don’t we need God after all? Psalm 108:12 says: "Vain is the help of man."


1. It’s 11:40 p.m. 14, 1912, the greatest maritime disaster in history began to unfold.
2. Human being pride, Titanic, approached the iceberg
3. Almost 2,206 people were on board
4. The first ever S.O.S from an Ocean Liner was sent out.
5. Although the California was only minutes away, the Carpathia, which was nearly 58 miles away, would be the first to arrive.
6. Titanic broke in two and went under at 2:40 am April 15, 1912 with over 70% of its passengers
7. Eventually 705 passengers and crew were rescued by the Carpathia.
8. Over 1500 people went to an icy grave that night.



1. Titanic had received world-wide publicity as the world's largest and most luxurious ship ever.
- The Titanic had tennis courts, a gymnasium, ball rooms, elevators, etc…
2. Titanic was known as the safest of all liners.
3. Never before had a crew and passengers been so secure on a sea-going vessel.
4. The Titanic had all of these accommodations, but not enough lifeboats!
5. Owners, travellers, crew and the builders had a false sense of security.

1. The passengers on this ship were men, women and children from different backgrounds and social classes. We may assume pets were also part of the vessel.
2. These brilliant and knowledgeable men, as they walked calmly on that ship, were a sign to all that everything was secure.
3. Did they seriously think about the unpredicted coming danger? May be not! They would focus on enjoyment rather than number of life boats.
4. They were unsecured.


1. The Titanic was an expensive ride. Best suites were reserved for $4,300.
2. A suite without a private promenade went for $2,300.
3. These were the most expensive transatlantic accommodations ever offered.
4. The fare gives the impression that everything, including lifeboats, would be taken care of.
8. They were unsecured.

D. THE SIZE OF THE LINER (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

1. Titanic was the largest marine vessel in the world at that time.
2. Titanic was on top of the list with all its contents.
3. Compare to other liners, passengers were given more confidence and felt more secure
4. From the time they left the port/shore to 11:40pm, all appeared to be good, relaxed and more
5. What appears to be good now may, at any second, turn to evil or worse. God should be in control


1. April 14, 1912 at about 11:35 p.m. three warnings were sent from the crow's nest that ice had been spotted. The first two messages were ignored.
2. Finally, the officer picked up the phone but it was too late.
3. Some passengers were drinking, while others were dancing, gambling and having a great time, unaware that they were living their last 2 hours – the liner would soon sink.
4. May be photographers took a few photos while gamblers went on deck to look around and returned to their cards to sink with the ship.
5. They’re warned, but many went on to bed with confidence in the Titanic's ability to stay afloat.
6. They joked, laughed and mocked the stewards and porters who tried to warn them that the liner was going down



1. Lifeboat after lifeboat pulled away from the ship with only 10, 12, 15, when they had a capacity of nearby 60.

2. The total capacity of all the life boats put together was 1100 souls. Only 705 people could be convinced to get into the life boats.


1. Lifeboats pulled away with only a few people in them. There is no time to waste!
2. Because of pride, folded eyes, lack of intelligence, etc… people wouldn't get in them.
3. They wouldn't believe that the ship was going to sink.



1. Time to say goodbye with almost 0% of chance to see each other again came
2. Wives were torn from their husbands.
3. Children were literally snatched from their parents' arms and in many instances, thrown into the lifeboats.
4. Husbands and wives stood clutching each other as the ship went down.



1. Did you know that there was another ship only minutes away when the Titanic went down?
2. Later, at a senatorial investigation, the captain of the California was asked why he didn't come to the rescue of a ship in distress.
3. He said, "I didn't realize the ship was sinking."
4. He was then asked why he didn't hear their cries for help.
5. He said that at midnight he had turned off the wireless and went to sleep.
6. Then he was asked if he didn't see the Titanic sinking.
7. He replied, "We didn't know it was sinking because you see, as deck by deck went below the waters and the lights went out one by one, we thought the ship, being faster than we, had sailed off into the night."
8. Eph 5:14-16 says, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."



1. Most sources agree that the Titanic collided with the iceberg at 11:40 pm and finally sank at 2:40 am.
2. Out in the darkness, there was no moon that night, the people waited for help.
3. They wondered if anyone had heard their distress signals.
4. They wondered if anyone would arrive to help.
5. Then, at 4:10 am, only one and a half hours later, the Carpathia began picking up the first of Titanic's lifeboats.


1. What do you know about his last ministry?


1. During the darkest of nights, when all hope seems lost, help is only a prayer away.
2. God is there to reach out and pull you into the warmth of His loving arms.
3. Like the lights of a ship approaching from the distance on a dark sea, He brings hope into troubled lives.
4. He is the light in the darkness.
5. As our text says, "Vain is the help of man."
6. But, there is a Saviour you can depend on.
7. His name is Jesus!

James 4:14