April 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm (Wisdom's Ways)
Rev. A. Linford
SELF – CONTROL
“He that hath no rule over his own spirit…” - Proverbs 25:28
Ancient cities were surrounded by walls. At night these were patrolled by watchmen who closed the gates, manned the towers and periodically called out the hour, with a cry of, “And all’s well!”. Such vigilance was essential to the peace and safety of their fellow-citizens.
The city of mansoul, for so Bunyan designated the typical human being, is surrounded by foes of many kinds, that seek to possess or plunder him. The world of evil around us seeks to traffic its wares, bartering pleasure for principle, deceit for honesty and selfish gain for moral integrity. Satan tempts us with thoughts of baneful ambition, hurtful avarice and lustful appetite. He batters our walls with deadly fear or deceitful favour. It takes strong defences to keep him out.
The character of mansoul. Man has a “spirit”, that is, moral sense to recognise evil and moral strength to resist evil. No one can enter the gate of his personality until he raises the portcullis of his will. Even God himself, who made man, will not coerce him into subjection or pressure him to unwilling response. Even the Gospel is called “A persuasion”. In this sense God has given man control of his own destiny. This must be so: there can be no morality without freedom, no freedom without power of choice, no choice without an inner ability to decide.
The care of mansoul. Man is a responsible being, he can choose evil or good, he can rule his own spirit. When he loses control he becomes a moral wreck; breeches appear in those strong walls of resistance to evil, the gates of the will are flung open to admit a host of sinful activities, his soul becomes a mart of decadent wares, a higgledy-piggledy of shameful lusts. But he lets them in. Can he drive them out? Yes! When a man sickens of his sins and turns to the God who made him, the Lord will abundantly pardon him and restore his broken-down life. This is the Gospel of Christ.
Help me to rule my spirit in holy discipline, O Lord!
April 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm (Sermon Starters)
Rev. E. Anderson
A MESSAGE OF HOPE
God’s servant was giving the task of communicating with those who had been exiled toBabylon. There were false prophets there who were saying that the captivity would be brief and that they would soon be back restored to their homeland. It was Jeremiah’s role to tell them that this would not be so and that they must settle down, work, build families and seek the good and welfare of Babylon, i They had to take up a positive mind and heart attitude to their present lot and get on with living and prepare for the future. And there was a future for them as Jehovah asserts in vv10-14. There was something significant awaiting for them down the line if they prepared for it. It was possible to do this as it is personally revealed in the life and work of Daniel.
1/. THERE IS THE PROMISE OF RESTORATION TO THE HOMELAND – v10
There was to be no deception on this front from Him – NLT “The truth is that you will be in Babylon seventy years . . .” The fact of the matter was they were in exile because of the evil that had been perpetrated and the judgement would be severe until lessons were learned. There was to be no short-term punishment for the crime of neglecting the Lord. Things had to run their course and God’s plan fulfilled in this connection. But the time would come when the judgement would be over and release known – see Isaiah 40:1. It would be the Lord who would take care of the arrangements for their return, and He did!
2/. THERE IS THE PROMISE THAT GOD HAS GOOD PLANS AHEAD – v11
There is not only to be freedom, He is going to demonstrate His favour and grace in many ways. In His thoughts and plans were wonderful prospects. They were not to anticipate further doom and disaster but the expression of His bounty and blessing in every way. It would be a brand new beginning that would spell all that was of a worthwhile nature. His heart and hand would be open in great blessing.
3/. THERE IS THE PROMISE THAT HE WILL ANSWER THEIR SEEKING AND PRAYING OF HIM – vv12-14
There would evidently be a new spirit and attitude amongst the people. There would be a remarkable and outstanding change in them. Having experienced a divine intervention in deliverance they would be in a state where there would be an honest and earnest quest for Him. What would be priority on the agenda was an intense and genuine quest after Jehovah. This had been the thing that had been lacking and brought their present plight. But things were going to be different from the position of the people towards God. They will ‘find God.’ All their fortunes would be restored.
God can predict with certainty and is always in the position where He can fulfil.
April 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm (Quotes)
Rev. E. Anderson
“There is only one success, to be able to spend your life in your own way”
“The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years” - Deepak Chopra
“Those who do not create the future they want must endure the future they get” – Draper L. Kaufman, Jr.
“If you’ve had wonderful family relationships, you will be able to call yourself a true success in life no matter what else you’ve achieved” - Vic Conant
“No pleasure philosophy, no sensuality, no place nor power, no material success can for a moment give such inner satisfaction as the sense of living for good purposes, for maintenance of integrity, for the preservation of self approval” – Minot Simons
“Other people’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality” – Les Brown