Questions answered by Rev. K. Munday

Must a Christian Go to Church?

The questioner shows some sympathy with Christianity, but appears to have some reservations on the matter of church-going.

It must be said at the outset that a person can become a Christian without going to a church, because conversion is an experience which takes place between oneself and Jesus Christ.

It is very interesting when reading the New Testament to note the variety of places in which people decided to follow Christ.

Zaccheus, the little man we heard about in Sunday School, was converted in his own home. Another convert, this time a woman, acknowledged Christ at an eastern well in the countryside. The apostles of Jesus who were fishermen had their experience by the sea-side; whilst a criminal turned to the Saviour during the process of judicial punishment hanging on a cross. In our days people also make their decisions in all kinds of places. Some have done so while listening to a radio programme. Becoming a Christian then can happen anywhere, because it happens when one receives Christ into their life.

Now about going to Church. The straight answer is this. One can become a Christian without going to a Church, but one cannot continue to be a successful Christian without going. Let me say why.

First, Church-going is an obvious thing to do for a Christian, because people who share a common interest always want to get together. A keen photographer will join a photographic club, not merely for friendship, but also to pick up tips which will improve his own expertise. The golfers or tennis players will often be found with their sporting colleagues. A child must take its place with others at school, and the soldier ha no objections in being identified with his regiment, in fact, he’s rather proud of it.

So the Christian must not be isolated from the Church. When our Lord founded it, He knew the deepened within our personalities for friendship and fellowship, and really, the person who continually remains aloof is sometimes looked upon as somewhat unusual and even eccentric.

The Church then is the meeting place for the family of God, and to meet with that family is a great privilege because it is spiritually strengthening. It is there too that we shall find qualified men who can teach us the great truths of the Faith.

Church-going is also a challenge. When you go to Church, the neighbours will know, your friends will know; so it becomes a public witness. It means that you must watch you Ps and Qs! I do hope that the non-Church goer is not doing so to avoid the challenge. It’s easy to criticise members and ministers, but why not receive Christ and come into the Church and strengthen it?

Most people who have been to a football match have at some time see Johnny know-all. He’s the supporter who never misses a match; he knows all the rules of the game, and how it should be played. It appears that he has a confidential optician’s report on the referee’s eyesight, and Johnny could tell him a thing or two. He knows all the players by their Christian names, and if nobody has scored by half time he knows some names that are not very Christian.

Yes, its easy to stand on the touchline and criticise but why not come in and enjoy the salvation which Christ freely offers?

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News and Views presented by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

A CALL TO ADVENTURE

Life is a challenging business, a summons to adventure to all, both young and old and all in between. How inspiring to read and hear of people in each generation, irrespective of age, who dispense with fear and embrace faith and vision and go on to great accomplishments! Stepping out to do something different is refreshing and adds meaning and worth to mission and enterprise.

A young teenager is making the news today. He is not even old enough to drive a car. But at the age of 14, Michael Perham is today alone far out in the Atlantic at the helm of a 28ft yacht – attempting a feat of skill and fortitude that would daunt someone twice is age.

Michael is trying to become the youngest person to sail single-handed across the Atlantic, and looks well on the way to achieving the record.

On November 18th the schoolboy from Potters Bar set off from Gibraltar on the 3,500 mile voyage and trusts to arrive in Antigua, in the Caribbean islands by January 2nd.

On one of the days, December 15th he says ‘I noticed my self-steering was stiff and discovered some rope had become tangled in the gear. Unfortunately, the only option I had was to tie a rope round my waist, dive in and cut the rope away!’

Many centuries before a youth was called to face a giant by the name of Goliath and slay him so that his people should be free. David was not afraid to take up the challenge and to venture with God to bring about an astonishing conquest. He did not fail but moved on to become an outstanding monarch and leader in his day.

Later on, when Jesus Christ appeared, He was to place the outworking of His eternal kingdom into the hands of a group of young men. He had discipled them over the space of just over 3 years and then gave them the privileged and prerogative to build His Church world-wide. The Acts of the Apostles and subsequent history records the success story of the first disciples and apostles of Christ. They went forth in adventure leading the way for all to follow.

A preacher suggested that when Christ returned to heaven, after His triumph on earth, the angels gathered round Him, wanting to know what happened. One of them asked, ‘Master, what plan have you left on earth, so that all men might hear about you?’

Jesus answered , ‘I’ve left eleven men. They know the truth, and they must spread it.’

Rather scornfully the angels continued, Oh yes, Master. We know all about them. But surely they are just the cover for your real plan. We want to know what the real plan is.’

‘But they are the real plan,’ said Jesus. ‘They must do the job. If they don’t, I have no other plan.’

The summons to strike out in adventure still persists in the natural and spiritual realm to all ages. May this New Year of 2007 see you venturing with and for Christ to be a supreme achiever. Let the exploits of others greatly nerve you so that some good and great work will be initiated and completed.


 

Powerful Quotes supplied by Rev. L. Goodwin

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Rev. L. Goodwin

GREAT QUOTES ABOUT CHRIST

An unsurpassed master of the art of laying bare the inmost core of spiritual truth. –Geza Vermes

Jesus was the greatest religious genius that ever lived. — Ernest Renan

There is something so pure and frank and noble about Him that to doubt His sincerity would be like doubting the brightness of the sun. — Charles Edward Jefferson

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.–C.S. Lewis
 

POWERFUL QUOTES

“Life has a practice of living you, if you don’t live it.”
– Philip Larkin

“You don’t have to have a reason to feel good – you can feel good for no reason at all.”
– Unknown

“There are two ways of spreading light – to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
– Edith Wharton

“The future depends on what we do in the present.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

“Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so.”
– David Grayson

“It is best to learn as we go, not go as we have learned.”
– Leslie Jeanne Sahler

“You may be disappointed if you fail but you are doomed if you don’t try.”
– Beverly Sills

“Success and failure are not overnight experiences: It’s all the small decisions along the way that cause people to fail or succeed.”
– Unknown

“Every moment is made glorious by the light of love.”
– Jalal Ad-Din Rumi

“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.”
– Rose Kennedy

Illustrations that light up Spiritual Truth – Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

The Anti Virus System

How indebted we are for the existence and use of the anti virus factor that can keep the computer clean and clear of infections that paralyse the employment of this helpful machine! So many have known what it is to have their computers made useless by the pernicious and lethal entrance of a virus of immense potential. The advent of numerous options to be used to stop their invasion and destructive has been welcomed. When I was introduced into the computer world I was amazed that such destructive forces existed!

No doubt a parallel can be drawn with that of the human body where it is also subject to attack by viruses that can paralyse and ultimately produce disease and death. How one desires that the body could possess an immune system that could sort out and withstand all the various evil viruses that would harm! It is essential that the human body does have a good system in its organism that is able to deal with all kinds of infections. Much time, effort and monies is devoted in seeking to answer and provide immunity from the prevailing bugs that seek to bring untold harm. One wants to prove invulnerable against any purposed invasion and take over by these malicious agents.

However, there is a virus that is present in society that affects all men and some people take little note of it yet it is doing so much permanent destruction. It is the spiritual virus of sin and is to be feared above the bugs that invade the computer and the mortal body. Sin is of such a devastating nature that it robs man of a dynamic relationship with God, ruins his character and real fortunes on earth and ultimate can sentence to eternal death, damnation and eternal judgment. Each person is exposed to the virulence of evil.

All require to be cleansed from its malignant presence and power and to have a divine immune system planted within the being in order to resist and overcome sin. Thankfully God has provided this means and measure. By and through the death of Christ all can be not only forgiven but cleansed from sin. When a person receives Christ as their Saviour He does His immediate work of pardon and purification. Mind and heart are washed through the power of His efficacious blood. Further, through His incoming into the life with His resurrection presence and power He gives the power to deal with the virus of sin. It is detected and rejected. By the added input of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word all the bugs of evil are rendered powerless. All need to have this divine system installed and it is only available through Christ.

The important thing is to make sure that you have God’s anti-virus system placed inside your life and make sure it is working on a regular basis. 

Sermon Starters prepared by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson                 The challenges of 2007

Soon we shall be enter iton a new year with all of its challenges, responsibilities and possibilities. At present it remains untouched ready to be embraced and accepted with high expectations. This is altogether feasible when God is known and is in charge of everything. Each Christian believer, minister and leader needs to be full of divine anticipation with a sense that, in partnership with God, there are great things to be accomplished.

It is both important and imperative to be ready to confront the next 12 months with the vision, passion and action created and generated by God within the mind, heart and will. God has desired and designed that you be a success and that you achieve the goals He has planned. Remember the assured promise – “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you” says the Lord, “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and hope” – Jeremiah 29: 11.

For these things to really take place there must be an active cooperation with God and the possession of helpful aims. Here are a few positive suggestions to aid you to become a great achiever in the forthcoming days.

  • SEEK THE GLORY OF GOD ABOVE ALL ELSE

It has been said ‘that man’s chief end is to glorify God’ and the example of Christ is summed up in His admission – “I have glorified you on the earth, I have finished the work that You gave Me to do” – John 17: 4.  R.T. Kendall states that he found John 5:44 the most challenging verse of his life and work –“How can you believe which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?”

  • ACCEPT THE LIFE AND LIFESTYLE THAT GOD HAS ORDAINED

Be aware of what has set out for you in terms of belief and behaviour and work such out in your daily living. Remember the clear directive of Christ in this connection: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” – Matthew 6: 33. He knows what is right and best for you within that kingdom and there is no likelihood of failure or disappointment as this is adhered to.

  • BELIEVE GOD more, AND HIS WORD

 Remember, God is always seeking to raise the faith level in order that greater things might be wrought in and through you – John 14:12. Trusting God and His promise is the secret to a fruitful and productive life and ministry. Note that Christ was ever seeking to increase the faith of His disciples and said not only ‘have faith in God’ but–‘Have the faith of God’ – Mark 11: 22.

  • LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND EMBRACE SOME NEW, DIVINE DIRECTIVE

Take into consideration that both Abraham and Jacob had to move out of seemingly secure positions in order to prove God on greater fronts. This year may well be the time and opportunity of greater developments and progress but the demand will come to get out of the boat and walk on the water – see Matthew 17: 27-32.32. 

  • ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO BECOME WHAT GOD HAS DESIGNED

You can play a more active role in inspiring others to fulfil God’s expectations of them and to nurture in them spiritual confidence. Just as Barnabas fulfilled an increasing ministry in this direction so can you. Paul also did this with Timothy and gave helpful counsel – “Stir up the gift of God, which is in you…” -Timothy 1: 6, 7. 

  • RAISE THE STANDARD ON ALL FRONTS FOR GOD

Dare to b e different and not allow the world or others to squeeze you into their moulds and thus become mouldy. Note Romans 12: 1, 2 and let such be a sure directive in the manner of your morals and ethics. The advice given by Paul to Timothy is sound and good for all – “Let no man despise your youth; but be an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” – 1 Timothy 4: 12.

  • INVEST YOUR TIME, TALENTS AND WEALTH FOR GOD

Don’t forget, one is not permitted a re-run with regard to the days and months ahead and the Lord expects you to devote your abilities, energies and monies within His business. He wants you to make the best use of all so that you will have the greatest returns – see Matthew 25: 14-30. He intends to invest you with much more now and eternally as you rightly respond.

May you know a prosperous year so that all the major things the Lord desires of and from you will come to glorious fruition so that you will be satisfied, richly blessed and the Lord glorified exceedingly. 

Extracts from My Life by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. & Mrs. E. Anderson

THE GREAT TURNING POINT

Shortly after I was born in 1932, both my parents became Christians and so I was raised up in a God-fearing family. It consisted of three older brothers and a sister and a younger brother and sister. My parents had all on to attend to our needs in our schooldays and entrance into adult life but they did their part well.

Although they were very committed Christians they never coerced their offspring to become such. Of course, they set a fine example and encouraged their children in the best and wisest ways possible to know and follow Christ.

When my elder brothers and sister reached their teenage years and left school they decided to do their own thing. Instead of following down the track set by their elders, they chose to turn from church attendance and leave the things of God alone. In no way did they sneer and reject out-rightly the Lord but they felt the attractions of the world more inviting.

Observing their procedure and sensing the pull myself on coming to those early, teenage years, I was determined to follow suit. At that time I was a keen sportsperson , especially loving my football and cricket. It meant everything to me and so I was ready to cut my strings with Christianity.

But God had other ideas. In course of eighteen months He moved dramatically and dynamically in my home in a remarkable way. The turning point came with an amazing intervention of God.

One night my father summoned the family into his bedroom because of the physical condition of my mother. She looked dreadful and appeared to be at death’s door. As we looked her we questioned whether we would have a mum in the morning. For me, that was disturbing because she meant a great deal to me. We were saddened to see her in such a helpless condition and certainly we did not know much about prayer and the power of Jesus Christ at that time.

However, to our astonishment, an incredible presence came into that room and ministered to her in a remarkable manner. She received an immediate healing touch from the Lord and instead of being laid up as dead she was around the next morning beautifully and bountifully caring for her household. Great divine conviction came upon us all at that time which we could not altogether understand. She seemed to ooze the presence of God from that moment. That incident became the immense switch around within the family in the ensuing months.

My older brother and sister turned to Christ and I also. I was impacted by Christ and He not only forgave my sin, He made me His son and servant and gave me a life worth living. Instead of cutting out a course for myself He had something better in mind and has brought it all about. He was to challenge in a powerful manner my life and lifestyle and raise me to a level of trust and commitment to him and His cause.

The lasting effect of the Lord coming to my mother that night was that this happened in her forties but the Lord gave an additional forty years to her life! All my family went on to love and serve the Lord for decades. So it does last! Of course it does!

Then God Stepped In by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

MY N.H.S. EXPERIENCE

On the first of March 2006, at the age of 76 years, I collapsed and was taken into the Nottingham City Hospital. After a series of tests, an X-ray revealed a blockage in the upper colon and I was transferred to the Queen Medical Centre. On entering hospital, my first experience was a complete loss of self confidence. The realisation I could do nothing for myself, being dependent entirely upon other people and if they didn’t succeed I was a gonner. Some sixty thousand people succumb to bowel cancer every year.  Half of them die, fifty every day. All I had left was my Christian faith. I consoled myself with the thought that there were three local churches praying for me. My prayer was simply “Lord, answer prayer”. I was deeply concerned for the people and situations I may be leaving behind, although aware that the cemetery is full of indispensable people. The Apostle Peter wrote “Cast your care upon Him, for He careth for you”. This I did then continued in the ‘peace of God’.

The surgeon, Mr. Armitage, decided to operate on the morning of the 8th March to remove a cancer which had completely blocked my colon.

After the operation I was transferred to intensive care until the morning of the 10th March when I was transferred back to the general ward. I was then visited by the Anesthetist who advised me that when I was admitted to the operating theatre I was a very sick man. My breathing was in short gasps due to pressure on the lungs and when I was opened up th bowel was perforated, indicative of secondary infection. She said I had made a remarkable recovery and asked for my permission to document the case for use with the students in the medical school. I was only too pleased to have something to offer posterity.

The care and attention I received from the staff was superb and they soon had me walking. One morning, whilst shaving, the 103rd Psalm came to mind.  “Bless the Lord oh my soul and forget not all His benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, Who healeth all thy diseases. Who redeemeth thy life from destruction. Who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies. Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles”. The revelation came. We are not immune from diseases but it is the Lord who redeems and brings us back from the brink. I experienced an assurance of faith that I was meant to recover. Towards the end of my hospitalization, such was my rate of recovery that the ward sister described me as ‘fantastic Raymond’. I returned home on the 20th March 2006.

On the 24th April 2006 a visit to the Oncologist was arranged after a CT scan which revealed blood clots in the lungs. The Oncologist said “There was a 30% chance of the cancer returning”, which to my mind equated to a 70% chance of not recurring. The Oncologist advised that she could offer chemotherapy treatment which would only reduce the factor of a recurrence by 4% to 26%. After then describing the possible side effects of chemotherapy, I declined her offer, preferring to put my trust in Providence. I explained that as a committed Christian I believed in the sovereignty of God, the truth of His word and the power of His Holy Spirit. That my belief was that God works through people like you, surgeons, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other specialists. And thanks to providence and the N.H.S. I had been brought back from the brink. The Bible says that “with God, all things are possible”. Jesus said “all things are possible to them that believe” and I am a believer. I was later referred to the anticoagulation clinic that instigated a six month treatment of the drug warfarin, to disperse the blood clots, closely monitored by the clinic.

My further recovery during April and May was slow but sure. I have proved that ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever’.    Raymond L. Bradford
Just two weeks ago I witnessed Raymond in buoyant mood and in a healthy state.

Daily Meditations by Rev. E. Anderson Dec. 26th – Jan 1st

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Rev. E. Anderson

December 26th      BEGINNING A NEW ERA – Matthew 3: 1-12

The appearance of John the Baptist spelt the beginning of a new day and era. For over four hundred years there had been seemingly no prophetic voice on the scene. The Old Testament had been concluded and now there was to be the birthing and emergence of that which had been predicted by the patriarchs and prophets of former generations. There was to come into view and power the manifestation of Jesus Christ who would give and generate the most important news and experience vital to all men. John was to play a role in ushering in this new era of life, reality and hope. He had been set up and sent by God to introduce the most amazing and extraordinary person of history, Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God.

The new era was to commence with a call and demand for repentance in preparation for the manifestation of the spiritual and heavenly Kingdom begotten by God through Jesus Christ – v2 “Repent you; for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Christ’s forerunner and herald, John the Baptist, had the task of seeking to prepare the ground in peoples’ heart for the reception of Christ the King. It was needful for them to know a real change within their lives and so the all-essential requirement was called for – repentance. The new era was to start on this note. We see that Christ also takes up the same theme – v17.

We need to see a new, spiritual era being birthed and taking hold in of our day. The great demand within the Church and World is for the message and experience of repentance in readiness for the return of Jesus Christ. As we stand at the portal of another New Year, may we be in the place where God can break out in tremendous blessing in and through our lives so that all around will come to see and know the dynamic potency of Christ. Let there be the beginning of another move of God.

December 27th      THE WILL TO PLEASE – Matthew 3: 13-17

It is apparent that Jesus Christ possessed within his spirit and disposition the will to please the Father and it is obvious from v17 that He made a perfect and excellent job of it. During those private years of childhood, teenage period and development into manhood in Nazareth, and amongst a family of brother and sisters, Christ made it his objective to do all to satisfy and glorify His Father. In the home and at work, when no one was observing from without, He had this motivation and commitment. In coming to Jordan’s waters to be humbly baptized by John, there was this deep, inward desire to please the Father.

The immediate response from Heaven at His baptism shows the Father’s pleasure and confirmation upon His life. He was the recipient of the Holy Spirit and as John 3: 34 remarks: “for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” There was a fulness and richness of bestowment upon Him indicating what the Father and Heaven thought of Him. There was an entering into a bountiful legacy of the Spirit’s anointing and power because of this will to please the Father.

Having set the permanent example for Christendom, all must adopt this mind and attitude within their beings. As the sons of God, there must the emulation of the Son of God in this regard. It is imperative to discover what the Father has designed and desired for life and work and then to embrace it wholeheartedly. Today you have only one person to please – Father – God. Make it your business to do His will and so reap the blessing of faith and obedience in more of the Holy Spirit. There is no greater and better relationship or motivation for life and work.

December 28th      FACING TEMPTATION – Matthew 4: 1-11

It is instructive to know that Christ had to face temptation. He was not rendered immune from being confronted with evil suggestions from a wicked adversary but was to ready meet and deal with all that he threw at Him. He had just been blessed with the Holy Spirit and had received the commendation of the Father, but these were no preventative from the subtle attack of the wicked one. Christ was prepared to go and face the foe and to win a major triumph over him in the desert.

The weapon that He used with telling effect was the Word of God. In the three temptations recorded, Christ employed the Scriptures of truth to beat His opponent and it is apparent that Satan had no answer to the rapier thrust of such. Christ would do nothing to satisfy any personal craving to manifest miraculous power for self-sustenance, preservation or advancement. Although filled with the latent power of the Holy Spirit, He would not engage it to His own ends. The time would come when He would do so, but at this point He would not abuse the same for selfish advantage. This was
submitted to God to be manifested in due course.

God allows you to be put through your paces especially after a time of great blessing and confirmation. This ought to
be no surprise to you because of what you witness in the life of Christ. Make sure that the blessing of the Holy Spirit is yours and that you are feeding off God’s Word. The answers will come from God in the midst of your trials and temptations so that you can effectively overcome all that the enemy would entice you with. It is your right in Christ to win the battle and triumph with great success and move on to greater things in and for God.

December 29th     THE CATCH OF A LIFETIME – Matthew 4: 12-22

Christ was an unusual and unique fisherman. His occupation was in catching men and in this passage on two occasions He specifically summoned two sets of brothers, Peter and Andrew, James and John to follow Him. He had the authority and the ability to draw these four men into a life of faith and obedience to Himself. No sooner did they hear the call, they became hooked by Christ to become His followers and future leaders. He landed these big, brawny men to serve Him. He knew where to find them and what to say in order to draw them under His divine leadership.

His purpose behind the divine call was to make them fishermen in a different way. Instead of catching fish, their new trade was to catch men for Christ. They were serving a new Master and the task ahead was to influence and draw people to Him. What a success story it turned out to be, especially for Peter. On the day of Pentecost he was able to haul in 3,000 souls for Christ! The day Christ caught him was with this in view: Peter would catch others and so in both cases it became a catch of a lifetime.

You must never forget the reason why Christ summoned you, too. It was that He, might disciple you by His grace and power, so that you might be a soul-winner. The job now in hand for you is to seek to reach all those around, your family and friends, workmates and colleagues and strangers to bring them to Christ. It is the most rewarding work in life. You can be responsible for turning many choice people to Christ this forthcoming year and so advance the cause of Christ where you are.
December 30th     YOU CAN BE HEALED – Matthew 4: 23-25; Acts 10: 36-43

The Gospel of Christ focuses attention on the fact of His healing gift and ability. In His earthly life and ministry people came to Him with their sicknesses and diseases. It is affirmed that He healed all manner of sicknesses and diseases; those that were demon possessed and lunatic, as well as those of palsied condition – v25. His anointing and mandate from Heaven was that He should bring release to those who were afflicted in any way physically and mentally. The testimony of the 4 Gospels affirms how countless numbers enjoyed His healing power- see Acts 10: 38. Even those in a chronic state found deliverance!

It is essential to be reminded that Christ is unchanging. The Scriptures teach the truth that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever” Hebrews 13: 8. He is not simply the Christ of history, of what is past, but the Christ of the now with the same properties of healing and deliverance. Although individuals, even Christian believers, know what it is today to be smitten with illness, pain and disease, Jesus Christ is still up to the challenge of ministering to each desperate condition. He has not lost His compassion, desire or power to heal those who require the same.

Maybe you are languishing under some bondage of affliction to which there is no medical remedy. In your crisis, let me encourage you to turn to the One who can meet and minister into it. Jesus can work the miracle you need. This last day of the old year can be the day of deliverance so that you can start tomorrow, a new year, with a glowing testimony to Christ’s healing favour. Believe and receive right now.

December 31st     A BLESSED PEOPLE – MATTHEW 5: 1-12

As Jesus Christ commenced His teaching ministry He sets out most clearly the kind of people that will make up His spiritual and eternal Kingdom. He taught that they have to possess the right attitudes that reflect the nature of God. They can be listed as humility, brokenness, perfect control of life, desire for spiritual realities, kindness, purity, seekers of peace and unity, the ability to wisely put up with persecution etc. It is quite a demanding list. There is no way that this is possible without being renewed by God’s grace and receiving His power to perform. Those who possess this nature and its qualities are truly blessed and are different.

God blesses these unique people in a beautiful manner by producing characters that are wholesome in every way. They are fit to live and rule within the Kingdom of God. They know the delight of inheriting the earth, of being truly and fully satisfied, of experiencing untold tokens of kindness, of knowing and seeing God, of experiencing a state of peace etc. The reward of being as God desires and designs brings varied blessings of inestimable worth. The Kingdom life in evidence is a blessed life.

As you commence and proceed through this year, note that you are a child of the Kingdom of heaven. Let heaven’s nature reside and preside in you so that you evidence all these godly attitudes. It will be apparent to all that you are different and so witness to God’s Kingdom life. There will be a divine happiness prevailing at every level that will be its own testimony to a blessed life.

January 1st     A DYNAMIC INFLUENCE – Matthew 5: 13-26

Christianity is to be the revelation of a brand new life style that is utterly positive and bears a tremendous influence in society for good. Those who are to be genuine subjects within His Kingdom must be different from those around them in both attitude and action. The result of Christ coming in and taking over life means that there will be the kind of behaviour that is characteristic of Jesus. This will cause those around to be aware that there is a better and higher way to live. In the main, it will be obvious by the tremendous amount of good deeds performed with the right inspiration and motivation – “that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” –v16.

The Lord uses two features from life to illustrate the dynamic of godly influence and ministry when He said, “You are the salt of the earth and you are the light of the world” – vv13, 14. Both are noiseless factors yet they are very real and forceful in their work. There is no way that they parade and make a show of their presence and service but they are potent in operation. So the Lord reveals what a dramatic difference His people can make in this world.

You must allow the Lord by His Holy Spirit and Word to so take over your life that the inevitable consequence will be that you will impact all the people around. In a quiet and unassuming manner you can have a telling effect for good. Consequently people will become conscious of someone and something greater at work in and through you. Be a person of spiritual and vibrant authority that brings many people to the awareness of the reality of Christ and His Gospel.
 

Word for the Week provide by Rev. E. Anderson

HUMILITY Matthew 20: 20-28; Proverbs 22:4 

Humility’ is one of the great words, truths and themes of the Bible and must be considered by all who would know any dynamic and worthwhile relationship with God. An emphasis is given as to the person who commands the attention and respect of the Lord that is well worth noting by the prophet“For thus saith the high and lofty One that that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones”Isaiah 57: 15. The psalmist informs us that “the Lord the proud He knoweth a far off”Psalm 138: 6.  They do not claim His affection or attention. It is the humble that fascinates God and experience His infinite love and favour. This being the case, it is imperative to understand the true essence of humility. It is defined and described ‘as being modest and having a proper sense of one’s worth; not prone to arrogance. Some related words that help in comprehending this outstanding virtue are – self-effacing, unassuming, simple, courteous etc. The individual who manifests this kind of disposition has a true estimate of others and situations and wisely and graciously acts in a controlled manner commanding respect in a quiet but powerful way. 

It is presented by Christ as the priority attitude of those who would be true subjects within His eternal kingdom – Matthew 5: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs in the kingdom of
God– Matthew 5:3. From this it would appear that it is crowning virtue that expresses a true estimate of oneself and others and safeguards one’s spiritual estate. 

Christ is presented as the perfect example of humility. He was the perfect embodiment of this outstanding, divine quality and commended it to others by teaching and practice. He taught His disciples on one occasion that they must not strive for position in conflict with others but learn to live and serve one and all in an unassuming manner – Matthew 20: 20-28. He also sought to teach the Pharisees that they needed to acquire this virtue if they were to obtain the favour of God in their praying – Luke 18: 9-14. When invited to a feast He stated that one should not go for the highest seat but be modest and show preference to others – Luke 14: 8-11. Those that did not exhibit humility would be subjected to humiliation. Paul disclosed in Philippians 2 the disposition of Christ in this very excellence by pointing out right from the outset that He did not grasp at any rights that truly belonged to Him in His deity but was prepared to lay them aside in order to save, bless and teach mankind as a whole that they way up was always the way down. The proverb puts it these words – “Before honour is humility” – Proverbs 22: 4. It pays to be humble! 

“Those who are prepared for the greatest mercies see they are unworthy of the least”   Henry PRAYER 

Create and cultivate this vital disposition within me for your glory 

Leaderships Factors compiled by Rev. E. Anderson

Dr. John Maxwell is committed to the cultivation and development of Christian leaders for these modern days. In the Bible notes he has recorded in the edition he has made, he has afforded a great deal of material to aid in this mammoth task and undertaking. Here is a sample using Boaz as a good leader in Old Testament times noted for his benevolence.

Generosity in leaders

Leaders must be generous, predisposed t give their resources to others. They believe a candle loses nothing when it lights another.

No one models this better than Boaz, the spiritual leader who became Ruth’s husband. He owned a large field, and like other landowners, employed reapers to gather his harvest.

Points to ponder and emulate:

  • He was generous with compassion (2: 8, 9).
    He told Ruth not to glean elsewhere; she would get what she needed from him.
     
  • He was generous with his compliments (2: 11, 12).
    He noticed her sacrifice and complimented her efforts.
  • He was generous with his courtesy (2: 14).
    He invited her to join his staff for a meal, kindly serving her all she wanted.
  • He was generous with his crops (2: 15,16).
    He told the reapers to put out extra bundles of grain for her to find.
  • He was generous with his credibility (3: 11-13).
    He showed respect by doing what was right by her request.
  • He was generous with his commitment (4: 9, 10).
    He committed himself to ensuring that Ruth’s former husband had offspring to carry on his name.

You can give without loving, but cannot love without giving. Leaders who fail to display generosity should ask themselves, “Do I really love the people I lead?”

A generous spirit drove Boaz to go the second mile with Ruth, even before he suspected she might become his wife. (He assumed she would be attracted  to a younger man (3: 10).

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