Leadership Factors provided by Rev. E. Anderson

Rev. E. Anderson

CHIEF CHARACTERISTICS OF CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP

Beside the quality leadership required in the family and home, of all leadership that is represented in human life and service possibly the greatest is to be revealed in the Christian Church. This being the case, it is vital that it be understood what is meant by Christian leadership and what are the chief characteristics that should be present in all those who are personally involved in this divine and major vocation.

Here are a number of things to consider and contemplate in this connection to help those aspiring to leadership and those who are already involved in this supreme calling.

1/.  THEY MUST KNOW A PERSONAL REVELATION OF AND A RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST

Just as each disciple and apostle of Christ knew an individual experience of Christ for them and also built up a personal association with Him that was special, so should it be so with all those who claim this honoured position in this role today. All of Christ’s leaders are chosen by Him and He comes not only to be the Saviour but to make Himself real and dynamic to and in them. Christianity is Christ making himself known to individuals.  Paul speaks in Galatians of Christ revealing himself to, in and through Him. Such was the closeness of fellowship and connection that he could say: ‘Christ liveth in me and the life I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me’- 2: 20. Before anyone can be a leader of and for Christ they must have an encounter with Him and from such stems a dynamic accord that it becomes obvious that Christ has invaded and taken control of life. How can a leader really represent somebody or something he doesn’t really know? The priority above all is to know Him and from that knowledge other things, especially leadership become evident.

2/. THEY MUST POSSESS A CONVICTION OF DIVINE CALL AND COMMISSION

Those who are in the front line with and for Christ giving directive and inspiration must have a sure, spiritual awareness birthed and developed by Christ that they are being and doing what He has summoned. Christ personally prepares those whom He would have head and lead His work and those who serve in this capacity are deeply conscious of His design and destiny on their lives and ministries. He imparts a divine knowledge of what He has determined of them. Paul not only prayed on his conversion ‘Lord, what do you want me to do?’ The reply came with absolute certainty – ‘Go into the city and it shall be told you’- Acts 9: 6, 7. He who is altogether wise and Head of the whole Christian community knows where to place His leaders and give the appropriate directions etc. Those who are His leaders are responsible to Him to own and to act according to His commission.

3/.  THEY MUST LIVE UNDER THE DISCIPLINES OF CHRIST

Besides being a leader everyone is essentially a disciple of Christ and every leader must make certain that they are fully aware of His disciplines and that they are primary feature in their own life and work. Every leader must be taught and trained by Christ and they are familiar with His regulations and expectations regarding life. He expects every leader to be a good disciplinarian with regard to what is required. One of the directives He gave to the men He left to lead Hiss Church was that they should ‘make disciples of all nations and teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you’ – Matthew 28: 19,20. For them to be able to do this effectively they must be role models with respect to obedience to His instructions.

4/.  THEY MUST MANIFEST THE QUALITY DISPOSITION OF CHRIST

Christ possessed a unique nature that was manifested in a beautiful disposition that caused people to be switched on to Him. Although He was God manifest in flesh yet He had the attractiveness that drew people to Him. He was not harsh, brutal and hard but loving, kind and humble, an individual that cared and was infinitely committed to the well being of others. The Gospels present Him in a wonderful light showing that He loved humanity. The great driving force of His being was love and this comes out continually in His identification with people. His was mainly a leadership of love and this has to be reflected in all those called to represent Him. Paul highlighted this factor when he said: ‘the love of Christ constraineth us’ – 2 Corinthians 5: 14. Such love Christ caused Him to be a servant and to minister to others – see John 13: 1-17; Mark 10: 45.

5/.  THEY MUST DEMONSTRATE THE CAPACITY TO LEAD

Leadership is a gift from Christ and leaders possess the ability not only to lead by example but to give positive direction and counsel to others that increases their gift and qualities and suits them for effectual service. Leaders have the love and know how to bring the best out in others and they welcome the wealth of grace and gift in those over them leading the way. The leadership is not forced or imposed but easily occurs because of the good nature and will of the leaders. They are happy and willing to be guided by meaningful oversight.

6/.  THEY MUST WORK UNITEDLY WITH OTHER LEADERS

Leadership is not individualistic but cooperative with other people of like calling and standing. Every leader requires the watchful care, insight and attention of other leaders so that he and his work are safeguarded. No leader is an island to himself or a lone ranger, rather there must be the will to actively engage in dialogue with others of similar designation so that all are mutually profited. Leaders together in Christ can do such more when they are bonded and learn from each other for the benefit of Christ’s kingdom and His glory.

7/. THEY MUST SEE VISION FULFILLED

Christian leaders must know Christ’s vision for themselves and for the work He has called them to do and to make sure that such is brought to pass. That is what they are responsible for and to which He will hold them accountable. He is personally able to furnish particularly what He desires to be wrought though each one and so each leader must go to Him for revelation and instructions. When the leadership has run its course each should be able to say – ‘I have finished the work you have given me to do’, like Christ – John 17: 4. See Paul’s testimony – 2 Timothy 4: 7.

CONCLUSION

These things being present as chief characteristics ensure the inevitable success of such leaders. Christ desires that these be the type of people that will be wholly involved with Him in the blessing and growth of His Church.

If you are a Christian leader make sure that you are conforming to Christ’s standards and by His grace and power you can attain to His demands.

If you are not a Christian leader pray that the Lord will raise up such qualified people and give them your unqualified support in all things and at all times.

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Childrens Stories presented by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

Gow hong

Nearly every night, when I go to be, I say to the Lord, ‘Thank you, Jesus for dying for me.’

It is so thrilling to know that God has so loved us, that, although we are so very, very unlike Him and so very sinful He loves us with a special love. Young people, do get to love the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart. Don’t be half-hearted. Give Him all your love.

When Jesus rose from the dead He was so anxious to find out whether Peter really loved Him, that He asked Him three times, ‘Peter, do you really love Me?’ Love for Jesus will grow each day as we study His love for us and we will be prepared to do things for Him that otherwise would be impossible.

How wonderful of Jesus to love us when He was pure, spotless and sinless and we were just the opposite. We usually love people who do the things we like. But He loved us though we do the things He hated.

Wonderful, Wonderful Jesus! Have you learned to say that? We say it a lot in our Pentecostal Churches. And we also say, Glory to God…..Praise the Lord…..Hallelujah….. etc and no one pays us to say it. When we love Jesus it just flows out from inside us and through our lips. You see, it will happen to you.

Here is a true illustration of that Wonderful Love.

In Taiwan, Formosa, years and years ago there was a tribe known as the HEAD HUNTERS.

The rather gory reason for them being called Head Hunters  was that they hunted heads – – – human heads and had a nasty habit of being successful at severing the head from the body.

This they offered periodically, as a sacrifice to the heathen gods.

Into this arena one day came a wonderful old Christian merchant from China called Gow Hong. Now old Gow Hong was horrified at the bestial behaviour of these head hunters and wondered how he could stop this terrible bloodshed. He was a very good witness for the Lord and lived before them, as much as he could like the Lord Jesus Christ.

Slowly the Head Hunters took notice of this godly man. ‘We will only cut off a few heads this year’, they  said as if this was very definite spiritual progress.’

‘You must not cut off any heads at all’ said the old Christian Chinaman. ‘Wee just one, for the Feast this year.’

It was a very dark night, and the moon only occasionally appeared and then cast long and sinister shadows as the hunters lay in hiding, sharpening their knives and waiting for their victim to come along the jungle path.

It seemed like hours and then every hunter tense for their keen ears had detected a cracking twig and then another and another. Someone was oming along the jungle path.

‘OOMFT’ …went the knife flashing in the moonlight.

The head was soon is a ceremonial basket. The hunters raced for the village where all the villagers were assembled for their devilish feast.

The huge log fire was lighting up the excited but hopeless faces of people without Jesus and excitement was running high. They clapped and danced and shouted and shrieked until they fell exhausted and then the ceremonial basket was displayed. The Chief Hunter plunged his hand for the head and as he pulled it out he screamed and collapsed. Everyone was silenced and sorrowful as they saw the in the hand of the Chief Hunter – – – -THE HEAD OF GOW HONG.

Gow Hong, their beloved friend, yes, the greatest friend the Head Hunters had ever had.

‘HIS BOOK MUST BE RIGHT’, they shouted. ‘HIS GOD MUST BE OUR GOD. ONLY A GREAT GOD OF LOVE COULD MAKE ONE PERSON DO THIS FOR US.’ Many of them accepted Jesus as their own Saviour. He had did for his people. JESUS DID THIS NOT ONLY FOR HEAD HUNTERS OF TAIWAN BUT FOR THE WHOLE WORLD.’ Just thank
Him.’

This story is taken from a book composed by the late Rev. Gerald Chamberlain who was an excellent story teller and lover of children.

Sermon Starters by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

THE KEEPING LORD – PSALM 121

This is another satisfying view and facet of the Lord, that of Keeper. Mankind needs someone of this nature to be able to oversee and take responsibility of life and all of its affairs so he and everything is truly and properly safeguarded.

PILGRIM: To some extent the believer in the Lord is traveler and sojourner. There are hostile regions and environments to pass through with all kinds of things that could be damaging and destructive to the well being of the chosen of God. So many factors to threaten existence, to create doubt and fear and make life a pain rather than a pleasure.  It is imperative that the saint is not alone but someone sufficient and able is present to attend to safety and security.

PRESERVER: The One presented in the psalm is the fittest and best to fill the bill as Keeper and Protector. He knows there is only the Lord that can adequately act in this capacity to watch over him and see him safely and surely through to his life’s destiny without loss and damage. It is a worthwhile study of the Scriptures to note the role that the Lord fulfils in the lives and service of all of His people. Classic examples are seen at an individual level with Abraham and with a great multitude, Israel, as this nation journeys through the wilderness.

(1)  THE LORD PLACES A PRESERVING ORDER ON HIS PEOPLE –vv5,6

The implication of these verses would indicate that the Lord really does place a preserving order upon those that are His. He knows who belong to Him – 2 Tim.2: 19. It is His prerogative and ability to assure the covering and peace of His elect. He gave a word right into Abraham’s being – Genesis 15: 1 “Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward.” That was the Lord slapping a tag on him and denoting his security. See the Roman seal placed on Christ’s tomb plus the soldiers – Matt. 27: 63-66.

(2)  THE LORD IS EVER IN A VIGILANT MIND AND MOOD – v34

It is good to know that the Lord is ever on watch. We are reminded that He neither slumbers nor sleeps, i.e. nods off or goes into a deep sleep oblivious to all that is occurring. He has eyes and a mind of omniscience so that no one and nothing escapes His gaze. He misses nothing.  As David takes on Goliath he was deeply conscious that the Lord was watching the maneuvers that day and taking in the whole situation – 1 Sam.17. He could trust the Lord to be mindful and sensitive to all that what was taking place and keep a watchful guard on him.

(3) THE LORD PERCEIVES ALL THAT IS TO OCCUR OF EVIL CIRCUMSTANCE – v7

It does not matter when, where what, who and  how., the Lord is in complete touch with what is happening and is to happen. This comes out with regard to Peter before his act of denial – Luke 22: 31-34. He was not ignorant of the path that Peter had to tread and the experience he had to undergo and informed it of it beforehand. It may take Peter by storm but not so the Lord. The Lord is not to be outwitted or outsmarted by the Evil one or by evil itself. He is far ahead in His comprehension and preparation so that He can truly minister to His own.

(4) THE LORD IS THE ABSOLUTE COVER REQUIRED – vv2, 5-8

See use of the word ‘Lord.’ The thing of import to note is that the Lord is the One who is the perfect cover of His people. He covers them Himself with Himself. Just like a hen covers her brood, so the Lord provides the essential and full protection on those who are His elect. He is with, around and above so that nothing can really harm. The emphasis is upon Him being all that is required at all times for the blessedness and salvation of His people. This is further illustrated in the pilgrimage through the wilderness: the pillar of cloud and fire – Exodus 13: 21,22.

(5) THE LORD ENABLES TO MAKE A BOLD CONFESSION

Because of this state of affairs that is why the psalm can be spoken and confessed with utter faith and confidence. The issue of safety has been certainly resolved for time and eternity and so the believer learns to live from a position of rest. There can be a positive state of mind at all times because this is of an unchanging order. In no way will this be altered or amended so the statement of faith can be made and the experience in life enjoyed. Paul was completely convinced of his place of security in the Lord – see Romans 8: 35-39; 2 Corinthians 1: 8-10. The Lord is in the business of permanently dissolving all our fears and doubts so that the confession can be made and the knowledge of it realized.

The Lord knows all the vulnerable places and experiences to be faced and confronted and He assures and affirms that He is ever-present to secure the state of His people. His people should learn to believe and live, knowing they are to be preserved by the unique Preserver. He will lose none of His sheep – John 10: 28, 29. His omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence will not allow for any failure in the matter. Watching and keeping are His prerogative and pleasure.

Sermon Starters by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. L. Goodwin

LIFE ISSUES QUOTES 

“Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”-Anon 

“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without adversity.”-Anon 

“Prosperity is not without many fears & distastes; & adversity is not without comforts & hopes.”  Also “Prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.”  (Francis Bacon) 

“Have you ever visited a piece of coastline where there is a sheltered bay? The pebbles on that protected beach are rough & jagged, not smooth & polished. But out on the open shore where fierce breakers batter against the rocks, the pebbles are smooth & round. So it is with the trials that we as Christians face. They are designed not to be punitive but productive in giving us a well rounded mature Christ-like character.” -Anon 

An evangelist told the following story in one of his campaigns: – “I have a friend who during the depression lost a job, a fortune, a wife, & a home but tenaciously held to his faith – the only thing he had left. One day he stopped to watch some men building a stone church. One of them was chiselling a triangular piece of rock. `What are you going to do with that?’ asked my friend. The workman said `Do you see that little opening way up there by the spire? Well, I’m shaping this down here so that it will fit in up there.’ Tears filled the eyes of the heartbroken man as he walked away. It seemed that God had spoken through the workman to explain the ordeal through which he was passing.” 

“Nowhere does the Bible promise the Christian smooth sailing; but it does promise the believer a happy landing.” -James Brown (AOG graduate school) 

“Two jars side by side stood on a shelf with contents that looked the same but actually were different. The first jar when tipped out had vinegar; the second jar had honey. It was only when the jars were knocked over was their true contents revealed.” -Robert J.Little

In Hindsight – excerpts from David Hind’s book

THE SERVING THING 

The Top Ten of Everything was a Christmas present in our house this year. Did you know that Japan eats more eggs, China has more sheep, India has more cinema attendees an the UK consumes more breakfast cereals than any other country? Did you know that that six of the world’s top ten best-selling newspapers are Japanese, 5.5 trillions cigarettes are smoked and Christianity has, at 2,159 billion, the most followers.

If God were to draw up a list of the greatest human attributes hat would be his top ten? I think faithfulness, loyalty and love would be there. I also believe that a serving heart would be near the top.

Jesus turned the idea of serving on its head.

* His mission was to serve.
* His desire was to serve.
* His reactions were to serve.
* He was a servant and came to give.

In our society, society, self-importance, rights and selfishness are often driving forces. How should we respond? How should we order our time so we can serve.

Make time to serve Jesus

THE One who washes our feet and lays down his life is worthy of our love and gratitude. I must take time to worship and let him love me.

Make time to serve your family and friends

Husband, wives, parents, children, and friends are given to us to serve.

Make time to serve at work

Whether in the home or as en employee we should serve and be grateful. If I reach a position when I believe that certain tasks are below me, I should step back from ministry, because Jesus set a different standard.

Make time to serve in your church

Turning up early one Sunday morning to a city centre church, one can often see the evidence of a lively Saturday night at Nottingham. I remember seeing one of our female stewards cleaning up human excrement outside our church before anyone arrived. I realised that nothing I said that day on the platform would speak louder for Jesus than this act of service.

Make time to serve in your community

Rubbish on the streets, litter thrown out of car window, old people standing up on buses whilst younger people fill the seats……we need to be different. There are always people we can help – a senior person to visit, local issues to support and Christianity to work out.

Serving is natural to some and caught by others, however, it is not an option.

Serving demonstrates our faith and is a life call.
To serve is to be like Jesus.

Taken from In Hindsight by David Hind
 

Messages for the Moment presented by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

GOD MEANT IT FOR GOOD
by Jon Walker

“You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result.” (Genesis 50:20 NIV)

Joseph’s life was anything but peaceful. It was complicated by youthful folly, broken dreams, and the mean-spirited actions of others. Sold into slavery by jealous brothers. Thrown into prison on false charges. Yet he remained a man remarkable for his lack of bitterness or regret, always seeing God as the “Great Engineer” behind even the worst of circumstances.

In a final confrontation with his brothers, he graciously noted, “You meant it for bad; God meant it for good.”

The theology packed in that statement is astounding. “God meant it for good” means:

You can accept the past – No sin, no action, no choice on your part is too big for God to handle – or too big to be worked for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) Just ask Joseph! Better yet, ask his fearful and famished brothers, who were forced to rely on him for survival.

You can embrace the present – There’s no need to play the “what if” game. The past is gone, and no energy you expend will ever change it. The future is in God’s omnipotent hands, so you’re free to focus on the present. Your job is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, trusting him to forgive the past and transform the future. Martyred missionary Jim Eliot once wrote, “Wherever you are, be all there” – not living in the past and not fantasizing about the future. God wants you in the present because that’s where his grace will flow.

You can look expectantly toward the future – Even if you make mistakes today, God still controls your future. Walking in the Spirit, you can live life to the fullest, unafraid of making mistakes and unconcerned that you may stumble into some terrible circumstance that takes you out of God’s control. Even when things appear to be terrible, you can trust that God is working out some divine plan through you.

So what?
· No matter how bad things get – God is still able to bring good out of it. Today, thank God that nothing – no disaster, no delay – is bigger that his ability to turn it into something good and godly.
· Thank God and let go – Thank God that he is sovereign over your past, your present, and your future.
* Give God the circumstances, disasters, hindrances, hurts, and sins from your past.
* Give God your current situation, your disasters, hindrances, hurts, and sins of today.
* Praise God that he can work anything in your future for godly good, that you can walk in confidence that there is nothing anyone can do to you, or anything you can do that will be beyond the reach of God’s grace and redemption.
· Look for God’s hand – Walking by faith means you see God’s hand even in the most difficult of circumstances. You trust his ability and his willingness to transform the bad into godly good. God is not limited by people’s motives. In other words, it doesn’t matter why someone hurt you, God still can transform a deliberate, mean-spirited situation into something for his good.
· What will you allow God to change? – There it is: some situation, or event, or person in your life that, as far as you can tell, was “meant for bad.” How do you think God meant it for good? Ask God what he wants you to do with this situation (event or person). When he answers, do it. We’re praying for you now.

Jon Walker is a pastor-advocate living in Southern California and the former pastor of communications at Saddleback Church.

Word for the Week by Rev. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

PLEASE

John 8: 21-30; Romans 14: 1-3

Please is a word frequently on the lips of people and when considered can mean a number of things. It is used by people as a good affirmative expression when someone asks another if they would like something choice to be done for them. The response would be – “Yes please.” It is regarded as a very grateful acknowledgement and bespeaks a thankful state of being.

To please also means to give some satisfaction and includes a good-feeling factor. Many children because of parents that have cared lovingly and sacrificially over all their welfare become sacredly motivated with a single eye to please them whenever possible. They inwardly adopt a pure principle that they will be and bring credit and honour to their good name. To please, that is to bring unbounded delight to them and so this becomes a dictating force that purifies their aims and actions.

This was so in the case of Christ. It was a personal and powerful dynamic that controlled Him as the Son of Man in His mission on earth for the Father and mankind. Of Him it is recorded: “I always do those things that please the Father” – John 8: 29. This relationship with the Father was always at its best and secured its greatest ends because He only desired what He knew what His Father approved of. It preserved Him from deviation in His mission and so enabled Him to be successful.

The great consequence to it was to receive the approbation and favour of the Father. Twice, and such was enough, to hear the divine statement – “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” – Matthew 3: 17; 17: 5. He moved out and on into a life of incredible faith, obedience and blessing and all would witness His blessed and pleasing state.

Because we are His family, it should be our sincere quest to make sure that truly and fully please God. This we do when we know and honour His Word and Holy Spirit continually within daily living. Each day as it unfolds should see it making it our business to bring some sense of gratification to the Godhead. The important motive of being is to seek to glorify God and this is done when there is a pleasing of Him.

Inevitable, as a result of achieving this, there will be the manifestation of God’s love and favour in a pronounced manner. Whom God approves He advances and appoints on a greater front. Not only was Daniel called “greatly beloved” – Daniel 10: 19, he became successful in every area of His life.

When there is a pleasing of God and a genuine commitment to the well-being of others there is the deliverance from selfishness and this surely is a good and profitable thing. Make this your business above to truly please God and it will safeguard from many evils and bring the satisfaction that you deeply need.

The most delicate, the most sensible of all pleasures consist in promoting the pleasures of others” –  LaBruyere

PRAYER

Help me to please you in everything this day and everyday, Lord
 

Then God Stepped In supplied by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

An amazing deliverance

In 2 Chronicles 20 there is an amazing account of when God stepped in to secure and outstanding and memorable deliverance for His people, Israel. They were in a seeming extreme and impossible circumstance, faced by an innumerable and formidable force and foe, yet the whole situation was dealt with by God in a remarkable fashion. The godly king, Jehoshaphat, was on the throne and he took the right steps and action to pave the way to this unique victory. Three things contributed in the main to the conquest.

1.    when god stepped in prayer was much in evidence

Besides being a-taken back by what he saw appearing as a dominant opposition and being somewhat scared and agitated, he realised he had recourse to someone who could intervene and deal with it. He made it his primary business to seek the Lord v3 and called Judah to join him in the prayer for divine help –v4. The subject matter of his praying expresses his faith in God, knowing His sovereign place and ability – v6. Already the Lord had proved Himself on Israel’s behalf –v7. He then takes God’s promise into account with regard to the house of prayer and truly solicits Him to move in and deal with the emergency and current problem. It is possible to sense from his action and words that he really meant business with God. This kind of approach always pleases the Lord and He is ready to respond to such.

2.    when god stepped in the voice and word of the prophet was listened to

God had a messenger at hand who could step in and bring in the right, inspiring message that would positively help the situation v14. In the midst of the assembled company God’s spirit came upon a man with the appropriate revelation that would answer the appeal. There was to be the dismissing of fear and the assurance that the Lord would take full responsibility for the crisis – ‘the battle is not your’s but God’s’ – 15. They were to go into the conflict knowing the Lord would be with them and do all the fighting that needed to be done –vv16, 17. The king was prepared to bow to the ‘in word’ knowing the Lord would not fail with the full commitment of the people – v18. As the Lord is heard and responded to, the Lord then will be sure to show His intervention in major works of salvation.

3.    when god stepped in praise took on a principal role

Because they sensed the Lord was going to be with them and play the major role they, God’s people, took up the theme of praise to the Lord – v19. A new, divine atmosphere was felt and they rose to give the Lord His rightful place and praise. Having assured the people, the king then arranged and ordered a unusual way of going into battle by appointed singers to the Lord. They would march in and with praise of Him. The name Judah means praise so this would be the outstanding feature as they stepped into the area of conflict. They indicated by this that they were looking to Him alone to achieve what was necessary

Conclusion

It is apparent that the Lord liked this procedure and way of doing things because He simply moved in and created confusion by setting ambushments and so was smitten. The Israelites simply had to look on see the extraordinary destruction of the enemy. Single-handed the Lord wiped out the opposition.

When God stepped in he not only routed the foe, he caused His people to be enriched in a bountiful fashion – v25. Little did the king at the start sense that the Lord would make this turn out to their good. But He did!  No wonder the place was re-named Berachah – ‘the valley of blessing.’ The Lord is able to transform our challenges into experiences of untold advantage and gain as prayer is entered into, His revelation believed and praise occupying a focal ministry.

Christian Prime Timers recorded by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

ONE PRIME TIMER TO ANOTHER 

This account is given of one prime timer meeting another and having a worthwhile input into his life at a crucial time. Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, felt it imperative to move in on his son-in-law to demonstrate some vital factors that would be of invaluable service. At this time Moses was eighty years of age and quite well experienced and Jethro was his senior by quite a number of years but the former did not react badly but wisely to the advent and advice that was given.It is worth noting some of the things that Jethro contributed at this stage in the new leadership Moses had received in God – Exodus 18 

      1/.  HE MADE MOSES ACCEPT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF HIS OWN WIFE AND FAMILY  

In vv2-6 he takes Zipporah and the two children to Moses thus indicating that though he had the main line leadership of this newly birthed nation he also had a husband and fatherly duty to manifest to his own offspring. There was no exemption clause on this front for him. He had a ministry to perform in the context of his own household as a prime timer and give a lead to all the people around him. 

       2/.  HE WAS GENUINELY CONCERNED ABOUT THE WELL BEING OF HIS SON-IN-LAW

He didn’t only come with the object of simply imposing his family on him, there was a sincere interest in how things were going on in relation to him. It is recorded ‘and they asked other about their well-being’ – vv7. A wholesome respect was held for each other by these prime timers. They knew one another well enough to know they were both honourable in their lives and pursuits. Jethro sensed that his son-in-law was motivated with high ideals and desires and was hopeful of hearing that they were being fulfilled.

     3/.  HE REJOICED WHEN HE HEARD OF ALL THAT THE LORD HAD WROUGHT  THROUGH HIM

 As Moses recited the extraordinary workings of the Lord Jethro was greatly impressed and enthused by what had happened – vv8-11. He was delighted beyond measure that so much had occurred that bore witness to the Lord’s power and equally so to see Moses fulfilling such a powerful role. He must have known what Moses felt during the previous forty years of disappointment but now things had dramatically changed for the good of all. He could see that Moses’ dream had been realised!

       4/.  HE ENJOYED FELLOWSHIPPING WITH GOD AND OTHERS ON THIS OCCASION

It was to be a time of festivity and celebration with the leadership – v12. The occasion was used to meet with the elders and Aaron to express gratitude to God –v11 and to rejoice and commemorate the new situation that had arisen. It is good when the older generation can take time out to feast and fellowship in the mighty happenings of God that are taking place. Jethro was primed enough to make the moment a period of untold pleasure. 

       5/.  HE DISCERNED THAT THERE WAS AN EMERGING PROBLEM THAT REQUIRED ATTENTION

Staying around a little he was able to note how things were going and how matters were being dealt with regarding the people. He was somewhat disturbed to see the very demanding role that was on Moses in dealing with the personal problems and difficulties of the people – vv13-14. As a prime timer, wise man and near relative he was able to question him on the issue. No doubt the Lord had providentially arranged that he should be around to witness this procedure and contribute to a beneficial answer.

       6/.  HE GAVE SOUND ADVICE AS TO HOW A BETTER FORM OF GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE EXERCISED

Jethro was lovingly able to point out that this modus operandi was not good and would ultimately have adverse effects on him and the people. – vv15-18. he then discreetly and sensibly reveals to him a plan by which this could be more efficiently dealt with – vv19-23. There was no resentfulness of the part of Moses because he immediately saw the sense of this aged man and adopted the course of action suggested – vv24-26.

‘At this point the government of Israel grew exponentially. How? Moses had reproduced himself. In order to do so, he had to charge both his way of thinking and his way of working. Moses made seven changes to become a leader. (1) He became a man of prayer 9V19) (2) He committed himself to communication (v20)  (3) He laid out the vision  (4) He developed a plan  (5) He selected and trained the leaders  (6) He released them to do the work  (7) He did only what they could not do (v22).What happened when Moses changed? God supplied strength for Moses and peace fo the people (v23)’.                             John Maxwell 

       7/.  HE KNEW WHEN HIS TASK WAS FINISHED AND RETURNED TO HIS HOMELAND Jethro did not hang around but knew when his job was done and return back to his own abode – v27. He must have been quite satisfied at such a time of life to have been able to have fulfilled such a ministry. He had no intention of lingering around although desired by Moses. Having accomplished what was necessary he leaves Moses to get on with the leadership.

Illustrations that Light up Life by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

SIGNPOSTS

All must have been grateful when making a journey to observe some very helpful signposts en-route which has enabled you to keep straight on course and arrive at your destination. Maybe you have been disappointed and frustrated at times when there has been an abysmal lack of them and you have not found your way as you would have liked.

They are a very simple means by which you can get good direction and steer the vehicle to where you ultimately arrive. Most people take this helpful measure for granted but what loss would be sustained if they were all suddenly removed. \one of the things that our nation did in the last war was disposes of them because they felt in the enemy had invaded our land it was important that they should be confused and so hinder any likely operations and progress.

The signpost on the road has names placed on them for people to observe and are situated at significant junction points on the road and in the cities and towns so that people can quickly make the decision as to whether they turn right or left or go straight on to road they wish to travel on.

One of the things that every individual needs to know and experience in and throughout life is guidance, to know the best course to travel on and to be sure that you are going to arrive at a worthwhile future and destination.

This is where God wills to help everyone out providing they are willing and ready to allow Him.

Some helpful and sound instruction is afforded in the Bible especially on this front. In the book of Proverbs, a book of incredible wise sayings, it says: “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct you paths” – Proverbs 3: 6.

If you will treat the Bible like a map book as you read it there will be the inevitable, personal discovery that is God’s guide book for life and living. One of the main reasons for its existence is to give you that sound knowledge that will truly direct you as who and what you should believe and how you are to live. Countless millions have found this to be perfectly and absolutely true and so can you. It is the best text book on life and guidance.

There are countless signposts to be discovered within its pages and on them the absolute course that you must take if you are to know and arrive at the best. God has given His Holy Spirit and His Word (the Bible) so that you can know the way and not be led astray. As you simply follow the directives that they give you will be saved from frustration and failure and have no regrets.

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