Christian Prime Timers compiled by Rev. E. Anderson

                                  

                             Rev. & Mrs. E. Anderson

THE PRIME TIMERS DUO

 

Reading    Acts 18: 1-3; 18: 24-28; Romans 16: 3, 4; 1 Corinthians 16:19

 

Introduction

 

DYNAMIC DUO: In the history of the early Church, a couple, husband and wife, Aquila and Priscilla, are mentioned in connection with its growth and development. Reading what is recorded of them, it appears they came on to the scene at the right time and were duly primed to fulfil a role within the increase of the Christian witness. In a quiet but dynamic manner this duo served the Lord, His servants and churches in a wholesome fashion and serve as an example on how other Christian couples can effectually do a worthy job for the Lord in spiritual accord.

 

1/  A GOOD MARITAL STATE

 

What is mentioned of them would indicate that this couple knew the Lord and lived and worked in a spirit of oneness and harmony. When Paul first came across them in Corinth he must have been impressed by the quality of their relationship with each other and had no problem in relating to them. They experienced and enjoyed a married bliss and happiness that provided a good foundation and framework for their lives and witness of and for the Lord. In coming into their home Paul knew he could stay and conduct a worthwhile ministry for the Lord because the atmosphere within it was of a beautiful nature and order because of its occupants. It was good to meet a husband and wife who had got their act together with one another. Together they had managed to create and cultivate a good home in which the Lord was to be known.

 

“Home should be a place of mutual responsibility and respect, of encouragement and cooperation and counsel, of integrity, of willingness to work, of discipline when necessary, with the tempering quality of love added to it, with a sense of belonging, and with someone to talk to”  – Evans

 

This is where Christianity must start and be seen at its best in the context of a marriage union. This couple before they became know on a broader front manifested in their accord with one another with God a good bonding. His blessing rested on their union and home.

 

2/.  A COMMITMENT TO PARTNERSHIP WITH OTHERS

 

In the unveiling of their lives and service it becomes apparent they had a vital interest and commitment to the Lord and His kingdom and felt graciously obligated to help those who were involved in Christian leadership.

 

·          The apostle Paul was the first one that they entered into a healthy partnership – Acts 18: 3. Providentially and remarkably Paul found this couple were of the same craft and so from a natural standpoint they had something in common. In partnership they were able to ply their trade and provide means for financial and physical support at a needful time. They were in business together with and for God and used the natural gift to serve a higher purpose.

 

·          Then there was an Apollos who required their comradeship – Acts 18: 24-26. This couple became attached and associated with him and opened up their home to him. In this action they endeavoured to create a close accord with him and must have sensed that the Lord had put him across their pathway. There was an utter selflessness in the way that they welcomed others into a close relationship with themselves.

 

·          The young man Timothy must also have known and experience a comradeship with them as he is instructed to greet them – 2 Timothy 4: 19. Being Paul’s travelling companion he must have met them and formed a mutual spiritual bond. They would possibly highly regard this choice young minister and treated him kindly.

 

3/.  A READINESS TO BE COMMITTED TO HUMBLE MINISTRY

 

Although they were not regarded as great apostles, teachers or pastors, yet they knew they had a task to perform of immense worth within the body of Christ. There was niche for them to work in and fulfil that would serve the increase of the Gospel of Christ. They may not be leading lights, nevertheless, they would respond to the task assigned by heaven.

 

·          They exercised a ministry of hospitality – Acts 18: 3; 26. Their home belonged to the Lord and all of God’s servants and people. They did not look selfishly on their habitation or goods but were willing to give and share and so blessed all they could with what they had. There was no holding back whatsoever from any who they could help and serve.

 

“There cannot be a more glorious object in creation than a human being replete with benevolence, meditating in what manner he may render himself most acceptable to the Creator by doing good to his creatures” – Fielding

 

·          They evidenced a ministry of instruction – Acts 18: 26. In a kind manner they not only built a close accord with Apollos, they were ready and in a position where they could teach him and he was a willing learner. As a consequence he was not only helped into added spiritual and scriptural light, a greater cutting edge was put upon his ministry so that he could serve Christ and the Church in a more profitable way.

·          They exhibited a ministry of practical service in making their home a place for the church gathering and performing a leadership role – 1 Corinthians 16: 19. It is possible they had the personal and spiritual responsibility of looking after the fellowship that existed their and were mainly committed to ministry of a spiritual order to the local fellowship. It seems that they carried an influence on a much wider front – see Romans 12: 4.

 

4/.  A WORTHY COMMENDATION FOR THEIR LIVES AND SERVICE

 

As Paul lists the people who were to be commended and applauded for their example of work and sacrificial service, this couple are highly rated and thanked by him – Romans 16: 3-5. He not only speaks of them being his helpers but they were willing to put down their lives for him. They were so primed and timed by God that they were willing to give everything, yes, themselves, too.

 

CONCLUSION

 

In summary, Christendom could do with a lot more couples like them. Their team-ship with God, each other, within the Church is a glowing witness on how Christian marriages can serve the interests of the kingdom of God on earth.

 

“I have ever deemed it more honourable and more profitable, to set a good example than to follow a bad one” -Thomas Jefferson

 

                                            

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Children’s Stories collated by Rev. E. Anderson

                                   

                                     Rev. E. Anderson

THE BIRD AND THE SNAKE

Ivor Powell

 

The story of an atheist’s conversion records one of the outstanding triumphs of redeeming grace. It was completely unexpected by the one most concerned, for only a little while before, a Christian friend had called at his home to express sympathy concerning the death of his father. His reception had been devastatingly chilling. Misunderstanding the motives of the caller, the arrogant young man said, “I might as well make things plain. My father was a Christian, but I never shared his views. I think he wasted his time on fables, and while appreciated your interest, it is better to understand now that I do not wish any preachers to call at my house. Besides, I am going away hunting, and future visits will be a waste of time.” the interview terminated.

 

Months later the news was told that the atheist had been converted, that he was now an unashamed Christian. His father’s friend found it difficult to believe the story, but when people constantly reiterated it, he decided to call upon the man in question. His reception was most cordial, and when he enquired what had happened, the young fellow told his story.

 

“I was hunting with my friends. We were spread out in a line through the forests, and the beaters were endeavouring to rive lurking beasts into the open. We had been hunting for hours, and I was tired. Finally, as I reached a small clearing, I sat on a log to rest. And then I was rather startled by the loud cries of a frightened bird. Its terror was obvious, for its little wings were frantically fluttering, and its cries were most agitated. I wondered what had happened, and then I saw a snake approaching the tree, intent on raiding the nest. I might have intervened, but before I could move another bird flashed through the branches of the tree, to perch alongside the nest. I do not know what transpired between the two birds, but it appeared that female bird had explained her danger, and in some strange way derived comfort from her mate’s reactions. The frantic cries ceased, and although the male bird departed as quickly as he had arrived, the partner sat placidly upon the nest apparently without fear.

 

“Sir, the change in affairs was almost too much for me. What had the cock-bird said? What was about to take place? The snake was considerably nearer, and at any moment would begin the ascent of the tree. I resisted the inclination to interfere; I wanted to watch proceedings. Higher and higher the snake climed, and I was beginning to fear for the safety of the nest, when the male bird returned. Its movements were so quick that I hardly had chance to see it. Hurriedly it descended for a moment or two to the nest, placed something in position above the family, and then retired to the tree-top to share my vigil.

 

“The snake reached the level of the nest, prepared to strike, and then to my unbounded astonishment its head went back, and in a moment the snake slid down the tree. I heard its passage through the undergrowth, and again all was silent. I was amazed, and immediately climbed the tree to discover that cock-bird had deposited on the nest a small collection of leaves. They belonged to the one plant poisonous to snakes. In those few moments of desperate activity the leaves had been spread over the occupants of the nets; and when the snake saw that it would need to encounter the deadly herb, it preferred to seek food elsewhere.

 

“Sir, when I returned to my seat on the log, I asked myself who gave the bird the sense to know what plant was needed? Whence came such knowledge? I was driven to the conclusion that only the great Creator could have implanted this wisdom in the mind of such a small creature. And then I began to realise that if a small bird derived help from God, I need that same Helper. I bowed my head and prayed; and that, sir, is how I came to trust my father’s Saviour. A tiny bird led me to Him.”

 

                                   

News and Views edited by Rev. E. Anderson

                                    

                                    Rev. E. Anderson

CHARITY NEWS

CHARITY’S FOOD PLEA FOR AFRICA

 

INTERNATIONAL develop-merit agency Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal to support the millions of peo­ple going hungry across Africa in the face of escalating food prices. in its scale and reach, this is a crisis of proportions unmatched for decades.

 

Most African countries are not self-sufficient in food, and are now being hit by massive price hikes so that formerly cheap imports are now unaffordable. in the first three months of this year, all major foodstuffs hit their highest prices in real terms for nearly 30 years, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

 

CATASTROPHE

 

Ethiopia is facing a poten­tial catastrophe, with 126,000 children in Immediate danger of death and a further six mil­lion at risk of malnutrition, according to the UN. Kenya has seen price hikes of 50 per cent in six months.

 

In Burkina Faso; almost a quarter of children under five are emaciated and half a mil­lion people are dependent on handouts. in the Democratic Republic of Congo, families are forced to miss meals.

 

Christian Aid’s Nick Gutt­mann said: “Christian Aid is doing everything we can to help but we want to do more. We are urging, people in Brit­ain, the churches and religious groups to help us increase our -support to those most vulner­able to this crisis.”

 

ALL REVVED UP TO

HELP RAISE CASH

 

CONGO – A group of Scottish bikers held a sponsored ride to send out motor cycles and pedal bikes to remote communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

The Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) teamed up with the Scottish Bible Society as part of the event, hoping to raise cash so that Bibles can be delivered throughout the cong. The bikers rode through 72 towns and small villages last month.

 

The Bible Society’s Colin Hay said: “A donation of £12 will help buy a motorcycle or bicycle, or  provide copies of the Bible or New Testament in local languages. We hope that this effort by our biker friends will gene ate a lot of support for the struggling

folk in Congo.”

 

CHURCH GROUP IS A REAL CLASS ACT

 

UGANDAA group from a church are back m Britain following a trip to Uganda where they helped build a classroom.

 

Members of Cullercoats Method­ist Church were inspired to go to Africa after a visit from the Watoto Children’s Choir last year.

 

Fund raising efforts at the church raised an impressive £20,000, which has helped towards carrying out the work.

The team of 24 went out to the Watoto villages near Kampala in July.

 

A church spokesman said: ‘The Watoto children living the villages are now part of new families with security, love, and a future. I gave thanks to God that he had placed me in a team that has brought some much needed hope to this little corner of the world.

IKE RELIEF EFFORT

 

USA – Major Christian relief organisations deployed response groups – armed with water, ice and prayers to storm-affected areas of Southwest Texas in the wake of Hurricane Ike last month.

 

The Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Rapid Response Team were among those who took Part In the massive effort..