God’s Thoughts and Ways provided by Rev. E. Anderson

                                             

                                          Rev. E. Anderson

GOD’S THOUGHTS AND WAYS

 

I shall be presenting a fresh series on God’s Thoughts and Ways, looking at God’s motivation and ministration and to see such reproduced in those who profess a divine relationship with Him. Seeing that we are His chosen offspring, the qualities that are revealed in our Father are also to be demonstrated in His children. We get our life, knowledge and inspiration from Him in order to be like Him and so give a convincing witness to all, in our families, the Christian community and the world at large of our likeness to the Father. May you be helped, blessed and inspired by what you read and such be further meditated on and developed.

 

THE MERCIFULNESS OF THE LORD

 

Reading     Exodus 33: 5-17; 34: 1-7

 

Introduction

 

DIVINE DISCLOSURE: When Moses asked for a personal revelation of the Lord, he was granted a striking and significant disclosure. In announcing His appearance, important words were used – “The LORD, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering . . .” as if to highlight and underscore this particular attribute. It’s as if the Lord was saying this was what I am renowned with respect to my being and nature.

 

DEFT DEFINITION: The word mercy is described as “a disposition to temper justice with mildness; forbearance, clemency compassion.”  It is the will and readiness to express leniency when one has the right to demand justice. Christ revealed this in action with the person who was in debt to the tune of ten thousand talents. When he was called to pay it, which was just, he appealed for mercy – clemency and received it – see Matthew 18: 23-27. The creditor had every right to demand and execute punishment but chose instead to temper righteousness with mercifulness.

 

DISTINCT DIFFERENTIATION: The Scripture makes the point as a principle that ‘mercy rejoices against judgment’ thus indicating the particular an beautiful character of God – James 2: 13. Whilst it is true to affirm that God is rich in mercy, He desires to see this created and manifested in the disposition of men. Christ taught in the Beatitudes this essential truth and factor – “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy” – Matthew 5: 7.

 

DEFINITE DEMONSTRATION: One would expect to this clearly revealed through the Bible in relation to God in His dealings with mankind.

 

1/.  REVEALED IN HIS DEALINGS WITH THE ORIGINAL COUPLE

 

It was an awful act of disobedience on the part of Adam and Eve to have betrayed the     Lord’s trust in them and He could have dealt more severely with them than what He did. He could have rejected them completely and removed from the scene having failed the test but He chose to preserve so that through the course of human history His mercy would be the outstanding feature for all to note and observe. In the pronouncement of judgment, there is indication that this situation would be effectively dealt with – Genesis 3: 15. He would redeem mankind out of this mess up with an amazing salvation based on His mercy.

 

2/.  REVEALED AT A TIME OF UNBELIEVABLE WICKEDNESS

 

Things with relation to mankind grew exceedingly corrupt and God’s grace and patience was sorely tested. In that period in Genesis 6 we are informed of the debased and degenerate condition of the majority of people. God did everything to restrain all by His Spirit and He had to come to the point where judgment was inevitable. The record has it – “my Spirit will not always strive with man”, thus showing and proving the mercy of God – v3. God shewed His mercy and grace through one man and his family, Noah, and saved him – Genesis 6-8.

 

 

3/.  REVEALED IN HIS TREATMENT OF ISRAEL

 

Throughout the entire history of this chosen people the fullness of God’s mercy is very paramount. Having delivered them from terrible slavery they really tested the grace, patience and mercy of God. Its conduct throughout the wilderness journey was appalling in spite of God’s mercy and interventions. The book of Exodus unveils their awful manners and conduct. Even when in the Promised Land, having tasted God’s goodness to an extraordinary degree, their beliefs and behaviour was obnoxious. His judgments upon them as a people, at times, were always tempered with mercy. If they had got what they deserved they would have been wiped out. Jeremiah made the memorable remark: “It is of the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed; because His compassions fail not” – Lamentations 3:22.

 

4/.  REVEALED IN HIS ATTITUDE TO A VERY WICKED CITY

 

Jonah was somewhat taken back at the mercy of God and believed He should have meted hard treatment out to city of Nineveh – see Jonah 1-4. The Lord had been very merciful to him but he was not mercifully disposed to this heathen city. He wouldn’t mind it seeing punished and annihilated. But the Lord drives home the truth that mercy rejoices against judgment and is pleased over the repentant city -3: 10; 4: 11.

 

5/.  REVEALED IN CHRIST’S TEACHING

 

In reflecting upon the life and ministry of Jesus Christ this was a theme that He often brought up and spoke about. Especially in the story of the Good Samaritan, He presses home the fact to the young rich young ruler the need to manifest  a merciful disposition Luke 15: 36, 37. He expects this quality to be in evidence as clearly seen in the Matthew 18: 21-35. From His own standpoint, when ever He heard the cry for mercy, He answered in a positive manner – e.g. Matthew 15: 22. See how He showed it to the woman who was accused of adultery – John 8: 1-11. He had every right to stone her but beautifully underlined the need of mercy. Whilst not condoning her sin, He showed compassion.

 

6/. REVEALED IN THE SALVATION OF THE SINNER

 

The Gospel of Christ focuses attention on this great attribute of God. Whilst all men deserve to be judged and punished for their sinful state and practice, in and through Jesus Christ, He demonstrates mercy. All men are sinners – Romans 3:23, but Christ took the punishment so that God could extend mercy to those who repented and receive Christ to be their Saviour. The apostle Paul was grateful and glad that God had mercy upon him and saved him – see 1 Timothy1: 15, 16.

 

CONCLUSION

 

He is still full and rich in mercy today, and as the Scripture affirm: “He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” – 2 Peter 3: 9.

 

 

                                     

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Healing Testimonies collated by Rev. E. Anderson

                                   

                                    Francis Tilley

GOD HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME

 

The approaching winter holds no fear for Francis Tilley who was miraculously healed of a circulatory condition at an AoG church

 

HAVING A PROBLEM WITH YOUR circulation is usually something you asso­ciate with older people. But from the age of eight, Frances Tilley suffered.

 

Frances‘ hands would turn purple when cold and her fingers and toes turned white and numb. And the only answer was to dip her numb hands into a bowl of warm water to bring them back to life.

 

‘A school friend with the same prob­lem and I used to commiserate, as we put our hands in warm water after the out­door games lesson,’ remembers Frances.

 

‘Recently the problem was masked and because my centrally heated flat in Bournemouth was very warm, not every­body knew of my problem – not even my husband, who I married in 2005.’

 

She continues, ‘When we visit the family in Nottingham we like to attend Aspley Pentecostal Church, now pastured by Cohn Tilley, but where my husband, Allan Tilley, was formerly the pastor.

 

On one occasion when Frances visited in 2006, the church was hosting a speaker from India, called Pastor Stephen George.

 

‘I warmed to him, having been to India myself, and after the sermon people were coming out to the front to be saved and healed. He was telling people things about themselves that turned out to be true. I was prepared to go to the front if anything was mentioned that applied to me. Hearing problems were mentioned, so I went out and was prayed for, but nothing happened My hearing problem was only slight anyway,’ says Frances.

 

It was at this point that Pastor George asked Frances to show him her hands.

 

She says, ‘As he wasn’t a fortune teller but a Christian pastor, I showed him my hands. He gave me a word from God: “Your hands will never go numb again!” I was astounded, as no one there knew about it, and the preacher had never met me before. He also said something about me being an artist. That was true as I painted a lot when I was young.’

 

The following week Frances and husband Allan went bird-watching. It was April and while Bournemouth is used to April showers, there were snow showers in the cooler city of Nottingham. Frances was using binoculars as she watched the local birdlife, and because she’d forgotten her gloves, her fingers were exposed.

 

‘The freezing wind was whipping across the fields. When we reached the car, I looked at my hands. Instead of being white and purple, they were red to the fin­gertips! I could feel my fingers!’ remembers Frances excitedly.

 

‘I have had many times like that since, but my hands no longer go numb, and I feel very well. I no longer screw up inside if someone opens a door and I don’t need A to hug a radiator, or put extra clothes on.’

 

Earlier this year, Frances was at the National Parrot Sanctuary, in Lincoln­shire, and despite being out in the snow, Frances realised that instead of that familiar numbness, her hands were fine.

 

‘Snow settled on my coat, but my fingertips were still pink. We walked round the park in the freezing cold for about half an hour looking at the parrots in various cages.

 

‘Another half an hour was spent inside a cage which was open to the wind where we were allowed to walk through.

 

‘We held out our hands to feed the birds who flew to us. My gloveless hands were burning with the cold, but they wouldn’t go numb! In the old days they would have been numb within five minutes of getting out of the car,’ says Frances.

 

‘I understand there is no known medi­cal cure for Raynaud’s disease, and no way to stop it getting worse with age. But God did it so easily! Nothing is impossible to him. Don’t worry if you have had any problem for years that won’t seem to shift. God is able!

 

‘As every sufferer from Raynaud’s disease will realise, my fingers would sometimes go numb even in summer. Now they don’t go numb in the depth of winter! I no longer dread winter, in fact it’s a great opportunity to go bird-watching, which I enjoy. God has been very good to me.’

 

 

FACTS ABOUT RAYNAUD’S

RAYNAUD’S SYNDROME IS A disorder that affects the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, ears and nose.

 

This disorder is characterised by episodes, called vasospastic attacks, that cause the blood vessels in the fingers and toes to constrict.

 

Raynaud’s syndrome can occur on its own, or it can be secondary to another condition such as scleroderma or lupus.

 

Although estimates vary, recent sur­veys show that Raynaud’s syndrome may affect five to ten per cent of the popula­tion. Women are more likely than men to have the disorder.

 

Raynaud’s syndrome appears to be more common in people who live in colder climates. However, people with the disorder who live in milder climates may have more attacks during periods of colder weather. An attack is usually triggered by exposure to cold or emotional stress. In general, attacks affect fingers or toes but may affect the nose, lips, or earlobes.

 

                                                                                         

Points to Ponder arranged by Rev. E. Anderson

                                        

                                     Rev. E. Anderson

APPLES OF GOLD
By Dr. Michael A. Halleen

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)

Barb and I sat at the corner table of a French restaurant in Laguna Beach, California on an August evening. It was our 25th wedding anniversary. Sublime dessert had followed exquisite meal, and our occasional glances out the large window facing the sea turned into lengthy stares as we watched the sun slide gently into the Pacific.

Twilight descended on the bay, and Barb said she had a gift for us. She handed me a packet of envelopes wrapped in a silver ribbon. On the top envelope she had written “Thanks,” and inside was a white card on which she had written something about our relationship over the years for which she wanted to thank me (“for the maps you make to help me find my way”). I read it, and we talked about it for a minute or two. “Your turn,” she said. I thought of something to thank her for (“for following me to new cities and new jobs that were my idea”), wrote it on the back of the card, gave it to her, and we talked about that for another few minutes.

The second envelope said “I Appreciate.” Same procedure – open, read (“that your feet are on the ground; your sense of perspective”), talk . . . my turn (“your vision that goes beyond common sense”). Then followed “Early Memories,” “Joys,” “Shocks,” “Fun Times,” another “Thanks,” another “I Appreciate” . . . 25 envelopes in all, 25 cards, 50 words aptly spoken . . . some of them with such a lump in my throat that they could scarcely, I’m sure, be heard across our small table. Every word was positive, affirming, genuine, loving . . . apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Years have passed. More anniversary dinners and gifts have been shared. The one we remember, however, is the one in Laguna where we recalled good times and spoke words of appreciation and thanks to one another. No gift has ever meant more to me.

The world is full of shouting. There is a surplus of criticism and sarcasm. Even good relationships strong enough to bear harsh words will benefit from times in which we speak tenderly to one another. Find opportunities to express gratitude. Take a moment to recall together a fun experience you shared. Intentionally . . . thoughtfully . . . offer occasional words of affirmation or appreciation. You are giving apples of gold.