Sermons to Note

                                    

                                Rev. E. Anderson

ENCOUNTERING GOD OR GOD ENCOUNTERS

Reading    Exodus 3

Text

Introduction

INSTANCES: One of the main distinctives features in the Bible is that of God encountering people and of people encountering God. It is quite an inspiring, encouraging study. All is recorded that we might know God and His ways and workings. The past is simply recorded to give inspiration and expectation in the present.

The Bible not only reveals and teaches the existence of God, it unveils the fact and truth that He turned up and made Himself known to many individuals. These folks were grateful and glad for His divine interruption and intervention. Such became an unforgettable moment and they and the future were radically changed. It became a glorious turning point for them. Life and existence were dramatically altered and changed for something bigger and better. They could not continue in the same old manner.

DIFFERENCE: Each person was different and the encounters were different and went on accomplishing something new and radical. God respected their person and qualities and imparted things that would make their lives and service more meaningful, profitable and pleasurable. They were not to be the same and the divine assignments were to lift them into a fresh lifestyle and career. They were now to exist and serve with a great sense of God in their lives. Now in divine partnership with God; from such an association more encounters were to be known.

1/. ENCOUNTERING GOD CAN MEAN THE IMPARTATION OF THE DYNAMIC PRINCIPLE OF FAITH

It was to a man of 75 years of age that the spirit and rule of faith was given and began to assume possession and domination. After being a worshipper of idols over a long period, he comes to know the living God and begins to place His confidence in  Him and what He had to say to him. His life was filled with divine assurance that God desired to bless him in an incredible way and so he commenced a 100 year journey by faith and became the man of faith. He discovered that God could keep His Word and fulfill his incredible expectations. Believing God was no let down but a glorious adventure into the supernatural.

Illustration: Ever Increasing Faith – Smith Wigglesworth

2/. ENCOUNTERING GOD CAN MEAN BEING RADICALLY RENEWED AND GIVEN A DIVINE STATUS

Jacob was to find in later life that it was possible to be dramatically renewed by the grace and love of God and by a supernatural visitation. It was when he was fearing the worst that the best and incredible happened – Genesis 32. God had told him to return to the place where he had first encountered him. He was in a sticky situation with his uncle Laban, and his brother discovered he was returning and set out to meet him. Things looked rather ominous and threatening. But then God turned up and decided to divinely renew Jacob and change him completely – see vv22-32. He was to be entirely and totally changed. Gave him a brand new name that was significant.

3/. ENCOUNTERING GOD CAN MEAN BEING PROMOTED BY HIM AND HAVING YOUR DREAMS FULFILLED  

God wills that life and work should be governed and guided by divine dreams, that is knowledge and revelation by Him concerning the future and such can come by dreams, night-time and day time. It is possible to have godly day-dreams. The mind suddenly, supernaturally and spiritual impacted by God with certain and sure knowledge as to what is to be ahead.  They can come through waiting on God. It is God that encounters with a sense of real and tremendous destiny. Joseph was given dreams that heralded his future and all came to pass in God’s time and working. 

May be Elisha was somewhat day-dreaming behind the plough and had a remarkable sense that God had something unique in store for him. God has earmarked you for a place of significance in the future and you need to know it and be ready for it.

4/. ENCOUNTERING GOD CAN MEAN BECOMING A GREAT LEADER, DELIVERER AND WORKER OF MIRACLES 

When Moses thought he was finished and all up, God broke in and encountered him in an unusual manner and made him conscious of the fact that he had a major role to fulfil at that critical stage. Things could not have been more negative and Israel were in the worst situation imaginable. God turned up and said to Moses it was now time to use him to bring about the impossible, the delivery of a nation from slavery. He was to be this people’s leader when they seemed to be down and out. Through this encounter God was to encounter Pharaoh and demonstrate His sovereign power through His chosen and anointed man. Things were to happen of an incredible nature through Moses and Israel were to experience an unbelievable deliverance and exodus.

5/. ENCOUNTERING GOD CAN MEAN BEING A NOTABLE CONQUEROR AND POSSESSOR

Although a great man had passed on, God was still in business and was ready to meet up with another man and through the encounter set him for a role that would make him an historic subjugator and inheritor. Joshua found himself suddenly in charge of Israel’s future and was to be responsible for their immediate situation. Whilst pondering how he could take hold of Jericho which seemed an impossible task, the Lord turned up to announce who was leader and how things should be put into operation. This warrior had tasted, in a measure, some conquests but what lay ahead was to supersede all that had gone before. He had been amongst the group that had spied out the land; now he was to lead the way into victory after victory. He would write the record of Israel’s glorious conquests and how they took possession. All that was assured was fulfilled –  “not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you” – Joshua 23: 14.

6/. ENCOUNTERING GOD CAN MEAN BECOMING A GREAT PROPHET AND DIVINE MESSENGER

Of a truth, God is on the look out for people who will become His mouthpieces and messengers. He is always ready to meet up with folks that He uniquely talk to and give them His word to pass on to their day and generation. There was a need for a successor to Elijah and this messenger was called upon to summon the man to fill his shoes, Elisha. This young man met God through this dynamic servant of God and was to experience his own encounters later on, especially when Elijah received his homecall. He knew what it was to have the mantle of the prophet fall on him and then to exploit as he entered into his calling – 2 Kings 2. 

7/. ENCOUNTERING GOD CAN MEAN BECOMING A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART

It is surely a great thing to be in a state where you are in very high with regard to God. There are people who seemed to have attained a very close union and accord with God. Abraham was called ‘the friend of God’ – James 2: 23 and Daniel “O man greatly beloved” – Daniel 10: 19, but of David it is said ‘he was a man after God’s own heart’ – 1 Samuel 13: 14; Acts 13: 22. He knew what it was for God to encounter Him throughout life and vice versa. Because he encountered God he was able to encounter the lion and bear, Goliath and Saul and the hosts of the Philistines.

8/. ENCOUNTERING GOD CAN MEAN BEING AN EXTRAORDINARY MISSIONARY AND APOSTLE

Christ was to single a man who was His inveterate enemy and dramatically and dynamically changed him so that he would fill an outstanding role in the Christian Church as a special messenger and missionary. When he was filled with his own plans, he was encountered, humbled and converted and appointed to serve Christ in an outstanding manner.

CONCLUSION

God is in the meeting and making business. He is up-to-date and still encounters in the now those whom He desires to do a special work in and then through them. Are you ready for such an encounter and change? Today could be the start of some new and fresh for you in God!

                                 

 

Advertisements

Message by David Wilkerson

                                   

                           Rev. David Wilkerson

CONTENTMENT

Contentment was a huge test in Paul’s life. After all, God said he would use him mightily: “He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). When Paul first received this commission, “straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God” (9:20).

Paul was in no hurry to see everything fulfilled in his lifetime. He knew he had an ironclad promise from God, and he clung to it. For the present moment, he was content to minister wherever he was: witnessing to a jailer, to a sailor, to a few women on a riverbank. This man had a worldwide commission, yet he was faithful to testify one-on-one.

Nor was Paul jealous of younger men who seemed to pass him by. While they travelled the world winning Jews and Gentiles to Christ, Paul sat in prison. He had to listen to reports of great crowds being converted by men he’d battled with over the gospel of grace. Yet Paul didn’t envy those men. He knew that a Christ-surrendered man knows how to abase as well as abound: “Godliness with contentment is great gain…and having food and raiment [clothing] let us be therewith content” (1 Timothy 6:6, 8).

The world today might say to Paul, “You are at the end of your life now. Yet you have no savings, no investments. All you have is a change of clothes.” I know what Paul’s answer would be: “Oh, but I’ve won Christ. I tell you, I’m the winner. I’ve found the pearl of great price. Jesus granted me the power to lay down everything, and take it up again myself. Well, I laid it all down, and now a crown awaits me. I have only one goal in this life: to see my Jesus, face to face. All the sufferings of this present time can’t be compared with the joy that awaits me”.

                                  

From a Pastor’s Pen

                                 

                                  Rev. A. E. Garner

BIG BEN

Did you know that the most popular and best known of all bells is Big Ben?

Sir Benjamin Hall who had charge of the building project addressed parliament telling it that he was seeking a name for the bell.

A bored mother shouted “call it Big Ben and have done with it!”£

Thye House roared with laughter and the name stuck. Soon after the bell was cats, it cracked causing an unpleasant tone when it was struck. The crack was filled and smoothed down leaving Big Ben with a distinct sound that is unique.

What does it teach us?

You don’t have to be perfect to be useful, although Jesus has saved us from our sins we are not perfected, but God uses cracked, weak human beings with their faults.

Paul tells us that God’s precious treasure, His light and power is held in perishable containers – that is our weak bodies.

God said “I know your frame, I remember you are but dust”.

In Jeremiah 18 the marred clay which seemed useless was fashioned again and made useful. He can do the same with you. Although you may have failed and feel cracked like Big Ben, yield your life to the master potter and after He has made you again the chimes will ring out from your life and will bring joy to many.

You may never be charming but you can be chiming, not perfect but useful.

                                  

Healing Teaching

                                     

                            Rev. John Willoughby

A BIBLICAL APPROACH TO DIVINE HEALING.

(All scriptures in ‘New King James Version’, unless otherwise stated.) 

XII. HEALING FOR CHRISTIANS TODAY – EVANGELISM

1. GOD WANTS HIS CHURCH TO BE A MEANS OF HEALING.

Jn 12:32. God’s purpose for the church is that He is lifted up and as a result there is a great impact upon the heathen world, resulting in multitudes finding salvation and many new churches being established. This can only happen as we believe in a God who wants to restore a great anointing to His Church, with signs and wonders following. The Holy Spirit is working throughout the world to fulfil this, let us be obedient to His call. The following are important to keep in mind:

a) Only God heals. Ps 107:19-20. In Ex 15:26 we read, “I am the Lord who heals you”. We cannot know all about divine healing, for it is only God who heals and it is He alone who receives all the credit. We are simply called to believe and to actively put our faith into operation by praying for the sick. He will do the rest. We must not become discouraged if people are not healed, for that is in His hands, but we can be filled with joy as people’s lives are effected. People are usually thankful if somebody prays for them. Even though at times they are not healed, they do have a hope and a knowledge that they are cared for by God through His Church.

b) Only God’s anointing breaks the yoke. Lk 4:18-19. New Testament evangelism means reaching out to the lost in the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit, believing for signs and wonders. Training, organisation and publicity have their part to play, but they are of no importance without the power of the Holy Spirit to save and to heal. The early church had few of the things which we today count as important, such as wonderful buildings, colleges, sound systems, guitars, keyboards or Christian films, but they did have the anointing of God. As God has not changed, so His anointing has not changed.

c) God has laid down His blueprint for healing. Lk 10:1-9. In the New Testament we have examples of Jesus, His apostles and disciples and the early church. The Acts of the Apostles is full of great miracles, which Christ did through those early believers. It is not only an historic account, but also a Divine blueprint for the church in all ages, for God never intended the miraculous to disappear with the death of the apostles. Let us never forget the dynamic effect of miracles in the early church.

d) God cares for us and has answers for our needs. Mt 11:28-30. People are drawn to Him today through such signs, as they were nearly two thousand years ago. It is often difficult for people to admit they are sinners in need of a Saviour, but a sick person is always very well aware of his need of healing. True New Testament evangelism should meet the spiritual, as well as the physical needs.

2. THE GREAT COMMISSION.

Mk 16:15-18. Healing should accompany every evangelist and believer as a sign following, for such miracles are an essential part of the Gospel today. Those churches which are growing throughout the world are those who are moving in the power of the Holy Spirit with signs following the proclamation of His Word. We are to follow Him as His disciples, believing also for miracles to happen (Jn 14:12-14). The following are required to see this come about:-

a) We must believe that the Great Commission includes healing and miracles. Acts 5:12-16. The early church certainly believed this. Jesus said, “these signs will follow those who believe” (v17). His Commission has not changed for two thousand years and is as relevant today as it was then.

b) We must be obedient to the Great Commission:

* To “go into all the world and preach the gospel” (v15). Rom 10:14-15.

* To “lay hands on the sick and they will recover” (v18). Lk 4:40. He said that those who believe should lay hands on the sick, therefore the onus is on those who believe and not primarily on the person being prayed for. As we are obedient and pray in the Name of Jesus, we show compassion and identify with them in their sickness, thus we become an extension of the Lord’s hands and we can have faith that healing will be imparted.

* To “cast out demons” in His Name (v17). Lk 13:11-13. We read in the Scriptures that in many instances, Jesus cast out demons of sickness. This same authority is given to the church today, for He has “disarmed principalities and powers” (Col 2:15). Demons have to obey us and sickness has to retreat, before the might and authority of His Name.

3. KEEPING OUR EYES ON GOD AT ALL TIMES.

a) Recovery is not necessarily immediate. Mk 8:22-25. We must not lose hope or faith after we have prayed for somebody, for the healing may take time. It is good to have a positive faith in the Word of God, which cannot lie. Often in the case of praying for Christians, it may be good to encourage a study and memorization of healing Scriptures. This may well increase their personal faith for healing (Rom 10:17) over a period of time.

b) Medical advances are a blessing sent by God. Mt 9:12. There is a case in the life of the Apostle Paul when he advised the taking of medicine for stomach problems (I Tim 5:23) and once he left one of his travelling companions behind due to sickness (II Tim 4:20). He wrote in Gal 4:13, “You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at first. And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject.” This “physical infirmity” may well have related to his eyes (v15). It could possibly also have been his “thorn in the flesh” (II Cor 12:7-10). We can see through this that even one of the greatest apostles did not always see healing through his prayers. We know also that Luke was a physician (Col 4:14) and would have used his abilities for the blessing of others, for it is never recorded that he denied having and using these abilities.

We have faith that God does heal miraculously, but in reality we also know that not all are healed in this life (sometimes even after much prayer). It is wise never to shun the advice of doctors, for then we can walk in the reality of their diagnosis and can know what to trust God for as regards healing. He is a big God and He may use the medical profession to bring blessing.

                                

News and Views

                             

                         Tim and Ceri Griffiths

LIFETIME VISION 

Joy as couple see lifetime vision take shape.

A COUPLE of ex-missionaries saw a lifetime vision start to take shape when work started on a children’s village in Sierra Leone last year.

Tim and Ceri Griffiihs, pastors at Crayford Christian fellowship, established Compassion Africa in 1990, a few years after returning from Sierra Leone where they worked as missionary relief Workers. The former teachers set up the charity after witnessing the ‘appalling’ poverty and huge problems endured by the people of the West African nation. ‘

MEDICAL

Their compassion Africa Children’s village is the latest project. It will include a multi-purpose community centre, skills workshop, school, after-school facilities, a medical centre and playing fields. 

Pastor Tim said: “The Compassion Africa Children’s Village will rescue and rehabilitate children who have been orphaned or are in need.

“Our village will provide a cohesive, cooperative, organised community in which well behaved and lovingly disciplined children will live in families of four to six people at a time”.  Each house built from locally manufactured brick will be individually designed an have its own garden.

A community-based training programme will run in the village for residents in the surrounded area which will cover personal and spiritual development, life an leadership skills, vocational an creative arts skills.

                               

A Minute Message

                                         

                            Rev. Matthew James

GOD’S TIMING

Nothing Father God does is random. Everything He does is deliberate. I have a diary full of appointments and meetings, it’s there to help me remember and make sure I get things done in the right order. Father God has set times for things in our lives. The problems come when we start to rush God’s timing, and we all do it. Even Abraham, when he received an amazing promise from God that he would have a son. He tried to force things along because he was getting older and so was his wife Sarah. But we see in Genesis 21 v 2 “For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the SET time of which God had spoken to him.

The Psalmist writes “Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! Keep travelling His path and in due season He will honour you with every blessing” (Psalm 37 v 4 TLB). Father God has a plan for your life, He has made you promises which He will keep. Just because it has not happened yet does not mean Father God has changed His mind. While you are waiting He is working.

Paul writes in Romans 8 v 28 “We know all things work together, according to His purpose”. We need to ask Father God about His plans for our lives, he has one for each and every one of us. When you and I understand His plan and purpose we won’t allow anything to get in the way. That even includes hurry and worry. Father God says in Isaiah 46 v 10 (NIV) “I make known the end from the beginning”. Let’s begin today to thank Father God for what He has already done and for what He is about to do, because HE will not let us down, HIS promises are steadfast and sure.