Wisdom’s Ways

                                

                              Rev. A. Linford

JUSTICE AND INJUSTICE

”To do justice …… is acceptable unto the Lord” – Proverbs 21: 3, 4

The Bible touches life at its roots. It deals with the basic instincts and motive intention that influence our thoughts and deeds. Good is good only if it springs from goodness; evil, whatever the camouflage that seeks to hide its perfidy.

Morality commended – v3. ”Justice” is the basic principle of morality. It concedes the rights of others: “judgment” is the practice of morality, it exercises the responsibilities that we shall ever owe to our neighbours. True religion is based on morality, but it is possible to observe the rites and fail to perform the righteousnesses demanded of true worshippers. It is practical religion that matters. To do good is more acceptable to God than merely to offer gift. Not that votive offerings are wrong, but sacrifice without sanctification is offensive to the Lord. My relationship wiuth my heavenly Father is coloured by my relationship with my spiritual brother. I cannot offend my brother without offending God: I cannot love God and despise my brother.

Immorality condemned. Do not confine immorality to sexual sins. Those are immoral who indulge in selfishness. A self-centred man is off-centre to God – a moral eccentric. The whole purpose of true religion is to give living its proper centre – the will of God. ‘The ploughing of the wicked’ cultivates this field of decadent human nature, producing a fine tilth of inordinate self- esteem. Two of its fruits are ‘a high look, and a proud heart’. The deeper emotions of the sinful heart are often expressed in the sinner’s countenance. A haughty look, a supercilious gaze a scornful sneer, a superior smirk – all these are marks of the person who places himself before and above all others. The wicked till the soil of sinful desire and produce a harvest of hate and indignity. Such bitter fruits are poison to acceptable behaviour and a blight on social life.

PRAYER:

May my self-hood be submitted to Thy God-hood, O Lord.

                              

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Sermon Starters

                                  

                               Rev. E. Anderson

This is a simple outline for you to think about and meditate on. The introduction, main thoughts and conclusion need further material to be added. It is an outline for you to expand, develop more fully and fill in to spiritual profit and inspiration.

PROVIDENCE IN DIFFICULT TIMES AND SITUATIONS

2 Samuel 16-20 

In this extreme situation of having to escape fromJerusalembecause of the traitorous action of his son Absalom, David certainly required the immediate help of God. From the narrative he is seen to place himself in divine hands and looks to Him to intervene in His own way. He believed that assistance from the Lord would be forthcoming in spite of His embarrassing circumstances. Who would have thought he would be running again at this time of life and needing divine aid. But the Lord was there to safeguard his life and interests – 2 Samuel 15:26

1/.  IT CAN BE SEEN IN BEING NOTIFIED OF THE REBELLION – 2 Samuel15:13

He is able to speedily take evasive action and get out of the royal city grateful and appreciative of a body of people jealous for his welfare and safety. There were those who immediately rallied to his cause and he was not left to face this threatened situation alone.

2/.  IT CAN BE SEEN IN THE NATURAL PROVISIONS BESTOWED – 2Samuel 16: 14; 17:27-29

First of all there is Ziba ready to quickly provide food etc  and bless him in the unforeseen developmental He was not to be without sustenance. This came along not only to provide victuals but other necessary factors.

3/.  IT CAN BE SEEN IN THE DEFEAT OF WISE COUNSEL – 2 Samuel 17:14

Usually the advice of Ahithophel was unquestioned because it was always wise and right and even in this instance it was the best piece of counsel to be given: but it was thwarted by the Lord. The Lord has the ability to negate the ideas and programs of men. God was able to overturn it so that David could make more ground. 

4/. IT CAN BE SEEN IN THE SLAYING OF ABSALOM – 2 Samuel 18: 1-18

Absalom is seen to be heading a strong, militant force and he was filled with pride and arrogance and he was to be brought down. Whilst trying to elope his hair is caught in the branches of a tree and he is slain by Joab. The rebel son that was ready to slay his own father is smitten himself.

5/. IT CAN BE SEEN IN THE RESTORATION TO THE THRONE – 2 Samuel 19 & 20

The nation had become divided by these events back home to be king again. but eventually he was brought

CONCLUSION

Without the Lord and His goodness, David would have been in a sorry state At this time of life he still needed to look to Jehovah.

                               

Meet the Christian Ministers

                                  

               Rev. Matthew and Sian James

Mathew James is the Pastor at The Rock Community Church. He is married toSianand they have 2 grown up children, Tom and Carys.

TheRockCommunityChurchis an outward looking family church, centred on Christ, and relying on God’s Word and God’s Spirit. People of all ages and backgrounds find a warm welcome among us.

The Rock Community Church meets at the OldInfantsSchool, High Street, Gilfach Goch. As a church, our aim is to practically serve the communities of Gilfach Goch and Evanstown, demonstrating the love of Jesus in everything that we do.

We have weekly activities for children aged between 6 and 10, and also a youth club, on a Friday evening for ages 11 to 16. Our church prayer meeting is held on a Wednesday evening and our services on Sunday begin @ 11.00am and 6.00pm, with Sunday School being held for the younger children during the morning meeting.

You will receive a warm welcome at any of our services. We look forward to seeing you.

TheRockCommunityChurchoffers a FREE bus service to and from the church for both of the Rock Solid meetings.

If this is something you would be interested in, for your children, please use the contact details listed at the bottom of this page to get in touch with us.

Email : info [at] therockcommunitychurch.co.uk

                               

Messages of Note

                                 

                         Rev. Geoff Feasey

READY TO RELEASE YOUR APOSTLES?

God has set in the church five ministry gifts, which we commonly call then ‘Ascension Gifts’. They are listed in Ephesians 4. They are apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher.

In our Western culture and our Church traditions we are very comfortable with three out of these five gifts. We enjoy the ministry of the pastor, the teacher and the evangelist; we are getting a little more used to the ministry of the prophet, but we have great difficulty in recognising and releasing the ministry of the apostle.

God has set these five ministry gifts as a foundation for the Church and as an ascension gift to us for the preparing of God’s people for works of service. These ministry gifts are therefore absolutely vital in the whole plan and scope of the Church.

God has given the Church the ministry of the apostle,. The Greek word for apostle is ‘apostolos’, which means ‘one sent out’, and conveys the thought of someone released into a gift, rather than one sent out to preach. We are all sent out to preach, but we are not all released to the gifting of apostleship.

The first 12 disciples, who had received special training, and who had special relationship with Jesus, were naturally released into the ministry and were called apostles. However, with th loss of Judas, the gap was filled not by the one who was voted on by ‘lot’ as the Church in Acts chapter one tried to do, but by Paul.

Paul was called and released by the risen Lord who chose him and added him into the first apostolic band. It naturally appeared that the first apostles were witnesses of the resurrection as a qualification of their apostleship. Paul would therefore fit this qualification as he saw the Lord on the road toDamascus.

However, it is quite clear that the calling and gifting, and therefore the releasing into ministry of apostles, was not confined to just those who had seen the Lord. There are several people who the New Testament writers recognised as apostles who were not part of the original band and who had not seen the Lord,  nor were they witnesses of His resurrection.

It is therefore understood that the ministry of apostleship was not just a destination to those who saw the Lord, nor was this ministry confined to those who were there at the beginning – although the 12 apostles of the Lamb do hold a very special place. It is clear too, that the ministry of the apostle was not concluded when the first apostles concluded their ministry. Apostolic ministry continued on, and continues to this day within the Church.

So, what makes a person an apostle and what sets them apart within this ministry? It is clear that the word ‘apostolos’ carries within it the concept not just of one sent or released, but also two other concepts. Firstly, there is the concept of the supernatural. When Jesus sent out His apostles it was with the authority to do supernatural things. This is mentioned several times in the Gospels, and all apostolic ministry carries with it the vital factor of supernatural miracles, as is mentioned in 2 Corinthians 12: 12, when Paul states that the marks of an apostle were seen as ‘signs, wonders and miracles’.

Secondly, there is the concept of the bigger picture. Paul was sent to the whole Gentile world, he was not just sent out. Those mentioned in 2 Corinthians 8: 23, were called ‘apostles of the churches’ and when Jesus sent out His apostles, He gave them authority over spiritual forces. So if we take these two concepts today, those who could be designated as apostles, would be firstly, those who have spiritual authority and who do supernatural things, and secondly, those who see the bigger picture within the Church.

It is possible that we have more apostles than we realise; it could be that we do not recognise them and that we may not have  the courage to release them to this ministry.

Geoff Feasey is a minister of the Elim Pentecostal churches. He recently retired from his role as a Regional Superintendent and now works with Gloucester Elim as well as covering a new function as Parliamentary Liaison Office for the Movement.

                                    

Illustrations that Light up Life

                                        

                                  Rev. E. Anderson

HOLINESS

IN OUR CULTURE anything, even news about God, can be sold if it packaged freshly; but when it loses its novelty, it goes out on the garbage hap. There is a great market for religious experience in  the world; but there is little enthusiasm  for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for along apprenticeship in what earlier generations called holiness” – Eugene Peterson

AND IN HONOUR OF EASTER…

  1. Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.
  2. Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
  3. Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
  4. Had no army, yet kings feared Him.
  5. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
  6. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
  7. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

                            

Points to Ponder

                                          

                                  Rev. E. Anderson

PARENTAL PERSPECTIVE

It is said of Boswell, the famous biographer of Samuel Johnson , that he often referred feared to a special day in his childhood when his father took him fishing. The day was fixed in his adult mind, and he often reflected upon the many things his father had taught him in the course of the fishing experience together. After having heard of that particular excursion so often, it occurred someone much later to check the journal that Boswell’s father kept and determine what had been said about the fishing trip from the parental perspective. Turning to that date, the reader found only one sentence entered: “Gone fishing today with my son; a day wasted”.