Focus

Rev. E. Anderson

BRING THE GOOD TIMES BACK

“Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God you who have done great things. Who, O God is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. Psalm 71:19-20

One of the most refreshing things about Scripture is that it doesn’t gloss over the fact that life has its ups and downs. It acknowledges – often in vivid language – that there will be times of poverty and times of riches, times of stress and times of rest, times of pain and times of joy.

Such cycles also exist in the business world. There are times when the economy is strong and times when’ it’s bad. There are times when cash flow is great and other times when it’s iffy. There are times when profits are up and times when profits are down.

Such is the course of life, regardless of our spiritual condition: “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good; and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous,” Jesus said in Matthew 5:45. But while it’s true that God makes the good times as well as the bad times – Ecclesiastes 7:14, that in no way means that if we’re in a downturn, we can’t ask Him to restore the good times again. In Psalm 71:19-20, David was not at all embarrassed to ask God to rescue him from the depths of the earth, to grant him a reprieve from the troubles that had been “many and bitter” He’s seen the good life, and he wants to go back.

There will be seasons and times of life that are darker and heavier and drier than other times. If you’re in one of those times, don’t become overly discouraged. Stay the course, guard your heart, and keep connected to the people around you. And don’t be afraid to ask God to let the good times roll again.

                              

 

 

Advertisements

Leadership Factors

Rev. John Maxwell

PROBLEM SOLVING

SARAH DOES GOD’S WILL HER WAY

Genesis 16: 1-16

Those who master problem solving – one of the 21 Indispensable qualities of a Leader – find that it’s one of the fastest ways to gain leadership in any group. Anyone who can solve problems will never lack influence.

But the influence gained isn’t always positive. Consider the case of Sarah. God told her husband, Abraham, that his offspring would grow as numerous as the sands by the seashore and the stars in the sky But there was a problem: Sarah was barren and past the age of childbearing. As the years passed, God’s promise didn’t appear any closer to fulfillment.

Sarah faced a problem and felt compelled to solve it. Lacking the patience to trust God to keep His promise, Sarah looked to her own methods. After waiting more than a decade for a son she felt she had waited long enough an unwisely attempted to fulfils will in her way through an Egyptian servant named Hagar.

Sarah’s solution, however, gave her no peace. When Hagar became pregnant by Abraham and bore a son named Ishmael, Sarah despised both Hagar and her newborn son. Hagar had done what she asked, but satisfaction eluded Sarah.

CONTROL FREAK!

The true problem facing Sarah was not a need for offspring, but her own impatience.  Sarah wanted control – something that has afflicted many leaders throughout history. Instead of trusting God, Sarah tried to make the promise come true by using her own method and according to her own timetable. She depended upon her own strength when she should have leaned op Almighty God. She illustrates what happens when an insecure leader tries to work independently of God. Insecure leaders:

1/.  Believe God is inattentive, absent, or even against them.

2/.  Allow their circumstances to determine their understanding of God’s character.

3/.  See life through a perspective of scarcity rather than abundance.

4/.  Become self-seeking and manipulative.

5/.  Feel intimidated and deal with others through intimidation.

6/.  Resent the success of others and angrily turn on them.

7/.  Think that if one person succeeds, someone else must loser

8/.  Blame others for their dilemmas.

9/.  See themselves as martyrs.

10/. Conclude that attempts at control seem more logical than trusting Go.

Do you identify With Sarah? Do you struggle with a desire to control problems rather than doing things God s way? If so, ask God to reveal how He would have you deal with your problems in a way that honors Him.

                               

Message by Rick Warren

Rev. Rick Warren

CHARACTER:  IT’S WHO YOU ARE, NOT WHAT YOU DO

“It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for … part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”Ephesians 1:11 (MSG)

Our children need to know that the person they become is more important than what they do. Why? Because they won’t take their career into heaven, but they will take their character

One of the greatest responsibilities a parent has is helping shape their children’s character. What we say and do, how we live our lives, models character to our children. But sitting down with our children and having conversations with them about their character is even more important.

Our children need to know that the person they become is more important than what they do. We spend so many years preparing our children for their future careers when we should be preparing their character. Why? Because they won’t take their career into heaven, but they will take their character.

The book of Philippians tells us, “In your lives you must think and act like Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:5 NCV). When we do this we are preparing our character for eternity in heaven.

So we need to teach our children that this life is preparation for the next. It’s the “get ready stage”.  Our time here on earth with its good times and challenging times is where we learn all of the lessons that grow us up in character to become more like Christ.  It’s the time that matures us spiritually so when we get to heaven we aren’t spiritual babies.

We need to talk to our children and let them know life is not always easy, that they should expect to be tested. They will be tested every year of school. They will be tested when they get out of school. They will be tested in their career, their marriage, and in parenting their own children. Every situation they encounter in life, good or bad, will be a character-building opportunity.

“Don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the other. With these qualities active and growing in your lives … no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus” (1 Peter 1:5-6 MSG).

These are the qualities that make up godly character. Take those verses and have your children memorize them so they can begin to work on those areas in their lives for the rest of their lives. If they do, the Bible says they’ll become more like Jesus.

                             

Powerful Quotes

Rev. L. Goodwin

THEOLOGY & DOCTRINE QUOTES 

 “No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown” – William Penn (1644-1718)

“There are no crown wearers in heaven who were not cross bearers here below”

–          Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“When we link our impotence to His omnipotence then the word `impossible’ is dropped from our vocabularies” –          Leonard Ravenhill

“A self made man is almost inevitably badly made, a jerry built sample of over weaning self-esteem; but when our maker recasts us in His own image we are assimilated to the primeval pattern of manhood, no longer intent on steering our own vessel for ourselves, but willing to will & do God’s good pleasure even at the expense of our own wills”  – E.K.Simpson

“I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked God if I might help Him. I ended up by asking Him to do His work through me”Hudson Taylor

“The Devil is easy to identify. He appears when you’re terribly tired & makes a very reasonable request which you know you should not grant”  – Fiorello La Guardia

                            

 

Christian Testimony

Kym Mazelle

POP STAR  TELLS HOW SHE DITCHED DRUGS

A CHART-topping pop star has been performing her hits and telling people about her Christian faith.

Kym Mazelle is best known for her hit Young Hearts Run Free, which was later included in the Hollywopd blockbuster Romeo and Juliet.

She also teamed up with funk band Soul 11 Soul.

And she performed several numbers spanning her career at Chelmsford Christian Centre.

Associate Pastor,  Mike Preston said: “Kym was full of energy, is passionate about God and has an incredible voice. She occupied the whole stage arid her years of experience and professionalism shone through, but the heart of her message was what Jesus did for her”.

In between the songs, Kym told her story, beginning with where she started out in the music industry, on to her time in the clubs inIbiza, her drug use and how she found Christ and was set free.

Mike said: “She told how, after she’d made a commitment to Jesus, she was invited back to clubs inIbizaso she went back performing her new material and telling her story of how she found God”.

Kym became a Christian in 2003. She said: “My biggest prayer is that everyone gets touched by God and that they come to the knowledge of Him. His love is so beautiful and so sweet that everyone needs to taste it – to taste and s/e that the Lord good!”

                             

 

A Time to Laugh

Rev. E. Anderson

TODAY’S FUNNY QUOTES

~ A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
~ A friend is someone who reaches for your hand, but touches your heart.
~ Anyone who says “Easy as taking candy from a baby” has never tried it.
~ As for me and my mouse, we will serve the Lord!
~ Be moderate where pleasure is concerned – avoid fatigue.
~ Before entering a battle of wits, check your ammunition.
~ Children are natural mimics who act like their parents, despite every effort to teach them good manners.
~ Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.
~ Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.
~ Experience is that thing you have just after you need it.
~ Forgive your enemies. It messes with their heads.

~ Genius is perseverance in disguise.
~ Grandchildren are God’s reward for not killing your kids.
~ He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree.
~ He who hesitates is not only lost, but probably several miles from the next freeway exit.
~ He who sees only half the problem will be buried by the other half.
~ He who throws mud loses ground.

                           

God’s Kingdom

Rev. John Willoughby

GOD’S GLORIOUS KINGDOM

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

I. THE KING OF THE KINGDOM.

1. SECULAR AND GODLY KINGS.

The basic principles of a Kingdom are- there must be a king or sovereign head, an area, subjects and laws or principles by which he rules. There are two common views of a kingdom:

a) World view – A titular king with ceremonial power. I Sam 8:4-7. Today there are democracies that have a titular head called a king or queen. They reign, but do not rule. Such leaders have little authority and are mainly figureheads (except in some Middle Eastern nations). The rulership of the country is usually undertaken by the elected Government.

b) Biblical view – The King with all power and authority. Ps 44:4-8. The King who is God Himself is awesome and His authority is absolute and final. He reigns and He rules. His word is law and in his hands are life and death. He is represented as One who is:

* Awesome. “For the Lord Most High is awesome, He is a great King over all the earth” (Ps 47:2).

* Mighty. “Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle” (Ps 24:8).

* Reigning. “God reigns over the nations. God sits on His holy throne” (Ps 47: 8).

* Fearful. “Who would not fear You, O King of the nations …. there is none like You” (Jer 10:7).

* Rules. “The Lord has established His throne in heaven and His kingdom rules over all” (Ps 103:19).

2. ATTRIBUTES OF THE KING.

The word used in Hebrew for God in the first few chapters of Genesis is ‘Elohim’, which has a plurality of meaning. We see this plurality of the Godhead in Gen 1:26 where we read, “Then God (‘Elohim’) said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’”. In Scripture this plurality consists of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each having the attributes of God. Some of these are:

a) Essential attributes.

* Creator. Gen 1:1. Even though angels are very powerful, they cannot create.

* All knowing (omniscient). Rom 11:33. There is nothing in the entire universe that He is unaware of in its finest detail.

* Everywhere at all times (omnipresent). Ps 139:7-12. There is nowhere where He is not.

* All powerful (omnipotent). Rev 19:6. There is absolutely nothing which He cannot do.

* Eternal. I Tim 1:17. There was no time when He was not, nor is there any time when He will not be.

* Self existent. Ex 3:14. He does not owe His existence to any other, nor does He depend on anyone or anything outside of Himself.

* Unchangeable (immutable). Mal 3:6. He has never nor will He ever change.

b) Moral attributes.

* Perfect. “As for God, His way is perfect” (Ps 18:30).

* Holy. “And one cried to another and said, ‘Holy, holy holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory’” (Isa 6:3).

* Love. “God is love” (I Jn 4:8).

* Righteous. “Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgements” (Rev 16:7).

* Faithful. “God is faithful” (I Cor 1:9).

* Merciful. “God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us” (Eph 2:4).

3. AREA OF HIS KINGDOM.

This would include all that there is in the universe. The following are aspects of His right to rule:

a) He created it. Ps 102:25. In Isa 40:25-26 we read, “To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal? Says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things, who brings out their hosts by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one is missing”. The vast and complicated universe and its billions of galaxies was originally planned, conceived and designed in the mind of God, even to the extent of naming every star. It came into being when He spoke and commanded it to be by the power of His Word, ordaining the paths of the galaxies and of our own sun, moon and planet earth (Gen 1:14-16).

b) He sustains it.Col 1:17. It continues to exist, to be held together and to function perfectly, “by the Word of His power” (Heb 1:3). If He should cease to exist for one second of time, there would be nothing remaining in the universe.

c) He has complete authority over it. Ps 115:3. His attributes give Him complete authority:

* As Owner. I Chron 29:10-12. Authority means ‘the power or right to enforce obedience’. As an example, an author has complete rights over what he has written. He has created it, therefore it belongs to him and he has the legal right to do whatever he so wishes with it. God is the author, architect, creator and sustainer of the universe, therefore He has absolute authority as King over it. His laws are irreversible.

* As Ruler. Ps 66:7. Authority means that there are people over whom He rules. The ‘KingdomofGod’ includes the sovereign right of God to reign, but it also includes those over whom He reigns. If there is a king, then there must be subjects. As God has all authority everywhere, His subjects include everyone and everything.

4. SUBJECTS OF THE KINGDOM.

Insects, plants, birds, fish, animals and angels were all created wonderful and with great variety, simply for His pleasure and as in the case of angels, to do His bidding. He also originally created man to:

a) Have a deep relationship with Himself. Ps 139:13-18. We see that God made man in His Own image and according to His likeness (Gen 1:26), in order that primarily He might have a relationship with him. We see this partly working before the fall, when Adam and Eve enjoyed a deep communion with their Creator (Gen 3:8-10).

b) Have “dominion”. Gen 1:26, 28. In both of these verses God told man to, “have dominion”. The Hebrew word for ‘dominion’ is ‘radah’, which means ‘to tread down’, ‘to rule over’ or ‘to reign’. This word (‘radah’) is rarely used in the Bible, but in Ps 72:8, 11 we read, “He shall have dominion (‘radah’) from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth …. Yes all kings shall bow down before Him, all nations shall serve Him.” The same word used in this passage as ‘dominion’ (‘radah’), for the Messiah’s rule over all the earth, is used for the authority originally given to Adam in Gen 1:26, 28. Man was created to “have dominion” (‘radah’) over all the earth and he was to do this with God’s blessing and with His delegated authority.

c) Have a position next to Himself in authority. Ps 8:4-6. We read, “For You have made him a little lower than the angels” (v5). The word ‘angels’ in Hebrew is ‘Elohim’, which elsewhere in the Scriptures is always translated as God – as in Dt 6:4, “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God (‘Elohim’), the Lord is one.” Only in this one Scripture (Ps 8:5) is it translated as “angels”. David is actually saying that God made man ‘a little lower than Himself’ in the order of creation. This is the reason that He gave to man all authority over the earth, for the “all things” (v6) included this earth and everything in it. Therefore, before the fall the Bible says that his position of authority was so great that he was next only to God Himself. It was only after the fall that Adam lost this position and was demoted as we read in Heb 2:7, “You have made him a little lower than the angels (Gk, ‘Aggelos’)” . This lower station is, however, only temporary for those who believe in Christ as their Saviour.

                             

Message by the late David Wilekerson

Rev. David Wilkerson 

WHOLLY DEPENDENT ON HIM

 

God has always wanted a people who would walk totally reliant on him before the eyes of the world. That’s why he took the insignificant little nation ofIsraeland isolated them in a wilderness. He was placing them in a school of testing, to produce a people who would trust in him no matter what their circumstance. He wantedIsraelto testify, “I can go through any test, any difficulty, even those beyond my abilities. How? I know my God is with me in every trial. He will always bring me through.”

 

Consider Moses’ statement toIsrael: “[God] suffered thee to hunger” (Deuteronomy 8:3). The Lord was telling them, “I orchestrated your trial. It wasn’t the devil. I possessed all the bread and meat you needed the whole time. And I was ready to drop it out of the sky at any minute. It was all stored up, waiting for you to receive it. But I withheld it for a while. And I did this for a season. I was waiting for you to come to the end of all your self-reliance. I wanted to bring you to a point of crisis, where only I could deliver you. I allowed you to experience your ‘wit’s end,’ a place of human helplessness. And it required a miracle of deliverance from me.” 

Today, the Lord is still looking for a people who’ll rely totally on him. He wants a church that will testify both in words and actions that God is all-powerful on their behalf. He wants an unsaved world to see that he works mightily for those who love him.

 

Job declared, “He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Here is an incredible statement, especially considering the context in which Job spoke it. 

Job suffered one of the worst trials any human could undergo. He lost all of his children in a tragic accident, and then he lost his wealth and possessions. Finally, he lost his physical health. And all these things happened in such a short time, they were utterly overwhelming.

 

Yet, God had put Job on this path. And the Lord alone knew where it eventually would lead. It was a plan so divinely orchestrated that God even allowed Satan to do the afflicting of Job. That’s why Job couldn’t see God in any of it: “I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: on the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: but he knoweth the way that I take” (Job 23:8–10). 

Job was saying, “I know that God knows everything I’m enduring. And he knows the way through it all. My Lord is trying me right now. And I’m confident he’ll bring me through with a stronger faith. I’ll come out purged and cleansed, with a faith more precious than gold.”

                             

Minute Message

Rev. E. Anderson

SURRENDER

You don’t imagine Alex Ferguson’s half-time talks sound much like this: ‘We’re two-nil down, boys. So we may as well give up. Let’s admit defeat and we can all get home in time for the ‘Come Dine With Me omnibus’.

Winners never give in, right? Wrong, God asks us to give in. God asks us to lay down our dreams and ambitions to Him. If we want to make our life count we must first submit ourselves to God.

William Booth made his life count – he started a worldwide movement drumming up Christians to live and love with the poorest people. It became The Salvation Army. He said, ‘the greatness of a man’s power is in the measure of his surrender’. In other words, the most important step of his life was not opening his first church or setting foot abroad, it was the moment he chose, in the quiet of his heart, to give up his own plans for his life and take up God’s plans instead.

Eventually we all surrender to something. Some surrender to God; others surrender to money. Some give in to God; others give in to fear. Some submit to God; others submit themselves to lust. Some hold out to God, others hold on to their ego. You’re free to choose who or what you will lay down to but only Christ will bring true freedom in exchange for your surrender.

                               

Sermons of Note

Rev. E. Anderson

THE IMMENSE POTENTIAL AND RESOURCES

READING         Jeremiah  1

INTRODUCTION

Divine Inspiration: The Lord has always sought to inspire in a number of ways the production of quality character. it is to be appreciated that if this is the main thing upon His agenda He will do everything lawful and helpful on His side to bring it about. He: above all, is jealous and zealous for this achievement for man: this being 50, He will seek to inspire its fulfilment in every possible way. In no way does He stand by without imparting things that will cause man to be the kind of being and person that He wills him to be and to accomplish a worthwhile vocation and mission both in time and for eternity. This positive thought and knowledge should serve as a basic inspiration in this area.

Divine Power: Ever with the calling of God is the enablement to achieve and succeed. The power and ability is available in order to effect what God is really after. God does not leave individuals to themselves: only if they desire it. But it has to be understood: man cannot make it of himself but requires the help of God if there is to be an obtaining of His image, standards and attainments. There are spiritual and moral dynamics available to effect true quality character. To produce character one must not only be guided and governed properly by sound principles, morals and ethics: but other things of great significance are tobe in perspective and act as an initiating and galvanizing force. They are all of healthy nature and combined place a person in an invincible situation.

1/. A DEEP AWARENESS OF DIVINE CALLING

One of the chief things that has strengthened and secured the building of a praise-worthy name and character is that of a great consciousness of God’s call and voca­tion. People that have usually become something of true note and attained a noble standard in terms of conduct have been affected by a sense of God’s hand upon their lives and affairs. It has been an irresistible and unshakeable conviction from God deep within of His working and plan for their being and task.

This comes out and is underlined in the call and life of Jeremiah. At the outset, he is made aware of God’s interest in him and he knows he cannot and must not be indifferent to it – Jeremiah 1:4,5. This realisation that he had been set apart by Jehovah must have had an enormous influence and bearing upon his whole person. The impact of God upon him was like a tremendous grip which he did not want to be released from. Before he became the divine messenger, God laid hold of the man to make him a man of God: worthy to bear His messages. When God encounters a person something dramatic and dynamic occurs which cannot be forgotten or laid aside in contempt.

It is expressed in the words of the apostle Paul – Philippians 3:12 Knox “I only press on, in hope of winning the mastery as Christ Jesus has won the mastery over me. One can hardly escape from the consciousness that life has meaning and worth and this figures a priority on the agenda.

Divine Call: “The inner compulsion of Christ giving birth to an irresistible sense of mission”.

The main part of the mission is the consciousness that one is being made into a man or woman of God first. Other things are significant but this assumes superiority.

2/. THE GUARANTEE OF HIS PRESENCE AND SKILL

From the beginning, the Lord would assure the person that the individual is not a “lone ranger” to be and work things out in and for him or herself. Becoming qualified as a person with divine qualities necessitates the absolute presence of the Lord. The attainment cannot be achieved personally without the Immediate presence and activity of the Lord.

The unique revelation of the Lord in Jeremiah is that of Him in the role of a Master-Potter in relation toIsraelas a people – Jeremiah 18:1-6. The prophet had already known and discovered the presence and skill of the Lord in his case, preparing his life and gifting for special messenger to the nation. He had been informed by the Lord that he could rely on His presence and help to achieve the divine end for himself and the nation – Jeremiah 1:8,19. This man could expect the Lord to achieve in and through him all he had designed.

It is a key factor at all times in the building of character to know and have the remark-able nearness and workmanship of God – Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13; c.f. Isaiah 49:2. He is present to help in the elimination of everything that Is not characteristic of Himself and to communicate His ability and art In the creation of all that is good and constructive.

3/. THE INPUT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Hardly anyone would question the fact that the Holy Spirit is a divine agent in the world that ever seeks to bring about the divine design in man. He seeks in a whole­some manner to get man on the divine line and track and keep him there. One of the first mention of Him Is in Gen 6:3. He is presented as the One who is committed to constraining and restraining man in the best possible way.

Pharaoh is caused to make the expression with regard to Joseph : “Can we find such a one as this a man in whom the Spirit of God is?” – Genesis 41:38. This OT man was a person who was not self-made but God made. He recognised and confessed that in his life and affairs God had been very active and this heathen monarch affirms one of the main factors behind his coming forth with such a noble character and gifting.

There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit played a principal part and role in the producing of the quality character of Christ. The Spirit of God not only fulfilled a miraculous task in the immaculate conception of Christ – Luke 1:35, but He also was with Christ con firming His Sonship and bringing forth those traits of character that were of a divine quality. In and through the humanity of Christ, the Holy Spirit made a valid contribution which manifested all that was virtuous.

The fruit of the Spirit is essentially the production of the quality character of God – Galatians 5:22,23. Every Christian is called upon to know not only regeneration by the Spirit of God – John 3:3-8 but sanctification to until the likeness of Christ comes to full revelation – Romans 8:2-17,29.

4/. THE ASSURANCE OF HIS WORD

God’s Word has been ordained by God to play a pre-dominant role in the formation of character. If one is to grow and develop into real, spiritual manhood and maturity then the word of Lord must assume a pre-eminent place ‘within the mind, heart and will of the person. The legacy of divine truth has been given by God in order that it may bring forth the quality of character. The apostle John was delighted over this condition in the life and experience of the young men – I John 2:14.

The failure with regard to Adam was his treatment of God’s word to him. He was not left in any doubt as to the consequences to be faced if there was a neglect to take His word seriously – Gen 2:15-17. There was nothing complicated in what He gave Adam to observe and do. His obedience would cause him to live in a greater way. He preferred the word of his wife and the evil one above God’s.

Success or failure depended so much for Joshua in his attitude towards God’s revealed word of truth.  Direction Is given to him as he is authorized to take the responsibility of leadership of God’s people on this issue – Joshua1:7,8. He could not afford to be negligent regarding God’s mind and word as it had been made known. The potential that lay in the word needed to be appreciated and apprehended so that he might achieve God’s goals – c.f. Isaiah 55:11. Note the promises 2 Corinthians 1:20.

5/. THE WORKING OF HIS PROVIDENCES

Yet another tremendous potential of a divine order that works for the effecting of a wholesome character is that of the working of the providences of God. This is seeing the wonderful and meaningful arrangements and schedule that God has with respect to life with all of its happenings. It is being conscious that God has a perfect plan for the whole procedure and process of the making and blessing of the individual.

David had this spirit-conviction In his being and it comes out so much within the con-tent of the psalms – Psalm 138:8; 57:2; 23 etc. Deeply rooted in his being and person was the realisation that the Lord was vitally interested and committed to the making of life in all details and that placed a significance and importance to it. He looked to God to both shape him and his future. This knowledge is intended to impart a will and strength at times to the character when things are difficult – see Esther 4:14. It has power to give spiritual backbone when things are not easy.

The person who is developed by God becomes alive to the fact that ‘all things’ are used by God to bring about the best, even things that are seemingly adverse and evil – Romans 8:28. In the tracing of his life, Joseph was altogether sensitive to the fact that things had not happened haphazardly or coincidentally but that God had used all to get him where he was – Gen 45:5-8. God’s ordering of life and His sovereign power is one of the inspiring factors and potential to total development in character.

6/. THE AID OF HIS SERVANTS

In the providential arrangements of God are His schedule to provide for the development of others in the giving of other people to act as guides, mentors, fathers, instructors etc. God uses other people to be an inspiration and help in the tuition and effecting of that which will make others. The presence of and Impartation from others Is to serve in the birthing, formation and blessing of lives and ministries.

This is illustrated and evidenced in the OT with regard to Moses/Joshua and Elijah/Elisha. The successors owed much to their predecessors for the development of their own character and later graduated into something bigger and better by reason of the spiritual potential Imparted. The partnership proved to be most healthy and helpful and resulted in everyone benefiting. The former were good teachers by way of example and instruction and the latter were good learners and implemented what was taught.

In the NT the same principle and procedure was adopted by Christ. What a potential Christ was to His disciples and what potential He Imparted and what a spiritual poten­tial they turned out to be I He, above all, by being with them and sharing with them was able to make them into a powerful team that would effectively set a standard in conduct and charisma. His first challenging words were: “Follow Me, and I will make you…” – Matthew 4:19; Mark 3:13,14. Peter and John became quality characters through Christ and were able to take things forward – Acts 4:13. Everyone is to be a link with three generations: the one that is past In learning and receiving, the present in being and living and the future in passing on to others that which Is good and whole-some.

7/. THE KNOWLEGE OF HIS FUTURE PURPOSE

This is definitely an Issue of a potential nature that is intended to have some bearing upon the present situation. The eternal future and destiny must be brought Into the equation and Is referred to in the Scriptures. Seeing what is ahead, as far as God is concerned, IS planned to have some impact and effect on our character. 

There is a great future promised to those who are In Christ and conform to Christ. It is something that figures in God’s mind and action and it is referred to by Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:9; Ephesians 2:7; Romans 8:10; Hebrews 2:10. As the Son of God and the sons of God move Into the new creation with all of their privileges, potentialities, qualities and re­sponsibilities, what a tremendous prospect Is before for all! The present is intended to be governed and guided by what is yet to be

No one can afford to be producing rubbish with regard to their lives and characters in the light of such an awesome prospect. There is to be a major test for all In the future which should act as a potential sanctifying factor now – 1 Corinthians 3:5-17.

When all this spiritual resource is known and released, there should be the production of the best characters performing the highest kind of ministry and service. There can be no excuse for failure, only the Inspiration and aspiration for that which Is acceptable to God and profitable to us and others.

                                   

« Older entries