Wisdom’s Ways

Rev. A. Linford

FOOLS ARE INCORRIGIBLE

”Apply thine heart unto instruction” – Proverbs 23:9, 12

In each of these two verses there is an ”ear”, but what a difference in their use. One is the ear of a dolt, the other of a disciple; the former is blocked with conceit, the latter is open to receive. The ear is a wonderful contraption. By its creative construction sound is transformed into electrical impulses that transmit information to the brain, where it is interpreted into sensible concepts. The ear is one of our main sources of learning. By it we may enjoy the cadences of a Beethoven symphony or endure the cacophony of punk- rock din-music. And by it may listen to the voice of instruction: this is the ”ear” of our texts.

THE EAR OF IGNORANCE – VS 9. How cam you instruct a fool? He hears the words of his teacher, but does not appreciate them; he may grasp their sense, but does not accept it; he listens with but little interest, but does not act upon them. Teaching him is like pouring water down a drain – it flows through leaving no deposit of knowledge: it is like making an impression on gutta-percha – when the pressure is removed the image is lost. He is the despair of his teacher, the bane of his class, the disappointment of all who expend effort on his improvement. He is an incorrigible fool, his mind is hermetically sealed against improving instruction; his mental nature is encased in armour that resists all hope of penetrating his dullness. He not only deflects knowledge, he despises it. No ass is as asinine as this specimen of indigent, intolerant idiot.

THE EAR OF LEARNING – VS 12. What a pleasure it is to talk to one who applies his heart to instruction! His receptive attitude makes it easy to instruct him. His openness of mind is a preparation for advancement, his progress in the way of knowledge is assured, he is well on the way to that perfection of experience and learning we call wisdom. The ”words of knowledge” are avidly received, their meaning eagerly interpreted, their application humbly performed. Such ”ears” are circumcised ears – free of dullness’, such ”ears” are anointed ears – filled with brightness.

PRAYER:

May my ears ever be open to Thy Word, O Lord!

                               

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Sermon Starters

Rev. E. Anderson

POWERFUL BUT PROUD

2 CHRONICLES 26-28

One of the great kings of Judah, Uzziah. He figured much in the history of this kingdom because he reigned possibly the longest of the kings, 52 years. This is a creditable period to have control over a nation especially during a time of untold growth and prosperity. One can note the contrast with the kings of the north,Samaria. He came to his position following quite a successful reign although there were some blemishes and so was able to consolidate and build something of note and worth.

1/. OBSERVE HIS EARLY PURSUIT – 2 CHRONICLES 26: 2,3

It states that ‘he pleased the Lord’ and that he had a faithful mentor who spiritually advised him in the ‘fear of the lord’s He responded in the former pad to a good counsellor/counsel because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. There was the desire and determination to recognise as a priority the place the Lord should hold. The spiritual tone and standard was truly set and so the king and kingdom was put upon the right track.

2/. NOTE HIS QUICK PROSPERITY AND POWER – 2 CHRONICLES 26: 15

Things went deciders well for him on every front because of the Lord. He states God gave him success. Things rapidly increased and this alerted him and his status amongst the people. He was victorious in battle, nations paid tribute, cities were fortified, the land and cattle were blessed, the army increased numerically and militarily and he was popular and powerful – v15 – ‘he became very powerful.’ The blessing of the Lord’s presence and assistance ensures the quick and vast development all round and should have been duly recruited. AIl the glory should have gone to Him because He can handle it!

3/. CONSIDER HIS STATE OF PRIDE – 2 CHRONICLES 26: 15

He became bloated with himself and arrogant. The word of God states that ‘pride doeth before destruction and a hasty spirit before a fall’. Here is a case in point. He assumes a role that he was not set apart for and pays an awful price and is smitten with leprosy – v19. The rebuke by the priest ought to have produced the right spiritual re-action of repentance and thus averted what took place. lf there had been an immediate admission of wrong things could have been so different for him. No one should at any time adopt this kind of attitude because of what may occur.

CONCLUSION

It is always essential to keep a watchful eye and guard on oneself. There are always grave dangers when one is altogether successful. The problem arises when one begins to be too big for one’s shoes. Self-importance can bring rain.

                                

Messages of Note

Rev. Ian Williams

THE GRASSHOPPER PHILOSOPHY…

Self-image psychology has become popularised in recent years under a variety of names. Putting the above philosophy into simple words – “You are what you think you are!” or “You don’t see things the way they are – You see things the way you are!”

Numbers 13 records the account of twelve spies who adventured intoCanaanto explore the land and on their return bring back a report of all the things they see and hear. As the scouting party travel through the land the men saw it was the season for the first ripe grapes (July).

As they navigated through the Negev and onto the hill country, exploring the land that had been promised to them and their household – 10 out of the twelve gave negative feedback to Moses because they saw things from the wrong perspective

Let’s take a few moments and focus on what the ten spies reported:

  • The land does flow with milk and honey… hip hip hooray…
  • They produce samples of the quality and quantity of the fruit… it took two of them to carry a bunch of grapes on a pole…
  • They painted an exciting picture of what could be…

Then they change the tone of the conversation – “BUT!”

  • But the people who live there are powerful!
  • But the cities are fortified and very large!
  • But we saw giants living there!
  • But we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes!

They lost their confidence – “in our own eyes we looked like grasshoppers!”

THE GRASSHOPPER PHILOSOPHY

  • Self-denigration…
  • Low self-esteem…
  • Inferiority complex…
  • Exaggeration due to unbelief…

Intro Caleb – Caleb silenced the people, he was a man with a different spirit and very different perspective and a Godly confidence…

  • We should go up and take possession…
  • We can certainly do it

As we journey together into our promised land – a land full of opportunity and so much potential…

A land filled with challenges and the occasional battle – choose not to live according to the grasshopper philosophy – but live from the vantage point of heaven, and nurture a different spirit that possesses and overcomes…

Live in the promise and not the wilderness!

Be bold – Be Strong…

                              

Meet the Ministers

Rev. Peter & Kay Goodchild

In the spring of 1997 Peter and Kay with their family moved toCranbrookto pioneer a fresh expression of Church in the town.

The Church, affectionately known as the Vine, started with only a handful of people, and since the early days has used different premises in the town such as the Council offices, Angley school and the Congregational church, currently the Vine meets in the Cranbrook Primary School.

Over the last decade the Vine has sought to help people discover the good news of Jesus Christ, His purpose for their lives and service to their community. The Vine continues to grow into a fresh spiritual home for people in Cranbrook and area, and seeks to inspire and encourage all to live life to the full by serving God’s great purpose.

Now an established and welcomed voice within the town and area, the Vine looks to play its part in community life: giving, serving, speaking and bringing hope to the world in which we live. We believe that our town can be blessed and helped through a Church led by it’s true head – Jesus Christ.

At the Vine we want our lives to make a difference wherever we are in the world, at home and travelling. Jesus came to earth to show us the way to life! He extends this invitation to you, to follow him and to live the life you were created for, with purpose and meaning.

We delight in helping people to discover how to do life well, realising your God given potential and finding your place in the big story of the world. We’d love to meet you, so why not get in touch or come along to our Sunday service.

May you discover God’s best for you!

ABOUT US

We are a family church expressing God’s life, love and purpose in the town & area. Belonging to the Vine takes on meaning where there is an understanding of family relationship & wholehearted commitment. We believe that Church should be a place of safety and peace, life and fun!

Meeting at 10am each Sunday morning in the CranbrookPrimary School, Vine members and friends enjoy purposeful times together with God. Visitors frequently attend too and invariably enjoy the surprise of church-with-a-difference; worship with great singing and time for reflection, preaching that is poignant and challenging, and friendship that is relaxed and genuine.

                            

Points to Ponder

Rev. E. Anderson

COMPROMISE

The word I got this morning was, ‘Be Prepared To Compromise’. People who compromise demonstrate that they come from a position of strength – it is not a sign of weakness. It puts you into the position of opening a door of hope and opportunity to others. It also puts you in a further position to receive a blessing, through an opportunity you may not have considered before – especially if you are a person who has been set in your ways. You do not have to agree with the person you are compromising with, and you do not need to change your views, and it is a further sign of strength to say to a person that you don’t agree with them but, for the sake of the Kingdom, you are prepared to compromise to get the job done. So today, if you find that you are not moving forward on an issue, compromise, and God will see it as a step of faith, and reward you in due season.

Christopher.

Mr. C Roberts (Barrister)

                              

Illustrations that Light up Life

Rev. E. Anderson

MATERIALISM

The late Bishop Edwin Hughes once delivered a rousing sermon on God’s Ownership” that offended a rich parishioner. The wealthy man took the bishop off for lunch, and then walked him through his elaborate gardens, woodlands, and farm. “Now are you going to tell me,” he demanded when the tour was completed, “that all this land does not belong me?”  Bishop Hughes smiled and suggested, “Ask me that same question a hundred years from now”.