Wisdom’s Ways

Rev. A. Linford

MEDDLE NOT

“Meddle not with those that are given to change” – Proverbs 24:21,22

To meddle is to get mixed-up with, and such mixed-up-ness often ends in hopeless muddle.

Pre-emptive attitude:

“Fear thou the Lord and the King”:

Here is the advice of a concerned father to an immature son. Youth can often be open to revolutionary ideas, and hot-headed enough to try and put them into practice. But national peace depends on respect for authority. “Fear the Lord” will strengthen our will to do the right and restrain our urge to adventure into dangerous and unnecessary experiments. If we love God, His pattern of life for us will have priority: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness” (Matt 6:33). To have God in our life is to pre-empt evil. And if we accept divine authority, we will be more ready to submit to human authority – “fear … the King”. Both Peter and Paul exhort respect for necessary human government, for only thus can social peace abound. “Let every soul be subject to the higher powers”, writes Paul (Rom 13:1), and Peter follows with, “Submit yourself to every ordinance of man” (1 Pet 2:13). All authority issues from God, therefore we submit to its channelling through governmental ministers, for the Lord’s sake. How far we should submit to oppressive regimes is not easy to decide, but in general, even defective government is better than no government: anarchy is lethal,

Presumptive action:

Those that are “given to change” are men of revolutionary tendencies, who revolt against the laws of God and government. This attitude of “change-ness” is disruptive of social and national peace. When it enters the church it is destructive of fellowship and effective testimony and dictatorial leadership, it is equally true that there are some men, like Diotrephus, who “love to have pre-eminence”, and even defy God-given leadership (3 John 9). If we truly fear God we will be ready to accept and obey divinely-ordained appointments.

 PRAYER:

Let not pride make me an anarchist, O Lord. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sermon Starters

Rev. E. Anderson

ARE YOU IN A GETHSEMANE?

Taken from the Word for Today

Gethsemane means ‘crushed dives.’ And from crushed olives comes oil that heals, illuminates, and nourishes.

We all have our Gethsemane. To understand and embrace yours, look at the night Christ spent there before going to the cross: ‘Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them…”My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch [pray] with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” – vv.36-39 NIV).

Notice:

1/. GETHSEMANE IS WHERE YOUR PRAYERS ARE NOT ANSWERED AS YOU’D LIKE THEM TO BE

. God understands how you feel, and He has a better plan in mind.

2/. GETHSEMANE IS WHERE THOSE CLOSEST TO YOU CANNOT HELP.

Like Christ’s disciples, they will pray with you for a while but then grow tired and give up. At this point, you pray alone. You go on alone.

3/. GETHSEMANE IS WHERE YOU FEEL THE FULL WEIGHGT OF GOD’S WILL

The Old Testament prophets spoke of the burden of the Word of the Lord.’ Luke tells us that in Gethsemane Jesus was’ in anguish’ and that ‘his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground’ (Luke 22:44). We used to sing in church, All that I have, all that I am, all I shall ever be; cannot repay the love debt I owe; I surrender to Thee!’

If you’re finding it easier to sing than to surrender, you’re in Gethsemane!

 

 

 

 

Message of Note

Rev. Grayson Jones

HOW TRUE IS OUR TRUTH?

Most of us would be able to quote from memory the words of Jesus from John 8:32 ‘Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.’ Jesus tells us here that freedom comes not from hearing the truth, or understanding truth, but from knowing the truth. When Jesus stood before Pilot and talked about truth, Pilot answered, ‘what is truth?’ (John 18:38). I wonder how you would describe truth. You see, what is true is often not as important as what we think to be true. As leaders in the church of Jesus I can be fairly sure that the majority, if not all of us, want to live in the truth of God’s word. Yet the reality is that due to our upbringing, experiences, circumstances, friends and even our biblical understanding we will all live by the truth that we believe and not necessarily that which is the truth. 

Now before you call me a heretic let me explain. Just imagine I came into a million pounds from some long lost aunt who had died recently, and I wrote to you saying I wanted to donate £100,000 to your church to help you with your ministry, and that all you had to do was write to me and it was yours. The key to you getting the money would not be down to whether I had it and would give it to you, but whether you believed enough to even bother writing back to me. The truth in this scenario wouldn’t be as important as what you believed to be true.

Proverbs 23:7 in the Amplified Bible says this: ‘as a man thinks in his heart, so is he….’ In other words our lives are not determined by our circumstances, our gifts, our abilities or our opportunities, but by what we believe in our hearts about those things. I have met many people who, due to the fact that they believe the wrong things inwardly, have limited and restricted themselves from the great things that God wants to do in them and through them. I have also met leaders who, due to their version of what is true, have restricted their churches and the people they lead from receiving everything God has for them. Here are a few of the things that we can have a belief about that are not necessarily true:-

I live in a hard area

There is no doubt that there are many difficult places in the UK. Yet the reality is the Gospel is spiritual and cannot be contained by anything. All over the world in many of the poorest, most broken cities God is doing incredible things. There is no easy and no hard place for the Gospel, it is the power of God to salvation and if it is presented correctly it will bear fruit. Often it’s not the place but the presentation that is the problem.

It’s quality not quantity that counts

I believe that God wants quality and quantity and that if we are doing things right then we can expect to see growth. If something is alive it grows. If it is not growing then maybe it’s because it’s not alive.

Modern, relevant and growing churches water down the Gospel.

To be modern is not to water down the message, but to simply change the method. No doubt there are churches that water down the message, but I believe that God by His Spirit in the last few decades has been focusing on grace and love rather than sin and damnation. It is not that one is true and the other false, but simply that God is emphasising something different today than he did 30 years ago.

I don’t have time to connect with other leaders

I have heard so many leaders who are leading works of all different sizes say they don’t have time to connect with other leaders. I have led a small church of 50 people and a larger church of 400 and I have always made time to connect with other leaders, because I have always believed it to be something that was important. If we fail to connect with other leaders we become isolated and soon our problems can seem worse than anyone else’s. Also when things are going well we can feel we don’t need people, but then when things are challenging there is no one we are in relationship with who can support and encourage us. For many it’s not a time issue but a belief issue.

There are many other things that we can hold as true that can limit and restrict us. Just to finish maybe you need to consider once again the things that you think as a leader and allow yourself to challenge them. Do I believe them because they are truth or are they true to me simply because I believe them? Jesus said remember ‘You will know the truth and the truth will set you free’, not what you think is truth!!

Message by Rick Warren

Rev Rick Warren

REFUSE TO LISTEN TO YOUR FEARS

“And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.” (2 Corinthians 1:10 NLT, 2nd edition)

God is watching over you, so don’t listen to your fears. This is a choice. Trust God, and don’t give in to your fears.

God’s promise to believers is that, no matter what happens to us, he is working for our good — if we love him and follow him (Romans 8:28). If you’re a believer, the Bible says all things are working together for good — not that all things are good, but working together for good.

That means we can stop listening to our fears; there is no difficulty, dilemma, defeat, or disaster in the life of a believer that God can’t ultimately get some good out of. There is no need to fear the future.

Your fears reveal where you do not trust God. Today, make a list of your fears, and ask God to help you identify why you have fear in those areas. Then, ask him to help you replace your fears with trust.

Now, this is important: expect God to start helping you learn to trust him with each fear. Then, watch to see how he helps you.

Talk About It

What fears have you identified?

Why do you trust God in some areas and not in others?

When have you seen God come through when you thought he wouldn’t?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustrations that Light up Life

Rev. E. Anderson

DEALING WITH FAILURE

Star baseball players only hit the ball about three out of every ten times. How do they live with such a high failure rate? By focusing on the law of averages. They know that if they just keep swinging the bat, they’ll get on base.

In 1952 Roger Bannister ran in the Olympics and finished in fourth place, failing to win any kind of medal. But he refused to quit. Up until this time many experts considered it humanly impossible to run the mile in under four minutes. Yet that was Bannister’s goal. And on May 6,1954, he became the first man to do it. Now runners do it regularly.

What’s the point? If you refuse to quit when you fail, you’ll ultimately succeed. You just have to be willing to get back up and keep moving forward. In 1832 Abraham Lincoln was defeated for the State Legislature. In 1833 he failed in business. In 1835 his sweetheart died. In 1836 he had a nervous breakdown. In 1838 he was defeated for Illinois House Speaker. In 1843 he was defeated for nomination to Congress. In 1854 he was defeated for the U.S. Senate. In 1856 he was defeated for nomination for Vice President. In 1858 he was defeated again in a U.S. Senate race. But today he is considered one of America’s greatest presidents.

A wise man concluded: ‘It’s a mistake to suppose that people succeed only through success; they often succeed through failures.’ And you’re not defeated until the past takes your focus off the future. So don’t be afraid of failure.

Points to Ponder

Rev. E. Anderson

FAILURE

The prize for the most useless weapon of all times goes to the Russians. They invented the “dog mine.” The plan was to train the dogs to associate food with the undersides of tanks, in the hope that they would run hungrily beneath advancing Panzer divisions. Bombs were then strapped to the dogs’ backs, which endangered the dogs to the point where no insurance company would look at them.

Unfortunately, the dogs associated food solely with Russian tanks. The plan was begun the first day of the Russian involvement in World War II … and abandoned on day two. The dogs with bombs on their backs forced an entire Soviet division to retreat.

Focus

Rev. E. Anderson

BOGGED DOWN

“I lift up my eyes to the hills where does my help come from?” – Psalm 121:1

 

Work is about getting things done. Yes, it is about ideas and innovation. But, as Peter Drucker said, eventually those ideas are reduced to a pile of work for someone. Usually, this work is not glamorous, but tedious—more implementation than inspiration. We have to focus on the details—the small things—and get them right.

Execution is king. But if that is all we do—if our noses are always to the grindstone, if we just keep plodding along and never raise our eyes or take time to gain perspective—we will run into a dead end and never know what hit us. Worse yet, we might run right off a cliff without seeing the warning signs.

The new economy made many promises that it did not keep. One of them is the idea that we will be freed from the tedium of details and implementation and allowed to work solely in the world of ideas and innovation. Anybody with a to-do list will tell you that it simply isn’t so. What the new economy missed is Genesis 3:17-19—the curse aspect of work that will always be with us.

Yes, we are called. Yes, we can have purpose, satisfaction, and fulfilment. But we also have to deal with sweat, toil, and thorns. So what are we supposed to do when we are so bogged down and overwhelmed that we think we will not be able to endure another thing? Here, the psalmist offers encouragement.

Help is coming. Lift up your eyes to the hills. The Lord sees us. He sees you. His vantage point gives Him a clear picture of your situation. He will lift you out of the pit and out of the miry clay (Psalm 40:2). He is faithful in the big battles and the smallest detail. Nothing eludes His watchful eye. Not our work. Not us.

Leadership Factors

Rev. Graham Murray

LEADERS CANNOT BE COMPROMISED

Christian leaders must possess sincerity, tranquillity and understanding, says Elim minister

SINCERITY

Sincerity means ‘not mixed1 or ‘not compromised’. In so many ways it conveys a purity of undiluted quality. When this is applied to faith and an honest and unfeigned love of people, we grasp something of the Christ-like quality that should be evidenced in leadership.

We live in a world far removed from this quality. Sincerity is not always present even in the most respectable of institutions. There are those who practice looking sincere, but whether they actually are or not is never the question so much as do they appear to be? Often we are duped into believing that what we are being told is a genuine and honest truth but turns out to be an expedience for the moment.

In the body of Christ, those who lead are not free to come up with their own slant on things – they cannot take the Word of God and make it mean whatever they feel most comfortable with. A leader must always stay on the straight and narrow, with the truth unsullied. Here is the sincerity we must have – truth unaltered.

Are you leading someone, a Sunday school class or a home group or maybe a church? The matter is the same – we must have pure hearts.

TRANQUILITY

A person who carries a calmness with them is one who is able to impart that calmness to others – a leader of others who is panicky and agitated soon finds those with him are displaying the same trait.

How Christ-like it is to have a calm disposition. We trust such people, and we have confidence in them, while those who ‘flap’ about leave us unnerved and unsure. The understanding or wisdom of a man who is confident without being vain brings a calm or tranquillity to many a fractious encounter. He or she can still the storms even if they are only in teacups. They can smooth troubled waters rather than adding fuel to the fire. They are skilled in arbitration without political manipulation.

Such are the qualities of the good leader. One indeed may have a quietness of spirit that transmits calm and still be bold and commanding when someone has to take the reins.

Every leader should seek to carry the peace of God with them and to leave people with a sense of that peace. That cannot be done unless the leader truly does hold peace within him.

Seek the peace of God and let it colour your life so that others will see the true nature of your leadership. Those who are panic driven should reapply for leadership when the waters of upheaval have stilled in their life!

UNDERSTANDING

As a leader you may not be the one at the top of the tree, so to speak. You may be on some lower tier somewhere, but that does not absolve us from the responsibility of demonstrating the qualities a leader must have – wisdom, understanding and knowledge. 

As a leader, be sure you have the attribute of understanding. The word means to be able to differentiate or to separate or distinguish. This is an essential quality for leading – sometimes sadly there are disputes among those we care for. Understanding will hold you in good stead. You should be able to weigh up matters, evaluate situations and draw a sound and equitable conclusion.

This is, of course, all done without partiality. A good leader should not have favourites who get special or better attention. A leader may have someone around him who is a gift, one who brings support in a special and valued way – even Jesus had John – but he must not give favour to one and not to another simply based on mutual ideas.

So the leader needs to have understanding – that ability to unravel the knots and get to the truth.

In the event of a dispute be sure to consult – not only with God (which is a given), but do so with other leaders. Maintain integrity and don’t break confidentiality, but seek advice and good counsel. Then engage your gift as a leader and seek peace and harmony while maintaining spiritual equilibrium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Time to Laugh

Rev. E. Andesron

FAMILY FUNNY

My family tree is full of nuts

Men are like chocolates: wait too long only the weird nutty ones are left

How many roads must a man walk down before he admits he is lost

A woman is like a tea bag, you never know what she is like until she gets into hot water

My husband needs glasses. He doesn’t see things my way

I dress to kill and look the same way

I’d let myself go but I’m already gone

Powerful Quotes

Rev. L.Goodwin

THEOLOGY AND DOCTRINE QUOTES

“Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all” – St.Augustine

“Unless Jesus is Lord of all, He cannot be Lord at all”St.Augustine 

“If Jesus Christ were to come to-day, people would not crucify Him; they would ask Him to dinner and then make fun of what He had to say”Thomas Carlyle 

“His character was more wonderful than the greatest miracle”Tennyson

“Jesus is not just the Church’s figure head, He is its living Head!”Anon

“God’s resources are always more than equal to our requirements” Anon

“The greatest miracle of Pentecost was the transformation wrought in those waiting disciples. Their fire baptism transformed them”Samuel Chadwick

 

 

 

 

 

 

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