foundations of victorious christian living

Rev. John Willoughby

FOUNDATIONS OF VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING

THE HOLY SPIRIT

All Scriptures are in the New King James Version, unless otherwise stated.

Study 6  A DESIRE FOR THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT

I Cor 12:1. During the past 100 years and especially in the last 60, God has been pouring out His Spirit and He has been restoring the gifts (‘charisma’) to His Church. We can see the result of this in the great growth of the Charismatic andPentecostalChurchesthroughout the world. Many believe that this is the second or last outpouring of His Spirit (Joel 2:23. Jms 5:7-8) just before His return.

1. ONE BAPTISM – MANY FILLINGS.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs only once in a believers life, but afterwards there may be many fillings. This fullness of the Spirit needs to be sustained and renewed by:-

* Praying in own language (Acts 4:31).

* Praying in tongues (I Cor 14:4).

* Witness (Acts 4:33).

* Living a sanctified life (Eph 5:18).

* Worship in the Spirit (Eph 5:18-19).

2. BE FILLED TO BE HIS WITNESSES.

Jesus said, “you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to Me”. This “power” which He promised is the power to be like Him and to act like Him, in order to be His “witnesses” in our “Jerusalem, …. Judea,Samariaand to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

a) To be like Him – Our character. Gal 5:22-23. As we continue to die to ourselves and to live by the power of His Spirit, so more and more His character is formed within us, which enables us to relate to God and to others in a Christ like manner and to be able to live, as He would have us live. The fruit of His presence gives us a desire to love, know and serve Him, to live a holy life, to tell others about Him, to read His Word, to pray, worship and praise Him and to regularly have fellowship with His other children. The following are some aspects of the fruit of the Spirit as found in this passage. They are manifest:-

* In us personally through – Love, joy and peace.

* In our relationship with others through – Longsuffering, kindness and goodness.

* In our relationship to God through – Faithfulness, meekness and self control.

b) To act like Him – Our actions. I Cor 12:4-6. God not only wants us to be like Jesus, but to also do His works. For this reason, He has given us His gifts and ministries, some of which are found in:- Rom 12:3-8. Eph 4:11. I Cor 12:28-30. The nine gifts of the Spirit are mentioned in I Cor 12:7-11 and are given, “for the profit of all.” (v7). They are divided again into three categories:-

* Gifts of Speech (utterance) – Tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophecy.

* Gifts of Revelation – A word of wisdom, a word of knowledge and discerning of spirits.

* Gifts of Power – Faith, gifts of healings and workings of miracles.

3. BE FILLED TO MOVE IN THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT.

Paul wrote, “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18). When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, each one of the gifts mentioned in I Cor 12:8-10 are available, although we may have a greater anointing in the use of some gifts more than others, depending upon our individual calling and place in the body.

a) Using the gifts. Let us always be willing to be used in co-operation with Him, when the need arises and to believe that He will use us to bless others. Being mindful of Paul’s instructions in I Corinthians, we need to:-

* Be desirous of spiritual gifts (14:1).

* Not be ignorant concerning their operation (12:1).

* Have a desire to be used in this way (12:31).

* Seek to excel (be zealous) in their operation (14:12).

* Be motivated by a desire to edify and to bless others (14:12).

b) Guidance in their use. It is important to realize that the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts “to each one individually as He wills” and that they are given, “for the profit of all” (I Cor 12:7, 11). There must be:-

* Love. I Cor 13:1-2.

* Order. I Cor 14:40.

* A testing. I Cor 14:29.

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women’s page

Paula Jones

CHURCH VISIT CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER

Paula Jones grew up with feelings of anger and hate after a childhood of abuse and violence, But her life changed inside an Elim church when she heard the gospel and realised Christ loved her

A mum-of-three who self harmed as a child has revealed how hearing that Jesus died on the cross stopped her from ever doing it again.

Paula Jones, from Leigh,Lancashire, had been cutting herself for six years when she went

“I knew that I never needed to hurt myself again because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross, When I die I will go to heaven to be with my God and it’s because of Jesus shedding his blood on the cross and bearing mine and everybody else’s sins,” she says.

Paula’s childhood was scarred with emotional abuse and violence.

“I grew up with feelings of anger, sadness and hate,” she remembers. “I used to wonder why I was here and what the point of it all was. My life was a mess, a wreck. I didn’t care for anyone and no one cared for me. As far as I was concerned I was a horrible, dirty person -the scum of the earth.”

At the age of 16 a boyfriend whose family were Christians took Paula to church and her life was never to be the same.

“I heard words like love, hope, peace, Jesus, cross, Bible, salvation and repent. But there was one sentence that wouldn’t go away – ‘Paula Jones, Jesus loves you. No matter what, he loves you – just as you are.’ I

‘I went from darkness to light and from death to life. God took my life and made something beautiful’.

Paula aged 15 when she was struggling with self-harm started shaking and crying. It was there that I met my Creator, my true father in heaven. Jesus picked me up from that dark place I was in and covered me with his unconditional love. I felt it – my father in heaven was holding me so tight.

“Because of my deep emotional hurt, my salvation could only be radical. It could be nothing else than a miracle from Almighty God to heal me. I realised that there was a God and €I asked him to love me, to help me, to stay with me and to make me clean. Then I was healed of every single pain, emotion and past hurt.”

And 25 years later, Paula, now 41, says becoming a Christian is the best decision she ever made.

“I felt grateful for my life, went from darkness to light and from death to life. I couldn’t live without Jesus. God took my life and made something beautiful,”

wisdom’s ways

Rev. Aaron Linford

POETIC JUSTICE

“Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein”Proverbs 26:27

Life has a way of hitting back at us. There seems to be a natural justice that makes sin its own punishment. In fact the worst penalty a sinner can receive is the baneful visage, the vitiated conscience and the set vicious outlook on life. Hell itself is to be forever what we have chosen to be: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still, and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still (Rev 22:11). And vice-versa: a saint of choice will be a saint eternal.

The pit of temptation. A pit was often dug to catch wild animals. It was dug deep, with spiked rods set upwards at the bottom, and the top covered with brushwood and grass. The unwary beast would step on the concealing overlay, and fall to its destruction. There are vicious men that lay traps for others. They snare them into the use of lethal drugs, they allure them into the trap of gamble for gain, they talk them into soul-destroying and body -defiling lusts. But their evil deeds will come back on them. Even if they escape retribution in this life, they must eventually stand before the tribunal of a righteous God.

The stone of trouble. Evil men set in motion means of hurting and destroying others. They maim their fellows out of pride, jealousy, revenge or simple vicious enjoyment of causing trouble and pain. But it brings its recompense of evil. Haman of old sought, out of spite, greed and haughty pride to obliterate the Jews scattered throughout the vastPersian Empire. He held high office, and expected all men to bow to him. Mordecai, an honourable Jew, declined to do so. Haman built a gallows to hang him, and plotted to destroy his people. But the providence of God directed otherwise. The fascinating story in the Book of Esther shows how God first scared, then humiliated Haman by a series of coincidences and divinely controlled situations, resulting in an arresting fact: “so they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai” (Est 7:10). Poetic justice!

PRAYER:

Help me to do good, that good may return, O Lord!

 

sermon starters

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.

Rev. E. Anderson

YOU NEED TO REST

Taken from Word for Today

As we approach the summer season it presents for many of us the opportunity when we take some rest with our families and enjoy a holiday or at least a change of pace. I was reminded again of the words of Jesus, when in the middle of a successful ministry experience He said to His disciples:

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:30)

Contained within this simple statement are four dynamic keys to rest all people and especially leaders must pay attention to … yes, even you.

Rest is Spiritual – ‘Come with me…’

Rest is Relational ‘… by yourselves…’

Rest is Emotional – ‘… to a quiet place…’

Rest is Physical – ‘… and get some rest.’

For our tank to fill all four elements need attention. This summer, come aside so you don’t fall apart.

  

powerful quotes

Rev. L. Goodwin

FAMOUS QUOTES

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get”Warren Buffett

People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success” – Norman Vincent Peale 

“What life means to us is determined, not so much by what life brings to us as by the attitude we bring to life; not so much by what happens to us as by our reaction to what happens” – Lewis L Dunnington 

“When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life” – Greg Anderson

“Power is the ability to do good things for others”Brooke Astor

“A goal is not the same as a desire, and this is an important distinction to make. You can have a desire you don’t intend to act on. But you can’t have a goal you don’t intend to act on”Tom Morris

 

points to ponder

 Rev. E. Anderson

COVETOUSNESS—IT   DEGRADES

In “Paradise   Lost”   there   are   few   finer touches  or   touches   truer  to  the   facts than that wherein Milton pictures Mam­mon as the least erect of all the angels even  before he  fell,   “who  went  about with eyes rather for the pavement of the heavenly streets, trodden gold,” than for the high and noble beauties of the place. You can guard your life from getting so under the  spell of possessions that you can be brought to overlook the rights of others for your own advantage. For even Christ   pleased   not   himself—Cleland Mcafee, D.D.

pastor’s weekly thought

Rev. Ian Williams

DIVINE PERSEPCTIVE

Luke 24 describes the events that took place after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. It records the evidential sightings of Jesus in the garden, on the road to Emmaus and also in the upper room with the disciples.

On the road to Emmaus the eyes of the two travellers were opened to recognise Jesus (v31) and in the upper room the minds of the disciples were opened to understand what Jesus had accomplished on the cross (v45). The eyes and minds of the disciples were opened to new revelation and heavenly impartation!

The ‘perspective’ and ‘perception’ of those who enquired were impacted and changed for the good – Jesus is still in the business of changing perspectives and perceptions. Perspective is the way you and I see things and perception is the way in which we think things through.

The Bible encourages us to renew our minds through the Word of God. As our perspective and perception changes our minds will begin to be renewed and our eyes opened to see the goodness of our God.

The blind man testified, “I was once blind but now I can see!!

I pray that you and I will have an encounter of the Holy Spirit during this week that will change our perspectives and perceptions for eternity.

 

from the pastor’s pen

WOMEN

Rev. A. E. Garner

Five British women had reached the South Pole after previously conquering the North Pole in 1997. They told how they feared for their lives when an ice-quake seemed to pull the ground from under them, threatening to plunge them  I into the chasm. found from under them into the chasm. The women have now completed their 695 mile trek. It was hard work. They suffered from blisters, and weight loss. They battled freezing winds, while they hauled their food and equipment on sledges twice their weight. hey said that at times they were actually aware of their mortality, yet despite the hazards and temperatures of minus 29 degrees, they never thought of turning back.

One of them was the mother of 5 year old triplets. Prince Charles said he was very proud of them and hoped to meet them when they returned home.

Many women of Bible fame are commended for their love, faith and courage. It was women no, while it was yet dark, walks to the tomb here Jesus was buried. It is to a woman that Jesus revealed Himself alive from the dead. Paul said, ”Help those women who laboured with me in the Gospel”. Of one woman he said, ”She was a mother to me!” It was a woman God inspired to begin this church. It is dedicated women that support his church’s ministry by their sacrifice and labour. Despite tiredness and hindrances they never think of turning back. I salute them. Prince Charles doesn’t know them, but the Prince of Life does, and when they have finished their task, He will say well done and welcome them home.

 

illustrious men and ministries

Rev. Phillip Brooks

Phillip Brooks (December 13, 1835 – January 23, 1893) was an American clergyman and author, who briefly served as Bishop of Massachusetts in the Episcopal Church during the early 1890s. In the Episcopal liturgical calendar he is remembered on January 23. He is known for being the lyricist of “O Little Town of Bethlehem“.

EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION

Brooks was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1835. Through his father, William Gray Brooks, he was descended from the Rev. John Cotton; through his mother, Mary Ann Phillips, a very devout woman, he was a great-grandson of Samuel Phillips, Jr., the founder of Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. Four of the couple’s six sons – Phillips, Frederic, Arthur and John Cotton – were ordained in the Episcopal Church.

Phillips Brooks prepared for college at the Boston Latin School and graduated from Harvard University in 1855 at the age of 20, where he was elected to the Alpha Delta Phi.

After a brief period as a teacher at Boston Latin, he began in 1856 to study for ordination in the Episcopal Church in the Virginia Theological Seminary at 1859 he graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia.

In 1859 he graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary, was ordained deacon by Bishop William Meade of Virginia, and became rector of the Church of the Advent, Philadelphia. In 1860 he was ordained priest, and in 1862 became rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia, where he remained seven years, gaining an increasing name as preacher and patriot. In addition to his moral stature, he was a man of great physical bearing as well, standing six feet four inches tall.

During the American Civil War he upheld the cause of the North and opposed slavery, and his sermon on the death of Abraham Lincoln was an eloquent expression of the character of both men. In 1869 he became rector of Trinity Church, Boston; today, his statue is located on the left exterior of the church.

“{My only ambition}”, Brooks once wrote “is to be a parish priest and, though not much of one, would as a college president be still less”.

Such was the magnificence of Trinity Church that, in his chapter on Phillips Brooks’ chancel in Ralph Adams Cram: An Architect’s Four Quests, Douglass Shand-Tucci calls it “an American Hagia Sophia”, a reflection of Brooks’ architectural and liturgical tastes, disclosed in his travel writings, where in Germany for instance he referred to “thrilling music” and “thrilling incense” in respect to a liturgy he attended there in the Roman Catholic cathedral. Holy Week inRome also greatly moved him, especially the papal high mass on Easter. Although he despaired of Anglo-Catholic ritualism, he championed many aspects of the liturgical movement including congregational singing at the liturgy. At the Eucharist, for instance, he would preach, not from the pulpit, but from the chancel steps, and although he liked to preach in a black academic gown he never failed to appear in a commodious white surplice and priests stole when he officiated at the office or Eucharist.

1877 Brooks published a course of lectures upon preaching, which he had delivered at the theological school of Yale University, and which are an expression of his own experience. In 1879 appeared the Bohlen Lectures on The Influence of Jesus. In 1878 he published his first volume of sermons, and from time to time issued other volumes, including Sermons Preached in English Churches (1883).

Today, he is probably best known for authoring the Christmas carolO Little Town of Bethlehem

He died unmarried in 1893, after an episcopate of only 15 months. His death was a major event in the history ofBoston. One observer reported: “They buried him like a king. Harvard students carried his body on their shoulders. All barriers of denomination were down.

minute message

Rev. E. Anderson

FULLY DEVELOPED

Taken from Word for Today

“That you may be fully developed” – James 1:4 AMP

Overcoming obstacles is what develops in us the qualities needed to fulfill God’s will for our lives. The truth is, it can’t happen any other way. In 2 Corinthians 1 Paul spells out the benefits on going through hard times. Yes, there are actually benefits! Let’s take a moment and look at them.

First, ‘…so that we will be able to comfort those when are in any affliction…’ – 2 Corinthians 1:4 NAS. When people know you’re qualified to speak they listen. Otherwise, they politely tune you out. Built into every problem that forces you to grow are the answers those around need. When you can say, ‘I have been there’, people respect you and pay attention. Experience is one of your greatest assets and God will use it. Second, ‘..that we would not trust in ourselves …’ – 2 Corinthians 1:9 NAS. Anything that causes us to turn to God and lean harder on Him is an asset, not a liability. If when we lose a job, a marriage, a loved one, our health or our peace of mind that we turn to God and discover what He can do. Third, ‘..that thanks may be given…’ – 2 Corinthians 1:11 NAS. Do you remember what your life was like before you met the Lord-? The Psalmist wrote, ‘He… brought me up out of a horrible pit out of the miry clay, and set my feet on a rock’ – Psalm 40:2 NKIV. Come on, lift up your voice and begin to praise God for what He has done for you! After all, where would you be without Him? It doesn’t bear thinking about, do it?

  

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