pastor’s weekly thought

ianwilliams

 

 

 

 

Rev. Ian Williams

CONFIDENT LIVING 

“Have faith in the Lord your God and you will stand strong.” 2 Chronicles 20:20

The biggest mistake we make when we’re overwhelmed is focusing on the problem. We don’t look to God. We put our eyes on the problem instead of God.

A common response to “How are you doing?” is “I’m doing OK — under the circumstances.” Circumstances are like the mattress on your bed. Get on top of them, and you’ll rest easy. Get underneath them, and you’re going to suffocate.

What are we supposed to do when we’re facing an overwhelming situation?

Two words: “Stand strong.”

What does it mean to stand strong? It is a mental attitude. It’s an attitude of quiet confidence. We’re not getting ahead of God, but we’re not backing up, either. We’re going to stay put and watch God work. We’re going to stand strong.

One of the most important truths we have to learn in life is it is never God’s will for us to run from a difficult situation. If we do, He’s going to bring it up again. He wants us to learn that He is sufficient in every situation, and if we don’t learn it here and now, He’ll just provide the opportunity again and those overwhelming circumstances will catch up with us once more!

So let’s put our faith – trust, confidence, reliance, assurance – in God! Not just when we feel like it and the going is good but in all circumstances and we surely will stand strong!

lake

 

a beginner’s course

JOHNWILLOUGHBY (2)

 

 

 

 

Rev. John Willoughby

20. WHEN JESUS RETURNS – THE SECOND COMING

1/. THE PROMISE OF HIS RETURN

I Cor 11:26. Jesus said to His followers, “I-will come again ” (Jn 14:3). His return firstly as Bridegroom and then as King is one of the most important subjects for the Christian. The writers of the New Testament discussed it more than 300 times and the language used was almost always mat it could happen at any time. This future event is certain :-

* The prophets foretold it. Dan 7:13-14.

* Jesus spoke about it. Mt 24:42.

* Angels pointed to it. Acts 1:10-11.

* The early Christians encouraged one another with it. Rev 1:7.

2/. THE MANNER OF HIS RETURN

 

a) Firstly – unexpectantfy and silently as Bridegroom for His Church. Mt 25:1-13. Let us always be waiting and prepared like the “wise virgins “, He will come:-

* Unexpectantly. IThess 5:1-6. Referring to this event, Jesus said, “no one knows the day or the hour-when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son Himself Only the Father knows … you also must be ready all the time. For the Son of Man will come when least expected” (Mt 24:36,44).

* For those who are dead in Christ and for those Christians who are alive. IThess 4:13-18. Jesus said of the ‘rapture’ or the taking away of His Church, “Two men will be working together in the field, one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill, one will be taken the other left” (Mt 24:40-41).

* To give glorious, resurrection bodies. I Cor 15:35-44. 51-52. Paul wrote, “We are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Saviour. He will take these weak mortal bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies like His awn” (Phil 3:20-21).

* With His reward. Isa40:10. Jesus said, “See I am coming soon and My reward is with Me, to repay all according to their deeds” (Rev 22:12). What a joyous time it will be!

The Bible says that as we look forward to this event, we need to be certain that we are – born again of the Spirit (Jn 3:3-7), ready (Rev 19:7), watching (Lk 21:36), waiting expectantly (Heb 9:28) and clean (I Jn 3:2-3).

b) Secondly – unexpectantly and publicly, as King and Judge of the world. Jude 14-15. Those who have already been raised to meet the Lord in the air (I Thess 4:17) will return with Him. He will come:-

* Like the lightning. Mt 24:27.

* In full view of all. Mt 24:30.

* With great power and glory. Lk21:27.

* To judge and rule the world. Mt 25:31-32. 

3/. THE RESULTS OF HIS GLORIOUS RETURN

Jesus will rule on earth for 1,000 years (Rev 20:4-6) and His elect will rule with Him (Mt 25:14-30). During this time – Satan and all demons will be bound (Rev 20:1-3) and there will be peace and righteousness for all (Isa 2:3-4). At die end of the thousand years – Satan will be released for a short period of time and will lead a rebellion, after which he will be cast into “the lake of fire ” to suffer forever (Rev 20:7-10), every enemy will be destroyed (I Cor 15:24-26) and all humans since Adam will be judged (Rev 20:11 -15). His Kingdom will men continue on into eternity with a “new heavens and earth ” (Rev 21:1).

MY COMMITMENT

The second coming of Jesus is my great hope for the future. I will tell as many people as possible about Jesus, my Saviour, before He returns. I am committed to Him and look with excitement for that wonderful.

lake 6

womens’ page

sandra o'grady

 

 

 

 

Sandra O’Grady

INTERCESSION IS OFTEN MISSING IN OUR PRAYERS

Sandra O’Grady lives in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland. For many years she ministered alongside her husband, the late Tom O’Grady, mainly in itinerant evangelism. Now retired, REACH asked her how she shares her faith

IN YOUR PERSONAL PRAYER LIFE DO YOU PRAY STRATEGICALLY FOR CERTAIN PEOPLE OR MORE GENERALLY?

In some cases I pray for individu­als that come to my notice so my awareness leads me to pray. But there is another type of prayer that causes me to intercede for the lost. I ask God to ‘teach me to pray’ and I find that he gives me a type of intercessory prayer that could last over hours or it could be for just 20 minutes. I then become inspired to intercede, not just praying about someone but getting into an area where the Spirit prays through me, where it can be praying in tongues but also English. You know it is ‘be­yond you’ prayer. Interceding is so often missing in our prayers for the lost.

DO YOU ADOPT A PROACTIVE (SEEK THEM OUT), OR A REACTIVE (WAIT FOR OPPORTUNITIES) APPROACH TO WITNESSING?

Well, sometimes we have to be in a position to speak with bold­ness, where we must be faithful to speak no matter what the cost. On the other hand, there are times when you need to wait on the Lord for an opening with a person; usually it depends on their personality.

So, boldness is important, not arrogance or pride, but boldness for the gospel and to stand

and be counted. You have to be ready to speak whether you feel ready and able or not.

Boldness is required but sen­sitivity is needed too, waiting on God’s leading. By and large I think we need to take the bull by the horns and speak for Jesus.

HOW DO YOU ‘CROSS THE LINE’ IN A CONVERSATION INTO SPIRITUAL MATTERS. WHAT IS YOUR WAY IN?

Well I have a neighbour who calls herself an atheist, who I witnessed to once a long time ago during conversation. I try to avoid nagging people, but in this conversation I felt I needed to be quite strong with her even though people thought she would never speak to me again. But she did and she became a great friend who regularly calls over with gifts.

I said I don’t think there is any such thing as an atheist because God gave everyone a measure of faith but it’s up to you what you do with it. She was a church attendee but you can be in a tunnel and never be on a train, even if you might go loco!

If it doesn’t naturally open like that, then my conversation is seasoned with salt. But most importantly, people today are looking for peace and security because they feel so unsafe, so it is easier than ever because peace seems far off.

WHAT STOPS YOU FROM TAKING AN OPPORTUNITY?

Probably just that sense of ‘I wonder if I’ll get shot down here’, which doesn’t stop me, but it might if I let it. No one likes get­ting hurt, so a barrage of cursing or abuse against me would worry me. But you can tell a character that might do that. No one wants to be hated or persecuted but we will be, and some will want to spit in your face because of hatred toward Christ. This could stop me… if I let it.

WHEN HAVE YOU FAILED TERRIBLY AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THAT?

When in Lancashire we went to a market and God told me to speak to someone who served me. But because I wanted to get the bus, which was about to leave, and I thought I could come back later, I decided to give it a miss.

I waited at the church the next morning, and the delivery man from the market came in and said his mother who served me had died. I never forgot that.

I felt I had failed God miser­ably to that woman. But I learned from my lesson and it taught me to watch my tongue and to obey. I am reminded of the verse that obedience is better than sacrifice. Not all sacrifice means much to God; obedience to the Great Commission is better.

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