message by the late david wilkerson

david_wilkerson

Rev. David Wilkerson

HEAVEN ISNOT A RETIREMENT CENTRE

 You may be wondering, “Lord, why is my job so upsetting to me? Why do I always feel like an outsider? What’s wrong with me?”

There is nothing wrong with you. God is at work! He is keeping you sick and tired of this dying world. He is saying, “You can’t get too involved in ‘making it’ here because it is all going up in smoke. Set your affections on things above—on the new world that is coming.”

You answer, “But what a waste. I’m so full of energy. I have talent, ideas, a sharp mind, a desire to accomplish much. Yet I feel stifled, stymied. It’s so frustrating.”

I have good news for you: When it all ends and your scoffing friends are cut off—their work melted to nothing, their careers dissolved, their money burned—your work is just about to begin.

You see, heaven is not a retirement center. Rather, our eternal home is a place of great action, full of new horizons and incredible plans. God is going to fully use all your gifts, talents and desires there. He is not going to waste a thing He has given you. On the contrary, your gifts will be magnified many times over. He is going to use you for His glory in eternity!

Jesus gives us several hints as to what this experience will be like:

“Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods” (Matthew 24:46-47). The Greek word for ruler here suggests “an eternal appointment.” We are going to be appointed by God as keepers over His goods throughout all eternity!

“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things” (Matthew 25:21).

“And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities” (Luke 19:17).

Eternal appointments . . . ruling over His household . . . ruling over His goods . . . ruling over cities. We are going to rule and reign with Jesus in His kingdom—as kings and priests!

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feasts

JOHNWILLOUGHBY (2)

 

Rev. John Willoughby

UNDERSTANDING THE FEASTS OF THE LORD

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

VI. THE FEAST OF PENTECOST.

It is also referred to as the Feast of Weeks (Ex 34:22), the Feast of Harvest (Ex 23:16) and only later was it known as the Feast of Pentecost (Acts 2:1). The word Pentecost means 50 and was taken from Lev 23:16-17, “Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath”.

1. Historical background

a) Its time. Lev 23:15-16. The Feast of Passover marked the beginning of the barley harvest, while the Feast of Pentecost was celebrated in the summer at the completion of the wheat harvest. This harvest festival was celebrated on the 6th of the Jewish month of Sivan (May to June), 50 days after the Feast of First Fruits.

b) Its activities. Lev 23:17-20. These consisted of:

* A firstfruit offering (v17). This was the presentation to the Lord of two loaves of baked bread with leaven which, “are the firstfruits to the Lord”. They were made of fine flower (from the first grain of the harvest) that had been carefully sifted, to separate the coarse matter from the wheat.

* A sacrifice (v18-19). As a burnt offering “seven lambs … without blemish, one young bull and two rams”, as a sin offering “one kid of the goats”, as a peace offering “two male lambs”, together with grain and drink offerings.

* A wave offering (v20). The priest was to take the peace offering and “the bread of the firstfruits” and wave them before the Lord.

c) Its purpose. Dt 16:12. It was a day of thanksgiving, when they “shall do no customary work” (Num 28:26). It expressed the Hebrew people’s complete dependance on God for His power in their deliverance from Egypt, for the harvest and their daily bread.

2. Celebration of the Feast at the time of Jesus

Lev 23:21. Since the word ‘Pentecost’ in Greek means 50, it derives its name from the 50 days interval between the Feast of First Fruits and the Feast of Weeks or Harvest. Later when the Jews were dispersed among the nations, the Feast of Weeks (‘Shavuot’) lost its significance as a harvest festival and was celebrated as a memorial to the time when God gave them the Law at Mt Sinai. It became known as ‘The Feast of the Giving of the Law’, which the Jewish rabbis traditionally believed also took place on the 6th of Sivan. It is interesting to note that at Mt Sinai 3,000 souls died (Ex 32:28) and at Pentecost 3,000 souls were saved (Acts 2:41).

3. Jesus fulfilled the Feast of Pentecost

For fifteen hundred years the Jews had been celebrating this Feast, which would be fulfilled by the coming Messiah:

a) He is the baptizer in the Holy Spirit. Jn 1:29-34. John the Baptist introduced Jesus as, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (Passover) and as, “He who baptizes in the Holy Spirit” (Pentecost). So important are these words of John, that they are repeated in each of the other Gospels (Mt 3:11. Mk 1:8. Lk 3:16).

b) He was glorified. Acts 2:32-36. Forty days after His resurrection (Feast of First Fruits), He ascended to the Father and was exalted to sit at His right hand (Heb 1:3), from where ten days later He sent the Holy Spirit upon His disciples on the Day of Pentecost. He fulfilled the Feast as the glorified Lord, “being exalted to the right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit” (v33).

c) He sent the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:1-4. As there was such joy in heaven over the victory and exaltation of Christ we read in Acts 2:33, “He poured out this which you now see and hear” on His disciples. This promise of the Father was fulfilled when, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (v4). It took place on the very day that the Jews were offering the two wave loaves to God. These two loaves were “the firstfruits to the Lord” and were “baked with leaven” (Lev 23:17), which speaks of sin and represented Jews and later Gentiles, both of whom have the leaven of sin in their lives. Those 3,000 Jews saved on that day (v41) represented the first harvest, after the 120 disciples had been filled with the Holy Spirit (v4).

4. Jesus empowered the Early Church

Mt 3:16-17. Even though He was God incarnate and was conceived of the Holy Spirit, He submitted Himself to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit, before beginning His ministry of preaching, healing the sick, casting out demons and overcoming Satan. On the evening that He was resurrected and after presenting His blood to the Father, He appeared to His disciples and breathed the Holy Spirit into them (Jn 20:19-22). This was their spiritual rebirth, which established their new position as believers in Him (Rom 8:9-10). However, they needed a greater infilling:

a) The early church was empowered. Acts 1:4-8. The same ministry that Jesus undertook, He gave His disciples to continue in His Name, with the same empowering of the Spirit. It was not the three and a half years of teaching and discipleship nor His resurrection which empowered them, because even after Jesus appeared and “breathed on them” the indwelling Holy Spirit (Jn 20:22), He still told them to wait, “in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Lk 24:49). Rather it was that, “you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (v5) – the coming major encounter with God, when they would receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. This great blessing transformed Peter from being a timid coward, hiding behind closed doors, to the man who stood with the other disciples before the great crowd and boldly proclaimed the exalted Christ (Acts 2:14-39). When they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they received power to be witnesses to Christ and as a result this little band of ordinary men and women turned their world upside down.

b) The early church continued to move in power. Acts 4:31. After the “three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:41), they continued to move in the power of God, with the result that, “the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). Later those who believed “came to be about five thousand” (Acts 4:4), but the number of believers continued to increase, whether Jew or Gentile (Acts 10:45), as His disciples spread the Good News from Jerusalem to, “all Judea and Samaria” and then “to the end of the world” (Acts 1:8). The Feast of Pentecost continued to be celebrated by the early church and is mentioned twice in relation to the Apostle Paul (Acts 20:16, I Cor 16:8).

5. Personal application

Acts 19:1-6. Jesus fulfilled the Feast of Passover as the Lamb of God, who died on the cross for our sins, the Feast of Unleavened Bread by His burial and the Feast of First Fruits by his resurrection. These represent the first major encounters with God, when we receive peace through the forgiveness of sins and the victory to overcome through appropriating His death, burial and resurrection in our own lives. Pentecost represents the next major encounter, when we receive the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses for Him, to move by faith in His gifts and to overcome the evil one. The following are important aspects for us, concerning the Feast of Pentecost:

a) Jesus continues to endue with power today. I Cor 4:20. Somebody wrote, ‘A Christian who neglects the Holy Spirit is like a lamp that’s not plugged in’. God wants us to know Jesus not only as the crucified Lamb of God, who died for our sins, but also as the glorified Lord, who baptizes us in the Holy Spirit. When He ascended to the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit upon His followers of every generation, so that they would be able to fulfill the Great Commission and even do greater (more extensive) works than He (Jn 14:12). When He walked the earth, His ministry was limited to His human body, now He ministers through His church, His body on earth. We need His power:

* To witness. Mk 16:15-18. In order to fulfill this call concerning the Great Commission, we must submit and humble ourselves to receive that greater anointing and power, which comes through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). As the early church was emboldened and empowered, after receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit, so can we, if we humbly ask Him for this gift.

* To be used in the gifts. I Cor 12:7-11. These nine gifts can be divided into three categories – gifts of power (Faith, Healings and Miracles), gifts of revelation (Words of Wisdom and Knowledge and Discernment of spirits) and gifts of utterance (Prophecy, Speaking in tongues and Interpretation of tongues). Each of these are so important as a means of blessing others and are available, as the Spirit wills, in all the different situations we might find ourselves (v11). The gifts of utterance are often used in a church setting to encourage the body of Christ. The gifts of revelation for counselling and sometimes together with the gifts of power, for the casting out of demons. The gifts of power are also often used as signs to the unconverted and in pointing people to Christ. The more we are willing to be used in these gifts, so the stronger they will become and the more others will be blessed and His Kingdom established in people’s hearts.

* To have victory over Satan. Eph 6:12 .1:15-23. God has defeated Satan through Christ, so we do not have to defeat him ourselves, but rather to stand in the victory that has already been won for us (Col 1:13-14). In Col 2:15 we read, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” and in Eph 2:6, He “raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Chris Jesus”. Once we experience the reality of the Feast of Pentecost and are filled with the Spirit, we will experience spiritual warfare, for the closer we draw to God and begin to walk in His power, the greater will the spiritual battle become, for we become a threat to Satan and as a result he will do all he can to defeat us. The attacks will come in our minds, our bodies, through circumstances and the world system. Jesus said, “in Me you will have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” and “the ruler of this world is judged” (Jn 16:33, 11). James wrote, firstly “submit to God”, then “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jms 4:7).

b) Jesus sanctifies today. Mt 3:11-12. When Moses received the Law on Mt Sinai, there was fire on the mountain and, “the Lord spoke … out of the midst of the fire (Dt 4:11-12). The Law gave direction to His people to be separate from all other nations and to be a holy people, serving only their God. John the Baptist said of Jesus,“He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire(Lk 3:16). We read of the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2:3, “there appeared to them divided tongues of fire and one sat upon each of them”. In Heb 10:16 we read, “I will put My laws into their hearts and in their minds I will write them”. The Holy Spirit is HOLY, bringing light and conviction of hidden sin into His people’s hearts and for those who repent, burning up “the chaff with unquenchable fire (v12). He desires a separated people who, “persue … holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14).

c) Jesus wishes that all be baptized in the Holy Spirit today. Lk 11:9-13. The baptism in the Holy Spirit will not only empower, equip and sanctify us, but will also open the door to a deeper walk with Him. The words of Peter on the Day of Pentecost have encouraged Christians down through the centuries, “you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39). Luke encourages us with the words of Jesus in v13, “how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him” and in v9-10, “I say to you, ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds and to him who knocks it will be opened” (v9-10). Jesus gives a promise to us – as we continue by faith to ask, seek and knock, we shall receive.

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pastor’s weekly thought

ianwilliams

 

Rev. Ian Williams

COMMUNITY

Robin Hart
Acts 2:42-47 is a great example of the church community God wants us to be. Community is a group of people living in the same locality, sharing common interests, being distinct and exhibiting caring and sharing traits with each other.

The Acts community weren’t dictatorial but lived within their community as salt and light. The Holy Spirit empowered them to walk in The Way, The Way of living, in truth and full of life.

As disciples of Jesus Christ we share the grace of the Father, His mercy and His influence in our lives. It is this that sets us apart and makes us distinct as a church community to reach into our own communities. Our community reaches out from Torbay to the world.

What do I carry that has the power to transform society? Do I exhibit the traits of my salvation? Do I exhibit Jesus Christ? Am I transformed more into His likeness day by day? Am I living sacrificially as in Romans 12:9-18? If you are able, look these verses up now. Having read Romans, are you able to exhibit these traits in order to transform community?

We have been chosen to be God’s living stones, building onto Jesus Christ who is the living cornerstone of His and His Father’s temple. We are being built into His temple spiritually by offering our lives as sacrifices that will please Him (1 Peter 2:4-9). By living sacrificially we please God and transform community.

The Church of Jesus Christ is not designed to be an insular club. It is meant to bring glory to God by looking outwards, providing hope to those who have no hope or who have forgotten what hope is. The church is the hope of the world, you and me. And our community should point others to the Hope of the world … Jesus Christ. Hope is an action creating expectation and anticipation. With our hope anchored in Jesus regardless of circumstance or situation, our and others’ hopelessness is transformed into hopefulness.

So ensure you simply make yourself available to God today. Be a demonstration of His power in your life by reaching out to your community and be the church God has chosen you to be.RIVER

womens’ page

juliaderbyshire

 

Julia Derbyshire

MOTHERS AND THEIR BIG RESPONSIBILITY

 

Being a mother and a mentor is an important calling and a job that matters to future generations, declares Julia Derbyshire

A famous actress recently visited BuckinghamPalace to receive a CBE. During the ceremony, the Queen asked her if she liked her job, The reply was, “Yes,” she did, but that she loved being a mum even more. In a flash, her Majesty agreed. “Yes,” she said, “It’s the only job which matters.”

That comment created quite a talking point in the media and, while there are, of course, many jobs that do matter immensely, being a mother is definitely one such job. And, as we are celebrating Mothering Sunday this month I’d like to wish all mums a very Happy Mother’s Day. Be assured, you are doing a job that matters!

I think one of the main reasons that mothering matters, is because it has long-term impli­cations. It’s about investing in future generations. At the time of writing, this has become even more relevant to me having become a grandmother for the very first time!

The fact is that as mothers, as women, as Christians, we have a responsibility to the next generation. This is a huge task and one that is, I believe, biblical. Paul, writing to Titus, says, “Likewise, teach the older women to teach what is good… then they can train the younger women.”

There’s a sense of having something to pass on to the next generation. I have seen huge benefits attached to women coming alongside women. I am a great believer in this and have seen firsthand how invaluable the simple process of mentoring can be.

Paul says ‘teach the older women’. This is a key start­ing point when thinking about coming alongside someone recognising our own need to be taught. I’m not talking about being a theologian but being resourced and accountable.

It has been said that a mentor is someone who has scaled the mountain you intend to climb! She’s someone who has walked a little bit further down the road. She has gone ahead and is familiar with the way. She’s aware of the potholes. She comes alongside to encourage, to spur on and to cheer from the sidelines. She’s definitely not an expert but rather is someone who is learning how to overcome disappointments and manage mistakes.

On the plus side, she has also enjoyed some successes and has gleaned insights to share and pass on. These could include reflections on how a marriage might look after the honeymoon period has long ended, She might offer a perspective on dealing with friendship issues or be able to share how challenges in the workplace can be faced. She might also be able to give practical advice on issues such as time management or character building. She’s definitely not someone who knows it all but rather someone who is able to ‘teach what is good’ from lessons she herself has learned, through mistakes made along the way.

As a 20-year-old new Christian, I loved spending afternoons having tea and cream cakes with Mrs Robinson who was in her 70s. At other times I enjoyed popping into Ann’s home bursting with the busyness of four active children, Back then it wasn’t called mentoring but in essence, that is what it was, Older women taking the time to come alongside someone younger and making an invest­ment which is still paying dividends 30 plus years later!

In growing older, the reality is that we sometimes live with a sense of regret for lost opportunities or dreams that proved unreachable. It is true that we might not fulfil all our dreams and ambitions. However, if that is the case, then why not come alongside some other younger woman and help her fulfil her dreams and ambitions? Why not let your ceiling become her floor?

If we have reached a place in our lives where our goals are not yet realised, let’s be big enough to help someone else realise theirs. Let’s share our wisdom, let’s encourage, let’s invest in the generations to come. That really is something that matters!

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sermons to note

ernes1

 

 

Rev. E. Anderson

DIVINE CONQUERORS

Reading Romans 8 

Introduction

MOOD:  Paul appears to be in indomitable mood as he draws to a climax at this particular point in the letter. He expresses his conviction in no uncertain terms. There is the expression of what Christian believers are called to be in all conditions of life –‘we are more than conquerors…’ No doubt or fear seems to be present, only a spirit of faith and rich assurance. Somehow the believers must catch this spiritual thought and attitude and also his apprehension of the things as they truly stand.

DEED:  He indicates what should characterize the mind and spirit of those who are genuine Christians in performance. It is more than something which is psychological and ideological: it must a be fact in spiritual deed. It is ‘more than conqueror ‘in works as well as words. They must be programmed in thought, word and deed. The idea prevalent is of one who triumphs in a magnificent and handsome manner and style. It is being in a position where there is a readiness to contest all opponents and obstacles whoever they are and whatever they may be. The more than conqueror has the “plus sign” over them and the bouts. There is the possession of that unique extra, that which is supremely, divinely additional.

Illustration: The ancient Phrygians had a legend that every time they conquered an enemy the victor absorbed the physical strength of his victim and added so much more to his own strength. By the conflict and conquest the stronger grows.

DEFINITION:  The one who is “more than a conqueror” never leaves the issue in doubt. The triumphs are very obvious and undisputed. Phi “No, in all these things we win an overwhelming victory.” Vine “The word “hypernikao” lit. means to be super-victorious and has no English equivalent. It is used here only in the N .T. Not only are our adversaries deprived of power to snap the tie of our love for Christ, but their opposition is turned to our account, enhancing the power of our victory through Christ. As Chrysostom says – “This is a new order of victory, to conquer by means of our adversary”.

It is not success and triumph by the skin of our teeth, by a hair’s breadth; it is overwhelming domination and mastery. The supremacy is the outstanding feature. It is not the things in opposition that stand out; it is the conqueror.

Illustration:      Israel at the Red Sea – Ex. 13-15

REASONS: There are sufficient reasons in this chapter alone that supply the knowledge why we are more than conquerors. Everything that is mentioned by the apostle states that the believer has more going for him from the divine standpoint than what is against from the world of evil. There has to be a taking into consideration all the advantages and assets so that there may be a full and strong preparation for this status of conqueror. There are truths and realities that put the Christian on the road and route of being an outstanding victor. They are intended to put the individual into the mind of strength and invincibility beforehand.

Look at the spiritual facts as they are presented:

1/. THE FACT THAT A NEW LAW OF LIFE IS IN OPERATION v2

The big problem that man has to contend with in his unregenerate state, is the law of sin and death. The principle of evil is a fundamental factor within all humanity and humanity has to admit its powerlessness in the face of it – Rom. 7:14-24. There is no one capable, apart from Christ, to match the strength and mastery of evil. Everyone has fallen victim to the rule and mastery of sin. No one can claim, other than Jesus Christ, success over the force of evil. The story of the human race is that it has become subject to its reign. Man is victim instead of being victor.

But the Gospel of Christ, which is Christ Himself, reveals and proclaims a change in the area of defeat. Jesus Christ contested sin and was “more than a conqueror.’ The law of life in Christ was too great and big for the principle and power of evil. He refused to bow and bend to the law of sin and death. As the Man He won an overwhelming victory for all mankind. In and through His work He makes available to all men His law of life that is capable of dealing with sin.

By His substitutionary death we became reconciled to God. His death atoned for our sin and the sinner and through it made it possible for men to be united to God – Rom. 5: 8-11. The base has been re-taken. The debt and catalogue of our offences have been cancelled out by His death making it possible for a union with God and a fresh start.

In association with Christ in His death there is a break with sin, but in union with Him in resurrection life and power, a new law of life is released in the believer. The blessing of a new dynamo and dynamic, which gives the spiritual boost and strength the person needs. It is greater than the law of sin and death. Where this law operates it has the power to deal with and overcome the lesser law.

Illustration: The law of gravity that the booster rocket has to overcome to launch the space-ship.

And wouldst thou know the secret of constant victory

Let in the Overcomer, And He shall conquer Thee

Thy broken spirit taken In sweet captivity, Shall glory in His triumph –

And share His victory.”

The word of assurance is given in Rom. 6: 14. This new law of life accepts and applies itself to a new life and life-style that conforms to the Spirit of God – 8: 4-13, being spiritually minded and motivated there is the production of a life of righteousness which pleases God and brings life and peace to the soul.

2/. THE FACT THAT A FRESH AND OUTSTANDING STATUS IS KNOWN vv14-17

There is the pointing out of the truth that the person who is set free and has this new law operating is actually “a son of God.” The reconciliation that has been produced brings into a divine relationship and from that relationship something is known which makes the believer “more than.” There is no longer the facing of life in the limited strength of human power; there is the recognition of the heavenly title and its entitlements, the acting and living from the position of divine sonship. The knowledge of this should have a powerful effect upon:.

Confidence. The believer does not receive a spirit of fear when he becomes a child of God but a spirit of faith v15. Fear is all part of man’s sinful and fallen nature and life; it is the product of the fall. Divine sonship is intended to introduce into a life of spiritual confidence. There can be assurance now because there is the ability to move into all associations with the supreme conviction of his authority as a son of God. The former state of fear is cancelled out and a new order of faith is experienced.

Communion. It is possible for the son of God to call God Father and to enjoy all the advantages of His Father-hood in this life. One is more than conqueror because of the greatness of the Father and the role He plays in affairs. In the constant spiritual relatedness to the Father the son becomes aware of His capacities and capabilities. Father is behind him to back him up in every circumstance and as he confronts varied challenges. The right of access is ever open – Eph. 2:18 for the receiving of His counsel and strength. The fact that the son has recourse to the Father in fellowship assures of His favour and in His grace and favour there is the prospect of all His resources. The son is an heir, inheriting all that there is in Christ – 8: 32.

3/. THE FACT THAT EVERYTHING IS WORKING AND MOVING TO A WORTHY END v28

The Christian conqueror is given the firm assurance and guarantee in v28. All things fall in within the providence and arrangements of God. There is a real plan and progressive purpose which has its goal and ultimate in our glorious good and triumph. This is intended to inspire and create a very positive attitude to all that is occurring. The great consummation is glorification and this is the experience of the conqueror.

Things that occur are not the result of chance or coincidence. Behind and above everything that is taking place is objective. Because there is sense and understanding in the things that occur, of a divine character, there is the impartation to the will to succeed. If things were non-sensical or merely coincidental then the vital inspiration for living and conquering is subtracted. Knowing that God is to be discovered in what is happening adds to the pleasure and assurance of triumph. Life is composed of steps and stages and everything in each step and stage is planned for and there must be overwhelming success all the way through.

Things of an adverse nature are all part of the process and purpose. In “all things” there is the embracing of the dark and bitter things of life, the sufferings and trials are there and not omitted. They contribute greatly to the making of the conqueror. The trials are all part of the divine schedule for producing the ultimate conquest of the conqueror – w17, 18. Hardships and difficulties are looked at in the view they are working for good and glory.

Illustration:   In the case of Joseph – God made him a conqueror through his problems.

God has determined that the very hard things should be the stepping stones to victory and glory. They are to urge on to supreme mastery and conquest.

4/. THE FACT THAT DIVINE LOVE REIGNS WITHIN THE HEART v35

Love is an all-conquering and overwhelming force even on the natural front that reveals a devotion that can contest the most arduous and demanding conflict. Where love resides and controls it inspires to acts and scenes of enormous bravery and success.

Christ’s love enabled Him to face the toughest assignment ever given to a human being. The question is raised in v35 “Who shall separate us. .?” Love did not stop or hesitate to go to the great battlefield, Calvary, and there contest all the evil hatred of men and demonic powers. When facing all the full, frontal barrage of diabolical wickedness, love held and kept to the objective of victory. Love inspired Him to being more than a conqueror. Mere sentiment and emotion would not have been enough for the occasion, but true love won through. He would not be separated from God’s purpose for mankind because He loved both the Father and mankind. Love desired to prove itself and love makes people invincible.

Christ’s love in the believer enables the believer to triumph. The love of God is demonstrated in the divine conqueror. The Christian believer succeeds because of devotion to Christ and this devotion is the result of Christ’s love. The inspiration of life is the love of Christ and this becomes the motivating, constraining and preserving factor and force. There is to be no forsaking the position and work for Christ. Love holds and sustains in every varying conflict. Through love there is the capacity to answer everyone and everything. So the Christian believer not only has the inspiring example without, he knows the inspiring dynamic within,  “The aorist tense while referring specially to the great expression of His love in that He died for us (v34) also conveys the fact of His love as timeless and immutable.”

CONCLUSION

  • In the light of the spiritual revelation of these truths and facts, no Christian should be wallowing in defeat.
  • Christ not only wills you to be more than a conqueror, He makes it all gloriously possible.

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wisdom’s ways

aaronlinford

 

 

Rev. Aaron Linford

WOMEN

“Give not the strength unto women”Proverbs 31:1-3

Who was Lemuel? The name means “to God”. We may prefix the word “devoted”, and it gives us the ideal of true kingship. For Lemuel was a king. But was this name a patronymic or a pseudonym, that is, a family name, or a fanciful title applicable to all kings who serve God and the people with a wise and upright heart – the model sovereign?

MOTHER-CARE. “What, my son,” is repeated twice, giving threefold emphasis to her motherly concern. Having borne such throes for him (“the son of my womb”) she loves him intensely. Not only so, but she had dedicated him to God from his birth (“the son of my vows”). But she was not just a caring mother, she was a teaching mother; and no better instructress can there be than a devout and devoted matron. This is seen in Jochebed (Ex 2:9), in Hannah (1 Sam 1:28) and with Eunice, assisted by her own mother (2 Tim 1:5). What impact Moses, Samuel and Timothy made in their day! Don’t be too ready to put out your child to others: mould your child’s nature and welfare, as far as opportunity allows, for God. Aided by Godly fathers (Eph 6:4), Christian mothers can contribute much to their children’s welfare. Society has been enriched by mother-care. Have you ever noticed the frequent mention of the queen-mother in Kings and Chronicles. They evidently had great influence – as Lemuel’s mother did.

WIFE-HOOD. The first piece of advice she gave her son was concerning women. This was a snare to kings in those days. Their power gave them impunity. And the custom was to build up a harem of many women. This was often political policy, for to marry a king’s daughter usually ensured peace between two nations. But the dangers! Solomon, wise as he was, went beyond all bounds of good sense. He had 1,000 women in his harem. But they led him astray, and we see this paragon of diplomacy being turned after other gods than Jehovah. He lost his Kingdom. Had Lemuel’s mother this in mind? Woman, made to be man’s “help”, can also become man’s hindrance; but their powerful influence, when used for good, can establish a king on his throne, and enhance his happiness.

PRAYER: Help our Christian women, O Lord, to exercise their formidable influence for good!

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Rev. E. Anderson

A LESSON FROM HISTORY                                                   

Hosea 12

It is time to address another section of His people, Judahv2. He can foresee the path that it is treading and so foretells of coming disaster. They are on the slippery slope that will inevitably bring about their downfall. Inherent within them and evident without was a deceitful nature and ways. They were crafty in a sinful way with God and with one another and it was essential that this be sorted and sifted out from among them. He could point to their forefather in history, Jacob, and show that He had successfully affected a divine change in him and it was not too late for a miracle of this nature to occur in them.

1/. A STRUGGLE HAD TAKEN PLACE AT BIRTH – v3

It is known that in the womb of Rebekah there was a great conflict and that at the time she was in difficulty and dilemma. She was wondering what was taking place as she was to be a bearer of twins and there was a wrestling occurring within her Genesis 25: 19-26. A spirit of rivalry was existent and especially in the one to be born last, Jacob. There was something amiss even before he appeared on the scene. The boys were not conscious of it but it would become evident in a real way and have to be divinely dealt with.

2/. A STRUGGLE TOOK PLACE IN LIFE – v3

Within the context of the domestic scene this struggle became obvious and Jacob expressed a real twist and bent in his nature. He was some manipulator. He had a way with him whereby he could secure his own ends and not be too worried about it. There was something fundamentally wrong with him as in the case of Judah at this time. There was the deceiving of Esau on two occasions and later this was to be manifest further in his dealings with Laban. Jacob was the sort of person that could not be trusted but the Lord loved him and desired to see him utterly transformed.

3/. A STRUGGLE TOOK PLACE OF A GREATER ORDER – vv4,5

History showed and proved that the Lord was not happy with this state of affairs and on one occasion dramatically and dynamically moved in on man. He was to have a personal confrontation so that he would never be the same again. The bents and the twists had to go and so the divine wrestling match occurred where Jacob was weakened and there came the birth of a new man with a new nature and name – ‘Israel’ – ‘prince with God.’ Bethel and Peniel became two historic places for this man where God met, challenged and changed him so that he might fulfil divine destiny. He came forth from these experiences with a pure and true relationship with God and also the blessing of God. This was to be a reminder to the nation that what had happened historically to one man needed to happen to the whole nation. It was time for a fresh meeting with God and for a change to take place.

CONCLUSION

Just as God spoke to the forefather through the prophetic, so to the descendants. He desired to lead the nation into a radical transformation that would transform the inward nature and outward future.

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Rev. Leigh Goodwin

POWERFUL QUOTES

MINISTERIAL EXAMPLE 

“He who is required by the necessity of his position to speak the highest things is compelled by the same necessity to exemplify the highest things” Gregory the Great AD540-604 

MINISTERIAL FAILURE

“The minister’s shortcomings simply cannot be concealed. Even the most trivial soon get known… However trifling their offences, these little things seem great to others, since everyone measures sin, not by the size of the offence, but by the standing of the sinner” John Chrysostom 

“The road to hell is paved with the bones of errant priests. As the shepherd goes, so go the sheep”  John Chrysostom 

MINISTRY

“Ministry that costs nothing accomplishes nothing.” John Henry Jowett

“If the only tool a carpenter has is a hammer then he’s likely to treat everything as a nail” Selwyn Hughes.

“We need a variety of ministry skills to help people”.

“A good minister is not only a comforter of the afflicted but an afflicter of the comfortable.”

“Before God puts a man into the ministry, He puts a ministry into the man.”

“Ministry is giving when you feel like keeping, praying for others when you need to be prayed for, feeding others when your own soul is hungry, living truth before people even when you can’t see the results, hurting with other people even when your own hurt can’t be spoken; keeping your word even when it is not convenient; it is being faithful when your flesh wants to run away”John A. Holt

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prayer dynamics

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Rev. E. Anderson

WHY SHOULD WE PRAY – TO WHOM DO WE PRAY?

Taken from All About Prayer

Before we can answer, “why should we pray,” we must know to whom we pray. There is only one supreme Creator and sovereign God. There is only one way to Him and that is through His only- Son, Jesus Christ. God, our Heavenly Father, is the only one we can be assured of who hears and answers our prayers. He is the God of amazing love, mercy, and forgiveness.

By Him, all things are possible. Jesus says in Mark 10:27, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

Daniel 9:18 tells us: “We do not ask because we deserve help, but because you are so

merciful.” (Mercy means showing favour, compassion, and kindness.)

God’s ultimate demonstration of love is forgiveness of the sins each of us have committed. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it” (John 3:16-17).

He is the only God who has done this, and is the only God able to do so. But His enemy, Satan, has sent many false gods to deceive mankind. Do not be deceived nor allow anything or anyone to take priority over the only true and living God.

WHY SHOULD WE PRAY – FOR WHAT DO WE PRAY? 

  • Prayer is the key to the heart of God. Prayer is the only way to a real and personal relationship with God.
  • Pray acknowledging He is God, and that you accept His gracious gift, Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Saviour (Genesis 17:1, Romans 6:16-18).
  • Pray confessing our sins and accepting His forgiveness (Romans 3:23-26).
  • Pray that His will be done in our lives, that His Holy Spirit guide us, and that we be filled with the fullness of all God has for us.
  • Pray for (spiritual) understanding and wisdom (Proverbs 2:6-8, 3:5).
  • Pray with thanksgiving for all the ways He blesses us (Philippians 4:6). Pray when we are ill, lonely, going through trials or interceding for others (James 5:14-16, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
  • Pray to worship Him (Psalm 95:6-7).

There is nothing we can’t pray about. There are abundant references to prayer in the Bible. The Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing” and “in everything give thanks to the Lord.” When we choose to have a positive attitude, we realize we have received many blessings for which to give God praise.

We find intimacy with God through communicating with Him in prayer. We go to Him in faith, knowing that He hears and answers all our prayers (1 John 5:14). Be confident that God knows and wants what is best for us; so ask that His will be done in all we seek from Him. Then, thank Him for it, even though it hasn’t happened yet. 

WHY SHOULD WE PRAY – HOW DO WE PRAY? 

Jesus gave his disciples, what we call, “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6) as a model.

In addition, Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us we can pray boldly — “That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.”

Above all, pray with sincerity, honour, and humbleness before the Almighty God. “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results” – James 5: 16, 17.

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Rev. E. Anderson

FAITH

William Plummer and Bonnie Bell wrote in People magazine:

The North-westernUniversity Wildcats shocked the world of college football in 1995 by making it to the Rose Bowl Tournament, The man behind the team’s turnaround was coach Gary Barnett.. . . [Barnett] was determined to prove that kids at the Big Ten’s smallest and most academically demanding school could play football. He ordered a Tournament of Roses flag for the football building and kept a silk rose on his desk to remind everyone where they were headed.

“At the first meeting,” says kicker Sam Valenzisi, “he told us we needed belief without evidence. He asked, ‘Do you know what that is? That’s faith.'”

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