God’s Thoughts and Ways arranged by Rev. E. Anderson

                                        

                                        Rev. E. Anderson

GOD’S THOUGHTS AND WAYS

 

I shall be presenting a fresh series on God’s Thoughts and Ways, looking at God’s motivation and ministration and to see such reproduced in those who profess a divine relationship with Him. Seeing that we are His chosen offspring, the qualities that are revealed in our Father are also to be demonstrated in His children. We get our life, knowledge and inspiration from Him in order to be like Him and so give a convincing witness to all, in our families, the Christian community and the world at large of our likeness to the Father. May you be helped, blessed and inspired by what you read and such be further meditated on and developed.

 

GOD’S OVERWHELMING GENEROSITY

 

Reading      2 Corinthians 9

 

Text      2 Corinthians 9: 15

 

Introduction

 

There are many glorious virtues to consider concerning the thoughts and ways of God and among them is untold and bountiful giving. It can be truly said: He has a big heart and hand.  If there is one pers0n that knows how to be gracious and generous it is He.

 

ENCOURAGING DIRECTIVE: CHRIST’S  He, in the course  of His life and teaching sought to stimulate and motivate His followers and listeners in this connection: “Give and it shall be giving unto you” – Luke 8: 38.What He was endeavouring to create and cultivate  was a tremendous attitude and action on the matter of giving so people would be emulating God. He sought to life mankind into the thoughts  and ways of God.

 

NO EQUAL: God has no equal when comes to the subject and expression of giving. He stands alone in this regard: He is mankind’s truest, fullest, greatest an best Giver and Benefactor. There is an utter selflessness in God and He is forever inspired with this motivation, to give and wholly enrich His creation and creatures in a boundless fashion. It has to be realised that there is an infinite fullness and variety in god that never lessens one little bit in spite of His innumerable ministrations.

 

PERSONAL COMMITMENT: At a personal level He seeks to declare and demonstrate this aspect of His nature. To a man of 75 , Abraham, He promised to bless Him in a significant and magnificent manner – see Genesis 12: 1-4; Hebrews 6: 13-15. He believed in the goodness and greatness of God and knew it was to one of His thoughts and ways and so benefited from this divine assurance and connection. He tasted of the overwhelming generosity of the Lord.

 

It is needful to be taught and reminded of the extraordinary gifts and blessings He truly loads on humanity:

 

 

1/.  THE GENEROUS GIFT OF GOD HIMSELF

 

       This is the chief and greatest bestowment that He could ever grant to humanity. There are many obvious tokens of His giving and each is worthy of note and thanksgiving, but what outshines all is the unique gift of himself.

 

        To have and possess God, one owns everything that is wholesome and of infinite worth. The thing that God wants man to inherit and enjoy is His own person and presence and as this is known then the individual possesses all that is worth having that is choice, valuable and precious. They are enriched with an indescribable fullness and blessedness. To have God means that all of himself is ours to experience.

 

2/.  THE GENEROUS GIFT OF LIFE

 

       No one should underestimate the immense gift of human existence and it should never be taken for granted. It appears to be the highest form and position of being in this world and universe. The psalmist speaks of being “fearfully and wonderfully made” – Psalm 139: and it has to recognized as a generous bestowment.

 

As far as He is concerned it should be exploited to the full and in the finest ways imaginable. Life has within enormous potential that has to be released under His blessing and guidance. There is so much to break out, be released that yields so much enrichment and expansion.

 

3/.  THE GENEROUS GIFT OF CHRIST

 

       It has to be realized that Christianity in essence and reality is the blessed bestowment of a divine person who has come with the objective of enhancing men in a very real, positive and permanent fashion. God came in the person of His Son in order not only to come alongside in incarnation but inside people so as to bless a person in an incredible manner. The Bible affirms it in John 3: 16. Paul elaborates further in Romans 8: 32 “If God spared not His Son but delivered Him us up for us all ( that is to the Cross), how shall He  not with Him freely give us all things.”

        

Through Christ, a person can be forgiven and cleansed from an awful sinful past and be favoured to becoming a child of God, taken care of and developed for time and eternity.

 

4/.  THE GENEROUS GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

       The incoming of Christ into life is to set people up for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. This wonderful third member of the Godhead is a further disclosure of generosity. He makes His advent with the purpose of filling the life with grace and gift. The grace is representative of the beautiful, quality nature of God and the gift of His ability in order to accomplish great and worthwhile things.

 

5/.  THE GENEROUS GIFT OF THE FAMILY OF GOD

 

       To the individual who decides to receive Christ and the Holy Spirit there is admission into the divine household, where one becomes a member of the family of God. John affirms: “To them who received Him (Christ) to them He gave the right to be the sons of God” – John 1: 11, 12. There is a belonging to a divine family that is loved, owned and cared for God and each has a close and warm relationship with the other that excels that of the natural human family.

 

6/.  THE GENEROUS GIFT OF AN ETERNAL, BLESSED FUTURE

 

        The giving of God is more than of a temporary nature, He has something bigger in mind and prospect. Eternity has always been in God’s thoughts for those who love Him and heaven with all of its blessings of immortality, pleasure etc.,will be known – see John 14: 1-3; 2 Corinthians 5: 1-10

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

No one can afford to miss out on the generosity of God but to taste it to the full.

 

                                             

 

 

 

 

 

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God’s Thoughts and Ways provided by Rev. E. Anderson

                                     

                                  Rev.  E. Anderson

GOD’S THOUGHTS AND WAYS

 

I shall be presenting a fresh series on God’s Thoughts and Ways, looking at God’s motivation and ministration and to see such reproduced in those who profess a divine relationship with Him. Seeing that we are His chosen offspring, the qualities that are revealed in our Father are also to be demonstrated in His children. We get our life, knowledge and inspiration from Him in order to be like Him and so give a convincing witness to all, in our families, the Christian community and the world at large of our likeness to the Father. May you be helped, blessed and inspired by what you read and such be further meditated on and developed.

 

IN ABSOLUTE AND PERFECT CONTROL

 

 

Reading        Matthew 11: 25- 30

 

Text              Matthew 5: 5

 

Introduction

 

The God that is revealed in the Bible is shown to be the God who is in absolute and perfect control with regard to everyone and everything.

 

Balance: In the nature and movements of God all His attributes are perfectly balanced and poised and operate in harmony. All His graces and gifts exist as one  and work in constant unity so that He is ever in complete charge and never likely to make the slightest mistake. Because this is so, all can place their trust in Him and have confidence in all He does.

 

Meekness: Meekness is defined in the dictionary as being mild, submissive, humble, tame and gentle. Whilst this is so, it does not give a complete understanding of the word from a Biblical perspective. Meekness must not be considered as weakness in any way. The meek person is one who is able to hold wild thoughts, emotions and actions in check and does not fly off at a tangent out of control and so loses their balance and poise for wise judgment and action. It is the possession of the ability to wisely manage and act sovereign when things are in a state of antagonism and upheaval in a positive way to great good.

 

In a very provocative situation Moses expressed meekness. The Scripture affirm that he “was very meek” – Numbers 12: 3. In the circumstances he was in he could have been vindictive and lost it in a violent argument. He chose to let peace reign and rule and he was completely justified. There was a time when he did lose his temper and lost the blessing of leading the people of God into the Promised Land – Numbers 20:10-12. It was an awful price for expressing the wrong spirit and attitude.

 

Overall Control: In meekness God directs and oversees and will never take up an attitude or express and act where there is no pure, certain and true control. In taking note of the following, one sees how fully He is in charge of all.

 

1/.  OF HIS OWN PERSON

 

There is never any fall out within the Godhead in the person of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each are marvellously and magnificently poised in their affinity with each other and perfectly and harmoniously respect other so that they have no problem in working as one. No vested interest exists so no fractious attitude is likely to rise to create dissension and division. Each one knows how to perfectly control their own identity and can humbly operate together in all matters. No sin exists in Father, Son or Holy Spirit, so there is no evil to tame and this is the perfect position for them to be in as the absolute and spiritual, moral and natural Governor of all. God is the standard for all to copy in terms of personal character and management.

 

2/.  OF ETERNITY

 

Because he has always been, He has forever been in absolute charge and control. Eternity past, with all of its ages, has been superintended by God and never at any time as He been out of the driving seat. He is rightly named the Eternal by reason of the fact that He is before all that has been created and has exercised domination over such in eternity past. The Scripture affirms: He is the “Everlasting God” reigning supremely over what has been – Isaiah 40: 28. Seeing that He ever is and lasts, it places Him in the invincible position of being in continual control and in charge.

 

3/.  OF THE UNIVERSE

 

The universe is the masterpiece of God and His absolute and perfect control is witnessed in the inter-existence and unified working of the planets. Each has their place and role and comes under the genius skill of God. Each has the field of operation and in some invisible manner contributes to the other in a magnetic way. It is like a clock or watch in the sense of wheels within wheels all linked and harmonising together to achieve a purpose. The master Architect and Creator, God, is responsible for its existence and continuance and knows how to keep control of all – see Job 38: 41.

 

4/.  OF THIS NATURAL CREATION

 

This planet on which man resides gives abundant testimony to the fact that God is in charge of what is occurring here in relation to man. Things are not coincidental or by chance but are governed by a divine providence and God reveals that He has ever assumed authority and that He rules in matters that appertain to the world. He makes known that he has a vested interest in what is taking place.

 

In the natural order He has put laws within creation for its annual workings, in terms of the seasons, tides, daytime, night time, sowing and reaping etc. All function according to His will, authority and power.

 

In the history of the human race, as the Bible discloses, there is the quiet, unassuming control and organisation of God. Whilst giving man freewill, He has not surrendered His sovereign will in and over human affairs. Over and above what each individual decides and does, God remains in the driving seat. He permits people to go so far and then reveals His hand to let them see He is still the ruling deity – “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand” –  “ For God hath put it in their heart to fulfil His will” – Proverbs 19: 21; Revelation 17: 17.

 

“Kings and princes are under the control of God, and, whatever may be their own designs, they are in fact employed to accomplish his purposes, and are instruments in his hands.”  – Barnes

 

“That which God has in his everlasting counsels either determined to do Himself, or to suffer to be done by any of his creatures, shall, whether we will or not, undoubtedly so come to pass, as He hath appointed” – Bp. Sanderson.

 

It is clearly visible also in the election of Abraham, Israel, the revelation of Christ and His Church who is in absolute and perfect control.

 

5/.  OF MAN AND HIS FUTURE DESTINY

 

Man does have both a present and eternal destiny and it is all joined up with the timing and working of God. From Ephesians 1: 4, 12 there is the disclosure that God has had an eternal plan in mind for man and that He has been in absolute and perfect control in bringing it to fruition in and through Jesus Christ. The birth of the human race was but preparatory to the birth of a divine race and family and His intention in the ultimate is to have it in heaven governing with Him the eternal ages – John 1: 11, 13; Hebrews 2: 5-11; John 14: 1-3; 1 John 3: 1-3.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Knowing the truth and reality of this should create a powerful assurance in those who know God and His supreme position and have placed their implicit trust in Him. They are persuaded that He has everything in hand and will work out as He has determined.

 

                                             

God’s Thoughts and Ways provided by Rev. E. Anderson

                                             

                                          Rev. E. Anderson

GOD’S THOUGHTS AND WAYS

 

I shall be presenting a fresh series on God’s Thoughts and Ways, looking at God’s motivation and ministration and to see such reproduced in those who profess a divine relationship with Him. Seeing that we are His chosen offspring, the qualities that are revealed in our Father are also to be demonstrated in His children. We get our life, knowledge and inspiration from Him in order to be like Him and so give a convincing witness to all, in our families, the Christian community and the world at large of our likeness to the Father. May you be helped, blessed and inspired by what you read and such be further meditated on and developed.

 

THE MERCIFULNESS OF THE LORD

 

Reading     Exodus 33: 5-17; 34: 1-7

 

Introduction

 

DIVINE DISCLOSURE: When Moses asked for a personal revelation of the Lord, he was granted a striking and significant disclosure. In announcing His appearance, important words were used – “The LORD, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering . . .” as if to highlight and underscore this particular attribute. It’s as if the Lord was saying this was what I am renowned with respect to my being and nature.

 

DEFT DEFINITION: The word mercy is described as “a disposition to temper justice with mildness; forbearance, clemency compassion.”  It is the will and readiness to express leniency when one has the right to demand justice. Christ revealed this in action with the person who was in debt to the tune of ten thousand talents. When he was called to pay it, which was just, he appealed for mercy – clemency and received it – see Matthew 18: 23-27. The creditor had every right to demand and execute punishment but chose instead to temper righteousness with mercifulness.

 

DISTINCT DIFFERENTIATION: The Scripture makes the point as a principle that ‘mercy rejoices against judgment’ thus indicating the particular an beautiful character of God – James 2: 13. Whilst it is true to affirm that God is rich in mercy, He desires to see this created and manifested in the disposition of men. Christ taught in the Beatitudes this essential truth and factor – “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy” – Matthew 5: 7.

 

DEFINITE DEMONSTRATION: One would expect to this clearly revealed through the Bible in relation to God in His dealings with mankind.

 

1/.  REVEALED IN HIS DEALINGS WITH THE ORIGINAL COUPLE

 

It was an awful act of disobedience on the part of Adam and Eve to have betrayed the     Lord’s trust in them and He could have dealt more severely with them than what He did. He could have rejected them completely and removed from the scene having failed the test but He chose to preserve so that through the course of human history His mercy would be the outstanding feature for all to note and observe. In the pronouncement of judgment, there is indication that this situation would be effectively dealt with – Genesis 3: 15. He would redeem mankind out of this mess up with an amazing salvation based on His mercy.

 

2/.  REVEALED AT A TIME OF UNBELIEVABLE WICKEDNESS

 

Things with relation to mankind grew exceedingly corrupt and God’s grace and patience was sorely tested. In that period in Genesis 6 we are informed of the debased and degenerate condition of the majority of people. God did everything to restrain all by His Spirit and He had to come to the point where judgment was inevitable. The record has it – “my Spirit will not always strive with man”, thus showing and proving the mercy of God – v3. God shewed His mercy and grace through one man and his family, Noah, and saved him – Genesis 6-8.

 

 

3/.  REVEALED IN HIS TREATMENT OF ISRAEL

 

Throughout the entire history of this chosen people the fullness of God’s mercy is very paramount. Having delivered them from terrible slavery they really tested the grace, patience and mercy of God. Its conduct throughout the wilderness journey was appalling in spite of God’s mercy and interventions. The book of Exodus unveils their awful manners and conduct. Even when in the Promised Land, having tasted God’s goodness to an extraordinary degree, their beliefs and behaviour was obnoxious. His judgments upon them as a people, at times, were always tempered with mercy. If they had got what they deserved they would have been wiped out. Jeremiah made the memorable remark: “It is of the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed; because His compassions fail not” – Lamentations 3:22.

 

4/.  REVEALED IN HIS ATTITUDE TO A VERY WICKED CITY

 

Jonah was somewhat taken back at the mercy of God and believed He should have meted hard treatment out to city of Nineveh – see Jonah 1-4. The Lord had been very merciful to him but he was not mercifully disposed to this heathen city. He wouldn’t mind it seeing punished and annihilated. But the Lord drives home the truth that mercy rejoices against judgment and is pleased over the repentant city -3: 10; 4: 11.

 

5/.  REVEALED IN CHRIST’S TEACHING

 

In reflecting upon the life and ministry of Jesus Christ this was a theme that He often brought up and spoke about. Especially in the story of the Good Samaritan, He presses home the fact to the young rich young ruler the need to manifest  a merciful disposition Luke 15: 36, 37. He expects this quality to be in evidence as clearly seen in the Matthew 18: 21-35. From His own standpoint, when ever He heard the cry for mercy, He answered in a positive manner – e.g. Matthew 15: 22. See how He showed it to the woman who was accused of adultery – John 8: 1-11. He had every right to stone her but beautifully underlined the need of mercy. Whilst not condoning her sin, He showed compassion.

 

6/. REVEALED IN THE SALVATION OF THE SINNER

 

The Gospel of Christ focuses attention on this great attribute of God. Whilst all men deserve to be judged and punished for their sinful state and practice, in and through Jesus Christ, He demonstrates mercy. All men are sinners – Romans 3:23, but Christ took the punishment so that God could extend mercy to those who repented and receive Christ to be their Saviour. The apostle Paul was grateful and glad that God had mercy upon him and saved him – see 1 Timothy1: 15, 16.

 

CONCLUSION

 

He is still full and rich in mercy today, and as the Scripture affirm: “He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” – 2 Peter 3: 9.

 

 

                                     

God’s Thoughts and Ways provided by Rev. E. Anderson

                                        

                                    Rev. E. Anderson

GOD’S THOUGHTS AND WAYS

 

I shall be presenting a fresh series on God’s Thoughts and Ways, looking at God’s motivation and ministration and to see such reproduced in those who profess a divine relationship with Him. Seeing that we are His chosen offspring, the qualities that are revealed in our Father are also to be demonstrated in His children. We get our life, knowledge and inspiration from Him in order to be like Him and so give a convincing witness to all, in our families, the Christian community and the world at large of our likeness to the Father. May you be helped, blessed and inspired by what you read and such be further meditated on and developed.

 

THE FAITHFULNESS OF THE LORD

 

Reading      Joshua 23

 

Text           v14

 

Introduction

OUTSTANDING QUALITY: It is Jeremiah who exclaims with no uncertainty and with profound conviction his testimony of the Lord in relation to this truth and fact. He states: “great is your faithfulness” – Lamentations 3: 23. Even though he had to go through extreme, bitter trials, he had come to this conclusion that what stood out was the faithfulness of the Lord. It was not up for question, debate or discussion because it was an obvious revelation in his own life and beyond on a wider front.

 

This is a truth that God wanted His ancient people to know, accept and fully appreciate in a positive fashion – “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” – Deuteronomy 7: 9. It is apparent that He desires that they should have this aspect of His nature under constant contemplation and consideration because it would be valuable to them in their lives and mainly in their relationship with Him.

 

“Faithfulness is one of the characteristics of God’s ethical nature. It denotes the firmness or constancy of God in His relations with men, especially with His people. It is, accordingly, one aspect of God’s truth and of His unchangeableness. God is true not only because He is really God in contrast to all that is not God, and because He realizes the idea of Godhead, but also because He is constant or faithful in keeping His promises, and therefore is worthy of trust” – International  Standard Bible Bible Enclclopedia

 

AN ASSURED FACTOR: This knowledge is to act as a persuasive and encouraging feature in the lives of those who have close association and dealings with the Lord. All the patriarchs and believers in the Lord, as a consequence of coming to experience an accord with the Lord, have come to this blessed state of mind and being, whatever else: ‘the Lord is faithful and can be wholly trusted and relied upon.’ In the essence of His being and the outworking of His purposes at all times is His faithfulness. Because He is such, all who have association with Him can expect this characteristic to be evidenced. God’s thoughts and ways are those of faithfulness.

 

Faithfulness is the choice characteristic that is patently obvious in a number of notable considerations.

 

1/.  REVEALED IN THE GODHEAD

 

       Each member of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are possessed, imbued and motivated by this quality in an infinite degree. In their own identity within the Deity, they own and display this supreme characteristic. They can all be equally trusted and depended upon in all they are and do.

 

      The Godhead is secure within itself because they are eternally and completely committed to each other. There is never any likelihood of breakdown within their relationship because they relate to one another in absolute trustworthiness. The Father knows the faithfulness of the Son and vice versa. The Son relies on the consistency of the Holy Spirit and so on. This has ever been so and will be so. They are one and eternally remain as one in their commitment in their relationship.  All that stems from the Godhead is also stamped with this unique and beautiful excellence.

 

Illustration: The Father could wholly trust the Son to be the Saviour of the world

 

2/.  EVIDENCED IN HIS WORD

 

       The Scriptures give a definite unfolding of His faithfulness with regard to what He speaks and says. He is jealous over what He utters that there will be no breaking of any promise that He makes that passes His lips. So much of God’s Word focuses attention on His many sacred promises that He purposes to fulfil in the experience of those that know a blessed union and communion with Him. Paul makes the point in 2 Corinthians 1: 20 that His assurances are ‘Yes and Amen’ and in bringing every promise to fruition all will witness His faithfulness. This is what Joshua affirmed: “not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed you” 23: 14 see also Isaiah 55: 10, 11.

 

3/.  MANIFESTED IN HIS WORKS

 

      In the works of creation this feature can be powerfully discerned in the realm of nature. The consistency of the four seasons, the provision of sun and rain for growth, night and day, the rolling in and out of the tides reveal that His faithfulness is observable in these many factors – see Psalm 104: 5-32 “the earth is full of your riches” – 24; also Job 38.

 

4/.  DEMONSTRATED TO MANKIND

 

       Mankind, above all, has known the rich and abundant manifestation of the faithfulness of God. It stands in vivid contrast with man’s unfaithfulness. Humanity has acted appallingly with God throughout his existence, commencing with Adam and then through His posterity. Although God has been consistently kind and good to all men yet man’s reaction has been one of wickedness and waywardness. The Bible highlights how God has treated man and how man has treated God. God could have wiped man off the planet but He remains faithful to His creatures and in grace provided a way by which all men can be regenerated and renewed in Jesus Christ. His love has been demonstrated in the gift of eternal life – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten So, that whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life” – John 3: 16.

 

5/.  ASSURED FOR ETERNITY

 

      Another factor in this connection that is most comforting: there will never be any change in this quality characteristic of God. For those who make Him their hope and grounds of confidence now in this life will discover in the eternal world the incessant unveiling of this remarkable attribute. Knowing there is no likelihood that God will fail to love, provide, direct, enhance, etc., etc., there will be a resting and a rejoicing in Him and this aspect of His being.

 

CONCLUSION

 

All who know and taste of His faithfulness must not be slow to acknowledge and acclaim it and be grateful.

 

In living under this glorious characteristic of God, all fear and doubt is removed and there is resting in Him to fulfil all He has revealed.

                                    

God’s Thoughts and Ways provided by Rev. E. Anderson

                                         

                                       Rev. E. Anderson

GOD’S THOUGHTS AND WAYS

 

I shall be presenting a fresh series on God’s Thoughts and Ways, looking at God’s motivation and ministration and to see such reproduced in those who profess a divine relationship with Him. Seeing that we are His chosen offspring, the qualities that are revealed in our Father are also to be demonstrated in His children. We get our life, knowledge and inspiration from Him in order to be like Him and so give a convincing witness to all, in our families, the Christian community and the world at large of our likeness to the Father. May you be helped, blessed and inspired by what you read and such be further meditated on and developed.

 

THE MINISTRATION AND MANIFESTATION OF KINDNESS

 

Reading    2 Samuel 9

 

Text          v1

 

Introduction

 

OUTSTANDING FEATURE: A great deal of emphasis is placed upon this quality and characteristic in the Bible. It is not only something that God approves of and commends; it is a dominant factor in an infinite measure in His own Being and behaviour. This is at the essence of His nature and is an assuring factor to all of His creatures. The person who is ‘merciful’ indicates an individual that is actually full and overflowing with kindness and is descriptive of God because He is merciful. The psalmist makes the point that “The Lord is merciful” and “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting” – Psalm 103: 8, 17. What inspires and governs His Person and workings above all is His mercy. See Psalm 136. As Jehoshaphat went into battle it was with this song on the lips of all – “Praise the Lord; for His mercy endureth for every” – 2 Samuel 20: 21.  Attention had to be drawn to this fact. Mankind as a whole needs to know and recognise that God’s thoughts and ways are one of kindness. The kindness springs spontaneously from His love, hence the double-barrelled word in relation to God – ‘lovingkindness.’

 

A VITAL MINISTRY: It is an excellence that God wills to see birthed and developed amongst His creatures. It grieves Him to behold the hardness, indifference and brutality that is evidence by the sons of men towards each other and He does not concur with this spirit and procedure. What He wills to see ministered and manifest in all who profess and accord with Him is the true virtue of kind-heartedness and benevolence. The story of the Good Samaritan presses home this and He regards it as an essential ministry. Jesus Christ said to the rich young ruler: “Go, and do likewise” – Luke 10: 37. He needed to take the opportunity whilst it was his to show immense benevolence and kindness.

 

To be generated and governed by divine kindness means, it is imperative to meditate on God’s kindness and so become imbued by it so that it becomes furthered spontaneously in and through us. Note:

 

1/. HIS KINDNESS IN OUR CREATION

 

      It is important for all men to realise and recognise that they are here in this world with being and life because of the kindness of God. Man did not create himself nor was he the product of evolution, but the handiwork of God that not only involved His wisdom, power but His lovingkindness. David states we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made” – Psalm 139: 14. He must love mankind because He has created so many and formed each one to be unique and seeks to be kind to each one personally. At the individual level each must come to discover and know this, because the idea and principle of kindness commences here in knowing we come from His loving hand. Just as a potter cares and caresses the clay he fashion for a vessel of worth, so we, too, come from the shill of the Master- Potter.

 

2/. HIS KINDNESS IN SPITE OF OUR HARD ATTITUDE

 

Regrettably one has to affirm that man is capable and guilty of being very hard and bitter, even against God who has been exceptionally and exceedingly kind. Sin has made such an impact and influence on people that they are capable of being very hard in spirit especially in relation to the God, who has given him being and all the natural things of creation to enjoy. Men reject God and push Him into the background ungrateful of His immense kindness and generosity. Although this is so, it does not stop, frustrate or hinder God from keep on expressing His kindness. Jesus Christ made the point when he said: “for He maketh His sun to rise upon the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the earth on the just and the unjust” – Matthew 5: 45. One would think His kindness would soften and mellow the spirit and heart of man. Men can still be hard even though kindness is expressed – see Matthew 18: 21-35.

 

3/. HIS KINDNESS IN PROVIDING A PROPHETIC GUIDE BOOK, THE BIBLE

 

     There are those who would dismiss the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, and treat them in an evil manner. It has to be understood that it is God’s book of love that seeks to convey more than anything else how good and kind He has been to mankind. Behind its formation and presentation is His heart in seeking to truly convey His intense passion for mankind in spite of man’s wicked behaviour towards Him and each other. It is the Guide Book of Life which unveils God’s relentless commitment to man’s well being. Even in the selection of Israel as a nation, it was in order that He might display and demonstrate His kindness on a greater front too all men through it. Micah proclaims the message of what God requires of man – “but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” – Micah 6: 8. He who requires it demonstrates it perfectly to all! With Jeremiah we have to affirm: “It is the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed” – Lamentations 3: 22. The Bible gives instance after instance of the mercy of God individually and nationally.

 

4/. HIS KINDNESS IN THE GIFT OF CHRIST AND ALL THAT IS AVAILABLE IN AND THROUGH HIM

 

In Ephesians 2 we are taught how the rich mercy of God has been personally and powerfully disclosed in the advent and work of Jesus Christ. Whilst man was at enmity with Him, God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ and He voluntarily took on man’s punishment for sin so that he could be forgiven, restored to God’s favour and be a member of His chosen family. God so wanted man to be cleaned up and restored to a holy and healthy condition and in accord with himself that He was willing to pay the awesome debt due in death on the Cross. The Cross expresses the kindness of God in that He took man’s place, the Creator dying for His creatures – Romans 5: 8. As Christ is received then the fullness of His mercy is initiated that paves the way for His incredible kindness on a regular basis.

 

5/. HIS KINDNESS IN PREPARING OUR ETERNAL FUTURE

 

      There is nothing fleeting or temporary with regard to the thoughts and ways of God. To those who claim and rely on His kindness, they will see it unveiled and magnified in a greater way in the eternal and heavenly world – Ephesians 2: 7. Already God is getting everything ready for the advent of His Son back to earth because He is to evidence God’s kindness in greater measure forever. All those who receive, live and demonstrate His kindness are to see it expressed in the perfect setting of heaven and it will be continuous and abiding.

 

CONCLUSION

 

If God is so kind, then we should be more grateful and continually expressing our gratitude to Him. His lovingkindness should awaken and stimulate thankfulness in us at all times.

 

More than that: the kindness experienced should engender that same kind of attitude and action. We should be like a David who sought out someone from Saul’s house to whom he could minister kindness – 2 Samuel 9: 1.

 

                                     

God’s Thoughts and Ways provided by Rev. E. Anderson

                                      

                                   Rev. E. Anderson

GOD’S THOUGHTS AND WAYS

 

I shall be presenting a fresh series on God’s Thoughts and Ways, looking at God’s motivation and ministration and to see such reproduced in those who profess a divine relationship with Him. Seeing that we are His chosen offspring, the qualities that are revealed in our Father are also to be demonstrated in His children. We get our life, knowledge and inspiration from Him in order to be like Him and so give a convincing witness to all, in our families, the Christian community and the world at large of our likeness to the Father. May you be helped, blessed and inspired by what you read and such be further meditated on and developed.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING AND DOING RIGHT

 

Reading     Micah 6: 6-8

 

Introduction

 

Biblical Emphasis: One cannot but be aware of and impressed by the fact that one of the emphases of Scriptures is that on justice. It concerns itself with the truth and fact that righteousness must be not only be believed in but practised. If life, character and service are to be of any worth then rectitude, integrity and virtue are of prime importance. Life is to be valued not according to gold and silver but as to honesty and morality. They are factors that are the real treasure. The stress must be upon being and doing right.

 

Attribute of God: righteousness and justice are an essential and integral part of the nature of God. The psalmist underlines the truth: “Justice and judgment are the habitation of your throne” – Psalm 89:14. Whilst God is a very merciful and kind God, this is perfectly counterbalanced with His great sense of and commitment to justice. Whatever He demands of others is perfectly to be noted in His being, character and procedure. He is a God that loves righteousness and will not condone anything of an evil nature or procedure. Moses says of Him: “a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He” – Deuteronomy. This feature was visibly demonstrated in His Son, Jesus Christ, who exemplified this particular quality. Of Him it is said: “a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity . . . .” – Hebrews 1: 8, 9. Christ will not tolerate sin within the framework of His Church or Kingdom. Habakkuk had to learn this truth about God, that He had to be trusted and that He would not compromise His nature and principles with respect to this. Abraham asked the question of God but he knew within himself the answer – “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” – Genesis 18: 25. It is ever in the thoughts and ways of the Lord.

 

A Vital Requirement: Because God is of this eternal attitude and action, His creatures also have to be of the same nature and practise if they are to be divinely approved of Him. The prophet Micah makes this clear: “He hath showed you, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of you, but to do justly . . . .” 6: 8. No one is to be left in any doubt whatsoever that God expects them to conduct themselves according to righteous and moral principles. Sin and evil will not be excused and all are expected to conform to a manner of life that is true and full of integrity in every way. Whilst God pardons the sinner and forgives, He expects the sinner to renounce evil and to tread the path of righteousness. David said: “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake” – Psalm 23: 3.

 

There are three particular areas where being and doing right is concerned:

 

1/.  BEING AND DOING RIGHT BEFORE GOD

 

It is imperative that above all that a person has a good standing before God and that life is lived under His good grace and favour. And God evidently takes note of all men in relation to this. The statement is made: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect to Him” – 2 Chronicles 16: 9, It says of Noah that he was “a just man and perfect in his generations” –“for you have I seen righteous before Me in this generation” – Genesis 6: 9; 7:1. Job was also marked out in similar fashion : “Have you considered my servant job , that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God and hateth evil” – Job 1: 8.

 

The Good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that He came with this mission, to make it possible for all men to be and do right before God. By and through His death, resurrection and ascension He can justify the sinner and make such into a saint by His love, wisdom, grace and power as the Roman epistle reveals and teaches.  The Lord whilst loving the sinner does not condone sin. His perfect death on the Cross provides the means by which the sinner can be forgiven and cleansed from sin – Romans 5: 8; 1 Peter 2: 24; 1 John 1: 7, It is by His resurrection life and power as He takes up residence in life that He enables the Christian to live the life of divine righteousness which God approves of. As Christ was committed to doing always what is right, so the Christian believer knows that same commitment and lives within the favour of God.

 

Being and doing right for Israel was laid down in the Ten Commandments and the first part of the Decalogue had to do with their relationship with Jehovah – Exodus 20: 3-11. He was to be the first on the agenda demanding their love, faith and loyalty. The same applies to the Christian inasmuch Christ must have the supreme place of love, faith, worship and obedience – Matthew 10: 37, 38; 7: 24-29.

 

2/.  BEING AND DOING RIGHT TO OURSELVES

 

     There has to be a proper recognition of our persons and the need to be and right in this personal connection. We have to learn to appreciate the new self that God has granted in Christ and not to demean or destroy it in any way. God does not seek our destruction but the true and proper making of the new man within so that a person can be at peace and happy with their nature and image. Because the within has been renewed and is governed by divine grace and power, the Christian believer can do justice to their own lives and conduct themselves in such a manner that they are exploited in a wholesome and progressive manner. Paul speaks about “apprehending those things for which he had been apprehended” – Philippians 3: 13. Whilst the old man is crucified it makes way for the manifestation of the new man that has no hang ups and is full of a divine sense of worth.

 

3/.  BEING AND DOING RIGHT TO OTHERS

 

      Everyone is their brother’s keeper and in the outworking of life there has to love and justice done continuously to one and all.

 

·          Israel was taught that in their relationships and contact with each other they had to act rightly and any breaking of  the righteous laws meant punishment – Exodus 20: 12-17. They could not amend or negate what God had laid down concerning their behaviour one toward the other. His people could not do just as they thought or liked but must see that their conduct was in accord with His righteous laws. Children to parents, partners to each other, there was to be no killing, stealing, lying, coveting etc. Integrity before each other was of paramount importance if they were to exist as a people, especially His people.

·          The Church also must live under the government of Christ and carry out His godly principles and directives – Matthew 5-7 and see the New Testament epistles. Things have not slackened with the advent of Christianity, in fact, the bar is raised higher. In His teaching on the sermon of the Mount, Christ reveals that righteousness is high on the agenda. He reveals that under His leadership and inspiration the best must be produced by stating: “That except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter the kingdom of heaven” – Matthew 5: 20. The call of the Christian believer is “to awake to righteousness” and to “be filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ” – 1 Corinthians 15: 24; Philippians 1: 11.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The opportunity is before all first of all to be made right with God in and through Jesus Christ. This being so, there is the next stage of being right with oneself, which then sets the platform of being and doing right to others at all times.

 

When divine righteousness exists, there is a complete freedom from all guilt and condemnation and there is a living in absolute freedom to do what is always good and right. Where righteousness exists and reigns, there is peace and joy of an indescribable and indestructible quality.

                                           

God’s Thoughts and Ways collated by Rev. E. Anderson

                                             

                                            Rev. E.Anderson

GOD’S THOUGHTS AND WAYS

 

I shall be presenting a fresh series on God’s Thoughts and Ways, looking at God’s motivation and ministration and to see such reproduced in those who profess a divine relationship with Him. Seeing that we are His chosen offspring, the qualities that are revealed in our Father are also to be demonstrated in His children. We get our life, knowledge and inspiration from Him in order to be like Him and so give a convincing witness to all, in our families, the Christian community and the world at large of our likeness to the Father. May you be helped, blessed and inspired by what you read and such be further meditated on and developed.

 

THE MINISTRATION AND MANIFESTATION OF KINDNESS

 

Reading    2 Samuel 9

 

Text          v1

 

Introduction

 

OUTSTANDING FEATURE: A great deal of emphasis is placed upon this quality and characteristic in the Bible. It is not only something that God approves of and commends; it is a dominant factor in an infinite measure in His own Being and behaviour. This is at the essence of His nature and is an assuring factor to all of His creatures. The person who is ‘merciful’ indicates an individual that is actually full and overflowing with kindness and is descriptive of God because He is merciful. The psalmist makes the point that “The Lord is merciful” and “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting” – Psalm 103: 8, 17. What inspires and governs His Person and workings above all is His mercy. See Psalm 136. As Jehoshaphat went into battle it was with this song on the lips of all – “Praise the Lord; for His mercy endureth for every” – 2 Samuel 20: 21.  Attention had to be drawn to this fact. Mankind as a whole needs to know and recognise that God’s thoughts and ways are one of kindness. The kindness springs spontaneously from His love, hence the double-barrelled word in relation to God – ‘lovingkindness.’

 

A VITAL MINISTRY: It is an excellence that God wills to see birthed and developed amongst His creatures. It grieves Him to behold the hardness, indifference and brutality that is evidence by the sons of men towards each other and He does not concur with this spirit and procedure. What He wills to see ministered and manifest in all who profess and accord with Him is the true virtue of kind-heartedness and benevolence. The story of the Good Samaritan presses home this and He regards it as an essential ministry. Jesus Christ said to the rich young ruler: “Go, and do likewise” – Luke 10: 37. He needed to take the opportunity whilst it was his to show immense benevolence and kindness.

 

To be generated and governed by divine kindness means, it is imperative to meditate on God’s kindness and so become imbued by it so that it becomes furthered spontaneously in and through us. Note:

 

1/. HIS KINDNESS IN OUR CREATION

 

      It is important for all men to realise and recognise that they are here in this world with being and life because of the kindness of God. Man did not create himself nor was he the product of evolution, but the handiwork of God that not only involved His wisdom, power but His lovingkindness. David states we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made” – Psalm 139: 14. He must love mankind because He has created so many and formed each one to be unique and seeks to be kind to each one personally. At the individual level each must come to discover and know this, because the idea and principle of kindness commences here in knowing we come from His loving hand. Just as a potter cares and caresses the clay he fashion for a vessel of worth, so we, too, come from the shill of the Master- Potter.

 

2/. HIS KINDNESS IN SPITE OF OUR HARD ATTITUDE

 

Regrettably one has to affirm that man is capable and guilty of being very hard and bitter, even against God who has been exceptionally and exceedingly kind. Sin has made such an impact and influence on people that they are capable of being very hard in spirit especially in relation to the God, who has given him being and all the natural things of creation to enjoy. Men reject God and push Him into the background ungrateful of His immense kindness and generosity. Although this is so, it does not stop, frustrate or hinder God from keep on expressing His kindness. Jesus Christ made the point when he said: “for He maketh His sun to rise upon the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the earth on the just and the unjust” – Matthew 5: 45. One would think His kindness would soften and mellow the spirit and heart of man. Men can still be hard even though kindness is expressed – see Matthew 18: 21-35.

 

3/. HIS KINDNESS IN PROVIDING A PROPHETIC GUIDE BOOK, THE BIBLE

 

     There are those who would dismiss the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, and treat them in an evil manner. It has to be understood that it is God’s book of love that seeks to convey more than anything else how good and kind He has been to mankind. Behind its formation and presentation is His heart in seeking to truly convey His intense passion for mankind in spite of man’s wicked behaviour towards Him and each other. It is the Guide Book of Life which unveils God’s relentless commitment to man’s well being. Even in the selection of Israel as a nation, it was in order that He might display and demonstrate His kindness on a greater front too all men through it. Micah proclaims the message of what God requires of man – “but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” – Micah 6: 8. He who requires it demonstrates it perfectly to all! With Jeremiah we have to affirm: “It is the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed” – Lamentations 3: 22. The Bible gives instance after instance of the mercy of God individually and nationally.

 

4/. HIS KINDNESS IN THE GIFT OF CHRIST AND ALL THAT IS AVAILABLE IN AND THROUGH HIM

 

In Ephesians 2 we are taught how the rich mercy of God has been personally and powerfully disclosed in the advent and work of Jesus Christ. Whilst man was at enmity with Him, God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ and He voluntarily took on man’s punishment for sin so that he could be forgiven, restored to God’s favour and be a member of His chosen family. God so wanted man to be cleaned up and restored to a holy and healthy condition and in accord with himself that He was willing to pay the awesome debt due in death on the Cross. The Cross expresses the kindness of God in that He took man’s place, the Creator dying for His creatures – Romans 5: 8. As Christ is received then the fullness of His mercy is initiated that paves the way for His incredible kindness on a regular basis.

 

5/. HIS KINDNESS IN PREPARING OUR ETERNAL FUTURE

 

      There is nothing fleeting or temporary with regard to the thoughts and ways of God. To those who claim and rely on His kindness, they will see it unveiled and magnified in a greater way in the eternal and heavenly world – Ephesians 2: 7. Already God is getting everything ready for the advent of His Son back to earth because He is to evidence God’s kindness in greater measure forever. All those who receive, live and demonstrate His kindness are to see it expressed in the perfect setting of heaven and it will be continuous and abiding.

 

CONCLUSION

 

If God is so kind, then we should be more grateful and continually expressing our gratitude to Him. His lovingkindness should awaken and stimulate thankfulness in us at all times.

 

More than that: the kindness experienced should engender that same kind of attitude and action. We should be like a David who sought out someone from Saul’s house to whom he could minister kindness – 2 Samuel 9: 1.

                                            

God’s Thoughts and Ways provided by Rev. E. Anderson

                                  

                                    Rev. E. Anderson

GOD’S THOUGHTS AND WAYS

 

I shall be presenting a fresh series on God’s Thoughts and Ways, looking at God’s motivation and ministration and to see such reproduced in those who profess a divine relationship with Him. Seeing that we are His chosen offspring, the qualities that are revealed in our Father are also to be demonstrated in His children. We get our life, knowledge and inspiration from Him in order to be like Him and so give a convincing witness to all, in our families, the Christian community and the world at large of our likeness to the Father. May you be helped, blessed and inspired by what you read and such be further meditated on and developed.

 

THE ABUNDANT LIFESTYLE

 

Reading    John 10

 

Text          v10

 

Introduction

Christ has this much in mind and had to the fore for those who placed their faith in Him and began to develop a personal and positive relationship with Him. One of the chief characteristics of the Christian life has got to be the manifestation of an abundant lifestyle. This is what Christ offers- life to the full – Life with a capital L – Lindsay Clegg.

 

The first revelation from God’s viewpoint of abundant life and living is found in the first chapter of the Bible. In the creation of the world from many aspects, above, below and around is the evidence of fullness of life. The heavens above are filled with billions of stars and they are on the increase. The seas are filled with abundant life – the sea creatures and fish stock reproduce at an amazing rate. Nature around reveals the potential of every seed, that such can germinate, grow and produce at a phenomenal tempo and speed of increase.

 

Man was made by God to know an abundance of a life and a lifestyle that was in accord with His glorious will. It affirms in Genesis 2: 7 that God breathed into first man the breath of life – in the Hebrew it is in the plural, ‘the breath of lives’ thus implying that He really wanted him to live. The breath of God is the breath of dynamic, inspired life, enabling the creature to rise to immense pleasure, potential and possibility. Regrettably, through sin, man lost his contact with divine and spiritual life, that is, God, and so lost out on real living. But God came to man through Jesus Christ to establish contact and to open up the way to real, abundant life and living.

 

When Jesus Christ uttered those memorable words He wanted all to hear and know that pure, true life and living was to found in himself. In taking hold of the word ‘abundant’ it is apparent from it that:

 

1.      HE WANTED LIFETO BE LIVED EXUBERANTLY

 

Living life to the full means a life full of joy. It needs to be understood beyond any question or doubt that Christ is no kill joy. He has not come from heaven to fill earth with misery and miserable creatures. Sin and evil has already brought about a miserable state of affairs bringing sorrow, heartache and grief. The kind of life He has in mind is a rapturous, delightful existence that imparts a tremendous amount of joy and pleasure. For Him, Christian living has to be one of untold pleasure and ecstasy. He starts a Christian off by giving the joy of forgiveness – see Psalm 32: 1. It is added to by making a person a member of God’s family with God as Father and every Christian a family member. He gives the real reason (s) for living and so on.

 

“I thought I could have leaped from earth to heaven at one spring when I first saw my sins drowned in the Redeemer’s blood” – Spurgeon

 

“If you have no joy in your religion, there’s a leak in your Christianity somewhere” – Sunday

 

2.      HE WANTED LIFE TO BE LIVED EXCELLENTLY

 

Excellence is one of the ‘keywords’ of life, that is, aiming and attaining the highest and best results in life. The kind of life that Christ introduces is renowned for its virtue and quality. It is going in for that which makes you as a person and produces a class character that is not spoiled by sin or evil. He not only forgives and cleanses a person but gives the enabling grace and power to have a brand new kind of life that never creates grief. When Christ is invited into life to share and impart His life and nature it is with this purpose in mind and view, to create and cultivate the person within concerning attitudes and actions and so produce the finest individual possible. A list of the graces and virtues possible are given in Galatians 5: 22-24.

 

3.      HE WANTED LIFE TO BE LIVED EXTENSIVELY

 

Christ comes to take the chains off and not put them on and He gives a special freedom and liberty that frees a person from inhibition and limitation and allows to be the kind of person they were created for. Instead of conforming to others they become an individual in their own right with great possibility of being and doing things they never thought could ever occur in their lives. It is not a life of prohibition but one of absolute emancipation. It is certainly means the crucifixion of the old life but the release of resurrection power to perform in extraordinary fashion. Elsewhere He said: “If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” – John 8: 32. One is not hemmed in but is to break out into extensive accomplishment.

 

Illustration: Israel out of Egypt into freedom and fulfilment – Canaan – a land and destiny of their own

 

4.      HE WANTED LIFE TO BE LIVED EMPHATICALLY

 

When life is filled and lived with abundance it is emphatic and gives a positive and not a depressing revelation of life. There are things of a demoralizing nature, such as doubt, fear, suspicion, questioning, death etc., and they have the effect of destroying life and a person and require dealing with. Answers need to be forthcoming to more than cope but to eradicate such evils that cause such melancholy and rob existence of its vitality and spice. As Christ enters and assumes control then faith, assurance, hope, truth, answers become manifest so that living assumes an air of glorious and glowing confidence. Christ turns life upside down and inside out so it has great emphasis on the things that make it sure and full of conviction.

 

5.      HE WANTED LIFE TO BE LIVED ENERGETICALLY

 

It is impossible to think of life with abundance with out thinking of dynamic, energy, power and drive. Christian life and living is not death warmed up and made to appear as life. Christ is the real booster and enhancer and enables a person to breathe and subsist with strength and such potency that not only makes them feel good but enables them to tackle anything and anyone and come out a winner – see Philippians 4: 13; Luke 10: 19. There are no losers with Christ because all the ability to achieve is bestowed. There is an added bonus given in the gift of the Holy Spirit who further adds a new dynamic and dimension to life and living.

 

6.      HE WANTS LIFE TO BE LIVED ETERNALLY

 

Christ has more in mind than this temporary world and existence in view but looks far way beyond the now. Whilst taking in the immediate He has an ultimate prospect in view that beggars human language, definition and description – 1 Corinthians 2: 9, 10. What is now is to be considered as a mirror, picture and illustration of what is to be revealed in perfection and greater abundance. Nobody can afford to miss out on that.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The simple and sure conclusion to be drawn and derived from all is this:

 

·          Christ has come to give fullness and abundance of  life and it is within His right and power to do so.

·          Every man has to come to Him and believe in Him to do so and receive from this abundant life so that it can be proven to be true.

 

                                                 

 

 

God’s Thoughts and Ways provided by Rev. E. Anderson

                                

                                  Rev. E. Anderson

GOD’S THOUGHTS AND WAYS

 

I shall be presenting a fresh series on God’s Thoughts and Ways, looking at God’s motivation and ministration and to see such reproduced in those who profess a divine relationship with Him. Seeing that we are His chosen offspring, the qualities that are revealed in our Father are also to be demonstrated in His children. We get our life, knowledge and inspiration from Him in order to be like Him and so give a convincing witness to all, in our families, the Christian community and the world at large of our likeness to the Father. May you be helped, blessed and inspired by what you read and such be further meditated on and developed.

 

GOD’S KIND OF GIVING

 

Without question God is an infinitely giving God as the Bible reveals. Mankind, in particular has been the recipient of His untold gifts and blessing. He has given, in the first instance, life and all the natural benefits that are to be found in this world: family, friends, food, release of good gifts and talents, purpose and above all the gift of Jesus Christ to be our Saviour and Lord and through whom we can be birthed into the divine family – John 3: 16; 2 Corinthians 9: 15; John 1: 11, 12; James 1: 17 etc. There is no doubt about it; God seeks to enrich our lives in incredible ways!

 

It is His desire and design, however, that all who have a unique and personal relationship with Him should also be renowned in the realm of giving. Quite a deal of teaching in the Scriptures focuses attention on this vital ministry. God is not only the Giver, He seeks to promote and provoke the same in those lined up with Him. His thoughts and ways are centred on giving. Jesus Christ gave a great emphasis and encouragement in relation to it. He said: “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure you mete withal it shall be measured to you again” – Luke 6: 38.

 

“Christian giving is God’s divine plan to make us like Himself; it reveals our religion and bares our souls; it is prophetic and has to do with the inner sensitiveness and gives a keener vision to His work and plans” – Denison

 

What is the kind of giving that matches up to God that must be reflected in all who are joined dynamically together with Him?

 

1.      IT HAS TO BE GENEROUS GIVING – Luke 6: 38; 2 Corinthians 9: 6-15

 

God is the generous Giver and seeks to generate this spirit of generosity in His people so that they bear a true likeness to himself. The point is made in 2 Corinthians that no farmer can afford to sow sparingly with regard to his seed if he hopes to reap bountifully, so it is the same with Christian living and giving.

 

“You do not have to be rich to be generous.  If he has the spirit of true generosity, a pauper can give like a prince”- Wells

 

2.      IT HAS TO BE SACRIFICIAL GIVING – Mark 12: 42-44

 

Christ saw the woman who gave all that she had which is referred to as a ‘two mites’, small coins. They didn’t seem much they represented all and sacrifice. She had nothing left. He immediately recognised and taught that she had given all and it was therefore at great sacrifice. Observing others giving in of the bounty he reckoned that her gift surpassed theirs.

 

“The manner of giving is worth more than the gift” Corneille

 

3.      IT HAS TO BE CHEERFUL GIVING – 2 Corinthians 9: 7

 

One translator interprets it: ‘God loves the hilarious giver’. It speaks of total abandonment, liberty and delight in the deed. Rapturous joy must be seen in the giver as there is a bestowing of his gifts.

 

Illustration: When the father received his wayward son back home he rapturously lavished gifts upon him – see Luke 15: 22-24

 

“For God loveth a cheerful giver. And who does not? Valuable as any gift may be in itself, yet if it is forced and constrained; if it can be procured only after great importunity and persevering effort, who can esteem it as desirable? God desires the heart in every service. No service that is not cheerful and voluntary, none that does not arise from true love to him, can be acceptable in his sight. God loves it because it shows a heart like his own–a heart disposed to give cheerfully, and to do good on the largest scale possible; and because it shows a heart attached from principle to his service and cause”

Barnes Commentary

 

4.      IT HAS TO BE SYSTEMATIC GIVING – 1 Corinthians 16: 1, 2

 

Christians are to develop the regular habit of giving so that it becomes a fixed spiritual habit. They know that this is what is expected and have seen the blessed results of it at work and so desire to be ever motivated in this ministry. Giving is not to be left according to feelings or even needs but according to divine rule and principle.

         

“Paul designed that the habit of doing good with their money should be constant.  He, therefore, directed that it should be on the return of each Lord’s-day, and that the subject should be constantly before their minds” Barnes Commentary

 

Inbuilt into the life and order of every Israelite was to be this inspiration to continually give. In relationship with God they must learn to tithe for much was dependent on this – see Malachi 3: 10.

 

5.      IT HAS TO BE SIMPLISTIC GIVING – Matthew 6: 1-2

 

It has to be free from outward show and grandeur, to impress the onlookers on your goodness. That is the role of the play-actor and giving should never be reduced to play-acting. In a simple, humble, unassuming fashion the divine giver must be bestow his gifts.

 

“Giving is most blessed and most acceptable when the donor remains completely anonymous”Maimonides

 

6.      IT HAS TO BE VOLUNTARY GIVING – 1 Chronicles 29: 3-9

 

This beautiful aspect of Christian ministry and service must be free and kept free from all insidious forceful tactics. No effort should be made to try and squeeze gifts out of people no matter how legitimate the cause. Needs certainly have to be presented but in the ultimate the giving must come from a free heart and spirit.

 

The example in 1 Chronicles 29: 3-9 is of a people wanting to give of their substance because of the nature of their cause and objective. David, the king, set things in motion by showing an example and inspiration to all his subjects.

 

7.      IT HAS TO BE COMPASSIONATE GIVING – Luke 10: 25-37

 

The rich young ruler had seemingly everything yet he really had nothing and was not prepared to make the greatest donation of his life which would have given him everything. In contrast, the good Samaritan in the story, was quick to give all to bless one in desperate need and so help someone to a state of restoration. It was because he was ‘moved with compassion’ and so his service and giving was invaluable. Love was at the heart of his action – see 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3.

“It is possible to give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving” –

Braunstein

 

CONCLUSION

 

All Christians must make sure that they are the kind of person that God has called and enabled them to be by His love, wisdom, grace and power.

 

One of the evidences of the new birth and life is witnessed in their absolute willingness to give in the manner and measure that God the Father has planned.

 

Such a life of divine giving will bring in lasting benefits.

                                          

God’s Thoughts and ways provided by Rev. E. Anderson

                                                              

Rev. E. Anderson

These are but points to ponder that will initiate a greater comprehending of God’s mind and procedures. He desires that there should be a knowing of His sovereign plans and purposes so that life, ministry and service will be enriched and enhanced by His input. There is a revelation that His “thoughts and ways” are infinitely superior to ours – Isaiah 55:8, 9. We need to know and embrace them so that we might be able to achieve and succeed according to His desire and determinations. God bless you in your quest.

 

GOD’S THOUGHTS AND WAYS

 

THE WAY OF WORSHIP

 

Reading     John 4

 

Text          vv22-24

Introduction

 

SUBJECT: On the agenda that day, Christ and the Samaritan woman dwelt on the issue of divine worship. It was of interest to both parties. It was of concern to both Jews and Samaritans. The woman brought the subject up but it was Christ who gave clarification on the whole matter showing the importance, relevance and priority of it. It was something that had to be given closest attention and thought by all irrespective of national and racial identity.

VOCATION: Man was made to be and called to be a worshipper. This is his main vocation in life, to worship. Regrettably, he is found to be worshipping the wrong things. Christ said to the woman: “you worship you know not what.” This is certainly so with the majority of mankind. They are at worship but are full of ignorance as to who and what they are worshipping. They are like the ones that Paul addressed at Athens – Acts 17: 16, 22-28. The city was filled with idolatries and idolaters. Everyone is worshipping someone or something and it is imperative that each discover who is to be really worship and in what way.

 

1/. THE WORSHIP OF GOD IS TO BE THE PRIORITY ACTION OF LIFE

 

Why can this be asserted to be so? Because Christ states that it is the will of the Father that men do this. If this is heaven’s desire and design then it is essential that there be knowledge of and a commitment to it. It is to be the first thing to be done and has priority claim above all else. If this has its true place then all things will fall into place. The first thing that was put before God’s people when they left Egypt was the subject of worship – Exodus 20: 2-5.

 

Christ reveals God in the ‘Father relation’; it is the Father that seeks. One is not in the business of adoring and revering a remote, cold deity, but One who has revealed Himself in a special and beautiful light: Father. Christ comes to introduce us to God and to God as the Father – John 14: 7-11. The Lord was opening this woman’s eyes to a completely new image and picture of God.

 

2/. THE WORSHIP OF GOD MUST BE PURSUED WITH REALITY

 

The worship of God has to be real and without fabrication and artificiality. It is not something that has to be put on like a show and according to a routine or tradition. As far as God the Father is concerned, worship must come from a relationship from those within His family of which He is Father, and it must come from the pure, true inward expression of the spirit and soul. Nothing but the holiest and finest motives must govern the worshipper. The worshipper must be at their best and the worship the richest possible. Those who know Him as Father will worship Him as Father and give Him the reverence, gifts and praise due.

 

Illustration:  Woman with the alabaster box of ointment – Matthew 26: 7-13

 

3/. THE WORSHIP OF GOD ALLOWS NO OTHER CONTENDERS

 

It becomes very clear from the Scriptures that the Lord alone must be worshipped and that no rivals will be entertained whatsoever. Israel had to make sure that the whole land of Canaan be purged from the pollution of idols and that the Lord be given undisputed rule and reign in the land. Nothing else was to be permitted to be alongside. The first thing that Gideon had to do before there could be an ensuing victory was to get rid of the idol – Judges 6: 25.

 

4/. THE WORSHIP OF GOD MUST BE ACCORDING TO HIS REVELATION

 

The Lord set out to the Israelites the path and program of worship in the construction of the Tabernacle and Temple. He showed how they could draw near to Him and discover His presence, government and favour – see Exodus and Leviticus. He desired that this people draw near to Him and discover Him in a unique relationship and blessedness. But He has taken a greater step forward in the advent of Christ, making it possible for man to be renewed, regenerated and brought into His family and to draw nigh to God through His Son, Jesus Christ. God the Father is to be worshipped through Christ the Son and by the enabling presence of the Holy Spirit

 

7/. THE WORSHIP OF GOD HAS ITS BLESSED CONSEQUENCES

 

When God the Father is worshipped in reality the results of it are most beneficial. There comes the great sense, knowledge and atmosphere of God in and upon the life. God the Father fills the thoughts and His ways become known fully. There is the consciousness of His Fatherhood and the out-workings of His plans and program. Life is lifted on to a new level of inspiration and realization etc.

 

CONCLUSION

 

This is the pursuit of Christ in relation to us: to make us worshippers.

 

This should be what we pursue as number one priority.

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