Knowing the Truth

                             

                             Rev. E. Anderson

WELCOME TROUBLE!

The Caribbean Pine is a tall strong tree, able to withstand fierce hurricanes, long periods of drought, and even fire.  One thing it cannot stand, however, is cultivation.   Put it in a well kept garden, with plenty of water and fertiliser and it will frequently die.  Luxury is actually fatal to it.

Perhaps you feel that everything is against you.  Maybe like many of us, you are feeling the ‘credit crunch’ and finding it difficult to make ends meet.  Possibly you suffer from ill-health or some tragedy has overtaken you.

Let me surprise you, and I hope, encourage you.   Trouble is much more essential for our development than we think.  Were it not for the privations it suffers, the Caribbean Pine in our illustration would not grow as high or as strong as it does.  If you know someone whose character is strong, and who is upright, someone you feel you can turn to in times of trouble, then you will find that they have had their share of trouble and difficulty and have come through.

So take heart, if things are going wrong for you.  Paul the apostle, writing to the Romans, said, “we revel in trouble”.  Why?  Because “trouble brings patience and patience experience and experience hope, and if you’ve got hope, you’ll never be ashamed”.

And of course, remember that if you have put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and committed your life to Him, He has promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you.   If you have never done this, why not do it right now?

                            

Knowing the Truth

                                 

                                    Rev. A. Hocking

STOP

Many years ago when my children were small, we had an old 1938 Hillman Minx car. (That tells you how long ago it was!).  It was in the middle of winter and there was no heating in the car so we wrapped the children up in blankets with hot water bottles to keep them warm.  We were driving from our parent’s home in Lancashire over the Pennines to our home in Yorkshire.

As we got out into the country, it began to snow and became quite foggy.  This was before the days of Motorways, and before long the road had disappeared under a coating of snow.  It was impossible to see where the road was and we crawled along peering through the windscreen to try and find our way.   Suddenly I felt a very strong urge to stop and see if I could see where the road was.   As I opened the door of the car I could only see blackness – which was surprising as everywhere was covered in snow.  Then to my horror, I realised I was right on the edge of a precipice.   Another yard and we would have gone over the edge and our whole family would have been killed.  I know that we were granted supernatural protection in that moment of impending tragedy.

This is not to imply that God will always keep us from ever suffering trouble or sustaining injuries.  We often do of course, but if we could see how often God does shield us and protect us from dangers that constantly threaten us, we would be amazed and full of thanks to Him.  The Bible says that God will not allow us to be tested more than we are able to bear.   How that should comfort us in times of distress. 

Why not do what the Bible says and just commit your life to God and trust him to bring you through?

                            

Knowing the Truth

                                      

                                     Rev. Reinhard Bonnke

REMEMBER JESUS DIED

FOR YOU

Reinhard Bonnkie

THERE WERE THOSE AT THE CROSS who made nothing of it. ‘Sitting down they watched him there’ – Matthew 27:36. Soldiers diced for Christ’s clothes. There were also the sadists, their perverted appetite feeding on the sight of bloodshed and those who waited superstitiously wondering if Elijah might come and rescue Jesus. Others came to while away an hour, like that old woman knitting in Paris while noble heads were guillotined. Then there were these John mentions that just sat and watched.

In phlegmatic fashion they made nothing of it. Like sheep grazing with their nose in the grass but never looking upwards to purple heights and Alpine peaks, these spectators had no instinct for the glory of Mount Calvary.

Imagine it! The greatest thing God ever did, or ever will do, and they didn’t notice. The Redeemer’s nail-pierced hands just a arm’s length away. His life-streams emptying from his wounds, covering him like a garment of crimson decoration. In a single drop of that precious blood there was power to wash away every foul thing in their soul, power to deliver them, power to thrust them in glorious victory along life’s road, power to transform them. But they just watched, indifferent, and eventually went away – back to the darkness.

They saw everything, but saw nothing. Before their eyes just another man died. ln that age human life was cheap. One man however ‘saw’. The Roman soldier in charge of the execution squad said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God’ – Mark 15:39. He was the first of countless multitudes in the long centuries ahead that would make the bells ring with the news Jesus died for me’. For them the sun would rise at midnight as for Christ it set at noon. Do you belong to this company?

                                

Knowing the Truth

                                    img015

                                    Rev. A. Hocking

WHY GO TO CHURCH?

If you’re spiritually alive, you’re going to love this! If you’re spiritually dead, you won’t want to read it. If you’re spiritually curious, there is still hope!

Why Go To Church?

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. “I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember
a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.”

This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column, much to the delight of the editor.. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

“I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this…. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!” 

When you are DOWN to nothing… God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual
nourishment!

All right, now that you’re done reading, send it on! I think everyone should read this! “When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say, “Jesus, could you get that for me?” 

                               scar 9

Knowing the Truth

                                    img015

                                  Rev. Alan Hocking

KNOWING THE SHEPHERD.

At a large banquet, an aged minister found himself at the side of a famous actor.  After the meal, the actor was asked if he would give them a recitation.   He hesitated, for he was not sure which particular passage would be acceptable to such a mixed gathering.   The minister handed him his Bible, saying, “Here, read the 23rd Psalm, everyone knows that.”

The actor stood to his feet and with all the ability he had, read those well known verses.  As he finished, a burst of applause came from the assembled guests.  Unexpectedly, however, he turned to the minister and said, “now you read it”.  As the man of God repeated the well known words, eyes began to fill with tears, and men and women alike were moved by the psalm.  No one felt the difference more keenly than the actor.   When the minister had finished, he turned to him, and said, “you did much better than I, and I think I know why.  I know the psalm but you know the shepherd.”

Perhaps you, along with many people can repeat the 23rd Psalm.  “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want….”  But do you know the shepherd?  This particular psalm gives a wonderful picture of God’s care and protection of those who put their trust in Him.    Instead of trying to make it by yourself through life and the many problems and difficulties we encounter, why not let the Good Shepherd of the 23rd psalm lead YOU all the days of your life?

                                  Rose2

Knowing the Truth

                                    img015                               

                                       Rev. A. Hocking

IT CAME TO PASS

One of the phrases that seems to be repeated most often in the Bible is “and it came to pass”.  Someone once suggested that we should take the little phrase and insert a dash after the word ‘came’.  “And it came – to pass”.

Problems, difficulties, anxieties come into our lives, but very rarely stay there.  Often the problem that seemed so big yesterday has almost disappeared today.  The anxiety we worried over so much last week is forgotten today.

One minister wrote,  “I have discovered that experience can help one to be a little more philosophic towards happenings which may seem at the time catastrophic.  One learns to accept even in dark moments of anxiety that God will undertake, and to say, “This too will pass.  I’ve been here before and .. survived”.

When we consider all the scriptures in which the Lord Jesus tells us not to worry, that God cares about us, and that we can cast our burden on the Lord because He stands ready to sustain us, we should not fear difficulties and problems.   Nothing in this life lasts forever.  It may come, but it will pass and we may possibly be the better for having encountered it.

So don’t give up.   Trust God!

                               flower p 8

Knowing the Truth

                                   img015

                                   Rev. A. Hocking

DO YOU GO TO CHURCH?

 

Many people go to Church on Sundays.   Do you? 

I’m reminded of the story in the gospels of how Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection and of the thrill and joy with which they greeted Him.   We are told that Thomas was not with them at that time and as a result he missed the blessing of that meeting.  Later on, when the disciples were full of joy and hope because they had seen the Lord, Thomas was still full of doubts and unhappiness.

Did you ever stop to think that by not going to the house of God you could be cheating yourself?   So many people find help, encouragement and comfort from going to Church, worshipping God and meeting with others of like mind.   Oh, I know there are some churches that make you feel worse when you come out than when you went in!  But don’t let that put you off.    I’m sure that like me, you have been to restaurants where the food was bad, the service terrible and the price ridiculous – but I didn’t decide that all restaurants were bad.  I simply went and found another one where the food was good, the service superb and the price reasonable!

Yes, I’ve been in churches where I was glad to get out.  But I’ve also been in many where I came out better than I went in.  Where it was a positive joy to be and where the folk didn’t seem to want to go home afterwards, they enjoyed it so much.

Because he was missing, Thomas missed getting just what he needed.  Don’t make the same mistake – and if you don’t like the first church you go to, keep trying – you’ll soon find one that does you good!

                              r1

Knowing the Truth

                                    img015

                                   Rev. A. Hocking

PROBLEMS  2

In my last message I said the most important thing to do with a problem is to find out what the real problem is.  Not what are the symptoms, but the real problem.  For example, lack of money may not mean that you aren’t earning enough, but that you aren’t using wisely what you’ve got.

Last time I finished up by saying face up to the real problem, if necessary, get help. There are plenty of places, many of them specialising in one particular sort of problem that are only too glad to offer help.   Your local pastor will be glad to help of course.  

But there is one other thing you can do.  One hymn writer put it like this;  “Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there”.  Jesus Himself said, “come unto me all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.  The solution to your problem may not be easy and the burden you are carrying may feel so heavy you feel crushed beneath it.  But I want to encourage you today to take that burden to the Lord in prayer – and leave it with Him.   So often people pray about something but then carry on worrying about it.  Leave it there with Him.  He can help and so often I have heard testimonies of people who have seen miraculous answers to their prayers when they simply handed their problem over to Jesus.   He really does care about you.  Why not pray right now.  Hand that problem, difficulty over to the Lord right now.  Then go away and trust Him to answer your prayer.  You may well find that the answer suddenly comes into your mind or someone will come who is able to help you.   Trust God! 

                                park scar 3

Knowing the Truth

                                      img015

                                    Rev. A. Hocking

PROBLEMS

Today we live in an age that is faced with problems no other generation has had to cope with.   It’s no wonder that the suicide rate is continually going up, that the sales of headache pills and tranquillisers have never been so high, and that more and more people are seeking the help and guidance of psychiatrists.

Perhaps you have a problem in your life that you cannot cope with.  You feel depressed, worried, wondering what to do?

Well, the first step is to identify the problem!  That may sound so obvious as to be ridiculous, but think about it for a moment.  Many people faced with a situation of difficulty they do not know how to deal with, simply, like the ostrich, bury their heads in the sand and hope it’ll go away. A recent survey found that many people with financial problems simply do not open bank or credit card statements for example.  But what happens?  The problem simply gets worse.  Some go off to the pub hoping to ‘drown their sorrows’ but that doesn’t work.  In fact, the subsequent hang over simply makes it ten times worse!  Others try drugs, or live in the fantasy world of TV.

All doing anything but face the real problem.  Often we’re so taken up with the symptoms, we can’t see the real problem. 

The family that can’t make ends meet may well find that their real problem is that money is being wasted on non essentials like sweets for the children or magazines they never read, so there is none left for the rent or to buy food.

Get behind the symptoms.  Find the real problem.  Face up to it.  If necessary seek help.  And don’t forget that God is available to help – He’s only a prayer away.

                                    100_0871

Knowing the Truth

                                           img015

                                       Rev. A. Hocking

HAVE YOU THATCHED YOUR BARN YET?

There is a story about an old Scottish farmer who lay dying.   As was the custom in that part of Scotland, all his friends and neighbours gathered together to pay their last respects.

The atmosphere of the room was naturally rather gloomy and at last one of the men broke the silence with the question, “Jamie, are ye afeared to die?”

The dying man looked up at his neighbour and said, “Nay, Angus, I’m not afeared to die.  You see I thatched my barn when it was fine – I’ve nothing to worry about now”.

I guess the truth of this story is very evident.  You may not be dying – I hope not anyway! But it’s not just for dying that we need to be prepared.  There are many situations in life in which it is easier to die than it is to carry on living.  We are seeing a great discussion at the moment on whether assisted suicide should be made legal.  Some situations seem to be so traumatic that the only way out appears to be to end it all somehow.  But you know that really isn’t the answer.

It is no use waiting until trouble strikes before getting ready to meet it.  By that time it is too late. Foolish indeed is the farmer who has a leaking roof to his barn but waits until the storms come before he starts to repair it.   It is too late then.

So it is with life. Prepare for life’s troubles and problems by inviting Jesus Christ into your life.   The Bible says that all things work together for good to those that love God. No matter what the problem it will work out for good in the end – what an amazing claim!  But notice the qualification – those that love God.  Invite Jesus into your life today then you won’t be caught unprepared when one of life’s crises hits.

                                             scar 1

« Older entries