Posts Tagged ‘ prophecy ’

Day 97: Message to the Churches

Passage: Revelation 2-3

We looked at this in staff prayers last week and here are the things we drew out for each church. Which one is God challenging you about?

Ephesus: Return to Jesus, your first love
Smyrna: Stay faithful no matter what
Pergamum: Turn away from your bad habits and turn to God
Thyatira: Keep going
Sardis: Wake up!
Philadelphia: Hold on – Jesus is coming soon.
Laodicea: Stop being lukewarm in your faith!

Day 54: John the Baptist

Passage: John 3:1-20

“…At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness. Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.”

Movement…
I wonder how well you connect with the character of John the Baptist? In fact he’s probably the character that if we bumped into in Corn Market in Belfast we would do our best to avoid him… In good broad Belfast speak we would think he was a bit of a Header!!! A few marbles loose!! He’s probably the man with the turn and repent Sandwich board and the megaphone…

We know John was someone who didn’t mince his words, he wasn’t backwards about coming forwards,  this guy lived on honey and locusts we are led to believe that Sackcloth was his chosen brand identity… I believe we are being called back to becoming more like John, I’ve ordered in some sackcloth, honey and some mega phones and sandwich board these will be available from the Resource Centre from Easter Sunday… I’m just kidding… Honestly I am…

However what struck me about John was a man who heard from God and acted…and boy did he act! At Easter we reminded again of what Jesus has done for us on the cross he took our sin, provided a way for a relationship with our creator God, if we put our trust in him and turn our backs on going our own way we will be saved, new life, new found hope!

I wonder what it would take us to move us in action?  What message?… Question? Is the Message that Our God Saves and changes lives – yours and mine is that not a compelling enough message? We all have been given a message by God… “Go and make Disciples” was the last command Jesus told usbefore he left us to get heaven ready! Are we taking that message seriously are we moved again be John the Baptist’s and move into action, to to tell a generation and who have never heard! To make disciples and prepare the way for the Lord!

Like me I hoped the story of John challenges you and stirs your heart again to go!

Colin

Day 47: Jeremiah’s Call & Message

Passage Jeremiah 1:1-3:5
Key Passage: “I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness”

I can’t get away from that phrase: “I remember the devotion of your youth”…I just cant’t get away from it.

It makes me imagine standing before God, hearing what he has to say about my life and learning that the part he remembers with fondness, and most gladness, is my youth.  To be honest, I’d be heartbroken.  Heartbroken that the rest of my life didn’t live up to how I started out…Heartbroken that I started the race full of energy and enthusiasm but finished it by limping over the line…

I often ask myself questions like these…
-Why is it that so many people tell me they are ‘too old’ to take part in a camp or mission?
-Why is it that within Churches it’s so often the young people who go on life changing overseas mission trips while the older folk are simply left to finance them?
-Why is it so hard for a church that I know of, with a large membership, to find someone to take over their youth fellowship who is over the age of 23?

I know these are broad statements and I know, and am so so glad, that there are exceptions, but most of the time, I think these statements are true…

Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong, but I just wonder if, without realising it, our faith communities have created cultures where the young people do, while the older people watch?  Deep down inside they’re ready for active service, ready to get in to the trenches, but the generals have had them hanging back for so long that they don’t believe in themselves anymore, they’re not sure they can still cut it on the front line?

Does the setup of many of our churches mean that more and more people will stand before God and hear those words…”I remember the devotion of your youth”, perhaps through no fault of their own…

I’d love you to discuss this one with me…

Mark

Day 46: The Suffering Servant

Passage: Isaiah 51:1-53:12
Key Verse: “The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their very eyes they see the Lord returning.” Isaiah 52:8

In the world today we see and hear of natural disasters, war, famine and death and a common question on many Christians lips is whether Jesus is about to return? Since the days of Paul people have spoken of this event happening in their day and age and have got it wrong. The fact is that since Christ’s ascension into heaven, we have always been living in the last days and the one thing he has asked us to do was to watch and be ready for his return. This verse struck me as being essential for the church at the moment. What God really desires to raise up within our generation are watchmen (and women) who are able to discern the times and to be mouth pieces for God, warning the church and non-church of the dangers they face as we await Christ’s return. In biblical times watchmen were soldiers or civilians who were stationed on the walls or in watch towers and who often paraded the streets at night in case of any danger, so that they could sound the alarm as the enemy approached. Regardless of when Christ returns, it is his desire that we be people that “shout” when we see the enemy advancing and be vocal when we see evil or injustice happen before our very eyes. Are there things around you which you see aren’t right? Do you see people being taken advantage of or oppressed in any way? Silence is acceptance, and God desires that we speak up for truth and shout the Kingdom message of justice and peace for all.

But at times like these we also need to rejoice. This verse tells us that the watchmen, even though they faced danger and were on the front line, were the ones who sang for joy. Perhaps you’re in a place at the moment where you don’t experience much joy? Perhaps the struggles in life and darkness around us can sometimes overtake us? We need to be those people who live in the freedom and joy of all this is ours now and is yet to come. In Isaiah 53:5 there is this great promise for our lives now and in eternity. “He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” We all experience suffering. The Bible tells us that even creation itself is groaning with pain and waiting for Christ to return and be fully restored. But Jesus wants us to be those that shout and sing and experience his joy and peace in our lives daily. Today, be aware of the dangers around you and lovingly show others the truth. But do it all out of a heart of truth and love for a God that will one day return, but who blesses us with his presence now.

Dave