The dynamic simplicity of Church life working and living in a new found freedom. I have often pondered this thought of a “dynamic Church” and did so just a few days ago when I remembered fondly and clearly the day that I met Jesus and He changed my life – over thirty years ago! To some that may seem a long time but, to be honest with you there are times when I feel as if I know very little of God and His ways! Yes, I love Him deeply and am so aware of His deep love for me.
These thoughts spur me on as there is so much of Him to know. It may well be that as you are reading this that you take a few moments just to THANK HIM for WHO He is and WHAT He is doing in your life, family, friends, colleagues and His Church!
TECHNOLOGY & DEADLINES
I have often wondered if Jesus who wandered throughout Galilee, along the streets and by the sea who seemed intent on only doing His Father’s will was able to bring you and I into the same simplicity of lifestyle that He enjoyed on earth. Is that kind of walk with Father possible when we live in a technological era and are bombarded with information at every level? Workloads, schedules, deadlines and every conceivable pressure you can imagine. There echoes within my heart a resounding YES. He has given grace for every moment of every day to face every difficulty and challenge that lies ahead. His promise to us is – I am the Head of My Church and you are My Body. He will guide and direct us and prepare our hearts in all things because He cares and He has promised. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness!
A LIFE OF WORSHIP
It can be so misleading when someone tells us after a meeting that we had a good time of worship this morning! People have been taught by rote and ritual to believe that worship is something we do in a meeting. Most of this involves singing and maybe even a prophetic utterance of some kind. We have been involved with fellowships who worshipped worship! Let me be clear at this point, worship is a lifestyle and is not to be relegated to be seen only as an part event at regular meetings.
Those who would walk into the future, holding the Master’s hand will learn to worship throughout the day, in every situation. It is a love walk and expressions of love and appreciation should reach Father’s ears throughout the day. If we learn to focus on Him in a lifestyle of worship we will be less preoccupied with the “stuff of life” around us and become far more effective in touching the lives of others. Just LOOK at Jesus!
A friend of ours told us of his visit to Dhonavur, South India some years ago now. He mentioned that Amy Carmichael had laboured there with such devotion and effectiveness rescuing girls from temple prostitution. There were fifteen hundred girls there at the time from infancy upto young womanhood. In the centre of this place of love where homes were provided for these young girls by Indian Christians and missionaries, was a place of worship. Every time a clock in the tower of the centre struck, believers would pause to thank the Lord Jesus for His Presence and to whisper their love for Him. He mentioned that here were a people who were aware that Jesus is in every aspect of living and it seemed like heaven!
Let us cultivate that quality of worshipfulness to Jesus, an awareness of His Presence throughout the day. The fragrance of heaven’s air will permeate our lives and homes and into our neighbourhoods. May it be Lord.
HEARING HIM IN THE CUT & THRUST OF LIFE
“Can you hear me?” as I moved back and forth trying desperately to regain reception on my mobile phone? This has happened to many of us. But the way forward will mean we learn to “hear” in the midst of the “stuff of life” We need to unclutter our lives and live more simply. To continue my earlier metaphor, we will not hear anything if we are “switched off” – or out of reception; how often has somebody told you that? Love hears! In this process called life take time to cultivate the hearing ear. Put down that work, turn off the TV, forget the sport and news for a moment and listen. Father, as you speak to us may our hearts be filled with wonder and awe as we walk boldly and humbly into the future with You.
The “leaning on Him” that we looked at in the first article is born out of humility. Paul makes two statements that challenge us – to the Philippian christians he tells them his pedigree in detail and then goes on to say...it’s rubbish…compared to the wonder of knowing Christ! What a challenge! How much “rubbish” do we boast in and carry around so that our minds are switched off and we are unable to hear clearly? The second statement – we find him in jail and he writes to encourage the Ephesians to be completely humble and gentle. Why? Because in this condition of true humility and gentleness we can hear more clearly.
“When He has bought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice”
We will continue with more next time!
[by John Langford]