Managed out to a church tonight that i have come connections with from many years ago. The river is still flowing in a beautiful way. It was wonderful to drink!
I heard a young woman give her testimony to Salvation, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and deliverance. No warning was given, but up she came without delay when asked! So unselfconscious. So, so God glorifying! I heard about a man who was saved last week, and his word to the pastor this week was that he knew he was born again, because there was “a hell of a difference “in his life!!! Love it! Love it!!Love it!!! “Thank you Lord, that you are at work in so many places, so many churches throughout this land! More Lord.”
I think what struck me as well was that the leader was someone who has sought God sincerely since her earliest days as a Christian; sought to take on responsibilities, sought to learn. There was an encouragement to current young people to do the same, as well as a reference to the fact that young people now seem to be putting off taking up responsibilities until much later than years ago: living an extended youth, unwilling to take on the commitment of marriage, or parenthood or opportunities in church. I certainly don’t mean to tar everyone with the same brush, but I think there is a cultural shift in that direction and I don’t believe it is simply the pressure of house prices or the difficulties in the world economy , the banking crises and its aftermath, Brexit or whatever that is behind it all. Remember that as Christians we are to live by The Kingdom of God culture not slavishly following the patterns of the Kingdom of this world. The Kingdom of God, following Christ means we are to be culturally aware, culturally relevant and culturally different. There is a lot of talk these days about how the church, to be properly missional, needs to understand culture and be relevant to it, but perhaps not so much is said about challenging the culture or living differently from it, which is what Christians of every generation throughout time and history are called to do.
I don’t know if there are many young people in their teens or twenties, or stretching into their ealy thirties for that matter, who read my Facebook posts or blog page or not, but if there are, I want to say to you in the Name of the Lord that life is short. Seek God’s will and get on with it. Take up your callings and the responsibilities God would place upon you. Responsibility is not a bad word! Make the decision to BEGIN NOW! Can we miss a calling? Can we miss the right person? Well that is for another blog when I have the courage to ignore possible reactions and write it. Is it true that what is for you will not go by you? Certainly it is a phrase that one hears often in Scotland and it would be convenient if it was in the Bible! All I will say is that the window of opportunity for blind Bartimaeus to be healed was as long as it took for Jesus to walk by as he called out repeatedly, “Jesus, Son of David have mercy upon me.” Jesus never passed that way again. Many people love the story of Bartimaeus. I do too, but there is a part of it that makes me fear God, that jumbles up my tidy theology, that makes me aware I need to be alert.
I know it is different and things change, but is it for the better? In my younger days we couldn’t wait to get married have children if that was the Lord’s will for us, couldn’t wait to serve the Lord. Nowadays, often some or all of these are pushed away until the best and most energetic years are past. It’s a shame, I think. Anyway, very blessed tonight to be somewhere where God, FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT ARE HONOURED AND LOVED, His presence and activity welcomed, not censored.
I used to sing these words and mean them even before I started to follow Jesus: (Confused by that statement? Remember the Lord is at work by His Spirit in you before you believe in Jesus. If He were not then you could never have repented and believed or come to faith! He loved me from the first of time and before and in time drew me to Himself. The same is true of you if you are a believer. It is all grace!)
1. Lord, in the fullness of my might,
I would for Thee be strong:
While runneth o’er each dear delight,
To Thee should soar my song.
2. I would not give the world my heart,
And then profess Thy love;
I would not feel my strength depart,
And then Thy service prove.
3. I would not with swift wingèd zeal
On the world’s errands go,
And labor up the heavenly hill
With weary feet and slow.
4. O not for Thee my weak desires,
My poorer, baser part!
O not for Thee my fading fires,
The ashes of my heart!
5. O choose me in my golden time:
In my clear joys have part!
For Thee the glory of my prime,
The fullness of my heart!
Thomas Hornblower Gill, 1819-1906
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