Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Reaching out, outside the church.... and lay-off of the pastoral staff...

March 21, 2004

I love You, Lord God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, Sovereign God, Almighty God, King of kings, Lord of lords, God of love and mercy and grace and kindness and patience and justice, Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Shepherd, Saviour, Light and Life of the world, Comforter, Guide, Eternal One: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, One God, "I AM" - now and forever. Amen.

Lord, _____ said he would like to make up coupons to hand out on the street to young people, offering free coffee and apple pie (or whatever the weekly special might be) at our Saturday night youth outreach. It sure sounds like a good idea to me, a practical way to reach young folks. I am willing. But Lord, if this is Your plan, we need You to provide the strength and time and funds to provide these free snacks. We need Your committed people, people willing to sacrifice their time, talents and treasure. But even more, we need You to inspire and direct Your people to pray and to be prepared to minister to, invite, lead, and disciple these potential converts; to get us on our knees before You in fasting and prayer and in knowing You through learning Your word. And most of all, we need to be sure of being in Your will.

I have a question. When Your word says "as You did it to the least of these My brethren," does that refer only to Your born-again children, or to all Your created human beings? Do we help only those in the family, or do we reach out to those You may be calling? Do unbelievers "know we are Christians by our love" to each other - or by our love to all the world? Christ healed ten lepers, but only one was grateful, and Jesus probably knew that would happen. Did all the people Jesus healed, and ate with, and provided food for (thousands of them), already believe on Him? No, for there were Pharisees and others in those crowds that were actually opposed to Him. Lord, I want to do only Your will, follow only Your example. Lord, I think that "social gospel" must be in Your will, but only if the total goal and focus is gospel, the good news that people can KNOW YOU personally and forever be in relationship with You. This is life: knowing God!

So, Lord, I give this whole thing to You. Use me as You will. Let it be Your work, just using me. Let me stay in Your rest - resting totally from "my works" - and yet letting my faith be a living faith, proved by my good works, which my Father in heaven has given me to do. And all for the glory of God!

One last thing. Last night we were told that all pastoral staff at our church, aside from the senior pastor, have been laid off and told they should find outside work for income, since the church cannot afford to pay them. ____ feels that this is a spiritual war, and that You will bring us through. As soon as he mentioned what has happened, I just had a really deep, profound, sense of peace from You that You are in control and that this situation is in Your will and plan. And that You are bringing us through already. Praise God! Thank You, Jesus! This is so awesome. This whole situation is a great way You can show us Your sovereignty and love and grace and mercy. And draw us (drive us) into true commitment, surrender, sacrificial giving of all we have and are - to You! You are so great!

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