Looking for signs that this difficult church business meeting about dry rot actually began to make a difference to my preaching I found that shortly before the meeting I preached on Blessing (Deut. 28:1-14). Blessing as 'God's power on the move like a surfer's wave engulfing and carrying high..."soul power" for the whole person, a whole people, who might know God's success". But, enjoying such blessing has a condition - 'if you obey the voice of the Lord.' Blessing means experiencing God's power but his power comes through our obedience. As I ended the sermon I definitely had this business meeting in mind:
'Deut. 28:2 warns us that if there is no obedient commitment then we shall not know what to aim for and the power at our disposal will not only be wrongly directed but it won't have the undefeated, unconquerable blessing of God. That's what we should pray for as a church and as individuals. That the blessing of God shall come upon us and overtake us, leading positively and confidently forward, because we are committed, joined together in the massive band of people belonging to the Kingdom of God, with Jesus who leads us on to greater things.'
It seems such an obvious thing to do, doesn't it? To listen to God as a whole people about his will in the practical problems they face. And to hear publicly God's will through the preached word.
Two days ago an old friend called from Blackburn. A widow whose husband died a couple of years ago. She talked about the days when I was their minister in Blackburn and then she said: ' Just recently I was looking through the piles of old papers he kept and I came across his prayer book. It was begun in the 70's and I found where he was praying for you specifically by name and that big meeting that we had in back July 1973 about what we should do about our building.'
You can imagine what blessing that gave me. And what timing! I told her I was at that moment looking back at those days and how much I learned as a young minister. And how much I owed to friends' prayers like her husband's.
Something was happening!
Thursday, March 7, 2019
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