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Showing posts from February, 2018

"Church Without Walls"

Jesus calls us to follow Him.

The Church Without Walls Report was presented to the General Assembly in 2001. The Report is an attempt to look for fresh ways of encouraging and supporting congregations in the twentieth-first century. The Report invites all of us in the Church to think about where we have come from, where we are and where we ought to be heading.
The Church Without Walls does not seek to impose a single, detailed pattern on every congregation. This point is emphasized in the opening summary of the Report's contents:
'We place into the hands of God's people the opportunity to live out our faith, each according to our own uniqueness, made in the image of God. It is our hope and prayer that the Report, together with the many initiatives within the Church at present, will stimulate the Church to face the future in faith and hope' (9).
The Report begins with the words of Jesus, 'Follow Me' (9). Christ calls us to follow Him. He invites us to be changed by…

Praying Through God’s Word: Amos

‘The Lord roars.’ ‘The Lord thunders’ (Amos 1:2). We thank You, Lord, that Your Word comes to us from above – ‘The Lord will roar from on high.’ You speak to us from heaven – ‘He will thunder from His holy dwelling.’ We dare not ignore Your Word. Your Word comes to us as a Word of warning – ‘He will shout against all who live on the earth’ – and a Word of judgment – ‘He will bring judgment on all mankind.’ You’re calling for our attention: ‘Look! Disaster is spreading from nation to nation; a mighty storm is rising from the ends of the earth.’ You’re speaking to us about Your ‘fierce anger.’ You’re calling us to turn from our sin. Help us, Lord, to return to You and hear Your Word of salvation: ‘I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more (Jeremiah 25:30-32,37; 31:34). 3:1-5:5
‘You only have I chosen… therefore I will punish you for all your sins’ (Amos 3:2). Along with the privilege of being ‘chosen’ to belong to You, Lord comes the…

Praying Through God’s Word: Acts

Acts 1:1-26 We thank You, Lord, for Your gift of the Holy Spirit. We are not called to serve You in our own strength. We come to You in our weakness. You give to us Your strength. This is the strength that we need – the strength that comes from You. Acts 2:1-47 We thank You, Lord, that the Holy Spirit directs our attention to Jesus (John 16:14). He leads us to make our confession of faith: “Jesus is Lord” (1 Corinthians 12:3). He leads us into a new life – a life that is centred on Jesus, a life that brings glory to You and blessing to us. Acts 3:1-26 What we cannot do for ourselves, You do for us. Thank You, Lord. You forgive our sins. You give us new life. You’re leading us on to Your eternal glory. Thank You, Lord. Acts 4:1-5:11 Without You, Lord, we are weak. With You, we are strong. Lead us, Lord, out of our failure and into Your victory, out of our sin and into Your holiness. How are we to walk with You in holiness and victory? – We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, ou…

Praying Through God's Word: 2 Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians 1:1-2:12 Lord, we thank You that Your Son, Jesus, is coming again. For “all those who have believed”, “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” will be a great Day, the Day of celebration, the Day of our salvation, the Day of “our being gathered together in Him” (2 Thessalonians 2:1 & 1:10). It will also be a Day of judgment for “those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8). You speak to us about the future – about salvation and judgment. You’re inviting us to have a heart-to-heart talk with You. From Your heart, You speak to us of Your love for us – and “Your desire for us to be saved” (John 3:17 & 2 Peter 3:9). Help us to say, from our hearts, “Yes, Lord. I believe in the Lord Jesus. I trust in Your promise – ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved'” (Acts 16:31). 2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:18 “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in all ways” (2 Thessalonians 3:…

Praying Through God’s Word: 1 Samuel

1 Samuel 1:1-28 We come to You, Lord, with sadness. You give us gladness. How does this gladness come to us? It comes to us when we stand upon Your Word, when we believe Your promises. Our life is not controlled by our feelings – the feelings that drag us down, the feelings that pull us away from You. Your promises lift us out of these feelings. They lift us into Your presence. They assure us of Your love. They lead us into Your blessing. Thank You, Lord, for Your promises and Your presence, Your love and Your blessing. 1 Samuel 2:1-36 Lord, there are two ways of living. There’s the way of holiness and joy, the way of living in the strength of Your Spirit. There’s the way of living to please ourselves, living without the joy that comes from You, living in the weakness of the flesh. Help us, Lord, to keep on choosing Your way, and not to persist in going our own way and doing our own thing. 1 Samuel 3:1-4:22 “Here I am, Lord … I have heard You calling in the night. I will go…