Field Notes – 18/8/F
“The first duty of ministers is to pray for those to whom they are sent in ministry…
If the Lord has blessed you – as in former days, me – with full-time ministry, and Sunday-by-Sunday preaching in a local church, then the membership roll is our main prayer list, with, after our family, the first call on our time…
I do know that in a church growing in the 200s it is possible to pray for every member by name once a week, and for all the members by name in the early hours of Sunday morning…
If we love people before God in prayer, that spirit of love will be evident in our ministry, and will the more readily win its way into minds and hearts.”
“Paul must have had an extensive prayer list and presumably spent some time each day naming before God all his churches, colleagues, and supporters. This would help maintain and strengthen the sense of a faith shared with ‘all the saints’.” (James Dunn, The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon)
“Three terms stand out in the New Testament to describe ill-treatment of the Holy Spirit. He may be resisted, or quenched, or grieved, each word describing a level of offence inflicted on our Divine Resident.”
- Resisted – to oppose the Spirit. We know what’s right yet we resist it.
- Quenced – overriding the Spirit and His work. Stirings and urgings are suppressed and the mind simply passes over them and moves on.
- Grieved – His work in us and for us is ignored.
More information HERE.
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “when “I will send a famine on the land – not a famine or bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it.” (Amos 8:11-12)
Matthew Henry wrote that “a famine of the word of God is the heaviest judgment. To many this is no affliction, yet some will feel it very much, and will travel far to hear a good sermon; they feel the loss of the mercies others foolishly sin away” and Calvin said that “nothing is more to be dreaded than to be deprived of the spiritual food of the soul”.
Just imagine life without the Bible. To not hear God’s Word. To not hear about Jesus. To not hear the Gospel. To not hear about God’s love, and grace, and mercy. To not have any guidance and encouragement for living your life from your Creator. To not hear about what’s in store in the future. To not know God.
Can you think of anything worse in this life?
Three areas evangelicals need to approach with a repentant heart:
- Our failure to reflect biblically on class and race.
- Our failure to integrate gospel proclamation and helping the poor.
- Our failure to be willing to suffer – younger evangelicals face the danger of changing doctrines so that they don’t look stupid in the eyes of the world.