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Posts Tagged ‘bible’

At a recent conference on prophetic preaching, there were many golden nuggets which I will work on, but a phrase that jumped out was:

“The preparation of the messenger is as crucial as the preparation of the message”

This may sound obvious, but do we practice this? A recent survey found that about 20% of the ministers questioned don’t have a regular pattern of Bible reading, never mind study. The speaker at the conference said he spends roughly 10-12 hours a week preparing his sermon, asking ‘What is it Lord that you want to say to the church this week?’ and delving into the scriptures.

Preaching is imparting truth – we are heralds delivering a message on behalf of someone else (God), so we have to be sure it’s His message and not ours. We not only need a prophetic edge to our preaching, but be teaching in such a way that the hearers understand and it enriches their lives.

In these days of issues, conflicts and tragedy, the church needs to have a voice. We need to be looking at these events in the light of scripture and, as Rev Malcom Duncan says ‘wrestle with scripture until scripture wins.’ The church needs the tools to be able to answer the big questions that are asked of us.

This means we have to know the Bible, listen to God daily and be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading.

2 Tim 3:16-17 – Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work. AMP

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1 John 3 v17

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

 

Give to people who are in need

James 2 v14-17

Dear friends,

Do you think you’ll get anywhere if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?

For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say

“Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ. Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or cup of soup – where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? (The Message)

 

We have plenty of people in want in our country – refugees, families on the poverty line through redundancies, broken relationships, sickness and lack of employment etc. Churches have been in the forefront of helping people with the setting up of foodbanks which give out not only food, but share a coffee and a listening ear. To find your nearest foodbank, see www.trusselltrust.org. Volunteer or set one up at your church.

 

Matt 5:42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

 

Lending – Try this – take a straw poll in your church about stuff – who’s got…

Lawn mower, Strimmer, garden tools

Saw, screwdrivers and other tools

Ladder, paint brushes etc

Slow cooker, fondue set, cool box etc

Baby equipment – pregnancy clothes etc

Expertise – computers / tax returns / filling in forms

 

Have you discovered streetbank.com yet? There are 77,000 people who have signed up to share stuff in their street – this is what the world is doing!! What is your church doing?

Do we feel it is OUR stuff? OR God’s stuff? Take your old stuff to charity shops, furniture projects etc NOT THE TIP!

 

2 Corinthians 9:6

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

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Be an Encourager

I am reading a book by Jeff Lucas – “There are no ordinary people”, which is essentially a long look at the life of a Jewish Cypriot named Joseph. We know him by his nickname, Barnabas.

The dictionary defines ‘encouragement’ as to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence, or to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.:

We see in Barnabas 3 actions of encouragement:

  1. Exhortation
  2. Drawing alongside
  3. Prophetic

Do a bible study of Barnabas and see the potentially tricky situations which he calmed and changed by being God’s encourager.

“Encouragement is oxygen to the soul” said George Matthew Adams

“One compliment can keep me going for a whole month” said Mark Twain

Walt Disney said there are 3 types of people in the world:

  1. Well poisoners – discouragers who trample dreams, snuff out creativity, tell others what they can’t do etc.
  2. Lawn Mowers – keep to themselves and are not willing to help out or care
  3. Life Enhancers – quick to reach out, live with eyes and hearts open, fuelled by passion to strengthen and enrich others

If encouraging was an Olympic sport, Barnabas would have been a champion!

Hebrews 10:24

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works

That’s the challenge this week – are you an encourager?

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