April 21, 2008

Prayer and Supplication

Prayer has been foremost on my mind for quite some time. But recently, I seem to be bombarded with both the intense need for it, and my shameful lack of strength in this area! Yesterday, Pastor preached on not just praying, but Gethsemane praying! (Matt.26:36-46) He showed us the power of that prayer time which prepared Jesus for His last steps to the cross, and how important our prayer is in our Christian lives! It was certainly enlightening! Having read a little of E.M. Bounds, David Brainerd, and Spurgeon on the matter, how Billy Sunday never preached a sermon without first soaking it in prayer, it makes me look at the Bible with new eyes. Not just full of prayer, but full of events that occurred because of prevailing prayer, or because of the lack of it ...
I was teaching the teens last night about soul-winning again, and exhorting them to go out and witness. We had Teen Night on Saturday also, and I was longing for some teens to be there, some to get saved, and some to fall in love with the Lord and follow Him. I was left asking what drives me the way it does to serve the Lord, how can I point them to the Lord I love, How will they get convictions and desires of their own for spiritual things?
The answer for these things begins with prayer! I need to be "prayed-up" so I can love them with a Christian love. I need the power of the Holy Spirit when I preach to them. I need their hearts to be soft to the Word of God. I need to be close to God and right with Him if these things are going to be possible! Where does this leave them if I'm not doing that?
Let's not neglect this needful ministry, and utmost privilege to come boldly before the King of Kings!

How few of us can compare ourselves with Mr. Joseph Alleine. "At the time of his health," writes his wife, "he did rise constantly at or before four of the clock, and would be much troubled if he heard smiths or other craftsmen at their trades before he was at communion with God; saying to me often, 'How this noise shames me. Does not my Master deserve more than theirs?' From four till eight he spent in prayer, holy contemplation, and singing psalms, in which he much delighted and did daily practice alone, as well as in the family. Sometimes he would suspend the routine of parochial engagements, and devote whole days to these secret exercises, in order to which, he would contrive to be alone in some void house, or else in some sequestered spot in the open valley. Here there would be much prayer and meditation on God and heaven."

April 15, 2008

The Longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows!

Amen, it's been an encouragement to read the comments from believers in different countries! Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Pro. 27:17
When I reflect on another week spent serving the Lord my heart is honestly overwhelmed ... since the last post my mum and sister came back safely from the Philippines! I certainly missed them and the house was much different without them :-(

Spent the week trying to get various things done in the office while Pastor is gone! Tallying the Men's Retreat expenses, planning for the church picnic etc.
The Bible study was good on Wednesday and we had two of the visitors from the previous Sunday there too! That was awesome! Bill did a great job filling in while Pastor is away.

Pastor and Ruth were at the WCBC Youth Conference last week and many teens presented their bodies a living sacrifice to God!! Amen!
They have left California now and are in Hot Springs, Arkansas! Pastor preached in Alabama on the Sunday and Bro. Dan Eberly was there too. (He and his wife are moving here next September praise God!) They will see Joel and also visit Champion Baptist College where Buddy teaches. The Pastor, Dr. Eric Capaci is definitely a Spirit-filled preacher and I love his not only his energy and enthusiasm but his messages are always so practical! He is an exhorting Barnabas for sure!

There was no Teen Night or Bible Institute this weekend so it was much needed extra time to work on my message. Bill, Joseph, Barry and I went out door-knocking on Saturday afternoon in an estate called Wyndham Downs. Barry and I found there that weren't alot of people home (it was lovely weather) but we did get to give the gospel to a few people (Amen!) and prayed that the tracts would be read. We came across a teen who used to come out to Teen Night for a while but she decided it wasn't for her. Please pray for her salvation!

Dad preached Sunday morning on being dead to the law. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Rom. 6:14 He showed us how the law had condemned us and revealed our wicked sin. But now, through the blood of Jesus Christ we are dead to the law and freed from sin!!
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:1-2
It was a message straight from the heart! Yet another blessing to have a saved Dad (and family!) who loves the Lord and is an example to follow.
We had 4 new visitors, and many new faces back for the morning service so that was a blessing to see.

I preached in the evening on the importance of having our heart soft and inclined to God!
Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Isa. 55:3
I looked at how I got saved and how we should live everyday like we just got saved! I didn't know anything about living for God but that didn't mean that I couldn't! We just need to have a heart to listen and obey each step of the way. Looking unto Jesus always for our sustenance and guidance at every moment! Without Him we can do nothing at all ...

I sung a song called Are You Willing? by Niki Lott and Alicia Reagan. Powerful lyrics ...

Jesus left his home in Heaven and came to earth to die
In the garden He prayed, Father not my will but thine
He gave His life a sacrifice that you and I might live
He gave until there was no more He could give

He was willing to pay the price in full
He was willing to give for us His all
He was willing to come and die on the cross
He was willing His Father to obey
He was willing to wash my sins away
He was willing to yield whatever the cost
He was willing …

Christ is asking you today to give to Him your all
He longs to see your life surrendered to His call
Christian, will you die to self? He died that you might live
Is a living sacrifice to much to give?

Are you willing to pay the price in full?
Are you willing to give to Christ your all?
Are you willing to take and carry your cross?
Are you willing His commandments to obey?
Are you willing to serve near or far away?
Are you willing to yield whatever the cost
Are you willing …

Full surrender of everything is the only way
That a living sacrifice can on the altar lay
Oh, will you say?

Lord, I’m willing to pay the price in full
I am willing to give to you my all
I am willing to take and carry my cross
Lord, I’m willing your commandments to obey
I am willing to serve near or far away
I am willing to yield whatever the cost
Lord, I’m willing … I am willing … Are you willing?

April 07, 2008

Serving on the Lord's Day

Well Sunday was a great day indeed! Our Pastor is away in America with his daughter Ruth having a look at some Bible colleges. And boy are they having a time!!
We sure do miss him!

Bro. Kevin preached in the morning about coming into His presence (Exo. 33:14). It was definitely a word from the Lord that Bro. Kevin was learning, and he preached straight from the heart! He showed us how Moses spent time with the Lord just to be with Him, where He is, in all His glory and majesty! He also showed us how guilty we all are of just coming to Him to ask petitions, and then finishing our prayer. No seeking His face with the whole heart. It was certainly convicting ... Moses' life was changed through this encounter, and so could we if we really hungered to be with the Father in the same way.

After a lovely dinner with (what's left of) Pastor's family, we spent the afternoon down at the Activity Centre. Johann brought his french exchange student Hugo over, and also his friend Ivan and his french student (can't spell his name!). We just had some fun, watched some funny youtubes, including our ads for the upcoming Victory Youth Camp!

Choir started back up again at 6.30pm. We are singing a beautiful hymn called Constantly Abiding! I'm lookin forward to seeing some new faces, and also seeing those who are away come back (Ruth and Gina).

Bro. Martin preached the evening service! I didn't get to hear it as I was with the teens learning how to witness to the unsaved. We looked at how the law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul! (Ps. 19:7;Gal. 3:24) Charles H. Spurgeon said, "I do not believe that any man can preach the gospel who does not preach the Law. The Law is the needle, and you cannot draw the silken thread of the gospel through a man's heart unless you first send the needle of the Law to make way for it." Check out http://www.wayofthemaster.com/

We also had a great time of singing! We all sang a new song called I Am Accepted that Bro. Buddy Blunkall taught us last week when he preached at our church!

All in all, it was a great day. Praise God!

April 06, 2008

A Day in the (Abundant) Life!

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Jn 10:10
Everyday spent living for the Lord is certainly a day well spent!

Yesterday, we had the chance to go out Soul Winning and spend some time talking to people about the glorious gospel and their need for Jesus Christ. Barry and I found that most people are way too busy to consider such things. Some people even got offended that we would mention Christ or the fact that they would have to face Him after they die ...
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Heb 9:27

However praise God a handful of people did stop and listen!! Please pray for Vol, Catherine and Seamas that they would repent and trust in Jesus for eternal salvation! Also pray for those we didn't meet. Every time I hand out a tract I take comfort in the promise that God will always honour His word, even if I didn't get to witness well.
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isa. 55:11

We also got the chance to meet with Tadgh and talk to him about salvation. I am praying he will finally let his guard down and get saved! Pray for him, he will be coming to church today!

In the evening we had a teen activity and had lots of fun. We sang some great songs and learnt about abiding in Christ, and fulfilling our entire purpose for being alive in Him ... to bear fruit and bring glory to God! Johann's french exchange student came along, and amazingly enough we had a copy of the Bible in french for him! I know it's not a coincidence that he was coupled up with Johann and will be in church and studies while he is here in Ireland. Pray for his salvation!!

Well, it's time to go to church, pray for Bro. Kevin O'Keeffe who is preaching this morning while our beloved Pastor is away in the US with Ruth!

In Christ,