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Written by Chris Kibble   
Wednesday, 13 March 2019 14:12

Dear all


Ross Hastings reminded us of the challenges facing churches in North America at such a time as this. For example, more churches close each year in Canada than are planted, and some churches have lost their buildings due to their clear biblical stand on ethical issues. So we must demonstrate the life of God to our communities: every child of God is called to be missional.


But we need, in Ross's view, a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit to be effective. And the reason that we don't have such an outpouring is that we aren't in prayer. After his resurrection, the disciples were taught by Jesus for 40 days and were told by him to wait for the Holy Spirit. So what did they do? As illustrated in Acts 1, they spent a significant time in prayer. They were dependent on God, being very conscious of their powerlessness, post-resurrection and pre-Pentecost. They prayed, prayed and prayed, because world mission was ahead and they were ill-equipped. Why pray for the Spirit when Jesus said it would happen anyway? Well God's promises do not eliminate human effort. By praying, we align ourselves with God's purposes. We participate in a conversation within the Trinity. In their praying, the disciples were also united. In Ross's view, the greatest tool of mission is unity, as per Jesus' prayer in John 17. Finally, the disciples persevered in their prayer, in the way that their Lord had taught them. So, the disciples modelled dependence, unity and perseverance.

But like us, Peter was a little impatient: he didn't wait on God to replace Judas but in something of a power move, organised an election which resulted in the election to discipleship of Matthias. In Ross's view this was premature: Peter should have waited for God to act - which He did when he chose Paul as the 12th disciple. So the lesson is to pray, pray, pray and be patient, particularly in times of decision. This was well illustrated in Acts 13:1-3, when the church selected Barnabas and Saul for mission. But even when we get it wrong, God is gracious: despite Peter's error, the Spirit came in power in Acts 2. From those 12, imperfect, disciples came a mighty church.



Pastor Chris

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 March 2019 14:18