A SEASON OF REBUILDING (13/5/20)
If you missed Sunday's broadcast, please catch up by following the link below. (For the foreseeable future, we be running our Sunday morning services digitally. Please go to our website on Sundays at 10:30 to join in)
Today's devotional is a prophetic word from Austin and Ivy. Please watch the video and pray in response.
From the book of Nehemiah we (Austin and Ivy) believe that the Father is speaking to us about three aspects:
1. He sat down and wept
'When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.' (Nehemiah 1:4)
God is undertaking a restoration work in the church can nation. Any rebuilding work of God, begins with grieving prayer. Let's grieve and pray for the church and nation.
2. A surge of unity and progress amongst God's people
'When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realised that this work had been done with the help of our God.' (Nehemiah 6:16)
They rebuilt the walls together in just 52 days. Deeper social injustices were also addressed.
Let's believe and pray for such a phenomenal pace as Christians and church work together.
3. There was fierce opposition.
'But when Sanballatthe Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshemthe Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us.“What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?” (Nehemiah 2:19)
Let's be prepared for and stand firm 'in the day of evil'. Let's be extra vigilant of the schemes of the evil one. He would want to disunite and discourage us.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – TO BE FRUITFUL WE MUST BE PREPARED TO BE PLANTED.
Have you ever had the experience of doing something that you really didn't want to do only to find unexpected joy or reward in some way?
Introduction - please read in your group
Please read Genesis 37:18 and John 12:24-26
Joseph, like Jesus, was like a seed that was planted into a kind of death. Joseph’s ‘death’ would lead to the salvation of his family and many in Egypt. If we, like Joseph and, ultimately, like Jesus, want to bear fruit for God, we must be ‘planted’.
What does it mean to be planted?
In summary, it means to die to ourselves and live for Jesus. In the Joseph story, we see three aspects to being planted:
1. Despised – To be planted means to be prepared to be despised. Being Despised is about people's thoughts toward us. Like Jesus, and Joseph, if we are not prepared to be despised for our faith, we will not bear fruit.
2. Darkness – To planted means to suffer darkness. Darkness is about people's actions toward us. It's to suffer loss for what we believe: loss of a job, reputation, overlooked for promotion, hate on-line... If we are not prepared for people to treat us badly for our faith, we will not bear fruit for God.
3. Destination – To be planted means to embrace God's destination. Joseph was taken to Egypt. Jesus left heaven, came to earth and went to the cross. If we will only go or stay in places that are about our own comfort, we will not bear fruit for God.
In summary, Jesus put it very strongly,
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)
Discuss together – What of these three aspects (Despised, darkness or destination) have you experienced or do you find the most challenging and why?
Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:
What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message)?
What will you do in response?
How can we pray for you?
Please share from this week’s Church News