Pastor's Blog

Desperate Prayers (5)

Links: Sermon notes & PowerPoint

Perspective matters. 

Try this. Open a book and place it on a shelf. Stand three feet away. Place the palm of your hand three inches away from your nose and spread your fingers. Read the book. 

To make it even more interesting, do the palm and spread fingers thing again. Now ... focus and stare at your hand for 30 seconds. Really get to know your hand.

After 30 seconds, try to read the book.

Hopeless isn't it? Your sense of perspective is temporarily out of whack. Not only can't you read the book through your fingers, you can't hardly find it on the shelf.

Perspective matters. Understanding the obstacles between you and your object of attention ... matters. 

Christians have long dealt with the obstacles between what we presently see and what we long to see. We presently see strife, turmoil and the shattering effects of sin in the world. We long to see the glory of God We long to see the true, righteous justice prevail in the world. 

The saints under the altar (Revelation 6.9,10) cried out, "How long, O Lord?" We join with them, don't we? We ask, "How long, O Lord, till you send your Son to take us? How long, O Lord, till there is a new heaven, a new earth, a new Jerusalem?" 

Perspective matters. God's delay is for the salvation of souls. God patience is for our repentance. Nothing is beyond the Sovereign authority of God, even the death of His saints. Let us take comfort in this heavenly reality. 

"When we've been there ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun;
We've no less day to sing God's praise
than wen we've first begun!"

 

Desperate Prayers (4)

Links: Sermon notes & PowerPoint

The Church Arises

Few things are scarier than standing alone. Most of us - even the most independent - like to think we'll fit in somewhere, if only at the margins. To intentionally separate from safety is not a natural act. Reflexes and impulses ... fears ... must be overcome.

The early church faced such a moment when Peter and John were told not to speak or teach any more in the name of Jesus. Surely, Peter and John were bold. They had been with Jesus! But what of the new followers? What of those who had only heard of Jesus? Casting their lot with Jesus when all is well could be reckoned exciting, even an adventure. Following Jesus into the teeth of official prohibition, perhaps legal consequences, is another challenge all together. 

When faced with this dilemma, the early church prayed. They put their trust in the Sovereign Lord for whom nothing was beyond His control. They understood they would be strangers and pilgrims wherever they went, even among their own people. 

Yet they prayed for boldness to speak about Jesus. They did not pray for their difficulties to vanish. They prayed for their courage to rise.

Would that we spent less time pining for deliverance and ease of witness. 

Would that we spent more time praying for boldness!

Posted by Tim Alexander with

12345678910 ... 2526