Another great time at the prayer meeting tonight. We spent most of the night on surrendering to God as we worshipped and prayed around that whole subject. Great to hear prophetic words and readings of scripture coming in and affirming all that God is saying. We finished the evening looking at the parable of the sower from Mark 4 and in particular how the seed in the weeds was choked by a surrender to things other than God (the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things) whereas the life surrendered to God (those who hear the word and accept it) produce a crop of thirty, sixty or even one hundred times what was sown. Just thinking for a moment what even thirty times (which for Jesus is the lower limit on fruitfulness) would look like for us. We talk of being a church of 2,000 but that would look more like 18,000! Let's believe God that we might sow seed in good soil and produce the increase Jesus predicts.
I was at a lunch today encouraging other churches in Bracknell to get involved in Hope08 this Summer. If you haven't heard about it then have a look at the website. Catrina and I just booked our summer holidays to make sure we're back in time for the week of social action from the 25th - 29th August and the big event in South Hill Park on Saturday 30th. Please can I encourage you to do the same as I really believe this is going to be one of the most exciting things to happen in Bracknell church wise for years and I wouldn't want you to miss it.
Finally to say please plan to come to the prayer meeting on Thursday night and as much of the 24 hours from 8am Friday to 8am Saturday (finishing with bacon butties) as you can. I'll send out a list of the subject for each hour of the 24 hours tomorrow morning (I haven't got it here at home). On the Friday night there will be no parking in The Kerith Centre car park as Hilltop (our ministry to adults with learning difficulties) have their belated Christmas party but there will still be plenty of parking at K2 and in the surgery so don't use that as an excuse.
God wants to be your best friend!
“I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you … and here is how to measure it – the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends. You are my friends if you obey me.” John 15:12-14 NLT
Your relationship to God has many different aspects: God is your Creator and Maker, Lord and Master, Judge, Redeemer, Father, Savior, and much more. But the most shocking truth is this: Almighty God yearns to be your Friend!
Friendship with God is possible only because of the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus. The old hymn says, “What a friend we have in Jesus,” but actually, God invites us to enjoy friendship and fellowship with all three persons of the Trinity: our Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 (NIV)
The word for friend in this verse does not mean a casual acquaintance but a close, trusted relationship. The same word is used to refer to the best man at a wedding and a king’s inner circle of intimate, trusted friends. In royal courts, servants must keep their distance from the king, but the inner circle of trusted friends enjoys close contact, direct access, and confidential information. Knowing and loving God is our greatest privilege, and being known and loved is God’s greatest pleasure.