Monday 25 July 2011

Jesus is Looking forward to your coming by Jon Sidnell

not Jon,but a welcoming smile
In introducing Jon's post from his blog   
can I add that the worship and praise in Havant Church yesterday was special. Time and time again many of us writing on Facebook or blogs refer to the constipation and binding effect of worship groups. Many in the worship groups are unhappy too with the inhibitive effects on the whole Body that a worship group has. Many see no option in larger gatherings. I have written in many places that anyone leading in these days will have to face Jesus one day and explain why exactly they disobeyed every single one of his few strategies written down mainly in 1 Corinthians 12-14, but also in comments elsewhere in the new Testament.
  • That as well as preaching the Word, the Body had to be free to build itself up with that which every joint supplies, 
  • that everyone has a "hatha", the King James version of has a gift to edify the Body
  • that FIRST before doing anything we pray for kings and governments
  • that if any be sick they are brought to the elders to anoint and pray
 Bible believing churches my foot! Hardly anyone takes a blind bit of notice, and one day will face Jesus as to why they opposed the growth of the Body and held it up for 2000 years.
 So when yesterday there was a fair bit of bouncing to and fro between worship group and Body I was really encouraged. But more than this, and I hope this will not lead to selfconsciousness later...a couple most affected by cancer and cancer therapy at the moment sung out with all their heart beautiful songs of adoration.

The very first big meeting  I attended was led in worship by John Farrah of the Fisherfolk who had just lost his wife to cancer. When she died, John collapsed into the arms of Graham Pulkingham. Those sort of deep moments, and responses to them  are what ultimately propels the work of God.
God responded in a word through Peter Stott that expresses the tenor of Jon Sidnell's article.

Steve McVey recently posted an excerpt from his book, A Divine Invitation. He shares a story of when he was teaching at a house church in China, when everyone was surprised by a woman singing a song of adoration to Jesus. As she finished, the church just waited in silence, before she said “He is looking forward to my coming!” This is something that the Father has been highlighting to me recently.
I’ve so often been focussed on how hungry (or not) I am to know and see more of Christ, that I forget that this whole relationship with Him is His idea! Jesus didn’t die to open up the way back to the Father because people were asking Him to or in response to human intercession. The plan to come and save us was entirely God’s from first to last, the purpose being that we would know Him and that He would know us in relationship. So often we picture God as reluctant to receive us, imagining that there is some offence between us and Him that means we’re not free to come before Him, or that He is just less than pleased with us or has better things to give His attention to. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Rather than seeing quiet times, bible study, prayer and worship as obligations that we must get out of the way to keep in His good graces, we need to start realising that He is looking forward to these times we spend with Him. More than that, He is looking forward to spending His time with us! Nothing thrills Him more than when people seek Him, coming in faith that He is eager to receive us and reveal more of Himself to us. He is waiting for us to approach Him in faith, which pleases Him, knowing that He is there and that He delights to reward those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). We receive the reward of His presence, but more amazing still is that as we seek Him, He receives His inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:18).
Today, Jesus is looking forward to your coming – looking forward to spending time with You. In the words of the Moravian missionaries, “May the Lamb who was slain receive the reward of His suffering”, which is nothing less than you, me and everyone He died to redeem. Don’t keep him waiting.

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