Tonight at 6:00, the Central Baptist family will join together to prayer walk in some of our surrounding neighborhoods. This is the start of our 1st Wednesday Prayer Walking ministry. While it is starting as a monthly ministry, my hope is that our people will see its effectiveness and we’ll do it even more down the road.
I’m thankful for those who are helping organize this ministry. As we met to brainstorm and plan, the intention was clear: we believe God will bless and bring opportunity through our efforts to pray for our neighbors.
Here’s why our church is starting a prayer walking ministry:
- We believe prayer is commanded by God (1 Thess. 5:16-18)
- We believe churches should be houses of prayer (Is. 56:7; Matt. 21:13)
- We believe we are to love our neighbor (Matt. 22:37-39)
- We believe that we should intercede for others, and that the Holy Spirit will intercede for us even when we don’t know what to pray (1 Tim. 2:1; Rom. 8:26)
Our hope, then, is that going into our neighborhoods will increase our opportunities to pray for, witness to, and serve our neighbors, effectively loving them. We want to be a house of prayer where people know that we love them enough to lift them up before our Father in Heaven.
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By Ryan Strother — 11 months ago
For some reason, God chose to let us be part of his divine plan of redeeming sinners. Without the preaching of the Word of God, people won’t hear, and if they don’t hear, then they won’t believe and then they won’t call upon the name of the Lord (Romans 10:14-15).
Now this isn’t just talking about the formal preaching setting in a church worship service. The word kerusso that is used in Romans 10:15 means to preach, herald, or proclaim. Anyone who has been saved by Christ has the responsibility to proclaim that Good News to others.
You are a herald in your home;
a herald in your workplace;
a herald to your family;
a herald in a classroom at church;
a herald when you are at the store;
All of us are preachers in the sense that we are to herald the Good News.
Romans 10:15 asks how someone will preach unless they’ve been sent. I want you to know that if you are saved by Jesus Christ, then God himself has sent you to proclaim the Good News. This is how it has always been:
- It was the Lord who directed the feet and mouth of Moses and Old Testament prophets as they heralded God’s Word.
- It was the Holy Spirit who came upon Old Testament followers of God to empower them for a mighty work.
- It was Jesus himself who called the original 12 disciples and taught them.
- It was Jesus who told us that He has all authority in heaven and earth and then sent them out to teach all the nations everything he taught them.
- It was Jesus who promised that the Holy Spirit would empower the believers to forever be empowered for the work of evangelism.
- It was the Holy Spirit who came down on that day of Pentecost and indwelled and empowered every believer.
- It is the Holy Spirit who will give you the words to say (Acts 2:15).
So yes, God sends us to proclaim the Good News of salvation to a lost and dying world.
So why are we often so silent?
What needs to change in your life so that you are actively fulfilling Romans 10:15?
Photo by Anna Vander Stel on UnsplashPost Views: 704
By Ryan Strother — 7 months ago
“Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17, CSB)
Have you ever paused long enough to be thankful for the people in your life? The friends and family members who continue to shape you, encourage you, support you, and teach you. It has been refreshing to me to do this over the last month, and I would encourage you to do the same.
Whether you realize it or not, the people around you sharpen you. Recently I’ve had this thought: I can’t believe that I get to know him/her. I have been so blessed by seeing how people around me use their abilities and giftedness to serve the Lord and others, and their commitments sharpen me. We might not be in the same line of work, but their character is refreshing and leaves me proud to know them and learn from them.
I am so proud of people around me doing some incredible things: publishing books, leading university bands, motivating people in their organization as a supervisor, single mothers taking on the world, a dad who works hard hours and still serves his wife and young child well–I could just keep going on. They may not realize they are teaching anyone anything as they are accomplishing the world, but their skills, determination, and integrity are sharpening me.
We should be grateful for friends! Here are a few ideas on how you can show appreciation to these people in their lives:
- Tell them you are grateful. Seems simple, but have you? Tell them face-to-face or send a note somehow.
- Listen well and don’t control the time you are together. It is easy to dominate conversations because we are naturally selfish, but taking time to really listen to others shows them how valuable they are to you.
- Get into their world. Show interest in what they value. Support their hobbies and events and try new activities with them. I would have never climbed Seneca Rock if my friends didn’t invite me; and I would not have learned a lot of valuable lessons through that trip.
- Be humble. This might be the necessary attitude behind all of these ideas, but if we do not consider others more highly than ourselves (Phil. 2:3), then we might not be in a position to have friends around!
How do you show appreciation for the people around you?Post Views: 327
By Ryan Strother — 3 months ago
You need to make sure that you are not an enemy of the cross. There are dire consequences.
Let me explain from Philippians 3:18-21. This passage teaches us the difference between enemies of God (or the cross) and citizens of the kingdom of heaven.
Some walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. They have enmity with, are in opposition to the cross of Christ–not just that they don’t like it or just refuse to accept the message of the cross, but enemies conveys that they are actively opposing the message of the cross.
What is the message of the cross? It is at least:
- the shed blood of Jesus Christ;
- the forgiveness of our sin;
- the breaking of the bondage to sin;
- the release from eternal torment and damnation apart from Christ;
- the fullness of life on this earth, filled with hope and guidance from the Holy Spirit.
And yet, some live in opposition to this! Philippians 3:19 describes the enemy of the cross.
Their end is destruction.
This makes sense because the cross represents the release from eternal torment. If you live as an enemy to the cross of Christ, then you are heading down a road to destruction.
Instead of destruction, though, Jesus made a better way: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, ESV)
Their god is their belly and they glory in their shame.
Belly is a way to refer to appetites/desires of a person. Those who live as enemies of the cross are letting their desires take the place of God. “They glory in their shame” can be understood in at least a couple ways:
They glory or boast in things they should be ashamed of.
We see this today:
- The high school student bragging about girls he slept with;
- The drunkard celebrating his activities from the past weekend;
- People not only engaged in sinful behavior but parading it around.
They improperly boasted in glorious things
Some commentators think this passage refers to those who claimed to be associated with God but truly were not. They lived under the law and found their worth there.
Some Bible translations say “their glory is their shame.” The understanding is that they were boasting in things like circumcision and dietary laws they followed—things that would have been to their glory as the people of God—but because of how they spoke about it or because of their pride, they were actually shaming themselves.
Their minds are set on earthly things.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? The enemy of the cross doesn’t have an eternal perspective, so they can only set their minds on earthly things. Life is all about their desires, and the current situation becomes life or death to them because they have no other framework from which to evaluate it.
This is the life of an enemy of the cross. Does it describe you? If so, the good news that God has graciously allowed you to be a citizen of the kingdom of heaven. The next post will describe how that status affects your life.Post Views: 196