Dear Church Family
A few months ago, Max Hagen shared with me a message for our church that I've been praying about and sharing with a few people. It's simply this: 'Renewal is here. Revival is coming.'
Since the publication of my book, A-Z of Discipleship, I'm being asked to do some radio interviews about it. This week I was interviewed by Trans-World Radio, the world's most far-reaching Christian radio network. One question they asked was this: 'which chapter of the book do you think is the most important?' My answer was 'J is for Jesus,' saying that Jesus is at the heart of discipleship - because disciples follow Jesus! We're dependent on him. He is the One who died and rose again for us, and continues to shower his goodness upon us by his Spirit. The life of discipleship is really one of a growing appreciation of the wonder of Jesus! Since then I've been thinking what I'd have said if I'd been asked which is the next most important chapter. I think I'd have answered: 'N is for New.' As I wrote it I sensed there was a prophetic edge to it as it describes how the Lord loves to do new things - what's often called renewal.
I agree with Max, that we are in a season of renewal at The Belfrey. We see signs of it as people encounter God, are convicted of sin, put their faith in Christ, experience healing and a fresh outpouring of his love. There are many signs of renewal in our midst, and I'm praying and working to see more and more. As I say at the end of 'N is for New':
God is renewing the earth. Renewing his church. Renewing individuals. In anticipation for the final day when all things will be made new in heaven. This means disciples need never be bored nor get dispirited. There's always more. Always new things of enjoy and discover. The best is yet to come!
So what are you doing to encourage and join in with the renewing work of God? In your own life? In your family? In your Belfrey Group, congregation and beyond? Why not pray with me that this summer would be a period of deep and joyful renewal for many - especially as quite a lot of our church go off to give and receive at festivals such as New Wine United (week 1: 22-28 July; week 2: 30 July-5 Aug), Inspire (18-22 Aug) and Belfrey Youth Fest (31 Aug-3 Sept).
When we come to Christ we're forgiven and given a brand new start. As the bible says: 'the old has gone, the new has come!' (2 Corinthians 5:17). But that's just the beginning! There's much more renewing for us all. Through our prayers and actions let's be 'fanning into flame' the renewing work of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:6) and be expectant of more.
The best is yet to come.