Dear Church Family
I've had the privilege this week of hearing some wonderful stories from across the world whilst at a 2-day church planting conference in Salford. One of the speakers was Luis Palau, the 82 year old Argentinian evangelist. He shared a simple message from John 14:12-15, urging us to:
1. Dream Great Dreams
He encouraged us to use our imaginations and dream big. This is what Luis has done since the early days of his ministry, believing that winning people for Christ and planting churches would change nations. Paul said that the Lord has bigger plans than we could ask or imagine (Eph 3:20) so let's not think too small. After all Jesus said (in v12) 'whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.' If that's not an incentive to dream great dreams, then what is?!
2. Pray Great Prayers
During his lifetime Luis was telling us that he and many others have been praying (amongst other things) for at least three Latin American countries to have over 50% of the nation following Jesus in bible-believing churches. He said that didn't mean everything would be perfect there, but it would be a great sign of the Kingdom of God advancing in his lifetime. He told us that God had now answered that prayer in the nations of Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica! He urged us to be brave and pray, and ask the Lord for great things in our day. After all Jesus said (v13) 'I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.' That's why it's so important that The Belfrey is a praying church. Thank you to those who prayed last night at our Evening of Prayer. Thank you for your prayers for our church, our region, our nation and the world. Thank you for praying for those in need, for more disciples and for the nation of Zimbabwe. Let's not be afraid to pray great prayers.
3. Obey Great Commands
This is about obediently doing the simple and important things God has told us to do - like 'love each other' (John 15:17); live a holy life (Heb 12:14) and make more disciples (Matthew 28:19). To live obediently like this is God's desire as we are filled with the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). After all Jesus says 'if you love me, keep my commands' (v15). So living obediently is Christ's desire for his followers and is key to effectiveness in God's Kingdom.
I share these three simple but profound insights because the Lord wants to use each one of us and our church even more greatly in our day - and he will do so as we dream, pray and obey.
Have a great weekend.