For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Electronic technology has given us a double- edged sword in our growth as disciples of Jesus Christ. We have online catalogs for just about every Christian book or course available. There are podcasts, free books online, live stream conferences, as well as thousands of sermons. Larger web sites provide us with the latest articles, reviews, blogs and information on the current trends in the contemporary church. No question, these resources are a great help. But even with all the best intentions and motivations, without exercising a degree of self-restraint, these good things can distract us from the better.
The means of grace God has provided will remain the same tomorrow as they are today and were yesterday – His Word, Prayer and Fellowship with one another. These are the gifts Christ has given us in the context of the local church. In his book, Healthy Spiritual Growth, Joel Beeke writes, “Rowland Hill said, ‘Some people’s religion reminds me of a rocking horse, which has motion without progress’. Let’s not be rocking horses; let us be plough horses for the Lord, pushing forward to accomplish the work before us, and war horses, pressing forward into the fight.”
Until Christ returns, every generation will feel the press of the “already but not yet.” Whether it’s the political uncertainty of our times or the uncertainty of our own number of years, we should give thanks for each day God gives to us. But more than that, as followers of Jesus, we are called to treasure life in the “gathered church,” our Life Together. In a book with that title, during the dark days of WWII, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “…what is an unspeakable gift of God for the lonely individual is easily disregarded and trodden under foot by those who have the gift every day. It is easily forgotten that the fellowship of Christian brethren is a gift of grace, a gift of the Kingdom of God that any day may be taken from us, that the time that still separates us from utter loneliness may be brief indeed. Therefore, let him who until now has had the privilege of living a common Christian life with other Christians praise God’s grace from the bottom of his heart. Let him thank God on his knees and declare: It is grace, nothing but grace that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren.”
Megan Hill speaks to us today with the same compelling sense in her book, Praying Together, “Our friends eagerly share the full range of our human experiences. They rejoice at our blessings. They weep at our losses. They listen to our stories. They tell us their stories in return. With our friends, we reveal our frailties, sins, desire, and hopes. How fitting then that we would also take all those things together to the Lord!”
Join us the first and third Wednesday evening of the summer months, from 7:00-8:00 as we gather together as women to pray for our children, family and friends who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Join us as we “plough” and “war” together in this time of prayer. Join us as we believe Jesus’ promise together and anticipate His presence with us as we pray for the advance of His Kingdom!
“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long? And have compassion on Your servants.
Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands.”