Rehearse the Word
Many of us at Living Word, have felt the power and significance of the word of God to us in the last few weeks. In this brief summary, we have brought together some of the themes and directions that we have heard.
We would like us to see this as part of the continuing word of God to us and to remember that we always need to be so careful to put the word that we hear into context with
a. Our biblical foundations
b. What God has revealed to us before
c. What he is continuing to say to us
d. What we hear of God’s revelation to the wider Church.
Looking at God’s word to us in this way helps us a bit like a compass on a map, giving us direction as well as signposts in an often confusing landscape.
So what have we heard?
From the Bible.
Passages from Isaiah 43 have been referred to a number of times in our worship and prayer. Three passages stand out: the protection through troubles; calling the lost ones from the points of the compass; and, in particular, God doing a new thing:
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland” Is 43:19
A change of season. As far back as August 2013 we heard two people bring the challenge that Living Word was about to see a new season
The Pillar of cloud and fire We had a word reminding us that like Israel in the desert, with the pillar of cloud and fire, God was calling us to watch where He guided and obediently follow Him even when it was not convenient.
For those in the Church who felt unsettled, there was a call in this word to discern the origin of this unsettled feeling –The Holy Spirit or not.
Where adjustment was then needed we should respond not at our convenience, but rather ensure that we keep in step with God’s direction.
The picture of the wind blowing the autumn leaves. This was a wonderful confirmation to the previous word calling us to watch where the wind of the spirit blows in our lives.
The Headphones help us to hear. There was an encouragement that in a world of conflicting voices, priorities and distractions, we needed to find ways to plug ourselves in to hear the sound of God’s voice.
Bringing a new Season to birth. God is moving our Church into a new season and moving into that season can, like childbirth, be a painful experience, we are called to be determined, persistent, to have a hunger for God and be a worshipping people.
A key part of this new season will be a call to answer the question- Where is the missing generation?- And will we reach to them drawing them into the Kingdom of God?
Investing our gifts without counting the cost. The story of ‘the Talents’ told by Jesus stirred many of us to realise that we are called to serve the King without counting the cost. The challenge was clear that
"If we are to see the new season come into being we needed to invest wholeheartedly with the gifts God has given each one of us. and become a Church that takes risks, leaning on Him completely, because I see a HUGE change coming into the life of the Church".
A boat sails into the light An image was shared of dawn at sea and as the sun rose, a boat moved into the light. "Those who come into the light cannot help but be affected by the light." As we carry the light of Jesus with us those who come into contact with us will be affected by the light that we carry.
So how does all this fit together?
In discussion the eldership have seen a number of strands. But we would be so interested to hear how you think these clear words and others fit into what God is doing with us.
Personal Discipleship We have just completed a whole series of teaching on issues of discipleship covering areas such as Forgiveness, Faith, Identity, Prayer, relationships, finance, giving and serving. Has God touched something in your life that you need to change?
Community Groups We have gone through an unsettled time without a smaller group structure in place. We are now bringing the Community Groups into being and asking each other for renewed investment of time and gifting into all the communities around us. Are we prepared to push through and be determined to see these come about? Drawing in the explorers we meet at Messy Church, Woodbury Court or in our own family and workplace etc. is costly.
Building Foundations in the Community. We have been so keen to follow the Lord’s direction as we seek to invest in a major project to change the lives of people in Basildon. We have been looking to purchase a property and establish projects that will reach out to those in need. We long to reach the missing generation and this is one of the ways that this might be done. As we pray and seek God together for wisdom, we are called to have an expectation that God is indeed taking us into new places
A life of devotion to God. We love to see the wind of the Spirit blow across our gatherings and ache to see chains broken in the lives of all who call on the Lord. We have seen people break chains and seen encouraging signs for which we can be so grateful. Let’s be hungry for more!
“Be the centre of our lives Jesus….We want you more Jesus!”
Let’s keep on listening to God and His word to us.
We are very excited about our series in the word commencing in January. We will be looking at the story of an ordinary extraordinary man- Nehemiah- used by God to rebuild a physical city and rebuild the heart of a nation. He has much to teach us as we seek to build together new ways to reach into and rebuild the communities around us as God intended them to be.
Please continue to pray and walk together in all that God is doing
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Tim, Sue, Brian Chrissie, Keith & Barbara Dec 2014