Friday , 23 February 2024

Presence!

It felt that our sitting room was heaving yesterday morning. David Adams was visiting speaker, John A was with us from Aylsham, Stephanie has not had transport for a while, but Dorien brought her over. Dorien has been once before. Barry H’s wife Sue came along, for the first time. She usually goes to the Vineyard church, but came as a visitor. Frank is becoming a regular amongst us, always accompanied by his 4 legged friend, Alfie. After communion, he will eat the crumbs that fall from the table! And then there were our core regulars, though M and M were unable to be with us due to a health issue.

Thank you to Bob for leading our praise and worship. Last week, Wendy and I were in France at a French church, and W felt that our gathering of around 20 was around 4 times louder and more passionate than our bros and sisters, of maybe 40 in number, across the water. There was prayer, and words of encouragement. Wendy read psalm 98. Frank then told us that the Lord had woken him up around 6am, and he felt he had to read certain passages, and would like to share with us. He read from Matthew 23 (all of it!) and Luke 6:27-35. The first readings was a warning against hypocrisy, and the second about what the Lord requires of us – humility and love for God and people.

Shirlene led us in breaking bread together.

I then introduced David Adams (we have known one another for well over 40 years), who spoke about the kingdom of God. It is with us, but is also coming and growing amongst us. We need to look for opportunities to be the fragrance of Jesus to people we meet. We have to be different from those in the world, and people should see that, and want what we have got. We must never compromise on God’s word – Ps.119:89 says that ‘Forever, it is settled in heaven’.

Jesus will physically return to this earth. He will catch us up, and after the tribulation, return with us. (We do not fall out over eschatological beliefs, but most present felt like David on this). His return will be when all nations have heard the gospel – more accurately, every people group – Matthew 24:14.

So one could say that we can accelerate the return of Christ by furthering the preaching of the gospel to all people groups. Let’s do that. The important thing is not how we feel during the preaching, but the difference it makes in the week ahead. Let each one of us look for an opportunity to share the gospel, or to make a difference in someone’s life. 

David had 2 words of knowledge – there was someone who wanted to pray for someone they knew, but had not done so yet. During the next few days, there would be an opportunity to pray with them. Secondly, there are those present who have moved in the gifts, and need to do so again. Do so!

Throughout, there was such a sense of the presence of the Lord amongst us. Barry H closed in prayer, and the dining room was buzzing, as around 20 people enjoyed beef casserole, mushroom casserole, and lasagne. A great big Thank you to Wendy, as we had only got back from France (after delays) at 4am Saturday morning.

Our next meeting is the prayer meeting at Catfield at 2pm on Thursday (unless you have something more important to do), and back at Frettenham next Sunday morning at 10am for 10.30am.

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