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Friday, June 12, 2009

 

Following The Purpose of Jesus

Our son Jonathan is a member of "The Bridge House Church Network". Their website states: "Churches are not buildings. Churches are groups of people who come together to worship God and help each other walk with Christ. The Bridge is a network of house churches (simple churches) that share a common vision to see people come to faith in Jesus and form into communities of believers."

A pastor in The Bridge wrote the following which we should pay attention to.
Challenge: Believing and Following Jesus by Kevin King
            Following The Purpose of Jesus
      The Bible makes no distinction between a Christian and a disciple. It is assumed that if a person is a Christian, then he or she is also a disciple. These days, some people wrongly make a distinction between the two. This distinction has been used to create a place for those who only want to say they believe in Jesus, but, in actuality, they do not want to follow Jesus. The problem with this is that Jesus confronts this very idea when he says, "If you love me, you will keep my commands" (John 14:15). He also says that many will say, "Lord, Lord...," but that He will reply, "I never knew you, depart from me..." (Matthew 7:23) This is not to suggest that we question or doubt our salvation. My point is that we should think of ourselves as disciples and not make a distinction between what it means to be a Christian and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
      So, what does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? Technically, it means one is a learner of Jesus. This is one who not only accepts the views and teachings of the one they follow, but who also seeks to live out those teachings and desires to emulate the teacher's life.
      I would like to mention two very broad areas that we should seek to grow in as disciples of Jesus. These areas are:
            1) The Person of Jesus
            2) The Purpose of Jesus
      When we think about becoming like Jesus, most of us often only think about Jesus' character; this is the person of Jesus. We want to become more loving, forgiving, honest, caring, faithful, and so forth. Becoming like the person of Jesus is a very important part of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, but I would like to challenge you with the fact that this is not all of what growing as disciples of Jesus means.
      Just as important as growing to be like the person of Jesus, is growing to share in the purpose of Jesus. This purpose was made very clear to Peter when Jesus called him to follow. Jesus told Peter, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). Being a disciple of Jesus means that we adopt, acquire, and develop the purpose of Jesus in our own lives. Jesus states this purpose in his own words; "For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost." (Luke 19:10)
      It is not possible follow Christ if you are not walking with him in his direction. As you pray and meditate, and seek to follow Christ more closely, seek to be like his person, but also seek to share his purpose.

Monday, June 08, 2009

 

Prayer Table Reports

Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table report June 6, 9:25-10:30AM Don and Candace Foust
+--indicates received wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina.

Gary-a middle aged man--health for family and friends. He said he had prayed earlier today.

+Milton--a young man, prayed for strength for his family; he had recently been absent from his family for awhile. He said he liked the plain wooden crosses because Jesus didn't have a golden cross and he liked the empty cross because it shows that the Lord had risen.

Rena, a middle aged woman-- believes she is 'cursed', not happy. Prayed for the forgiveness of sins.

Frank, an older man--led us in prayer for President Obama to bring peace to the Middle East.

+Daniel, a young man and +friend (a young woman)--for a better life.

Dianna, a young woman--prayed for her family.

Lester, a middle-aged repeat visitor--for protection.

Woman on porch across the street--we yelled if she wanted prayer. She nodded, stood on the porch, and we prayed God would draw her like a magnet. She went back into the house.

Sandy, a young woman who at first refused prayer, walking past us to the bus stop, but came back and requested prayer for her sister Jen.

+Brandon, a middle aged man--for his daughter Chantai who is home from college looking for a job.

+Danielle, a young woman--was hurrying to get to the bus, but stopped for prayer. She asked for God to guide and bless her relationship with her fiance'.

Lady walking by--"No, I've already prayed today and I'm a Christian, too."

Couple walking by--"Not now, in a minute," While they never stopped back, we prayed for the pregnant woman's unborn child and that they would be good parents.

Jim, a repeat visitor--for protection and good health.

+Chester, a repeat visitor from Faith In Action Sunday--for strength for today.

+John--Guyanese man with no family, who "works, eats, sleeps and drinks"--for strength and wisdom to stay away from alcohol's temptations. We reminded him that we have been adopted into God's family. He thanked us for the Prayer Table--a place where people in the Neighborhood can come for comfort.

Robert, a repeat visitor--who showed us the wooden cross he received 4 years ago from the Prayer Table. He shortened the cord so he cannot take it off. It stays on him 24/7. He was going down to NYC to visit his grandchildren and asked us for crosses for them+++ and his wife+.

Prayer Table Christ Church Coxsackie
11:30 am Hope Plaza Day is sunny, warm in upper 70's Ministers Julia Moore and Dina McGibbon

Offered prayer for all passing by. We prayed silently for all refusals and asked God's blessing upon them.

Offered thanksgiving for a teenaged boy who said God is supplying for all his needs.

Passerby had bandage on his cheek appeared to have had some surgical procedure done. Offered prayer but denied need. We prayed for his health and healing without infection and a good report.

Older man denied he was a believer said he could be called an atheist and didn't believe in God. Told him God believed in him. We prayed for his wife ill with a terminal lung disease. He thanked us. Prayed for him and his salvation.

Elderly man denied need for prayer but he left smiling.

Mid aged man asked for prayer for granddaughter who is recovering from pneumonia. Gave thanks to God for healing already done and asked the Holy Spirit to fill her lungs with His breath and continued healing. Thanked us for prayer and tried to offer money. Told him God's blessings to us are freely given and we just give freely what he freely gives us. Took cross to his granddaughter.

Middle aged man stopped by to chat with us and have a smoke. We prayed for his COPD and his inability to stop smoking after many time. Prayed against the spirit of addiction and for increased willingness to stop smoking and healing of COPD. He asked for prayer for the world. Thanked God for his creation and prayed for good stewardship for what He has given us. Prayed for the leaders of the world esp. our president and leaders for peace and understanding among the people god created.

Granddaughter asked for prayer for terminally ill grandmother. Gave thanks for the life of her grandmother (who is member of our church) and her witness of God. Prayed for peace in the family and acceptance of what is happening.

Prayed for woman who is in the hospital with her husband who is in pain with possible kidney stone. Prayed for positive outcome and relief of pain. Wife is strong believer and witness to God in her life. Called on phone and asked for prayer. Prayed for her son with a herniated disc who is also in recovery from alcohol and prescription medicines. That he will have relief from pain without medications. Prayed against the spirit of addiction.

Albany Intercessor

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