First, we never closed the doors of the church. The church is a people. You are The Church Next Door and you have been worshipping at home and online. We also decided to go very public with the message of Jesus on NBC4. (A Video Update Click Here)
The book of Acts 3-5 paints a picture of the Early Church in Jerusalem in its infancy struggling to find its way and voice. I believe we can follow their pattern and faith to guide us. We have been following this whether you realized it or not. John teaches us to trust “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my (Jesus) name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” [John 14:26]
Called to Preach, Pray and Plan with Holy Spirit’s Direction
Acts 3 begins with Peter and John going to the temple to pray in the afternoon. They see a man in need of Jesus touch and they speak life in Jesus’ name. The next thing you know they are preaching the Good News of Jesus. Preaching and Prayer should never be untied. They go hand in and even when we are social distancing.
We need to pray for the virus to be broken. I’m sure you have. We must not believe that we have solved this in our own strength alone. I won’t argue about the virus. All I know is it has not gone as predicted, that is good news. I am giving God His credit. When you pray, thank God for His mercy.
Don’t Miss the Good News
The people of Jerusalem did not want to believe that something supernatural had taken place. They resisted the message of Jesus. We should not be surprised when some don’t want to believe God has acted. They have been working really hard and if we say our prayer did the work they feel devalued and unimportant. That is not true, God uses people to bring healing and health every day. In the same way, farmers plant the seed and wait for God’s hand to work in nature to cause it to grow. You and I pray for God’s mighty, mercy to work.
Some people will rely on their own strength. We, as believers in Christ, choose to believe in His strength flowing through us. Peter could not heal the beggar but he extended the hope of Jesus. We are feeding people and praying. Standing against the lies that want to divide us and those who would like us to keep our mouths silent about God’s good name.
16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it.17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.” Acts 4:16-17
Some people will resist. Look for people who are listening and want to receive it. Paul was always praying for a door for the gospel to be open. We look for open hearts. Pray for hearts to be opened. In the past two weeks, we have had 25 people connect with us through online services and NBC4. Pray for them to be encouraged in the faith.
Listen to Peter’s and John’s Response
18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.
Would you join me in praying for miracles to happen? Give time to prayer? Come and sit in your car at the church and pray. Please social distance but you can walk and pray at the church on the trail or around the parking lot. Our focus for the next 15 days will be prayer. We are praying for each step as we prepare to reopen our doors to the public.
I pray that God would Shake our City Spiritually
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:31
You are in my heart and prayers. Love,