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Monday, 3 March 2014

Praying for the Journey

We are currently on a journey as we start to make Church in Progress a reality.

The journey of Lent is starting this week too and it’s a good reminder for us to slow down and refocus on our relationship with our Creator.  The fact that I’m only just starting to think about Lent and the build up to Easter is a sign that my life has already become too busy this year! 

At our last Core Team meeting we discussed the following questions:[1]

*  How does our Church in Progress help you be transformed into the image of Christ?

*  Through which means does Church in Progress prepare you to carry out God’s mission?

* How does Church in Progress best glorify God?

I think we are a long way off to satisfactorily answering these questions and it will definitely be an ongoing journey.

This Lent we are planning to put together a prayer calendar (like we did for Christmas).   Each day will have a different prayer focus. 

It would be wonderful if you could input into this process by thinking about the questions above and reading the bible text below.  Then please send in some short prayers that we can add to the calendar.   You can post them in the comments below or pop them on our facebook page.

2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10 (Taken from The Message translation of the Bible)

Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.

Staying at Our Post

Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvellous life God has given us. God reminds us,

I heard your call in the nick of time;
The day you needed me, I was there to help.

Well, now is the right time to listen, the day to be helped. Don’t put it off; don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we’re doing. Our work as God’s servants gets validated—or not—in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honoured; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumoured to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on hand-outs, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.

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