Tuesday Gathering: 28th September 2021
Our opening praise was “Come bless The Lord, All ye servants of The Lord”, which led into a time of prayer and intercession, although there is a sense that we are still searching for ‘our voice’ with Him, if you understand what we mean. After our first gathering we have not been ‘all together’, which is accepted and usual, but somehow any one of us is also much missed if not in the company — particularly after our enforced pandemic estrangement.
There is assuredly no insistence on attendance — ever! It has always been come if you can, and we send our blessings if you cannot, whatever the reason — and as we are not getting any younger there are plenty of reasons … but a sadness remains when we are apart. Happily, love remains also.
We were led initially to Matthew 26:40-46, which says:
Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?
Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done."
And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand."
There is an everlasting supply in these words, but we held onto those words “Rise, let us be going.” We cannot be swanning about, letting things happen around us! “See, My betrayer is at hand.” It is always so. Satan and the demonic are always snapping at our heels, and the imprecation to ‘watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation’, has never been more prescient. ‘Watch’ became the word for our gathering at that point, with Carter Conlon’s word from “It’s Time To Pray” for 27th September — ‘God is raising up an end time army’ — being an important ‘call to arms’ - again! (The audio file for this is available below).
Psalm 131:3 says; “O Israel, hope in the LORD, from this time forth and forever”, led us to consider ‘watching and waiting’, just like the father awaiting the return of the prodigal, which is about - among other things — being spiritual alert, and the expectation — if not knowing — that He is going to do something. It is our understanding.
[Ephesians 1:18] the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. What wonderful reassurance!
Hebrews 2:1-13 came next; Deuteronomy 10:20-21, followed by Proverbs 8:10-21, leading to Galatians 5:22-26 on the fruits of the Holy Spirit and resting in 1 Corinthians 13, “but hath not love…”.
The Holy Spirit was not finished with us yet and we looked at darkness and light, with scripture quotes including Isaiah 60:2 darkness shall cover the earth.
Gill heard The Lord asking her to read from the Book of Jude, which concludes with the stirring lines…
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Saviour,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Our meeting finished there, except it didn’t, with much discussion thereafter, with a thought or two about ‘binding the strong man’, and a discursion onto the subject of the ‘Ammonites … of which more another time.
Our songs were:
A HOLY COMMAND: Oswald Chambers on Love
What a rest comes when the love of God has been shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit! I realise that God is love, not loving, consequently He has to be very stern. There is no such thing as God overlooking sin. That is where people make a great mistake with regard to love; they say, “God is love and of course He will forgive sin”: God is holy love and He cannot forgive sin. Jesus Christ did not come to forgive sin; He came to save us from our sins. The salvation of Jesus Christ removes the ‘sinner’ out of my heart and plants in the ‘saint’. That is the marvellous work of God’s grace.
[from ‘Biblical Psychology’]
Listen to these Gathering notes by clicking
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Spiritual Growth Is A Group Project
The psalmist said, ‘I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”’ Do you feel that way about God’s house too? And if not, why not? Paul writes: ‘God is building a home. He’s using us all – irrespective of how we got here – in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day – a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home’ (Ephesians 2:19-22 MSG).
There are times when you need to be alone with God in prayer; there are times you’ll only find the answer you seek when you’re with God’s people. When those who are indwelt by God’s Spirit meet for worship, teaching, encouragement and service, God shows up in a powerful way. You grow spiritually as you experience His presence, hear His Word, and fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Every time you gather with other members of Christ’s body, it reminds you again that you’re on the winning side.
It’s hard to celebrate by yourself. When you’ve something worth celebrating you generally call people together so you can share the joy, right? Jesus is so excited about His victory at the cross, that He calls us together every week to celebrate what He accomplished for us. And celebration, like spiritual growth, is a group project.
You can listen to this devotional from
UCB Word for Today
by clicking on the download file below:
Father, glorify Your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”
Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”
Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake.
Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
This He said, signifying by what death He would die.
The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”
Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.
While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
[John 12:27-36 NKJV]
All through His earthly life the Gospels tell us that people were astonished by Jesus’ wisdom and how He could explain complex ideas in parables. He was persuasive in a way that only prophets had shown before and yet He was different even in that. This passage begins with Jesus in communication with The Father, even asking if He could be saved from the time ahead, despite immediately acknowledging the answer which He already knew.
That it is reported in this fashion suggests that Jesus was speaking His thoughts aloud — “this is how you do it!” This is how your mind must be — not your thoughts, but the Father’s.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. [Isaiah 55:8 NKJV] The Father desires that our thinking be as His, but at first it is not. There is a process of adjustment — a turning and re-turning our thoughts to His Way of thinking.
And then a thundering voice came from Heaven — a roar — interpreted by some as an Angel speaking to Jesus; but Jesus said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake.” Again, Jesus turns things around, deflecting explanation and channelling what they thought they had heard back to the assembly. He says “this is for your benefit,” for he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.
This piece ends with these things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. What are we to take from that? Logically, if He has left, the people will not see Him — He will be hidden. However, it may be that John is actually telling us of their lack of understanding of what Jesus was saying; that their minds were not adjusted to Jesus’ ‘Holy Spirit’ message. The veil over their minds had yet to be lifted and Jesus was thus ‘hidden’ from them.
Believe in the Light!
What is that work? To be a saint, a walking, talking, living, practical epistle of what God Almighty can do through the Atonement of The Lord Jesus Christ — one in identity with the faith of Jesus, one in identity with the love of Jesus, one in identity with the Spirit of Jesus until we are so one in Him that the high-priestly prayer not only begins to be answered, but is clearly manifest in its answering — “that they may be one, even as We are.”
[from ‘Approved Unto God’]
GEORGE and GILL STEWART
for Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, Kilmartin
(unless post shows otherwise)