Monday, August 19, 2013

The Cloud


Cloud of Witnesses
courtesy photobucket.com
 



Last Sunday at our church, we sat in small groups and discussed questions printed on two different pages, regarding the future of our church. 

One person at each table took notes about the answers and opinions.  Then we moved to different tables for the next set of questions. 

At one of our tables, I suggested we need new converts and classes to disciple them and a children’s ministry, for our church is ostly Senior Citizens.

Today Pastor Jerry stated that many of the responses from last week, were the same as from the last 10 years.  In general no one wants to make changes, yet the members expect the church to grow. 

Then he proceeded to give his sermon using  Hebrews 11:29 – 12:2  About the hero’s of Faith.

Many were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning, they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

We hear about the burning of churches and killing of Christians in Egypt and in other foreign countries, but we ourselves have not yet had to suffer as in the scriptures we just read. or as we read in the news.

America ignores the persecution of Christians in foreign places.  Faith is very difficult in Egypt and other lands.

Many interpret suffering as discipline, many are weary and faint hearted, but we have not been tested unto death.

Many Christians define sin as the total acts of unrighteousness that they themselves do not commit  It is time to lay aside the weight that holds us back.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

The word Faith is mentioned 19 times in Chapter 11 of Hebrews, and also  many unnamed saints suffered greatly even unto death. 
 
We are surrounded by a Cloud of Witnesses, we are not alone and we look to Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith.

The promise is clear, Christ has ascended and the Holy Spirit has descended and pours forth love, faithfulness, obedience, and the anticipation of Christ’s return.

Christ is with us and there is a crop of justice.  God has expectations for his people. 

May we ponder God’s desire as we continue our discussions as to His Will and direction for this church.

 
This post is shared at Charlottes Spiritual Sundays site

This post is also Linked with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday Use it on Monday

 

5 comments:

  1. My heart's heavy for those Christians in Egypt and elsewhere. American Christians are blessed beyond comprehension. I pray we never have to face that type of persecution....God help us all.

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  2. Yes, we are lucky where we are where we can practice our faith . But still the battle is there: like the lust of the flesh and probably the good life makes people forget that they need God. It is slso tragic.

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  3. I respect how you never run or hide from the truth, Hazel. I know you're doing your part. I really believe young people like to hear stories from times gone by. Your books and stories might be a way to attract and share God's truth with them? Just thinking out loud.

    Suffering is part of this world that we are aliens in. I'm praying for our brothrs and sisters around the world.

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  4. Great thoughts! God calls us to serve, help, and make disciples.

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  5. May I ever be mindful of the cloud of witnesses that surrounds me. And may I ever strive to let the SONshine be reflected through me.

    GOD BLESS!

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