First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church
221 North Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008
815-544-6402

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Script #109


Beloved,

Recently, I was asked why I am so increasingly passionate about peace, unity, and purity in, through, and for Jesus.

Uh, it's because we become increasingly passionate about what matters to Jesus as we become more intimate with Him; or as the apostle tried to articulate the experience/expression: "It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me."

We begin to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth: Jesus.

We begin to experience/express Joshua's boldness, strength, and courage as a fruit of intimacy with Him: "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!"

Well, I had a dream on Sunday.

I met someone for coffee who had left First about nine years ago; though the face kept changing to people who had left before, during, and after...

The faces were similar, recognizable, uneasy, and longing for something forfeited; but the eyes were indescribably vacant, cold, and dark.

As she/he tried to explain why she/he left, I interrupted and said/asked, "I hope you're not expecting to go to heaven when you die; because heaven includes all of the people who have loved Jesus.  You divorced yourself from members of the family when you left; so why would you want to spend eternity with people who weren't worth your time, love, and forgiveness for just a lifetime?  Why do you expect to live with them in heaven when you couldn't live with them on earth?"

I have never said anything like that to anyone; yet a sense of truth about it/Him has stayed with me since awakening.

Then Ella Jane's prayer (below) arrived on Monday morning; and shortly thereafter a personal note: "Bob, you and I are feeling the same heartbeat from the Father...'Make us one!'...This has been so strong and unshakeable with me for the past several weeks.  We need unity and love if we are going to impact the world."

Somehow - beyond me to calculate or comprehend - it all seems related to an outburst during Sunday morning's message that kept going through my spirit during a Sunday afternoon ordination: "We've already got too many Democrats, Republicans, Masons, Shriners, Lions, Elks, Moose, 81s, 1%ers, Baptists, Episcopalians, Catholics, Congregationalists, Lutherans, Methodists, Fundamentalists, Pentecostals, EVFs, AGs, and...with all of their idolatries, separations, and segregations so insulting to the One who sacrificed Himself for peace, unity, and purity and so damningly distracting from the only One who saves here and now and forever: 'You make converts twice as fit for...as you are yourselves!'"

We need more, uh, Christians.

I don't know what it all means.

I'm just scratching the surface.

But I think it has something to do with God as final arbiter.

Sobering.

Very, very, very sobering.

Blessings and Love!


Prayer for America
“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3

Beloved:

My heart is heavy with the need to pray for unity in our Nation and in the Churches.  If we do not unite as one, we give the enemy a great advantage over us.  I pray that your heart will be stirred to prayer to pray as Jesus prayed, "Father, make them one, even as You and I are One."  It is a time of repentance for the Church and for America.

Father God,

    I watch with horror as we increasingly turn from Your ways. Your precious Word speaks so strongly to our situation: “The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men” (Ps. 12:8).
    The Psalmist David again asks the right question for our day, “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps. 11:3).

    Lord, You have greatly blessed our nation. From our beginning, there have been those in leadership who have honored You and sought to lead us in righteousness. You have made us a beacon for freedom around the world for those who are oppressed and downtrodden. The material blessings from Your hand have welled up in national generosity to help those who are hurting, both within and outside our borders.

    We recognize our imperfect human nature and structures. While fighting for freedom, we had periods of slavery within our own nation. Even with slavery behind us, freedom was not always available to all in the same measure. The list of our sins, Lord, is long. We slaughter the innocent in wombs of choice. We defile the sanctity of marriage and make it vile. We love the pleasures of darkness even while professing to be Carriers of Your Light.  We call good evil...and evil good.  We are filled with self-centeredness, self-pleasure, and a "me first" mentality while claiming You as Lord. We know little about self-denial and denial of our will to take up Your ways.  We build our lives and houses and allow Yours to go to waste.  Our Ministers have profaned Your mercy and grace, and have built personal kingdoms instead of blessing Your Kingdom. We are a Nation and a Church filled with idolatry that denies Your Power. We bow our knees to the gods of this world and have become a lukewarm church with a lukewarm message that entertains instead of transforms. Without Your mercy, who could stand?

    Throughout our nation’s history You have blessed us with times of spiritual awakening and revival. Your Spirit moved in our midst to restore godly worship. You empowered Your people to be witnesses to Your truths and to take stands for righteousness and justice.

    Oh God, do it again! Come upon Your people again in reviving power. Before our nation can be changed, our hearts must be changed. Turn us from selfishness and sin to Your loving ways. Forgive our Nation for turning from You, and for the sins of idolatry and wickedness.  Forgive Your people for our transgressions and slothful ways.

    Your Word tells us, Lord, that judgment begins in the house of the Lord (1 Peter 4:17). May Your mercy and grace also begin there. Pour out a spirit of repentance upon the Church in America. Forgive us for making our faith more about us and our comfort and preferences than about Your purposes on planet earth. Fill our pulpits with godly preachers who will proclaim Your Word fearlessly.

    We will respond to Your Word as those who are called by Your name, humbling ourselves before You and in prayer, seeking Your face and turning from our wicked ways. Father, will You then hear from heaven and forgive our sin and heal our land (2 Chron. 7:14).

On Bended Knees and Bowed Heart,
Pastor Ella Jane Coley

Passageway Ministries
P.O. Box 507
Bixby, OK 74008
918-366-4415

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Visit our Website at
www.PassagewayTulsa.org

@#$%

    I'm just scratching the surface of my relationship with the Lord and Lord's.

    The less I acknowledge I know, the more people come to travel avec moi.

    The doors on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois along with those of my heart are wide open.

    I've stopped trying to figure out what He's up to in my life; and that includes ministry entrusted to me.

    I've given up.

    I think that should have happened long before I dared to be an undershepherd.

    I don't know why it took me so long to leave religion about Him for a relationship with Him.

    Better late than...

    Go back to the dream and prayer.

    I've never been happier in my life.

    Read Psalm 131.

    He wants that for me...you...everyone.

    That's why He can be called...love.

@#$%

Blessings and Love!

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