Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Fast Day 3: "Cry out all the more!"

I got a Voxer* message last night from  our friend PJ Smythe,*  in South Africa. He had been praying for our church, knowing that we were fasting this week, and wanted to encourage us to ask great things of God. What an encouragement to know that we have partners in the Gospel around the world who are routing for us, and seeking God on our behalf, even as we seek Him. PJ read from Luke 18: 35-43.

Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar
As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. 

He gave us two powerful encouragements from this passage. Firstly, he felt God wanted to encourage us to cry out all the more to Him for our cities, for our nation and the nations of the world. We are not to allow people or circumstances to rebuke us from asking in simple faith. Also, He reminded us that Jesus asks the blind man, What do you want me to do for you?" He reminded us that Jesus is inviting us to let Him know what we want Him to do for us. He is willing, He is attentive, and He is able.

Let's cry out all the more to Him for people who are in desperate need of healing, like the blind man. This may include children who are far from God, broken marriages and families, people caught in cycles of addiction, and people suffering from illness.

Let's cry out all the more to Him  for our Mercy and Justice initiatives; our partner orphanages in Mexico, our work against sex trafficking, our Safe Families and Adoption initiatives, and work with the poor and the homeless. Let's ask for Jesus' powerful intervention and provision.

Let's cry out all the more to Him for our 3 in 3 vision. We are trusting God to be able to plant one more multisite in OC, one church plant in North America, and one plant into world A* in 3 years.
We are gaining clarity on the next city into which to plant, but we are needing God's confirmation and timing.

Finally, let's cry out all the more for some partner churches who stand in need of a miracle at this time. Thu Thiem Community in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam for a leader, Cornerstone Church in Newcastle, UK for a visa, and Sheshi and Trudy Kiniki who lead God's Tribe Church in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for Gospel traction!

I know it's the last day, but let's continue to ask great things of a great God.
"Thou art coming to a King, large petitions with you bring."
 See you at 6:30 tonight for the feast!

*Voxer - a cool walkie-talkie app
*PJ Smythe leads Advance, the movement of churches with which Southlands partners.
*World A refers to nations that are either unreached by or resistant to the Gospel.

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