Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Getting The Power To Pursue Christ's Mission: UPDATE

A few blogs ago I shared what was happening as a result of Valley Baptist Church spending an entire week in a focused time of prayer as a church.  We started on a Sunday night with a SOLEMN ASSEMBLY, then Monday - Friday we had three a day prayer meetings (6:00 a.m.; 12 noon; and 6:30 p.m.) on Saturday we held a 24 Hour Prayer Vigil and then Sunday we concluded with a community prayer walk.  THE TIME TOGETHER WAS POWERFUL.  We were praying for God's power and presence to fill our lives as individual but also as a church body.  We were praying for God to show us where he was already at work so we could join him in that activity.  AND GOD DID JUST THAT.

In that first blog I shared how a member of our church, Henry, had a clear word from God that he was to go visit in jail a young fellow co-worker arrested for attempted murder.  Now I want to share with you what God has done since that initial revelation to Henry.  Henry was obedient.  He immediately went over to his co-workers house and asked his wife if it was possible for him to visit her husband in jail.  This wife was so excited to hear that someone was interested in visiting her husband and she gladly told him how he could indeed visit him.  Henry went to the jail on a Saturday, the day when people can visit family and friends, and got a chance to talk with Chris, his co-worker in jail.  As they talked Chris indicated that he had accepted Christ into his heart since he came to jail but was concerned for his wife, father, mother and sister because they had not experienced Christ personally.  Henry asked if he would like to have a visit from me as a pastor.  Chris was very excited about that.  I then went to visit Chris that following Tuesday, mainly I wanted to see if his "JAIL HOUSE SALVATION" was sincere and real.  As we talked I was very much convinced about his salvation but was a little confused why God had laid it on Henry's heart to visit him.  As we talked he shared how deeply concern he was about his family not knowing Jesus personally.  I asked him if he would like for me to go and visit his wife and share with her about his salvation and tell her how she could also be saved.  Chris started crying in join when I offered to go visit his wife.  He was so appreciative and excited that I would take the time to visit her. 

The next day I called Chris' wife, Silvia, and introduced myself but she had already talked with Chris and heard that I would be calling.  She was so excited to know that I and Henry had visited her husband.  I asked if she understood why Henry wanted to visit her husband.  She said she was confused about that and wanted to know if I could tell her.  I told her it was because God had told Henry to visit him because God was wanting them to know that He knows them, loves them and is wanting to help them as well as have a personal relationship with them.  Silvia began to cry over the phone when she heard that God loved her and would be with her.  I asked if I could come by and visit her and with her consent we set up to visit the following week.  However, that next Sunday, before we could meet, Silvia came to church and when we offered the invitation for people to receive Christ she came forward and wholeheartedly gave her life over to the Lordship of Christ as she repented from her lifestyle of sin.  After the service I shared with her how excited I was about her decision and about our upcoming visit.  Silvia also share how excited she was about the visit and that she was inviting her family to come over as well. 

That following Wednesday Henry and I went over to visit Silvia and her family.  As we got there it seemed as though it was only Silvia there but short afterward I noticed her sister-in-law coming in and out of where we were talking.  She finally just came in and started to listen.  We were talking about God's love and how through Jesus God made a way for all our sins to be forgiven.  Shortly afterward her father-in-law came in and also began to listen.  I asked him if he knew why we were there and why we went to visit his son.  The father answered that was something he just couldn't figure out.  Why would a couple of people who really didn't know his son or them would take the time to visit him in jail.  I shared with him that it was because God had told Henry to go visit him and them because God wanted them to know he loves them and knows the struggle they are going through and want them to have a personal relationship him.  As I shared this I could see a look of amazement in his face.  I asked what he felt about what I said.  He said that down deep in his heart he knew it was true but that he always felt that it would be him coming to God first and then bringing his son and family to God but he was glad that his son came first.  I asked both the father and sister if they would also to receive Christ as the boss of their life and their response was an overwhelming yes.  They both gave their heart over to Christ.  We now are beginning Bible Study with this family and with Chris in jail to build a strong foundation.

Is it any wonder that four of the thing that the early church devoted themselves to was to PRAYER.  Come on church let's pray and when God reveals his activity join him in obedience.