Happy New Year to all praying partners,
It is a bit late but I do really wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year in 2019.
Whilst there are a few informal meetings among fellowship members, January is normally a month where we have no outreach meetings, and this year our AGM breakfast will be in February, but do keep praying for the whole group and its wider contacts, not least those who made commitments, were healed, were set free from any sort of bondage over the last year.
THE MAIN REASON for this letter is so that you may have the chance to drop off our praying list from today. Each January I give all on my list the chance to withdraw, People do it for many reasons and I do not ask for any, but often I am told why. If you no longer wish to remain on the Norwich FGB Prayer list then please just reply to this email with the single word -NO- and you will be removed from my list.
I do confirm that my list is not connected with any other list for FGB or indeed other organisations, each edition is sent by ‘blind copy’ and is restricted to members of FGB and those who may from time to time have asked in some way to be included. It may be that as well as staying on yourself, you know of others who may like to be added, please ask them to contact me and request to be added to the prayer list. In these days of data protection I do need that contact.
Like many others I am sometimes asked to speak at meetings, and if there is no specific reason or subject given I always ask for the fellowships normal bible reading for that day, and preach or teach on that portion. Last Sunday I was preaching in an Anglican church and two of the appointed readings were. 1 Cor 12: 1-11 and John 2: 1-11. What immediately struck me on comparing the two chapters was the correlation between the Wedding at Cana and the filling of the Holy Ghost.
Have you considered, at Cana the pots were very ordinary. Clay jars of a type which all homes would have stationed near the entrance, holding 20/30 gallons of water each they were not small. The water was used to wash your feet after travelling miles in open sandals on roads, not only dusty, but covered in the droppings of donkeys, sheep, cattle and dogs, not to say humans. In other words, VERY ordinary pots filled with very ordinary water for a very ordinary use.
It was a wedding day, many gathered, the wine and food flowed freely, until it ran out. Embarrassment probably followed by accusations about how this happened. When Jesus said to servants, fill those ports with water and then draw it out and serve it. Ordinary pots, ordinary water, but what came out was the very best wine - you know the story well.
Now consider your congregation or group in the context of 1 Cor 12. You are probably pretty ordinary, just like a clay pot near a door, about good enough to clean up a bit of road detritus, but not much more. Just like most of us. You have a use, and it is limited. Then along comes the Spirit of God.
When each one of us makes the commitment of Faith we are automatically filled with the Holy Ghost, each and every one of our group is the same….. BUT, and here is the crunch, what is in us has to be drawn out.
The bible tells us that all the gifts are present in that room, one has this gift, another has that and so on, Great you think 100 gathered and the leaders have the job of ministry….BUT What about if you are only half a dozen, then the pressure is on - Do I really have the gift of knowledge, healing, tongues etc. Well one or some of you will, That's Gospel Brother, as the old song says……BUT now consider, what about if you are the only believer present? Then you must have all of those gifts that are required. You are still just a clay pot, but that within you is the very finest of wine, direct from the vineyards of heaven. I do pray that today you will just draw a little bit of that out and share it among the needy around you.
Prayer letter for the February Dinner in a couple of weeks.
Blessings to you and all your families, We love you if you are leaving and thank you if you are staying for another year.