Dear Brothers in Christ,
Once again I write to ask you spend at least a small amount of time praying for our fellowship, **it’s potential for renewing meetings over the next few months and **its members, many of whom seem to be under spiritual attack right now. It is not my job to detail these to you, they are already on the lists of others whose letters you receive, but it is my task to warn you about the satanic influences surrounding us all.
As a nation, indeed as a world, the so called ‘pandemic’ illness of covid 19 has ground down the most basic principles of freedom we have been brought up to expect living in this country. I do not necessarily subscribe to the more extreme stories about its spiritual base, but it has certainly been used by satan in weakened the church if only by its prevention of the normal practices of fellowship and loving contact.
It appears to me that disproportionate numbers of FGB members and indeed other christian leaders, are experiencing problems with serious illness or other difficulties, and so I ask for specific prayers for our membership.Most FGB chapters/members would physically meet in some way several times a month, or at the very least once a month at the main event. Now we are separated and in some ways alone.We should not fear that, I always recall John Bunyan who was imprisoned and kept from fellowship for 12 years. We have been kept thus for less than 2 and we have the internet, for better or worse. However we can still feel very alone. So do **pray for our fellows, do **make an occasional telephone call, do **send out a round robin email, do **send a personal mail, and mostly do **PRAY**.
I do therefore ask you to pray for the spiritual, physical, social, fiscal and other areas of health of all the members of Full Gospel Businessmen and the Ladies of the Fellowship at this time. We are now looking - dv - at being able to start our evangelistic meetings during this summer, or at least by the autumn, and it would be really good that we can all be fit and able to enter into the witness we signed up for when we first joined.
Also of course do continue to pray for the fellowship as a whole. The work does continue, recently there was the national convention “on line” and there is locally the weekly FRIDAY evening ZOOM meetings for Norwich and other members led by Kit Brinkley.The telephone conversations and the general sharing which goes largely unremarked. Do pray for all of these ongoing events for all attendees and of course especially for those who maybe are saved, delivered or healed at these events.
Also of course do pray for the church as a whole. I remember when I was first a Christian, having been converted under an Anglican pulpit by the ministry of one who had been a Southern Irish Baptist who became an Anglican priest during WW2. In 1972 it was almost 20 years since the strong evangelical colleges had started to become more liberal and the students from those colleges were becoming senior in the churches. In many denominations christianity in the UK was losing its edge. The challenge to us all as believing christians, is do we have a sharp edge today?
Of course it is not all doom and gloom, the world is peppered with small lights shining in the darkness of our age. Are you one of them? We may be just a small flame, perhaps even just a glow, but do pray for yourself that your light may shine in your particular street or town. That as soon as we can again gather that you may join with others to create a larger light. May your light illuminate the congregation you worship in. To the building you meet in as we are released into a freedom of movement again. One that can be seen by all of those lost and seeking the truth of Jesus Christ.
A thought from Gods Word, I owe this reminder to the Sunday sermon this week….
Yes I had read this before, but I had not remembered it, It was gone from my mind entirely, and that is probably why the sermon was so dramatically relevant to me, my eyes had been blinded to these several truths from Gods Holy Word. I could probably write a whole chapter on these, but I will just share a simple thought from each verse for you to meditate upon.
v1/ Cast thy bread upon the waters……Oh yes, it is easy not to give/tithe/freewill and forget that it will be found after many days……the principle of God
v2/ Give a portion to seven…perfection. And to eight…salvation.
v3/ If the tree falls……This is what really got to me because my tree has fallen, and I am concerned about where, so comforted by the promises in this verse
v4/ Sowing and Reaping we can all meditate on this
v5/ Creation and the Holy Ghost
v6/ The ultimate trust
Come to your own conclusions, my favourite commentator, Matthew Henry, applied the teaching of the entire portion to the act of giving, my Sunday preacher actually got seven teachings at least from the six verses. Because the portion really spoke to me, I pass it to you. I have taken v3 to myself, it does not matter to me, it does not hinder my relationship with God whether my tree has fallen to the North or the South, indeed to East or West or any other compass point, my relationship with God through Jesus remains just what it is, and what I mean it to be.
A personal Testimony, For much of my christian life I have practiced a straight reading of the bible, that is from Genesis 1: to Revelation 22: and then again every verse in every chapter of every book in written order. The fact that I did not remember Ecclesiastes 11: indicated to me that I have been neglectful, so I praise Jesus for reminding me. Can I encourage you to read just three chapters per day as an average, it will probably take not much more than ten minutes, and will of course be in addition to whatever studies you commit to. It is the act of reading which God honours by imbedding it in our brain which He designed to do just that. Of course in just one year you will have read the whole of the Bible. (this follows Wesley, the so called 'Method', which the denomination takes its name, involves 12 chapters per day)
As an afterthought, and another Methodist - do any of you recall Oral Roberts and the key book of his ministry ‘Seed Faith’. Roberts was, I believe from American Indian heritage (Cherokee), and grew up through the Oklahoma recession becoming a preacher in the 1940’s, his teaching in that book was that we should each practice the planting of seeds of faith as we live our lives, and in due season we would then also reap, and indeed see others reap from that sowing. This book was rather denigrated by being associated with the so-called ‘prosperity’ teaching. But in fact it also works in a different way in christian growth. Each and every seed will produce of its own kind. I have not read the book for over 25 years, so why it should come to my mind as I complete this letter, I do not know, but I am sure that we all should be sowing seeds of righteousness and not the seeds of destruction.