Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting and Bible Study

Psa 122:1 A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
Psa 122:2 Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.
Psa 122:3 Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:
Psa 122:4 Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD.
Psa 122:5 For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
Psa 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
Psa 122:7 Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
Psa 122:8 For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.
Psa 122:9 Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.

Tonight is another beautiful opportunity for the family to come together, testify and praise the Lord for His goodness, lean on one another for strength and encouragement, petition heaven for needs to be met, souls to be saved, bodies to be healed and comfort to be granted.

Some don't get too thrilled with the prospects of heading out to the Lord's house, here is a case in point...

Police in Utah say a 7-year-old boy led officers on a car chase in an effort to avoid going to church.

Dispatchers received reports of a child driving recklessly on Sunday morning. One witness said the boy drove through a stop sign, according to Weber County Sheriff's Capt. Clint Anderson.

Anderson said two deputies caught up with the boy and tried unsuccessfully to stop the Dodge Intrepid in an area about 45 miles north of Salt Lake City.

The car reached 40 mph before the child stopped in a driveway and ran into a home.

“Well, if I were to characterize the boy’s skills as driver, he’s not very good, if he were a legal driver," Anderson told FOX 13 in Utah. "As a 7-year-old, we’re really rather impressed with his ability to have not gotten into any accidents."

Anderson said the boy told his dad he'd sped away because he didn't want to go to church.

The child is too young to prosecute and no citations were issued, although police did urge the father to make his car keys less accessible to his children.

Laughing? Me too! May I confess to you something? As Paul said, “bear with me a little while in my folly.” As a pastor, church is not always that uplifting retreat that it is to many a church member. As the work place is to you, so the church can be to the minister. It can be the place where counseling, confrontation, duty, dealing with sin, reproving and rebuking all take place within a couple of hours. Yes, just as you have to drag yourself into work of a morning, sometimes the preacher can feel that same foreboding as he goes to his place of work. Well, thanks for hearing my confession. Now, turn your collar back around!

Now, I have to tell you, I relish the opportunity to minister in such a manner. That’s what God has made me to do. But you have to understand that sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming and lacking in joy.

Additionally, when we look beyond the negatives to the possibilities, that is, when we have dealt with the conflict and resolution has been accomplished, when sin has been forgiven and a soul leaves free and unburdened, when counsel has been accepted and the person goes forth with renewed resolve, when reproof has been accepted and the crooked ways are straight once again, When a sinner leaves as a saint, then church is a ton of fun for the preacher!

I must say, I have not looked forward to church in all of my ministry like I have in these past months. A lot of it has to do with my attitude. Once I quit counting the crowd and focused on counting the blessings, church became a much richer experience for me. Once I refrained from dwelling on who didn’t show up and started rejoicing for and with those who did, church became much more of a joy. When I stopped looking at those not singing and started studying those who were worshiping with abandon, I could get a real kick out of church.

When church becomes a drudgery, it is time for a major attitude adjustment. We need to realize that God Almighty wants to meet with us corporately. He has promised His presence, even if it is just 2 or 3 of us who gather together. And in His presence there is joy, liberty, power, peace, holiness and love. And that beats sitting at home on a Wednesday night and watching Gun smoke, er, ah, American Idol. (Wow! How appropriate is that name?)

Tonight, among our prayers and testimonies, we talk about the #10 sign of a healthy church, Developing Gifts.

I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.

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