Meditation for Presbyterian Women Service September 11, 2012
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’
33 Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the towns to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. 34The land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. 35And they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined towns are now inhabited and fortified.’ 36Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places, and replanted that which was desolate; I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.
37 Thus says the Lord God: I will also let the house of Israel ask me to do this for them: to increase their population like a flock. 38Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed festivals, so shall the ruined towns be filled with flocks of people. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.
Prayer for Illumination
Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, our rock and our redeemer.
A Growing Flock
- A Word on Church Growth
- holy grail or distraction from true ministry?
- Spiritual Growth
- Large and Small churches can both be healthy/unhealth.
- I'm an advocate of church growth. Numeric growth.
- Clarification: Survival or Nostalgia not good reasons
- Great Commission is ONLY reason for church growth
- If we're obeying Jesus' last command, we should be growing
- Ezekiel passage
- Story of me & Ezekiel, promise to myself
- WHO? -- who is doing all the action?
- Blame game in churches--sinful people, sinful churches, God cleanses iniquities
- We simply respond to what God has done
- rebuilt, tilled, inhabited, fortified, replanted (all passive voice)
Then we get to verse 37:
- One thing we CAN and SHOULD do:
- Ask (pray).
- WHY? What is the purpose of growth?
- Like the flock for sacrifices (sacrifice = serve others)
- Like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed festivals (worship)
- Then they shall know that I am God (witness/evangelism)