Vision Reminder

Acts 1:1-9
I felt called to leadership when I was 16 years old. I had become a Christian in a Baptist church in Bedford in 1983 and got thoroughly plugged in to an amazing youth group. We would gather to pray on a Friday night, intending to pray for an hour and ending up praying until the early hours of the morning. It was an incredible time of blessing and many of us have gone on to lead within the church. We would also gather for larger worship events with visiting worship bands – often from other parts of the world. It was at one such event that God spoke to me so clearly from Isaiah 61:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour
I knew in a moment that God was calling me to full time Christian leadership. I was 16 and I knew nothing about life, so I duly booked to see my pastor. Remarkably, and incredibly graciously, he made time for me the very next day. We met and had coffee and I let him know that I had received the call, and though I recognised that I was not quite ready and would need some training, I was ready to take over from him some time in the next year! What was I thinking?

As I remember it a wry smile spread over his face, and having listened to me, he then gently encouraged me to listen to him. He was a man of the word and so rather than just trying to pass on his considerable wisdom and experience, he opened up Acts chapter 1 and walked me through these verses. What he sort to teach me that day has remained with me all through my leadership life. He showed me more that I can share here, but the two key points take only a few moments to write:

  1. Never try anything for God without being filled afresh with the Holy Spirt
  2. Once you have waited on God, start where you are, start in your Jerusalem
 
My pastor did not hand the church over to me that day – much to the relief I am sure of every member of that church. But he did commission me to start leading full of the Holy Spirit where I was. He sent me back to my friends at school and in the youth group and encouraged me to start leading them. To start praying for them, To start serving them. To start sharing my new found faith with them. Simon, he said, the Kingdom of God extends one conversation and one relationship at a time. He was right then, and he is right now.

Apply

1)  When did you last specifically ask God to fill you afresh with his Holy Spirit? Why not ask him right now. If you are unsure how to do that, find a friend and ask for their help.

2)   Where is your Jerusalem right now? Where do you have the opportunity to gently share your faith in word and in acts of service? Spend some time writing down your different areas of influence: Family, Friends, Work etc

3)   Think about appropriate ways to share your faith in each of the different areas and then pray for opportunity to share in these ways over the coming days and weeks?

Prayer

Father God,

I thank you that you have placed me in some specific and unique areas. Thank you that I have the opportunity to share my faith. Would you fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit that I may have both the boldness and the sensitivity to share you in effective ways in my own personal Jerusalem.

Amen.
Today’s Everyday Devotions were brought to you by Simon Elliott our Interim Lead Elder.

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