This morning I was reading in Acts 2:41-42 where we see the
wonderful workings of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. "Then those who gladly received his
word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added
to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and
fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the
Now all who believed were together, and had all things in
common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among
all, as anyone had need."
Now that is a pretty radical change in lifestyle. But it should be
because it reflects an even more radical change–the eternal destiny
of each person! That is the power of the convicting and transforming
work of the Holy Spirit. God's sovereignty can change lives for the
better, and forever. And that is the type of revival we are praying for
and desperately need.
From time to time questions arise of how churches will handle the
influx of new believers when revival really breaks loose here. How will
they they be followed up on, pastored and discipled? Are there systems
in place and leaders trained and ready? These are important questions.
Were the apostles ready back then? Thankfully the Lord had a plan for
then, and it is still the same today.
read in verses 46-47, "So
continuing daily with one
in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their
food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having
favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those
who were being saved."
What was it what kept the
change in people's lives ongoing? In a word–fellowship. That meant
worship, teaching, prayer and relationship. There were 12 apostles and
about 120 disciples according to Acts 1:15. Several of them had spent
daily time with Jesus, and they were empowered by the Holy Spirit to
pass on what they learned and lived through fellowship.
As a new believer over 40 years ago, along with many others, it was
daily fellowship in an Acts 2 style Christian community that nurtured
and prepared us to be followers of Jesus. Many of those friendships are
still ongoing and continue to strengthen and encourage us today. (You
can view or download the 27 minute documentary at this
During our time in Wales, we have watched how God is building
relationships among leaders and church members in a wonderful way. And
we believe it is in this context of the Body of Christ building
relationships that the Lord is preparing a great net for the incoming
harvest. In this light the much-used term "networking" takes on a
wonderful significance. There is a great Family being prepared to take
in adopted brothers and sisters in the Lord!
We would like to invite you join us praying for Wales that the Lord
continue strengthening bonds of fellowship across this land as it says
in Ephesians 4:15-16. "...but
[we], speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him
who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit
together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective
working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body
for the edifying of itself in love."
Dick & Gladys
Friends and Pray-ers:
This 1806 poster provides some valuable wisdom for our times.
Nelson, Duncan and Howe were British war heros, and they gave credit
where credit was due. And the conclusion is still articularly
significant. One could substitute the names of the nation and the men
mentioned for anything else, and the words still ring true.
The dust is still settling here after the UK's Brexit vote to leave
the EU, and it will be a long process. Parliament is in the process of
electing a new Prime Minister after the incumbent David Cameron's
resignation. Now the other major parties have leadership issues as
well, so things are very much up in the air.
At the same time, the US Presidential election scene is churning
along with lots of waves too, if news reports and Facebook comments are
any indication of things. And so on and on the story goes of humanity
trying to govern itself without the proper reverence for the Living God
and His ways.
"The fear of the Lord is the
beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding"
says Proverbs 9:10. Solomon had it right as long as he stayed on
course, but sadly he went off the rails like everyone else. And just as
he said in Eccesiates 1:9, "...there
is nothing new under the sun."
From one viewpoint the whole process of civilization doesn't seem to
point to a brighter future. And as one well known phrase puts it, "The
only lesson we learn from history is that we do not learn from
history." And this is why, as I mentioned last week, we best spend our
energies seeking the city "...whose
builder and maker is God."
Meanwhile, in the midst of
much not-so-encouraging world news, we know that the Kingdom of God is
steadily making advances. God's people are seeing fruit of the Gospel
in many parts of the world. I mentioned a few weeks ago the activity in
Reading near London that has now seen more than
2000 souls come to
also heard the news of recent blessings in West Virginia and
North Carolina where hundreds have been saved. And
there is other evidence of
God's work in such diverse places as France and Tibet.
this precious verse says in 1 Corinthians 15:58, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be
steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing
that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." There is much to be
encouraged about concerning the Kingdom of God!
Another verse that I found specially significant earlier this week
comes from Isaiah 68:9. "'Shall
I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?" says the Lord.
'Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?' says your God."
On a lighter note, Sunday afternoon we took advantage of a very
welcomed sunny day to meet with some friends in Aberystwyth.
Afterwards, we went for a walk along the beach by the
south jetty and were surprised to see lots of parked cars and trucks,
and hear the sound of some large activity in the distance.
Getting closer we could hear the familiar sound of a race being
called over a loudspeaker. Gladys and I worked with the Louisiana Race
Track Chaplaincy in New Orleans before moving to Wales, and so were
delighted to find a harness racing meet going on by the seaside! For
the curious, you can catch the last part of one race at
this link. James Brown was feeling good!
As always, thank you for your interest and prayers, and your labor of
love for His name's sake. We know that as we continue to work together
for the fulfillment of what Isaiah refers to above as "delivery
", in due time we will
see what he says towards the end of the chapter. "...the time is coming to gather all
nations and tongues. And they shall come and see My glory ...
they will declare My glory among the nations ... All mankind will come
and bow down before Me, says the Lord.
Dick & Gladys