May 24th – Enjoying the favour of all the people



Christians in the modern Western world seem to have this idea firmly fixed in their minds. We all seem to think that the pagan world around us is hardened against belief – beyond the reach of the gospel. ‘Once upon a time’, we say, ‘people responded, but these days the majority are too sceptical, too hard boiled even to entertain the belief in a God who cares about them, who loves them. They just don’t want to know’. So we write off the unchurched masses as unreachable.
Now that is a tragic misdiagnosis. They are cynical about religious structures, yet there are, in our Western indifferent world, millions of people who are crying out for a living faith, and they seek it everywhere from anyone and anything – Eastern gurus, lucky charms, the stars and horoscopes, in self hypnosis, and in extremist cults which claim infallibility, and offer assurance, a cause to fight for and a sense of belonging. The world is hungry for God. There are millions of minds shut to what they think is Christianity – but yearning to be opened up and filled with joy and peace and meaning. Never sit at home and criticise Jehovah’s Witnesses who, reviled as they are, go from door to door with their pre-programmed sales pitch and win converts – unless you are prepared to show a matching zeal. This same zeal is seen in many others,like Mormon missionaries and in Muslim activists.But remember, zeal can be wrong!

The unchurched pagan Western world is hungry for God, but not for dead religion.Yet wherever it sees genuine enthusiasm, faces lit with joyful purpose, a true sense of the supernatural, wherever it observes an uncringing humility, an open accepting welcoming community – and hears truly great good news- then it is fascinated and attracted, and begs for the secret of the joy to be revealed.The pagan world is reachable and teachable, and hungry for reality.This is an early description of church:
“All the believers were together and had everything in common.Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people.And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2: 44-47

A Prayer:
Open our eyes, Lord, to the needs of the people around us.
Open our ears, Lord, to your words of life.
Open our hearts, Lord, to your love for them and us, that we become your growing, glowing family.

Now read Ephesians 5: 1-21.

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Thought 4 The Day

Let us beware of being wiser than God. What he has written He has written not for our opinion but for our obedience. (Anon)

Through the year calendar

May 2016
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Click on any previous date in the above calendar to read the relevant Through The Year post
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