The Commander of the Lord’s Army has appeared to His people and has charged them to finish the task. Forgive me for failing to keep this vision in front of us. I send this bulletin to you so that we can go forward together.
Read on for:
- A report on the sending of D—— and M——,
- A follow-up from Sunday’s sermon, and
- An invitation to begin to live it out.
We were praying for D—— and M—— before we knew them. It was God’s will that this couple join a church that would care for them and train them. We thank God that Crossroads was a safe haven for them and also for their service among us. Sunday they asked the church to pray for them because it was time for them to return to Rolling Fields, the church which they left two years ago due to difficulty, and the church that helped commission Crossroads. We blessed them with stories of the grace we received through them, and we prayed for one another then, and for Rolling Fields. It is not easy, but it is good. Continue to carry this burden with them!
We read of Israel’s re-commitment in Joshua 24 to finish the task God gave them, and we closed with a practical application from Hebrews. It is my joyful duty to remind you again of God’s Word to us in Hebrews 3:12–13:
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
You know by now that sin wages a constant battle against us. The enemy does not sleep. It is easy to sigh in relief when a prayer meeting is cancelled or no one at church asked you about a particular area in your life. Guard your heart. Actually, we must guard one another’s. Our life of ongoing transformation is a community project.
Embrace God’s way to stay daily consecrated: Do not let an opportunity pass without encouraging your brother or sister in Christ with the Word and with prayer. Make intentional efforts to meet, share stories, pray, and strategize against the Enemy. This is a necessity for a true Christian and a gift of God’s grace.
John Piper on Hebrews 3:12–13:
Why don’t you go ahead and take the initiative to seek out some fellow-believers? If we knew that the Gestapo was closing in on us, if we knew that at any time some could disappear from our number never to be heard from again, we would gather often in our homes and in secret rendezvous to strengthen our hands in God. And love would cover a multitude of sins, and our handshakes and embraces and the meetings of our eyes would be like gifts of roses and lilies from the bottom of the heart.
Well, we are in war time. We are in enemy territory. Thousands of lives hang in the balance. The danger of hard hearts and unbelief and cool love and American luxury lurks everywhere. O, how we need to exhort one another every day to have strong confidence of victory in Christ, and to dream of new strategies of love to sabotage the enemy’s concentration camps of unbelief!
Forgive us leaders, as examples to God’s flock, for not encouraging and enabling you to meet together in smaller groups where you can obey this text and exhort each other with the promises and warnings and commands of Scripture and do ministry together.
At least on Wednesday, two such meetings will happen. At 6pm, men are invited to meet at the seminary’s Founder’s Café, and women with K—— at our home on campus. For one hour we will pray and share faith-building stories of God’s grace. Just one hour will help us continue to live out God’s Word daily. We must be intentional about ministry, especially Today. The days are increasingly busy, and you are now too busy not to pray.
It is exciting to meet as a church in the community room on the basement level of UTA. We will meet there again this Sunday. Gather outside at 5pm. B—— will reserve the room for us. In the meantime, begin praying for the people there… that the gospel of God’s grace would storm that tower.
Anyone you know who needs to take joy in God and join this fellowship this week? Stand in the gap for them and invite them.
I thank God for you and for His ever-present Son, Jesus. God may allow Crossroads to give itself away. But as long as it is called Today, and God’s gracious invitation is open to the nations, we must see to it that His Church is there.
Yours for the gospel until we join hands in the resurrection,