On Sunday evening I was at the Swansea Hope celebration in Pantygwydr Baptist Church, and the speaker (whose name I unfortunately didn't get) gave a spirited message on something that has been on his heart for some time. He has been sharing ir with the leaders, who invited him to share with the gathered church. Here are the brief notes I took. I hope they are enough for you to catch the vision too.
We had been hearing about all the programmes of social action which Swansea Hope is involved in. The speaker referred to these.
Matt.25:34-40 Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
How blessed the people are who are involved in all the Hope programmes. Jesus is preparing something special for you in his kingdom. The great caring heart of the church is evident. The Christian Church is reaching out into the community. We want to know the blessing of God, to rest on the activities, to see a social as well as a spiritual revival.
John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.
We can do all we can to help people but each of them also has a spiritual need. We don't want to help them physically and have them end up in hell. "I offered Christ to the people" – John Wesley. Jesus should be the centre of our lives. We should be pointing people to him.
Matt.18:20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
One of the most powerful statements in the Bible. Not just to encourage us in poorly attended services. Jesus will be there to touch lives. The spiritual challenge we are facing is to lift up Jesus so visitors will meet him.
How important is it that we meet with Jesus in our meetings?
What do we know about the manifest presence of Jesus? Manifest = proof.
When people enter our churches they should say "God is in this place."
There needs to be a fusing together of the social and the spiritual.
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