Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Crossroads in Acts

The following email was sent this morning to those who are on an email list put together by one of those who has been leading our Sunday morning Bible studies. 

Good morning all!

The Lord has been leading us through these studies of the book of Acts.  We have going more slowly than usual because we are facing major questions together, questions about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

As we do this we will be blessed.  We will be "poor in spirit," that is, we will not be so sure of ourselves.*  We will be willing to stop and stand at the crossroads of decision that the Lord brings us to.   We will stop, look, ask and then walk.  That process is one of repentance and of faith.  Fearless, knowing that God is leading us, we will allow our Lord to refine us as silver and gold, fit vessels for His Kingdom.

*(Please pray for me that I am willing to be corrected just as much as anyone else!  And then speak with me if the Lord leads you to do so!)

I hope each of you will stop and "stand at the crossroads" when we come to major questions, look into God's Word, spend time seeking the Lord in prayer, and then go ahead and act on what it is that the Lord is saying to you.  The "looking," the "asking" and the "walking" is often something that we need to ask others for help in. 

Therefore, I hope many will consider coming to prayer tonight at church, 6:30, so together we can ask the Lord to do that refining and correcting work, and that we will be completely submitted to His will.  This is the way that the Lord leads us to pleasant pastures, to peace, to joy, and to the filling of His Holy Spirit into all of our lives.

As the scriptures say (this is part of Psalm 119):

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
    Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
    may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
    innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Please consider coming to prayer tonight.  In any case, please spend time in prayer about what we have studied so far in the book of Acts.  We looked carefully this last Sunday at Acts 2:36-41. 

If we proceed as we have been, on Jan. 20 we might review a bit of what we talked about on Jan. 13, see if there are any questions we should talk about as a group, and then proceed to the rest of chapter 2, where the Holy Spirit knits his people together into a supernatural community of faith, hope and love. 

This is also the topic of the Holy Spirit "Alpha" videos that have been being shown on Monday evenings at the Begarowicz's home.  God is moving THROUGH HIS WORD and Holy Spirit and I am so thankful!  (I missed last night's Holy Spirit study because I needed to be at our church board of directors meeting... I heard it was a wonderful evening!)

If you have questions or concerns of any sort, about what we are doing in our Sunday morning Bible study, or anything else, please read God's Word, then ask Him to speak with you in prayer.  Asking someone else who is also studying God's Word to read and pray with you is important too, since God does not leave us alone, but gives us one another as brothers and sisters who can be used of God to correct and encourage.  I am available and love to talk with any of you too!

I am learning, as I read God's Word with you.  I am praying that I will not be the "answer man" who knows it all!  I am learning to come to crossroads too, and to allow God to examine me.  Pray that I will be brave in standing on God's Word, and brave in casting aside anything that is not of God. 

Religious traditions and religious teachings that you and I have learned in the past must be examined in the light of God's Word, to see if they are indeed God's will.  Even questions as basic as baptism need to be held up to this light, to be examined, and to be prayed over.  This may cause discomfort, but sometimes discomfort is a part of the process of coming to "crossroads," where we look, ask, and then walk more and more in agreement with the Lord.  God will bless us as we do.

I ask your prayers and your patience with me and with one another through this process. 

Peace be with you my dear brothers and sisters.  Feel free to pass this email on to others who might be interested.

Steve Thorson
Crossroads Community Church, Cokato

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