To the GateWay family
It had been a tough couple of days to say the least, I was staying with a Pastor and his family in the Baixada Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro. I remember a few years later, Rebeca asking a neighbour when we stayed there if it was okay leaving the washing on the line when we went out (in other words, would it be there when we got back), the lady replied "yes, here they kill, not rob". So, if you can imagine, I had been in 'lockdown' at the Pastor's house and had managed to get myself very, very sick; nausea, vomiting, temperature and a 'splitting headache', not to mention the mosquitoes that seemed to attack me all night, their whining sounding like diving stukkas before dropping their bombs! No one spoke English, no one knew me, no one understood my culture, I definitely felt a long way from home, alone, vulnerable …… but God had me right where He wanted me.
Sitting outside in the Pastor's courtyard, doing my quiet time, God extended an invitation to me. An invitation to follow Him in what He was doing, an invitation to something so big that He would not reveal it all, an invitation that demanded a decision….. all in or not.
As we read through the Bible we see God inviting mankind to join Him in what He is doing. Inviting us to a 'mission impossible' (impossible for man and only possible with God). Imagine Gideon hiding in the wine press, threshing the wheat. The God of Israel's past seemed like some myth or legend in comparison to the lives they were living now; in lockdown, in fear of the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples. God calls Gideon to follow, follow in faith, follow in obedience, position himself with respect to the invite.
Esther receives a similar invite. We Christian's love to quote "for such a time as this", but I think the words of Mordecai saying "if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish" may have shook Esther. God was inviting her to a part in the overthrow of Haman and his evil plot, but if she didn't position herself God would raise up another!
Many of us don't respond, we have become accustomed to telling ourselves that our contribution is insignificant, irrelevant, that it won't be missed.
Yet history tells a different story. In late May 1940 many 'little ships' joined with the Royal Navy in evacuating 340,000 troops off the beaches at Dunkirk. Every boat that responded played its part, every life rescued, important, significant, whilst ""wars are not won by evacuations" everyone must acknowledge the "miracle of deliverance" at Dunkirk.
As we read through the book of Nehemiah in our devotionals we once again see how every man and woman has a part to play. Each person taking responsibility to reply to the invite to 'build the wall' in front of them which fundamentally led to the whole wall being completed which in itself was miraculous.
Finally who can forget Jesus standing outside the door of the church and knocking, inviting us to open our hearts to Him, to return to Him, not our will, or even 'church' how we want it but responding to His desire to have intimacy, communion, fellowship with us.
The message to the churches in Revelation is a simple one, REPENT and respond to His invitation.
Has JESUS got your attention? He is inviting His church to be involved in what He is going to do….. ordinary men and woman, children and youth, responding to His invitation …. ARISE MIGHTY WARRIOR.
Let us be part of what HE is doing.
God’s richest blessings
Pastors Marty and Rebeca
Gateway Elim Church is an Elim Pentecostal Church that seeks to reach and share the good news about Jesus Christ with the people of Yate and the surrounding area. Our desire is to see many people experience the joy of having a personal relationship with Jesus and living according to His Word (the Bible).
Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance Registered Charity: 251549