After learning and writing about assassinations and impalings, it is a joy to write about the good news of Jesus Christ. I encourage travelers of faith to go to church as that is the best time to shed the tourist mark and get to know the locals.
We find our tribe and walk to church on a beautiful Sunday morning.
The Evangelical Church of Bucharest is an intentional praying church. All are invited to come and pray Sunday morning from 9:50-10:20 prior to the service at 10:30. Pray for the needs of the church, the city, country, and the world. In 1993 after the fall of communism, the seeds of this church were planted. In Sarajevo the pastor said that born-again Christians in Romania number around two million and are growing rapidly.
Jill greeted us. She went on a short term mission trip 19 years ago, and they felt called to mission to Romania and have been here ever since that time.
I loved their emphasis on world evangelism.
These banners remind me of a song to learn the continents…and it certainly applies to worldwide evangelism.
North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Don’t forget Australia, Don’t forget Antarctica.
We must not feel that our gifts to God are an obligation but an opportunity to worship and say thank you. Not only does this pertain to monetary gifts but also to our time and our lives.
Next Saturday begins a 12-week class in Romanian Sign Language. Come to learn to communicate with a large group that hasn’t “heard” the gospel.
There is much going on: ladies night out, networking dinner, men’s retreat at Conacul de pe deal, and communion meal next Sunday as was common in the church in the New Testament.
It will be pot luck or bring and share as the name depends on your culture. Also, calling it dinner is cultural as well. To the worship leader, “If it’s cooked, it’s dinner.
Even though the English songs were familiar, the music was slow and mellow as if in a piano bar.
These are the ones that we sang: Hosanna, Show Me Your Way, Lord, I Give You my Heart, Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus, and Good Good Father.
Today the pastor spoke about prayer. Prayer is often something that is talked more about than done.
The Word of God is powerful through the Holy Spirit. Our fruit or actions are proof that we understood the Word.
Benefits of Prayer:
1. Activates a deeper intimacy with God. Our conversation is a dialogue. We speak, God speaks.
2. Assists us to overcome temptations. Sometimes our temptation is apathy. We need to acknowledge our weakness and listen how we should respond.
3. Access to the Will of God. We will know His heart. Often our own ideas and ideals get in the way.
Today we will discuss how prayer accomplishes God’s work. Do our prayers influence God?
Do our prayers really matter? Do they have impact? We know that prayer changes us. Can it change God?
If we pray, God acts. If we don’t, He will limit His action. His ultimate desire is to partner with us. God is not limited but He can choose to limit His actions.
God has wanted us to partner with Him and His will all along. We don’t tell him what to do. We must know His heart and will.
He created man as partners. He created man in His image; to be like God, partnering with God on earth.
God extended His rule and restated to Noah.
In Babel, they wanted to rule themselves and BE God not partner with God.
Humanity continues to sin. Israel is chosen and God is the one that needs to intervene, and He does through Abraham.
That was the first model from the Old Testament. The last model comes from the New Testament in the person of Jesus Christ who deals with sin.
Matthew 10:1-2, 6-8, 19-20
God partners with us as disciples and gives us authority.
Matthew 28:18-20 is speaking to all disciples past, present and future. Authority is given to us today as well. God’s kingdom and glory are at stake. We partner with Christ to extend the kingdom of God.
1 Timothy 2:1-4
His desire is for all men to be saved. In this passage, He wants to partner with Timothy.
He could work alone, but He chooses to use and equip His people.
Ephesians 2:10 We are God’s masterpiece (even moreso than creation) wonderfully equipped.
Philippians 2:12b-13 It pleases Him to work through us.
1 Peter 4:10-11 The Holy Spirit equips us to do His will. We have been created to be used and partner with Him.
An interpersonal relationship is one where both parties open up and have a dialogue to openly communicate. All relationships are both ways. We open up and influence both ways. Influence can only come from a place of intimacy.
Often, our prayers are just crisis intervention. We believe that we can influence Him during a crisis.
Captivated in love to be fully open by gaze specifically. This is like in the movies where two people are looking for each other in a crowd. A glimpse turns to a gaze.
Jesus is looking through the crowd of your life in order for your eyes to meet. Jesus’ heart beats faster when you gaze at Him. It affects His heart.
Hebrews 12:2 Fix your eyes upon Jesus.
One often hears that we are born with a hole in our heart, a God shaped one. However, there is a hole in God’s heart as well. He desires us all to come to Him.
Jesus – Our Example
1) Connected with His Father in prayer. It was habit.
Luke 3:21 – Praying as He was baptized
Luke 5:16 – He withdrew to pray alone
Luke 6:12 – Spent the night in prayer alone
Luke 9:18 – Praying privately with the twelve
Luke 11:1 – Praying in a certain place (habit)
2) Doing only as His Father instructed Him
John 5:19-20a – He only says and does as instructed
John 5:30 – Powerless himself; only to please the Father
John 6:38 – Purpose is to do the Father’s will
John 8:28 – Never working alone; always with the Father
John 14:10 – Not speaking under his own authority
John 15:10 – Obey as I have obeyed my Father
3) Giving glory to His Father for works achieved
Matthew 6:9-10 – Hallowed be… Your kingdom… Your will
Mark 14:36 – Not my will but Your will be done.
John 8:9 – I always do what pleases Him.
The kingdom of God is limited because of our disconnect.
Jesus had different ideas but followed His will.
John 14:12-14 is a powerful verse.
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
1) Faith – believe in Me
2) Connection – in My Name
3) Action – Ask and Do
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
The world is a broken and isolated place. The Gospel is meant to reach the ends of the earth.
Most of us are not good at prayer because we don’t believe that it matters. Let us not limit God in this community because of our lack of prayer. Not praying doesn’t affect your salvation but it affects the Kingdom of God. Through partnership with God, we can extend His kingdom.
A testimony of how God is answering your prayers is powerful. When we think of testimony, we think of our salvation, life giving. However, “moment testimony” of God at work through answered prayer is powerful and gives one the chance to share the Gospel message.
God’s kingdom is THE priority, not our small kingdom. We want EVERYONE to be joyful when Jesus comes.
We were asked to get out our cell phones and set a time to pray each day. This is a start and serves as a reminder. Just do it!!