My corner of the vineyard - Sydney
"EVERY good gift and EVERY perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of Lights..." (James 1:17)
I always remember that - The lord is the conductor of my life and I value and am thankful for, every gift He bestows on me, every single day.
In the Sydney fellowship, we have a monthly daytime house meeting. It was originally designed to take the church to brothers and sisters who had difficulty getting to Sunday and/or mid-week meetings.
I have been going to, and occasionally host, these "Fear Free Friday" meetings for a very long time. There is something special about the ambience and love shared by all who come to them. Most of us who attend are seniors, who have seen much in our lifetime experienced many sorrows, suffered much.
Our Friday meetings are dubbed "fear free" in that we are invited to share anything that is on our hearts and minds - knowing that it will be received with understanding and empathy. We are able to support each other as we submit our concerns in prayer to the Lord.
Our fearless leader is Stephen Kaye - whose motto and encouragement is: "REJOICE in the Lord always: and again I say, REJOICE!" (Phil 4:4)
Apart from the good food that is shared over lunch at the end of the meetings, the spiritual food that is shared during our meetings will make your heart glad, any day of the year. We infuse our spirit and boost our energy from the Word.
The word of God IS alive and powerful – it is able to speak into our troubled souls and lift us out of sorrow, whenever there is a need. It also instructs us to love and encourage one another and to be thankful:
"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another, is increasing.” (2 Thess 1:3)
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thess 5:18)
Personally, I AM thankful to God for His love and all the encouragement He has given me over the years, through the Word faithfully preached from the pulpit, or gently ministered at other times, through a brother or sister during fellowship e.g. at FFF meetings.
He has shown such grace to me and to my brethren.
God's grace is unconditional - which means He gives it, no matter what – even if what we are thinking or our actions fall short of His precepts, He knows why and He forgives you, without you even having to ask for forgiveness. That is awesome!
In Acts 2:25-27 David said: "I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices: my body also will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me to realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay“.
These are powerful verses for me because they cover all that the Lord has done for us by giving us THE most good and perfect gift - eternal life for our souls, through the infilling of the Holy Spirit. That was made possible only through His death and subsequent resurrection.
With a revelation of such amazing love, our fitting response should be:
"O Give thanks unto the Lord for He Is Good, for his mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1)
"O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation." (Psalm 95:1)
Lilian Raiss (Sydney Revival Fellowship)
‘The simple message that we are preaching, the same old Bible message, is a new message again - plain, powerful and exciting. ’ Pr Bob Beverley, Canberra