I don’t have much time tonight but I’m heartened that people have been reading and I feel a burning in my spirit today – hey, this morning we had a word from Ezekiel chapter 1 that chariots of fire are being sent out on the earth by the Lord, and that they only go where the spirit goes, and they go straight to where the spirit is going without turning, and also the throne of God is being released into the earth as well.  I almost felt that Azusa Street was taking off this morning in church as I felt God’s presence; I’m excited.

I listened to John Piper, an old sermon of his, 2009, what is the recession for.  Worth listening to because his voice shakes you up more than words on the page.  A good example of a thundering sermon of his where the noise is the sound of grace, and the cry of the heart of God.

  • He intends for this recession to expose hidden sin and so bring us to repentance and      cleansing.
  • He intends to wake us up to the constant and desperate condition of the developing world where there is always and only recession of the worst kind.
  • He intends to relocate the roots of our joy in his grace rather than in our goods, in his mercy rather than our money, in his worth rather than our wealth.
  • He intends to advance his saving mission in the world—the spread of the gospel and the growth of his      church—precisely at a time when human resources are least able to support it. This is how he guards his glory.
  • He intends for the church to care for its hurting members and to grow in the gift of love.

These are the five points that Piper unpacks in his preach, but he also says that when human resources are low God always moves, for example:

  • He promises the heir when Abraham and Sarah are too old to have children.
  • He splits the Red Sea when Israel is hopelessly trapped by Pharaoh’s army.
  • He gives manna when there is no food in the wilderness.
  • He stops the Jordan River when it’s time to take the land.
  • When a city stands in the way, he makes the walls fall down.
  • When the Midianites were as many as the sand of the sea, God whittled Gideon’s army down to 300 so      God would get the glory for the victory.
  • When Goliath defies the armies of the Lord, God sends a boy with a sling and five stones.
  • When the Son of God is to come into the world, God calls a virgin to conceive.
  • And when the mighty devil himself is to be defeated, a Lamb goes to the slaughter.

Think about each one of those for a moment.  But the most powerful moment in the sermon for me was when he said that if there is one Christian in need and you’re another Christian, you give to that person, because THAT’S WHAT THE CHURCH IS FOR.  It’s what we are!  Are we a church or are we a club?  If we’re a church, God will move out heart, and we will give out of our poverty, and release a liberality of joy.  I am stirred up about this.  Help me God to make it count, like the widow’s mite.  Might it hurt, Lord.  Then it’s beautiful and it’s for Your glory.