At the start of May I preached a sermon after reading a book called Miraculous Movements by Jerry Trousdale. I rarely read a christian book from cover to cover (maybe that’s a confession!), however I read this one and then read it again.
The book is about a miraculous movement of God amongst muslims in some of the most difficult and dangerous places in the world for christians. It tells stories of hundreds of thousands coming to know Jesus the Messiah, stories of dreams and visions, stories of miracles of healing leading to individuals and villages converting to christianity.
However what amazed and challenged me was the simplicity of the Gospel and how it is spreading. There are no conferences or programs, no Alpha Courses or well known preachers. The foundation of what God is doing is based on three things, prayer, the stories of the Bible and the Holy Spirit.
There is a movement of simple, yet profound prayer that undergirds this movement. Prayer that is very real, immediate and effective. Prayer that sees changes in both individuals and communities.
Alongside prayer the greatest tool for the spread of the Gospel is the simple retelling of the stories of the Bible, especially the stories of Jesus, by ordinary people. Indeed the book is littered with God using ordinary people in extraordinary ways to tell others the stories of the Bible that lead to changes that can be seen by others. They then tell the stories to others who come to faith and they in turn … and so it continues.
For the past few years I have had an increasing passion and concern to put the Bible back into the hands of ordinary people – you. For too long we have relied on someone else to interpret and apply the Bible for us, it’s time each and every christian heard God speaking to them, for themselves, through the pages of Holy Scripture.
As you read the Bible day by day the two most important questions of christian discipleship to ask yourself are these:
What Is God Saying To Me?
What Am I Going To Do About It?
Don’t expect or rely on me or anyone else to answer those questions for you!