Gospel, gospel, gospel

Friday…tonight we will have about 140 children attending our children’s programme and I’m puzzling more and more about how to impact these children for the gospel. I’m also speaking tonight to about 40-50 teenagers at another church’s youth outreach…which is another great opportunity to share the gospel.

One of these days, some people are going to get saved! In faithfulness, we preach the gospel with clarity to anyone who will listen in the hope that at least one gets saved but oh Lord we want more. Imagine what a couple of handfuls of newly saved Christians could do for a corps?

Its been about 10 years since anyone got saved in this corps. I thank God and remember two or three firm decisions for Jesus at Pill although they were already linked to the corps.

Lord, for our inheritance, give us the lost….send the fire!

Heavens like brass

I’ve been in tears a lot recently. Not sad tears, but passionate ones. Every next second I’m awake the burden of the Lord lays more heavily on my heart as I continue to have my ‘burning bush’ experience with Him. He tells me he is using me to do something, I say ‘surely not me’ and He replies ‘of course, its you I’m talking to, isn’t it?’

I’ve just been to the UK Territorial Congress were only 3 or 4 people out of around 2000 responded to the call to ‘rededicate themselves to the Salvation War.’ That brought me tears. There were maybe 12 or so who had responded to a call on a different subject, but only 3 or 4 responded publically. The Commissioner invited people to come and be changed from glory into glory, to see Jesus, to live to please God and let our glory shine as we fight in our Salvation War and only a handful responded. Sure, people may have responded in their seats, but when the calls was to be bold and step forward as an act of spiritual declaration and intention, I struggled to understand why there was no response.

I came face to face again with something that reflects the spiritual temperature of the Army in Scotland and the UK. The ‘notion’ that resounded loud in my heart was simply ‘the glory has departed from this gathering.’ The response was spiritually flat, there was no or little glory to be had, sought or found in that prayer meeting after the message. The heavens were like brass and I cried out silently to the Lord. I was stuck to my seat, I couldn’t move and the response I wanted to make myself just sank into the pain of the lack of response from the 3/4 full hall.

Don’t get me wrong, there had been some good moments in the congress. The morning message was powerful and the response was good, but it was led, immediately, by the African Salvationists from Manchester Central corps who as soon as the call was given, responded to Jesus. I believe it would have been a tougher meeting if the Lord had not used those brothers and sisters to lead the way.

I just have had to spend the time coming to terms with the spiritual climate of the territory once again. To be honest, I briefly questioned whether I should remain an officer in this movement. To be even more honest, its not the first time I’ve considered it in this last year, but the one thing that keeps my is my covenant. However, even that can be difficult to work out in the context of the Army.

But no, no, no. I will not forsake my calling to the lost and to the Army. Instead, I’ve re-signed it. They lost and the Army both need saving! My heart is for the renewal of God’s Army, that he would restore to us the joy of our salvation that comes from humble repentant hearts before him. My heart is for the hope that when God has done that work, he will then move us in our compassion to seek and save that which is lost.

I must simply grasp the nettle of what God is asking me to do. He is asking me to speak words that people don’t want to hear from a kind of person like me and the only reason that I’ll do it is because God has promised to go with me and speak for me and because God has shown me again and again the ‘plight of my people’ and I’m moved to respond.

God gives us grace


PS Keep praying for General and Commissioner Clifton

Pray for the General

I’ve just heard the news that General Shaw Clifton has been diagnosed with cancer and has to undergo treatment and surgery and will be on restricted duties for the next six months. Please pray for his healing, successful treatment and the energy to do his reduced duties. Pray for Commissioner Helen and for the Generals family.