'The Lord God, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.'
Many years ago now, before my children were born and our church was just a little house group of about half a dozen folk, God gave me this verse in connection with the work of God.
Last night, as I looked across our congregation and reflected on what God is doing, I couldn't help but marvel and feel so encouraged at the number of folks in the church standing and praising God and also at the small groups that are being established across North Lanarkshire. It is wonderful to see the fulfilment of God's word.
Without knowing any of this, Alastair my brother in law, came and shared a verse with me that he felt God had given him for the work and for my encouragement. It was the same verse! Last night as I thought of this verse during the service, I felt the whisper of further fulfilment of it. How gracious is our God!
Numbers in themselves are not important. What is far more important is the quality of spiritual life that not only operates in the church, but is received and outworked in individual lives. This is what really causes a work to grow.
At the end of a busy day as I reflected on the several baptisms in the Holy Spirit and deliverances that there had been morning and night, I couldn't help but be very grateful and thankful to God for His continued faithfulness and outpouring of His Spirit. He is a great God!
And so as the work proceeds on to yet another phase we look forward to much blessing. For me the importance is to always follow His instruction and to keep myself and my church as close to Christ as I am able. That is the only real duty of any minister. As we remain close to the Shepherd we will not only feed our own souls but our spiritual children will be fed too. The rest we leave in His wonderful hands.
'Feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents.' Song of Solomon 1:18.