REFRESHMENT FOR ALL

Dear Friends
I haven’t added to this blog for a while and I asked God what HE wants me to share and I believe the Holy Spirit gave me one word: REFRESHMENT.

People today are desperately in need of refreshment. The world is old, stale and polluted in all kinds of ways.
•    Office workers and professionals are bullied and burdened with regulations, red tape and paperwork.
•    Business people and tradesmen are increasingly insecure as economic systems crack and crumble.
•    Post Christian sexual freedom has left many women as struggling single mothers and so many men heartbroken and separated from their children.


People are stressed, overworked, insecure, bullied, betrayed, exploited and dehumanised.
People are guilty, frustrated, angry and wounded.
People are lonely and despairing.
People are hungry for refreshment and relief.
People turn to drugs and alcohol to ease the pain.
People go to nightclubs, bars and rock concerts to find refreshment.
P
eople go from bed to bed to escape from loneliness and frustration, for refreshment.


God made us to be refreshed. He created these deep needs in us that only HE can satisfy.

John 7:37-39 (NKJV)
37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

If we belong to a Christian church, we believe we are connected to Jesus, who is the source of eternal refreshment.
Yet so many Christians are addicted to the same cravings as other people, desperately seeking refreshment in internet pornography, sleazy movies and TV shows, rock music that glorifies anger, despair, suicide and lust.
The addiction to destructive refreshment is an epidemic inside and outside the Christian church.
We think that excellent churches have the answer but striving for excellence may not solve the problem.
People who are stressed out at work often go to church seeking refreshment but are disappointed. 
They leave a dogmatic and authoritarian boss at work and they find controlling leaders at church.
In the demanding modern workplace, workers must perform or perish. Then they go to church where excellent performance is constantly demanded. Just as in the workplace, excellent performers rule in church.
No wonder so many committed church people are trapped by internet pornography. Even sincere church leaders are starving for the refreshment that Jesus promises.
But isn’t performance important in the Christian life?
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NKJV)
A Christian is like an athlete who loves Jesus and gives himself to the cause of God like an Olympic athlete. Olympic sport requires enormous effort and self discipline but also a great deal of encouragement, rest and high quality refreshment. 

Christian meetings are intended to be places of encouragement and refreshment for all. If excellent worship, music and preaching become performances, as they often do, no wonder so many Christians leave church and so many preachers burn out or are trapped by counterfeit refreshment.
I believe God is redesigning and rearranging His church. Many people are leaving over organised, over controlled churches and meeting to drink deep from the River of Life as they bathe in the River of God.
Many are tired of regimented worship and they meet to share informal fellowship and to find real relationships with each other and with God. Many deeply committed Christians find more freedom to share their real thoughts on Facebook than they do at church.

If you are thirsty for God and tired of having your life controlled and organised, why not ask GOD what HE wants to do in YOUR life?

God bless you all and please let me know what you think.
Bill Derham

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