The Garden of the Lord

by Earl Roberts on December 14, 2016
The Garden of the LORD

The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. Isa 51:3
Ah, the smell of my Son is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed. May God give you heaven's dew and earth's richness-- an abundance of grain and new wine. Gen 27:27-28
The Church at Antioch was founded by Cypriot and Cyrenian Jewish Christians who, fleeing the persecution after Stephen’s martyrdom, of their own accord began to preach the gospel to Greeks. (11:20) When the elders in Jerusalem heard about this they sent Joseph Barnabas – a Cypriot Jew – to investigate (11:22-24). When Barnabas saw that it was a genuine move of the Spirit, he brought Saul to help with the teaching ministry (11:25-26).
When Agabus came from Jerusalem and prophesied of a coming famine, the Church decided to send help to the saints in Judea and appointed Saul and Barnabas to bring it. (11:27-30)
When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark. 12:25
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 13.1
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 13:2
So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. 13:3
What Do I See?
-          I see diversity of ministry – giving to the poor (saints); prophets and teachers; worshiping and fasting.
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good. 1 Thess 5:19-21
I believe that the revival for which we are earnestly praying, is a move of the Spirit. We must be willing to be led by Him, and if necessary, to revise some of our (cherished) doctrinal traditions.

-          I see in John Mark an investment in the next generation. John Mark would take some time to find his footing among the men of God with whom he was serving. Barnabas never gave up on him, and eventually, Paul came around.
A church (or movement) that is not inter-generational is not long for this earth. We must be proactive and bring them with us.
-          I see diversity of peoples, of socio-economic classes, of academic proficiencies, of cultural inclinations, all being melded together in the same body.
And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Eph 2:22
Barnabas a wealthy Cypriot Jew, Saul – a Cilician Jew, a Pharisee, a big-city intellectual sophisticate, young John Mark a second-generation Christian, Jewish, from a well-connected Christian family. (Mary, Barnabas) Simeon the Black, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen probably an Idumean courtier.
I believe that our regional Church on Cape Cod must be deliberate about forging true diversity in our ranks. We must be proactive and unstinting in our efforts because we truly believe that:
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' Acts 17:26-28
Earl E. Roberts

Marstons Mills Community Church
2135 Main St
Marstons Mills, MA 02648

Church Office: 508-428-7974