River City Church - Smyrna, GA

Church Everywhere - An Invitation to Trust

May 10, 2020

As we step into the month of May focusing on listening prayer, Josh looks at passages in 1 Peter and John 14 which illustrate who Jesus is and His invitation to us to trust Him -- even when He does not appear to be who we think Jesus is. Like the disciples, we expect Jesus to behave in a certain way and when He does not, we find ourselves in a space that offers the opportunity to build that trust in Jesus. There's no way to trust if there's no space to build it. Acts 2:42-47; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14:1-14.

Josh shared 3 quotes in today's message.

1) Dr. Cheryl Bridges Johns: "My movement talks about prayer. We are a praying people. But, we are inclined toward penitent prayer or the life of ongoing repentance. Lack of teaching on this subject has made us people who love to praise God, while at the same time, compromised by personal and corporate sin. I firmly believe 2020 should be our 'penitent year.' We don't need to get America to 'cry out to God.' We, the church, need to cry out in fervent, penitent prayer. Both we and our ancestors have sinned. There is a whole generation who have never experienced the heavy, convicting cloud of God's Presence. They've seen smoke machines and even danced before the Lord. But, they've never been overwhelmed by the Glory or trembled under the weight of the 'Holy hush.' The only way there is through the door marked 'penitence.' "

2) Shannon Michael Pater: "Tumultuous teens, in fact, know this space of faith in their very body and soul. No longer in the relative safety of childhood, but not yet in the supposed self-sufficiency of adulthood, adolescence is a space of liminality, that is, an in-between space. Door frames are liminal places: a space between rooms, a portal from outside to the inside. Teens need a companion who can be both midwife and chaplain, someone who will help them navigate the loss of infancy and facilitate a safe crossing to the terrain of adulthood. For the adolescent disciples, that will soon be the Holy Spirit. The Comforter will come to cure their diseased hearts and help them stand firm in the coming transformation."

3) Debie Thomas: " 'In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places,' Jesus tells his sorrowing disciples. Meaning: God is roomy. God is generous. God is hospitable. God can handle your doubts, your fears, and your questions. And God’s offer of belonging extends far beyond the confines of this mortal life. 'I go and prepare a place for you,' Jesus says as he stands in the shadow of his own cross. You have a place with me. You have a place with God. You have a place. A grim setting. Real questions. An offer of comfort. The promise of home. The Way. This is a Gospel for our time. The story — your story, my story, our collective story of this precarious, overwhelming moment — will not end in death. Though we might feel alone and frightened right now, the Way is open before us. We know it. We know Jesus, and because we know Jesus, we know God. The Way will safely bear us home. Do not let your hearts be troubled."

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