A Sacred Assembly

Call a Sacred Assembly

We are preparing for a “Sacred Assembly,” Prayer Quest and The Gathering Simulcast on 9-21-16, at 7 pm at New Covenant Church.  A sacred assembly is a time to renew our covenant commitments to the Lord. 

Sacred Assembly

may be a new term for some, but the concept is ancient.  In Scripture:

Sacred assemblies were occasions for God’s people to collectively worship Him, to repent of personal and corporate sin, to remember His special blessings on them, and to anticipate future blessings.

Sacred assemblies were times for God’s people to confess and repent of their sins.  They were times to renew the covenant relationship with the Lord and return to Him in faithful love and obedience.  They were times for worship and sacrifice, feasting and fasting.  Even with these regular opportunities to renew fellowship with God, His people tended to depart from Him and from obedience to His commands.  Spiritual leaders knew that the sacred assembly was a time for corporate repentance in the face of God’s righteous judgements.


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Not Alone

[Jesus said,] “I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left — feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.”

— John 14:25-27 msg

THOUGHT
I hate goodbyes, especially when I don’t know if I will ever see again the people with whom I’m saying, “Goodbye!” This summer has had its share of such goodbyes and I’m trying to not let them be final. Some goodbyes seem more final than others. Jesus makes clear that as he leaves his closest followers, he is not abandoning them.


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Seasons

“I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in s

afety, and no one will make them afraid. I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations.”
– Ezekiel 34:26-29 NIV

What is your season today? Are you experiencing a season of drought? If so, then it is the season for showers. Are you going through a season of great heaviness with dark clouds? Then that too is the season for showers. “Your strength will equal your days” (Deuteronomy 33:25). “I will send … showers of blessing” [Ezekiel 34:26, emphasis added]. Notice that the word “showers” is plural.


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Light in the Darkness

The light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
– John 3:19, NKJV

Thoughts:
Jesus Christ is the true Light that gives light to every man and woman. There is no other light! Other religions and peoples may have some truth, but only Jesus Christ is the truth for everyone who has ever been born into the human race, regardless of culture, age, nationality, generation, heritage, gender, color, or language. He is the only one who took on the worlds sins, and was crucified for us so that we could life free from sin and its bondage.

There is not a Light for America and a Light for Africa and a Light for China and a Light for Europe and a Light for India – there is only one Light for the entire world for all time, for every person, and His name is Jesus. That’s why John the Baptist bore witness to the Light. That’s why you and I share our faith, present the Gospel, and refuse to be intimidated by a multicultural, pluralistic world.

Prayer:
Father, we live in such a pluralistic culture. We are accused of being prejudice and intolerant when we speak about Jesus being the only way to you. Our world is dark and it seems like most people would rather ignore that and seek their own temporary pleasures, rather than get serious about You.


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A New Creation

Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (nlt)

Thoughts:
Chris Baker is a tattoo artist who transforms symbols of pain and enslavement into works of art. Many of his clients are former gang members and victims of human trafficking who have been marked with identifying names, symbols, or codes. Chris transforms these into beautiful art by tattooing over them with new images.

Jesus does for the soul what Chris Baker does for the skin—He takes us as we are and transforms us. The Bible says, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor. 5:17 nlt). Before knowing Christ, we follow our desires wherever they lead us, and our lifestyles reflect this. When we repent and begin to walk with Christ, the passions and pitfalls that once dominated our lives are the “old life” (1 Cor. 6:9–11) that fades away as we are transformed. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ” (2 Cor. 5:18).


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Despised and Rejected

“He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.”
‭‭- Isaiah‬ ‭53:3-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
What grace it requires when we are misunderstood yet handle it correctly, or when we are judged unkindly yet receive it in holy sweetness! Nothing tests our character as a Christian more than having something evil said about us.

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Polished

“For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea, causing its waves to roar. My name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.”
– Isaiah 51:15 NLT

Thoughts:
Pebble Beach, on the California coast, has become quite famous for the beautiful pebbles found there. The raging white surf continually roars, thundering and pounding against the rocks on the shore. These stones are trapped in the arms of the merciless waves. They are tossed, rolled, rubbed together and ground against the sharp edges of the cliffs. Both day and night, this process of grinding continues relentlessly. And what is the result?


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