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Against All Odds

Written by Colin Shaw

2 December 2017


Hi again. Many of you will have watched or read of the recent 100 year commemoration that honoured the 800 Australian and New Zealand Light Horse men who charged and captured Beersheba (and it’s desperately needed wells) thus paving the way for the restoration of Israel and a significant change of course for the 1st world war. It was a courageous, ‘against all odds’ assault with far reaching consequences.


The Bible also has ‘city taking’ stories. Joshua took Jericho, David through Joab captured the Jebusite city that then became known as Jerusalem, city of peace. Nehemiah restored the broken down walls of Jerusalem. Jonah was God’s reluctant change agent for the city of Nineveh. Jesus spoke to and rebuked cities. He sent disciples two by two into cities and towns expecting that they would hear and welcome the good news of God’s kingdom. Today N.T. theologians are telling us that the early church had a definite Holy Spirit given strategy for reaching cities.


Today in so many places Christians are heeding the call, standing together, to be ‘against all odds’, agents of change in their city or town. Their commitment and zeal may not be comparable to that of the ANZAC light horse men but it is noteworthy nevertheless. As the exiled Jews in Babylon, so long ago, were instructed to seek the well being of that city so it is for us in our God appointed location.


Recently leaders came to Whakatane from different parts of the North Island N.Z. to encourage and pray with leaders in Eastern Bay of Plenty for another City by City gathering. Nearly all those who were present are on the frontline of an ‘against all odds – city reaching’ network in their city or town. Hearing the stories and praying for one another was special.


I like this Jack Hayford (former senior pastor of The Church On The Way) brief exhortation given some years ago but even more relevant today: “Something is happening among God’s people with cities and towns. It’s happening right now. Two kingdoms are wrestling for the city’s soul. It isn’t too late to win if we will rise up early. Cities deserve a tomorrow too. They are unable to possess it for themselves. All children of Joshua – arise!”


Until next time

God bless

Colin

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