› Author's Note from The Lord's Orchard
As you read ‘The Lord’s Orchard’ it will become apparent that God wants to take all His children through a process of Reformation. He wants their lives to come more fully into line with His will. What He wants for them personally, He desires for His church corporately, that every congregation of His people will demonstrate the lifestyle of His Kingdom.
We have to face how far we fail to fulfil God’s expectations if we are to take His will seriously. In doing this it is important that there is no element of judgement or condemnation, only a desire to face honestly and realistically what needs to be reformed.
Before writing the book, I received a commission from God to write what He called a ‘Charter for Reformation’, that would state lovingly but without compromise what His will is for His people. I have spent many months listening to what is on God’s heart and in seeking to convey His purposes as simply as possible in a way that can motivate believers to respond to what He wants to work in and among them by His Spirit.
Before beginning to write, God had to give me a love for the whole of His Orchard, for the whole Body of Christ, for all believers. Despite the fact that in many places there is so much compromise and superficiality in the church, Jesus does not look upon His church with judgement but with mercy, longing to transform the lives of His people in the way that He desires, and that He alone can accomplish. I have found this an awesome project to have placed before me. I can only say that I long to see what God longs to see in His Orchard. Throughout He has taken me on a process of personal reformation to ensure that I seek to see what is written here being expressed in my own life. It is important to realise that He has made possible everything contained in this ‘Charter for Reformation’. This is not spiritual theory, but the reality of what God desires of His people and what He has made possible through the gift of His Holy Spirit.
The Lord disciplines and corrects those He loves. Without such love we would be illegitimate children! Instead we are those He loves with mercy and grace, longing to bless us and to cause us to prosper in His purposes.
The ‘Charter’ is divided into short manageable sections. I suggest that you read the whole of ‘The Lord’s Orchard’ so that you have an overall picture of God’s Reformation purposes. Then it would be wise to go back and spend whatever time is necessary to work through the revelation of each section so that it becomes reality in your experience. At first the whole task might seem awesome, but you will be amazed at how rapidly transformation can begin to take place in your life once you truly desire God’s will in your heart.
At the end of each section of teaching there are a number of key scripture references to help you to appreciate more fully what the Lord wants to do in you. I have avoided too many direct quotations in the text, although all the teaching is really an explanation of the principles of God’s Kingdom as revealed principally in the New Testament.
My prayer is that the Lord Jesus Christ will use the ‘Charter’ to be His mouthpiece to His people and that every church will respond to His desire to see the Reformation necessary that will enable the trees in His Orchard to shine with the light of His glory, to have significant impact on the spiritual darkness of the world and on the countless numbers in desperate need of His salvation!
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