Thursday, January 28, 2010
God, where are you?
Your power is incredible. The stars, the sunshine, the rain and lightning - you made them. You put the 2 in H2O. Galaxies are spoken into existence by your very word.
But I'm down here. On this little spinning ball. And some things are pretty messed up. We have beautiful people - people of integrity and character and people who delight in Your Name dying painful, tragic deaths. We have little kids battling leukemia. We have mothers and fathers who have lost sons and daughters.
I know I'm probably really not ready, but I'll go ahead and say it... I'm ready for Your kingdom to come.
Diabetes and Cancer and Aids. A poverty stricken nation with a death blow. People in power fighting for more power and money.
Where is the King?
Why doesn't he come and rescue his own?
Lord, forgive me for such thoughts. You have been beyond merciful to me. You are faithful morning by morning. I know You will make all things right. But God, we need you A.S.A.P.
Come near. We need healing and rest and all things made new.
Friday, January 22, 2010
4:31 and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.
We're waiting here, trying to live and love and preach and serve and show mercy. And we know God has something to do in this place. We want to see the days where more believe.
Thank You Lord for equipping us. Please continue to push us to do Your will so that others will come to believe in Your Son.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Luke 21:19 By standing firm you will gain life.
This chapter starts with a widow who gives all. It's not easy, but it's right. Then we see the prophecy of those who will stand before councils and will be hated by all men. It won't be easy, but God will provide. Then there are those who are just facing the day to day anxieties...
34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.
There is the warning, and ultimately a reminder that we will stand before the son of Man.
Be careful. Be on watch. But don't worry, just stand firm. Life is waiting.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Luke 14:12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
It is a constant reminder to me to seek out the helpless and hurting. It has not been as easy as you would think. My soul gravitates towards itself. That part is a constant battle.
Lord, please help me find the hurting around me. Then remind me to invite them into my life.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
God counts the pennies; He cares about the smallest of things. But the chapter ends with the same truth, except that this time counting pennies means that you will pay everything you owe.
57 “Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled to him on the way, or he may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”
Lord, let me be reminded of Your love and Your holiness whenever I see a penny.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Genesis 27:41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob." 42 When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, "Your brother Esau is consoling himself with the thought of killing you.
Esau is finding comfort in the hope of destroying his brother. How do you forgive someone who has lied and stolen the most important things you have?
Sunday, January 10, 2010
This is our second week of doing Psalm 62 at the Heights. I love this song. Today we started with All Creatures of our God and King, and then we used the bridge of Psalm 62 to make our transition. I think in the future we might also use the the Kristian Stanfill chorus that he adds on to Jesus Paid It All along with Psalm 62.
What's your favorite transition right now? What two songs do you think would go really well together?
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Luke 5:16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
My kids class on Sunday reminded me that the Savior experienced great sorrow as he entered Gethsemane. He hoped for another way, yet he ultimately submitted to the Father's will. All without sin.
This passage reminds me that Jesus made a habit of spending some time in lonely places.
Lord, You know that I need to spend more time in lonely places in prayer. I believe. Help my unbelief.
Friday, January 08, 2010
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Genesis 19:16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.
Lord, thank You for Your mercy.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
I know that being a missionary will look completely different in different contexts. Some contexts require a whole different language and culture, and some are more subtle. Some contexts require learning to live in a completely materialistic culture and others a poverty stricken culture.
And yet sometimes principals apply across the board. Be intentional. Pray. Eat with people. (I really like that last one.)
Right now I'm looking for ideas that fit American Suburbia. How do we make disciples in the suburbs? We've already met some people here that want nothing to do with religion or Christianity. We've also met some people who are involved in a completely different religion such as Islam or Buddhism.
If Jesus sent the 12 into the Suburbs what would he have told them? What would they have done?
Stay tuned. I hope to get some good answers throughout this year.
22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
"I know you've never seen rain, so build a boat. Fill it with animals. I'll flood the whole earth, but I'll rescue you and your family." So what does Noah do? Everything God commanded him.
This still amazes me every time I read it. He did what God asked of him even though to everyone and maybe even to himself it sounded ridiculous.
By the way you may want to thank God for this crazy man - without him you may not even be around today.
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Was it God's desire that we never know good and evil?
Genesis 3:22 And Jehovah God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever—23 therefore Jehovah God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
I wonder what life would be like if we didn't know good and evil. Which also causes me to wonder to what level we will understand good and evil in heaven.
Friday, January 01, 2010
Last year I tried the ESV Study Bible plan. I hope someone will find this encouraging - I didn't finish the whole plan. I basically ended up reading different portions of the daily readings, but not all of them. I know sometimes that when you miss a few days and can't catch up you are tempted to give up. But even a little bit of the word each day is life changing. All that to say, if you start out and aren't able to keep up, hang in there and do what you can.
This year I'm going to try You Version and use Wayne Cordeiro's Life Journal plan. The folks at LifeChurch continue to impress me with their tech savvy. They have over 20 plans to choose from. And they will actually help you track your readings, and you pick the version that you want to read. I've read ESV for the last two years, but I'm going back to the NIV this year.
What are your plans for the coming year?
That word in the Lord's prayer has really worked me over. It reminds me that life is all about God's Name. Today I found it in an unusal place - Genesis 2 (ASV)
Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made.
Why did God make a day to be sacred and holy? Because we need to rest and reflect. We need some downtime to remember what is important. I've not been able to keep up on my blog reading like I used to, but I still follow a few. One that I've been tracking recently is Soul City Church. One thing that they constantly remind us is that we need a sabbath - we need a day to rest and reflect.
After all, if God hallowed a day, it must be pretty important.