Thursday, October 29, 2009

On My Mind - Thursday

What are you praying for?
What has your prayer life revolved around lately? Have you just been going through the motions? Sometimes I find myself saying very similar things in my prayers, and although I know that I need to be persistent in my prayer life, I also know that I need to make sure that my prayers are faithfully fresh. This means that I need to be alert to the spiritual needs in me, my marriage, and even around me. There are always ways that God wants to work and I long for my prayers to the Father to be directed in this way. Just as Jesus said that he could only do what the Father is doing, this is true for each of us. Prayer helps us see and act on what the Lord is doing.

Who are you praying for?
Are there people in your life that you fail to prayer for? One thing I know, prayer makes a difference. God uses prayer to shape our lives and the lives of others. Are you aware of the needs of people around you? Bring them to the Lord and see how God works in those moments of prayer. I believe that the Lord will work and often in ways that you are not even prepared for.

What is the next spiritual step you need to take?
God leads us and directs us daily. God is always shaping our lives. We are not walking through this life alone on our own island. Are you aware that God longs to lead you in ongoing spiritual growth? It seems that many people get saved and stop at that point. God is always moving and the Lord wants us to be moving along with Him. Life with God is not to be stagnant but one of vibrant creative growth. This maybe overwhelming to you, but I believe spiritual growth must be a reality. One step at time... No one gets over a wall in one swoop. One step at a time. Are you alert to God's work in your life? Some days I am and some times I am not. I believe the pattern of my life should be attune to the Lord more and more. So how is God at work in you? It may be a character issue or the way your treat your spouse. Regardless of what the matter is, God longs to deepen your life and will do all He can to direct you to Himself.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Unified Journey

The other week I preached Unity. Psalm 133 is such a beautiful passage that really speaks to the heart of this topic. There is so much that we do separately that working together often gets overlooked. Unity does not uniformity. I can be unified around a certain vision and still not flesh it out the same. I may have a similar vision with another person but actualizing this vision becomes the challenge. It seems from Psalm 133 that there are two great blessings from unity and one is seeing the blessing of God on the work being done and the other is that unity produces growth and life. How is unity a active part of your life? Is there someone that you are struggling with? How have you faced the challenge of making amends in a relationship gone bad? What is one step that you can take to bring about the restoration needed?

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Pilgrim's Promise

Today is Columbus day and it fits with what I shared yesterday. Today is the actual date in which Columbus found this great land we enjoy. October 12, 1492 Columbus landed and began the exploration of our grand land. The Pilgrims were on a Journey and on this journey they experienced every emotion possible as they walked through very challenging moments.
The series I am preaching is on the Psalms of Ascent and they are a group of passages written and sung by the people of God in travel mode. Yes, these Psalms a part of the people's pilgrim heritage. On this journey there was the sense of needed help. Psalm 121 asks this very question, "Where does my help come from?" Our help comes from the Lord. He does not sleep, rather He is very aware of what is going on in our lives. Not only does the Lord watch over us, he is also our keeper. He keeps us and longs to meed the very needs we have.
Take time to read Psalm 121...
We all look for help at some point in our lives. When have you most recently sought help?

Where have you looked for help?

How does it make you feel that the Lord is watching over you at all times?

The Psalm concludes with the thought that the Lord is our keeper. How does this make you feel?
Consider these questions as well as your own as you read through the text. May you sense the Lord's presence as you seek Him daily! This is Lord's promise to those who seek Him!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Step Up - Take a Step Up

I started a new sermon series yesterday on selected Psalms of Ascent. These are 15 different Psalms from Psalm 120 to Psalm 134. They are rich meaning and very thought provoking. It has been a great to study them and consider how the people of God utilized them down through the years. Consider that these very Psalms being sung as the people came out of exile or consider them being sung on the way to the annual festival celebrations.
How awesome to consider how these provide us with a window in the lives of those who have gone before us. When you read these passages you will see the authenticity by which they address God and even contemplate how He will make Himself known to them. What a joy it is to see the genuine nature of these passages and how they challenge our sanitary way of addressing the Lord. We clean up good and make things look mighty nice for our Sunday morning services, but the truth is my life is anything by clean and neat. In fact our lives are messy, but Jesus gets down in the middle of our mess with us. This means that God longs to walk with us as we deal with junk in our lives. Let me tell you, I need this. I need the Lord to work in my life. Cause my life is messy maybe just like yours. Take some time and begin reading the Psalms of Ascent. I think you will enjoy the dialogue you find there. The word ascend means to "step up" and these passages take the reader on a journey upward to meet with the Lord. So take a hopeful step and meet the Lord in a new place. May the Lord make Himself known to you in fresh way as you seek in these ancient passages.