Search This Blog

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Quiet Time: Ambition


and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you - 1 Thessalonians 4:11

am·bi·tion: an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment.

Recently I watched the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and a conversation between the main character, Walter Mitty and the world traveling adventure photographer, Sean O’Connell,  caught my attention. They sat quietly on the side of a windswept mountain in an attempt to photograph the elusive snow leopard:

Sean O'Connell: They call the snow leopard the ghost cat. Never let’s itself be seen.
Walter Mitty: Ghost cat.
Sean O'Connell: Beautiful things don't ask for attention.

I asked our small group bible study, “How many of us want a quiet life?” Every hand went up. Of course the fact that we all want it means that none of us have it. 

Perhaps it's because we’re all earnestly desiring the wrong things.

What if our most ambitious goal read something like this:
“I want to be the most quiet, hard-working, and peaceful person this planet has ever known”

Obviously, this goal won’t bring much glory or notoriety, but it will show the beauty of Christ in us.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  (2 Cor. 4:7)

“Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.” 
May-be that’s what makes them so beautiful.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Quiet Time: Not Done Yet

Not Done Yet

"You also say, 'My, how tiresome it is!' And you disdainfully sniff at it," says the LORD of hosts, "and you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?" says the LORD. – Malachi 1:13

Recently, the pastor of the mega church where my son attends had to reprove the congregation for leaving during the invitation. (The “invitation” is the time, usually, near the very end of a worship service when those present are invited to receive Christ as their LORD and Savior)
This pastor actually stopped during his prayer, looked up, and asked all the people who were scampering out to their vehicles to sit back down. Then he explained how important it was for every believer to participate in every part of the worship service. 

My son made the point that not only is leaving while someone is praying  just plain rude, but, that the Invitation is the time when the believer should himself be praying fervently for those present who are on the verge of accepting Christ instead of thinking about getting to the front of the exiting car line.

In Malachi 1:13; it is actually the priests who are being rebuked for performing their duties without heart or faith. How bad is that! But, before we start pointing fingers at them for their hypocrisy, let’s look at ourselves and remember (1 Peter 2:9) But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Psalm 100:2 tells us to “Serve the LORD with gladness…” Every believer should indeed participate in every part of the worship service, and we should do so gladly.

Ask God to revive your desire to worship Him today.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Quiet Time: Serve Is Not a Bad Word

“Serve” Is Not a Bad Word

Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. – Psalm 100:2

`abad  (aw-bad')
to work (in any sense); by implication, to serve, till, (causatively) enslave, etc.

In this Psalm, David, probably had in mind the service of those who worked in preparing sacrifices, as well as, the worshipers who brought the sacrifices. He was encouraging everyone who took part in this act of worship to make it more than a simple ceremony.  God wants our hearts, as well as, our hands.

But you know, we can serve the LORD with gladness every day, not simply on Sundays when we come together to worship. Life can be an act of worship.

Right now, before you jump into whatever it is you’re about to do, why not ask God to help you do it for Him. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Quiet Time: Shout It Out

Shout It Out

A Psalm for Thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. - Psalm 100:1

I once asked a Christian coworker if he'd like to meet out back at the picnic tables behind where we worked for a time of prayer and bible reading. After reading several encouraging passages of scripture we stopped for a time of prayer; he prayed first. Boy was I surprised! As he began to pray he spoke loudly and by the time he finished he was hollering so powerfully that his voice was cracking.

 My coworker is a very sincere Christ follower, but that memory got me to thinking."Is shouting actually a do-able thing?"  I mean, think about, where can a guy go to actually shout praises in public? 

Perhaps, shouting is a lost art in the corporate worship experience, but it needn't be lost in our personal times of worship. Try it this morning. Shout praises to God in your car on the way to work or in your house, after everyone's gone. I tried it yesterday and found it to be a very unique and joyful experience.

Here are some things to shout about:

SHOUT: "GOD, YOU RULE"  Psalm 67:4
May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy.