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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Song Series: Everything and Nothing Less

Everything and Nothing Less
"No Comfort" Zone

And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.It's okay to be uncomfortable. Christ followers should actually expect to be challenged? - Luke 9:23

 Believers have gifts and talents that God grants so that we can minister within the church. But, none of us would dream of utilizing those gifts and talents only in the areas where we feel most comfortable.

In other words, if I've been given the gift of teaching and I like being with adults, does that mean I only teach adults. Or, if I've been given the gift of helps should I only care and empathize with those in the body of Christ? Of course not. We understand that Jesus is our Lord; therefore, He gets to choose when and where we use our gifts and talents.

 Comfort zones are good things, in that, they offer us a time to build confidence and momentum; but, they're also dangerously elegant at lulling us into a sense of self-satisfaction and sufficiency.

So, if we sometimes find ourselves being challenged on a foreign mission trip, or a local prison ministry, or in simply sharing Christ with guy or gal next door because it's "outside of our comfort zone" praise God!

What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure. - Philippians 2:12-13 (The Message)

No, crosses aren't built for comfort; but they get us where we need to be; surrendered.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Song Series: The Whole Thing (Here I Am to Worship)

Altogether Lovely by Margie Chapman
the whole thing
  While practicing the classic song "Here I am to Worship" by Hillsong Publishing I moved through the chorus and got to the part that says,

"Your altogether lovely altogether worthy, Altogether wonderful to me"

It struck me that the word "altogether" isn't a common everyday word. So, I did a quick Lexicon study and one particular scripture verse stood out to me.

His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. - Song of Solomon 5:16

I am so convicted by the passion in this verse. 

Is God's word still sweet and desirable to me today?
Does my love for God  prompt me to praise Him even when no-one is around?
Is God my friend?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Quiet Time: Your Kingdom Come

Your Kingdom Come
Even so come

10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven. - Matthew 6:10

READ:  (Matt. 6:9-13) 

    (1)   We are to pray for His Kingdom to come. (verse 10)
a.      The Kingdom of God was promised with Abraham’s covenant.
                                                              i.      I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; (Matthew 8:11)
                                                            ii.      In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out. (Luke 13:28)
                                                          iii.      In ages past God determined His kingdom would come.
b.      The Kingdom of God is present within the heart of every believer.
                                                              i.      nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst." (Luke 17:21)
                                                            ii.      for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)
                                                          iii.      Today, God, the Holy Spirit, makes the kingdom evident to this fallen world through those who die to self and live for Christ.
c.       The Kingdom of God is prospective with the soon coming King.
                                                              i.      Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. (Rev. 21:1)
                                                            ii.      But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. (2 Pet. 3:13)
                                                          iii.      One day faith will be sight. Jesus will abolish all evil and establish His righteous kingdom with a new heaven and earth.
d.      Today, we can ask God to let His kingdom come with us wherever we go and be evident in our lives through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit with full knowledge that one day Jesus, will,  in person, come again! “Even so Lord Jesus come” (Rev. 22:20)  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Quiet Time: Why Pray 2

Why Pray 2
     Because prayer is the only way to get things from God
     You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask    (James 4:2)

In this passage,  James first rebukes, then exhorts us regarding prayer

                                   You lust, commit murder, are envious, and quarrelsome: Selfishness starts in the soul (Matt. 5:22) So, that’s where the battle begins.  Ask God first for an unselfish spirit. Selfish prayer is an oxymoron.

                                                             You do not ask: Prayer becomes powerful when we allow God to change our will to His will. We know we are in His will when we walk according to His Word. (1 John 3:21-22) 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

According to Christian Counselor, Dr. Gary Collins, "There is a distinction between jealousy and envy. To envy is to want something which belongs to another person (Exodus 20:17). In contrast, jealousy is the fear that something which we possess will be taken away by another person."

Do you know what I find shameful in myself? 
I've  never envied someone else's walk with God

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Quiet Time:Why Pray

Why Pray?
No surrender
   Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart. - Luke 18:1

    (1)     Jesus said, “Men always ought to pray”.   
                       You are commanded to pray
a.      (Matt. 26:41)  Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
b.      In the Matthew 26:41, Jesus gives us a twofold warning.
                                                               i.      Keep watching: Temptation strikes us where we are most vulnerable so must stay alert and on guard against our particular weaknesses.
                                                             ii.      Keep praying: we are not alone. God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

Prayer is good for your heart

This and the following blogs on prayer originate from my daily quiet time, our neighborhood small group bible study, and Christian Life Master Outline study guide