Believe and Go Deeper

Life is short and full of mystery.  Unfortunately it is also full of pain, and distraction.

All I can think of lately is how I want to go deeper.  How do we make the most of the time we have?  There’s so many unanswered questions.  They don’t make me distrust my heavenly Father.  Instead they bring me to the never-ending crossroads of life, where we can either accept what is around us or change it.

Even having noble desires like changing the world can get in the way.  And so for this morning, I am going to focus on asking the Holy Spirit to change me.  Take me deeper!  Settling for that which keeps my spirit eyes horizontal is not my goal.

So how do I go deeper, or higher?  How do I rise above my circumstances, what ever they may be and see a spirit’s eye view? How do I live in the moment with the power of Christ surging through my veins, in order that each moment that follows will reveal more of His glory?

I believe.

I believe in God and that He sent His one and only Son to die for me, and I will fight every distraction not to forget it. I will embrace every joy and sorrow because He asks me to.

I believe.

The Bible is truth and records history in order to help us not repeat it. God’s Word can take us deeper, and higher and keep our eyes fixed on Him.

It’s very simple, but because He asks us to come to Him, that He may give us rest – we run away all the more and try everything else, just in case we might miss out on something…sound familiar?

Do you want to understand the mystery of life?  Lift your eyes towards heaven and dig deep into His truth.  Get to know Jesus more.  Believe, and put on your boxing gloves.  Believing is not for cowards.  Then the fight really starts.  Every distraction you could possibly think of will try to pull you away – but don’t give in.

Believe and go deeper.

 

 

Advertisements

The Power is in His Name Alone.

God has been desiring relationship with us since the beginning of time.  He knows us by name and knows the gifts He’s given us.  He knows what we will be best at, and would love to plant our feet and bring us purpose and peace.  But let’s face it, we have our own ideas.  Besides, He just isn’t trendy enough to hang out with for today’s trend setters.  We crave knowledge and long to be smart and have something amazing to say, but we ignore Life’s manual.  We want to write the books.  The Bible just isn’t on Amazon’s best seller list.

We ache for attention and success. News flash, we have His attention, does anyone remember Christmas?  Yah, that was for us!  What about Easter, the cross?  That was for us!  And success?  Well, I would say having Him go to prepare a place for us where we can spend eternity together is success.  I know, it’s hard to recognize success when it gets dumbed down here on our temporary planet.  Without His name, It is difficult to understand relationship and eternity, and keep an eternal mindset, especially with ourselves at the center.

We recognize seasonal celebrations, only for “cover our butt” confessions.  What we really ache for, is to leave a legacy with OUR name written all over it.  But even after that is said and done, we wonder if “that” was our “it” and we go on rejecting the ONE NAME who has promised us purpose.

Most everyone has been taught not to take the Lord’s name in vain.  Not that many take it seriously, but deep down we know.  BUT What about calling on HIS NAME?  I hear everything from higher power to mother nature, but no one is saying His name.  I know, it goes without saying.  If you say JESUS NAME, you are limiting yourself.  You are not going to meld with the group down the street who worships mother nature or the group that works up a sweat reciting a myriad of religious eastern terms while flapping their wings.  Or, if you say His name, you’re going to be labeled a “Jesus Freak”.  You might be asked to take sides, to choose between wrong and right.  It is far safer and more politically correct to use some generic term for our Creator and Savior, or just throw that idea out all together.

Did you know, if you say His name, your spirit will know immediately who to bow down to? Oh right, we want a super hero – but who said anything about bowing down to anyone.  We’re in control, right?  We’re mini gods, right?  Isn’t that the latest lie permeating every molecule of the air lately?  And I’m sick of it. I have to share what I know to be true, even if it means rejection.

Ephesians 6:19 – 20.  “….Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel….”

There is no power in any other name but the name of Jesus.  Go ahead, mediate and move your lips, talk to the air, nod your head, turn in circles, play the game.  But life isn’t a game.  We get one shot at it, one try, one turn.  If you want to experience life to the fullest, stop playing dangerous games and say the name of Jesus.

There is no magic prayer, although Jesus does give us a prayer to follow if we need one, beginning in Matthew 6:9.  “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your NAME…..”  Yes, pray that prayer and call Jesus, and ask him to reveal himself to you.

“Jesus, come and speak to me, and show me who you are.”

Then why not get yourself a Bible and find out what happened when other people throughout history called on His name.

Below are a few verses that emphasize His name:

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Philippians 2:9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Colossians 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Acts 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Our Preference or God’s Wisdom?

Ever since the beginning of time God has given us directions to help us connect the dots, crucial dots to keep us on the journey of faith so that we can finish well.

One of his directives is; “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”      (Hebrews 10:24,25).

It is interesting to note that these verses come under a heading in the chapter entitled; “A Call to Persevere in Faith”.  One of the meanings for the word ‘persevere’ found in http://www.dictionary.com is; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement, continue steadfastly.

We can connect the dot; body of believers, to the next dot; keeping the faith, and believing in His purpose for us, but far too often we allow the discouragement of life to separate us from people.  This is where we can veer off the path and may disconnect.  This is the place where the enemy waits.  Wander off alone, and we are an easy target for false everything!  We cannot persevere alone, “for every goal reached there is a friend in the wings”.

Many may argue that we can declare our faith and remain in obedience to Christ without a church body by practicing church at home, or we can find the Body within the fellowship of a small group Bible Study.  These practices enhance our collective gathering, but should not be relied on alone.  The danger is; our preference as opposed to God’s wisdom.  The very idea of practicing faith without the Body reveals our inability to trust that God knows best.  Our decision to make our own church can come from a place of arrogance, which uncovers an unwillingness to be accountable, first to Christ, secondly – to each other.  Please be very careful and test everything with what the Word of God says (1 Thessalonians 5:14 – 23).

By neglecting to gather together we disobey Christ, announce our distrust, insult the cross.  How do we learn to love one another if we are alone?  Further, defaulting to independent choice, and creating a family we are comfortable with is trusting in our own strength, and the danger of a clique or a prejudicial group may follow.

There have been some very discouraging events in my life lately.  I have found it difficult at times to want to go to church, because it means I may need to engage in conversation.  As I struggle with my own weaknesses I turn to God and ask him to put one foot in front of the other, that I might obey his commands.  I get up and go and join my family in Christ, and look for Christ in the crowd.  I get up and go and join my family in Christ and listen for His voice, and He never disappoints.  The times I have hurt the most and have chosen to participate in worship has revealed the meaning of ‘sacrificial praise’, and the mystery of Christ has become clearer.

The enemy may tell you that you don’t belong, that you’re not quite ready to be part of an elite social club.  This is a lie from Satan.  The body of Christ is not an elite social club, dig into God’s Word and find out what God says about the Body.

And have you ever considered; you might be the face that someone sees Christ in?  Do not stay away any longer.  Let us persevere together.

1 Timothy 4:16
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Missing – leather bound Bible, last seen?

dreamstimefree_175096By recognizing we are ignorant on how to show up in the lives of single parent families, or any other “neighbor” for that matter, a deeper truth appears.

We, the believers of North America have lost our Bibles.  God is not relevant anymore.

With our Bible buried underneath some stack of magazines, God becomes far away and forgotten.  If we get stuck we can pull out a scripture or two or maybe some popular tweet.

Besides, we all have our own problems, and we really shouldn’t be helping anyone else until we get our own lives together, right?

We’ve also become so smart.  Who needs Jesus, who needs to read the Bible?  Look what we can create on our own.

Oops, that’s when our condition is glaringly revealed.  Mankind might look intelligent on the surface, but God sees the heart.  Look out because history is repeating itself.  Contrary to popular belief, we are not getting better.  Society is digressing.

If we desire to be relevant in someone’s life today, first of all be very happy Jesus planted that seed in the first place because it certainly didn’t come from our own self-righteous hearts.  If we want to be relevant in someone’s life, Jesus needs to be relevant in ours.  We need Jesus and we need to know what He is saying to us.  Only through Him will we be able to move past our own flaws and embrace others.  Only by embracing others are we able to really get the big picture!  The Bible, God’s Word is the only place you find the “big picture” and we can hear His voice and see His plan if we read it.

We can stay where we are if we want to, with our techno toys and our busy lives and our own pain, but we’ll miss the miracle – the miracle of love.

And although the “miracle of love” might sound light and fluffy and sweet, it isn’t.  Love is bloody and sacrificial and hard work, and miraculous.  Just ask Jesus, He knows.

John 19:17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull

Luke 9:23  Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Romans 15:4 NIV  For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

Below is just one website I found with a list of verses that talk about the importance of reading God’s Word.  There are many other resources that can help you dig into scripture.

http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Reading-Gods-Word/

Hebrews 4:12For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Cindy Palin
Break of Day (practical break for the single parent family in our community)

www.firstbaptistolds.ca