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Walking With God

This Sunday we will begin a new series here at the church entitled, Walking With God.  So I have been thinking for some time about all the ramifications of this thought of actually walking with God on a daily basis.  There are all kinds of images that come to mind when thinking about walking.  walking-with-god-series-poster

Kristi and I often walk together along the jogging trails around our house.  But when we walk it is more for exercise than for leisure.  Walking also serves as the means of getting from one place to another – so the idea of destination becomes important.

But when I consider walking with God, I am drawn to the idea that walking with God is more encompassing than simply exercise or destination.  Walking with God is more about the time together and the direction than it is about meeting a specific goal in a specific timeframe.  Maybe it is more about the conversation and observation than about the distance.

As you set out to walk with God today, note what is happening around you.  What is God showing you?  How is God leading you as you walk through this day?

And as you walk, remember this – God’s promise to Joshua (Joshua 1:9) is extended to you as his child –

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

God is with you on this journey so walk with confidence today!

Seeing God

man-in-mirrorWhen you look in the mirror do you see God?  I am not talking about what some in the world would say – that we are all gods.  That thought is an arrogant, mis-guided concept that dates back thousands of years.

No, my question has more to do with exhibiting qualities and the character of the one true God.  1 John 4:12 says, No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  Later in the same chapter, verse 17, the writer says, in this world we are like Jesus.

God is God and can choose to do whatever God wants, but based on scripture and my very limited understanding of who God is and how God acts, it is unlikely that God will choose to make a personal appearance on earth simply to allow people to see him.

Instead, we receive God’s Spirit when we surrender to him and place our trust in Jesus.  At that point, the world can see God to the degree that his children reveal him through the window of our character and the display of our actions.

In this world we are to look like Jesus.  I pray that today, when people look at you and they look at me that they see him!

True Identity

We hear a lot about identity and self-worth these days.  People are searching for meaning and validation.  We are wired that way.  We want to think that our lives matter.

Most often we turn to other people for that validation and it is natural to think that we can find worth in what others think about us.  The problem is, even the best people are inherently selfish.  Even with best intentions, we will eventually let one another down.  So to put our trust in what others think of us as a basis for our own identity and worth is trust misplaced.

The author of 1 John reminds us of something very important in chapter 3 verse 1.  Let his words filter down to your deepest self today:

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

i-am-a-child-of-god

We find identity not in what other people think of us but in knowing that as believers in Jesus Christ, we are God’s children!  Praise God for this truth – this life-giving truth!

Be blessed today!

This morning I was reminded, in a unique way, of God’s blessings.  I was in my office at my desk working when I began to hear something on my windows.  The sun was up and prayer-at-sunriseshining through but in the midst of the bright sunlight, rain was gently blowing against the glass.  While I was looking at blue sky and sunlight, rain was falling.

This simple experience reminded me that God’s blessings are new each day.

Whatever you face this day, remember that God’s grace is sufficient and his strength is enough.

Live with peace and joy today!

Walk In the Light

What happens in the shadows?

In scripture, we see light and dark used to describe the contrast between good and evil.  What happens in the dark is evil but what happens in the light is good.Sunrise Over Littlefield

Haven’t we seen this to be true in life?  It is easier to carry out evil in the shadows.  But in the light of day, what we do is visible for all to see.

The author of 1 John encourages us to walk in the light in chapter one of his letter:

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

As followers in The Way, walk in the light today.

May the light of Jesus Christ so shine through you today that it brings hope to all you encounter!

God Is Worthy

When is the last time you considered God?  Maybe that is an odd question or at least an odd way to ask.  This week we will start a new series entitled Created to Worship.  Worship is reverence offered out of extreme respect.  The etymology of the word worship shows us that it comes from the old English word, worthship and carries the meaning of acknowledging worth.

When we take time to reflect, as I mentioned yesterday (you can see that post here), and we truly reflect on God and who he is, we are moved to offer extreme respect and reverence.  When we come face to face with the reality of who God is we are moved to recognize God’s worthiness.heart-and-cross-2

This Sunday we will begin this series with thoughts on God.  But you don’t have to wait until Sunday to think about God.  Start today – start now.

Take time to reflect on God’s majesty.  Spend time considering God’s mystery.  Focus on God’s compassion and grace.

Acknowledge God’s worth today by offering yourself as a living sacrifice out of extravagant respect!

 

Take Time to Reflect

I recently read the words of a long-time pastor who has left the ministry.  There are many factors that contributed to his decision to escape – some of which will most likely be the subject of future posts.

But something he said about his life outside of vocational ministry has stuck with me.  I believe it has continued to occupy space in my thoughts because I can relate to what he said.  He made the statement that now that he is no longer involved in vocational ministry, he now has time to reflect.

Worship BWMy initial reaction to his words was one of surprise.  The role of the vocational pastor, I smugly thought to myself, is to lead a congregation by spending time daily seeking God’s guidance and reflecting on what God is doing and saying.  But even as I write these words here, I feel hypocrisy’s hot breath on my neck.  I wish I could say that I live up to the role I just outlined two sentences ago.  But the truth is; there is always something to occupy my thoughts.  There are pressures both self-imposed and imposed by others that drive my actions and thoughts much of the time.

It would be possible to go through an entire week or even month without spending any time at all truly reflecting on God and his provisions and plan.  But lest this post be seen as a fragile attempt to gain sympathy – let me turn the tables.

How about you?

Do you spend time reflecting on God’s activity in your life?  Do you read his word and spend time actually thinking about what it says?   Or do we read God’s word, and then check it off our To Do list and move on to bigger and better things?

Our world, particularly in America, is driven by the illusion that busyness is good for business.  But when do we take time to think – to reflect?  How often do we miss God’s best for us because we aren’t listening or only half-listening to his words?

Take time to reflect today!