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Archive for September, 2015

Today’s Pray-As-You Go reading comes from Luke 2.  I listened this morning and reflected as the passage was read of Mary and Joseph presenting Jesus in the Temple after his birth.  We are told that the words of Simeon amazed them as he foretold what Jesus would accomplish.

The words that have stayed with me from this reading are these:  “the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.”

I have been wrestling with this idea all morning now.  Does he really mean that my innermost thoughts – my deep-seated fears and desires will come to light?  I believe he does.  Jesus brought truth to us.  Truth about ourselves.  Truth about our world.  Truth about God’s desire for us.  And when truth is put next to something – the real character is revealed.

For instance, Jesus has taught us that we are to show mercy to others (Matthew 5:7).  So when we have the opportunity to show mercy and we choose to withhold it, we reveal something about ourselves.

Simeon nailed it.

Jesus reveals the thoughts of the heart.

This past Sunday, my sermon spoke to the need for each of us to be real.  As believers – as followers in the Way – we must reflect Jesus.  When people see us, they need to see real followers – not those who just want to appear to be so.  Our actions and words, when brought into comparison to Jesus’ teaching, reveal our hearts – our true selves.  What will your actions and words reveal about you today?

Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  That is my prayer for myself today.

It is my prayer for you!

Be blessed this day!

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I look forward to my Wednesday night schedule each week.  Each Wednesday I have the pleasure of gathering with some of our church family around tables and enjoying a meal together.  The fellowship is sweet.  Last night I listened – – and observed.  There was laughter and smiles – there was joy.  A part of me wanted to be at each table at the same time.

And then, after the meal, everyone scatters to all parts of the church for different ministries and Bible studies.  I get the opportunity to meet with a growing group of folks in our chapel where we spend a few minutes in prayer and then dive into God’s word and wrestle with what we find there together.

People Gathered At CrossLast night was particularly transformative for me (and I pray it was for those gathered).  We worked through the later half of chapter 4 of the book of James.  There was great discussion and even some push back on some of the points I shared.  It was glorious.  When we wrapped up I made the statement that I appreciated everyone being there and in that moment I realized – I am having a blast!

As I have reflected on the experience, God has opened my eyes (just a bit) to the importance of gathering together to study God’s word.  I have been doing this for years and have waxed on about the importance of assembling together and the benefits of building relationships with other believers through small group ministry.  But something hit me this morning like a ton of bricks.

As I thought about all those gathered together in the chapel last night I thought about the diverse mix of folks – some college students, some old enough to be those students’ great-grand parents – some newcomers to the faith and some who have been followers in the Way for longer than I have been alive.  The collective wisdom of literally hundreds of years was brought together for 45 minutes to learn from God’s word.  Even writing these words gives me pause.  If I were to be able to ask each person in attendance, the number of years they have followed Jesus, the calculation would actually have been well over a thousand.  A thousand years of collective spiritual experience all gathered together in one room, focused on the same thing at the same time.  WOW!  That my friends is the church!!

What a humbling experience!

What you bring to the family may seem insignificant.  Maybe you have been a believer for most of your life – or maybe you are just getting started on this path.  Either way, when you combine what God has given you with what God has given the others in the family, the result is amazing and beautiful.

God has a place for you in a local body of like-minded believers.  If you are anywhere near Corpus Christi, I pray you will plug in with us.  But where ever you may be – plug in somewhere.  What you have to offer can only be offered by you.

Stay engaged!

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Feeling Overwhelmed?

Occasionally, we all feel overwhelmed.  Life stacks up.  Things may be going fine one day and then the very next – wham!! – life piles up like traffic in north Dallas at 5:00 on Friday afternoon!

It is in those times we need to remind ourselves of a very important promise and truth from Jesus.  In Matthew 11, Jesus tells us that when we feel overwhelmed, weary and worn-out, that we can come to him and he will give us rest.

There are three things I take away from this promise:

  1. We all get weary sometimes – that is natural.  We get really busy doing really good things and we get really tired.  Jesus reminds us that we need balance.  When we focus all our attention on really good things but neglect the best, weariness sets in – which leads to the second thing.
  2. Jesus offers rest.  He is not referring to a nap, but refreshing, renewing relief.
  3. We have to turn to him for this relief.  I can try and find refreshment in a lot of different places and ways, but the only real relief comes when we draw near to him.

We get worn-out when we focus all our energy on the good things in life but neglect the best – our time with Jesus.

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed today, rest in Jesus.  He offers the only relief that makes a difference.

Be blessed!

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