Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How do we get to know God and be known by Him?

David knew God would deliver him from Goliath 
because he knew God…
Jesus told a story of 10 virgins 
5 who were “foolish”
hear the saddest words in the Bible:
“Away from me, I never knew you”
How do we get to know God and be known by Him?

Pray
I didn’t want to use this word “pray”.
There were too many unsatisfying sermons on prayer...
The word has become one we have defined,
put in a box
and said, “I’m board with that”,
never to look into again,
except to retrieve routine, dutiful statements
with little or no heartfelt thought invested.
That’s not prayer...
That won’t help...
It’s not that prayer is not going to get us closer
to knowing God;
it’s just that,
we need a new word to fit the definition,
and then maybe a new definition…
Something that puts our eyes toward our Father
and meets His gaze
as we share the same breath
and enjoy the togetherness
of the moment.
Feeling like time is standing still
and wondering why you waited so long
to join Him.
Wishing to spend all time
in the moments that you share,
knowing, nothing has value
compared to being with Him
and knowing
His powerful, complete, love,
favor and affection...
All needs met,
all sorrows shared,
all sins forgiven,
all hopes fulfilled,
to bring you the deepest,
longest lasting joy.
Ahhhh, can you call this prayer?
Yes…
but then never sully the word
by putting this holy name
to any other event.
Read Bible
It’s not that it wont help to read the Bible…
but if we read the Bible
like so many things we do
(never engaging our heart, our spirit,
our imagination and our soul)
chapters will go by
without anything sinking in,
without Him
literally inhabiting the words
and healing our soul,
bringing a candle of truth
into the dark corners,
where we have been deceived
and held captive,
to be reminded of those
needing forgiveness
(releasing them to the Lord)
to feel His hand on your shoulder
reminding you of an unconfused sin
(and repenting),
to long for strength in your weaknesses
(uncovered by His Spirit
and the holiness of His Word),
to walk
and talk with the Lord,
to sit at His feet
and listen,
to watch,
as our Master models a life
surrendered to the Father
and weep for want of righteousness…
It’s not that “reading your Bible”
will not help you know God
and be known by Him,
we just need to re-define
our time with the Lord
as we read.
Spiritual Disciplines
“Now”, you say…
now, there’s something I can DO!”
but not with that attitude,
will you draw closer to God.
When we fast
or deny ourselves of food
or fleshly pleasures
it’s not with an attitude of earning
our righteousness
or ability to stand before God,
but rather,
with a desire to weaken the flesh
that the spirit within us
may be strengthened.
When we long
with our heart, soul, mind and strength
to be closer to God
when we nourish the spirit
and weaken the flesh
we will find one
stronger than the other.
As the two battle within,
it is the stronger one that wins,
the stronger is the one you feed.
Then,
to spend ourselves
on behalf of others,
to unchain those
who are oppressed
and to feed the hungry,
loving and honoring others
above ourselves,
this
is how Jesus behaved,
this
is a fast the Father will regard
and reward.
This
will bring us closer to God.
Quite Time
There is no substitute for having
a quiet-time.
To get to know someone,
you must spend time with them,
best without distractions…
the problem is,
in every human,
earthly relationship we know of,
we walk into a room
and if the person is present,
we may choose to spend time with that person,
or walk out.
But God…God is everywhere,
all the time...
So the possibilities are limitless (literally).
When we think of “quiet time”
it’s limited to a sort of “date night”
that (as all married couples know),
are often pushed to the not-as-important,
non-existent happenings,
or worse, a task, checked of the list,
instead of a passionate exchange,
guarded, relished, and cherished,
a time to steel away together with your love.
As Jesus “stole away often”
to be with the Father.
But let’s let “quiet time”
be added to
“Loud time”
And let’s call it
“all time”!
Yes…
Let’s spend “all time” with Him.
He want’s to give us
Stillness and peace
in the midst of noise.
Not just escape from it.
He wants to walk with us
in the midst of trial
as well as ride the roller coasters
of life with us.
So let’s let the time we steel away
to be alone with God
be born
out of our desire to focus on
Him alone
and raise our awareness
to many times each day
He is standing by to help,
bless and just be near us
(His bride).
Go to Church
Surely going to church
will secure our ticket to Heaven…
Right?
Um, not like that,
sadly no.
If you go out of duty…
Well, someone once said:
“If you play beside the pool,
You might get wet”
But with this God thing,
If you want to get to know God,
You need to dive in!
Like when you feel yourself
judging others,
Or feeling scrutinized by them,
You have the wrong focus,
To put your eyes on God
and ask Him to help you
focus on Him
not others…
then you will see the others
in the light of His love.
Suddenly, the playing field is leveled
and you see in others
what God sees in them.
Then the music…
Oh the music…
Can I just say,
it’s like magic
the way it effects your heart.
God uses it to wash you,
to melt you,
to lift you
and teach you.
Once you take your eyes off your self
and off others,
and put them on God…
That’s when the magic happens…
Don’t like the word?
Get over it!
I’d say miracle,
but people are tired of that word too!
They save that word for things like
winning the lottery
or having cancer healed,
but use the word
if you realize it means
every moment of every day
God is working to bring about good for you.
To cause you to see His loving hand
in your life
and in the life of others,
Then you’ll go to church
because you get to,
not have to,
and to celebrate the grace
and mercy
and salvation
together with the others lost souls
who have gone through the desert
and found an oasis
with water
and food
and shelter
enough to share.
When you go
because you can’t wait to celebrate
with those other broken and thankful souls…
then you get it,
then you will come to know God better
for having gone…

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

Good:
acceptable, excellent, exceptional,
pain, suffering, sorrow.

valuable, wonderful, great,
heart-breaking, grieving, loss.

stellar, super, nice,
unjust, injury, stricken.

positive, pleasing, precious,
beaten, mocked, rejected.

marvelous, spectacular, praise-worthy,
sacrifice, death, it-is-finished.

Friday.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Holy Thursday

    May your Holy Thursday bring you benefit that will last.  
    Something trivial. 
    Something witty and sarcastic. 
    Something flashy or cute. 

    They all get attention for a moment, 
    but they bring no benefit. 
    There's no bank of goodness, 
    these things fill up to give us wealth 
    of any sort. 

    This might be my "everything is meaningless"
     thought for the day... 

    Truth (on the other hand) will last.
    It might be mocked, 
    disregarded, 
    or passed over, 
    but it will add value your life. 

    Here's a cool Proverb: 
    "Wisdom is of utmost importance, 
    therefore get wisdom. 
    Though it cost all you have, 
    get understanding."

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What are you hiding from?

What are you hiding from, oh man,
that you bow your head in shame?
Do you hide from your Maker?
The Maker of Heaven and Earth?
Do you fear His wrath?
Have you not heard of His love?
Do you not seek His face,
that you would see the love in His eyes?

Yes,
there's pain there too,
anger as well
for tyranny and injustice,
shame for the grievous acts of man,
but only the mournful sigh
of a parent before he acts to bring correction.
Don't you know it's His kindness that leads to repentance.

Only for the will and desire of reconciliation.
Only all done for love.
Only all done for love,
for love.

Never hide your face in shame.
Always look to Him for love
it has been your promised inheritance.
Only always look to him in love
as one who seeks a parent's affection.

It is His motivation to span the earth's deepest recesses
that not one of his beloved children would be lost.
There is no place a sheep can wander
to be out of His love or reach of concern.
There is no sin that covers one's head so completely
that the grace of his mercy cannot wash the stains away.
There is no darkness that can hide us from his affection,
(try as it may).

Step into the light and raise your gaze
to the Lord of Heaven's Armies.
The the Light of His countenance.
The the brightness of His affection.
There is mercy there.
All is well,
all is forgiven,
all is perfect light
and sorrow and grieving flee away
in the brightness of his love and affection.

Why hang your head oh man?

Turn your face to haven
and receive rest for your soul.
Joy for your sorrow,
relief for your sickness
and mercy for your sin.

Be refreshed in the light of his love.
He is alive.
He is here.
He is Almighty.
Abba.
Abba.
As he takes my face in His hands
and kisses my brow
I know I am His
I am changed.
I am loved.
I am Abba's.
Oh, God thank you.
Abba thank you