Sunday, August 28, 2011

Who Lives in You?

Quite a few years ago I was a Star Trek fan...I know, I don't really fit the profile, do I?  Actually I really enjoyed following the NEXT GENERATION series.  Some of you might remember a phenomenon in this series of Star Trek called 'trill hosts'.  A trill host was someone who prepared for many years to be joined with another species...they willingly became one being, sacrificing their 'autonomy' for the blessing of becoming one with this other species.  It was considered quite an honor to be accepted as a 'host' for this process.  For those of you who dislike science fiction, this doesn't do much for you...I understand.  It doesn't interest me all that much either, these days.

However, there is a 'joining' process that isn't just fantasy, at least according to God's Word.  Scripture teaches that God wants to live within us...all of us.  It's part of God's revelation to us that is perhaps the most fantastic sounding, but absolutely true.  Jesus promised that God would send the Holy Spirit and that he would guide believers, convict the world of sin and be a 'comforter'.  Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that our bodies are 'temples of the Holy Spirit'.  You have to think that God must really want to save humanity.  Think about the lengths to which he has gone to get our attention and bring us into a relationship with him.

First, to send his prophets to preach for hundreds of his people many opportunities to repent.

Second, to send his only Son...and have the very people he wanted to save, ridicule and kill this representative of his.

Third, to send his Spirit to live inside of his that (GET THIS) so that he might, through the sanctifying presence of his Spirit, continue his attempts to save the world.

Don't take the gift lightly. There will not be another Son sent from heaven.  There will not be another Spirit sent from God.  He has already been more patient than we deserve.  He has already been more merciful than we could have expected.  Take the gift and be thankful, letting His presence sanctify you and those He would minister to through you.  Be aware of this truth this week.  God is within you!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Be Still and Know

Have you ever wondered what God would say to you, if he suddenly appeared?  Do we imagine that somehow God would pass out wishes, like a genie, freed from his bottle?  Most of us would be satisfied with one wish, forget about expecting three wishes!  The truth is that we all have problems.  We all have issues.  We all long for God's hand in the resolution of that which bothers us most.  IF God did suddenly appear...what would he say or do?

Would he really be concerned about what we fret over most?  Not that we don't have some legitimate worries, but hasn't he said, 'Don't worry'?  And he said that regarding some pretty important things like food and clothing!  What if he said something like this:  'Be still and know that I am God'?  What would he mean by that?

Here is what I think he meant when he said those words in Psalm 46:10.
                 Relax.  Rest.  Quiet yourself.  I am God.  Not you.  Not your boss.
                      Not your husband or wife or neighbor.  Not the Dow Jones.
                                                         I am God.

In verse 11 of that chapter he says: I will be exalted among the nations.  I will be exalted in the earth.  You see, God is God.  I know that sounds like circular logic, but that is the whole point.  There is no other like HIM.  There is no other being with which to compare him.  There is no other.

So, in whose name do we trust?  In whose name do we rest?  Where does our help come from?  The answer is right out of the Psalms.  Our help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth!
Rest in that.  Be still and rest in that.  For me, to learn to rest in that is to constantly remind myself of who I am and WHO HE is.  He is God and I am not, to quote the lyrics of a Steven Curtis Chapman song from a few years ago.  He is above all things.  His power is supreme.  And this gives comfort to me.  Why?  Because I am his child and he loves me.  It isn't always easy to 'be still' when the winds of life are howling or the waves of circumstance threaten.  But it is the right thing to do.

'Be still and know that I am God', says the LORD.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Loving God

2011 has been quite a year for us.  A year of growth.  A year of being sustained by God.  A year of watching one son become mr. married guy and two other sons become seniors and yep, the little miss graduated from L.E. (lower elementary) to M.E. (middle elementary).  Quite a year it was.  There is a thought that has stayed close for the last few months.  Those of you who worship with me have heard it a few times already.

Here it is: do I really love God more than anything else?  I know that I am supposed to.  I know that Jesus said that to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength is the greatest commandment.  My honest answer to that question keeps coming up short.  No matter what spin I try to put on it...there is no way I can say that HE is my NUMBER ONE.  Maybe number 3, or 4 or occasionally even 2.  I'm not proud of it.  But I am trying to be honest about it.  What about you?  Do you proudly take HIM into every situation and let HIS values and principles guide you?  Do you lie awake at night, craving HIS presence?  Do you spend time with HIM every day?  Is HIS Word your favorite read?

My goal for what is left of 2011 is to make more of God.  The funny thing is that is completely up to me.  I don't have to go get more training or pass another exam.  It isn't dependent upon any earthly measure of success.  If God is my heart's desire, I can have it, or rather, HIM.  Can I challenge you to join me in this prayer?

Father in heaven,

I know that I am supposed to love you more than anything else.
I want to love you more...  Would you please grant me the strength 
to pursue you ?  I want the desire for more of you to well up inside of me.
Help me to surrender all of me so that I could have all of you.

In the name of Jesus,

That doesn't have to be your prayer...but pray nonetheless.  Pray for more of God in your life.  More of Christ.  More of His Spirit.