This has been a week of blessings for me as I started allergy shots to stop sinus infections. I had the privilege of spending some fun-filled quality time with our great grandson (Brian Major). I was able to attend my granddaughter’s (Samantha Findley) soccer game and they won 1 to 0. I also was blessed with a reasonable car repair at D&R Automotive. God is good!
I’ve been pondering on a couple things that I heard last Sunday in church and it appears I shouldn’t be the only one. After this morning, I feel like God is leading me to share my concerns with all who will listen. My first concern was affirmed during this week’s Band of Brother meeting. Why am I attending the church that I attend? I would pray that you will be shocked to fine the majority of attendees are clueless. They attend the church because it’s a family church (AKA: my great, great grandmother helped start this church) or this church offers a lot for our children (camp, skiing, trips, sleep overs, etc.). I hear it’s such a loving church (no questions asked), the pastor is great (non-convicting sermons) and I’ve even heard it’s close to home (convenience). We all have our vices and a lot of us strive to fulfill them.
The bible tells us in Ephesians 2:19-22 (NIV),19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Each of us has the soul responsibility of gathering together to worship, praise and build each other up in the ways of Jesus, to help us grow in the spirit of God. The church building is where most of us look, expecting to find spiritual elders, filled with the love and wisdom of God to help us along this spiritual path. We all to often look at the church as the building where Jesus resides, and nothing can be further from the truth. 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV), Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own. I found it to wordy to show the difference in a church and a temple. So, to simplify things, I’ll share my take on the subject. A temple is a place where people gather to worship God, where as a church is a gathering place for those who believe or wish to believe in Jesus. Both serve the same purpose!
With this information in mind, I think it’s time to seriously sit down with Jesus and ask Him to show you and I where we are, in following Him. As Dr. Charles Stanley wrote; sometimes we think that God empowers us to achieve goals, but in actuality the spirit comes to live Christ’s life through us. If this shines true in our lives we should reflect, the image of Jesus worshiping His Father 24/7/365!
The second thing that pierced my heart is prayer. Most of us don’t know and most that don’t, “don’t want to know” how to pray. Most people pray haphazardly at best and then pray selfishly, when they pray. We pray vengefully, boastfully and we even ask God to do thing outside of His will. All to often when we pray, we tell God how He should answer our prayers, complete with the what, when and how. Prayer, per God, is heart talking to heart!
Most Christians grew up memorizing Romans 8:28 (NIV), and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. The problem is, we never learned what it meant! As humans we focus on the words all things for the good, without regard of what the mean. All things typically mean a lot of tough, heartbreaking, painful, days, months and / or years of trial, testing and teaching. Once we’ve walk through the all things, we find ourselves in a much better place, “if” we walked through it with Jesus as our guide.
As a believer in Jesus, we can and should understand what is written in 1 John 5:14 (NIV), This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. The emphasis here is placed on “His will” not mine or yours but His and without disclaimers. God’s will be done, “His way” without exception! We have all had The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6 and Luke 11) drilled into us but few of us ever grasped the depth of what was being expressed. It was just something we had to do!
For me the truth of prayer came from James 5:16 ESV, Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Confess your sin, easy right, wrong! For years I had things backwards, I found it easy to confess, to God and hard to confess to men. Which does not allow for a fulfilling life! However, inside this scripture is the truth of prayer, which is the very essence of Jesus. Pray for one another, that you may be healed! Jesus’s heart was and is all about loving others and unity within His family. The crown to prayer comes in one’s righteousness and realizing how the power of Jesus works through it. And guess what? We can have that power!
My prayer for the week is found in Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV), 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!