We Strive to Divide

With a meeting out of the area this morning, Father, I am just now sitting down to write. I am being distracted by many things. Help me to place my attention on You. Amen.

Revelation 5:6-10 (<<click the green)

Lord, You continue to show the Apostle John the sights of the throne room of heaven. There are many in attendance here and they are giving You the honor You rightly deserve. Verse 9 speaks to me.It speaks of Your worthiness to open the scroll, to break its seals. Yes, You are the Lion of Judah but You are also the Lamb of God. You willingly gave yourself to be slaughtered and “your blood has ransomed people for God” and here is what speaks volumes to me. “…your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

Um…anyone left out there? …Nope! The word used there is “every”. Not one person is excluded! Because of what You have done, Lord, we have “become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And [we] (every single one of us who follow You) will reign on the earth.”

At this point in time (as well as many others I am sure) we are an absolute mess! We look for ways to segregate ourselves. We strive to divide ourselves. Much of humanity’s sole endeavor is to make sure we are broken down into camps of every imaginable disunion.

And even that is not enough! If we each crawled into our own holes that would be bad enough but, no, we must make sure that we express our hatred for whatever other unit that is not like ours or at the very least hatred for those who don’t agree with our viewpoint! It…is…insanity!

We scream for tolerance! …but there is no tolerance… We scream for acceptance and love! …but there is no acceptance or love… We clamor for peace! …but there will be no peace…

We will only find love and peace when we give ourselves over to You, Lord. Then, and only then, will that be the fruit of our labors. Oh, Lord, help us! May Your followers do everything we can to be like…You. I may cost us everything…but it is the only answer. Oh, Lord, help us….

Aug 17th, Thurs, 5:26 pm

But for You

Throwback Thursday post from June 19, 2015.

Good morning, Father! I absolutely love the joy I feel in my heart when I’m up in the middle of the night and think about our time together. I am here to listen and learn and grow with You this morning!

Ephesians 2:1-10 (<<click the green)

But for You, I would not exist. Because You moved in the hearts of my parents and grandparents is why I exist.

But for You, I would not be..who I am…what I am…and where I am. It is scary to think about the kind of person I would be and what I would be up to without You in my life. You know my leanings toward sin, You know my weaknesses, You now my personality traits that could take me down very treacherous paths.  But for You, I would be a different person. Thank You, Father! All I am I owe to You! Praise Your holy name!

Help me to faithfully follow the path You have set me on. I pray that You will draw me closer to Your heart each and every day! I love You – help me love You more and more!

April 22nd, Wed, 7:14 am

Whole World in His Hands

A foggy morning greets me as I sit for our time together, Father. It is beautiful to behold. All the nuances of Your creation are a constant reminder of Your power and might and Your attention to detail. Your hand in creation is a great reassurance that Your hand is upon my life as well. Thank You, Father.

Revelation 5:1-5 (<<click the green)

In the midst of this scene of power and might and holiness, with everyone lifting praise deservingly to God, stands a strong and mighty angel. And in reference to a sealed scroll which God holds in His hand, he shouts in loud voice,

“Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?” vs2

The Amplified Bible puts it this way,

“Who is worthy to open the scroll? And [who is entitled and deserves and is morally fit] to break its seals?” vs2

And because no one in all of heaven or earth or under the earth stepped forward, the Apostle John wept bitterly.

But one of the twenty-four elders said to [John], “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.” vs5

I realize that that is a lot of introduction but as I write, Lord, it must be stressed that only You, the Lion of Judah, are worthy. In all of eternity both forward and backward only You were able to live a life of perfect obedience to God. Only You were able to pay the penalty for the sins of all humanity by dying on the cross. Only You in Your resurrection proclaimed Your power over evil and death! And because only You “won the victory,” only You “can be trusted with the world’s future”!*

A song from my childhood comes to mind. The repeated line of the first verse says it all, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.”

No matter where we find ourselves in our life’s journey, Lord, we are safely in Your hands…and that is where I want to remain. Amen.

Aug 15th, Tues, 6:24 am

*Core concepts expressed in this paragraph are from the Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

Truly Worthy

Morning has come, Father, and You have so graciously awoken me. You know how important our time together is and I am eager to do so no matter how much my bed may call out to me. Bless our time together, Father. Amen.

Revelation 4:6-11 (<<click the green)

Lord, there is much symbolism here. Just reading it is overwhelming and I can only imagine how the Apostle John felt. Just trying to visualize the “four living beings” in my in mind sends it reeling. But reading my study Bible* notes enables me to focus.

The entirety of Revelation points to You, Lord – who You are, what You have done and are doing and what You will do. You are the creator of everything that is – regardless of what we try to say. You are the sovereign Lord of it all and if we acknowledge it now or not there will come a day when we all will do so for there will be no room for denial.

These “four living beings”? They symbolize Your attributes – Your qualities and character. They lead us in worshipping You by proclaiming Your holiness. The lion symbolizes majesty and power, the ox symbolizes faithfulness, the human symbolizes intelligence, and the eagle sovereignty.

They and the “twenty-four elders” show us “where, why, and how to praise God.” We stop focusing on ourselves and focus on You – our perspectives are lifted from the “earthly to the heavenly.”

May these words guide me to praise You as well,

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—
    the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” vs8

“You are worthy, O Lord our God,
    to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
    and they exist because you created what you pleased.” vs11

Amen.

Aug 14th, Mon, 6:26 am

*Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

I Need You

Good evening, Father. This weekend has been full. I am weary but it is important that I sit down with You. I am listening – may I hear what You would say to me. Amen.

I’ve begun a sermon series on the importance of the Holy Spirit playing an ever present role in our lives. As I preached through my sermon for the second time this morning, a closing paragraph grabbed my heart. I pray that those who hear what You lay upon my heart, Lord, are moved by You. Quite often I am moved in preparation and it is definitely not unusual that I am moved when I preach as well.

The paragraph, penned by Wes Humble when he was pastoring in Newark, Ohio some years ago, reads as follows:

“God I need you. I need you to keep changing me. I need you to make me more like you. I need you to help me love others like you. I need you to help me overcome my addiction. I need you to help me forgive. I need you to give me the right words to say at home, to my neighbor, to my friend. I need you to use me. I need you to work through me.”

The phrase “I need You…” occurs nine times in that short paragraph. I stressed to those listening this morning, that that concept is the crux of our walk with Christ. We lack the ability to walk alone. We will fail without You, Lord. We are utterly incapable of doing what we should do without You as a part of the equation.

As the week begins, Lord, I place myself squarely in line with You.  You state in Your Holy Word,

“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”  Matthew 11:29-30

Holy Spirit, guide me, direct me, stop me, encourage me, use me. “I need You…”

Aug 13th, Sun, 9:29 pm

Doing it right for once.