Time Alone With God

Psalm 63.png

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you. I thirst for you, my while being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods, with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you: I think of you through the watched of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings, I cling to you; your right hand upholds me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. But the king will rejoice in God, all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

Psalm 63:1-11

Perhaps these days we can do with the advice Christ gives to us, because many of us don’t have a place for our quiet time, a quiet room where we can bear our souls to God. It’s not about the room, but about the quiet moments we spend alone with God. When I started my blog a little over two years ago it was because of a class in ministry that I was involved with, and after thinking about the name I came up with Quiet Moments With God. For myself I enjoy a good hot cup of tea, where I take my cup and my Bible head onto my back deck (if the weather is okay) and just be along with my Lord. Life is so demanding these days that we truly need the time along with him. We have a hundred responsibilities in and outside home, as well as our Christian activities, perhaps holding down a job and running around with our children. In many houses there is no such thing as a quiet room anymore.

Because of this, it is difficult to concentrate, introspection becomes rare and we don’t feel the need to withdraws from the buzz of the world as much, and to find strength in fellowship with God. We know that this results in spiritual impoverishment. We can only stay strong and powerful in our deepest being through solitary fellowship with God. When you are alone behind a closed door to escape from the world with its pressing problems you should not even leave the door ajar. If you do, you can be sure that the world will follow you and disturb your quiet time. 

What it boils down to is that we need to have a closed door between us and the world outside. Even the presence of a best friend is a hindrance. If ever anyone knew how to pray it was Jesus, and yet He withdrew from the circle of His most trusted apostles to spend the entire night alone on a solitary mountaintop in prayer with His Father. This is what it means to ‘shut the door behind you.”

In the Gospel of Mark 1:35 he tells us that very early in the morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up left the house and went off to a solitary place to prayed. So if Jesus knew how important prayer was while he was here on earth, and how important to stay connected to His Heavenly Father is, shouldn’t we do the same.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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“I Did It Just For You”

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Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Christian “Holy Week” as we journey together this week I will share with all of you the last seven words that Jesus spoke while hanging on the cross in our place. Can you even imagine that split second when your face will be brighten as you watch perhaps in fear, your eyes will be widen, and God will hear you whisper with tears rolling down your face! “YOU DID THIS FOR ME?”

 

The diadem of pain
which sliced your gentle face,
three spikes piercing flesh and wood
to hold you in your place.

The need for blood I understand,
Your sacrifice I embrace.
But the bitter sponge, the cutting spear,
The spit upon your face?

Did it have to be a cross?
Did not a kinder death exist
than six hours between life and death,
All spurred by a betrayer’s kiss.

“Oh, Father,” you pose,
Heart-stilled at what could be,
I’m sorry to ask, but I long to know,
Did you do this for me?

(Poem by Max Lucado: He Chose the Nails)

Jesus did all of this for you and for me because of His great love for mankind. Why, some may ask because of our great sins that have separated us from our Creator God Almighty”. Just imagine if you will, take a nail and go towards the cross where Jesus first laid down and then you hammered the nails (which repents your sins) on the cross, as your heart breaks into so many pieces, “My Lord, and My God, you do love me so.” and that is why “You Did This For Me”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

Jesus Predicts His Death

Mark 9.png They left that place and passed through Galilee, Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him and after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.                                          Mark 9:30-32

This part of Scripture is a milepost in Jesus’ history. He was now going to Jerusalem where the cross awaited Him, Jesus carried on teaching His disciples, because a teacher must leave students behind that will continue to proclaim his message. But there was a traitor among Jesus’ disciples and Jesus knew this. he knew how Judas’ mind worked possibly better than Judas himself. 

Yet, the disciples still didn’t understand him when he told them he would rise from the dead. At that moment they were aware of the atmosphere of tragedy, but they didn’t understand the wonder of His resurrection. It was a miracle that was just too big for them to grasp, they would only understand it when it had become an accomplished fact.

Because they didn’t understand, they were afraid to ask any more questions and to be given more bad news. We might be surprised that the disciples didn’t grasp what they were so clearly being told. The human mind has the special ability to reject what it doesn’t want to hear. Are we any different to the disciples? We hear the Christian message over and over again; we know what will happen if we reject it. And if we accept it? We still accept certain parts of the gospel that appeal to us and refuse to understand the rest.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father:

            Help each of us to accept all what is true with your scriptures, help us not to be afraid of unanswered questions we may have with all of this. We ask that you will open our hearts and eyes, and mind to understand what you need to teach you and to be able to share the gospel with others.

In Christ Name We Pray

Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

We Must Be Different

Matthew 15 These are the words of Jesus according to the Gospel of John, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.                    Matthew 15:18-19

If you live in a community that is saturated with the Christian faith it’s not easy to imagine a condition where there is a marked difference between the regular community and Christianity. But it does happen in many places.

The Christian community was a small minority where John recalled Jesus’ prophetic words in this Scripture verse. there was a marked difference between the small minority of Christians and the world that loathed them. 

William Temple wrote in Readings in John’s Gospel: Are we not of this world? It is not so that our origin or character is in agreement?” Yes, only too often. But this is not the distinguishing and functional factor that makes us different when we become Christ’s followers. “You are no longer part of the world, I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. The phrase “the world” is repeated, but with a difference. Linked to the verb “chose”, it no longer represents origin and growth, but a place of separation, and consequently segregation. This is in part where the hate of the world felt. The world dislikes Christians. It begrudges them their new character, it is tortured by the new character and furious about their joy in Christ. Can the world notice that the difference in your life because you are a Christian? not always. 

You never will be the person you can be if pressure, tension, and discipline are taken out of your life.               (James G. Bilkey)

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

You Are The Light

Matthew 5a.pngYou are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? it is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.                                                                                          Matthew 5:13-16

When we set an example by the good deeds we do, people notice. “Good” in the Christian sense of the word, mustn’t be good only, but also attractive. The tragedy of so many Christian examples is that they have an element of coldness and harshness, without a trace of love. There is goodness that attracts, and goodness that alienates. A Christian’s life should make Christianity something special and appealing.

Our exemplary lives and good deeds must not draw attention to ourselves, but to God. Otherwise we are guilty of the-atrial exploits. At a conferenced that Dwight L. Moody attended, there was a group of young people who held a prayer session that lasted all night. The next morning they came across Moody and told him, “Mr. Moody6, just look how our faces are glowing!” Moody answered quietly, “Moses didn’t know that his face glowed.” When a person consciously draw attention to themselves. they ate not setting a Christian example.

Christians never think about what they do, but about what God enabled them to do. They never focus people’s attention on themselves, but point them in God’s direction.

 

Remember as you go about your day that you may be the only Jesus some of your friends, neighbors and family will ever see. (By: Wanda E. Brunstetter)

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Stay or Run Away

Psalm 55.pngMy heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me, horror has overwhelmed me. I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be a rest. I will flee far away and stay in the desert, I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”  Psalm 55:4-8

The way in which one deals with problems will reveal much about one’s Christian character. The psalmist here point to two methods people use to deal with their problems. There is “flight” in which you try to escape or evade your problems. Then there is the “stand steadfast and trust the Lord” method in which we deal with our problems and overcome them in the name of the Lord.

Jonah started by running away, God sent him to Nineveh, at Joppa, he then brought his ticket for a voyage by boat to Tarshish, situated far away from his responsibilities. (Jonah Chapter 1 Old testament) But Jonah never reached Tarshish. There is no place on earth where we can escape our problems completely. Instead of solving his problems, Jonah only multiplied them. Once cannot escape from yourself, your responsibilities or your problems. When Jonah eventually chose the path of obedience and went to Nineveh to carry out his task, the Lord supported him with strength and he worked miracles in the name of the Lord

At one time or another we all face the temptation of trying to run away from our own problems or to sidestep our responsibilities. Even Jesus was confronted by temptation in the desert. However, He accepted God’s will for His life and did what He had to do. It we are obedient and faithful, if we trust God completely, He will support and help us.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

We Can Find Joy

1 Thessalonians 5.pngAs you recalled this past Sunday we lite the third candle for Advent which is called Joy. This week, we have heard from the Apostle Paul, writing in his very first letter to the Thessalonians—the earliest piece of writing in the New Testament. What is the subject of Paul’s letter to the earliest Christian community? Joy. Specifically, joy in the midst of difficult nights. The Psalmist writes,
Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:4-5, NRSV)
Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning! As I think about the season of Advent, and read from Thessalonians on this third week into our journey, I can’t help but hear traces of the Psalmist in Paul’s words:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not despise the words of prophets,
but test everything.
Hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.
May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely;
and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, NRSV)My friends, nobody said the journey was going to be easy. Maybe it is for the best that Advent always starts off with a hard dose of reality. But as we enter into the homestretch of the season and begin final preparations not only to celebrate the birth of Christ into the world and his coming again in final glory, but also to welcome friends and family members who are coming down home, some of whom might not be gathering with good intentions, let us not quench the Spirit. Let it be in a spirit of grace that we acknowledge that for many of us, welcoming guests or going home will never resemble in any way the pictures of perfect familial bliss that we see in the constant holiday barrage of Photo shopped advertisements, holiday television specials, and Christmas movies. Nevertheless, let us enter into this time with rejoicing, prayer, and giving thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us. For no matter how hard the journey may be some days, we know that joy is our true home, and our true home is with our Savior Jesus Christ.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends