Friday, May 17, 2013

Humbled—Kneeling





“While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said,
‘My daughter has just died. But come and put your hands on her and she will live.’”
Matthew 9:18 (NIV) 

I found myself caught off guard when I found the above passage. In the story, I notice that the ruler knelt before Jesus. Now, I find that unusual. This man was the ruler of the synagogue, an authority figure, and yet he knew to humble himself before the Lord. Had he heard of this itinerant preacher? He must have. Did he believe in Him? He seems to. Did the ruler have faith in what Jesus could do? (heal people.) Yes he did.
The books of Mark and Luke say this was Jairus. Mark tells us ‘He pleaded earnestly.’
Do we sometimes go out on a limb and insist that Jesus do something for us rather than approach His throne with humility?
~~
“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to
Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor.”
 Matthew 20:20 (NIV)

This passage intrigues me. As I understand it, James and John were cousins of Jesus. Their mother was his aunt. And she comes with her sons to ask a favor of the Lord. She kneels before Him and requests her sons have a place of honor. She had enough respect for the Master to approach him in a humble manner. But He told her she asked of Him something that wasn't His to do; this fell under God’s decision. Sometimes we ask God for something that He will not do because that task is a job we can do it for ourselves. I am guilty of this; is anyone else?
In our 21st Century lifestyles, do we forget to kneel in adoration or when we request something from God? In a lot of churches we see an altar rail with places for kneeling. In one church of which I was a part, some of the members knelt between the pews, using the seat part as a resting place for their arms while they prayed. The building I worked in on an Army post had folding chairs in its auditorium that had kneelers attached to the back legs. If they were being used, the padded shelves were popped down but most of the time they were flipped up and out of the way.
In the early 1970’s, I was in a cottage prayer meeting prior to a revival series at my then church. As we were getting ready to pray, the leader of the group all at once stood, turned around, and knelt at his chair, using it as an altar, before he started to pray. The rest of us followed his lead and knelt where we were.
I have noticed how people talk to others. We might need to take a lesson in humility before our peers as well as before the Lord.    



Unplugged
I will be going unplugged until Monday June 3rd.
My intent is to do as thorough a job of Spring Cleaning as I can in preparation of our son visiting us the last week of this month.

It is my hope to be able to unplug completely from the cyber world.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Lamb is Worthy



“. . . the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say;
‘You are worthy, our Lord   and God,
To receive glory and honor and power,
For you created all things,
       And by your will they were created and have their being.’”
Revelation 4:10-11 (NIV)

“. . . the twenty-four elders . . .” These elders are the patriarchs of the church. Earlier passages tell us they sit on thrones around God’s. They are arrayed in white robes with golden crowns on their heads. (Rev 4:4)              
“. . .fall down before him who sits on the throne. . . These elders prostrate themselves before God. This is an act of humility. When we kneel before God at an altar in church or before a couch or chair in our homes we also humble ourselves in preparation to worship. If we can’t physically kneel, we humble our hearts by remembering Who He is and who we are.
“. . . and worship him who lives for ever and ever. These elders pay homage to God for Who He is.
”. . .They lay their crowns before the throne and say. . .” They do this as a form of adoration. Don’t we honor God by laying our lives before Him? At one time in my spiritual walk, I verbally gave God my plans each morning when I prayed.
“’You are worthy, our Lord and God. . .’”  Right after this scene in Revelation, we see only Lamb of God is worthy to open the scroll. The elders exclaim to the Father that He merits honor.
               Everything God makes merits honor. I have a difficult time when I hear abortion being discussed. Those for it say life doesn’t begin until birth. I believe life begins at conception. Life signifies sensitivity to injury. Certain injuries affect an unborn child in the first four weeks after conception.
 “. . . to receive glory and honor and power . . .“ God’s worthiness means we are to respect Him, to treat Him with reverence. Do we who live in the 21st Century, as a whole, give God the honor He deserves?
“. . . for you created all things . . .” God created the world and everything in it. In our nation we have the mountains- the sea shores- the Aspen trees- the beautiful sunrises and sunsets- the tulips- the violets- the birds, all created by God.
” . . .  and by your will they were created and have their being.’” These elders give God the praise for His choosing to create all that we hear, feel, touch and see. Shouldn't we, as His children do likewise?
He gives us so much; we should honor Him in worship every chance we get.


Graphic from: jesussayscome.wordpress.com



Monday, May 13, 2013

Worship Honors God



“. . . ascribe to the LORD the glory due him; bring an offering and come before him.”
1 Chronicles 16:29 (NIV)

Worship is an expression of the relationship between believers and God; involves reverence and adoration toward God. We are to bestow honor to Him for all we have, all we are, and all we do.
We give God His glory when we honor Him by assembling together with other believers. Ours prayers to Him bring us to our knees, both literally and figuratively.
As we strive to get closer to God through prayer and fasting, we honor Him in a very special way. Some Christian denominations observe Lent by fasting from a food or an activity for the weeks following Ash Wednesday.
We honor God when we keep a confidence for a friend.  When we strive to obey the Ten Commandments, we honor our relationship between Him, those around us, and ourselves. How we worship the Lord shows how much we love Him.

Graphic from: deebrestin.com

Heirs Because of Hope

cecelialester-quiet spirit But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works d...