Friday, February 7, 2014

Consider: Time Alone with God-RJD Feb 2014

Mark 4:1-20

Journal Entry 2/6/2004

Jesus had spoken to the large crown from a boat. He told them great truths by using everyday events and objects to convey his messages. The disciples didn’t understand the story about the sower and the seed. The waited until they were alone with Him before asking questions.

We who are God’s children sometimes have questions for Jesus. We feel we have to have answers but sometimes we don’t seem to get them. We need to get rid of the distractions of our own thoughts, schedules, and desires. We need to listen to God.
The art of communication is talking half the time and listening the other half. When we approach God, we should be ready to listen as well as pray. But we can only be attentive when we are alone with God.

Update: 2/6/2014

I trust you are familiar with the adage, “Some things never change.” The idea of having a regular time alone with God falls into this category. It was true for the disciples; Jesus had to have his time alone with the Father and it is true for us.
Time alone with God gives us rest, relaxes us, and relieves our minds and hearts of unneeded stress and burdens. When we access God, we should quiet ourselves. All our attention should be on God. We should find a way to focus on Him. Some people listen to music to achieve this ‘position’. Others begin their time with God by reading scripture.

I had a friend who had three children. She told a group of us more than one time that she had to have her time alone with God in her bathroom. When I worked my last job, I used my travel time to talk to God. Another friend prayed for her husband to return to Christ in their bathroom. The important thing is we find time to spend with God each day.


Linking to:enthusiasticallydawn.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

More than Conquerors

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
                   ‘for your sake we face death all day long;
We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Romans 8:35-37(NIV)

Paul cites possible circumstances that could happen to a church. The church at Rome eventually did go through these situations. Paul’s purpose for writing these words was to remind the Roman believers of God’s infinite love for those who believe in Him.  No matter what happens, God’s love is real and lasting.

In her book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp relates her experience of ministering to a homeless man on the streets of Toronto. The man had a dog-eared Gideon Bible in the duffel bag he carried. He asked one of the teenage girls to read aloud Romans 7-8, which she did. When the girl reached a certain point, this homeless man echoed each line that she read. Ann and the youth were there to minister to him; he ministered to them.  

It impressed me that this man, who lived on the streets, had experienced God’s love and knew the Word. It gives me a new aspect to consider when I think about those without a home.

A little over thirty years ago, I took a personal leave from the job I had; after the leave ended, I resigned. I remember telling people I wanted to survive the stress and mental fatigue I dealt with. I slowly realized I didn’t just want to survive; I wanted more. Then I discovered this passage.

“More than conquerors,” that means more than just getting by, it means surmounting those harsh circumstances and giving thanks for our new-found knowledge that Jesus loves us and will stand beside us in every circumstance we face.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Rooted and Established in Love

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
 may have power, with all the saints, to grasp how wide
 and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and
 to know this love that surpasses all knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17b-19 (NIV)

”And I pray. . .” Paul talked to the Lord about the people who were in the Ephesian church. As Christians we have an obligation to pray for those on the front line in spiritual warfare- the pastors, the missionaries, the church leaders, and those serious about their faith. Jesus set the example to pray for all those who believe in Him (John 17:20, NIV)

“. . . you, being rooted and established in love. . . The first century believers came to Christ because of God’s love. They became stronger as they grew in knowledge of His love.
In our 21st Century world, we strive to allow our roots to go deeper into Christ each day.

. . . may have power. . .” When we ask Jesus into our lives, we relinquish our self- power for the power God gives us through the Holy Spirit. God told Paul that He works best when we, His children, are weak. We have strength because of the Lord.

. . . with all the saints. . .”Paul may be talking about those who had been martyred When they came to Christ. We are not alone; we join others who, like us, love the Lord. Also, there are those in our cloud of witnesses, friends and loved ones who have gone on ahead.

“ . . to grasp. . .” When we learn of Jesus and His power, we can’t always understand things about our new life but, as our faith grows, we learn that we can trust Jesus for the outcome.

“. . . how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. . .” As we mature in Christ we try to understand about God’s love. We learn that His love for us is bigger than we will ever realize.  Several years ago I saw a small card. It read like this: “I asked Jesus how much He loved me. He answered ‘This much.’ And spread out his arms and died for me.”

“. . . to know this love that surpasses all knowledge. . .” When we experience God in our lives, we don’t act, think, or talk the same. All this happens in our lives because we have God with us. All we can do is take this by faith.

“. . . that you may be filled to the measure . . .”Paul speaks of believers being filled with the Holy Spirit. He experienced the Holy Spirit on the Damascus Road. This passage suggests each one of us who follow him receives the Holy Spirit according to God’s measurement.

 . .of all the fullness of God.” God wants to give each of us an ample amount of His love, strength, and wisdom in order that we may live for Him.



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