Praise Him


http://fl.vu/Ap4f2

Advertisements

From My Utmost for His Highest

“Jesus says ‘Come unto Me and I will give you rest,’ i.e., Christ-consciousness will take the place of self-consciousness.”

Oswald Chambers makes a great point in his August 20th devotion. If you feel attacked, misunderstood, or eaten up by negative, critical people, there is no need to defend yourself. Trust Christ, seek Christ, and pray to  Christ and He will give you the rest you need.  

Praying that you worship Jesus on Sunday in a powerful way! 

Pastor Fran 

Devotion: (the) Father Knows Best

Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.”

bible-1388427_640No one knows the true heart of men but God, and He knows it thoroughly. What His eyes see, we have tried to hide and what His mind knows, we’ve tried to block it out. No one knows us like God knows us.

But if you are known by God, understand this: God doesn’t just know you and then lets you stay still, He wants you to be sanctified, to grow in His grace. Because of this desire, He will push and press you farther so you can grow from the difficulty. Your stretching is just a part of His process, because it’s hard to grow fully unless you press beyond what you can naturally handle.

He will, therefore, try you and test you and let you fail, only to be there for you when you need His grace and mercy. when you are anxious, He will console you (Ps 94:19), when you are angry, He will challenge you (Ps 37:8), and wherever you walk, He will be with you (Ps 23:4). The One who knows you so well inside will take you outside to greater things for Him.

The Psalmist’s prayer should be our own: “lead me in the everlasting way.” Wherever you are, God knows better. He knows what’s best for you. He has a better way for you. You just need to trust Him and let Him lead. What do you need to let God do today?

Pastor Fran

Thirsty Thursday: Why the Gospel was never about you

What I read: Chronological Reading for the week (selections from Jeremiah and Ezekiel) has been completed early, so I am reading various devotionals from Spurgeon, Calvin, and praying through the Psalms. This is my reaction to some of my reading. 

I’ve been a Christian for over thirty years and have been in ministry in churches for almost twenty two years. In my short time, I’ve seen my share of victories, praises, and mountain top experiences. I’ve also seen my share of discouragement, sadness, and apparent defeats. I’ve seen churches do amazing, wonderful things in the unity of the Spirit of Christ and yet I’ve seen churches act like the wandering people of Israel while they blindly followed a false god of their own desires.

However, one obvious but often forgotten truth that I have seen and read over the years is abundantly clear: the gospel, lived and expressed in His people, is always to be about God and His glory. Just think: we as believers in Christ look forward to the day when we will see Christ face to face, when we as every tribe and tongue will bring praise and glory to His name. We know that the One whom we do not see now will be seen, and we will experience the joy of joyous praises as we enjoy God forever. At that time, the gospel will be fully fulfilled and fully Christ focused, as the heavens and the earth will willingly and eternally declaring the glory of God. It will be a wonderful, amazing time!

Of course, while here in our flesh, we all have a whole lot to go in truly capturing a clear, Christ-focused man-888591_1280expression of the gospel. For example, the gospel was never meant to be about people in a self-serving, self-centered proposition. Christ didn’t die on the cross so people can lackadaisically just “get in” the gates of Heaven. He didn’t offer eternal life so some can just say the right words or pray the right prayer or even speak the language of Zion, or so churchgoers can be what is culturally defined as a “good Christian.”And the gospel is definitely not about extending institutional hypocrisy, or getting wrapped up in the complex, disgusting world of internal church politics, with ungodly preferences as justified by traditions and legalism. No, Jesus did not die on the cross for the things of earth to continue, because Jesus’ gospel is a call to a new life, a life free of wicked deed of the flesh, a life lived for Christ and only Christ.

And maybe this is harsh, but sooner or later each of us must come to realize that we are not the center of the universe: the planets are not circling over each of our heads and the sun does not constantly and dramatically shine on your face in a radiant, angelic like beam. The gospel has never been and never will be about you or me. Instead, we are vile, sinful, and depraved beings who throw mud on and trample on the cross daily, often willingly. And while we draw ourselves into some grand story where we are somehow the main characters in it, the reality is that the true gospel story has always been about Christ, and we should be forever thankful to be able to be a small part of it. With this same idea, Psalm 84:10 says, “I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.”

This is why God’s grace is so awe inspiring. Because of His grace, you and I are created in the imago dei, loved by the Creator and are able to hear, see, and respond to the gospel. Our response, then, needs to be nothing less than a life of complete adoration for Christ and His Kingdom. Money, power, comfort, and even our own lives comes second to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, compared to Jesus, these things shouldn’t even come close.

Let me encourage you to check your own walk while I check mine. No longer should we claim to receive a gracious gift for eternity yet live like it is all about us. No longer should we follow Christ with our mouths and yet willingly place our possessions, comfort, self-centeredness, and our egos above Him. Fellow Christian, it’s time to repent, time to recommit and time to change this thinking. Let’s make this change: as a coheir in Christ, ours is the Kingdom forever, so let me challenge you to live as a citizen of Heaven while traveling this journey on earth!

In Christ Alone,

Pastor Fran