Thursday, May 9, 2013

Consider Him

At church on Saturday, we took a week break from our chronological study through the gospels and went through the passage of Hebrews 12:1-3.

(Click here for the powerful message by guest speaker Pastor Brent)

"Let us lay aside every weight...and run this race with endurance...looking  unto Jesus..."

We dove deeper into the passage last night at small groups and went over some of these questions as we reviewed our lives in light of the scripture:

-Evaluate the components in your life and ask yourself, "Is it a wing or a weight?"
-How do you endure the obstacles you are facing?
-How do you walk alongside others when they need the strength to endure an obstacle?
-How do we endure in this race and stay focused on the goal of the ministry of reconciliation?

We talked about how even good things can be weights in your life if it is not helping you grow toward the purpose God has for you in your season of your walk with Him.

But HOW do we make these decisions? HOW do we find the strength and motivation to endure our current or future trials during this race of our Christian life?

We cannot do it in our own strength- in ourselves, we do not contain the ability.
That is why the writer of Hebrews wrote these two powerful phrases of instruction:

"Looking unto Jesus..."


"Consider Him..."

The power of knowing Jesus and spending time with Jesus and seeking Jesus cannot be overemphasized. It is not part of the process.
It IS the process.

It is reading His Word so that we know what He has endured, and what He has said, and what He has done.

It is spending time at His feet in prayer and seeking His heart.

It is grabbing members of your fellowship and praying together with them.

It is receiving His Spirit and being empowered by Him. (Acts 1:8)

It is seeking Him in ALL things.

It is asking for His perspective in ALL things.

It is surrendering to His care and His will.

It is "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was before Him (that's us!) endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

He has already won the victory! So today, this week, in our lives, let's bring Him into everything.

Consider Him.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Rest Well, My Friend

My Friend, you are doing a good job. 

A good job.

Let me gently remind you of this.

It is good to rest.

It is purposeful and you are accomplishing much by resting.

I love you so much, my friend.  Your ambitious heart and your capable hands have accomplished much and accomplished it well.  You have brought much glory to the Lord through your obedience of action and through your ability to steward well in a short amount of time the gifts that He has entrusted you with. 

But your actions have never made Him love you more.

And your abilities have never given you more worth.

You know this, my friend.  You know that all your worth is found in your identity in Him.  You yourself have encouraged me well in this. 

Allow yourself the space you need.  Take the time to just sit - to feel.  He has called you to rest - you glorify Him by obeying Him.  He is your Heavenly Father - He cares for you.  He knows intimately the details of the season before this time of rest.  And He knows how He is preparing you for what lies after this time of intentional stillness. 

And yes, my friend, it is intentional.  There is much purpose in it.  I know how much you like to feel purposed and accomplished.  Remember that God has called you to this season intentionally.  You know some of the reasons.  Some of the reasons are a mystery that God is working out. 

Take the pressure off yourself.  Let your commitments change as needed.  Let your standards change as needed.  Ask yourself, "What is the highest priority between me and God right now?"

And if that priority is sitting by the fire, journal by your side and pen in your hand, and thinking and dreaming of the thoughts in your heart right now - then with full intention - take the time to do that.

Rest my Friend,
and Rest Well.