"Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."
We believe that there is nothing more important to man than to be reconciled to God through His Son. We want to know Jesus more and more and to help others do likewise. We desire to be obedient and Christlike by being doers of the Word and not just hearers only (James 1:22). We want to be salt and light to the world by following the Luke 4 mandate where Jesus describes His ministry. We will seek the leadership of the Holy Spirit at all times as He leads us into the specifics of our ministry work. We will work from our Spiritual gifts and calling with a servant attitude doing all of this to bring glory to God and not ourselves. And we will be intentional in working to resolve spiritual, relational, and material poverty in our community and anywhere else where we may have influence.
We recently adopted a dog from the SPCA of North Texas. She is an 11 year old German Shepherd who was rescued over a year ago from a puppy mill. She is almost completely deaf so her name is "HEY!!" since that is about all she can hear. We are learning dog sign language on the fly.
I call her Old Lady and since she can't hear it, it's not really insulting to her. Old Lady had heart worms, a severe skin infection, and terrible buildup in her ears when she was rescued. She has to have prescription dog food and we have to go to Mansfield to get it. The SPCA treated her for these things as well as performing a complicated spaying surgery.
On top of all that, Old Lady has pretty severe separation anxiety - maybe I should say separation panic. As soon as we first got her home, she became Penny's "shadow." She follows her everywhere all the time. If Penny gets out of sight and the dog wakes up, she immediately begins searching for her. And although she loves for me to scratch her and love on her, I simply do not make an adequate substitute. If Penny goes to the store, Old Lady will typically pace the house, pant incessantly, and drool sweat drops all over the floor. (A couple of times she left something else on the floor.)
We love her and hope to make her happy for the rest of her life. She loves our cat (more than we do) and gets really excited when Dakota and Bryant's dogs come to visit. And she even goes to church with us on Sunday. (Yes, we are THAT casual.)
So, why the long story? It reminds me of a verse of Scripture.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. Psalm 42:1
The psalmist described his relationship to God in terms of desperation. When distanced from God, separation anxiety set in. Panting began and lasted until God was close again.
Friends, this longing is created in us by God and will not be satisfied by anything else, although we often try many substitutes. My prayer for us today is that we seek the face of God with all our hearts (He is closer than your skin BTW) and let His love and grace allow us to stop pacing and panting.
You are loved you know.
We are experiencing a wonderful time together in our Faith&Finances group. As important as it is to learn the principles of how God wants us to view and use our money, it may be more of a blessing to see fellowship sprout and grow among those who are participating. We still would love for a few of you to volunteer to bring us a simple meal to help us out. Let me know if you can and will do this. Just email me at Bobby@1Twenty2.com.
You are loved you know.
Bend and Bow
John 17 contains one of the most powerful passages in all Scripture. It is part of the prayer of Jesus recorded just before his arrest and crucifixion.
“Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.” vv. 1-2
Jesus is aware of what is coming and that His time on earth is ending. He knows His life must be sacrificed so that you and I can have restored relationship with our Abba.
But look at the great news contained here. The Father has given Jesus “authority over all flesh.” That means that you and I now serve the one and only true King of all mankind. Jesus is the King of all the earth. And that King id the same One who was willing to die so that we could live. This is a King who willingly lays down His life for people who have done nothing to deserve this kindness. Nor can we ever do anything worthy of it.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:15-20
The passage above is stunning to me. The “He” Paul is describing is the man, Jesus. God in the flesh. And He is now above all created things and beings.
He is also our friend and brother.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Colossians 2:13-15
Jesus, our Savior and Friend, is the Supreme Authority over all the universe – all that is seen and unseen. I am almost speechless (or wordless) concerning this fact. Imagine what that means for those of us who choose to follow Him in love.
Friends, all creation answers to the Name of our Brother! One day, all created beings will bend the knee and bow to His Authority.
But if we choose to bow today rather than wait, we also then share His authority. And with that comes abundance in our lives including freedom, transcendent peace and joy, and many other blessings that we can barely comprehend – if at all!
This decision should not be as difficult as it is. However, we are too often indoctrinated and deceived into thinking that we are our own authority over our lives. We must have our minds renewed. I have personally experienced both sides of that coin and will tell you without equivocation that choosing to submit to Jesus is the most wise decision I have ever made.
I pray today that you will receive the loving, kind, and completely good authority of Christ in your mind, heart, spirit, soul, and body. It will also be your most wise decision ever.
Yes, you are loved.
2nd and 4th Tuesdays. 7PM
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