Tuesday, June 14, 2011

More follow up from Sunday: (3 plus one)

On Sunday I encouraged OBC to grow in our relationship with God in three ways: (1) Pray a bunch of mini-prayers, like 'help me, save me, rescue me, give me strength,' (2) To find a window of time, anywhere from 5-10 minutes to speak to the Lord, realizing that He welcomes us into His presence, and (3) to talk to another believer about where we are in this area of prayer, and where we would like to see change.

Someone suggested a fourth recommendation and that is to find a way to capture prayers on paper through a journal or cards, etc. I think that is excellent! It involves the senses of seeing, and touching, which is an excellent weapon in the fight against distraction!

One more thought I would add to this. Over the last 24-36 hours, my mini-prayers have often not just been 'help me, save me, bless me, etc.' Often, I find myself thinking about someone in our church (or a friend or family member), and I find that my mini-prayer is directed toward them. It has gone something like this..."Give ________ wisdom. Give _________ strength. Give __________ a real sense of your presence and pleasure."

Follow up from Sunday

This past Sunday I spoke of the welcoming heart of God. I wanted to share some other thoughts that have been spurred on by helpful conversation with some in our congregation.

I spoke on Sunday of the truth that God always welcomes humble(d) sinners into His presence. Often, He is the direct source of our humbling, even though we most often experience humbling in indirect ways. Still, I think it needs to be recognized that the proud in heart do not have that same confidence of acceptance in His presence.

We are often easily deceived. Our hearts can convince us that we are right where we need to be spiritually. We can often easily dismiss our callousness or lack of change. We can measure up (in our minds) better than the next person, so therefore we assume all is well with God. What a dangerous position to be in! "God, help us from the deception that keeps us from being unable to realize our distance from you."

Embedded in Matthew 11:28-30 is our personal ownership of our weaknesses and sins. These very things shouldn't drive us away from God's presence, but rather to it. We are in need of grace.