Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Psalm 84

I prayer through Psalm 84 today, because I was challenged to do so through a class I am taking right was a powerful experience to say the least. I would encourage you to pray your way through it yourself...

Psalm 84
v.1 - Pray about the beauty of be in the presence of the Lord. Pray for the church you are a part of...that your church home would feel like the dwelling place of God.
v.2 - Pray that you would feel as strongly about connecting with God as the psalmist. That you would long for that connection...desperately seek it out. Pray that God meets you in this place.
v.3 - The sparrows would build nests in the cracks of the was a place of safety for them. Pray that your own church is a place where people feel they can come safely and find acceptance, not judgment.
v.4 - Think about the ways that God has blessed you. Spend some significant time praising Him for the blessings in your life.
v.5-7 - The Israelites had to make a difficult journey to get to the temple. Imagine what it must have been like to finally see it after weeks of brutal travel. Our own lives have many ups and downs, but remember that God is constant...that we know how this story ends. Pray that you will be able to always keep your focus on God and on doing everything you can to become more like Him as you journey towards being forever in His presence.
v.8 - Beg God to hear your prayers...hear your cries and to meet you here. To meet you in the place of your greatest need. To connect with you.
v.9 - This is a verse about praying for the king, so pray for your leaders. Pray for the President. Pray for local leaders. Pray for the pastor of your church. Pray for the roles in which you are a leader.
v.10 - Pray that you will understand the truth of this verse...being in the presence with God...being connected to His will is better than anything else. Pray that you will choose to sacrifice your will...your selfishness...your pride, to do everything you can to live in God's presence.
v.11-12 - Close out your prayer time by praising God for who He is!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Psalm 27

Verse 1 - So many things in this world cause me to worry...cause me to fear. I fear confrontation...I fear the future...I fear what other people think about me...I fear failure...I fear. BUT God is my light...God is my salvation...He loves me...He created me...He gave Himself for me...what is there to fear? Why would anything else matter? Why would any of those meaningless things stop me in my tracks, when that is the reality that I live within. God is my salvation!!! What else matters. Someone doesn't like me? Well, God is my salvation. I don't know what the future holds? Well, God is my salvation! I must let that truth define me and shape the man that I am and the way that I react to the things of this world.

Verse 11 - This verse lays out exactly what I want for my life, and what I think God wants for my life. I want to know the way of the Lord to the very core of my being. I want to walk the level path. I do not want to walk the uneven, wish-washy, frail, broken, fence-sitting, back and forth path of humanity. I have walked it too often before and it has left me broken and guilt ridden. I want to walk the level path - the path that guides me in the way of the Lord. The Lord is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow...I want to be the same way. I want to be the same man when I am alone that I am when I am at church. I want to be a man of godly character at all times. And God, I need your help in doing that.

Verse 13 - Do I really believe this? Do you? Do you believe that God is at work, right here, right now, in the land of the living? Do you believe it? So many Christians see the brokenness of this world and they live for another day. They live for an eternal future with God. That is all well and good, and that is something to look forward to...but do not look forward to it and forsake the way that God is working in the here and now. God is at work. We should be living to join God in the work that He is doing the redemption that He is the way that He is bringing heaven to earth, bit by bit, life by life. Do not forget the good that is coming to life, like a fresh green shoot bursting from a midden heap! God is at work!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Psalm 20

I am having a hard time keeping up with the four chapter a day reading schedule, and find myself ditching out when I don't feel I have adequate time to cover the passages (which is not good!) I am changing things up. I am going to spend some time reading and praying through the Psalms...and already God has used this change to speak deeply into my heart.

The staff at Northside Christian, where I work, is faced with a number of difficult decisions. We have huge changes coming. We have buildings about to open. We have the responsibility of leading a group of 1800 or so people in pursuit of the way of Jesus Christ. There has been a great deal of pressure on people lately...there has been a great deal of crying out to God and begging Him for direction. Before my reading of Psalm 20 today I spent a good deal of time praying for wisdom, praying for the future, praying for guidance, praying for people in and out of the church who I know are struggling right now...and this is how I was answered...

Read Psalm 20.

That is exactly what I needed to hear...what I needed to read...and I hope it was very meaningful for you as well. Our leadership is crying out for vision, for guidance, for clarity...and it seemed like God was telling me through this Psalm that we will have it! Praise be to God! We must trust in God...we must continue to seek His will and not our own...and He will hear our cries!

20:1 - "May the Lord answer you in your day of trouble." There are so many right now who I know are struggling...who I have been praying for...and I know that God will meet them in their pain, their struggle, their brokenness.

20:4 - "May he grant you your heart's desire." At Northside, our desire as leaders is to lead shore up our get people into positions where they will be serving most answer God's call. Our desires do not revolve around our own wants...they revolve around honoring God and His ever growing kingdom through our service and He WILL meet our desires. He will meet our desire to show us His desires for our ministry...I know it.

20:5 - We can celebrate...we can rejoice, because God will move! Do not forget that.

20:7 - Do not put trust in yourself, your strength, your creativity, in human structures, in hard work alone...put your trust in God - He will not let you down. Everything else will fail in the end...we will fail ourselves...but God is faithful and He will prevail and He will provide. Thank you God!