My soul longs to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling! (2 Corinthians 5 2-5) And the Good News is that God made us for this very purpose. The Bible also alludes to this in Romans 8:19-21! when God says “Creation was subjected to frustration…by the will of the one who subjected it in hope that creation…will be liberated and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” Back in 2 Corinthians 5:9, Paul says because of this, “we make it our goal to please HIM.” Is that your goal, to please the Father? I see many people today who struggle to live for godliness. They think the frustration they feel is to try harder and exert effort to obtain a right standing. (Even though we preach, time and again, that it is through grace, not our works by which we are saved.) On top of that 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that by God’s divines power we have “everything we need for life and godliness…” People continue to struggle and find no relief. There are a few reasons for no relief: First: It won’t be fully experienced here and that’s why we have our longing for the heavenly clothing. Second: What peace and relief there is to experience here we search and fight for in the wrong context. We most often try to accomplish HIS goals for our life while hanging on to our wants/desires/sinful passions because we are not fully convinced God is enough to satisfy and deliver. Don’t you want something different then what we can find here for fulfillment? I do, in fact, my soul cries out for it!
check out one of my dear friend’s post!
My mother recently had surgery on her leg. A year ago she broke her leg and the break has never healed due to her bones not growing back together at the point of break in her femur. To shorten the story, she had the surgery on the 12th of August and went home (to be by herself) on the 15th of August! Since she lives alone and 45 minutes away from Cleveland, I am not there the very much. But recently I have been going there more than usually to check on her and make sure things are going – well, better. What is amazing is that her small group leader has called me twice – once checking on her and her progress from surgery and healing in the hospital and the second call (after a visit a the hospital) he was looking after my mom’s healing process. The small group took it upon themselves to make sure my mother is fed. As of this writing, they are bringing her meals every other evening. Since she lives alone, there is plenty for her to eat two days in a row and have left overs. The group had made sure her lawn is mowed, her belly is full and her heart is loved on. I believe most of us long for such a group to belong. I know I do. I believe the church should (and does at times) out shine the world in caring for one another. This is what FC3 connect groups are all about! FC3 is re-launching our Connect Groups. Each group will meet in a home and will begin on September 15th. In the next few weeks, we will have groups listed at the Welcome Center. Your job is to join a group. You never know when you will long to have a group to love, feed and nurture you. Better yet, join a Connect Group so that you can love, feed and nurture someone in need from you Connect Group!
I have always been fascinated with the Sabbath. Unfortunately, I have fought to honor it and keep my personal Sabbath for a few reasons. First, I think I am too busy to stop and rest, but in the same breath I say I trust God. Second, some around me see a Sabbath as lazy and useless and I let that get the better of me at times. (Most often, the first reason is the biggest obstacle!) I teach that a Sabbath rest is commanded by God and I firmly believe this. But my rebellious nature fights to keep going. Lately, I have been reading through the book of Ezekiel and I have noticed that the prophet has a lot to echo from God concerning the “rebellious house” (Israel) Interestingly enough, this morning I was in chapter 20 and I ran into this topic of a Sabbath rest! In verse 12, God says, “I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I, the Lord made them holy.” The Sabbath was given to us to verify that God has made us holy! I don’t ever remember hearing that in a sermon or reading it in a book. But I love it! In verse 20, HE goes on to say, “Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.” God wants us to honor HIM by honoring and keeping HIS Sabbaths to show we are connected to HIM. Our response to the Sabbath is a direct correlation to our witness, testimony and walk with the Almighty in whom we can trust! For the Israelites they “desecrated” HIS Sabbaths. But what about us? Do you and I trust HIM enough to obey HIS word and HIS commands? When was the last time you celebrated the Sabbath, HIS Sabbath with which HE blessed you? Take a break this week, a real Sabbath and enjoy it guilt free. Make sure you use it to connect with HIM, not to just be lazy! 🙂
I was preparing for my sermon for this Sunday and in my search I came across this verse. I had underlined it, but had forgotten about it. Jeremiah 32:40 “I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them. I will inspire them to fear ME, so that they will never turn away from me.” That just blew me away! I am so thankful that God loves me enough to INSPIRE me to fear HIM, so that I will choose HIM all the days of my life. Thank you Lord for you unfailing love for me! In Acts 9:31 we see that the church grew and was encouraged by the Holy Spirit as a result of their “fear of the Lord.” May HE be the focus of your fears and love. God bless!!!
Well I have been blogging slowly, but seek to jump in a little more. I am moving my blog to this site to help in my sending words out! On the right side of the page there is a “follow” button you can fill this out to get an email each time I update my blog. Let’s see how this turns out…