Archive for the 'intimacy with God' Category

Pride & Complacency

Today I am reminded about how we need to be on our guard against complacency and pride. We are told to seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness, Cheap Denver Broncos Jerseys but oh how easy it is to fall into the trap of thinking we know it all, or have it all together!

Sometimes it is easy to look around us and compare ourselves to others, and overlook our own sin because we think to ourselves, “Well we aren’t doing what they are doing, thank goodness!” But if we think like that we are blind – like the self-righteous Pharisee who tried to justify himself before God by comparing himself to and wrongfully exalting himself over the tax collector.

  • wholesale jerseys In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1).
  • Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4).
  • So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17 NASB).
  • Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

These are all familiar passages of scripture that demonstrate the importance of “the Word.” Much has been said about the importance and integrity of the Word of God. But what exactly is the Word?

On the Road of Life, before we find Christ, the thing we don’t realize is our utter state of depravity, we are lacking , empty, and wanting. Just like Paul he was on a mission to stop the Christians, being empty and void of Gods true wishes, but thinking he was at the top of his spiritual achievements. Then he met Jesus on the Road. (THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS)

“and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, (Paul) why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,”
Acts 9:4 & 5 (NASB)

Yesterday, I ran across two different blogs that quoted Kierkegaard in regards to interpreting the Bible.  I have to admit I don’t know much about the man, but I found his statements thought provoking.  For those of us who love to study God’s Word and read scholarly books about the Bible, his quotes help to remind us what the goal is.

“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obligated to act accordingly.

I grew up being taught to pray to God our heavenly Father and to always close (as the NT instructs us to) with a “in Jesus’ name” tag.  However I’ve heard others pray directly to Jesus.  Of course our Catholic friends tend to pray to Mary.  And I’m sure others in the overall Christian-based extended family may very well even pray to someone else.  But what is the correct way?  Does Scripture clearly indicate whom we should be directing our prayers to?

The following article (from fellow Biblical Unitarian – Ivan Maddox’s web site) by Richard Winstead gives some good Bible-based answers on this very subject.  Below is the article in its entirety.  After, be sure to post your thoughts and any other points of Scripture on the subject.  Thanks.

The Apostle Paul often expresses his recognition of God’s forgiveness in his life, yet being mindful of what he was like and for what God had forgiven him.  What a wonderful example for us to follow.

1 Timothy 1:12-16 [NASB]
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor.  Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.  It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.  Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

Though the video above is humorous, it strikes a convicting chord because it points out our tendency to forget and marginalize God. We fill our lives with so many people, so many events, and so many things that we have no time left over for God. Even for those of us in full time ministry, it is a constant battle to not substitute the work of God for actually spending time with God. Even so, the Scripture is very pointed on how God feels about “competitors.” Please consider the following verses:

In 1 Corinthians 13 -the love chapter- Paul tell us many things, but I think I should let the source speak for itself:

This was the sermon I delivered last week in manuscript form. We began a series on spiritual discipline and this is the opening sermon in that series.

God Bless        

    So, about a week ago, I was sitting on a beach next to my wife and my parents. Beaches are wonderful, aren’t they? To sit there and feel the air, the sound of the waves and the sun beating down on you is almost surreal. You know what I’m talking about, that feeling that almost takes your breath away with its grandeur. By far, though, the most impressive thing is to look out on the horizon. It feels like the ocean is never ending, that this could wholly consume you, yet at the same time it is terrifying in all of its attributes.

I wrote this devotional for our service at North Hills this sunday. I thought I would share. It is far from perfect and far from being theologically thorough, but sometimes, that may be just what we need.

What is worship, what does it mean to worship, and what is the purpose of our worship? Does it mean coming to church and singing songs?


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