Tuesday, October 24, 2017

From Strength to Strength...What is the Greater Good?

With this blog and the next, I will temporarily be hitting the pause button in our series of going deeper into the Lord’s prayer.  I believe you will see the timeliness of these next two heart messages that brought me to that decision.  We’ll finish up the beautiful prayer that Jesus taught, in November.

Greetings Dear Friends, 

When you read this, most probably the recent glorious Fall days of Northeast Ohio will have given way to the more seasonable rain and chill of late October.  I will have just returned from a week of literally stepping “out of time”…reveling in the love and presence of kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.  I will have also had the privilege of holding and snuggling extensively with my latest newborn great-grandson.  What a truly precious gift that was.
It also was God ordered, because from the perspective of that sweet space I received a little wake-up call from the Lord.  I recognized that ever so gradually, I was being pulled back into the vortex of overscheduling, overextending, and the mindset of over-busy-ness (if that is even a word).  
Being recently retired from full-time employment, the new rhythms I have been establishing are indeed, freeing and fruitful.  All the things I’ve put my mind to are good.

They are all good.  

But…(I started asking myself)…am I supposed to be doing all of them all the time?
Are there not times when I’m supposed to be choosing between two goods?
Are there not times when I’m supposed to be choosing the greater good?

Reading this passage of Scripture I saw something very important:  
“That evening at sundown they brought to Him all who were sick or oppressed by demons.  And the whole city was gathered at the door.  And He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons.  And He would not permit the demons to speak because they knew Him.

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed.  And Simon and those who were with him searched for Him.  ‘Everyone is looking for You.’  And He said to them, ‘Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.’  And He went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.”  Mark 1:32-39

​Where are you in your life now?  Are you doing much that is good?  Are you trying to do it all?
Are you sure you’re supposed to be doing all that you’re doing? 

Perhaps the Lord would assign simply a greater good for you to consider…at least for now.
When was the last time you checked in with Him?

Perhaps this week you can take some time, as I have, to just ask Him. 
“Let us go…for that is why I came out.”  ​​

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

From Strength to Strength...Our Father Part Two

 “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”  Matthew 6:10

These past days meditating on the Lord’s prayer, I’ve been fixated on the passage in Luke 7:18-28 concerning John the Baptist, and Jesus’ discussion with the people concerning him.  John’s disciples had just left after relating his bewilderment in prison concerning just this issue: “Thy Kingdom come…” 

John was asking, “Art thou he that should come? Or should we look for another?” 

After answering them, Jesus’ also asked a question,…the same question  - three times!

“What went ye out into the wilderness for to see?  A reed shaken with the wind?
But what went ye out for to see?  A man clothed in soft raiment?...
But what went ye out for to see?  A prophet?”

I ask myself concerning this Kingdom:  what would I have gone out in the wilderness to see? 
Here is what Jesus answered:
“This is he, of whom it is written, ‘Behold I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.’  For I say unto you, among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” 

Dear friends, this is us!  This is us!

Let this wash over you as you speak the words of the Lord’s prayer into the heavenlies and into your own wilderness!  Realize that we,…the least of us in the kingdom of God,… are greater than John.

This is true, only because today, we have the Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit.

This is true because we also are called to “…prepare thy way before thee” in the wilderness of our chaotic times. 

“Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” 

Yes Lord.