Tag: Sunday rest and reflection

Sunday rest and reflection-Moses’ psalm

Dear friends of Jesus,

Greetings on this another day to rest and worship!  God’s praises have been sung throughout eternity by those whom He has created.  Our God is worthy of praise for many reasons!  He is creator, redeemer, sustainer, lover of mankind, life-giver, all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere present, full of compassion for the hurting and weak, protector of widows and orphans, and ultimately the judge of all men and angels!

The oldest psalm in the psalter comes from the pen of Moses, the man of God, who lived about 1500 years before Christ.  Indications are that Moses wrote this psalm during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.  Moses proclaimed God as man’s dwelling place from generations past, back to the very first man! (Psalm 90:1)  Moses knew and worshiped God as creator and the everlasting God Who sits above time and history. (Psalm 90:2-4)  God is in control of all life and ultimately judges all sin because He knows about all sin.  Man’s time on earth is short and full of trouble because of sin and death ends our stay here as a result of sin. (Psalm 90:4-10)

Moses petitioned God for an understanding of our short time here on earth that we might have a heart of wisdom.  We need God’s mercy and compassion in our lives in order to understand life.  We need God’s love to know how to love and live effectively.  Moses asked for God’s blessing and favor on His people, particularly the children.  Passing the torch of faith was important to Moses.  We all long for lasting significance and fulfilled purpose, and  Moses was no different.

As you rest this Lord’s day, thank Him for eternal life and the promises of God we have in Jesus Christ.  Moses was wandering in the wilderness experiencing God’s wrath and yet walking by faith.  We now have the Holy Spirit and the Word of  God and are blessed and favored people.  Moses’ psalm gives us food for thought and reason for thanks!  Have a great week in the Lord!  In His Love, Pastor John

Tags : , , ,

Sunday rest and reflection–prayer

Greetings on this day to rest and worship!  The Sabbath or seventh day was made for man to help him recover and center his life again on the source of life.  We have a tendency to center on ourselves, our work, our happiness, and to pamper our flesh.  This book of Psalms helps us to re-center our lives in the source of life, God Himself.

We are designed with the unique ability to communicate.  We can talk to God and hear Him speak to us.  Many of the psalms are prayers that are written out as poetry or in the form of a song.  Music and rhythm help us express the depths of our soul.  In prayer we can share honestly with God our deepest feelings, hurts, fears, and longings.  We can express our frustrations and ask for help, guidance, or divine intervention.  Some of the psalms flow with troubles and needs.  Often, they conclude with a re-centering on God and His ability to save, heal or deliver.

There have been some who advocate only speaking positive confessions about everything in our life experience.  They say that if we speak about our troubles or fears, we open ourselves up for Satan to bring us further trouble.  These psalms show us that we can be honest with God about our feelings, hurts and pains.  We must come back to a good confession of trust in God’s ability to guide and help us, however.  We should not live in negativity!  Casting cares on the Lord is the right thing to do for it helps us remember God’s great ability to help us and brings us peace and comfort.

Psalm 42 is a great example of a prayer of centering in a time of trouble.  Join the psalmist in this prayer of honest sharing of his heart’s needs.   (Psalm 42:1-2)  Cast every care on Him, He cares for you!  (Psalm 42:5-6)  Pray about everything, worry about nothing!  (Psalm 42:7-8) May the peace that passes human understanding stand guard over your heart and life today and throughout the coming week!  (Psalm 42:11)  God bless you!  In His Love, Pastor John

Tags : , , , , ,

Sunday rest and reflection–worship

Dear friends, Greetings in the Wonderful Name of Jesus Christ, the One worthy of all worship!  When many people think of worship, they think of singing hymns or spiritual songs.  Some people think of a church service with a choir, instruments, and people following a worship leader.  Whatever your worship ideal, spend time today honoring God in worship and gathering with His people.

Psalms was the temple worship book of the Old Testament Jew.  This was compiled over one thousand years of time and represents a variety of authors and different worship styles.  Most are poetry set to music and were accompanied by instruments.  There were several kinds of musical instruments mentioned for worship. The sounding trumpet was to praise the Lord!  The harp was played by King David.  The lyre was a stringed instrument, similar to the guitar or mandolin. (Psalm 150:3-4) The flute and  resounding cymbals are also mentioned as well as the tambourine.  (Psalm 149:3; 150:5)

During times of worship, people might kneel or bow down.  Sometimes they stood to honor the Lord and His Word.  Sometimes they would raise their hands or clap their hands.  They would sing the Psalms or they might sing a “new song” to the Lord that came from their hearts by the Spirit.  At other times, they would dance and shout or sing before the Lord with loud voices and passionate dance.  David was judged to have made a fool of himself by dancing before the Lord!  Sometimes the congregation would be still and simply recognize that God was God.  However you want to express your honor and devotion to the Lord will be accepted if it is done in a spirit of humility and true worship.   God sees the heart.

May your life of worship, be blessed!  We gather with God’s people for worship, but go out to live a life of worship, honoring God in each day with every breath! We sing to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and make melody in our hearts to the Lord, doing everything to His glory!

In His Glorious Worship,  Pastor John

Tags : , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday rest and reflection–suffering

Greetings on this day of rest!   As we study Job, we come to understand that God’s ways are different than ours.  He allowed suffering even in the life of his finest servants.   God, Himself, had declared Job to be blameless.  God knew that Job was a righteous man who feared Him and tried to please Him.  Job sacrificed to God and prayed for his children. 

Wouldn’t life be better and more satisfying if we never have to suffer?  What did Job gain from this gruesome experience?  We have many questions and few answers.   Jesus declared that trouble was to be part of life in a fallen world.  (John 16:33)  He told his disciples that if they wanted to follow Him, they must take up a cross, implying suffering and death.  (Luke 14:27)   He warned them that because of Him there would be division and strife in families and between friends.  (Matthew 12:51-53)  Jesus also warned of great turmoil and wars in the last days and that His followers must be watchful and prayerful  in order to escape and stand before the Son of Man.  (Luke 21:23-24)  (Luke 21:36)

Jesus, Himself, faced sorrows, suffering and death while He was here on earth.  Although He was righteous and truly blameless, He was falsely accused and treated unfairly.  Peter declared that when Jesus suffered unjustly, He entrusted Himself to the Father Who would judge justly! (1st Peter 2:23)  He never retaliated or answered harshly to those who mistreated Him.   He simply fulfilled the purpose of the Father by offering His body as a sacrifice for our sins.  (1st Peter 2:24)  Peter stated that since Jesus suffered in His body, we should also be prepared to suffer with the same attitude.  (1st Peter 4:1)  When we suffer in our body, Peter says we cease from sin and focus on living for the will of God. (1st Peter 4:2)  We are to rejoice when we suffer because of identification with Jesus Christ.  He promises that the Spirit of Grace and Glory will rest on us!  (1st Peter 4:12-14)

These thoughts on suffering run counter to the attitudes of the world we live in.  Job was suffering because of His righteous trust in God.  God’s grace sustained him and in the end he was truly blessed!  May we develop the attitude of Jesus Christ towards suffering!  In His Love,  Pastor John

Tags : ,

Sunday rest and reflection: providence

Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings on this wonderful day of refreshing!  Every day is a day of refreshing in Jesus Christ, but Christians celebrate a day of worship and rest on the first day of the week because that is the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead!  This supernatural event declares Jesus to be the Son of God with power!  (Romans 1:4)  He stands uniquely above any other person because of this event and their are many eye-witnesses that testified to this truth!

I want to reflect today on the “providence” of God.  Providence is a word that seems to mean “chance” or “luck”.  But Christians do not believe in “luck”.  Our God is sovereign and has the power to bring about His purposes.  He alone knows all things.  He knows what will happen and how things will happen.  He also has the power to make things happen.  He is bound by His love and the covenant He made with man and by His own Word.  If He has said it, He will do it!  He has also decreed that He will hear the prayers of His people and act upon them in a way to bring about their forgiveness, deliverance, healing and prosperity in accordance with His own Word.

 In God’s economy, everything will work for good for those that love God and seek Him in prayer.  (Romans 8:26-28)  He gives us the Holy Spirit to help us to pray according to the will of God!  As we pray in the Spirit,  He can take that which was meant for evil and turn it to our good.  He can take evil men and turn the tables on them!  He can bring hidden things to light at just the right time to change the course of history!  Esther’s story with that of her Uncle Mordecai gives us glimpses into the miraculous providence of God released when His people pray!  Have a great day of rest and may the providence of our Lord fill you with joy and peace!  In His Love, Pastor John

Tags : ,

Sunday rest and reflection: prayer

Greetings in the Wonderful Name of Jesus Christ, our coming King and eternal Savior!  “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24)   It is a choice to rejoice in the Lord each and every day!  Each day is a new day with new understanding of how great our God is!  As we begin another week, set aside time to reflect on God Himself.  Take time to commune with Him!  Take time to be with others of like-precious faith who gather to worship, study, and thank Him in community!  We especially need this as we see the day of the Lord approaching!  (Hebrews 10:25)

We have been reading this past week about Ezra and Nehemiah, two great men in the history of Israel who relied on God and lived lives of prayer and obedience.  Ezra offered praise and thanks to the Lord for granting him favor to rebuild the temple.  (Ezra 7:27-28)  Ezra prayed for traveling mercies for his party with all the gold and silver articles for the temple. (Ezra 8:21-23)  After God brought them safely to Jerusalem, they met with others and offered sacrifices and thanked the Lord.  Ezra heard about the unfaithfulness of those who had married outside of the faith and he again humbled himself to pray and fast and confess the sins of his countrymen.  (Ezra 9:5-15)  Others gathered with him and they sought the Lord.  God brought repentance and cleansing as they prayed together.

Nehemiah carried a burden for Jerusalem and it’s broken walls.  He began to pray to the Lord about his burden.  (Nehemiah 1:5-11)  God gave him opportunity to speak with the Persian king, Artaxerxes, and he prayed again.  (Nehemiah 2:4) God granted him favor and he was sent by this pagan king to rebuild the walls, along with materials and money as well as workers!  As he arrived, God gave him a vision to put the people to work by families, assigning them personal responsibility near their own homes.  Prayer was offered to combat discouragement and stop opposing forces. (Nehemiah 4:4-5)   Nehemiah armed the workers and encouraged them to work and fight for their own children, homes and families!  (Nehemiah 4:14)  He had a trumpeter near him at all times to sound a call to fight (or pray) when an attack might come.  (Nehemiah 4:20) 

Take time today to praise the Lord, thank Him for Who He is.  Do this for yourself and for your family!  Meet with God’s people and worship in community!  He is coming soon! In His Love, Pastor John

Tags : ,

Sunday rest and reflection: mercy!

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Greetings on this day of worship and reflection!  God is to be praised for His mercy and long-suffering!  As I think back on the nearly 500 years of history in the Kings and Chronicles, God surely was patient with His people!  He suffered long with their stubbornness.  He waited patiently for them to respond to His prophets and Word.  He punished them, but still His mercy was extended to those who would listen and respond.  They endured wars, captivity, famines, internal bickering and strife while God kept continually offering them His amazing grace!  They only needed to turn to Him in repentance and call on His name and He would hear and answer!  How long our God bears with us!

As I think about the day we live in, God is still offering the amazing grace of forgiveness!  He is still suffering long and ready to extend His cleansing grace.  All who call out to Him are heard!  He still saves and delivers.  He forgives sin, rebellion and strife when His people repent!  He has sent His people out with a message of good news!  God’s wrath has been satisfied with the blood of His own Son!  Whoever believes can get in on it!  What an amazing display of mercy available to all who will come to Him!

After the trials and tests of this life are over, God promises us full life with Him forever!  This is extreme mercy!  We who were His enemies are now brought near and given a full inheritance!  The same God who foretold the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple, tells us of a new heavens and new earth where we will dwell in righteousness with Him forever!  Go and tell the Good News of God’s amazing mercy!  Have a great week in Jesus Christ!  Love in Him, Pastor John

Tags : , ,

Sunday rest and reflection

Greetings! Today is another day of rest and reflection and a time to catch up if you need to. Today, I am reflecting on what it means to seek God during our days here on earth.

Solomon built a temple for the Lord as a place where God’s people could come and seek the Lord.  At the dedication of the temple, Solomon’s prayer petitioned God to let His eyes be on the temple and asked that God’s ears would be attentive to the prayers of His people.  (2 Chronicles 6:20-21)  God answered Solomon by appearing to him and answering his petitions.  God promised that His Name would always be there and that His eyes and heart would also be there.  (2 Chronicles 7:15)  God warned Solomon not to forsake seeking Him and turn away to other gods. 

I believe that the first thing needed to seek God is faith.  Anyone who comes to God, must believe that He is.  Since God is Spirit, we can not see Him with our physical eyes.  So if we are seeking to contact God, we must approach Him as if He is really there and can hear and see us.  God actually appeared to Solomon after he had prayed and petitioned God.  As we approach God in faith, He reveals Himself to us.

We must also believe that God wants to reward us for seeking Him.  (Hebrews 11:6)  It wouldn’t do much good to seek out God if we did not feel that He would actually hear and understand what we needed.  Our God not only understands us, but has compassion on us and loves us.  He desires our highest good and wants to bless us.  We understand these truths by faith through believing God’s Word.  We must choose to believe because we hear the Word.  The Word of God has spiritual life and power in it to bring faith to the hearts of those who hear and believe, not just listen.

It was said of Rehoboam that he did evil in the sight of the Lord because he failed to seek the Lord.  (2nd Chronicles 12:14) Lord help us to seek You in all we do! In His love, Pastor John

Tags : , , , ,

Sunday rest and reflection–patience

As I reflect on Joshua and think about what he faced in his lifetime, I am reminded of my need for patience and courage.  It is hard to live patiently when you know what the Lord has said and no one around you is walking in faith.  Joshua kept quiet and had a positive outlook when almost everyone was grumbling and complaining. He lived faithfully and held his tongue and temper.

Joshua had to wait 40 years to enter his inheritance. As one of the twelve spies, he saw the land first-hand and understood from God’s Word that it belonged to them.  He believed that God would help them with the walled cities and the giants.  He had a good attitude and a good confession.  He tore his clothes and pleaded with the people when they rebelled at Kadesh. (Numbers 14:5-9) He faithfully served Moses for the 40 years as he walked with those who were destined to die in the wilderness,  He was chosen by God to lead Israel after Moses’s departure.  The Bible tells us that the first requirement of a steward is that they be found faithful!  (1st Corinthians 4:2)  Joshua was faithful and patient to wait until God’s time came for him to enter and possess his inheritance.

As you take time to rest and pray today, thank God for His faithfulness in sending His son Jesus Christ, our Joshua!    Jesus keeps a good attitude, even when we whine and complain.  He walks with us faithfully, even when we don’t recognize Him present.  He kept God’s Word perfectly and is the only one who can take us into the “promised land’!  He took the lowest place of a servant and God exalted Him to the highest place of authority.  What courage and strength it took for Him to save us!  Are you letting patience have it’s perfect work in your life today?  Have a great day of rest and refreshing!  Remember to gather with others of faith and worship the Lord!  God bless you!  Pastor John

Tags : , ,

Sunday rest and reflection

March 3, 2023

Greetings!  Hopefully, you are spending part of this day with God’s family in a place of worship!  God redeemed us from slavery to sin to lead a life of worship!  We are to worship personally and corporately.  We come together to meet with God and His family and prepare ourselves for a week of ministry and witness. We come together to hear the Word of God preached and taught by those with gifts of teaching and preaching.  We use our gifts to encourage other believers and pray. The gifts in the body help us to become equipped to do the work God has for each person and the church family.  (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Moses is one of my favorite Old Testament characters.  He was strong and vigorous at 120 years of age.  Evidently the manna and water diet kept him healthy and strong!  Moses was greatly concerned for the next generation.  He wanted them to be blessed and and take by faith all that the Lord had promised as their inheritance.  He clearly understood how their sinful human nature was a danger to them.  He shared that nature and because of his own anger and dishonoring of God would not be able to go into the promised land himself.  Deuteronomy is the record of his last messages preached to this next generation before he died.

God chose the preaching of His Word to be the vehicle of teaching and inspiring this next generation. (1st Corinthians 1:21)  Faith comes by hearing God’s Word!  (Romans 10:17)  Faith also works by love and God calls them to love Him and love each other! (Galatians 5:6) Love is not a feeling, but a commitment to act for the highest good of another.  God’s promises show His love and our faith and obedience show our love in return!  God’s love hasn’t changed!  He is still using preaching to reach people and inspire faith in them. (Romans 10:14-15)  He still desires faith and obedience as a show of our love for Him.   (1st John 5:2-4)  When we walk in faith and obedience and love Him, His face shines on us! (Number 6:22-27)   Have a great day of rest and reflection! In His Love, Pastor John

Tags : , , , , , ,