Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Give Us Daily Bread

Here is week three of the God's Blog series. I was gone for week two so feel free to go to the website to hear it (Your Kingdom Come). Below are my notes from this past weekend.

Give Us Daily Bread

Matthew 6:11
We are so self-reliant. We don't like others to pay for us (our meals, etc). We save money so that when we retire no one else has to care for us.

The prayer is continual. NLT - Give us today the food we need.
>A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough today to last him for the next six months, nor can he inhale sufficient air into his lungs with one breath to sustain life for a week to come. We are permitted to draw upon God's store of grace from day to day as we need it. Dwight L. Moody
>What do you need daily from God to stay alive physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
Exodus 16:4-5, 11-30, 31,35 manna = what is it?
>God knows what we need and provides it at just the right time; he is our sustainer.
>What do I need each day to live?

The prayer is contentment.
>Proverbs 30:8-9
>We want what we want when we want it.
>>Revelation 3:17
>Real contentment is needing nothing apart from God.

The prayer is communal.
>We have no right to ask for anything for ourselves that would harm others.
>Basil the Great quote
>1 John 3:17
>>Sometimes meeting the physical needs is most important.
>I like to ask people from developing countries what they think heaven will be like. Most of them say, 'It will be a place where I don't need to worry about food and I won't hear my children cry because they are hungry.' Steve Hanson
>John 6:47-58

Our Father In Heaven

A few weeks ago we started a new message series called God's Blog: What God Wants Us To Know About Prayer. Here is the first week. You can hear it and all of the subsequent weeks here. Below are my notes.

Our Father In Heaven

Live the Lord's prayer
Matthew 6:5-8 -> how NOT to pray
>Look at how kids interact with a good father

>It's plural, communal
>Prayer is never solitary. We are with Jesus and all others who follow him. Eugene Peterson
>We can trust God; he keeps our conversations confidential

>OT title referencing father of nations (nationally)
>NT, Jesus first to use it personally (intimate)
>You can approach God anytime, anywhere - he just wants you to do it
>Hebrews 4:16

>Seems like a remote location
>Greek references the atmosphere, the sky, the air - God's all around, present everywhere
>>Closer than the air I breathe; right here, right now
>God is sovereign, he rules all
>>Nothing is too silly or trivial not to pray about

>to attach appropriate value to something

>God's name is not given appropriate worth
>May all people realize your greatness and worth

Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the spirit of God. Edwin Keith

What do you want?

I have been reading The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan. It's a somewhat slow read as I try to fit it in during Kaitlyn's nap time. But that works because it's a one-chapter-a-day kind of book. Today I was reading a chapter called "Stopping to Listen to God" or something along those lines. The challenge (there's a Sabbath Liturgy at the end of each chapter) was to find one of the questions God asks in the Bible and think about it and answer it as if God were asking you. It had several examples such as, "Who do you say that I am?" and "Who told you that you were naked?"

I decided to start reading John today and came across a question in the first chapter. John sees Jesus and says, "Behold, the Lamb of God." Two of his followers then go over to Jesus to become his followers. Jesus asks them, "What do you want?" I thought that was a pretty good answer to think about and respond to. I ended up with a long list which I will try to reproduce most of here.

Jesus: What do you want?

Me: I want to spend more time in prayer. I want to read the Bible regularly. I want to learn more scripture so that it is "hidden in my heart" because I know that the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. I want to be a good wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend... I want to use my time wisely. I want the book to be used for God's purposes. I want to know you more. I want to be full of joy and I want my joy to be evident to all. I want to know and do God's will. I want to be who God created me to be. I want to not worry about what other people think of me. I want to have more authentic conversations. I want to not have reservations about sharing my life - praises, joys, fears, failures - with others. I want abundant life.

What about you? What do you want?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Running Ahead of God

Here is the last week of the series. Click here to listen to it.

JONAH: Running Ahead of God

Chapter 4
"My way or the highway"
Jonah's angry at God because he's so loving and merciful.
>Self-advancing: everything is about him
>>He wanted to advance his reputation as a prophet, not allow the Ninevites to repent and receive mercy from God.
>Comprehension and compromise
>>This world is bigger than my life; God has much more in mind than just me.
>>Sometimes God wants to do things that are different than what we have in mind to do.
>>Wanting what's best overall versus just for me.

>>Is God enough? Or are we focused on something else?
>Concern (for others)

>>"My way versus the higher ways" Isaiah 55:8-9 (NLT)
>>C.S. Lewis: "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of your self less."

Approx 700,000 people in Cobb County; approx 280,000 who don't know Jesus (which is approximately 20,000 in Acworth/Kennesaw)
>Having compassion for those who don't know Jesus.
>Talking to others about God and Jesus.

This message really got me thinking about how little I talk about God with others. There are a few people (Christians) that I talk about it a lot with, but not really with acquaintances, neighbors, etc. When I went to Spain in 2002, I was studying with about twenty other people, all essentially strangers at the beginning. I had just had a renewing of my faith that summer and so I was really interested in talking with others about their beliefs and what they think about God and Jesus. During my three and a half months there, I had a faith conversation with every other student on the trip. It wasn't an intimidating thing and occurred fairly naturally. I even helped form a Bible study with a few other of the students while we were there. What happened that I have stopped desiring to know what other people think and share what I believe? I really did enjoy that season and desire to begin being more open again.

Running With God

Here's week three of the series. If you want to hear Neal's whole message, click here.

JONAH: Running With God

Chapter 3
Roy Reagles - 1929 Rose Bowl
-He didn't allow this mistake to define the rest of his life.

Jonah gets a chance to change.

Jonah complied to the call.
-Do we ever think, "I should be able to run my own life?"
-Roger Staubach: "I faced up the the issue of obedience. Once I learned to obey there was harmony, fulfillment and vicctory."

Many people suffered for the cause of Christ. Why do we think that we won't be called to suffer as well?
What is your Ninevah? Where are you being called to go and minister?

Jonah completed the cycle of compassion.
-"Who knows?" > How are we to know what God might do when we are obedient and faithful?

Jonah's Report: They accepted being admonished.
Ninevah's Response: They acted in accordance.
Ninevah's Reward: They avoided God's anger.

I really liked the reminder that we don't know what God might do to a situation if we are obedient and faithful to him regardless of the circumstances. God can do anything, even that which seems impossible. My job is to trust him and act accordingly.