Thursday, January 6, 2011
I am currently reading John Piper's latest book "Think". I love the challenge and aim of this book, which is to awaken our minds and exercise them in light of God's Truth. Piper's challenge is to be committed to Jesus' command in Matthew 22:37 "And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
The mind and the heart are to work in tandem and are to serve as vehicles to an ever growing, deeper relationship with Christ. I loved this quote from the book...
"The mind serves to know the truth that fuels the fires of the heart. The apex of glorifying God is enjoying him with the heart. But this is an empty emotionalism where that joy is not awakened and sustained by true views of God for who he really is. That is mainly what the mind is for."
I resonate with this so much, because I desperately as a follower of Christ want to think rightly about Him, knowing that everything else in my walk with Him will flow from there. I think if we are not careful a lot of our walk and relationship with Christ can flow out of sensationalism and emotion and not be grounded in Truth. There are so many dangers in that, one of which, we may lend ourselves to creating a God of our image, also we can become easily swayed by the ever changing circumstances of our lives. We can become as James said, "double-minded man who is unstable in all his ways."
Exercising our minds, not out of arrogance, but out of a true desire to know God rightly and out of an understanding that in turn it would fuel our worship, is a commitment that I want to have a goal that quite frankly all believers should be committed to. If we allow our minds to grow dormant, we run the risk of worshipping God from a shallow and maybe even hollow base. So may we allow the Spirit of God to stretch us and fuel our passion to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind! Just a rambling. God Bless You.
Monday, January 3, 2011
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
Points of Focus...
#1. Spend time praying for yourself. Ask God to reveal any unconfessed sin. Pray that God would continue to fuel your passion for Him. Pray that God would continue to give you the discipline to pursue Him and spend time with Him in the Word and in prayer. Pray that God would reveal to you any specific goals for 2011 or ministry opportunities that He would want you to pursue or participate in.
#2. Pray for our community, specifically for those who do not know Christ. Pray that God would continue to draw those who do not know Him into a loving relationship with Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.
#3. Pray for our mission partnerships and missionaries around the world. Pray that God would work in mighty ways in and through these different organizations that are striving to bring the Gospel to every man, woman and child. Please pray specifically for our mission partner, Mission of Hope Haiti, and our upcoming construction trip in February. Pray that all the details will be worked out for this trip and for the building project they will be engaged in.
#4. Pray for our age appropriate ministries, Big Enuf, Kid Zone, Reality, Crave and Ignite. Pray that God would increase the faith our students and move mightily through their lives. Pray for all of our volunteers that serve faithfully in these areas of ministry. Pray that God would stir in the hearts of more people to get involved and serve especially during our “Heart of Service” emphasis.
#5. Pray for our Recovery Ministry that will be launching on January 11th. Pray for Todd Wermers, our Pastor of Recovery and all of the leaders who will be serving in this ministry. Pray for those who maybe struggling with hurts, habits or hang-ups to find healing, hope and reconciliation in Jesus through this ministry.
#6. Pray for our newest staff member David Gold and his family. Pray for their transition and for the four children. Pray for David as he assumes the role of Life Group Pastor.
#7. Pray for our ministry as a whole. Pray that God would bless our church and expand our influence in this coming year. That the mission of presenting the Gospel to every man, woman and child would stretch even further and produce more fruit for God’s glory in this new year.