John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Pastor Bill, “Believe… I just asked the children where can they find God. I heard all kinds of locations including the temple. In truth God is not to be found in the physical form as the children said, but within here… your heart. Take a deep breath and feel your heart beat. Feel your air come in and out of your body. Feel God.”
When Pastor Bill said that God is found in the heart, based on our belief, I took it to a different level than he lead the congregation. For me I found God in the physical form while sitting in that pew Sunday morning. The chill air busily pushing shoppers and wayward wanderers along the lifeless streets. I really thought I knew where he was going to go with this and found myself paddling the boat solo. See, for me, I did find God in the physical form. I closed my eyes and stood in front of a mirror and there I looked and saw God reflected back at me.
No I am not saying that I am God, nor am I good enough to be of a holy spirit of God. What I am saying is that I am just one small image of God because he is my Father and I am born of Him thus I must have some resemblance to Him. More importantly I see Him because I want to so be a good shepherd thus I want Him to be a part of who I see everyday when I look into a mirror. I want God’s image there, a soulful reminder of how I should be living my life, who I want to be, and who I want to honor.
Pastor Bill, “Do we have any prayer requests or praise reports today?”
Every Sunday, shortly after the children’s sermon, we come to this part. This particular Sunday, for some reason, I took on a deeper note to the question. Every person in that room has something they want to say, something to ask for, something to give thanks for yet it seems that so many sit quietly by. This particular Sunday was a truly blessed day as the praise reports were flooding the red carpets with bright hues of yellow and rays of heavenly white. Of course there was definitely some sorrow brought in by the loss of a dear congregant, so unexpectedly, and others that are suffering with unspoken requests or dealing with tidal waves of suffering from family drama. My heart grieves with each one as though it were my own burden, but none grieve as Pastor Bill. When he calls us to pray his words wash over each of us, begging, pleading, with God to come to our humble homes and touch our lives just one more time, or to find our loved one and shield them. Pastor Bill says, “Hedge of protection.” I truly love this image he creates when asking God to protect our loved ones both near and far. And he never seems to forget those that are outside the walls of our church, those that are not even congregants but are just representatives of giving, kindness, and unselfish acts (police, military, firemen, soldiers, etc.). His prayers reach like tentacles to all those around us whom may have no one else praying for them, or worse may not believe enough to ask God to look over them as they face their own trials of life.
Three Truths to Help in 2013
Pastor Bill, “You can stake your claim on 2013 and have a better year by knowing three things:
1. God Will Be Faithful — God will be faithful to Himself regardless of anything that may happen.
1 John 1:5 (This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.) God is light. He does not deal in darkness.
1 John 4:8 (He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love) God is love. He does not deal in evil.
Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman told of a time when he had fallen into financial difficulties. He waited upon God for relief, and one day there came to his study a millionaire, who was a member of his congregation. He said, “Dr. Chapman, I believe that you are financially embarrassed. I will not tell you how the knowledge has come to me, but I ask you if it is true.” Dr. Chapman bowed his head in quiet assent. The man continued, “I will not inquire the amount of your obligations, but I will ask if it would be a comfort to you to know that my fortune is behind you?” Dr. Chapman could not answer and his guest, drawing from his pocket a check book, handed it to him, saying, “The checks are signed, and you may fill in for what amount you need.” Thus was abundantly answered the appeal of Dr. Chapman to his faithful God for deliverance. “Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”—Alliance Weekly.”
Seriously, I’d like to meet a person whom could offer me what Dr. Chapman received. Oh wait, I have. I know that within my pouch I carry the answer to prayers offered up by the most humble of people from the most unexpected place. Yet, I still carry the gift in paper form desperate for God to tell me what to do; so I sit on it and I pray torn between being selfish and accepting the greatest gift that would help to eliminate some burdens or to allow it to go to others that need it just a little more. God has not given an answer as of yet, but I feel one is coming and soon.
God is Light!
God is Love!
Even the most pious of believers in God’s light and love have felt the stings of darkness and evil. For me a great representative of the reality of the battle between good and evil is Mother Teresa.
“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much,” — Mother Teresa.
One of Mother Teresa’s greatest passions was children, thus came the orphanage. During a period of dark days she was accused of many wrongdoings from mishandling the children to selling them for money. Through it she prayed and sought God for assistance. In the end light and love did prevail but not without bouts of darkness and twinges of evil touching her dress sleeve. It was her faith and belief in the light that was her guide.
Yet Mother Teresa is no less human than you or me. Later in her life she struggled with her own faith. She, a Saint, ordained in the Catholic church, was still human, she had doubts and questions yet she never stopped doing one thing…
For the prayer has let in the light and love of God.
You must believe to make prayer humble and real.
You must pray to open the door for God.
God’s door is the opening of light.
The light of God is His love.
His love will change your entire life.