Category Archives: The Church

Meeting of the Waters – Part 3

Meeting of the Waters - title

Shabbat – God’s Gift of Rest

A talk given to Parent’s and Jr. High Students at Reston Bible Church on December 6, 2017

Gift of Rest

AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. – Mark 12:30

When we talked about loving God with our heart we referenced our personality and passions. That’s pretty deep. When we talk about loving God with our soul, that’s deeper still because our soul is the innermost part of who we are. It is used as a synonym for life, our life, our essence. It’s the part God created to last for eternity. Sadly when sin entered the world it separated our soul, our life, from God’s presence. We are eternally dissatisfied until our soul finds rest in Him. Why? Because before we accepted Christ our soul was enslaved to sin. We were longing for Him, for a perfect leader in this Quest called life. After we know Jesus our souls can rest because we have “returned to the shepherd and guardian of our souls” (1 Peter 2:25).

King David was Israel’s Poet King. He often spoke about His soul, “my soul is greatly dismayed…I will lift up my soul…my soul may sing praise…my soul will rejoice…” King David knew there was more to him than his mind and body. My soul is my immaterial essence, my life breath. It is that part of me that can be separated from Him if I choose to put myself on the throne of my life. As a Christian I desire a makeover that will reform my soul so that I can love and put God at the center of everything in my life. God has promised this makeover in Romans 8:29. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Everyday God is reshaping me to resemble Jesus and that includes my soul.

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
Psalm 63:1-5
Matthew 10:28
Ezekiel 18:4
Luke 16:19-31
Mark 8:36
Matthew 16:26
3 John 1:2

(Excerpt from Extreme Makeover: Spiritual Edition, a curriculum by Michael J. Meyers)

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

Part 3 on loving God with the heart

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart…”

“So what’s on your heart this week?” Hopefully you have taken some time during our study to reflect on how to use your interests and passions for God. But what about when you see things in yourself that fall short of God’s standard? Do we assume we’re a lost cause and of no use to God? We cannot hide our good qualities or our failures from Him. He “alone knows every human heart” (1 Kings 8:39). But be of good cheer, the ungodly things I find in my heart bring me to Him in a special way, a humble way. I wish I could bring to Him a “Great Commandment Christian,” fully assembled and ready to serve, but I came broken and, though I’m no longer a slave to sin, my flesh still fights against my makeover. When I recognize this and grieve my sin then I am in a position for God to transform my heart. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but the Lord promises that He is near to the brokenhearted.

In Psalm 147 we are reminded that it is fitting to praise God. The best way to praise God is to think about His actions and his attributes. The Psalm tells us:

God heals the brokenhearted. He names the stars.
He sends rain to the earth.
He delights in those who fear him.
He has unfailing love.
He sends us his protection.
He shares his commands with us.
He controls all nature.
He communicates his word to us!
Praise the Lord.

Loving God has many facets, praising Him for all He has done is one of them. Aligning our lifestyles with His word is another. What kind of heart does God want me to have? A pure heart, a clean heart, a kind heart, and of course a heart that loves Him above all else. The kind of heart that Jesus displayed for us.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Mike

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
Psalm 34:18
Matthew 11:28
Psalm 147:3
Isaiah 61:1
Luke 4:8
1 Peter 2:24

UNIT VERSE:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. – Mark 12:30

Marriage on Mission

Confidence in Conflict – Psalm 27. Sermon given @ Reston Bible Church

Turning Point – Sermon at Reston Bible Church

Equip Their Ship

sailing shipHave you ever asked yourself the question, “what exactly is my objective in training my children up in the faith?” I know I’ve thought to myself, “Leading them to Christ is my first and greatest objective but then what? Where should my focus be?”   Recently a good friend and mentor of mine pointed something out in Ephesians that I’d like to share with you.

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-12 (emphasis added)

I’ve read this passage in Ephesians many times and the word “equip” has always given me the sense that we were to be preparing the body, through spiritual training, to carry on the work of the kingdom. This I believe is true. But the mental picture that is communicated by the original Greek word is somewhat lost in our English. The word is “Katartizo” and it means to fit out, make sound, or complete. To fit out. Outfit. It is used in the sense of outfitting as one would think of outfitting a ship that has a journey to complete. First the ship must be seaworthy. The sails must be in good repair, the hull must be sound, all of the navigational tools must be present and working properly, charts maps, etc. Additionally the ship will need to be supplied with all of its provisions for the journey. Food, water, etc.

So as parents and the church, our role is that of a loving spiritual outfitter. What a wonderful picture. More important, yes MORE important, eternally more important than our roles as academic outfitter, athletic outfitter, financial outfitter, is our God given mission as our child’s spiritual outfitter.

I will close with a quote from Patrick Henry’s will, “I have disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give to them, and that is the Christian religion. If they had that and I had not given them one cent, they would be rich. If they have not that, and I had given them the world, they would be poor.” I could not have said it any better. Equip their ship.

May you be blessed in your role as outfitter!

Remember: Part 2 – A message delivered at Reston Bible Church on June 14, 2015

Last Man Standing – the eBook is now discounted at Amazon.com!

Available now on Amazon.com – http://amzn.com/B00K2NSZIE

Order via Amazon Smile and select Open Arms Worldwide as the beneficiary organization.

cover last man std