Go Public

going_public_blogThis passage of Scripture begins with the phrase, “Let me tell you why you are here.” Man, that’s what everybody’s looking for…I know I am. Here it is. When you become a part of the Body of Jesus, when you enter His kingdom you become a light. Bringing out God all around you. Some will be so grateful to you, some will probably be mad. That’s not your focus. Just be the light. Shine His light. Go public!

 

Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 MSG)

Photo by David Heinlein

Makes Our Hearts Sing

“It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough.  That it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.” – Steve Jobs at the iPad 2 event 3-2-11

It struck me that he used the phrase “makes our hearts sing.”  This is such spiritual language.  This is, I believe, the cry of the human heart.  That there would be a song in our heart.  It’s even interesting that so many other bloggers, etc. have picked this up and stated using it.

I love that the Scripture speaks about this:

…speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord… -Ephesians 5:19

He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the LORD. -Psalm 40:3

The Lord is the one who gives us the song in our heart…the more I seek Him the more melody I get.

Oh the Wisdom

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 1 Kings 3:10

I want what I ask of God to please Him.  I just want to please Him.

I started reading 1 Samuel a couple of weeks ago and have just kept going because the stories are so good.  I’ve made it to Solomon (1 Kings) now and I know there are some major failings coming up, but the beginning of his reign over Israel is unparalleled.  Such promise.  Such presence of the living God. 

Oh to have a desire for wisdom that pleases God.

Oh that my desires please Him.

Oh that the ultimate yearning in my heart is for Him.  I believe this pleases Him the most.

And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

 

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.  I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 1 Kings 3:7-14

Beloved

Olivia and I have been reading through Daniel the last couple of weeks and have been moved by his life and what God did through him and for him.  One thing that struck me was when the angels of the Lord came to him, they called him “greatly beloved” or “highly esteemed (NIV).”

To have Gabriel or Michael say this about you, to you, is mind and spirit blowing.

To hear that this is common knowledge in the heavenlies is beyond anything I could even write.

Daniel 9:23
“At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision…”
Daniel 10:11
And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.
Daniel 10:19
And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”

This word “beloved” has begun to really impact me.  I was listening to a teaching yesterday and the speaker called the listeners “beloved” several times.  How amazing it is that the Church is Jesus’ beloved (Ephesians 5:25).  His desire and whole heart of love is for the Church.  For the Church of which I am a part.

I am His beloved.

Song of Solomon 2:16
My beloved is mine, and I am his.

You and I are the beloved of God…this is so undeserved, so extravagant, that all we can do is turn to Him and praise Him, fall on our faces and worship Him.

Play, sing, worship like someone who is the beloved of the Creator of the Universe!!

Crying Out

worshipWhy are there so few opportunities to worship the Lord together?  It’s so wonderful, so amazing and makes us (hopefully) more like Jesus.  As we praise we are filled with more of the Holy Spirit.  He baptizes us anew.  We see more of His fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.  Who wouldn’t want more of that (especially those who live with us:)?

When I was in Illinois, there were two fellow staff members and a few others at the church that loved to get together informally and worship.  Usually around the piano and sometimes with a guitar we would just begin to sing and proclaim Scripture.  There were prayers for each other and various needs we were aware of.  We would cry out for God to move in the upcoming services.  Sometimes it could be dry and just us singing a few songs before we went about our day, but often it was so much more.

Many times we would sing, “I’m falling on my knees” from the song “Hungry” and everyone would be on their knees.  It wasn’t uncommon to glance over and see someone on their face, prostrate before the Lord.  We all looked for times when we could slip away and worship…it was such a delight to get in God’s presence and focus on Him.

So many amazing things were happening at the time in the church body and I believe this was a key to that.  People crying out to God for Him to make His presence known.

Sunday morning meetings are wonderful and I’ve known the presence of the Spirit in powerful ways during these times.  But there are so many other items that must be attended to (announcements, etc.).

I miss the fellowship and power of those intimate times with a few – two or three – singing and declaring the goodness of God.

With the current change in seasons I have a renewed longing for those times.  I long for the expectancy they produced.  Anything could happen – Jesus could do anything and He was doing it.

Lord, may it be so again in greater measure.

I’m Telling You…They’re Out There

Subway

Today the subway was packed with people. That’s not unusual in the mornings, but today was extra tight. I noticed a woman standing next to me reading the Bible and it got me thinking about how many people I see reading Scripture on the train. Of course, everyone’s usually doing something – reading, writing, listening to music – but there’s often someone reading the Bible.

So often we hear about how the Church is compacting and leaders ask the question, “Where are all the believers?”  While this is not necessarily a bad question to ask, God’s been showing me that He has believers everywhere.  Even in the darkest places His people are there.  They are praying.  They are seeking Him. They are the ones bringing the favor of God upon those places.  They are leading people out of the darkness.

What I’ve started doing when I see these people on the train is just praying for them.  Praying that God would show them something so incredible, so wonderful in that moment.  It’s the only place to start for my new brother or sister I didn’t know existed just minutes before.

Jesus is building His Church in the Earth.  Let’s look for each other.  Let’s encourage each other — even if we don’t always agree.  He’s worthy of that and so much more.

May we be His Body:

And God placed all things under his (Christ’s) feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. – Ephesians 1:22-23

This will be a light week on the blog as I’m preparing to lead worship at Shelter Rock Church this weekend and Olivia and I are answering the question, “To move or not to move…”