Sunday, May 28, 2017

One For The Books

John 8:12
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."

Last night's VRC was another good 'un! Now we never know how these meetings will turn out. We never really know whose going to show up and who isn't. Our job is to prepare the room, prepare our own hearts, pray and invite God to show up, then wait. 

The one thing I've noticed about Saturday night is that 10 minutes before the meeting is suppose to start, there aren't very many present. You begin to get this idea that maybe the night is going to be what we refer to as "Family" night. By that I mean the only ones who will be there are those folks that are  a part of the core leadership. Not that those night's are bad, they aren't. Sometimes when it is a family night, things get real intimate with God, the Spirit moves in our hearts and we are able to receive some healing and forgiveness that is much needed.

By 7 p.m., the crowd has come through the door and we are ready to start. Much coffee has flowed and cookies have been stacked on napkins as folks take their seats. "Welcome to my living room" is usually my opening remark, due to the size of our room, and the intimacy that is found as we gather for another opportunity to meet with God.

Todd Bagley was our worship leader last night.
Todd has a gift of selecting songs that touch all the right places in our heart. Places that open us up to join in and move into God's presence as we worship.

Voices in the room join in as Todd sings "Pour it out".....Asking God to shower us with His mercy. The room becomes very soft as the Holy Spirit changes the very atmosphere around us. Shortly before the room was filled with talk and conversation about events of the past week...people catching up on each others exploits. All that has been replaced with a single focus of collective hearts now turned to God.

Last night was week #2 of our new direction in helping to show what it really means to follow Jesus. I guess you could say that we are looking to make disciples. Truth is, I want to help equip an army that can go back out into the world and hear God for themselves, follow His instructions, and give away to others who are still in spiritual darkness and separation from God. So last night we talked about "They said, He said".  Passages from Matthew 5 where Jesus was telling the crowd..."You have heard it said, but I say".  In other words, before any of us can start this journey with Jesus, we have to unlearn some things that we lived by for a long time. Attitudes and ideas, concepts and world views that are totally outside the will of God. Such "unlearning" will require effort on our part to study the word of God, to surround ourselves with good people who are like minded and in pursuit of Jesus, and last, but not least, application of what we are being taught.

Our real job in this new journey is to simply cooperate with the Holy Spirit as he works in each of us. A work that will continue till we draw our last breath. He strips away every dark thing inside of us that covers up the image of God we were created to carry.  We touched on Romans 12:1 where Paul says that we are living sacrifices....Two words that don't really go together. Living----sacrifice? But in the Kingdom such makes perfect sense. Our very lives are placed on God's altar for Him to receive. We don't just surrender will and life over to His care. We surrender the whole kit and kaboodle. The will, the intellect, the soul, the body, the heart, the spirit, all laid before God for Him to "kill" the sin nature. 

To be a follower of Christ requires a total commitment to on our part. To become a vessel of faith, allowing God to fill us with His Holy Spirit. Then we move forward daily under His direction. We no longer have the right to follow our feelings. I've heard it put this way....we are called to live by faith no matter what our feelings say. The argument (inside our hearts and minds) between faith and feelings will always cause us to be a divided person if we allow feelings to win out over faith. As my wife likes to say..."Feelings aren't right...feelings aren't wrong...they just are". In other words, you can't deny you don't have feelings, but even when such are up and raging, faith is always the door we should choose to walk through.

So once again, as I walked out into the night my thoughts did a replay of the nights meeting we had just finished. A deep sense of satisfaction came over me...not satisfaction of anything I had done, but for the simple fact that we had met God and He had been active in our midst. I knew that good seed had been planted. As I made my way to my car, once again the thought came, "Boy God, how are you going to top this night." I rest in the assurance, and have faith that next Saturday night.............He will!!

God on you...

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