God Horizons: Holding Creation Together

Sunrise“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.  He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.  He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see–such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.  Everything was created through him and for him.  He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.”  Colossians 1:15-17

The beauty of that which only our Supreme Creator can achieve.  Did you catch the sunrise this morning? Through Christ and for Christ you have been welcomed into another beautiful day!  Enjoy it, because the Most High is the Host who holds it altogether.  Rest in God’s love for you!

The Spirit of Creativity

Creativity is not simply an artistic piece; it sends an image or message to our brain.  The Most High God is the Source of all creativity–the Spirit gives life to it as seen in Creation (Genesis 1).  God called for creativity when He began to fashion his House (Exodus 31:1-6).  Certainly, we need to make sure our goal is to bring glory to God with the creative works of our hands.  Did you know that at different times the Church–the people of God–set a standard for creative expression?

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JESUS Written on the Heart

I had an amazing experience last week on my way to Orlando.  Driving along on Interstate 4 approaching the Apopka area, I looked up in the sky and saw an airplane doing skywriting. There it was in the sky; the letter “J.” It was clear as could be.  Now, that is something I do not see often, so I was wondering what letters would come next.  As I continued to watch I noticed an “E” and an “S.”  I thought to myself, I wonder… 

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Hospitality Jesus Style

What comes to your mind when you think about the word, Hospitality?  Jesus always seemed to know how to treat others by making them feel welcomed and valued.  He understood hospitality.  Let’s look at an example from Luke 19. 

Jesus is looking to teach more about the kingdom of God.  He runs into a man name, Zacchaeus, who has climbed up in a tree in order to get a glimpse of Jesus.  What is the first thing Jesus does upon seeing this man in the tree?  He calls the man by name.  Then, he says, “Zacchaeus…come down!  I must be a guest in your home today” (Luke 19:5).  Isn’t it just like the Savior to not only make us feel valued, but want to spend time with us?

The Master wants to spend time with you, too.  Take time, today, to enjoy the love of God found in Jesus Christ.  Find a quiet place and call the name of Jesus.

Living in God’s Presence

“Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need.”  Ephesians 6:18

How do I live in God’s presence?  How do I detect his unseen hand on my shoulder and his inaudible voice in my ear? …How can you and I grow familiar with the voice of God?  Here are a few ideas:

Give God your waking thoughts.  Before you face the day, face the Father.  Before you step out of bed, step into his presence.

Give God your waiting thoughts.  Spend time with him in silence.

Give God your whispering thoughts.  Imagine considering every moment as a potential time of communion with God.

Give God your waning thoughts.  At the end of the day, let your mind settle on him.  Conclude the day as you began it:  talking to God.

 

Reading from Just Like Jesus by Max Lucado

God Horizons: Vibrant Relationships

“You are the salt of the earth.  But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor?  Can you make it salty again?  It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.  You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.  Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”  Matthew 5:13-16

 

God created us for relationships.  Within those relationships, we are called to be salt and light–the flavor and illumination of God’s love that has been extended to us.  When we respond to the love of God found in Jesus, we become partakers in the Common Story.  We share and tell our part of the Story, as well as advance God’s kingdom in this world through the cultivating of other vibrant relationships.  This is the context in which God has called his Church–the people of God–to grow in connection to Christ.

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Word Power: The Mind of Christ

Our words matter to God; we need to align our words with the Word of God.  Jesus came to earth that we might know the Father through the Word–the mind of Christ.  If we do not spend time getting to know the Word, we cannot know God.  If we do not know God, we cannot be victorious in this world.  Have you been speaking the Word?  Have you been faithful to repeat what the Word says about you?  The enemy works through deception and if you do not know the Word, you will struggle to see yourself properly.  If you have not been speaking Truth about yourself, boldly declare today…

NEVER AGAIN
John 15:7  Jesus taught us, “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want and it will be granted.

John 17:17-18  Jesus prayed to the Father for us, “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.  Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.”

I Corinthians 2:12-16 The Apostle Paul received Christ’s teaching and then taught us, “And we have received God’s Spirit, so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.  When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom.  Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.  But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit.  It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.  Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.  For ‘”Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?  Who knows enough to teach him?’  But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.”‘
 

1.  Never again  will I confess “I can’t” for if God sends me “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Phil. 4:13

2.  Never again will I confess unmet needs or poverty for “My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory.”  Phil. 4:19

3.  Never again will I confess fear for “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.  II Tim. 1:7

4.  Never again will I confess doubt or lack of faith for “God has given to every person a measure of faith.”  Romans 12:3 

5.  Never again will I confess weakness for “The Lord is the strength of my life.” Psalm 27:1

6.  Never again will I confess supremacy of Satan over my life for “…the Spirit who lives in me is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”  I John 4:4

7.  Never again will I confess defeat for “God always causes me to triumph in Christ Jesus.”  II Corinthians 2:14

8.  Never again will I confess sickness for “With his stripes I am healed.”  Isaiah 53:5  “He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.”  Matt 8:17

9.  Never again will I confess lack of wisdom for “Christ is made unto me wisdom from God.”  I Cor. 1:30

10. Never again will I confess worries and frustrations for I am “Casting all my cares upon him who cares for me.”  I  Peter 5:7

11. Never again will I confess bondage “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  II Cor. 3:17

12. Never again will I confess condemnation for “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”  Romans 8:1 

Word Power: Connect 2 Christ

We connect with God and people through words; in this way we are simply acting like Jesus.  Our words are powerful and, therefore, must be purposeful. God created the universe through the Word, breath of God, and the Spirit manifested material substance.  We can create environments with our words, as well.  We can inspire by sharing our hopes and dreams or we can be a negative voice that brings everyone’s spirit down. 

Satan can use words, too.  Eve was persuaded by Satan’s lies to disobey God; causing a spiritual disconnection (Gen 3).  We must be careful to listen to the voice of our Shepherd, otherwise we can be deceived by Satan whose goal is to cause us to stop using our words for prayer and praise of God.  Follow the good Shepherd and stay connected.

Jesus said, “I am the good Shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father.” John 10:14-15  

 

 

Word Power: Submit to God

Did you know that humbling ourselves or submitting to God is the best way to gain power when the enemy is trying to come against us?  James tells us it should be our first defense when we find ourselves under spiritual attack. 

“So, humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come close to God and God will come close to you.”  James 4:7-8  God does not like a prideful spirit; one that judges and does not have mercy for others. Therefore, when the enemy is ramping up in a spiritual attack against us, we need to submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ; we need God on our side.  Second, we need to resist the devil; the devil has no authority over us unless we give him power.  Do not give Satan any way to infiltrate your thoughts or actions.  Resist his temptations by staying close to God; a picture of friendship.

“Never forget that God has given us authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power that the enemy possesses; and nothing shall in any way harm us.”  Luke 10:19

Beatitudes: Persecuted

The word “persecuted” is just not one of those words that make us stand up and dance when we hear it, is it?  I mean can you really say that you love it when you are persecuted?  And, don’t you find it odd that Jesus connects persecution with being one of his followers who are blessed?

Can you imagine telling people, “Hey, come and join in a relationship with me and you will be saved and blessed!  Oh yeah, by the Way, you need to expect persecution; so hang on.”   Here’s the great part about our connection with God through our Bridge–Jesus; life is sweet in Christ.  I would rather face persecution with Christ in my life than a smooth sail on the waters of life without Him.

In this Beatitude passage Jesus goes on to say, “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.  Be happy about it!  Be very glad!  For a great reward awaits you in heaven.  And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” (Matthew 5:10-12).  People will lie about you and falsely accuse you; I can testify to having suffered in this way, can you?  We must understand that following Jesus comes with a cost.  Why?  Because Jesus gave His life for us at a great cost to Himself.  Our goal must be to stay close to our Rabbi and follow.  When you feel yourself being persecuted for choosing to follow Jesus in all things–making Christ the authority in your life; rejoice!  That is just another way for you to know that your eternal home in heaven is secure.  Grab hold of the people around you who also want to follow Jesus and lock arms in great celebration; we are One in Christ for all eternity!