What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately LVII (57)…
Greetings My Friends~
As a simple pilgrim following Jesus through the rainforests and deserts of this earthly life,
I would like to humbly share some of what God has been bubbling up in my mind/heart lately.
I pray that these thoughts are cushions in your shoes, balm to your burns,
umbrellas for the rain, and shade to the scorching heat as you too follow the Lord Jesus each day.
(please click on the Bible books/chapters/verses below to read the actual Scripture passages)
True Compassion Grieves & Weeps
May the LORD help us to be like Job:
“Have I not wept for those in trouble?
Has not my soul grieved for the poor?” (Job 30:25 NIV)
Looking for another local church that has “x, y or z?”
What about partnering with the Holy Spirit to grow x, y or z at your current local church?
Many teach to cry out to God for stuff because we’ve been so good.
May the LORD help us cry out to Him for holiness because we’ve been so bad.
Words Matter: Only God Is Awesome
A. Using the same word—e.g. awesome—to describe the Lord & pizza (or anything else):
danger isnt as much raising pizza up to God but lowering God down to pizza. Psalm 86:8
B. Most amazing thing about God isnt that He made the universe in 6 days—
it’s that He hung on a cross for 6 hours for wretched sinners like me—GLORY!
The Real Issue
A. Our love of money isnt rooted in greed;
it’s rooted in not trusting the LORD’s presence & promises.
Holy Spirit please help us. Hebrews 13:5-6
B. Isaiah 57:11: Sinning against the Lord shows that we fear & dread someone/thing more than Him.
Because He’s patient with our sin, we think He is cool with it.
Rest By Remembering
In need of rest, weary Christian? Rest by remembering your Savior…
“The Lord protects the unwary [careless, inattentive];
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you”—Psalm 116:6-7
Sinning Is Exhausting
Isaiah 57:8-10: Sin exhausts us, yet we find new “strength” to keep sinning. Lord help us!
Being Face to Face with God Is Humbling, Not Just Exciting
A. In Jesus’ powerful presence, ever felt like these soldiers?
“When Jesus said, ‘I am he,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.” John 18:6
B. Ever felt like this from God?
“When the people heard this they were cut to the heart & said…’
Brothers what shall we do?’” Repent! Acts 2:36-38
C. Ever felt like this in God’s presence?
He “stood at a distance…wouldn’t even look up to heaven
but beat his breast & said—‘God have mercy on me a sinner.’” Luke 18:13-14
D. Ever felt like Job in the presence of God?
“My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You.
Therefore I despise myself & repent in dust & ashes.” Job 42:5-6
E. Ever felt like Isaiah in the presence of God?
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined!
For I am a man of unclean lips & I live among a people of unclean lips.” Isaiah 6:1-5
F. In the Lord Jesus’ presence, ever felt like Peter?
“…he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’” Luke 5:4-11
Obedience In Its Proper Place
A. Help me, Father, not to think that obedience is no longer important
since You have saved me by grace thru faith in Your Son Jesus. 1 John 2:4-6
B. Help me, Father, not to think—”I obey, thus I’m a Christian.”
Help me rather to know—”I’m a Christian, thus I obey.”
Hebrews 12:14; Romans 1:5, 16:26
Repentance Over The Condition Of The Church
A. Forgive us, Father, that church is often a place to die in comfort,
not come alive in repentance;
forgive us for merely teaching others how to die with a smile
and not be re-born with a cry (of repentance).
B. Forgive us, Father, for a focus on “customer service”—offering people the food they want,
fluffing their pillows, putting on the tv channel they want, making them comfortable,
instead of giving them what they need from Your Word.
C. Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for churches often being hospitals that no longer do heart transplants
because we don’t want to offend people by telling them they need one.
D. Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for making
pleasing loving others
more important than loving & obeying & pleasing You.
Galatians 1:10: “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God?
Or am I trying to please people?
If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
A. Give up social media & t.v. (or sports!) for a week:
Holy Spirit might begin to free you from the chains of monotony
so you have time to begin to free others from the chains of misery.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Galatians 6:8-10; Colossians 4:3-7; verses about being alert
B. Forgive us, Father, for being content to enter heaven
with hearts & minds clogged full of
useless tv shows, celebrity gossip & athletic statistics.
Feelings Can Be A Good Servant But A Bad Master
Psalm 77: What to do if we feel forgotten by the LORD (v. 1-9)?
Remember His past mighty deeds of holiness & power & love (v. 10-13).
Look back & look up.
“God Is More Concerned With Our Character Than With Our Comfort”¹
Holy Spirit, please help us to desire to enter heaven
with a character of scars that was transformed through trials to be more like the Lord Jesus!
Actions & Words
Holy Spirit—please help what we teach & do to match!
“He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus,
which agrees with what I teach everywhere”—1 Corinthians 4:17
The Lord Jesus didn’t make time for prayer in His full-schedule;
He made time for schedule in His full-prayer:
“He often withdrew to lonely places & prayed”—Luke 5:16
¹Pastor Mike Woodruff