Lent 2019 – The Meaning of Discipleship

Matthew 5:8, “Happy are people who have pure hearts, because they will see God.” (CEB)

As I read today’s message, I found myself trying to define “pure heart.” Without looking up the definition or googling it, my answer is someone who it true, truthful, honest, sees only good in others and in the world.

Pure:

free from harshness

• free from roughness

• being in tune

containing nothing that does not properly belong

• unmixed with other matter

• free from taint

• free from what weakens

Throughout our lives we all have been ask similar questions such as these:

• What are you living for?

• What do you most desire?

Depending upon the context of these questions being ask our answers could be different in a broad scope. Let’s narrow our scope, which sounds entirely wrong to me from a Christian perspective. Our broad answers would include things such as our jobs, our education, job positions, our relationships to list a few. In regards to what I suggested as a more narrow view is our spiritual life, our eternal life…simply stated “Our Life!” What are you living for? As a believer in Jesus Christ, my answer must be Jesus! The One who created me, the One who loves me. What do you desire most? As a follower of Jesus Christ, I desire to live the life I was created for, seek to do God’s Will.

I read an article prior to writing this blog post written by Imanuel Christian titled, “12. Blessed Are The Pure in Heart (Matthew 5:8)” From The Series: Studies In The Gospel of Matthew. This is a quote from the article, ““Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). That’s it! That’s the goal of the Christian life! That’s what we are living for – that we may live our life in such a way that we see God. If we see God, that will open up the treasure trove of all the blessings, not only for eternity, but also for life here and now. And the key to open that treasure trove is a pure heart!” WOW! Isn’t that true!

The article goes on and includes fascinating truths about the Beatitudes, “This is the most central and the most significant of all the beatitudes mentioned in this fifth chapter of Matthew. You cannot be poor in spirit without having a pure heart. You cannot mourn for the things that displease God without having a pure heart. You cannot be meek, you cannot hunger and thirst for righteousness, you cannot be merciful, you cannot be a peacemaker or be prepared to stand persecution for the name of Christ without having a pure heart. Actually, this is one of the most central principles of the Christian life that we see in the whole Bible. The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart.”

“THE HEART OF THE MATTER IS THE MATTER OF THE HEART!”

We are human and sinful but we do not have to live sinful lives. We can seek God, search for God, abide in God, pray to God, ask God for forgiveness. We are always welcome in God’s house, God’s heart. Jeremiah 29:13, “You will see me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

The more I read about the beatitudes the more clearly I am understanding its relevance to discipleship and growing in my relationship with God. I hope the same is true for you. Blessing to you today! Thanks for traveling with me on this beautiful journey!

I found this song and it says everything I wanted to share in this post, I hope you like it as much as I do, I think it’s absolutely beautiful.

~Peace~

Breath Prayer: O God, create in me … a clean heart.

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/

https://bible.org/seriespage/blessed-are-pure-heart-matthew-58

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pure?src=search-dict-box

https://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/july-august-2009/gods-desire-for-his-children/

Lent 2019 – The Meaning of Discipleship

Matthew 5:7, “Happy are people who show mercy, because they will receive mercy.”

As we face a new day together, we are given with another attribute from God, presented by Jesus in his “Sermon on the Mount” and verse 7 is one of eight blessings recounted in Matthew chapter five called, “The Beatitudes.” We, as believers are being asked to doing as Jesus did, and today that thing is “mercy” specially give mercy. Have you experienced mercy in your life? Chances are you have and I’m sure it was a huge relief when it happened. Have you ever been pulled over by a police office for a traffic violation and he or she only gave you a written warning or better yet a verbal warning? What a sigh of relief when those words were spoken! A ticket and a fine could have just as easily been handed out but mercy was shown and mercy for whatever reason, is mercy nonetheless. Have you ever heard or seen a court proceeding and the defendant requests “mercy” from the court?

Did you know that according to the simplified bible dictionary the word “mercy” appears 273 times in the KJV of the Bible. And, according to the Institute of Creation Research, the word appears some 341 times in the Bible and four Hebrew and three Greek words associated with mercy appear a total of 454 times and are also translated as “kindness,” “loving-kindness,” “goodness,” “favor,” “compassion,” and “pity.” Of the sixty-six books of the Bible, only sixteen do not use one of these words for mercy. This raw data tells me that mercy is important and God wants us to understand it and model in our relationships.

Doing as Jesus did is not an easy task to do nor is it even achievable given that Jesus was sinless and human, while also being divine. This fact should never deter us from trying or from modeling our behavior after his. Often we have people in our lives that we look up to and maybe even want to be like all the while knowing we can never truly be exactly like them but we still try, right? I remember as a kid, putting my mom or dads shoes on, although they were too big, I pretended to be them. I wanted to be like them. I would wear my dads coat or my moms jewelry, just to be like them. In many ways, we can do the same with Jesus…we can practice using kind words, being patient with others, sharing with those who have nothing, noticing the forgotten and marginal, speak truth and pray, to mention a few.

Today, let’s practice mercy. Mercy requires empathy, which is the ability to see ourselves in others. With mercy we must also have compassion, awareness and humility. Sometimes it can be truly difficult to see ourselves in the same situations as others, imagining making the same mistakes but we do. When we look beyond our own reflection in the mirror and allow our imperfections to ooze into the reflection from the edges, that we keep at bay through the beveled edges we created…our true image emerges. And then, doing as Jesus would do, you see the real true you…a child of God, in the image of God and loved, so very loved!

Each day as we continue this journey, we are growing and changing, we are refining ourselves and learning more about our personal discipleship and becoming more Christlike, thank you for traveling with me.

Micah 6:8, “ He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Breath Prayer: Merciful God,…help me see mercy.

~Peace~

References:

http://www.christianshepherd.org/simplified_bible_dictionary/m/mercy.pdf

https://www.biblegateway.com

https://www.icr.org/article/gods-everlasting-mercy

Lent 2019 – The Meaning of Discipleship

Matthew 5:6, “Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full.”

The writer of “Sanctuary for Lent” Juan Huertas, stated that the Spanish translation of the New Testament, the Greek word dikaiosuné is translated as “justice,” whereas English translators render it as “righteousness.” An English translation of the Spanish translation would then read, “Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for justice, because they will be fed until full.”

That translation tells us that doing justice is doing what God does. So, in today’s verse we are being told that we will be glad, blessed, happy if we are hungry and thirsty for doing what God does. Being a being a disciple means that we do what God does.

Disciple:

  • A disciple is simply someone who believes in Jesus and seeks to follow him in his or her daily life. Originally, of course, a disciple was someone who literally knew Jesus in the flesh and followed him — but after he was taken up into heaven, anyone who was committed to Jesus was called a disciple. *excerpt from Kansas City Star May 25, 2016 by Rev. Billy Graham.

As disciples of God, we hunger and thirst for righteousness, not for food that merely sustains the body. We are called to seek soulful and constant meals of righteousness, grace to do the work of every day in its day, as duly as the living body calls for food. Hunger is a desire for food to sustain, as sanctifying righteousness feeds the soul. Thirst is the desire of drink to refresh, as justifying righteousness quenches the parched-ness of the soul. In order for us to be ready to receive grace from God to fill our souls, we much recognize that we must sense our own emptiness so that God can, and not just fill us with his desires but to satiate our souls so we can do what God desires and have our souls filled to overflowing with God’s righteousness and his favor.

As we continue to more fully understand our discipleship on this Lenten journey, may your soul be fed beyond all consumption and your thirst extinguished with all the knowledge of justice, being enriched with grace and righteousness for God’s eternal glory.

It is truly a blessing to share this space with you and I’m grateful for your support and prayers. May you be blessed today and may others be blessed through you. You are beloved, You are a blessing, You are a child of God, You are LOVED!

~Peace~

Breath Prayer: For justice Lord,…help me hunger.

Breath Prayer: Lord, develop in me…a gospel palate

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com

https://biblehub.com/lexicon/matthew/5-6.htm

https://www.kansascity.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/billy-graham/article77272832.html

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/matthew-henry/Matt.5.3-Matt.5.12

Lent 2019 – The Meaning of Discipleship 03/20/2019

Matthew 5:5, “Happy are people who are humble, because they will inherit the earth.”

Juan Huertas, the writer of the “Sanctuary for Lent” pamphlet that I am reading and using as a guide for my blog throughout Lent is calling attention to the word, humility today. He shares that humility for him is being rooted, about reality and recognition that he is human.

What about you? What is humility to you?

I posted a blog entry in June 2018 and I shared some of my thoughts about the subject of humility. In that post I describe my best friend and the best adjective I have to describe her is “humble”, she has taught me more about humility through her character than I could ever have learned from a book. She’s a blessing! She encourages me through actions and thought-provoking questions. She doesn’t provide answers to my questions, she encourages me to search. She is truthful, trustworthy and honest, she is patient, kind and thoughtful. She is intentional in all her actions and her words. She is respectful and sincere. She would caution me to tell you that she is human and makes mistakes just like everyone else, she is not perfect. After all, we are all human! Her anchor verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 and she has a thirst for knowledge; giving and receiving it. We are all human and children of God!

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Humility comes from the Latin word humilis, which literally mean low.

Humility is someone who spends his life taking care of others. low.

Humility is the quality of being humble.

Humility for many people is a key virtue and a cornerstone to the foundation of the Christian life. Our world and many cultures coerce us into the false belief that we are self-made that leads us to develop self-centeredness, egotistical attitudes and vulgar conceit. All of this culminating to the delusion that we are in control of our own destinies. Genuine humility recognizes that we are created beings, we have responsibilities and that our actions have consequences. This season of Lent reminds us that life consists of humility, community and difficulties. Just as we read yesterday, grief and loss are part of the life experience. C. S. Lewis reminded us that God was upfront and honest about in his book, “A Grief Observed,” stating, “We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for.”

Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

As we continue on our Lenten journey I encourage you to embrace “Christlikeness” and embody “Humility.”

God alone creates out of nothingness. All good things comes from the Father, and our fellowship with one another, not things offers life abundant.

I found this song by Rend Collective and it touched my heart like a prayer, I hope you find it comforting and encouraging today.

Breath Prayer: Loving God,…keep me rooted.

~Peace~

References:

The Sanctuary For Lent by Juan Huertas and Abingdon Press https://www.abingdonpress.com/catalog/search?term=The+Sanctuary+for+Lent

https://charlotteannrobinson.com/2018/06/16/best-friend/

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/humility

https://www.biblegateway.com

Lent 2019 – The Meaning of Discipleship

Matthew 5:4, “Happy are people who grieve, because they will be made glad.”

Just yesterday while walking into work with a friend I made the comment that the weather had finally improved. We discussed the finer points that though improved it could be better. Isn’t that true with most things? We find contentment but rarely feel completely satisfied. And, on other occasions when we recognize, as my friend and I did yesterday…the weather could always be worse. We had sunshine, blue skies filled with big fluffy white clouds! I have many things to be thankful for and God has blessed me in more ways than I can count. As I look around my community, at my job, my church, my state, my country and the world I see that there’s so many people hurting and grieving, saddened by what I see. Sometimes I am even angered but not knowing where that anger should be directed. Not everyone’s situation is the same, and I’m reminded (often) I am not to judge, I am called to love.

Matthew 22:36-40, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” ‘Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.‘ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I’m not here to preach to you or even to cast a shadow on anyone’s behaviors, I am simply stating what God calls us to do, I am a sinner and I judge others and I’ve said things that I regret and I ask God for his forgiveness, I am thankful for his grace and redemption. Not because I’m worthy, I certainly am not but because God created me and he loves me, he forgives me.  I do not always understand the plans he has for me but I know to “Trust the Plan!*Quote borrowed from a dear friend who has taught me many things most importantly a genuine spirit of love, grace and humility.

Life has its share of disappointments and even devastating moments. We all experience loss in many ways and no two people will experience grief in the exact same way but we can try to support one another as we would want to be supported. Praying for others is very powerful! Supporting others and helping others can be accomplished in so many ways, do not discount even the smallest of gestures when done out of love and in the spirit of God. I love the slogan being used in many communities “Just be Kind!” Isn’t that just beautiful! It takes less time and energy to be kind verses being mad or angry, and usually fewer words. Simply saying “thank you” and ” you’re welcome” these can change someone’s entire outlook on life. A simply smile or comment, “Hi, how are you?” Could be the difference in someone’s life when they might be considering suicide … we never know what another person might be going through and that’s ok, I don’t think we are meant to but we can certainly make things worse by not considering our own words and actions. We are to be Jesus to others, to be his hands and feet in the world.

1 John4:17, “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.” (NLT)

I have on occasion felt the Holy Spirit directing me to “pay-it-forward” while in a drive-thru lane or at a convenient or grocery store, even at a stoplight when a person is asking for money. When we do these things we must do so freely of any expectation of the gift, trust God and let go. Gifts/blessing given with strings attached are in fact not gifts or blessings. Our gift of grace from God was freely given, and we must give as the “Giver” gave to us. Spread joy and share joy, when someone grieves, grieve with them and tell them that “joy comes in the morning” it may not be the next morning but the morning is coming and God will be there every step of the ways.

Psalm 30:5b, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Breath Prayer: Amazing grace! … Joy come in the morning.

~Peace~

References:

https://biblehub.com/1_john/4-17.htm

https://biblehub.com/gnt/matthew/5.htm

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+22%3A36-40&version=NIV

https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/894384-a-grief-observed

Lent 2019 – The Meaning of Discipleship

Matthew 5:3, “Happy are people who are hopeless, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” (CEB)

Happy in hopelessness?  Another bible version says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit?” (NIV)

I found a good reference article that explains this better than I could hope to and wanted to share it with you.  It is from Billy Graham, The question was posed, “What does it mean to be poor in spirit, as Jesus said we ought to be?

Billy Graham’s response:

“I don’t understand this, because it seems to me that we ought to strive to be rich in spirit, not poor. Or am I missing the point?  The answer, “Your confusion is understandable; after all, the Bible does warn us against being empty and impoverished in our souls, and urges us to seek spiritual riches instead. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

But Jesus also said that there is another kind of spiritual poverty—one we should seek. He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). What did He mean? Simply this: We must be humble in our spirits. If you put the word “humble” in place of the word “poor,” you will understand what He meant.

In other words, when we come to God, we must realize our own sin and our spiritual emptiness and poverty. We must not be self-satisfied or proud in our hearts, thinking we don’t really need God. If we are, God cannot bless us. The Bible says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

Pride can take all kinds of forms, but the worst is spiritual pride. Often the richer we are in things, the poorer we are in our hearts. Have you faced your own need of Christ? Do you realize that you are a sinner and need God’s forgiveness? Don’t let pride or anything else get in the way, but turn to Christ in humility and faith—and He will bless you and save you.”

It can be so easy to fall pry and to become overwhelmed by the world’s hopelessness, along with all the crimes, senseless deaths, cruelness and hatred. It is precisely within these things we are called to slow down, look around at our surroundings and find community in midst of hopelessness. Perhaps we can begin to see things that others are missing such as hopeful imagination emerging from within others as well as ourselves, we will begin to feel the seedlings of our faith taking root while nurturing the seedlings of others as we see them begin to grow. Then, before long we will recognize we are not alone and our community is growing. We will say, Immanuel (Hebrew: עִמָּנוּאֵל meaning, “God with us as we greet one another.

May your Lenten journey open your heart, mind and soul to the wonders of God’s calling in your life as you discover the meaning of discipleship for you.

Thanks you all for traveling with me on this Lenten journey. ~šālôm

Breath Prayer: God of hope, let the kingdom…be down in me!

~Peace~

References:

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/smith_chuck/SermonNotes_Mat/Mat_16.cfm

https://billygraham.org/answer/what-does-it-mean-to-be-poor-in-spirit-as-jesus-said-we-ought-to-be/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_5:3

https://www.biblestudytools.com/ceb/matthew/passage/?q=matthew+5:3-12

 

 

Lent 2019 – The Meaning of Discipleship

Matthew 5:1-2, “When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them…”

What is Discipleship?
Discipleship is teaching biblical precepts, while modeling and guiding others toward living righteously as followers of Jesus Christ. This should be a cyclical process—meaning once we are discipled, we are to disciple others, and so on. One of the most important characteristics of being a disciple (a student or pupil), is to develop an intimate relationship with God through Christ rather than just learning about Him. Discipleship equips the Christian with God’s Word, prayer, doctrine, worship, encouragement, and service.

What is a Disciple?

• One who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another

• One of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ’s followers according to the Gospels  account

• A convinced adherent of a school or individual

The beautiful part of Lent for me is drawing closer to God through study, prayer, small group discussions, finding and following a specifically guided course leading me to the cross and Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday! The past three years I’ve found specific books or pamphlets to guide me and I’ve been blessed to be able to share them and my thoughts through this wonderful platform. I know I serve a mighty God, powerful and loving, my life is blessed beyond measure and I seek to share it with all those who God places in my path. I am also excited to be more involved with my church’s Lenten journey and honored to serve as an Elder. My goals this Lenten season are simple, grow my spirit closer to God’s and to encourage those around me to see God’s radical love and forgiveness for all. Attending church is many things to me, it is a place of family, a space for community, a sanctuary for prayer and peace, a place of study and discussion and learning, it’s a place to experience the Lord’s supper with fellow believers, it’s a place of instruction and a place to heal, a place to seek repentance and a place to sing praises. Just to mention a few! Church is for sinners to be welcomed with open arms, hand shakes and hugs, all are welcome no one will be turned away. Sadly, this may not necessarily be the case at the threshold of all church; however, I can say with assuredness…all are welcome at my church. When we think of churches and who may or may not be welcomed we must ask ourselves, what would Jesus do? (WWJD). Just thinking back to the scripture from yesterday, Jesus hung out with and had dinner with sinners; the tax collectors, the poor, the diseased, and prostitutes. He came to save the lost, we are all lost if we are not following Jesus. My dear friends, my prayer is that you experience the love of God in very real ways today, may His love be felt on your skin as the sun shines down or as the breeze blows in its mysterious ways. May the voice of God be heard in the sweet chirping and singing from the birds and fowls in the air. Look around and see the wonders of God and say, “thank you!”

You are very loved, indeed you are BELOVED!

Jesus is calling!

Are you ready to hear?

Are you ready to learn?

Are you ready to take the time needed, to make the space for what is coming?

Breath Prayer: Guiding God, I am ready…to learn your way.

~Peace~

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disciple

https://www.allaboutfollowingjesus.org/what-is-discipleship.htm

 

Lent 2019 – The Call of Jesus

“After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” ~Luke 5:27

Not many people were happy about Jesus talking with and spending time with Levi, because he was a tax collector. Tax collectors in Jesus’ time were known as “bad guys” and Levi was described by many as a sinner who was unapologetic, proud and greedy. He might have even been identified as a “black sheep” in some circles. Over the past two thousand years not much as changed in our society, there are still individuals being judged as “unworthy” of Jesus and His salvation. Unworthy based upon our biases, even within the walls of our church’s some are not welcomed. The Bible tells us 1 John 2:6, “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

Jesus died for all mankind, that mankind would repent and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, and to follow him. When we accept the call of Jesus, we become his disciple. We are to do and be like Jesus in all we do and say. This is mirroring the values of Jesus, seeing beyond perceived expectations to the unexpected and to believe in the unlimited possibilities of God’s grace, his extravagant GRACE!

We are called to do two very specific things:

1. Love the Lord your God will all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

2. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 22:37-40, “He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

We are sinners, Jesus knows the hearts of ever man, woman and child and looks each of us in the eyes and knows every thing about us, all our imperfections, our secrets and our lies…everything and yet, he still loves us and calls us to journey with him and to follow him. It makes no difference how faithful or unfaithful, good or not so good, we are LOVED…no matter what. Jesus is waiting and calling your name, will you hear and respond to the call to FOLLOW?

Breath Prayer: I am following, Jesus,…lead me!

~Peace~

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com

Photo: https://redeeminggod.com/sermons/luke/luke-5_27-32/

Lent 2019 – The Call of Jesus

Matthew 8:22, “But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Let the dead bury their own, what does this even mean?  The dead are completely incapable of completing this task, so what is God referring to in this verse?  The Matthew Henry’s Commentary (*reference below) tells us we are employed by Christ and that service should not be neglected.  Our writer, (Juan Huertas) suggest that the dead can always be the “dead things” in our lives.  For example the internal narratives in our lives that defeat us long before we get started on things, as well as stories and experiences that have shaped our lives but are no longer valid or true. These things are heavy burdensome piles of lifelessness need to be left behind to fully and faithful follow Jesus.  Let them go and bury themselves.

Today’s challenge is to think about the dead things in your life, your families, your communities, the things we can not fix and should no longer be carrying around.  These things are literally “dead weight” they encumber us and cause pain, they serve only to separate us from the fullness of God.

What are some “dead” things in your life?

What stands in the way of following Jesus completely?

Can you surrender them to God and simply “Let Go and Let God”?

Friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, prayerfully take your cares to God and trust in his love for you and your life. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you persevere through discernment this Lenten Season!

6 Bible Verses to Let Go And Let God

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. -Proverbs 16:3

• The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still. -Exodus 14:14

• Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. -1 Peter 5:7

•  When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. -Psalm 34:14

• You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. -Song of Solomon 4:7

• But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” -2 Chronicles 15:7

Breath Prayer: Lord of Life,…let the dead bury the dead.

~Peace~

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com

https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/matthew/8.html

Matthew Henry Commentary-Matthew 8:22. “His excuse is laid aside as insufficient; Let the dead bury their dead. It is a proverbial expression; “Let one dead man bury another: rather let them lie unburied, than that the service of Christ should be neglected. Let the deadspiritually bury the dead corporally; let worldly offices be left to worldly people; do not thou encumber thyself with them. Burying the dead, and especially a dead father, is a good work, but it is not thy work at this time: it may be done as well by others, that are not called and qualified, as thou art, to be employed for Christ; thou hast something else to do, and must not defer that.’’ Note, Piety to God must be preferred before piety to parents, though that is a great and needful part of our religion. The Nazarites, under the law, were not to mourn for their own parents, because they were holy to the Lord (Num. 6:6-8 ); nor was the high priest to defile himself for the dead, no, not for his own father,”

https://www.google.com/search?q=bible+verses+let+go+and+let+god&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/just-let-go-and-let-god

 

Lent 2019 – The Call of Jesus

Mark 1:20, “At that very moment he called them. They followed him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers.”

Can you imagine what Zebedee felt as he watched his sons walk away with Jesus, leaving their family and responsibilities behind and walking away with a stranger telling them that they will be fishers of men.

The writer today shares his thoughts about families, commitments and answering the call of Jesus. Sometimes our personal preferences are not in alignment with our calling from the Holy Spirit. When we listen and heed the call from the Spirit, we no longer give precedence to our inner voice as it relates to careers, responsibilities, goals and the thought processes such as “that’s the way it’s always been” and to just continue moving in that direction. When we hear and heed the Spirit’s call, we see things through the lens of God’s clarity and call. Trusting in God’s lens for our lives means letting go of our preconceived ideas and even our traditions, and faithfully going where God leads.

The Lenten season is a fertile time to seek God and His plans for our lives. Through daily prayer, meditation and contemplation we can ask the sometimes hard questions, “What is God asking of me, what needs to be changed, altered or even stopped in order to wholly and completely follow Jesus? My church is focusing on a similar question as we journey through Lent. We are asking ourselves, “What can I do for a fuller, deeper relationship with God?” and “What is separating me from the fullness of God?” A guiding instruction is to try to define a word that answers those questions, such as impatience, sadness, anger, or distrust and once it’s named, prayerfully go to God with it. In addition to this, the church Elders and Ministry Teams are praying for the church and each individual on this journey. We have encouraged people to choose from preprinted cards with a word on one side and two related bible verses on the other or take a blank card and fill it in as they feel lead. Once a word is chosen, we ask people to drop a copy of the card in a basket on the floor at the foot of a raggedy wooden cross symbolizing its surrender to Jesus.

Today, I encourage you to think about any assumptions you may have about life, your life specifically and how you live it and then ask yourself, am I in alignment with what Jesus as asking of me. Is Jesus asking you to drop something or maybe to pick something up, so that you can follow where he’s leading?

May you feel the presence of God in very real ways today!

Breath Prayer: Jesus, help me…let go.

~Peace~

References:

https://biblegateway.com