Ben Herchenhahn - Humble Yourselves to Come Near to God
In Celebration of Discipline Richard Foster powerfully describes what prayer can be to God’s people: Prayer catapults us onto the frontier of the spiritual life. Of all the Spiritual Disciplines prayer is the most central because it ushers us into perpetual communion with the Father. Meditation introduces us to the inner life, fasting is an accompanying means, study transforms our minds, but it is the Discipline of prayer that brings us into the deepest and highest work of the human spirit. Real prayer is life creating and life changing….
To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us. If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lives. The closer we come to the heartbeat of God the more we see our need and the more we desire to be conformed to Christ. Scripture Readings: Ephesians 3:14-19; James 5:16-20; Sermon Scripture - James 5:13-20
“Slow as Christmas.” That surely must have come from a child’s perspective. From an adult’s perspective, Christmas feels like a freight train barreling down the track while your car is stalled on the track. It’s coming whether you’re ready or not. There are cards, gifts, parties, and a hundred jobs to get done. But for a child, Christmas can’t get here fast enough. It’s all upside. There is the anticipation of all the good things that are going to happen. This split perspective is the way a Christian has to look at Jesus’ coming. At times it can seem like it’s taking forever—especially if a person is suffering. Why can’t I get to the good stuff now—things like the reward, the rest, the joy of being with God and everything good? On the other hand, God wants us to get our lives ready—and so while we work on that, James says we should be patient and stand firm. Scripture Readings: Ephesians 2:19-22; James 5:7-9; Sermon Scripture - James 4:13-5:11
When I saw The Toddler’s Creed in a book about child development years ago, it immediately rang true.
*If I want it, it’s mine.
*If I give it to you and change my mind later, it’s mine.
*If I can take it away from you, it’s mine.
*If it’s mine, it will never belong to anyone else, no matter what.
*If we are building something together, all the pieces are mine.
*If it looks like mine, it’s mine.
Adults don’t act like that, do they? Well…….James says—yes (James 4:1-6). Hopefully, we learn to expand our area of concern beyond ourselves, our family, our church.