Pastor’s Ponderings: Lent is Calling

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Pastors Ponderings | 0 comments

The following devotional was sent by Pastor Jim on 2/26/15…

Greetings Friends:

PLEASE READ: Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God” (NKJV).

PLEASE READ: Isaiah 40:31

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint” (NKJV).

 

Can we agree that regular Bible reading, regular times of prayer, being faithful in worship, to name a few spiritual disciplines, are critical to our growth as Christians? Bill Hybels, pastor of the Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago has written, “People who are really interested in hearing from God must pay a price.” In his personal journal John Wesley wrote that he engaged in private prayers “early in the morning, late in the evening, and often at other times during the day.” In Wesley’s journal dated May 27, 1738 he wrote that he found his prayer time “a source of great strength.” Methodist Circuit Riding preacher Francis Asbury wrote, “I purposed in my own mind, to spend ten minutes out of every hour, when awake, in the duty of prayer.” To neglect daily Bible reading and prayer is as harmful to our spiritual health as neglecting to eat would be to our physical health.

Sign- Open for Prayer _IMG_1295Jesus developed the discipline of being “still” before God. When one carefully reads the Gospels we discover that Jesus was busy. Crowds of people followed Him wherever He went. Everyday He was out and about preaching, teaching, healing, and sharing the love of God. It was probably a challenge for Him, BUT, He was intentional about spending time with God. Jesus would get up before dawn and get alone with God (see Mark 1:35).

In prayer Jesus would pour out His heart to God, AND He listened intently to what God was saying. This is dramatically seen especially as Jesus prayed in Gethsemane before His crucifixion (see Matthew 26:36-44 Mark 14:32-39, and Luke 22:40-44). Because Jesus was setting aside time for God, and within that time was listening even as He was sharing with God, Jesus was able to find God’s purpose for everything in life.

David acknowledges the importance of this in 2 Samuel 7:17 and 1 Chronicles 17:16 when it says, David “Went in and sat before the LORD.” The prophet Isaiah was in the Old Testament worship center when he was waiting upon the LORD and God spoke to him (see Isaiah 6:1-13). In Acts 10:9-20 we are treated to the story of how Peter “went to the top of a roof to pray” (Acts 10:9) around the lunch hour and God spoke to him as he waited for God.

 

Friends, Lent invites us to examine and make a new commitment to God. Lent challenges us to take the time to “be still” in prayer before God, and anticipate we will hear from God. All of us are called by God and have been given the gift of this Lenten season to work on various spiritual disciplines.

Shalom,

Pastor Jim

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