Wednesday, April 4, 2018

WEDNESDAY'S WISDOM

A NEEDED REMINDER

I belong to God and He is my keeper. I admit, at times I wiggle to be set free from His control over my life. I see things this world says are fun and good and I want to try them. I notice others enjoying life while I, at times, struggle with things many might find ridiculous. I often hear others laugh and speak of peace, while I find myself disappointed and restless. The common denominator is all of this is me looking at a world without Christ and thinking they have discovered the key to joy. If they do not know Christ, they do not know joy as God wants us to experience it.

Please do not take any of the above as if I am saying that being a follower of Christ is not good and best... IT IS. The enemy of God does all he can to make this fallen world (we have been saved from) look better than the unseen world (which we have been saved to).
Colossians 1:17 ESVAnd He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
This required shift for EBCI has had me on a very long roller coaster ride. Ups and downs... twists and turns... loops and more. It slows down at the end of the ride to let me off but then someone releases the brake and I am off for another wild ride. Holding on and wondering when the ride will actually come to an end so life can be normal. I then ask myself, what does a "normal" Christian life look like? Does one even exist?
Paul answers this question in Galatians...
Galatians 2:20 ESVI have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
This profound verse is filled with guidance and challenge. It is not a verse one can read and then simply follow. It is a call to full surrender. A call to denying self and promoting Christ. It is a verse of instruction and edification.

“He who is able to accept everything gladly from the Lord - including darkness, dryness, flatness - and completely disregard self is he who lives for Him." -” 
“God does not blame me for being an individual, but for my individualism. His greatest problem is not the outward divisions and denominations that divide His church, but our own individualistic hearts.” 
― Watchman NeeThe Normal Christian Life

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Lord - Help me set aside my personal wants and desires and lead me to that place of service You have purposed for me. Help me to discover the joy of Christ where I serve you. Help me to look beyond my selfish wants and desires and only want You. Help me to be reminded that You are the One who fills my empty soul. Help me to be thankful for all the people You put in my life. Make me a student of You first. Create in me a heart to see You in all situations of my life. Cause me to take Your road, whether difficult or easy. Lord - Put around me men who will hold my arms up when I am tired. Men who, by their love for You, will be the encouragers needed in my life.  Lord - May You increase and I decrease.
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CONTINUING IN JEREMIAH
I will be picking up in the second chapter of Jeremiah this week. In this chapter, the Lord uses the term "My People" four times. We will look at each of these moments and discover what God is saying specifically to His people.
You do not want to miss this series through Jeremiah. Much has been adjusted since the first of the year. Our shift to DECC has led me to this wonderful book and I am excited about my journey in the preparation.  I will preaching one sermon on each chapter and will be bringing the highlight of that chapter to you each week. Though I  will be focusing on a smaller number of the verses in chapter 2, please take time between now and then to read all of chapter 2.
Jeremiah is an, "in your face" book. He pulls no punches. His message is for God's people. It is still relevant today. Make plans to not miss one week - if you can.
This weeks message 
Trades that went Wrong
Jeremiah 2:1-4a, 11, 13, 31, 32

See you this weekend.
Pastor Jon







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