Thought: “More men and women than ever began to believe in the Lord. As a result, people carried their sick into the streets. They placed them on stretchers and cots so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of the sick people as he went by. Crowds from the cities around Jerusalem would gather. They would bring their sick and those who were troubled by evil spirits, and each person was cured.” (Acts 5:14-16)
Do we not realize that God is STILL in the healing business? Do we not realize that Jesus STILL intends to use HIS Church to reach the broken, sick, and hurting? God, being the same yesterday, today, and forever IS still using US to fulfill the mission. Reaching the lost, helping those who hurt and need hope.
Prayer: “Jesus, what wonder you’ve given me in the Holy Spirit. Not some impersonal energy or vague force, but Your life, Your very presence in me. Thank you for the peace, power, gifts, and all Your blessings the Holy Spirit pours out in my life. As You make me share in all Christ’s blessings, MAY I SHARE THE MIRACLE AND WONDER OF YOUR LIFE WITH ALL. (emphasis mine) Amen. (Heidelberg Catechism 53)
Blessings Pastor Robert
“All the believers were ONE in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything the had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 4:32-35)
“Generous God, Your Spirit dwelling among Your people, working Your salvation deep into our daily lives, is a thing of beauty—powerful grace, freely flowing forgiveness, lavish giving. Continue to make us full players in Christ’s redemption story through the Holy Spirit. Amen.” (Westminster Shorter Catechism 29)
Blessings Pastor Robert
“And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to Your servants to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of Your Holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-31 (NRSV)
“Listening God, You invite us to pray, to call on You and change our world. How bored You must be with our sometimes safe and harmless prayers. Saturate our lives with the Holy Spirit so that we know what to pray, who to pray for, and how best to pray. Holy Spirit, shake up the ways we pray, quicken our hearts and expanding our expectations so that we may live our faith more boldly. Amen.” (Westminster Large Catechism 182)
Blessings Pastor Robert
This weeks’ message from Rev. Norman Shaw takes a look at “Holiness” as one of the “5 Characteristics of a Christian.” He points out that this series of messages are not a “how to” manual, rather an exploration of what characteristics should be found in us as Christians.
You will find this message to be a blessings, challenge, and an encouragement to you as you “Journey with Jesus.”
I invite you to like this post, leave a comment or prayer request (I would love the opportunity to pray with you). Also, I invite you to like the video on YouTube and to subscribe to the Keswick Chapel channel.
Blessings to you,
Pastor Robert Wallace
Can we make the move from living in the natural, to moving in the supernatural, and know that this doesn’t make us “weird?” Can we dare to live in a realm that depends upon really having the eyes, mind, and heart of Christ? ~Pastor O
A devotional by Pastor O, shared by permission.
I am becoming more and more disturbed by comments and statements made by well meaning, and perhaps some not so well meaning brothers and sisters. Statements that are so dogmatic in their content that they will tolerate no disagreement from any quarter. As someone said, it is imperative that we belong to the “right club” within the church. We in that club are right, and everyone else is wrong. My sense of it all is we are depending far more upon our own intellectual understanding of His Word and teaching than we do upon the direct revelation of the Holy Spirit. We must have correct doctrine and theology on the essentials of the faith, and especially the final authority of scripture, but most of our conflict, even warfare, is a result of arguing about non-essentials. And we can be extremely unloving in our disagreements, resulting in labeling, and even name calling. All the while, I believe Jesus weeps, and, I think, feels no small amount of anger. I think it is time, past time, for the Church, you and me, to hear Him speak a new “nevertheless” to us.
When Jesus spoke the above scripture to His disciples, He was telling them that He was leaving them. They didn’t understand any of His reasoning and were brokenhearted. They saw and sensed only the appearance of it all. He would be gone….they thought. They could not see or understand what He was following that statement with; that He would be sending them the Comforter, the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who would not only be with them, but in them. He was promising them an even greater companion than His physical presence, but they couldn’t see it. They lacked discernment and understanding. That would not come until they were baptized in the fullness of His Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It will not come to us until we experience it as well. When we do, we will no longer live by appearances and our own understanding. We will not live by the power of our intellect, but by the power of His Spirit. We will not live with information about Him, but revelation from Him. We’ll discover that truth and reality are not based upon what appears to be, but on what He has spoken and revealed…..and continues to speak and reveal. We discover that His Word is alive and not static. Growing and unfolding within us in ever deeper ways. Never making itself void, but always taking us beyond our intellectual limits. It’s a mystical and supernatural experience, and our staid, western intellects struggle with that. So we live by our senses and our natural reasoning. Knowing what He has said, in our minds if not our hearts, but not what He is saying now. We’re leaning upon our own understanding, but we never seem to realize it.
Can it become less important for us to be “right” in all these debates, and most important that we know and hear Him? Can we believe that there may be areas of life, doctrine and theology, where we may be at least in part, wrong? Can we make the move from living in the natural, to moving in the supernatural, and know that this doesn’t make us “weird?” Can we dare to live in a realm that depends upon really having the eyes, mind, and heart of Christ? This is frightening to the flesh, but very welcoming to Christ. Will we live in the place where our flesh is most at home, or where His Holy Spirit is? What’s our answer as concerns our lives, homes, and fellowships? Do we live by appearances, or by His appearing and speaking to us through them?
Children of Light. The beauty of our children and how our Father fills them in ways that we seem to miss. It really is a beautiful sight to behold, watching our children being who God created us all to be….filled with joy and wonder. In the linked blog entry by Julie Harris, we again get to see how as adults we can and all too often go through this life in stoic fashion. Missing the moments of mystery and wonder. The opportunity to live in a carefree fashion even though we have responsibilities.
In Matthew 18, Jesus makes the point very clear; “Jesus called a little child to his side and set him on his feet in the middle of them all. “Believe me,” he said, “unless you change your whole outlook and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. It is the man who can be as humble as this little child who is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” ~J.B. Phillips New Testament (Phillips) We have no choice if we want to see Heaven.
We are driven by the need to perform, to accomplish, to be more…. more than what exactly? What more could or should we desire than to be in a relationship with our Creator God through HIS plan of redemption – Jesus Christ? HE has planned more for us than we know and His way involves our becoming just like our children.
Our children are dependent on us for everything and yet in their dependance, they are completely free to just be who they’ve been created by our Father to be, children loving life! Struggling to learn and grow, experiencing highs and lows. All the while, they know we are there to help, nurture and guide. They ARE the picture of what HE calls us to be in this life as we journey to the next.
At our best, we are but a shadow image of HIM in displaying love and providing for our children. Yet we push through and do all we can for our children for HE has planted HIS glorious seed within us to take up this charge. Knowing this and seeing how important it is that we allow and encourage our children to enjoy life to the fullest, is it any wonder that Jesus calls us to return to this humble state?
I humbly submit, if we will become as children once again, HE will show us wonders beyond compare. HE will show us a life we have yet to know or experience. HE will return the sparkle to our eyes that will bare witness to all of HIS glory. I believe HE wants more in this life for us than being driven to excel in a life that is so very fleeting.
Let’s become like children again, filled with wonder and hope. Excited by what the day will hold and eager to stop and join in the playfulness of our children’s lives!
Blessings and Peace to you always,