I am convinced that one reason we struggle mentally, emotionally, relationally and spiritually is because we fly through life without taking time to get renewed in the Presence of Jesus. We ignore the need to sit, to rest, and to wait upon Him. As a result, our perception of things around us gets blurred. Doing too much at too fast of a pace has worn us down, causing us to lose focus of seeing things the way they really are. Everything in our lives suffer as a result.
I love how Eugene Peterson paraphrases Matthew 11:28 in the Message Bible.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Let 2014 be a year of keeping daily company in the presence of Jesus and live freely and lightly.
Blessings in the year to come. Pastor Dan.
Tears like rain streaming down my face
Wondering if life will ever be the same
Before all of the shame
Tears like rain streaming down my face
Remembering that He redeemed me from my disgrace
Reminded that He was wounded and pierced for my sin
So that my life would be whole again.
Isaiah 53:4-6 (Message)
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
on him, on him.
Be still (Psalm 46:10). Be holy (1 Peter 1:16). Be glad (Psalm 9:2). Be pleasing in God’s sight (Psalm 19:14) Be strong (Psalm 27:14). Be clean (Psalm 51:7). Be at rest (Psalm 55:6. Be filled with His glory (Psalm 72:19). Be lifted up (Psalm 75:10). Be a doorkeeper in the house of God (Psalm 84:10). Be delivered (Psalm 108:6). Be blessed (psalm 112:2). Be secure (Psalm 122:6). Be at ease (Proverbs 1:33). Be wise (Proverbs 8:33). Be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25). Be trusted (Proverbs 27:6). Be silent before Him (Habakkuk 2:20). Be comforted (Matthew 5:4). Be healed (Matthew 9:21). Be My disciple (Matthew 16:24). Be last then you will be first (Matthew 19:30). Be satisfied (Luke 6:21). Be merciful (Luke 6:36). Be forgiven (Luke 6:37). Be fruitful (John 15:2). Be full of the Spirit (Acts 6:3). Be sincere (Romans 12:9). Be obedient (1 Corinthians 2:9). Be generous (2 Corinthians 9:11). Be a servant of Christ (Galations 1:10). Be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24). BE………….
No, I’m not talking about one of the 50 United States. What state is your spiritual life in. In a George Barna survey he found that only 15% of Christians say that their relationship with God is highly important. That means that 85% of us have a spiritual life that is in a state of decline. What do I do you ask? I believe there are 5 keys to turning around that decline. 1. Repent. Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sin. 2. Restore. Ask for your life, relationships etc. to be restored. 3. Revive. In the book of Ezekiel God not only restored dry bones into bodies but he revived them back to life with his breath . 4. Review. Review means to examine. Paul tells us in the book of 1 Corinthians to examine ourselves before we take communion…that review should be a daily part of our life as a Christian. 5. Retool. It always helps to have the right tool for the right job. If you find yourself constantly fighting spiritual decline maybe your not using the right tools…the Bible, prayer and worship. Try these steps and see what God builds in you.
What to write in a blog…that is the question isn’t it? Especially my first one so why don’t we keep it simple and to the point.
Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. That’s what this Christian life is all about isn’t it? Jesus loving us and we in turn loving him back.
19 We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NIV)
Whether you were looking for this, or you found your way here by chance, welcome! My name is Dan Pope and I am the pastor of the Open Bible Church in Belvidere, Illinois. We are in the process of updating our church’s web presence and I wanted to include a place where people can connect with me; a place where I can share my thoughts with you and you can do the same. Our church’s new website is progressing and will be completed soon. When it is up and running I will be posting here daily so please keep checking the site. In the meantime you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter – @PastorDanPope.