There is a legendary figure named Honi who was known for his audacious prayers. He would pray for rain and it would. And not just a sprinkling, but torrents of water would fall in places not known for inundation.
Mark Batterson hits the nail on the head with a challenge for all of us to pray boldly, persistently, and for the long haul. I am personally encouraged in my faith to alter my prayer form. Rather than vaguely and singly, I am motivated and inspired to take my prayer life to a whole different level. And not just for my own purposes, but for Gods. I want my prayer life to honor all that he is in our lives on this planet in our generation.
So briefly, I make the bold suggestion for any and all of you– glean from a local pastor who has made his story available. A pastor who the Lord has used to plant a church in one of the most influential cities on the planet. We can imagine how much prayer is need there.
All you CRBCers– I so want you to read this book, that if you present the receipt to me, I will pay you for reading it. Blessings.
Every once in a while a video comes up that demands the time to watch it and to ponder the implications to each of our lives.
This particular graduation speech is eight years old. However may be one of the absolute best there ever was and will be. David Foster Wallace was the commencement speaker at Kenyon College in 2005. To give a fresh and original grad speech is not easy to do. With the thousands given every year, the themes and styles are ‘oh-so’ similar that merely changing the date and the face of speaker is all that is required.
This one however, is, not just a cut above, but, from a completely different paradigm, yet as close to the core of who we are, what makes us tick, and a solution to a truly joy-filled life.
The speech is about nine minutes long and provides keys to a wonderful life, not just for grads, but for folks of every age and education level.
The prophet Hosea used some strong language to make his point to his fellow countryman. Hosea not only shared the Lord’s message, but he felt it. He felt what spiritual adultery was like based on the human adultery he was experiencing with his wife.
The word ‘acknowledge’ is translated in the NIV for the Hebrew word yadah. Acknowledge is found six times in the early parts of the book. Yadah is more than a head nod to someone as they are passed on the sidewalk at the mall. Yadah is knowing in a much more intimate, personal way. More than a head nod, it is real interaction and real knowing.
In Hosea 6 yadah is found three times in close proximity. Verse three is quite commanding in nature, “Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him.” Then in verse six, “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”
You see, it is all about relationship with Father- – not the trappings of religious worship that dumb down the original purpose of those religious rites. They usually start with good intention and focus on the Lord, but without the why, they result in lifeless duty.
I don’t want lifeless duty. I want life in the Lord. I want a life filled and a life fulfilled. I want all I can be for a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants the absolute best for us. I want to know Him and know how I was made to worship Him.
This past Sunday to further press into knowing how we best can know Him and know how to worship Him fully, we explored, ever so briefly, the Sacred Pathways idea by Gary Thomas. We took an abbreviated assessment to further propel us into knowing how to best connect with the Lord. We followed with some Small Group time to talk about some of the ideas and used some questions to prompt healthy, life-giving discussion.
If you are interested in doing the survey yourself, (which is highly recommended for growth in Jesus), it and other information can be found here. Find May 5, 2013 and open the documents. The Powerpoint presentation has all sorts of information about each pathway.
Also this link has a really good PDF on knowing more about your particular pathway to connecting with the Lord.
The purpose of the book of Isaiah demonstrates the trustworthiness of the Lord. The first king whom Isaiah serves, Ahaz, does not trust the Lord. He ignores Isaiah’s advice and follows his own schemes. This leads to defeat and servitude at the hands of the Assyrians. Ahaz’s son Hezekiah, in contrast, trusts the Lord and Jerusalem is delivered from Sennacherib and the Assyrians. In the second half of the book the exiles are also encouraged to trust the Lord to bring deliverance and to respond like Hezekiah, not like Ahaz.
A significant theme is the hope in a future ideal Davidic king. The book provides a template for Messianic expectation as it develops a profile of God’s plan, including the exaltation of Jerusalem (ch. 2), the coming child whom is the reign (ch. 9), peace and stability of the reign of the Davidic heir(ch. 11), and how the ideal Servant of the Lord will carry out God’s mission (chs. 42-53).
Walton, Strauss, and Cooper. The Essential Bible Companion.
In Horev they fashioned a calf, they worshiped a cast metal image. Thus they exchanged their Glory for the image of an ox that eats grass! They forgot God, who had saved them, who had done great things in Egypt, wonder in the land of Ham, fearsome deeds by the Sea of Suf. Therefore he said that he would destroy the, [and he would have,] had not Moshe his chosen one stood before him in the breach to turn back his destroying fury (Ps 106:19-23, CJB).
The location of the incident repeated above is originally found Exodus 32. Quite a group of folks whom Moses had to lead out of Egypt into the Promised Land.
A couple of things that I was thinking about this morning as I read this:
1. There may not be a golden calf in which I have melted down all my gold to replace for God, yet, is there something instead? Have I forgotten God and created something else in place of Him? What have I called Yahweh instead of Father? What have I exchanged my imago Dei for?
2. As a church we are participating in a Seder Dinner this March 7th. The purpose of a Seder is to remember all that the Lord had done for the descendants of Abraham in setting up for them a land of promise, a land of refuge and peace, and a place to show Father’s glory. Father was faithful in his promise, but the people were not. The above says, “They forgot God, who had saved them, who had done great things in Egypt, wonder in the land of Ham, fearsome deeds by the Sea of Suf.”
The main point to a Seder is to never forget.
Not to forget,
not to forget who saved them,
not to forget the great things,
not to forget the wonder,
not to forget the fearsome deeds.
Father, I pray we never forget all you have done for us. From all you have redeemed us. From the old. From the degenerate. From the habits. From the addictions. From it all. Help us to have constant reminders of your glory in our lives and the image we possess and how that image is to interact with the world’s we live in. Amen.
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Tagged churches in Castle Rock, CRBC, Exodus 32, forget, glory, golden calf, imago Dei, Moses, prayer, Psalm 106, remember