Friday, July 25, 2008

Time with God

Pray continually.
1 Thessalonians 5:17

This is one of the shortest verses in the Bible. While it may be easy to memorize, it’s difficult to practice. This is one of the verses that challenge me to the core.

I’ve noticed that most Christians either have a casual or crisis approach to prayer. The casual approach is prayer happens when it happens. This person says if I have time, or when I have a family meal, or when I’m at church, I’ll pray. Basically, when it fits and/or when I think about it, I’ll pray. The crisis approach is prayer when we desperately need God, when we are uncomfortable, in bad situation, or see no way out. It’s when God is our last resort.

It’s OK to pray when we think about it or when we are in a crisis, but it seems like God wants a 24/7 approach to prayer. How is that possible? I’ve heard it reported that the average pastor only prays approximately 7 minutes a day. It’s scary to think that the average Muslim prays more than the average pastor.

So why does God want us to pray so much? It begs the question, what is the purpose of prayer? Prayer is communication or connection with God. So really, prayer is communion with God. God desires each one of us to be in relationship and to spend time with Him. It’s like any relationship we have. What if you rarely talked with your best friend or your spouse and when you did it was only because you needed something? What kind of relationship would that be? God is with us all of the time, He is a constant friend, He will never leave you or forsake you. He wants you to return the favor and commune with Him. This week set aside your casual or crisis modes of prayer and take time to commune with God. Put God’s Word into practice and watch what happens to your relationship with Him.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Leslie and I watered my parents’ plants while they were away on vacation. Even though we live close by, it’s been a while since I wandered through the backyard I grew up in. I remember the hours of fun back there playing baseball, building forts, basically wasting time goofing off all summer long.

I was surprised by how much had changed. My mom has quite a garden paradise growing in the backyard. (A garden that would have no doubt been trampled by us and the neighborhood kids.) But the thing that surprised me the most were the trees and bushes. I couldn’t believe how big they had grown. I remember thinking they were tall while climbing them as a boy but now over twenty years later I can’t believe how high they had grown. And I remember the biggest tree in our backyard was a weeping willow. It’s gone now. Cut down and replaced with a playhouse. Everything had changed.

This transformation I saw in my backyard reminds me about the change that happens in all of our lives. Some things grow and develop, some things are taken away. There are good memories and memories of scrapes and bruises along the way. The only constant in life seems to be change. The good news is that no matter what happens in life, God never changes and He will never leave us or forsake us during the changes of life.

My hope and prayer for all of you is that as the years pass by and the changes of life come, you will always be growing and developing into the man or woman God is calling you to be. Allow God to work in your seasons of life bringing you to complete spiritually maturity.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I will build my church…
Jesus - Matthew 16:18 (NIV)

Church was God’s idea. We connect with God at church. Jesus promised us that He would lead, build, and give victory to His church. Just read Matthew 16:17-19 to see the amazing things Jesus says about His church. When we gather together in His name Jesus said, “There I am in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) What a promise! Every week we can experience the very presence of God with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

But unfortunately there are so many that miss out on the blessing, power, and presence of God because they do not regularly come to church. There is no substitute this world can offer. There is something supernatural that happens when we gather together with other believers and expect God to show up.

We live in a crucial moment in history that makes it more important than ever to be in church and yet satan has duped so many into believing that you can have be a part of the family of God but you don’t need the church. It is impossible to have vital, growing, and full relationship with God apart from His people.

We need each other. We are to encourage one another (1Thess. 4:18), comfort one another (2 Cor. 1:3, 4), and bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). You can’t do that independently from the church.

Christian Life Church’s mission is to first connect people with God. The second part of our mission is to connect people to people, which is what God meant for the church to do. Today let’s worship God together and take time to connect with the family of God.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Our Founding Fathers

The following quotes from our Founding Fathers are food for thought this 4th of July weekend and national election year.

While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.
George Washington

The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.
John Adams

I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.
Thomas Jefferson

Being a Christian… is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast.
Patrick Henry

All the… evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.
Noah Webster

He called on the entire state to pray “that universal happiness may be established in the world [and] that all may bow to the scepter of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the whole earth be filled with His glory.”
John Hancock

The great, vital, and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and the divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Congress, 1854