Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Inauguration Sermon

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual…
Dan 3:16-19 (NIV)

We experienced a momentous moment in our nation’s history this week. One of the little known events was a church service just prior to the inauguration at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington which the Obama’s and Biden’s attended. The sermon was shared by T.D. Jakes. I wanted to share with you his powerful four points from Daniel 3:16-20.
  • "In time of crisis, good men must stand up. God always sends the best men into the worst times."
  • "You cannot change what you will not confront. This is a moment of confrontation in this country. There's no way around it. ... This is not a time for politeness or correctness, this is a time for people to confront issues and bring about change."
  • "You cannot enjoy the light without enduring the heat. The reality is the more brilliant, the more glorious, the more essential the light, the more intense the heat. We cannot separate one from the other."
  • "Extraordinary times require extraordinary methods. This is a historical moment for us and our nation and our country, and we enjoy it and are inspired by it and motivated by it."

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Jacob woke up from his sleep. He said, "God is in this place—truly. And I didn't even know it!" He was terrified. He whispered in awe, "Incredible. Wonderful. Holy..."
Gen 28:16-17 (MSG)

I enjoy being in the presence of God. I benefit from worship, time in the Word, and prayer. Whether in solitude, in a small group, or in a church service, I want to experience the presence of God. There is something inside each of us that craves connecting with God. I believe it is because we were all created for a relationship with God.

When we fulfill a life calling we feel good. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you’re doing what you’re suppose to be doing. Our connection with God feels good because we were created for that connection. God’s presence is a great place to be whether alone or at church. But sometimes I wonder if we get too comfortable in the presence of God?

When you think about it, when anyone in the Bible experienced the manifest presence of God they were terrified. People got scared in the presence of angels let alone the very presence of God. The question is, “Should I be so comfortable in the presence of the living God?”

I believe there are times we should be uncomfortable. When we focus on God’s holiness and justice. When we think about His omnipotence and glory. If you don’t feel uncomfortable maybe, in the words of J.B. Phillips, “your God is too small.” Perhaps you’re staying at a safe distance, not drawing as near as you should.

Draw near to God. Uncomfortably near. Get terrified. And when you do, remember His great love and grace that covers our sin and invites us into an intimate relationship with the living God. The relationship you were created for!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Prayer is one of the key components to our mysterious relationship with God. Here are some of my favorite prayers from great Christians.

O Holy Spirit of God, abide in us; inspire all our thoughts; pervade our imaginations; suggest all our decisions; order all our doings. Be with us in our silence and in our speech, in our haste and in our leisure, in company and in solitude, in the freshness of the morning and the weariness of the evening; and give us grace at all times humbly to rejoice in the Thy mysterious companionship.
John Baillie

Grant that I may not pray alone with the mouth; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart.
Martin Luther

Lord, make my life a window for Your light to shine through and a mirror to reflect Your love to all I meet. Amen.
Robert Schuller

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.

Lord, teach me to listen. The times are noisy and my ears are weary with the thousand raucous sounds which continuously assault them. Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to Thee, "Speak, for Thy servant heareth." Let me hear Thee speaking in my heart. Let me get used to the sound of Thy voice, that its tones may be familiar when the sounds of earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Thy speaking. Amen.
A. W. Tozer

For more inspiring prayers pick up the Great Prayers of Great Christians sheet in the church lobby.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,…

Psalm 23:6 (NLT)

Our time here on earth is a pilgrimage. All of our days are meant to be filled with the “abundant life” Jesus promises in John 10:10. We just celebrated the Christmas season where we looked back at Christ’s birth. We recently ended a sermon series called The End where we looked ahead to Christ’s future return to earth. As we begin a New Year we need to look around to discover Christ’s work in our midst now.

Our journey with God is a day by day adventure. God is at work all around us inviting us to join Him. God has more for you and your life than you could ever imagine. When we are close to God we will experience the relationship and abundant life we were created for.

May I ask you a question? How do you intend to stretch and grow spiritually in 2009? Our relationship with God is the most important relationship anyone of us will ever have. It is essential for us to be near to God in order to hear and follow Him every day of our lives.

Here’s an ancient prayer we can use as a guide as we begin 2009…

  • Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being. We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget You, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.