I came across a very funny sounding phrase this week when I was reading 1 Peter. In chapter one Peter writes that we are to Gird up the loins of our mind, and it got me to think ing about not only what this phrase means, but the level at which it impacts our lives. This statement though short and somewhat strange sounding at first glance has huge ramifications for us today as followers of Christ. Are you Girding Up the Loins of Your Mind?
So often we are chasing the “what” of life. What is it that we want, what is it that we want to see happen in our lives; at work, at home, in our social circle. But too often that question revolves around one figure, US. We are experts at putting ourselves in the middle of the story.
In his continuation of last weeks message where Pastor Ryan laid the foundation of the Why, he reframes what the “what” should be for us as believers. There are no two greater questions that we should ask ourselves and have solid footing on their answers as believers.
Pastor Ted said a couple of weeks ago that Conversations are construction sites and our words are the building materials. This is true for any human that has ever lived but it is especially important as followers of Christ.
If we claim to have faith in Christ, what should that mean for the way that we live our lives. To have “Faith” is to live as God intends us to live. This morning we unpacked what this word “Faith” means and implies and allowed the story of Philip and the Ethiopian to shed some light on it.
Just like today WATER RIGHTS were a big deal in the world of the Old Testament. Sometimes they need to be contended for. Sometimes they need to just be remembered. So often in life we forget that we have WATER RIGHTS. Given to us by God. In today's sermon Pastor Ryan takes a look at Genesis 26 and what the significance of Isaac's pursuit of the WATER RIGHTS that God had given to his father meant and connects it to the fact that God is calling us to day to redig some wells in our own lives.
What wells need re-digging in your life?
What are some promises that God has made that you have let go of, forgotten about, convinced yourself that you are disqualified for or simply walked away from?
What wells have you had filled in on you? (maybe even by your own doing)
This weeks message is one of hope and one that challenges us to pick up a shovel and begin to dig again the wells God has given us. To again chase the dreams he has given us. To not be content with wells that are only 3 feet deep but to dig and keep digging the rest of our lives.
(It may take a moment for the audio to start once play has been clicked)
What are you hungry for? What drives you? What is it that makes LIFE worth living? Everyone feeds their soul on something and finds their purpose and drive somewhere and today the passage of scripture that we unpack highlights this very thing. People searching for LIFE but somehow missing it completely. Have you ever felt that way? You just can't seem to attain the very thing that you think will finally bring fulfillment.
Nobody likes to be uncomfortable. We avoid discomfort at all costs if we can. We are creatures of habbit. Whether we are in church, a class or our favorite Starbucks we will go to the same seat if it is open every time. Why? Because that is familiar, it is comfortable. We have been told by every commercial we have ever seen that their product or service will bring us more comfort in our lives.
Like trees we have to make sure that our root system is strong and deep so that we can grow and live tall in the purpose and plan that God has for us and our lives. If we fail to nourish ourselves on the things that will last we will be like a withering tree that is pushed over at the slightest of storms. But even still we have hope! Even if we are a dried up stump there is still opportunity for us to flourish.
Tragedy seems to be all to regular of an occurrence these days. What do we do when we wake up to hear that another mass shooting has taken place, a hurricane has wiped out an entire island or region of the world, or that an earthquake has destroyed a country. What do we do when the questions begin to flood into our minds;
Our lives are filled with risks. Some of us relish in them, even seek them out. Others of us are what you might call ourselves averse to risk in any of its forms. But the truth is we all face risks every single day. But even if we seek out risk we all have our limits. We all have a point where we say "No way, I'm not going to go there. That is just too risky."
When we begin to hear the voice of the Lord in our lives; it is at that moment that we truly begin to find and hear our own voice for the first time. Or should I say the voice that God intended for us. All of us at one point or another in our lives have searched for our voice in this world. We have searched for our identity, our purpose.
Just like in NBC's singing competition "The Voice", many times as Christians, we feel that we are giving it all we have, belting out the song of our lives, just waiting and hoping that God's chair will turn. That he will choose us, speak to us, guide us and mentor us. Have you ever wanted to hear the voice of God in your life, but feel that you never will?
We all love interruptions. Right? (I'm guessing you are shaking your head right now with me) No we loath interruptions. We look to avoid them whenever we can. But what if God saw our interruptions as Opportunities? Is there anything that we might learn from Jesus' response to the interruptions of life? Is it possible that we would see them differently?