New Horizons.

Housefires are a worship collective from America. You may not have heard of them, but I’m sure most will be familiar with their song “Good, Good Father.” I’ve loved their music for a few years now (since before it was cool) and it was great to see them at Big Church Day Out this year. Once was on the main stage, then that evening in the much more intimate worship tent. What I love about them is that they are primarily worshipers themselves rather then performers – we just worshiped with them.

One of the songs on their newest release is called “The way (New Horizon). The song affirms that whatever life throws at us, whether battles or blessings whether promises or heartbreak that He is “the way, the truth the life.”

It goes on to say that “It’s a new horizon and I’m set on You

And You meet me here today with mercies that are new

All my fears and doubts, they can all come too

Because they can’t stay long when

I believe You are, the way, the truth, the life.”

There is something about that refrain that has kept me coming back to it again and again.

Each day brings a new horizon. Yesterday has gone. Whether it was a good day or bad it doesn’t matter. We can’t go back there, and besides, God has new things for us today.

Sometimes though there are persistent troubles that come our way. Maybe there is stress at work and you can’t see a way out. Perhaps you or someone you love is suffering and doctors seem helpless. The more you think and dwell on your situation, the more you worry about things. Fear that things will only get worse. Doubt over whether God cares, or indeed is able to do anything about it.

My experience is that focusing on the problem will never solve it. The solution is not found in the problem. The solution to the problem is found in Jesus.

I need to focus on Him. I need to believe that He IS the way, the truth, the life. I’ve found that when I do, it doesn’t matter what my fears and doubts are – they don’t stay long. Fear and doubt aren’t from God, so when I’m in His presence, they disappear.

There is a comfort and peace found in the presence of Jesus that makes my mountains seem like ant hills. They don’t always them disappear – but they are brought into perspective against a God who can do more than I can ask or imagine.

What fears and doubts in your life need to be brought into perspective today?

Can I encourage you to remember that He is, the way, the truth , the life.

(Check out the song that inspired the blog here https://youtu.be/uCfveSHHwXo)

Devoted?

devoted

 

During church recently, someone gave their lives to Jesus. The celebrations in the building were great. I can only imagine what was going on in heaven. The presence of God was tangible. This person felt Holy Spirit speaking to them and responded. For me, this is what Christianity is all about. It doesn’t get any better than this.  Afterwards however, as I pondered such an awesome day, I felt dissatisfied. Of course, one more soul in the Kingdom is awesome, but I want more than one every now and again. If there is something I can do to improve that number it has to be worth it – but what? The early church seemed to get it right. We read in Acts 2 that “the Lord added to their number day by day those that were being saved.”

Verse 42 tells us us that the beginning of this occurring was from the devotion of the believers to the teaching of the apostles, fellowship with each other, the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Most of those reading this go to church on a Sunday, listen to the sermon, participate in communion if it’s happening that week, and say a amen each and every prayer. For some, the best part is the fellowship that happens after the service.

Devotion to these things however is a different thing all together.

The word translated as “devoted” here is proskartereō. The blue letter bible app defines this word as follows.

to adhere to one, be his adherent, to be devoted or constant to one

to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing

to continue all the time in a place

to persevere and not to faint

to show one’s self courageous for

to be in constant readiness for one, wait on constantly

Most of us are far too busy to spend all our time in one place. Lunch is calling. Homework for the kids, and preparations for the week ahead beckon. My question is, are we hoping Church can be over, so we can get on with life, or are we “steadfastly attentive to” what is being taught. Are we asking the Holy Spirit how we can apply it to our lives in the coming week? Are we using what is taught to shape the way we live our lives?   Do we trust our leaders to lead us to God, or is church just something we do on a Sunday morning?

Will we commit to pray together?  Or just when someone with the microphone prays, but together. Will we pray with expectation?  Acts tells us that when this happened, many signs and wonders happened through the apostles. Which of us would wouldn’t long for more signs and wonders in the church?  Not for the signs and wonders themselves, but because they point to the give of these gifts.

We have just had a week of prayer. I know that prayers were answered. Prayer is the muscle that moves heaven. Your prayers are important. Souls in the Kingdom for eternity is the prize – its too important not to. In my experience, prayer isn’t just good for others, it’s good for me too. There is nothing like a clearly answered prayer to build my faith that God can and will do it again.

I believe that if we pray together, asking God to do the impossible amongst us (for who can turn a heart towards God if not God himself), and devote ourselves to the teaching of our leaders, to do what God is teaching us through them, and applying it to our lives, trusting it is a word in season, that we will see signs, wonders and more people coming to know the love of a Father. Is that your heart’s desire? Do you feel that there is more to the Christian life that “Pie in the sky when you die”?

I know this is a very simplistic interpretation of the text, that there are other things we need to do too – but I can’t help feeling that if we don’t do the things that are spelled out for us, the more “complicated” things will become easier too.

Let’s push into all that God has for us – I promise it will be worth it.