Friday, June 29, 2012

The Water

Psalm 65:9 (NIV)
You care for the land and water it;
    you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
    to provide the people with grain,
    for so you have ordained it
What is it about sitting by the water that brings such peace and causes me to reflect on God’s character?  It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a; river, a lake, the ocean or even a pool. 
For me this week it’s the lake.  I’m drawn to the water and every time I’m there I find myself reflecting on God’s work in my life.  I think about the way He has gently led me throughout my life. 
You can’t help but think about these things when you’re near water.  Perhaps it’s the peaceful setting or maybe it’s the expanse which seems to nourish everything nearby and reminds us of the greatness of our Creator.
I’ve often wondered if God created large bodies of water just so we’d be reminded of His greatness, His provision for us and His care over His creation.
The Psalmist in Psalm 23:1, 2 reminds us how God leads us in ways that nourish us;
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Did you catch that?  God gives us just what we need and we lack nothing.
So this summer if you find yourself vacationing near the water be reminded that God is watching over His creation.  He cares for His children and He leads us in paths that nourish.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

More Important than Worship

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24(NIV)

Have you ever felt like God’s work in your life is being hindered? Does your spiritual life seem stale at times? A youth pastor friend of mine experienced that very thing in his youth group. He said students were not responding to the teaching of the Bible as they once had, and the teens did not seem to be growing in their faith.

Upon closer examination, he realized there was dissension in the group. Several of the kids had broken relationships with other kids in the group.

He decided to give his students an opportunity to confess wrongs to each other at the beginning of their worship time. He said a number of students immediately accepted the challenge. They got up and went over to other kids in the room to acknowledge sin, ask forgiveness, and make things right. After a few moments, students all over the room were mending broken relationships.

This youth pastor said after this exciting experience, he began each youth meeting with a time for reconciliation. He began to see God work in unusual ways in the lives of his students. The group began to grow, and a number of students who had no previous spiritual interest began new relationships with God. There was also a fresh response to the teaching of God’s Word!

Do you desire for God to do a fresh work in your life? Is it possible a relationship needs to be mended before God can begin? It’s certainly something to consider this month as we think about relationships.