Thursday, May 31, 2018

God is Sovereign - God Can Do All Things Summer Series

Then Job answered the LORD and said: “I know that You can do all things,
and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted." Job 42:1-6 NASB

IF you can find time, read Job chapters 38-41 to fully grasp the magnitude of Almighty God. In these verses, God confronts Job’s arrogance with a series of questions that proclaim the complete power of God Almighty. God asks Job who and where andwhen did you create the world and all its glory? Have you and do you know and can you explain how all things work? These Scriptures expose the greatness of an all-powerful Creator. With great humility, Job responds that God’s power exceeds everything.

The story of Job invites us to witness human suffering up close. From great abundance to complete despair, Job struggles to understand his tragedies, but he misses the most important point. God is Sovereign! God asks us the same questions that He asks Job, and in reply, we must confess that God’s ways are higher, beyond our finite minds. Like Job, we should respond with awe and gratitude, “I've been talking about things far too wonderful for me!” 

Lord, I constantly talk about things I do not understand, worry about situations I cannot control, try to plan my future without even grasping my present life. Expose my pride and weariness, my doubt and anxiety, my self-righteousness. Great is Your faithfulness. –dho

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Come To The Table - God Can Do All Things Summer Series

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG 

Just as summer is beginning, let’s take a moment to breathe... in AND out! The hurry of  school year is ending, adventures with less routine are beginning. Summer gives us the permission we sometimes need to slow down, take a longer lunch, listen to the birds, watch a sunset. In these times we can see ourselves more clearly, identify the stressors we can change, recognize our need for God. 

I’m sharing this song, a newer song from Sidewalk Prophets that is a new favorite of mine. Take a few minutes to listen to Jesus calling... calling each of us to His Table, calling each of us to rest, calling each of us to learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I hope you hear Jesus calling... come to the table! -dho

      Come To The Table  (click this link to hear!)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Holy Wind

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a noise like a strong, blowing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw something like flames of fire that were separated and stood over each person there.  They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak different languages by the power the Holy Spirit was giving them.” Acts 2:1-4 NCV

Jewish history recounts that the curtains in the Temple that separate the Most Holy Place would sometimes move and describes this phenomenon as Rauch HaKodesh, a Hebrew phrase meaning “Breath of the Holies”. In the Old Testament, the Jewish people understand the Holy Spirit to be God’s influence over humanity and the universe. In Psalm 51:11 David pleads with God, “Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.” God always desires to dwell in the presence of His people.

After Jesus ascends back to heaven, as promised, the Holy Spirit descends to His followers. The Holy Spirit is the Helper, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. Now, Jesus sits at the right hand of God, and the Holy Spirit becomes God’s Presence with us. This Sunday May 20, 2018, is Pentecost Sunday, the day of celebration of the Holy Spirit coming to be with those who follow Jesus.  

Holy Spirit, come alongside of me and breathe holy life into my thoughts, my purpose, my service. In You I know the presence of the Lord. Holy Wind, embrace me, encourage me, empower me. Count me alive in Christ. Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. - dho 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Living Stones

“Come to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by the people, but He is precious to God who chose Him. And now God is building you, as living stones, into His spiritual temple. What’s more, you are God’s holy priests, who offer the spiritual sacrifices that please Him because of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4-5 NLT

Peter’s words declare Christ as the foundation of the church, and those who follow Christ become the living stones that God uses to build His church. This reference does not suggest literal buildings, rather the building of the church as a community of believers. When the curtain in the Temple is torn in two, every believer gains direct access to God. Rejected but resurrected, Jesus creates a New Way back to God. Christ, the Great High Priest, makes the last and ultimate blood sacrifice for sin. Through Grace we can enter into the Presence of God as His holy priests

God always desires to have a dwelling place with His people, first in the tabernacle, later in the temple, then on earth in Christ, and now within each believer through the Holy Spirit. God’s presence resides in the community of believers, the body of Christ, the church. Holy God, infinite in wisdom, I try to imagine Your mystery but cannot understand such love, cannot comprehend such power, cannot explain such mercy. My sacrifice of praise is endless. Count me alive in Christ. Let this living stone glorify You! – dho 

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Spiritual Temple

 “You must make your heart a spiritual temple,
a temple where you can go to adore Him incessantly.”
Brother Lawrence

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.”

To effectively spread the Gospel, understanding the cultural language is of great importance. Paul brings the message of Christ to Athens, Greece, a great center of culture and philosophy. Greek intellectuals frequently challenge each other. In an attempt to introduce the Gospel message, Paul reaches into their world of curiosity and idols, uses common language, and draws them into his story. Starting in the marketplace, the Greeks take Paul to their official court, and there he preaches the Good News. While there are some who mock Paul, some walk away unsure, but others believe. The Holy Spirit breathes new life into those whose faith confesses Jesus as Redeemer.

As Christians, we find great comfort in knowing that God chooses us, forgives us, and calls us through Christ. God marks us as His own with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians says, “The Spirit is God’s guarantee the He will give us everything He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people.”Whether we encounter opposing philosophies or cultural apostasy, the Promises of God always remain. El Shaddai, You are the Great I AM, the All Sufficient One who chooses me! Through Your Promises, I discover my identity in Christ. Your Spirit breathes new life into me, creating a spiritual temple within me. Count me alive in Christ. Praises keep rising to You! – dho