Thursday, September 29, 2016

Jesus Reconciles All Things

The Sovereignty of God
The Sovereignty of God


Imprint of God

Colossians 1:15-20  The Message

Christ Holds It All Together

15-18 We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
18-20 He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

For Reflection
We are restored into God's household.  We are reconciled by the blood of Christ.  Christ holds us together.  Christ, the discarded stone, becomes the cornerstone of our redemption.  We are restored into the life God willed for us.  Say yes to God's call.  Say yes to obedience to God's gentle guidance. Say yes to the blessings of grace.

Pray
for strength in the face of uncertainty.  Pray for confidence in the Lord.  Pray for courage to follow in the way of Christ.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

From Death to Life

The Sovereignty of God
The Sovereignty of God


Imprint of God

John 5:24-27  The Message

24 “It’s urgent that you listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living.
25-27 “It’s urgent that you get this right: The time has arrived—I mean right now!—when dead men and women will hear the voice of the Son of God and, hearing, will come alive. Just as the Father has life in himself, he has conferred on the Son life in himself. And he has given him the authority, simply because he is the Son of Man, to decide and carry out matters of Judgment.

For Reflection
How do we align ourselves with the Father?  Will doing good works align us?  Will membership in a Christian fellowship align us?  Will regular attendance to church services align us?  Will keeping God's commandments align us. Does it just take doing one of these things or do we need to do them all.

None of these things will align you with the father unless you do these things in response to your love of God.  In prayer we show our love of God. Even if our prayers are angry, praying recognizes the sovereignty of God.

Pray
that you will live your life as though you love God.  Pray that you will recognize God as the most important being in your life.  Pray that you will put God first. last and always in your life's journey.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Receiving Grace upon Grace

The Sovereignty of God
The Sovereignty of God


Imprint of God

John 1:15-18 he Message (MSG)

15 John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.”
16-18 We all live off his generous bounty,
        gift after gift after gift.
    We got the basics from Moses,
        and then this exuberant giving and receiving,
    This endless knowing and understanding—
        all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.
    No one has ever seen God,
        not so much as a glimpse.
    This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
        who exists at the very heart of the Father,
        has made him plain as day.


For Reflection
We study the life of Christ so that we will begin to know and understand God's intentions for our lives.  Christ shows how to live righteous lives. God heaps grace upon grace.  All we have to do is accept God's grace and our lives will be changed eternally.

Pray
Pray and listen to your soul.  Pray that you will open your internal being in such ways that your external persona will match your internal one.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Becoming Children of God

The Sovereignty of God
The Sovereignty of God


Imprint of God

John 1:1-14  The Message

The Life-Light

1-2 The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
    God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
    in readiness for God from day one.
3-5 Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
    and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
    the darkness couldn’t put it out.
6-8 There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light.
9-13 The Life-Light was the real thing:
    Every person entering Life
    he brings into Light.
He was in the world,
    the world was there through him,
    and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to his own people,
    but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him,
    who believed he was who he claimed
    and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
    their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
    not blood-begotten,
    not flesh-begotten,  Our
    not sex-begotten.
14 The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish.
 
For Reflection
 
GOD, THE CREATOR!

God created the universe, created humans and placed us in it.  God set us free to choose and guided our choices.  God blessed us and disciplined us.  And then God sent a piece of God's self, Jesus, so that we could see our souls in the image of God.  Our souls, our true selves, our interior lives that reflect God who created us.  You and I carry the imprint of God. Prayer is the key to unlock God's power.



Pray
Pray every day.  Pray every hour of that day.  Pray every second of that day.  Make your lives a living prayer in response to God's love and grace.  Pray now about everything.  Pray about nothing.  Invite God to feed your soul.

Friday, September 23, 2016

With Everlasting Love and Compassion

The Sovereignty of God

Foundations of the Earth


Isaiah 42:5-9  The Message

The God Who Makes Us Alive with His Own Life

5-9 God’s Message,
    the God who created the cosmos, stretched out the skies,
    laid out the earth and all that grows from it,
Who breathes life into earth’s people,
    makes them alive with his own life:
“I am God. I have called you to live right and well.
    I have taken responsibility for you, kept you safe.
I have set you among my people to bind them to me,
    and provided you as a lighthouse to the nations,
To make a start at bringing people into the open, into light:
    opening blind eyes,
    releasing prisoners from dungeons,
    emptying the dark prisons.
I am God. That’s my name.
    I don’t franchise my glory,
    don’t endorse the no-god idols.
Take note: The earlier predictions of judgment have been fulfilled.
    I’m announcing the new salvation work.
Before it bursts on the scene,
    I’m telling you all about it.”

For Reflection
God called Christ to be a living covenant to each of us.  We not longer have to live in the dark prisons of our own making.  We can choose to be free.  We can choose to be a child of God

Pray
so that you become closer to God.  Pray often.  Pray about anything.  Pray about every thing.  Pray in private and listen for God's call.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Glory of the Nation Restored

The Sovereignty of God
The Sovereignty of God


Foundations of the Earth

I

Isaiah 60:19-22The Message (MSG)

What’s That We See in the Distance?

8-22 “What’s that we see in the distance,
    a cloud on the horizon, like doves darkening the sky?
It’s ships from the distant islands,
    the famous Tarshish ships
Returning your children from faraway places,
    loaded with riches, with silver and gold,
And backed by the name of your God, The Holy of Israel,
    showering you with splendor.
Foreigners will rebuild your walls,
    and their kings assist you in the conduct of worship.
When I was angry I hit you hard.
    It’s my desire now to be tender.
Your Jerusalem gates will always be open
    —open house day and night!—
Receiving deliveries of wealth from all nations,
    and their kings, the delivery boys!
Any nation or kingdom that doesn’t deliver will perish;
    those nations will be totally wasted.
The rich woods of Lebanon will be delivered
    —all that cypress and oak and pine—
To give a splendid elegance to my Sanctuary,
    as I make my footstool glorious.
The descendants of your oppressor
    will come bowing and scraping to you.
All who looked down at you in contempt
    will lick your boots.
They’ll confer a title on you: City of God,
    Zion of The Holy of Israel.
Not long ago you were despised refuse—
    out-of-the-way, unvisited, ignored.
But now I’ve put you on your feet,
    towering and grand forever, a joy to look at!
When you suck the milk of nations
    and the breasts of royalty,
You’ll know that I, God, am your Savior,
    your Redeemer, Champion of Jacob.
I’ll give you only the best—no more hand-me-downs!
    Gold instead of bronze, silver instead of iron,
    bronze instead of wood, iron instead of stones.
I’ll install Peace to run your country,
    make Righteousness your boss.
There’ll be no more stories of crime in your land,
    no more robberies, no more vandalism.
You’ll name your main street Salvation Way,
    and install Praise Park at the center of town.
You’ll have no more need of the sun by day
    nor the brightness of the moon at night.
God will be your eternal light,
    your God will bathe you in splendor.
Your sun will never go down,
    your moon will never fade.
I will be your eternal light.
    Your days of grieving are over.
All your people will live right and well,
    in permanent possession of the land.
They’re the green shoot that I planted,
    planted with my own hands to display my glory.
The runt will become a great tribe,
    the weakling become a strong nation.
I am God.
    At the right time I’ll make it happen.”


For Reflection
When God speaks of the "nation," God is not talking about America, England, Italy, or Canada.  God is speaking about the people of God, the Kingdom.  The Kingdom of God, has been, is, and will be.  God's Kingdom will be realized in full by all peoples in God's time.  God will make it happen.

Have you committed to the Kingdom of God?

Pray
that you will participate with God as a citizen of God's Kingdom.  Pray that your actions will be sanctified by the Holy Spirit.  Pray that  you will never lose sight of God.s Kingdom.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Exiles Will Return

The Sovereignty of God
The Sovereignty of God


Foundations of the Earth

Isaiah 60:1-7 The Message

People Returning for the Reunion

60 1-7 “Get out of bed, Jerusalem!
    Wake up. Put your face in the sunlight.
    God’s bright glory has risen for you.
The whole earth is wrapped in darkness,
    all people sunk in deep darkness,
But God rises on you,
    his sunrise glory breaks over you.
Nations will come to your light,
    kings to your sunburst brightness.
Look up! Look around!
    Watch as they gather, watch as they approach you:
Your sons coming from great distances,
    your daughters carried by their nannies.
When you see them coming you’ll smile—big smiles!
    Your heart will swell and, yes, burst!
All those people returning by sea for the reunion,
    a rich harvest of exiles gathered in from the nations!
And then streams of camel caravans as far as the eye can see,
    young camels of nomads in Midian and Ephah,
Pouring in from the south from Sheba,
    loaded with gold and frankincense,
    preaching the praises of God.
And yes, a great roundup
    of flocks from the nomads in Kedar and Nebaioth,
Welcome gifts for worship at my altar
    as I bathe my glorious Temple in splendor.
 
For Reflection
Conducting our life in ways that are predominately influenced by the common culture in which we live is very much like living in exile.  God made us in God's likeness.  Our natural state is not dominated by selfish desires, ambitions to become powerful, or ruthlessness.  Our natural state is to be loving, compassionate, just and forgiving beings as full of grace as God.  Responding the the living God  who resides within you is your ticked to burst out of exile and into a rich life as a child of God.  Who you are in the common culture is so much less than who you could be in the Kingdom of God.

Pray
that you will respond to God's call for reconciliation.  Pray that you will allow yourself to be filled with the glory of God.  Pray that you will always "bathe in the glorious temple.":