Thursday, August 28, 2014

Simplistic Faith- Pt 1

Greetings Everyone, 

Its been a few weeks since my last post so I thought it was about time for another one...

Throughout the summer God has been reminding me of the simplicity of faith in our lives. It has been a long road but I am beginning to understand it more an more every day. 

I have noticed in my own life and in the world around me that we tend to complicate faith beyond what we should. We get into sticky situations and begin to analyze every little detail and forget what really matters. It makes me wonder... "What ever happened to that 'child like faith' that Jesus taught us about in Mark chapter 10?"

Often, we look at the situations life places us in and say to ourselves "I can't believe I have to face this, what am I going to do" and forget that Jesus faced so much more and still maintained a very powerful faith . I know I'm guilty of it.

The reality is that as Hebrews 11:3 states that it is "By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen."

I am reminded of a book of letters from a simple monk that I often come back to in times such as these. "The Practice of the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence is a short and simple book that shows just how simple faith can be in life and the effect it can have on those around us. The revelations I have received from this book have forever changed me and I am grateful to be reminded of those changes this summer.

You see, God never promised that life would be easy he only promised that if we remained faithful to HIM, we would one day dwell with him. We may not understand what we are going though at this very moment (or even why) but it's not really our ob to understand. Our job is simply to believe that though Christ we are saved and that he is always with us.

I have more to say on this but for now I will leave you with these words of Jesus "I am with you always, even until the end of the age."

Thanks again for visiting "The Gathering Room"

Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV),



Monday, August 11, 2014

Lazarus Revealed- Our Story; Gods Glory

Greetings Everyone,

I've been thinking about what to write for my next post that co-insides with this idea that has been developing in my heart regarding "Our Story; Gods Glory". I've had a couple of thoughts I thought would be good to share but there has been one thought that has come up a lot more than the others...

The story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead is one of the more popular miracles in the gospel story and it is a very important story for several reasons. 

We often connect the story from John chapter 11 to the story in Luke chapter 10 that teaches about the difference between how Mary and Martha respond to Jesus....
Mary is pictured as the one who sits at Jesus feet listening to what he has to say and Martha is pictured as the one who focuses on serving. 
Other times we connect with the shortest verse in the Bible "Jesus Wept" that is found in John 10:35. Here we often talk about whether Jesus is weeping because he is sad that Lazarus his friend is dead or if he is weeping because of the lack of faith from the believers.

Most of all though, we connect with the fact that Jesus brought a dead person back to life and with the role that this story plays in the rest of the gospel.

I believe that all of the aspects of this story are very important to us as Christians. The aspect of this story that I have connected with the most this summer though has been the part of the story in which Jesus stops everything and simply prays...
“Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” John 11:41b-42 KNJV
As I began to think about this little prayer it reminded me of the example that Jesus sets for us through his life. I connect with the fact that In the midst of a very intense situation he simply stops and prays.  I think about what could possibly be going through Jesus' mind as he is praying this prayer and wonder if there is more to this prayer than the few lines mentioned in scripture. I know I can't speak for Jesus by any means but I imagine He could be saying something along the lines of... 
"Lord you know that I love you and you know I love these people. My heart breaks for them and their sufferings. Those around me doubt your glory and I long for them to see you. Use this part of my story to reveal your glory to them so they will believe in you. Show them who you are and give them the faith we both long to see in their hearts."
That mind set is a testament of who Jesus is and of who we are called to be in Christ. Often, it is very difficult to react that way in intense situations but I believe that when we strive to depend on God with everything he can help us get to that point in which we react to intense situations by doing just what he does. Stop and Pray. 

God wants to use Our Stories for HIS Glory and he has given us a wonderful example in the Life of Jesus to follow. As we begin to take time in our daily journey with HIM to pray through the tough situations we will begin to grow in unimaginable ways. The power of prayer is one of the most amazing tools we have if used properly. I have more to say on the topic of prayer but I will share that with you all another time :-). 

Thanks again for visiting "The Gathering Room"

Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV),