Stepping to the microphone I close my eyes and breathe.
The music builds. I hear my cue.
My voice soars in devotion to the King.
It feels good – on key and from the heart.
I open my eyes and scan the congregation. Are they engaged? They seem disconnected. Is it me? My voice? The song?
Instantly the devotion drops and the performance begins.
The song ends and I take my seat. I open the pew bible to Matthew 6.
Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
I don’t know about you, but I often find myself in the battle between humbleness and confidence.
I suppose it all goes back to intention.
What were Jesus’ intentions in His public ministry?
…the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:15-16
I’m not for sure I could be that disciplined. If the crowds were coming out to see me, would I check my intentions at the door – or would I plunge into popularity head first?
But Jesus knew the source of His strength. He knew He needed to step away in private to refresh and refuel and not rely on His human nature.
If Jesus, being true God, needed to stop and spend time with His Father, how much more should we being made in His likeness? (Genesis 5)
Catherine Martin writes in Passionate Prayer “The time you spend with God in private will make you who you are in public.” She continues “Your life of prayer is the secret to faithful service to God, wisdom in ministry, and power in living.”
My ministry continues with full intention on remaining humble in prayer, but confident in Christ’s work through my life.
Does this mean we can’t be bold in our public life? Absolutely not! The more quiet time you spend with Him, the more “microphone time” He’ll expect of you!
Can’t wait to hear what God’s placed on your heart in regards to prayer today. Please link up in the comments!
It’s day 2 of the 10 Day Diet Challenge. And you made it back! Great job! Read Day 1′s welcome for more information. And remember, every comment counts (even you facebook friends)!
Thoughtful insight from Knowing God by J.I. Packer:
If I know God then (more importantly) He Knows Me
I am graven on the palms of His hand
I am never out of His mind
He knew me first
He knows me as a friend
He loves me
His eye never leaves me
There is no moment when His care falters
Pursuing the Holy One is an amazing, daunting task. But one to strive for nonetheless. We may never completely succeed, but we will gain much in the pursuit.
Looking at our selected verses for today, we get a picture of Christ supreme.
- He is the image of our invisible God
- the rightful heir of eternal life
- Jesus is the Word which spoke life into creation
- He is Sovereign – holding all things together
- Christ is our salvation
Verse 19 sums it up this way:
God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him [Jesus]
Knowing Christ is knowing the Lord of All. Jesus said it this way in John 14:6-11:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.
To know Jesus is to know the prince of the kingdom.
To know Jesus is to know the One who created you.
To know Jesus is to know who sustains you.
To know Jesus is to know the One who rescues you.
To know Jesus is to know who cherishes you.
Day 2 Challenge: What happens in you life when you KNOW? Looking honestly at your life, what needs to change in light of the knowledge of the Holy One? What can you do today to KNOW Jesus more?
Subscribe to Heart Reflections by Email—>Have the 10 day diet sent directly to your inbox!
For further consideration:
It was over a year ago that I began this blog. On my mind was this exact topic “Who is God?” Read the posts below to see how the knowledge of the Holy changed my walk with God.
Is water the most amazing substance, or what?
Have you ever thought of all the uses of water before?
- it quenches your thirst
- you dive into a pool of it
- it steams your vegetables
- makes up most of your body
- creates energy (think of dams)
- helps the grass, plants, weeds grow
- removes dirt on bodies, clothes, dishes
- essential to fire fighters
- _______ what else?
This struck me the other day when this sweet little baby was baptized.
Is she not the sweetest baby you’ve seen online today?! (She’s my niece and godchild!)
Now, let’s not get into a debate about infant baptism… but let’s agree how cool God is! God does not need to use an everyday substance like water to bring His children into the kingdom – but He does!
Time and time again Jesus used the everyday to highlight the heavenly:
- mixed spit and dirt to heal a blind man
- fed thousands with a young boy’s lunch
- called Himself the bread of life
Look for eternity today in your everyday moments!
Fact or Fiction?
Let’s pick apart the response – “Just be a good person.”
- What constitutes good? Is “good” saving the life of an innocent victim on a highway crash? Or can you be “good” by picking up your neighbor’s trash? If God wanted us to be good wouldn’t he have laid out the rules a little more clearly?
- How many good things do I need to do? Is 51% of my life in the green good enough to get in? Or do I need a passing A, 90%?
- What happens when I’m not so good? Do I have to make up for my ugly behavior? And who is keeping track?
[A great little book that speaks more on this subject is Since Nobody's Perfect, How Good is Good Enough by Andy Stanley. For the cost of shipping, I'll be happy to send you a copy.]
What’s the alternative? Taking Jesus FOR REAL!
Take a look at what Jesus said.
- For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:16-18
- I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24
- For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:40
Christianity, plain and simple, is following the truth of Jesus. He came, He lived, He died, He rose & He rules today.
Want more on the subject? Listen to preacher-man (my hubby) speak on this issue.
To begin please read Mark 1:40-45.
What strikes you about this passage?
- is it the healing itself?
- the sick man’s faith?
- Jesus’ response “I am willing”?
Let’ s look at Mark 1:43-45 again.
Jesus sent him [the healed man] away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places.
The healing COST Jesus. It cost Jesus His freedom. He had to stay away from the people He came to be with. That must have been a struggle. Although, we see in the Bible where Jesus goes off to a solitary place to commune with His Father, here we see Him lonely. People now wanted the power that Jesus offered – not the person – not a relationship. I’m sure that burdened His soul.
It’s amazing to me that Jesus, the Son of God, experienced loneliness. Have you ever been lonely? Then you know that it seems like NO ONE understands, or no one cares. Yet, here we see Jesus, given all authority on heaven and earth, feel loneliness in His core being.
Here I find comfort. Jesus understands. He’s been there. Hebrews 4:14-16 says:
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
How about you? What’s on Your Mind? Can’t wait to read your thoughts. Please either leave your thoughts or let us know you have a post up in the comment section.
(Tomorrow, The Kettle Club!)