Thirst for God

thirsty

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by David Cathers:

King David’s enemies had chased him into the wilderness, away from the ark of God, the symbol of the Lord’s glory and strength. As he fled for his life, the dry wilderness prompted him to think of the thirst his soul had for God. David wrote, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek you;” (Ps 63:1a), to express the earnest desire he had for God.

In spite of his physical separation from the sanctuary of God, David found satisfaction in praising God, for it brought joy and comfort to his heart.

David sought after God early in the morning and praised him in the evening. “My mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night.” (Ps 63:5b-6)

King David was by no means a perfect person, but the Bible does describe him as a “man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam 13:14). Perhaps one of the steps to gaining this title ourselves is to be a man or woman after God’s heart. Are we seeking after Him early in the morning? Are we meditating and praising him into the night when we go to bed?

It’s very easy to run to other things when we are stressed and afraid that things in our life aren’t turning out as we expected. We often turn to entertainment, comfort food, money, new stuff, and sin in all its forms, thinking these things will ease the pain and suffering we are experiencing.

What do we thirst for? What do we seek? Who do we worship? Let it be God, early in the morning and into the evening.

Still Changing

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Dan Looney:

ChangeIt’s been almost two years since I wrote the following Pastor to Person. I suppose we all know that storms come and storms go—or do they? Some folks are out in the cold, wind and rain, storm after storm, and they can’t see an end to it all. Pray for the mentally ill, the depressed, the drug and alcohol addicted and their children. Prayer changes things.

 

How quickly things change. Most of us don’t like the changes we’ve been through, and we are not looking forward to what lies ahead. At least this is the case when the changes are not seen as something good.

A lost job can cause unimaginable stress in a household. A sick child will bring devastating worry and grief. Deaths and divorce are all things we expect to hit us like a hurricane. We fall onto our knees and cry out to our Jesus for comfort and peace through the storm.

What about those who don’t know Jesus? Are they left on their own? We know that our God loves them, wants to comfort them, give them hope, and open their eyes. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Can we praise God through the storms? It may make the difference in a friend or family member’s eternity. They will be watching. Will they see Jesus?

True Beauty

Lord Youre Beautiful

Today’s Pastor to Person article was written by Dave Dunagan –

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the things of this world. We can invest so much time and effort in the seeking of and in the fulfillment of our pleasures and desires. All one has to do is turn on the television and we are immediately, and even subconsciously, bombarded by all the things that Madison Avenue is telling us that we need. We are told that all the cool people are driving this model of car and that all the beautiful people are wearing this latest fashion. Whatever tickles your fancy… go for it!

Now I don’t think there is anything wrong with doing some research on your next purchase, but I want to encourage you to pay attention to the one thing that is really important.

King David said, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. (Psalm 27:4)

Beloved, are we seeking after those things that the world has to offer, or are we seeking after something greater? There is an old song that says… “This world is not my home, I’m just a-passin’ through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.”

God tells us in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (NIV)

Oh to dwell in the house of the Lord, to behold His beauty… You can’t get that on Amazon.com!

Hope in a Hard Place

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Drew Morehouse:

sunrise-over-the-mountainsAll those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!” (Psalm 22:7-8 NKJV)

There may come a time in our life when the unbelievers we know mock us because of the situation we find ourselves in. If we have done something wrong, then we need to admit it quickly so as not to give them an opportunity to blaspheme, but if we are there through no fault of our own, we need to hold fast to our faith.

This is what Jesus did while enduring the cross. He had been brought to the “dust of death” (Ps. 22:15), yet He knew that God would not allow His “Holy One to see corruption.” (Ps. 16:10) This gave Him the confidence to look forward to the day when His present circumstances would be overcome, and He would testify of God’s power in the midst of the church.

This should give us hope. No matter what happens, if we hold fast, there will come a day when we, too, will say with Him, “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.” (Psalm 22:22)

Hearing His Voice

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by David Cathers:

The hearing of the word of the LORD was rare in those days. The priesthood was corrupt. Full of greed and lust, they kept the best of the sacrifices for themselves and committed adultery in the house of the LORD. Even Eli the high priest, dulled to the voice of the LORD, looked the other way while his sons sinned. The LORD would condemn their blasphemies.

But God spoke to Samuel, and Samuel listened. “And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the LORD.” (1 Samuel 3:18-19) His calling was established not by his violent outrage over the injustices the priests had committed, nor by subverting the leadership in a coup, but by hearing and by obedience to the word of the LORD. It was the LORD that brought justice.

There is power in the word of the Lord. He speaks and it surely comes to pass. It is like a sharp sword in battle. It cuts and it brings life. When it goes out, it does not return empty-handed.  Jesus told us that, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

I fear we are again in a time where the hearing of the word of the LORD is rare. There is much greed and corruption in leadership, and public outrage and violence in response. Rather than answering evil for evil, we ought to seek God’s word and obey. May we be like Samuel and learn to listen to the LORD, and answer His voice with, “Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears.”

Shepherd

Good_ShephardThis week’s Pastor to Person was written by Dan Looney:

The word “Shepherd” can be defined as “a person, who herds, tends and guards sheep” or “a person who protects, guides, or watches over a person or group of people.”

Psalm 23 is a scripture most of us are familiar with, and it seems the older I get the more familiar it gets. Recently, I attended a memorial service for an old friend. During his service, they read Psalm 23, and I think I heard it in a different way this time. I, along with many Christians, struggle with why my prayers are not answered with the results I am looking for. What does this mean?  For me it means that I don’t necessarily know what is best for me. It takes little hindsight to see that this is true.

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures”, but do I rest? He leads me beside the still waters”, but do I drink? “I will fear no evil; For You are with me”, yet I fear. “He leads me in the paths of righteousness”, and we still wander off into the woods from time to time.

As Christians we are not just sheep, we are also shepherds. We are sheep to our Lord Jesus, and we are shepherds to others that are searching for Him. Are we leading others into rough terrain and turbulent waters with our actions or attitudes? We all need to answer this question. My friend, Carl, who just went home to Jesus, was a shepherd to me and didn’t even know it. Without a word, I knew Carl was a Christian. His mannerisms and work ethic were a witness that Jesus was his Lord. Who is watching you?

We are beggars, showing other beggars where to find bread.

Faithful and True

god is faithful treeThis week’s Pastor to Person was written by Drew Morehouse:

“I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant. Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord!” (Joshua 24:13-14 NKJV)

When it came time for Joshua to die, he prophesied to the children of Israel and reminded them that the Lord had fulfilled all of His promises. A land flowing with milk and honey had been provided and not one word of God had failed. The Lord showed Himself faithful, and because of this, Joshua encouraged them to trust in Him and to serve Him.

We, too, have received promises from the Lord. A city not made with hands and an everlasting kingdom. These things are yet in our future, but some things have already come to pass. We being branches of a wild olive tree, have been grafted in amongst the natural ones. We are now sustained by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We should also serve the Lord and put away the gods that we served before we came to know Him. We can be confident that just as the Lord fulfilled His promises to Israel, He will fulfill them to us because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Listen

This week’s Pastor to Person is written by Dave Dunagan:

ListenThe world we live in is a busy place, filled with many distractions. It’s easy for our lives to get filled up with so much “stuff” we barely have time to breathe. Some have to get up at the crack of dawn just to make it in to work on time, only to return home late in the evening tired and worn out. Others spend most of the day shuttling the kids all over town, from school, to the library, to soccer practice, and then back home. By the time the day is over, we are too tired for much of anything. All we want to do is to zone out for the remainder of the evening before we have to start the cycle all over again in the morning.

Psalm 46:10 tells us to “Be still, and know that I am God”. Beloved, sometimes we need to slow down, be still, and listen for the voice of the Lord.

When the Lord spoke to Philip in Acts 8:26 saying, “Arise and go”, Philip was listening. The Lord used Philip in a mighty way to share the good news of Jesus Christ to the Ethiopian Eunuch.

 Beloved, if we don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to hear God and a chance to serve Him, we need to be listening for His voice. May the Lord help us all to slow down from our hectic schedules and spend just a few precious minutes with Him. 1 Samuel 3:9…”Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”

Christ is Risen

He Is Risen-Easter (title)

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Drew Morehouse:

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, and will say, ‘Destroy!’” (Deuteronomy 33:27 NKJV)

Christ is risen! Death is defeated! Our Lord Jesus Christ has thrust out the enemy and destroyed the works of the devil! Today as we celebrate His resurrection, rejoice! His resurrection can be our resurrection. We who were once bound by the power of death (Heb. 2:15) can find refuge in the everlasting arms of God. We who were once separated from God by our sin can now be united with Him for all eternity. The Door has been opened. If we enter by Him we will be saved. (John 10:9) What an awesome reality.

“To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-6)

Today is the Day

God_speaks_are_you_listening

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Drew Morehouse:

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’” (Deuteronomy 18:15-16 NKJV)

When the children of Israel saw the Lord descend upon the mountain, they were scared to death. There was so much light, smoke, fire and noise that they could not listen to God and told Moses to speak to them instead. Moses had this day in mind when he told them of the One who was to come. When the time came for this Prophet to appear, God answered their prayer and sent Him much more quietly, in the form of “a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12) This Prophet is the Lord Jesus Christ. He was “gentle and lowly of heart” (Matt. 11:29) so that they would not be afraid to approach Him as they once were at the foot of the mountain. He spoke to Israel the “words of eternal life.” (John 6:68), and He is still speaking them to us today. How can we hear him? It’s not that hard. He speaks through the Gospels. He speaks from the cross. He speaks through the empty tomb. We as church goers have every opportunity to hear Him. The question is are we listening? In His mercy, God has seen fit to meet with us here and now, but it will not last forever. There will come a day when He again descends in power and His appearing will be like lightning in the sky. Then the time for listening will be over. Today is the day of salvation.