Friday, July 17, 2015

Look Upward, Look Outward

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Colossians 3:2-4

I believe that this is not a time for the church to wallow in negativity.  We need to be positive!  Though things around us may seem bad, I believe that this is the church’s finest hour. 

There’s so much going on in the world today that seems so disturbing.  Has it always been this bad?  Sometimes I wonder if it’s not so much that the world is getting worse, but the fact that we know so much.  At any moment, at our very fingertips, is a plethora of information.  We have 24-hour news broadcasts.  We have greater access into each other’s lives via things like Facebook and Twitter.  On one hand, we have access to a lot of cool information and the world is more connected.  On the other hand, I wonder if we really have better and more quality relationships.  And there’s a lot going on in the world that sometimes I’d rather just not know about. 

The prophet Daniel spoke of a future time when “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” (Daniel 12:4)  We are certainly living in those times.  Despite our knowledge, I am inclined to believe that things are getting worse.  Speaking regarding the end of the age, Jesus said that “lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12)  He also said that “many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” (vs. 10) 

But Jesus also said this:  “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (vs. 14)  This part gets me excited!  No matter how bad things get, there’s going to be some people who are burning bright for Jesus, filled with holy passion to see God’s kingdom established on earth. 

I think we need to really focus our eyes on God’s kingdom.  Our purpose is to experience His presence and to expand His kingdom on earth.  Our mission has not changed.  No matter what is going on around us, the Great Commission has not changed.  God is still a miracle-working God, a God of power who can do the impossible through us.  He can work miracles through your life, through my life, and touch others with the power of His love. 

Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”  I am disturbed just as much as you are regarding things going on in this world today.  I don’t think God expects us to live in a la-la dream world out of touch with the realities of what’s going on.  We should be concerned and we should pray.  But our prayers and compassion should move us to take positive action.

One of my favorite verses is in Matthew 9.  Verse 36 (NIV) says that when Jesus “saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”  Jesus’ compassion motivated him action, to touch hurting and broken humanity.    “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”  Look upward, my friends, our redemption is drawing near.  And look outward, my friends, the fields are ripe for harvest.  May we all take our place and do our part.  May our hearts burn with fire and passion for Jesus!    

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Holy, Dark Clouds of Thunder

holy, dark clouds of thunder
between the billowing smoke and the fire
is the gap between you and me
though I long for You, I cannot see Your face
still, You write Your words upon my heart
and I can hear Your song
as it reverberates through my soul
I sing into the darkness
crying out, that I may know You, that I may see Your face
that I may feel Your touch 
O Lord, would You hear me?
would you know me?
show me, show me, show me Your face
holy, dark clouds of thunder
You live in unapproachable light
beyond the gray, behind the veil
the journey from me to You is one of faith
O how You hide Yourself from me
I search the city streets
I search the forest deep
I scower every corner, every recess of my heart
hoping that I might find You
praying that somewhere I might see You
I search the mountain high
examine every stream
to find a glimpse of You
because I can see You hidden in everything
why do You hide Yourself from me
when I long to see You face to face?
holy, dark clouds of thunder
Your breath is like lightning
Your arms are like a vapor
Your face is a storm
but I will push through the rain to behold You
I will push through the night to see Your face
I will stand on the precipice and cry out
now, show me Your glory
may You and all Your goodness pass before my eyes
I will not proceed without Your presence
for Your presence is the day for me
the darkness is light to You
and the night is bright as day


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Dance With Me

dance with me and my broken heart
with the wind
you make all things new
from your box of treasures
you open up
the perfect heart for me
dance with me and my aching spirit
with the wind
you weep with me
from your love so pure and sweet
you give
a brand new heart to me
dance with me and my wounded soul
with the wind
you father me
in your swaying embrace
you whisper
you impart
the perfect heart to me