Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tebow Time!

Unless you have been living on another planet or have been in isolation, disconnected from any media, you are well aware of the phenomena known as "Tebowing." That is the prayer posture associated with the Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow has not kept his strong faith in Christ a secret (much to the dismay of some) and his open expression has been the talk of the sports world. There are many pictures posted on line of people and animals engaged in "Tebowing." Some who copy the quarterback's pose are themselves devoted Christians while others simply strike the pose just for fun at times in a mocking sort of way. What came to my attention last week is that those who are really not followers of Christ are actually lifting His name up unbeknownst to them. The Lord reminded me of a passage from Philippians  chapter 2 where Paul encourages believers to imitate Christ's humility. Paul states, "Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11) italics mine. Every time some one engages in "Tebowing" whether they acknowledge it openly or not, they are bowing their knee to the King of kings and Lord of lords! Ultimately every one shall bow to the Lord not in an insincere, irreverent way but in true respect, humility, and awe. Paul in Romans 14  quotes Isaiah 45 stating, "For we will all stand before God's judgement seat. It is written: "As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God." (Romans 14:11) Tim Tebow is reflecting in humility what will ultimately come to pass for all humanity. The Lord God Almighty will receive the glory and honor that is due Him from every race, tribe, and tongue. "Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!" (Revelation 5:13) AMEN!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Sheree

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Joy of The Lord

Happy New Year! I pray that you had a joyous Christmas and New Years! As we have entered a New Year I find myself entering a new season in my Christian journey. The season actually began last month as I began to fully experience the joy of the Lord. I have been a Christian for about 31 years now and it may sound unusual to hear me say I have finally experienced the joy of the Lord. Isn't that a given as Christians? Not necessarily. We can experience a lot of moments of fleeting happiness but joy comes from a deeper place within and comes from resting in the presence of the Lord. The Lord is always present with us as He promised in Matthew 28:20 that He would be with us even "to the very end of the age." However we can easily ignore the Lord's ever abiding presence and settle for momentary encounters with God. You know, those "feel good" experiences when everything is "right" in our private little world. In November I purchased a book called "Jesus Calling" written by a woman named Sarah Young. The book consists of meditations that she received from the Lord when she finally surrendered to being still enough to listen to Him speak to her spirit. She recorded these conversations in her personal journal which in turn she decided to share with everyone in her book. During the month of December, the meditations focused on God calling her and me to rest in His presence. To know I am fully loved, gifted, and called to serve the Lord and to trust Him completely. This trust involves completely surrendering to His love and to stop allowing others to dictate who I am and what I should and should not be doing in my service to God. When I was able to grasp this idea and really experience it in my inmost being, that is when I felt the joy flood in. I felt released from pretending and trying to satisfy other's expectations and sought to fulfill with God's ever abiding presence that for which He created me. The Lord subsequently pointed me to the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah went to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem after learning about the status of the remnant of Jews that survived the exile. During his efforts to rebuild the wall there were many who opposed him. But Nehemiah remained steadfast. In our lives, the difficulties of the past year, of unfulfilled dreams, and unexpected problems can be like that destroyed wall of Jerusalem. All our hopes lay in ruins on the ground. So as folks welcome in the New Year with food, drink, parties, and resolutions, there is an underlying hope that 2012 will be better. In Nehemiah's case, he didn't have to hope he could rebuild the wall but he knew he would rebuild the wall. Nehemiah's strength was in the joy of the Lord. The verse that caught my attention comes from chapter 8,  Nehemiah said to the people, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10) italics mine. That is what I take with me into 2012. The joy of the Lord is my strength and it will be what sustains me through the joys and the sorrows of this New Year. I pray you will consider surrendering to His love and resting in the joy of His presence.
Pastor Sheree