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March 2017

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I don't consult God enough. God should not be asked to micro-manage my life, but I need to pray about daily issues more than I do.

I would like to sit down at night and think ahead one day, than a week, then a month, then a year. Ask God about major issues and ask for guidance on what paths to take. I am just too sporadic about doing this process.

If I am not sure, I will strike down certain paths - trusting that the Lord will bring me back or change my direction as per his will.

I an very interested in seeing how others deal with their "vertical" connection.

To Mike's question about decision making I have been training myself as per Paul's admonition to Timothy, "train yourself to be godly", to "pray as if it all depends on God, but to work as if it all depends on me." I rememember J.I. Packer, author of Knowing God teach this in a systematic theology class many years ago. I think this adage has merit in that Paul says something to that effect in 1 Corinthians 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me." Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators, once quipped, "That God gave us a lot of leading when He gave us a brain." Granted our brains are messed up too with sin but we are told to keep on renewing our minds (Romans 12:1-2)'that you may be able to test and approve what God's will is."

On another note, I also love Matthew 12:21 "in his name will the nations put their hope." So many well intentioned mega church pastors today are declaring that 'the local church is the hope of the world.' I am a pastor, have been for just over 20 years of churches over a 1000. I can't honestly say that I believe the local church is the hope of the world. I have yet to find one verse to that effect. I do read that Christ in you is the hope of glory in Colossians 1:27 in a section where Paul speaks about the church. I agree with George Barna's recent comment in his latest book, Revolutionaries, "that if the local church is the hope of the world then the world has no hope." Shocking to be sure, but worth reading the book to find out why he makes such a daring statement. I think as usual Barna is speaking in the extreme but I do believe that today's verse reminds us where the focus in our local churches needs to be and that's on Jesus Christ, the hope of the nations--all the ethnic groups of the world. I sometimes wonder if we haven't shifted our hope from Jesus to well organized churches with high powered 'hot communicators' and efficiency has become the ruling value of the day in some of our churches not Jesus. I sometimes wonder if people in my own faith community are trusting more in me, our staff, and in our well run church than they are in the Lord Jesus. That thought haunts me.

Hi Luch,

This is just to encourage you to follow that haunting thought. How did Jesus intend His people to be? Where and how should we be manifesting His Kingdom? Is it really in these buildings, with these staff members, these organizations and programmes? I had a look at your church website - looks like you have a great building and a cool bunch of people on staff ... but is that it?

Grace and peace,
Andrew

Hi everyone,
Does anybody have anythoughts about the fact that in Genesis6:3 God said man would only live till 120yrs. old,yet Noah, Sarah, Abraham, & Isaac all lived longer than that.

andrew,

thanks for the insight and nudge to not ignore the 'hauntings'. I believe in community. In fact, after the gift of Jesus, I think the next greatest gift He gave us was community, but how that community gets worked out is another story. I've been seeking to work it out for the last 32 years. It's interesting that Luke 4:16 tells us that "Jesus went to synagogue 'as was his custom'. As messed up as the synagogue was, He still 'attended'. He must have seen something there worthwhile. It's interesting that even in their day 'the service' was interactive as opposed to just 'lecturing people'.

thanks again bro.

Luch

regarding the 120 yrs, it is likely that the time span refers to the years until the flood, rather than to the life span of humans. as you have noticed, lifespan makes little sense because people lived longer than that for quite some time after. the 'years until the flood' idea is probable and makes sense of the data.

Genesis 35-36:43


AND GOD said to Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. And make there an altar to God Who appeared to you [in a distinct manifestation] when you fled from the presence of Esau your brother. [Gen. 28:11-22.]
(Genesis 35:1 AMP)


Seven chapters back and twenty years previously, Jacob found himself at Bethel having his first encounter with God. Now God is sending Him back. No matter how prosperous you get, no matter how much God works things out in our lives for His good purpose when we are the called (Romans 8:28) we always must go back to our foundation, or Bethel. When Christ gives the message to John in Revelation He tells the church at Ephesus in spite of all the things they are applauded for, they need to turn back to their first love. (Rev. 2:1-4)


No matter how many passages of scripture we memorize,; no matter how many committees we find ourselves on in our churches; no matter how many folk we bring to Christ if we move from our Jerusalem, the place where we first encountered God, without God, Himself, telling us to move on, we will not be spiritually connected to the One who holds and has purposed our lives.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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