Good morning, are you tired of my patio yet. LOL This is not a photo to show off my patio, this is a photo of God's glory. I got up early this morning to spend time with God at His place. Often time on Sunday mornings we are so focused on "church" we forget to focus on the reason we go to church. I wanted to spend time in His Word, alone and enjoy His company. Call it selfish but I wanted Him all to myself. God can do that for each of us. Give Him that time of one on one. Enjoy what He has created, take it in, let yourself experience all that He has to offer. When I look out, I see the miracle of creation in my own backyard, the fog gently burning off as the sun rises over the trees. The birds are chirping and feeding at the feeders and there is a coyote howling off in the distance. The enemy does try to ruin things, I hear the faint sounds of sirens and I know that even in all of God's splendor, we are still in this world and satan does not want us to forget it. It is for that very reason that I must come to God, it is for that very reason that I must energize. Yes, I even need it before church. My alone time reminds me of our hawks. We have two that have been on the property since before we arrived. Often times you will see the sitting on the power lines together but like me, this morning, there is one. I wonder if He is enjoying what God has created for him. What I know, is that he is intent, he is silent as he waits yet makes himself known when he proclaims victory and he is powerful. I want to be like that in my pursuit of God. I want to be intent, silent as I wait upon Him, loud when I proclaim victory and His glory and powerful in all that I do for Him. So I urge you all, get alone with God, even on the days when you gather with your fellow believers. You will notice a difference in your walk with Him.
I had every intention of sleeping in this morning and just relaxing and enjoying the morning. You know, getting up and having coffee with the singing birds and doing some bible study. Sounds great doesn't it? Ah, the best laid plans, as the saying goes. Well, I heard birds, at least one bird anyway and he was not singing. For more than an hour this bird was simply screeching and it was loud, persistent and annoying. There was nothing melodic about this bird's "song". As annoyed as I was, I had to admire his persistence. I don't know what he wanted but he wasn't going to quit asking, whatever it was. He wasn't going to quit proclaiming what he had to say, regardless of how long it took. And of all things, it reminded me of scripture. I immediately thought of Matthew 7:7 but the real correlation here is in Luke. Let me share with you.
Luke 11:5-10 5Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ 7And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ 8But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.
9“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
If we are persistent long enough we will get our point across, we can receive what we need. I have said this before but we are not told t simply ask, we are told to keep asking. We are not simply told to knock at a door or to seek just a little bit but to keep knocking and to keep seeking. We are told to be persistent.
HERE IS THE KICKER, PLEASE READ THIS NEXT PART.
When we read these verses, be aware that Jesus is teaching about prayer. Knowing this, it is instinctive and obvious to think that we are praying for our own needs, wants and desires. Which we can do. But what I find interesting is that often times we don't use that same persistence when proclaiming the very Gospel of Jesus Christ. Shouldn't we be like my screeching bird this morning? Shouldn't we keep asking people if they know Jesus? Shouldn't we keep knocking on the doors of the unbelievers, for their eternal sakes? Shouldn't we keep seeking new ways to reach those in need? Shouldn't we have "shameless persistence" for Christ? My morning bird got his point across, not because he had the most beautiful song, not because he was the first one I heard, not because he was the loudest, but because HE WOULD NOT QUIT!! My challenge to myself and all those that read this, do not quit screeching the message of the gospel, go out with "shameless persistence" and spread the good news. Keep asking others, keep seeking, keep knocking on doors, do these things as proclaimed by Jesus and you will receive. You will receive more family and friends into the body of Christ. You will receive more joy than you have ever experienced, doors will be opened for you as your own prayers too are answered. Your obedience to God's word will be honored. So once again I say be a screeching bird with shameless persistence, make a difference.
As many of you know I just returned home from Honduras this past Monday. It was a very hectic and busy trip. At times the whole team was exhausted, mentally, physically and emotionally. This happens even in the real world, even if you aren't on a special assignment. Life happens. One of the verses I shared while in Honduras really hit me. I would like to share it with all of you.
31Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
The part that struck me was "with me by yourselves" I went over and over that part. Jesus is inviting all of his disciples to come with him to get some rest, but at the same time is inviting each of them personally to get time alone with Him. The rest is within Him. We need to spend time alone in Christ and we can do that even if others are around us. You need to get into the Gospels and see what He has to say to you. You need to get into prayer with Him and if you run out of things to say, get in the Spirit and have a true "heart to heart" with Jesus. You need to find a quiet place, a place to truly be able to hear what Jesus is saying to you. In the still of this quiet and in prayer and His word, you will be filled back up. Take time to offer thanks and praise as well, we are told in scripture that we are to offer this up. Look at the prayers from Kind David and from Paul, always they gave praise and thanksgiving.
Jesus is our source, He is the one that can energize you and prepare you. He sets the standard and the example. We may never live up to His standard but we sure can follow His example. Jesus always went off by Himself to be with His father after his miracles or preaching to big crowds. He needed to be filled back up. We need this even more than Him, we need this from Him and He has offered it freely. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
I am a child of God, a wife, a mother, a missionary, a supervisor, a servant and most recently, a Pastor.