In recent days we all have had our lives disrupted. Stores, restaurants and places we normally would visit are closed or greatly restricted leaving us with no option but to be home more. I am reminded that after busy seasons of ministry and activity, Jesus often led His disciples into a desert place away from everything for reflection, rest and prayer. Though we all look forward to this crisis passing, perhaps we should look at this as an opportunity to find a place away from everything to reflect, rest and draw closer to God. I wanted to suggest some books, internet radio stations and even a college course that might help you get the most out of this time at home.
While it is not clear from Scripture all that Jesus was doing on Monday and Tuesday of His Passion Week, it does seem that He spent time in Bethany on these days fellowshipping with friends like Simon the Leper, Lazarus and others. Among those friends was a woman who demonstrated extravagant love for her Savior. Though we do not know her name, her act lives on as a example for every believer. Jesus is worthy of our everything.
As we approach this Easter, it is my desire to take a special online journey with you through the passion week of Christ beginning with the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. That will be the subject of my Palm Sunday message. You can join us for that message at watchGBC.com at 10:30am (EST). Monday through Friday, I will post a video right here on my blog, at watchGBC.com and at our Facebook page. These videos will track the events of the passion week and give a brief devotional thought. I hope this journey will encourage you and motivate your love for Jesus Christ.
Those who garden know that growth requires a plan along with consistent care and effort. Spiritual growth is no different. As you prepare for 2020, may I encourage you to plan for spiritual growth. Remember, growth will not come easy. However, with some care and effort, it will come! Let me suggest some resources that you might find helpful for your spiritual growth in the New Year.
Light illuminates. It makes it possible to see and to take steps. It exposes. It reveals clearly what was dark or vague. It answers questions. What was unknown and causing wonder, light cuts through the darkness giving certain answers. That fact is light is a good thing…a really good thing. Can you imagine living a day without light? Can you image if the sun did not come up and you had no electricity. Can you imagine what you would do? Can you imagine how much you would long to have light?
We have just been talking about physical darkness. While that may be intolerable, many will tolerate living days of their lives in spiritual darkness. What do I mean? The Bible tells us in Psalm 119:130, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; It giveth understanding unto the simple.” I often hear as a pastor, “I just don’t have time to read my Bible.” “I don’t read my Bible as much as a should.” “My life is busy, so I just depend on the pastor’s message.” Many believers live dark lives. They stumble and fall. They struggle to have victory over sin. They have no sense of God future will let alone His daily will. They live without the comfort of God. They feel helpless against the onslaught of temptation and pressure from the world, the flesh and the devil. God has told us that His Word is the light, the illumination that we need. As believers, we have Holy Spirit indwelling us and the Bible tells us that He is our guide into all truth. He is there to teach us the truth of Scripture as we read and receive it.
Let me encourage you not to live in spiritual darkness. Dive into the Bible! You will be amazed at how the things you are facing in life all of a sudden become clear as the light of Scripture illumines your heart and mind.
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path.
Recently I was listening to a sermon that really gripped my attention. We live in a day of so many false realities. The world is in search for something is real. This message challenged my heart to seek the power of God on my life and ministry as opposed to pursuing pragmatic philosophy. I hope this message will encourage you in the same way.