Sam Snyder • June 16, 2022
Here's an excerpt from an Update that Chase Johnson just sent from Ghana. His intro really reminds us of the call in Hebrews 12 to fix our eyes on Jesus so that we can run the race marked out for us:
"The main thing I have been learning this month regarding my walk with Jesus is what true reality looks like. So often we are inhibited by feelings and emotions and we are lost in a place where we look at physical things instead of focusing our attention on Christ. One story that goes well with this concept is Peter walking on the Sea of Galilee towards Jesus. In the story, Peter begins to sink when he starts to see how powerful the storm is instead of fixing his eyes on the Lord. For me as well as for most believers, there are seasons and times when our faith is tested by storms that feel so real. It's in these moments that we must refocus our minds and
our hearts on the truest reality, which is our life in Christ."
There are a lot of things out there that can seem real and may look like "truth" but that are more like virtual reality. They look similar to what is real but they're not real...and they actually make it impossible for us to interact with what is real. If we were running a race with a VR Headset on it would hinder us and injure us. Hebrews 12:1-2 says that we should throw those things off and "...run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith..."
I don't know what situations, ideas, philosophies, fears, doubts, or other emotions may be getting in the way for you, but I know that the way to see clearly is to fix your eyes on Jesus. If you're struggling with disorientation, discouragement, or doubt, I want to invite you to take some time to "consider" Jesus, as Hebrews 12:1-3 says: Fix your eyes on Him. Think about Him, learn more about Him...keep coming back to Jesus. Check out this page that we put together About Jesus:
Jonas Cortes • May 26, 2022
As we’ve been exploring the final chapters in the book of Hebrews we’ve been talking about the great men and women of faith and the impact they had in the kingdom of God. At the same time we’ve learned that none of them were examples of human perfection. They all had low moments in their journey with God.
Nevertheless, in the testing of their faith they determined that there was nothing better than trusting in God in spite of their circumstances. Many of their tests of faith came in the form of struggles, persecution, social pressure, fear, poverty, and pain, and for others it came in the form of glory, riches, status, fame, authority and temptation.
Whichever form of test they faced, their trust was rooted in what God had said and not in their earthly condition.
I want to share with you a song I’ve been listening to on repeat for the last 2 weeks as a reminder of our identity in Christ in spite of the circumstances around us and I hope it blesses you as well.
I am a temple of Your Spirit
A born again believer, by the grace of Jesus
And I am an ambassador of Heaven
A lover of Your presence, prophesying freedom
And it's all for Your glory
Bet Cortes • April 05, 2022
Have you ever thought “I need to seek God more… but I just can’t find the time”?
If you’ve ever struggled to find the time to go to bed earlier, to pray, or to do things that you really want to do but can’t seem to squeeze them in … you are in good company with the rest of us! It seems ironic that even though we have plenty of technology, time-saving appliances, and more home services than ever before in history… we still can’t find the time to do the things that are most important to us!
I don’t think my problem or yours is based in lack. I think it may be in having too much.
Too much to do. Too much to have. Not enough room.
In February this year I had the opportunity to visit the Magnolia Silos in Waco, Texas. It was a refreshing trip I was blessed to go on. While I was there I got to try the most delicious cupcakes I have ever had. They were so tasty I wanted to eat more and more. After two cupcakes though I realized… I couldn’t eat anything more! I was so full! The thought of eating another almost made me sick… even though they were delicious. The problem wasn’t with the cupcake. I was just too full.
“She wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” Luke 2:7.
When Jesus was born, there wasn’t room. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to host Him or his parents. They didn’t willfully reject him. They were just too busy to notice. They simply had no room. Is it possible for us to be like the Inn keepers? So busy and content with things that we can’t seem to find room for the most important?
There was no place for Jesus.
Perhaps we don’t more. We need less. We need to feel hungry again. We need to have room.
A definition of minimalism says that Minimalism is the “intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them” (Becker, The More of Less).
If minimalism with our belongings means that we intentionally promote those things we most value and remove anything that is a distraction, how do we do that in our lives? It may not be that we need to do more for God or add more to do’s to our schedule. Maybe, it’s something else that needs to be demoted. As I think about this, the question comes to my mind:
What do I need to take out of my life that doesn’t really matter?
Maybe fasting from social media, pinterest, or television… what is one thing that takes your time and doesn’t really matter? Another question to think on:
How can I intentionally promote those things that I most value?
If I want to promote those things that really matter, they can’t compete with those that truly don’t.
There were so many beautiful things to look at in all the shops at Magnolia Silos. But there was one place where everyone who entered stopped looking for what they were going to buy. Instead of walking around, they would look for a bench, sit down, and sit in silence. I did the same. It was the Chapel.
As we sat there, we all looked up. There was nothing to be said and nothing to be bought. There was silence. Peace. Connection with God. It was empty on purpose.
It is not about adding more and it is not what You DO FOR God that matters. It is who you ARE IN Him that does.
“The main measure of your devotion to God is not your devotional life. It is simply your life” (Ortberg, The Me I Want to Be). God wants to fill you and satisfy you. Because He made us and fashioned us for Himself… no matter what we may have in this life… He alone will satisfy our souls.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat” (Matt. 5:6, MSG).
Of all the ways you enjoy seeking God every day, can I add a couple more ways?
- Press the “Pause Button”: When you are feeling disconnected from God or worried about something, pause and invite His presence to fill you.
- Find an activity you enjoy doing, and invite God along with you to do it together.
- Go on a walk with God, tell Him what is on your mind.
God, we pray that you would help us make room for you in our lives and hunger for you in our souls. Give us this day our daily bread… the bread of your presence.
“You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you” (Saint Augustine).