It is not a coincidence you are reading this today. This is a spiritual intervention where God intends to touch the depths of your soul. You are here for a single thought, a single touch, a meeting with you where you are. May God give you the quiet grace of His presence and the simplicity of a child to understand.
CALL TO WORSHIP
Thank you Father for allowing us to be in your presence. Thank you for the spiritual encounter that acknowledges your presence. Lead us in worship, lead us in praise, lead us in thanksgiving, lead us in bringing us to yourself, and thank you for your Holy Spirit who has freedom to teach us that we may know you and the fullness of your love.
A CONCERT OF REVELATION
How Great is Our God
Hillsong How Great is our God
Michael W. Smith Mighty to Save
Steven Curtis Chapman Be Still and Know that He Is God
• Jeremiah 31:27-34 and Psalm 119:97-104 •
• Genesis 32:22-31 and Psalm 121 •
• 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 •
• Luke 18:1-8
Today’s meditation is the result of brainstorming on the above Scriptures with a friend.
We sat together, read the scripture, listened to music that would potentially arise out of the Scripture readings and then talked together. Just what is the central thought?
One initial thought arose from the image of God sowing. If people, the people of God are sowed what will be the crop? The image of a person being planted then suggests that person will reflect something special. Israel as a nation had been planted on foreign soil. They were prisoners much like many of us are in our daily lives. We find outside expectations controlling our lives. The things we would want to do we cannot. Yet Israel was told to seek the good of all people even their oppressors. The Jeremiah text now compares Israel to the influence of the plant that is growing. The flower just by existing causes people to know God’s presence in a special way.
As the flower breaks through the soil there is an expectation a new life arises. This is a flower that glows with the light of God’s presence. The people of Israel had a purpose in the midst of captivity. In the midst of fear and wondering why life had brought them to where they were or where they are.
Each of the Biblical texts reflect what it is to be the light of God.
Jeremiah talks about a new Covenant, unlike the one Israel broke with God this covenant is about being very natural, having a specific set of values and living out of that set of values.
The Psalmist talks about a way of thinking, a way of meditating. The way of God is flowing through the person planted by God.
Genesis tells us Jacob wrestled with God, to prevail Jacob had to be changed and he was changed. He got a new name he now represented God despite the fact that he limped, he was a broken person. Like so many of us who are called to serve God it is through this brokenness that God is revealed.
The Apostle Paul reminds us we have a visible reflection of God’s light in Jesus. As Jesus walked and suffered the desires and will of God was illustrated to us. We recognize the will of God by walking in Jesus.
The conclusion then asks us to understand how we reflect the light of God in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.
Matthew West https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuJWQzjfU3o
Thank you Lord that we are your children. Thank you we can recognize your calling, our brokenness and your success to recreate us as your children servants to a broken world.
Please read all the scriptures and attempt to find one common theme.
• Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 and Psalm 66:1-12 • 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c and Psalm 111
• 2 Timothy 2:8-15 • Luke 17:11-19
WELCOME TO COACHED BY GRACE:
I am sorry I haven’t been around lately. I have been struggling with a lot of things. Somethings much like what you wrestle with. But today I am reminded that I am being Coached by Grace. God’s grace is not something I create. It is something that creates me. Please read the scriptures above, identify your own struggles thoughts and experiences that give you meaning and understanding.
CALL TO WORSHIP:
Today is a special day. Today is in many ways just like every other day except today we reflect together on a message from God viewed from the perspective of two voices back and forth. My voice and the voice of a friend. Together we hope to open your minds to a message that speaks not just to one person but to all persons. Amen.
INTRODUCTORY MUSIC: O Lord Hear My Prayer
MEDITATION: TWO VOICES.
Everyday we turn on the television, our computers, or just sit and listen to voices. My friend and I read these scriptures and actually came up with two different themes. Amazing, free thought in action. I of course being the scholar understood the message behind the message. My friend being much simpler just said I think God wants us to come alive.
BUT I said, look at Jeremiah. Jeremiah said take care of others and they will take care of you. My friend said, that’s what I said be alive.
But I said, Naaman was a sick man. Those of us with sarcoidosis or any other long term debilitating illness understand all there is to simple words about healing. We understand how sicking the feeling is when we feel like no one is paying attention. Why should we listen? My friend said, there is a simple thought, choose to be alive.
But I said, how can we praise God when we can’t feel Him? How can we praise God when all we see seems to be ineffective. My friend said, perhaps you just need to thank God for what you do see and not worry about what you don’t see.
But I said, it seems like so few care, so few hear our cry. My friend simply said remember the story of Jesus. When it seemed like no one cared God lifted Him out of the depths of His dying and He came alive.
We are asked to come alive. Ten lepers were healed. One responded. Will you be another to respond? Will you come alive?
Coached by Grace is going to take a turn. Each week you are invited to do one caring act. To share out of your pain, out of your brokenness, and out of your desire to serve God. You are being asked to join people from many walks of life and many places in life. Like my friend said. You are being asked to come alive.
Closing song: You Come to Heal Your People
The Impossible Dream
THESE ARE HARD WORDS
Please read the following scriptures before proceeding.
2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14 and Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20 • 1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21 and Psalm 16 • Galatians 5:1, 13-25 • Luke 9:51-62
What does it mean to say yes?
A young bride stood in front of her husband to be. Unknown to him she had changed the vows. She looked into his eyes and quoted a well know passage of scripture. As she spoke tears came to his eyes for he understood what she was saying. Forty years later that same woman looked into her husbands eyes and said, I didn’t understand what those words meant. I am leaving.
In the passage of scripture Elisha the young man, about to enter the ministry of a prophet, asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Elisha wanted to be able to do what his predecessor was able to do plus more. Elijah the prophet said, “You have asked a hard thing.”
Most Seminaries now have internship programs. Candidates for doing ministry must participate in a special form of ministry. Then these interns are declared acceptable. I called the seminary one day and asked for an intern to be assigned to the work I was doing. I was told no seminarian was willing to go. I said I will match the pay, no one will be shorted. No, Carl, you do not understand. No one wants to do what you are doing. You see every potential intern wrote down they wanted to go to a middle or upper middle class church where they could be more comfortable. There would be no prestige working with you. I can’t find anyone to work with you.
The apostle Paul in Galatians reflects on the what is called the fruit of the spirit. When a person lives reflecting the fruit of the spirit Paul likens this to dying to oneself. In some way it is pealing one’s identity off and putting on a new identity. It goes beyond being a servant. It is what Elijah said, it is a hard thing. It is what Jesus identified as a life without promises.
Elisha the young prophet would have to learn. The young seminarians will have to learn.
As a global community we are sitting on the precipice of a catastrophe. The doomsday clock was recently moved 3 minutes ahead. What that means is that forces begin to take place that need to be halted. The presidential campaign in the United States illustrates how out of control this battle is. Elisha was being warned. We don’t even have to hear the words of a prophet and we clearly hear how values based on the fruit of the spirit are suspended, care for human needs take a back seat not just to profits but the maintenance of comfort zones for a select group of people. This is not about socialism or capitalism. This is not just about the United States, this is a global tragedy where instead of leaders choose to rise to the highest values of a society they instead succumb to the lowest values of valueless thugs. Both economic systems have become defunct and are now subservient to greed and dominance.
Elijah said, you have asked for a hard thing. You will not be able to pretend that everything will come out in the wash. Jesus was asked, can I have some time off, I have important business to deal with. Jesus bluntly replied, the dead will have to bury the dead.
Wow, these have been hard words.
Everyday in our sarcoidosis groups our people are confronted with the need to make decisions. Ours is a group with a disease no-one seems to know where it came from, and no one seems to know how to stop it. In the name of the cure we build bigger hospitals, bigger research labs, create more pills, and ultimately see what we create caving in on itself as it begins to compete with itself. The cost to maintain the system now out runs the ability to cover the cost of treatment. Will we choose to make a difference or will we choose to not be a part of the corrective course?
Elisha representing the future of the prophetic school, full of hope and energy said I want a double portion. I want to go out and kick butt. I will lead the charge.
THESE ARE HARD WORDS.
Who Will Answer
Morning Prayer: Lord God too many times I have not been willing to answer. My prayer is not a prayer of repentance it is a prayer calling out for help. I feel crippled, held back, unwilling to move ahead, to willing to say it is just me, I cannot fight this battle alone. I am part of a people willing to settle for second best. Help me Lord to become more like Elisha, in my ignorance, help me to step forward, help me to march into the battle where even angels fear to tread. Lord I believe that is what the cross was all about. It was not about the dying it was about the rising. It is the climbing above and moving onward. Amen.
Take my Life and let it be