Peace in Difficult Times

Ken is preaching a message on Sunday January 27, not to be missed, How to Pursue God When Life Hurts.

This broken world is filled with problems of every sort. Life can hurt. Life is not fair. Inundated with challenges from multiple directions, we can be tempted to settle for short-term fixes. If we want God’s best, we need to stop, take time to seek His wisdom, and allow God’s peace and perspective to permeate our thinking. We may have no understand of why we are hurting, or why we are in this particular circumstance, but will that affect our pursuit of God?

Where do we seek answers? Where are you desiring a more permanent solution instead of temporary relief? Where do you need to seek not just what works but God’s perspective?

The Pursue series has only begun, but this lesson will likely hit home for many people. Will you be with the gathered church this Sunday? Catch up on the series by viewing the other messages. Seek the wisdom of God and see life from his perspective. This is a great verse…

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.— James 3:17-18

Change of Heart and Mind

What a change occurred in Saul’s perspective after he met Jesus on the road to Damascus! Leaving on his journey, he was sure that what he believed was right. When Jesus’ voice pierced Saul’s heart, his whole worldview turned upside down. Everything Saul thought he knew had to be rethought: his understanding of truth, his worldview, his life mission. This encounter was just the beginning of his transformation from Saul the persecutor to Paul the apostle to the Gentiles. What difference has encountering Jesus made in how you live and lead?

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. — Acts 9:3-5

We often see this passage only in the context of salvation (Saul’s conversion on the Damascus Road) but let’s broaden our understanding of Paul’s experience to being confronted with new truth, which forces him into a decision.

Let’s also make this personal. Active church people need to take the introduction of truth (let’s enter here the preaching of God’s Word on Sunday) and decide what to do with the challenge put in front of us.

Ken is preaching January through February on a topic that we can easily dismiss. Perhaps you will justify, “I am pursuing God because I attend church on Sunday.” When we assume this position, we can easily miss the very thing that the Holy Spirit wants to do in our lives. We each must pray and reflect on where we stand with Jesus to discover what God wants us to do and how he wants us to change.

I hope you will listen again to Ken’s introductory message on moving “From Apathy to Intensity” and see if God is speaking to you and challenging you to make some adjustment toward a higher level intensity in your faith.

[Part of this post is from the January 14 Lead Like Jesus devotional, and the image: SON OF GOD Movie, Scene 10/29 – Damascus Road; Paul (CON O’NEIL) sees Jesus (DIOGO MORGADO) and is thrown from his horse]

What is Your Vision for the World?

What is your vision for the world? Jesus clearly expressed His vision as He taught His disciples to pray: that God’s kingdom would come to characterize the world He created. He calls us to continue to pray that God’s “will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Is this your vision, too? How can you be part of bringing God’s kingdom to life in your spheres of influence today?

This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’” — Matthew 6:9-13

At King’s Grant, we are experiencing several events to help bring God’s kingdom on earth: Winter Shelter January 23-30, Ken’s January Bible Study on Desiring More (our journey toward personal holiness), the Pursue series (the intensity of our faith), Wednesday Life Groups this next semester (starting back January 30) and Billie Todd will be leading a Wednesday evening class on prayer beginning January 30 at 6:00. All this is designed to develop community, faith, and love.

Continue to pray for God’s will to be done in your life and in the life of the church.

[Part of this post is from the January 11 Lead Like Jesus devotional]