Archive for June, 2011

Jarvis Devo: Samuel and preparing for his calling

June 14, 2011

Scripture:

1 Samuel 3:1-7  1 The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. 2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the LORD, where the ark of God was4 Then the LORD called Samuel.  Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. 6 Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.

Observation:

Usual Space: This was a common space for Samuel. This was the same spot he waited for the Lord. It was not just a once or twice event, it was an common occurrence. It happened frequently and often that he was at the spot waiting on the Lord. He had consistant times with his God.

The Lamp of God had not gone out: The fire did not die. It did not burn. The fire was kept burning. Am I letting my lamp go out?  We have the flame of God burning within us, but is that flame dying out or comsuming us (strating a fire in our hearts). Our God is a consuming fire; if He lives within you then He should be consuming you.

Where the ark of God was: He desired to be as close to God as he could. He wanted to be in His presence. Wanted to be next to Him. As close as he can. Thats the best spot to be at.

Called Samuel: God called Samuel and he was ready to answer. Am I ready to answer the calling? Am I listening? Samuel’s response to the call was “Here I am”. He was standing there ready too respond. What is my response to God’s call, “not yet, I’m not ready, call back, can you text me later (facebook me), do you mind coming back at a better time, I am too busy, raincheck, who is this?, I got other plans” What would me response be? I need to be ready to hear His voice.

Now Samuel did not yet KNOW the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him: Samuel was in God’s presence but he did not recognize who God was. How many times in our life has God tried to show up but we missed it because we did not recognize Him. We missed Him because we were not expecting the way He came or not expecting it at all. Do you know His voice. The more you hear it, the more you know. Like a child who knows their parents voice; we are his children. We need to know His voice.

Application:

Am I ready? Am I letting my lamp (fire) go out? Samuel met and heard from God in his usual place with his heart ready and open. Do I have that and do I do that? Am I waiting on God or is He waiting on me? Is he waiting for me to be ready to receive from Him. He was in God’s presence (ark) and ready. Do I recognize he Lord when He shows up? Am I ready to be called on for whatever opportunity that God has for me. Am I ready? Here I am…..Ask of me…You call,I will answer. We say that we wait for God to answer us, but maybe He first wants us to answer. I need to learn to listen. Here I am!

Prayer:

I pray that mu heart is tender to You like Samuel’s. That I do not let my fire die. That I continually soak in your presence and I try to get as close as I can. That I continue to long to be close to You. Help me to be ready to receive from You. That when you call I do answer with “Here I am, I am ready for You.” Make me an instrument of your grace. Grant me the hunger for your word. Let it be a light to my path. May all things become shadows in the light of you.


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Unleashed byErwin McManus

June 8, 2011

I got this book in the mail and started reading and was disappointed in that fact that it was the same book he wrote previous (that I have already read), just re released under a different name. I still like the book but just a little disappointed that I already read it. I was hoping for a new one from him (like a series or somethings). I love how the book opens with the illustration of Robert The Bruce and carrying the heart of the king. Thats a great visual of having Gods heart.

Erwin McManus says that Christianity has become too civilized. He rejects the belief that “Jesus died and rose from the dead so that you can live a life of endless comfort, security, and indulgence,” and he says that it’s his “mission to destroy the influence of the Christian cliché, ‘The safest place to be is in the center of the will of God.’”

Following Jesus is not about safety or security. McManus points out that John the Baptist lost his head while in the center of God’s will. “We look to Jesus not to fulfill our shallow longings or to provide for us creature comforts. We look to Him to lead us where He needs us most and where we can accomplish the most good.”

McManus calls Christians to reject conformity and security, and to embrace what he calls the barbarian way, which is “about love expressed through sacrifice and servant hood.” Like early followers of Christ—John the Baptist, Peter, and Paul—we “are called to a path filled with uncertainty, mystery, and risk.”

I love the idea that there is more to live for then just being happy. Jesus did not die for us to just be happy. He died for more then that. I love the idea of living as a believer needs to be about sacrifice. This book is a good book and will help you to be stretched in your thinking.

Primal dvd-based study

June 7, 2011

 

I just finished watching the dvd series called “Prima”. I read the book when I it first came out and I really enjoyed. I have not read a book by Mark Batterson that i don’t enjoy. He is very challenging and thought provoking. This dvd is the same way. Its full of information and also very good visually made. I am a youth pastor and i watch lots of small group videos and i would have to say that that this is one of the top on my list of videos. I love how he teaches from an actual destination; that its not from an office or a room, but that we is actually there. I love how He asks questions and is also very real about his own life. He tells you about himself personally and how God has challenged him. We are actually starting our discipleship program this week and I am going to use this study in there with them. I highly recommend using it for adults, college age, or students.

 

Acts

June 6, 2011

Acts 2:43-44  Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common”

Its called the book of ‘Acts’ not the book of thinking waiting, hoping so, someone else could do it, maybe, when i feel ready; it was the book of ‘acts’ because it was a book of ‘act-ion’. God moved because His people acted.

In our church today we have a lot of people who ‘act’ like a Christian but have not ‘action’. We talk a big game, we act out our facade but we have no true action.

The spiritual journey is designed to be an offensive force in the culture. We play only defense. We have been playing re-action and not action. We have been waiting to see what the enemy does and then we re-act to the situation. We live like we have no game plan on offense. We live like we have no action plan.

“…..and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:13-18

Pushing the gates of hell is not a defensive plan but an offensive one. It is pressing foward and not falling back. It is marching and not running. Its a life of action and not just re-action.

Live a life of action and not just reaction…Stop just ‘acting’ like a Christian and start walking out ‘ACTS’.

 

If you are going to re-act then know this wisdom, “What make you a Chistian is not just how you act like a christian but how you re-act like one.” We will be judged on how we Re-act and act. Watch how defenseive you are. be the first to act. Be the first to forgive, encourage, give hope, to serve….be the first to act.

Be a follower who works with “ACTS” not one who is an act-or!