wilderness-thirst

Thirsty…for what?

Psalm 42:1-11

After reading this, two aspects of my life come up. One is, does my soul ever thirst for God or does my soul thirst for my own desires? The second is, how often do I actually pour out my whole heart to God?
Those two questions get me thinking. If my soul only thirsts for my own desires, then maybe that is why I experience a lot of disappointments and hopelessness. Maybe my desire is not for God to help me and be glorified, but for me to accomplish and receive glory. If we choose to live our lives as we see fit, we will never truly understand the potential that God has in store for us. God wants us to turn to Him so that He may redeem us. Pour out our hearts and see how He answers. How many times have I truly poured out my heart to God? I can’t be sure, but I do know that I tend to only turn towards God when I am at my wits end. God needs to always be consulted and be the first consulted.

Have you ever preached to your soul? If you were to do so now, what would you say to yourself?

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I Give Up.

Submit.

It is one of the most difficult commands in the Bible. Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh (1 Peter 2:18) Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands (1 Peter 3:1) In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders (1 Peter 5:5). Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, (Hebrews 13:17). Ephesians 5:21 says it best…Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, culminating in James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God.

To submit means: to accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person. Merriam-Webster defines it as: to agree to do or accept something that you have been resisting or opposing.

I find it so hard to yield to the will of God, much less to another person. It makes sense to submit to those who are superior, but to those who are weaker? Inferior? It is not an easy thing to do, to say, “I give up. I will no longer make an effort to win. I will not oppose you anymore. I will do as you say.” To put yourself in the hands of someone else and trust that they will not hurt you or take advantage of you requires a tremendous amount of faith. The only way to do so is to give up your own desires, your own needs, even your own will… to remove any reason for resistance or opposition. Can it be done?

Jesus did it. He willingly submits Himself to the authority of God the Father. He is able to say, “Not my will but yours.” And in submitting to God the Father, He also submitted Himself to man… to the point of leaving His glory and becoming flesh, to the point of being falsely accused and betrayed, to the point of being beaten and punished, to the point of death on the cross.

Lord give us the strength and courage to submit… to know that you are real, alive, and moving… to trust that you love us beyond all measure and will work for the good of those that love you.

jesus-walks-on-water

Walking on Water

Psalm 31

I can’t even walk on ice before I start running back to land!!! What tremendous faith you must have to walk on water!

But is that what we do when we get scared about trusting in Jesus? Do we retreat back to the shoreline? Back to safety? Have you had to trust in Jesus about something you’re going through? Maybe it was a family issue, school problems, or even deeper issues. Whatever it may be, God wants us to trust Him, knowing He’s got it all under control. Whatever happens, He’ll bring out the best of it.

God has asked me to walk on waters these past few weeks. It’s scary because you do not know what’s ahead of you. But I’ve never felt so much security. I’m practically on the edge right now, but the Spirit of God is somehow keeping my gaze ahead. I hope you can experience the wonders of God through trusting in Him.

Discipline

The discipline in discipleship

We think of those having discipline: the Royal Guard who isn’t allowed to move or speak while on duty, the person who wakes up early every day to exercise in order to lose weight and get fit, the musician who spends hours on their instrument practicing again and again, the soldier who follows orders at the expense of his comfort and desires. These are examples of those who have discipline. They have disciplined their bodies, their minds, their spirits to act a certain way, to accomplish a certain task, to do what is needed right now instead of waiting for later.

If we look closely at the word disciple, we can see the word discipline. Discipline being about learning to behave a certain way, and disciple being the one who learns to behave that certain way. The very nature of the disciple of Christ is discipline. One who learns to behave in the ways of Jesus Christ. –To be patient in the midst of a hurried world, to be joyful in a world of suffering, to have love when we are surrounded by hate. How disciplined are we? The degree to which we are disciplined is the degree to which we are a disciple. We like to claim that we are disciples, yet we show a huge lack of discipline in reading the Bible, praying, fellowship, humility, patience, serving, sacrificing, tithing… even the simple discipline to be quiet during a church worship service. That list could go on and on.

I am guilty of it. There are so many areas in which I lack discipline. But I hope to change that. I, as a Christ follower, must do better. We, as a church, must do better. Start by being disciplined in reading and seeking the Word of God daily and in praying in all circumstances for all things. Disciples are not only those who like Christ and want to follow Christ, but those who are disciplined to be like Christ. Discipleship is the process of being disciplined. Is your being a disciple being evidenced by your discipline?

90 year old woman, Hmong tribe village, Mae Rim District, Highlands near Chiang Mai, Northern ThailandChiang Mai, Northern Thailand

Older and wiser

-Young people, myself included, always seem to think that we know everything. Driven by our passion we brush aside the advice of those who are older and wiser than we. When asked why we fail to heed advice, we give answers such as “They’re washed up” or “They are no longer in touch with the times.” Yet the truth may be that we are out of touch with God and they are.

-How would you describe your attitude towards senior adults?

-Think of two or thee seniors you know. What might getting to know them better add to your life?

Coon Rapids, MN

HMONG ALLIANCE CHURCH
Come join us for Family Fun Night this Friday, Oct 31st. We'll have candy, games, and fun, fun, fun! Not just for kids...it's for FAMILIES! We start at 6:00pm. Costumes are welcome but please keep it appropriate and modest. Nothing scary.