Thursday, July 7, 2016

If God's people . . .

Here is our verse for this week, just to refresh our memories:
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  (II Chronicles 7:14)
Step one from yesterday was to be a people of humble prayer. Step two is to seek His face. In the Old Testament, in the books of the Law, the people were given instructions on how to do that. In order to seek His face, they made a trip to the temple each year. They offered up sacrifices, and they prayed. The priests assisted them in their worship and sacrifices.

How do we do this today? We no longer offer animals or agricultural products on the altar.
What sacrifices can we offer?
The word itself doesn't get used much any more. It's kind of a foreign concept in our world where people are thinking (if not saying) "me, me, me!" But I think there is an important concept for us here. We can offer spiritual sacrifices to Him.

Spiritual sacrifices are time, talents, and treasure.
People today are so concerned with their careers, their lifestyles, and their creature comforts. Rarely do we go "above and beyond" for our God.

It saddens me to say that I, and many others, have thought these thoughts:

Well, God, I don't have time to go to church today.
I simply must get my chores done, so that my family is clothed and fed.
God, I have such a busy schedule, I can't stop in and see that shut-in.
I'll make it up later, God, but I can only pray briefly this morning.
God, I know I need to serve you, but I'm so busy!
I know the kids need a good example, but I'm too tired to read my Bible.
God, please send a missionary to witness; I just can't go into that downtown area.

Need some bandaids for your toes? I sure did. The Spirit is relentless when He wants us to pay attention!
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1)
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (I Peter 2:5)
To be lively or living stones, we must have that life within us from the Spirit. And to be worthy of the name "Christian," we must sacrifice just as He did . . .

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death
        even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8)


Katie Isabella said...

OH please. We must make it happen!!!! Humble ourselves and see the fulfillment of these verses.

Cathy said...

I needed the bandaids for my toes. Especially for the one about not making time for church and shorting the prayer time. Does your brain wander when you pray? Do you find yourself talking with God, and then find your brain taking off in a totally different direction? I have such a hard time with taking my thoughts captive..... they keep escaping.

Katie Isabella said...

Cathy, I think we ALL do. I will do fine all during the day with prayers but when I go to bed and start my prayers, I will wind up repeating the Lord's prayer (which is always first for me to do), several times until I am sure I was awake enough to MEAN what I prayed. Then, I do my prayer list for others, my petitions for myself and my deep deep gratitude to Him for the amazing miracle of being here to talk about it! That is always easy for me to do. Then, I start what I call my simple prayer...child-like but meant with every fiber of my being. Then...if I have to repeat that because my thought wandered, I do, until I am satisfied I did it the way I intended. If I fall asleep anyway, when I wake to turn over, I always say I'm sorry and continue till I fall asleep again. xox