pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Ever Present

Reading: Mark 1: 9-15

Verses Twelve and Thirteen: “At once the Spirit sent Him out into the desert, and He was in the desert forty days”.

It is a quick turnaround from hearing, “You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” to being sent out into the desert. Our passage shifts abruptly though, saying, “At once the Spirit sent Him out into the desert, and He was in the desert forty days”. In life we too can experience this as well. Some of our ‘desert’ times come upon us quickly and out of nowhere. In an instant we can find ourselves in a desert place.

For Jesus, hearing those words of love and approval certainly carried Him during His forty days in the desert wilderness. So too will our faith carry us. The time we invest in prayer and Bible study and worship are all ways that we build up our reservoirs of faith. It is the experience of being intimately connected to and being deeply loved by God that carries us when we find ourselves in a desert place.

During His forty days, Jesus relied heavily upon God. In the times of temptation by Satan, Jesus turned quickly and surely to God. The words He quoted from scripture were words that Jesus studied and learned growing up. The passages and insights we gain as we invest in our times of study and meditation with the Word of God will be the words of strength and hope that we turn to in our desert times.

The wilderness experience for Jesus was not a time away from God. It was just the opposite. It was a time when Jesus was in even more connection with God than He was during the busyness of everyday life. We also find this to be true. When life has come down on us and we find ourselves in that desert place, there is often a stillness or a quiet. In these moments we find that we do turn to God more often and quicker. And just as God used Jesus’ time in the wilderness to prepare Him for ministry, so too does God work in us during our desert times to produce growth in our faith and to deepen our relationship with Him. It is in our desert times that we truly come to see God in a new and better way. For God’s ever present care and love when we need Him most, I say thanks be to God.


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Breath of New Life

Reading: Psalm 104: 24-34 & 35b

When God created the world, He gave the breath of life to all living things.  Each day since then, He has breathed new life into each that is born.  But for humanity, God has taken one more step.  For all who call on His name, God offers grace.  He breathes the Holy Spirit into each who professes their faith in Christ and makes each a new creation, children not of the world but children of God.  As a child of God we continue to live for a time in the world, but we are no longer of this world.  As heirs of Christ, we now belong to Him and heaven is our destination.

Once we claim Christ and He claims us, the Spirit comes and dwells in us.  We begin to live as free people, no longer chained to the desire to acquire more, to rise higher, to seek the approval of man.  Instead we are freed to give, to love, to serve.  In the body of Christ, we experience life abundant.  As the body of Christ we find support, encouragement, guidance, help, and fellowship in Him and in each other.  In our interactions with the world we meet many people who do not know Jesus as king.  The body of Christ is an inclusive body.  In Him there is no Jew or Gentile, no this or that.  The peace and joy we know in Christ is ours to share so that all can come to know the way of the cross.

As a redeemed people we are called to make disciples of all nations.  This task is the task of every Christian.  Sometimes we do this directly as we go to those in need and meet their needs.  The need can be physical, emotional, spiritual, or relational.  We do as Christ did and simply offer all we can.  Sometimes our witness is by how we live our lives.  The light of Christ within us should shine forth so that all see it and are drawn to it – eventually wanting to know how they can have that joy, peace, contentment, and love in their lives.  They come to desire that God breathes the breath of new life into them as well.  In all we do and say this day, may we bring God the glory!