House of Living Stones

House of living stones

“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.” 1 Peter 2: 5 NIV

We are being built into a spiritual house.  Jesus was the first living stone and the cornerstone of the house we are building. So what are the spiritual sacrifices that we are to offer? Our bodies, souls, affections, prayers, praises, tithes and offerings and service. All with a joyful heart!

God is not asking anything of us that His Son was not willing to give Himself.  It humbles me to think of the heart of Jesus.  Such a beautiful and perfect example for us to follow.

There are times that I get all wound up in a frenzy of busyness.  When I begin to rush and push and force things, it’s a good indicator that I need to pause.  I need to check in with the Holy Spirit to see if I’m on track or not.  Most often there is a more efficient and elegant solution than my own.

The beautiful thing about being a living stone is that we have a constant spiritual guide present, the Holy Spirit.  He can get me back in alignment.  Get me back in the headset of listening for direction and offering every moment up in surrender to a better way.  Surrender.  Obedience. Sacrifice.

Lord, thank you for Your perpetual living water that washes over me and flows through me. Thank you for Your constant love.

1 Peter 2:1-10

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Heart To Heart

heart to heart

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 NIV

Our God is all about relationship.  He wants to walk with us.  He’s always there for us but sometimes we prefer to walk by ourselves.  Have you ever taken a walk with someone and they always try to walk ahead or lag way behind?  It’s really hard to communicate if they are not walking WITH you.  In order to walk with God, He asks that out of love for Him we respect His ways.  His ways are good ways and they certainly save us a lot of heartache.  But most of all, if our heart is turned toward God, we will have intimacy with Him.

The deeper that intimacy grows, the more the desire to please Him grows.  The desires of His heart become the desires of our heart.

Father, I pray that my heart will be so surrendered to You so that Your ways become mine.

Deuteronomy 10:12-13, 2 Peter 1:5-8, Ephesians 4:32, James 4:6-10

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Peace

peace2

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

Jesus shared His teachings and His life with us so that we can have peace in Him.  This world brings trouble. So what is the opposite of peace?

Disagreement. Hate. Discord. Agitation. Disharmony. Distress. Fighting. Frustration. Upset. War. Worry.

God is all about relationship.  He made us to crave, desire and require community.  All the words above seek to disrupt or destroy relationship.  They destroy peace.

Much of our technology of today has wonderful efficiencies and opportunities for more connection. However, they are not replacements for relationship.  Connection can be very superficial.  Relationship is deeper.  It requires characteristics like trust and interdependence and giving and sharing. There is a mutual investment. It understands imperfection.  It operates in forgiveness and acceptance.

Father, show me how to operate in your peaceful ways that build trust and faith in my relationships with others.  Help me not to engage in behaviors that disrupt or destroy.

Psalm 85: 8-11, 105:4; John 14:27

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Walking In The Light

walking in the light

If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:6-7

What does walking in the darkness look like?

It’s stubborn and bull-headed. It’s untrusting of God. We continue to try to maintain control and agendas.  We want what we want when we want it. Because we are not well suited for that, we get distracted by having too many balls in the air. It is very “me” focused. We get wrapped up in what we are about instead of looking to our Father. We lose sight of His ways. We become insensitive, inflexible and disobedient. Maybe even thick-skinned. Hard-hearted. We think we know best. We take detours from God.

What does walking in the light look like?

We stand, trusting in God and His word. We surrender to His will. We spend time learning and applying His principles to our lives. We walk a different way; His way. We keep our eyes on Him. We stretch ourselves to walk in what we cannot see.  Ever trusting God. We become sensitive, pliable and obedient to His will. We surrender to His love and (sometimes) correction to keep our hearts straight. We seek to see each other through His eyes. It’s beautiful when we see each other with His eyes.

Father, thank you for giving us all Your love and offering a better way. Help me to trust You more every day.

Psalm 119:27, 2 Chronicles 16:9, Hebrews 13:5, 17

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The Tapestry

the tapestry

21”In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:21-22 NIV

I believe that God weaves His purpose and destiny into each of our lives, knitting us together in intricate ways that we don’t always fully understand. If we can just hold on to our faith in His plan, passionately and fervently in the midst of whatever challenges come our way, we have a chance to see the masterpiece He is weaving.

As God’s will unfolds in each of our lives, it happens as a journey toward a destination by His design. It’s not flat terrain.  And it’s not just one person. We are all intertwined.

It’s like a ball of yarn that is beautifully wound. If it is unwound correctly, there is no damage and it can be beautifully knit. If it gets unwound too fast and is not cared for, it can get knots and it may show wear. Parts may have to be cut out and the yarn may have to be spliced together. In the finished piece it may not be obvious that there was an issue with the yarn once the damaged section is removed. It may be imperceptible and inconsequential to the finished piece.

Picture a huge piece, a tapestry, with many colors and types of thread. Picture how they all get woven together, in different textures, colors, and stitches. Each thread is a life. We don’t know that it’s been spliced together. It may cause an anomaly or irregularity in the piece but it can still be beautiful in its imperfection.

God is the master craftsman. He has deposited talents in each of us. If you are feeling talentless, please know that is not true!  You are precious and have a unique purpose in the kingdom of God.  You are wonderfully and beautifully made, intentionally and with purpose.

Trust that every life has purpose. Life is not happening haphazardly. There is a reason for everything.

Father God, help me love like You. Help me see every life through Your eyes with their unique purpose and talents, including mine.

Ephesians 2:14-22, 1 Corinthians 12:12-26, Romans 12:4-5

For Connie. You are knit together so beautifully! So thankful for you.

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Called

called

“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.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

Has God called you to stand for something bigger than yourself?  The reality is that every Christian has been called to step into their place as a child of the King. An important part of that call is answering. We have been called into a relationship, not just a title or position.

Jesus referenced believers as His bride and Himself as the bridegroom.  Growing in relationship with Christ is like growing in a marriage relationship.  It takes intentionality.

  • Physically intentional: you seek to spend time together and look forward to it
  • Emotionally intentional: you seek to develop skills to better understand each other and reconcile differences
  • Intellectually intentional: you seek to learn from one another and grow together

Father, I pray I am intentional in answering Your call: physically, emotionally and intellectually.  I pray I embrace Your call in my heart in every way.

Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 10:1, 25:1-13; Mark 8:34; Romans 8:28-30, 9:24-26

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Where Is It?

where is it

“20 Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied to them by saying, The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display,21 nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you].” Luke 17:20-21 AMP

So the kingdom of God is IN us. As I was reading this passage, it reminded me of a passage that is also in The Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come.” I got caught up reading a lot of commentaries. It occurred to me that I needed to simply be quiet and listen to what God had to say about these passages. Here is what I heard: He is waiting for us all to come into a state of obedience and alignment so that we will not continue to lay fragmented and broken as a body. That when we come together, we will no longer be vulnerable to heresy and apostacy. We will no longer be plagued with malice and strife between ourselves. We will be able to stand together, resolute for our King. And then, His Kingdom will have arrived.

Lord, I pray that Your kingdom come and that Your will be done in my heart and the hearts of all Christians. I pray that we come together as one body. Make us strong in that body so that we can stand together and stand strong, united and operating as one body in Christ, a true reflection of You.

Mathew 6:9-13, Luke 11:2-4

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