Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Important Or Essential?

My pastor sends out devotional emails, and I thought this one was certainly worth sharing. Just how important is God to us? Is He important in our lives, or is He essential? A car is important, but air and food are essential. Which is Christ?  Here's Pastor Bill Crank's words...

It is 4 AM and I have been awake for over an hour. Amazing that if I needed to get up at this time, I might have struggled to wake up but not needing to, I find myself awake and unable to sleep. I have been praying during this time. That is a good use of my time. Talking to the Father is never a waste of time. After all, God hears and answers prayer.

For over a week now, I have been mulling over a question in my mind. It was posed by a writer for some internet publication. The question is this, is prayer important or is it essential? There is a difference.

To be important, something must be a high priority. It is also something that can be a daily choice. To be essential, there is less of a choice by our choice and more of a must do. To be essential, it is like the air we breathe. To be essential, it is like needing to have water to survive. To be essential is to believe that there are things in our lives that cannot happen apart from prayer.

I have taken this a step further. Is God important in my life or is He essential. We have often sang the praise chorus stating that God is the very air we breathe, that He is our daily bread. Every notice how we can sing words without stopping to think about what we are singing? For a lot of folks both prayer and a relationship with God are important but by the lives they live, He is not essential.

When He is essential, everyone knows about it. Our schedule and calendar are planned around Him. Our daily lives are His. We wake up with Him and carry Him all day long. We go to bed at night with Him on our mind.

Colossians 2: 2 I want You to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want You to have complete confidence that You understand God's mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. 3 In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

In chapter 3 verse 11, Paul tells us that Christ is our everything.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


When we think of "revival" in a church setting we normally think of a special event where a preacher spends time trying to get people fired up for God.  In very traditional settings this may involved services by a traveling minister in a large tent, or a visiting preacher spending several days in a church.  In any case the event is normally outside of the typical church time and services.


Revival can certainly be defined as this kind of religious service.  However, the definition is also as follows:
1. the act or an instance of reviving or the state of being revived
2. an instance of returning to life or consciousness; restoration of vigour or vitality
Which set of definitions more closely approaches what the Bible says?  Let's look at some verses. 
For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15)
Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
       the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
Then we will not turn away from you;
       revive us, and we will call on your name.

Restore us, O LORD God Almighty;
       make your face shine upon us,
       that we may be saved.

(Psalm 80:17-19)

Will you not revive us again,
       that your people may rejoice in you?  

(Psalm 85:6)

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  (2 Corinthians 4:16)

It seems to me that God is talking about renewing and refreshing someone when He talks about reviving people. The implication isn't that we should have a special religious ceremony, but that God himself can revive our faltering spirit whenever we ask for it.  So why don't we ask for it?  Why do we have to have special times of bringing God to the forefront?

Are you wasted and drawn out?  Are you burned out and tired?  God can revive you from this state.  All you have to do is ask and then let Him.

Friday, October 8, 2010

God's Disney World

Last week my wife and I took our children to Disney World for the first time.  We have been talking about doing this for several years, and the kids have been really looking forward to it.  However, it took a long time for us to save up enough money to do it, so they thought it wasn't really going to happen.  We actually surprised them with the trip, not telling them where we were going and arriving late at night when they had fallen asleep in the van.  The next morning we woke them up and told them where we were.

The joy and excitement on their faces was incredible.  Finally their dreams were coming true and they were getting to experience the magic of Disney.  As we walked up to the Magic Kingdom my daughter made a comment that epitomized their anticipation.
Elena:   Come on, come ON!
Stacey (my wife):  We're coming!
Elena:  Can you come a little faster?!

Are we ever like that with God? How many times do we hurry up to spend time with God?  I know that God wants us to run to him like children.  Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14)  He wants us to have the glee and excitement of a child.  Have you ever seen a kid get excited about getting to see Mickey and Minnie Mouse?  That's how we should feel about God. 

And what about Heaven? Disney World is one of the best places I've ever visited, and I'm excited to go back some day.  But Heaven will be even better!  As great as Disney's Imagineers are, God is better at designing amazing and wonderful things.  He has made a place for each of us that will be more wonderful than anything we can experience here on Earth.  So why don't we get excited about it?

Remember that this week.  Let's treat coming to God like going to Disney!