Our Focus (Find Your Place, part 1)


This and next weekend at Eastbrook Church, we are focusing on the theme of finding our place within the church. This weekend, I talked about how finding our place within the church begins not with understanding our spiritual gifts or natural abilities, but with having our focus in the right place. The message was based out of Philippians 2:1-11.

You can listen to the message at the Eastbrook web-site here. You can also follow the RSS feed for Eastbrook sermons or follower Eastbrook Church on Twitter or Facebook.

The outline for the message is included below:Read More »

Saturday Prayer 49

When I saw Him, I fell at his feet as though dead. (Revelation 1:1 NIV)


You are complete in Your glory –
there is no other who perfectly displays the Father
there is no other whose very life sings forth the perfect mixture of goodness and greatness

You are overwhelming in Your power –
when the world was made, You were there
as the Word of the Father through whom all things were made
when lives are touched with the redemptive work of God,
You are the Word who brings new life and salvation

You are startling in Your humility –
not considering Your glory the sort of thing to cling to
You stripped down into earthy servanthood,
You considered the Father’s will worth living for
and humanity worth dying for.

I praise You.

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

Saturday Prayer 43

Have mercy on me, O God; according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion, blot out my transgressions. (Psalm 51:1)

Search through my soul, O God.
Reveal my hidden sin.
Cut through my self-deception,
And cleanse me from within.

Apart from You our souls are lost.
We’re blind to our wrong ways.
We trick ourselves to walk a path that leads
to our disgrace.

So lead me on the path of life,
And purify my soul.
I kneel before You;
I give myself to You.

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

Living Like the Community We Are

Here are five suggestions toward living like the community we are as the church that I mentioned in my sermon this past week.  If God has created us as a new sort of revolutionary community, then we need to inch toward that reality in our local churches.

What would you add to this list?

  1. Stop trying to find the ideal church – the church is not an ideal to be grasped but a divine reality that exists – as Dietrich Bonhoeffer says: “By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live even for a brief period in a dream world”[1]
  2. Recognize what the church is – it is God’s creation not ours; He created it at great cost; appreciate the church don’t deprecate the church
  3. Find reconciliation at the Cross – we all come into the church with baggage but we need to bring it to the Cross of Christ who is our peace (Ephesians 3:14); there is not place for smugness, pride, arrogance and ethnocentrism in the church
  4. Love the diversity that God loves – Be grateful for the ethnic, social, class, economic, and academic diversity in the church; it is a reflection of the Revelation 7 picture of the church; let’s appreciate it now
  5. Love one another (Ephesians 4:1-3) – learn to love through the strenuous way of humility, gentleness, and patience that Paul describes

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, 27.

Facedown: A Lesson in Humility

Not too long ago, I was speaking on the topic of humility. That is a challenging message for me to give because I so often find pride more evident in my life than humility.

As I prepared for the message, I found that God was giving me all sorts of opportunities to be humbled in front of Him and others. My wife, Kelly, half-humorously expressed that she would love for me to do an entire year of speaking on humility, since she was enjoying the difference in my attitude.

As I was praying about the message and humility in general, I thought about the images of humility in the Bible. One of the things that is most striking to me about people’s encounters with God throughout the Scripture is that they end up on their faces before the greatness of God. We see it both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Consider Isaiah, who exclaims: “Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty” (Isaiah 6:5). We may also look to John who stands face to face with glorified Jesus on the island of Patmos. He describes his response this way: “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. Then He placed His right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid'” (Revelation 1:17).

Matt Redman has a wonderful song called “Facedown” that says (you can view the video below):

Who is there in the heavens like You?
And upon the earth, who’s Your equal?
You are far above, You’re the highest of heights.
We are bowing down to exalt You.
And I’ll fall facedown as Your glory shines around.

God intimately loves us, but He is also the only Awesome One. He is beyond our ability to comprehend Him. “The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power . . . Therefore, people revere Him” (Job 37:23-24). What is our response to Almighty God?

When is the last time you have fallen face-down before the utterly great glory of God in reverent silence and stillness?

Why not do that now?