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Saturday Prayer 13

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘be holy, because I am holy.’ (1 Peter 1:14-16, NIV)

Lord, please help me to walk in the ways of holiness as a reflection of who You are. Conform my desires to Your truth, and dispel the mirage of ignorant desires. May my words come from a holy mind and heart. May my actions come from a holy mind and heart. ay my interior life be overcome and strengthened by Your holy presence.

Lord, in the times of faltering, call me back to the truth. Lead me through the pathways of confession and repentance that open into the roadway of obedience. Even as You purify me within, let my steps of obedience purify me outwardly that I might receive and reflect the light of Your holy presence.

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

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2012 in prayers

 

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Love That Is Fearless and Complete

I continued our series “Love Letters” this weekend at Eastbrook, I with a message entitled “Love That Is Fearless and Complete” based out of 1 John 4:17-5:5.

You can listen to my message online at the Eastbrook web-site here. You can also follow Eastbrook Church on Twitter. I’ve included my outline for the message below:

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Communication, Eastbrook

 

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Three Things That Show If We Know God (Study Questions)

Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church entitled “Three Things That Show If We Know God

Discussion Questions

  1. Who is someone you have encountered who really seemed to know God? What was it about them that would make you describe them in that way?
  2. Today, we are looking at 1 John 2:3-11. Take some time to mark or write down recurring words or phrases that you encounter in this passage. Read the rest of this entry »
 
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Posted by on February 13, 2012 in Scripture reflections

 

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Three Things That Show If We Know God

This weekend at Eastbrook Church, I brought a message entitled, “Three Things That Show If We Know God.” This was a continuation of our series, “Love Letters,” where we are walking through the letters of 1, 2, and 3 John. My message this weekend was drawn from 1 John 2:3-11.

You can listen to my message online at the Eastbrook web-site here. You can also subscribe to the Eastbrook podcast here or follow Eastbrook Church on Twitter. I’ve included my outline for the message below. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Communication, Eastbrook

 

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Our Cross-Shaped Calling

In Hebrews chapter five, we find a striking picture of how Jesus developed in His calling through humility. Read these words:

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears…and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered. (Hebrews 5:7-8)

If Jesus needed to ‘learn obedience’ from what He suffered, how much more do we need to learn obedience from our sufferings? If we want to become like Him in every way, then we must enter His school of obedience through suffering. Suffering is not something to be avoided, but something to be embraced as God gives us grace to learn through it. Jesus calls us into an active life of developing discipleship, not Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Discipleship

 

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Obedience to Christ and Experience of Christ (part 2)

The second part of Jesus’ statement in John 14:21 reveals that obedience and love for Christ impact two other parts of our spiritual life. Our love for Christ becomes tangible on the pathway of obedience to Christ. That pathway of obedience leads to the love of the Father for us. Now, we know that God’s love is not dependent upon us and our obedience. But our experience of God is tied to our love for God.

As the next part of Jesus’ statement makes clear, our love for Christ leads not only to an experience of Christ’s love for us, but also His revelation of Himself to us. Obedience is a key element toward seeing Jesus.

Do we want to see Jesus more clearly in our everyday lives? Do we want Jesus to show Himself to us? Then we should begin in obedience. In a Scripture I referenced earlier, we hear it this way:

Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them. (John 14:23)

Our experience of God will grow as we choose the path of obedience.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2010 in Discipleship

 

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Obedience to Christ and Experience of Christ (part 1)

Whoever has My commands and obeys them is the one who loves Me. Anyone who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show Myself to them. (John 14:21)

I find this verse inescapable. If I truly love Christ, then I will both know (“have”) His commands and obey them. There are many who claim they love Christ, yet their lives are not marked by obedience to Christ. Their words have not become a reality in their lives because His words have not become a reality in their lives. Obedience is the mark of true love in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Later in this same teaching Jesus says, “Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching….Anyone who does not love Me will not obey My teaching” (John 14:23a, 24a).

Two questions that we have to consider are:

  1. Do I ‘have’ Jesus’ commands?
  2. Do I ‘obey’ Jesus’ commands?

Obviously, in answer to the first, I have the commands of Christ in a literal way. As I write these words, a Bible lies open on the table before me. I am in possession of Jesus’ words. I could rightfully say that I own them because I purchased this Bible and it is now mine. Yet it is appropriate to push the words have and own to their limit. Even if I have them in my possession, do I really have them inside of me? Do I own them internally?

In terms of the second question, I must consider whether I obey Jesus’ commands. Without a doubt, my obedience is not complete. I aim to obey, but I daily fall short of complete obedience. I fail to help that person in need. I don’t walk across my yard to share my faith with my neighbor. Obedience increases, however, as we grow in grace. As Paul wrote to the believers in Rome: “so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness” (Romans 6:19). Offering ourselves in obedience will lead to holiness; it is a process of growth.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2010 in Discipleship

 

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