Before You Go

Sorry these reflections have been sporadic or nonexistent the last few weeks. Been out pocket with revivals and Asbury’s BaseCamp. Should be back in the saddle now!

One of the things I love about each of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) is that they each have a different emphasis and purpose they are trying to accomplish. I often put it that Matthew, Mark, and Luke are answering the questions of who, what, when, and where of Jesus’ life and ministry. John is answering the question of why.

But within that, each gospel is showing us something about Jesus life, death, and resurrection so that we have a full picture of who Jesus is. In Mark’s gospel, for instance, we are always getting a picture of Jesus on the move, always going, doing, serving, full of action.

That’s why today’s text is so important. Listen to what it says in Mark 1:34-39:

And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

jesus-prayingWe see Jesus going. We see Him healing. We see Him going out to preach. We see Him doing a lot. But, notice what happens in the middle before He goes out to “do.”

We see Him withdraw. And pray. Before He goes about His tasks, His purpose, His calling, He stops. He finds time. And He prays.

When I talk about the prayer life of Jesus, I always remind folks of this. Jesus wasn’t just another man. He was God Himself, in the flesh. God from God, light from light. And, so, Jesus, even though He was God, makes time to pray to His father. To seek His father’s face. To have communion with the Father.

Before He went to go, He stopped to pray.

How much more should we? How much more should we seek our Father’s face? How much more should we stop and pray? How much more should we take this moment. And stop. And pray.

So, before you start this day, before you start these tasks, before you get so busy, stop. Pause.

And pray. For, without the prayer, our going won’t really even matter much. If we accomplish anything today, may that something be prayer.

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Foundations

One of the things I’ll never forget was when I was preaching in the delta. When I was there, at night, you’d see people outside watering their yards.

Nothing unusual about that.

But you’d see them after they finished watering their yards; they’d take the water and start watering their houses. I thought to myself, ok, this is an odd place.

I asked one of my members what they were doing, and they said that they kept the ground around their houses moist so that the ground wouldn’t settle and destroy their foundations.

So, to keep their foundations of the house strong, they literally watered their house.

Foundations are important. They keep us stable, they keep us safe in storms. They give us something to rely upon in times of trouble.

So, the question for us is this, what is the foundation of our lives. Is it Jesus? Or is it something else.  Listen to what Jesus says in Matthew 7: 24-27

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

In this passage, Jesus warms us that storms are coming. The wise one builds their house upon Him. And when the storm comes, they will be ok.

The foolish builds their house upon something else. And when the storm comes, they are blown away.

Storms will come in our lives. Troubles will come. What is your life built upon? It it’s upon Jesus, it might not be fun, but you’ll be ok.

If not, the storm will cause great harm.

Today, what is your foundation?

The Foundation

We can lay the foundation for our lives in a lot of places.

The foundation of our life could be our job. . .

Our family. . .

Our finances. . . .

Our hobbies. . . .

Our status and success. . . .

Other’s view of us. . . .

All these things could vanish, even family.  All these things can fail us.  All these things are not eternal.  Only one thing is eternal.  Only one thing will not fail.  Only one thing is unchanging.

Jesus

Paul writes these words today in 1 Corinthians:

11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.

Today, a simple thought and reflection as we draw close to Thanksgiving.  Is He your foundation?

Is Jesus Christ the foundation of you life?

Is everything built upon Him?

All else could fail you.  He never will.

Is He your foundation?

You will never know true life, peace, joy, and purpose until He is your foundation.

May He be that foundation for you life today.