January 28, 2019

It’s the last Monday of January 2019. If you don’t think time flies then you haven’t lived long enough. We have no control over time. The only thing we have control over is how well we spend the time God gives us. We don’t know how much time we have left but we do have right now. Imagine how much time you have wasted and how many lost moments you wish you could have back. Don’t live your life that way. Time is too precious. Your life is unique and wonderful and filled with purpose. Live out that purpose on this wonderful Monday!!

We are about 1/3 of the way into our 90 Days of Prayer. If you’re not watching my video each Monday morning on Facebook then well I was going to say you’re missing a blessing but I’ll let God lead you into whether that is time well spent or not. But I mentioned on the video the importance of reading God’s Word in conjunction with praying so check it out if you have time. I also noticed a good article from John Piper that I want to pass on to you today and that we are going to examine in more depth this coming Wednesday night. The article is called “Ask Your Father in Heaven” and a key part of the article is based around the examination of Matthew 7:7-8, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” He asks the key question, “Does this mean that everything a child of God asks for he gets?” This is the heart of the article which you can read but let me quote a key part of it here for you today to get you going:

He gives good things. Only good things. He does not give serpents to children. Therefore, the text itself points away from the conclusion that Ask and you will receive means Ask and you will receive the very thing you ask for when you ask for it in the way you ask for it. It doesn’t say that. And it doesn’t mean that.

If we take the passage as a whole, it says that when we ask and seek and knock — when we pray as needy children looking away from our own resources to our trustworthy heavenly Father — he will hear and he will give us good things. Sometimes just what we asked. Sometimes just when we ask it. Sometimes just the way we desire. And other times he gives us something better, or at a time he knows is better, or in a way he knows is better.

And of course, this tests our faith. Because if we thought that something different were better, we would have asked for it in the first place. But we are not God. We are not infinitely strong, or infinitely righteous, or infinitely good, or infinitely wise, or infinitely loving. And therefore, it is a great mercy to us and to the world that we do not get all we ask.

In case you hadn’t heard, it is Super Bowl week, the week leading up to Super Bowl LIII (53) in Atlanta, GA. Personally I don’t care who wins but I will be cheering for the Patriots to lose. Ha. Sorry any crazy Pats bandwagon fans out there. Another interesting fact: I’m old enough to actually remember when the Cowboys won the Super Bowl. I know you younger readers have heard about this and probably think it is a myth but there was a time when the Cowboys used to be good . . . really good. And it was so much more fun to watch the Super Bowl back in those days. But let me encourage you this week to stay plugged into the culture. Take advantage of the Super Bowl. If you’re having a party invite your normal crowd but also invite some people you might normally not invite. Reach out to your neighbors or quasi-friends or someone who doesn’t know Christ and use this party time to take steps in building a personal relationship with them for Kingdom purposes. If the opportunity presents itself invite them to church or if spiritual discussions occur that’s great but it doesn’t have to happen. The day can just be about building a relationship as a foundation for what could come next. You don’t have to force the conversation . . . “Wow, look at that run! Speaking of running, did I ever tell you about how I ran from God for years?” That might turn awkward, so keep it natural and not forced. Let people see you having fun. That’s a good thing. And don’t forget . . . the commercials are usually better than the game!!

Last Word: Mark your calendar for a week from Sunday, February 10, 11, & 12. Dennis and Betty Jo Conner will be here to lead us in a conference called “Building a House of Prayer.” We will meet in a joint service during the 9:45am hour followed by another session during worship at 10:50am. Then we will come back that Sunday evening at 5:00pm for our third session. Then Monday and Tuesday evening we will meet in our Fellowship Hall for dinner at 6:00pm followed by our 4th and 5th sessions at 6:30pm. What a great investment of your time!!

I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?