Sunday, July 10, 2011

Alone with God

   As I write this, my three year old, Jeuel, is sleeping on my lap.  It's one of those humbling moments when no one else but daddy will do to comfort her, and she drifted off almost immediately once settled in.  As a husband and a father of eight (not a typo), my heart and life are invariably full.

   But it sure makes it tough sometimes to get alone with Him.  Don't get me wrong.  I happily resort to typing with one hand to have the privilege of holding my little girl. Its just that the undertow of life can seem daunting when going for it with Jesus.  At the outset,  it seems like a  sure path to burnout in the natural, whatever the spiritual benefits.

   I am here to tell you that spiritual discipline is different on the inside than it might seem from the outside. It integrates all of life, gives profound purpose, and lends His endurance and strength to our own.  And, this week's sermon on Prayer &  Solitude , is arguably the most vital among the 9 disciplines we will study this summer.

   We, like the famed Bereans in Acts 17:11, intend to know prayer from the inside, for ourselves.

BLUF # 2 – Prayer & Solitude

·         Prayer, according to Christ, is Authentic and Free
·         Prayer, in large part is the relationship
·         When He taught us about prayer it was uncomplicated, and kept the relationship in perspective
·         With prayer, skill to do comes of doing

Key scriptures: Eccl 5:1, Matt 6:5

    Admin Note:

    The textbook for the sermon series at Cornerstone this summer is The Spirituality of Jesus: Nine Disciplines Christ Modeled for Us by Leslie T. Hardin.  We hope to instill in ourselves a keen understanding of what the Holy Spirit is saying to us as a body of believers by both attending/studying the sermon, prayerfully studying the key scriptures and points of the sermon, following along in the text, and spending some time alone with the study guides provided us by the pastoral staff each week.
    Due to the compressed schedule this small group had at outset, we had to condense the first two weeks into one. As a result, our conclusions - and our BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) list for  Prayer &  Solitude will appear next week, either inserted above, or before our musings on the Resisting Temptation message. Thanks!



    In the first message of our summer series, Pastor Franco taught  about the spirituality of Jesus Christ Himself in Walking with Jesus.  These were the Key Scriptures and the Key Points of  the sermon:

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven  Ec 3:1

My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. Ps 62:5

 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. Mt 11:28-29

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? Mic 6:8

9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and toask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruitin every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God ; 11 strengthened with all power,according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience ; joyously 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the Church ; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross ; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Colossians 1:9-20

Key Points:
1.      Most of us rest from God instead of in God.

2.      You didn’t come to Jesus so you can win, you come into Jesus because HE HAS WON

3.      Stop looking at myself…and start looking at Jesus

4.      When we walk with Jesus we walk with our salvation 
          The "Sow What?" crew first examined the value of studying the ascetic practices of Jesus, in light of who we are at salvation, and the natural course of our sanctification with whatever time we have (before our deaths or the Rapture). Briefly discussed was the difference between entering the Kingdom of God and Inheriting the Kingdom, and the benefits and rewards for overcomers.  Excellent resources on this subject are The Kingdom, Power, and Glory by Nancy Missler and How to Pray for the Release of the Holy Spirit: What the Baptism of the Holy Spirit Is & How to Pray for It  by Dennis Bennet.

      Below find our BLUF for the first sermon's material:

        BLUF # 1 – Walking with Jesus
·         Scripture implores & directs us to commune with God, not merely visit
·         Prayer is the passion of the overcomer
·         We must be intimate with scripture to recognize enemy forgeries
·         All time is God’s time
·         Do God things, not merely good things
·         God’s people need God’s power to do God’s will                           

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