It is with deep regret that I must begin this letter on such a sad note as we consider the tragic events that have occurred over these past few days. Our hearts are deeply saddened as we pray for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and were injured in one of the most evil-filled two days we have witnessed in a very long time. It begs an important question for us as Christians—how do I respond to this?
On the 7thof July I spoke at my church on what I believe is the secret to truly becoming the man or woman God intended—WORSHIP! Look at that word closely as I am convinced it is what every follower of Christ needs to understand and enter into and is the answer to everything life throws at us. The good, the bad and yes, the ugly and evil.
I acknowledge the ease with which I am brought to my knees in worship when I see God move in positive ways. But what about when He is silent or seemingly not to be found in the midst of deep tragedy? Yet, as one of His followers I am convinced these are the times when worship is even more important. Counter intuitive? Yes. Perhaps the biggest reason why is our mis-understanding as to what worship is supposed to be.
No matter what you may believe about the tragedies we have just witnessed God is not to blame—we are. Our deliberate separation from Him as a society has contributed to a culture that is spinning out of control. We are lost and to the casual observer their seems no way to recover. In the natural this is probably true—but—dear ones, we do not live in the natural. We live under the banner of a loving God who is still on the throne.
Knowing that begs again the question—what do I do in light of all this evil? WORSHIP! That’s right, we are called to worship God in the midst of everything. I believe there are two fundamental reasons for this. First, it is an acknowledgement that we love and believe in our Lord no matter what may happen. Though we do not understand these events we still know with certainty that He is there ready to respond to our worship and prayers in the midst of every situation.
But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, worship brings us to the position of humility and vulnerability before Him that moves us to a place where He can work His life-transforming power into us. My friends, evil is not going to go away as long as we are this side of heaven, but it can be impacted. What God is wanting us to learn is the relationship between our worshipping Him and His growing and equipping us to invade our world with more salt and light in order to have the kind of influence we need to have.
Let me challenge you to use this series of events as a reminder to not only pray for God to intervene and comfort, but as a reminder of the responsibility we all have to get closer to Him and allow Him to grow us. My prayer:
Lord I come before you today to ask you to comfort those impacted by these terrible tragedies. Help them Lord even in the midst of the pain to somehow see You through these circumstances. Help us as a nation to realize our need for You and not attempt to manipulate to support our self-serving causes. But Lord most important, help me to better understand what you are calling me to do. I humbly come before you in a posture of total surrender and I choose to worship you Lord. Help me be the man or woman you intended. Help me to grow and become the salt and light that is needed in order to impact my world. -Amen
I want to share something I saw in a devotional reading just this morning—I pray it will be food for thought and minister to you:
Deny or Confess?
We deny Jesus when we (1) hope no one will think we are Christians, (2) decide not to speak up for what is right, (3) are silent about our relationship with God, (4) blend into society, (5) accept our culture's non-Christian values. By contrast, we confess him when we (1) live moral, upright, Christ-honoring lives, (2) look for opportunities to share our faith with others, (3) help others in need, (4) take a stand for justice, (5) love others, (6) acknowledge our loyalty to Christ, (7) use our lives and resources to carry out his desires rather than our own.
July was truly a great month as we had a lot of ministry opportunities and also settled into our new rental home. August will be a much-needed time to take a brief vacation rest as we go to Temecula, California to be with family and friends from the 15thto the 24th. This is our first vacation getaway since we moved here last September and we are really looking forward to it.
Please pray for us as we move toward this September. I have three weeks in a row with major events on my calendar. The 6ththrough 8thI am in Gainesville, Florida with my friend Jim Guth for a men’s event, leadership seminar and two church services. Then back to Colorado the following week for our church’s Whole-Heart Advancewith about 80-90 men from our community.
Then from the 18thto the 22ndI will be in Lake Champion, NY for Priority Onemen’s ministry for a major event. They are expecting around 4-500 men and I will be speaking five times over those days.
I want you to know how much we love and appreciate you. We could not continue our ministry to men, couples and Pastors without your prayers and financial support.
May you experience Gods richest blessings,