Today I express the need for us to relate as part of God’s Family. In a family you are always learning something, even when you make mistakes you never stop belonging to God’s family.
Today I bring a communion message which encourages our daily appropriation of Christ’s provision. Christ’s love for us is the same today as it was the day he went to the cross. When we receive communion it is a matter of faith and spirit that deepens our connection with Christ’s love.
Today I continue teaching out of Luke 11 where Jesus follows the disciple’s prayer with the parable about being persistent for bread. We must keep asking for bread, not to meet our personal needs, but so we can meet the needs of those God places around us.
I convey the difference between knowledge gained through a relationship with Christ and knowledge gained from human efforts. God wants to give us knowledge, but if we are not careful our desire for knowledge will result in the same separation that Adam and Eve experienced. Philipians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
As I meditated on the Lord’s Prayer I noticed some deeper truths that sometimes it is easy to forget. The first thing that we must always remember is that prayer is a relationship. It is also important to know that the Father already knows what we need (Matthew 6:8). Prayer is not giving God a to do list. Prayer is daily partaking of the bread from heaven.
We must also remember that Christ is the bread. As Jesus continued talking to His disciples after teaching them to pray, we can see that He was teaching them to not be worried about what to eat or drink (Matthew 6:25-27). And on another occasion He said, “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh” (John 6:50–51).
If God already knows our needs, then why do we pray for bread? In Luke 11, we can read some more details of the context of Christ teaching the disciples to pray. “And He said to them, ‘Suppose one of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’’” (Luke 11:5–6). We understand that this is teaching about our persistence in prayer, but it is also teaching us that we ask for bread to feed others. We ask for the Bread of heaven to share with those in need around us. As Christians we ask the Father for our daily bread because we want to share the life of Christ that we have received.
I connect our Christianity with the example of Love that Christ gave us. If we want to be like Christ, we must study how he related to the world. His life was an expression of Love and forgiveness, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16 & 17
I illuminate Jesus Christ’s desire to include us in His Father’s family. In Matthew 12:50 Jesus was not closing a door on his physical family, he was opening the door for everyone to become part of his spiritual family, “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” We do the will of the Father by loving the Lord with all of our heart, and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
I express the passion we must have in our walk with God. We must have a personal drive like Paul and identify with his cry in Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”
I connect our ability to receive God’s provision of communion with Luke 6: 37 & 38. When we plant seeds of judgment and condemnation that is what we receive, but if we plant seeds of forgiveness, kindness and love, we will receive those blessings from our Father.
I bring an important message about oneness and worship. There is a synergy when we worship together in oneness which is pleasing to the Lord. God is searching for a people that will continuously worship Him in spirit and in truth.
I talk about the maturing of God’s sons. Galatians 4:1 compares immature children to slaves under the authority of guardians and managers. It is time for us to mature as sons and grow up into the measure of the fullness of Christ. The key to this maturity is obedience, Christ was diligent to do and speak only that which His Father instructed and it is time for us to do the same.
I teach about Gods plan for you. God has a vision for you way bigger than the vision you have for yourself. When he is removing the blocks in your life it may seem unpleasant but it is because he sees you the way he saw you before the foundation of the world. He has predestined you and is working His truth in your life.
I convey our deep desire to return to the Lord and abide in His presence. God jealously desires the spirit He has made to dwell in us and the spirit in us desires to reconnect with Him. His love is the only thing that can satisfy this yearning hunger within us. By faith we open our hearts to receive and reconnect with the pure love of our Father.
I link the parable about forgiveness in Matthew 18:21 to the fundamental teaching on love from Luke 6:27. Love your neighbor and relate to them the way you want God to relate to you. By the grace of God we must start relating with compassion and truly forgiving one another.
Last week I brought a practical message about why we celebrate the Biblical Feasts. It is not about do’s and don’ts, it is about relationships and God’s Unchanging Love. This will not work in isolation, but in our unity. We need to receive and be a channel of God’s unchanging love to one another.
I express the need for us to worship. Worship is the most important thing we can do because it is what God is looking for. It is not about engaging in a religious routine, but rather entering into an intimate relationship with our Father. “God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
I believe it is so important for us to always be aware of our spirits and of how we are growing and moving in what God has given us. I often ask myself these questions: “How am I walking with God?” or “Am I applying God’s word in my life in a practical way?”
I would like to share a practical thing we can all do as we grow and mature in our relationship with our Father. Focus your spirit in praising the Lord and being thankful in all things. “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18). This is a principle that works in all areas of our lives. It will keep our spirits anchored in the word God. When we practice this attitude we create our own immunity, keeping our spirits engaged and in tune with the Holy Spirit.
When we exercise this principle we will avoid complaining, criticism, and the bad habit of giving voice to negativity. Focusing our spirits on expressions of faith and love towards God and our neighbors. We read in Proverbs 16:32 that “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” This is a verse I have memorized and it keeps me accountable for watching over how I react to things I hear and see.
One practical way to maintain this control and rule over our spirits is to be careful with what we say. Even if things are not going the way we expect, murmuring and complaining will never solve the issue. Too often our first reactions are negative and can lead us to have regrets, but if we pause and take control of our reactions we can avoid letting simple incidents ruin our day and atmosphere.
Here are some more passages that I read while I was meditating about this. I pray it may help you in a very practical way.
“Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit” (Proverbs 25:28).
“A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back” (Proverbs 29:11).
“If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26).
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
I explain Jesus’ teaching from Luke 10. Jesus reminded the disciples that the first and foremost commandments are to love the lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. Trying to justify who is or is not our neighbor is an excuse to not do what we are supposed to. When walls of division come down and we remember that being right is never more important than our relationships we can see that everyone is our neighbor.
I bring a message about God’s love for us. We need to open our hearts and receive God’s love which surpasses knowledge and is filled with strength and power. Once we become rooted in God’s love and fully accept it, nothing can separate us from it.
I continue teaching about God’s unconditional love for us as expressed in Luke 15. Wherever we are, we can choose to return to our loving Father and he will greet us with open arms.
In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-31), Jesus describes three ways of thinking: how we think about ourselves when we have done something wrong, how we think about ourselves when we have done something right, and how God thinks about us.
The younger brother knew he had messed up but he chose to return to his father’s house and beg to work as a slave. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). There was no hesitation from the father. The moment he saw his son he began expressing his love. God is this loving father. It does not matter how much of our inheritance we waste, or how long we wander without Him, the moment we take a step and return to Him, He will run to us with loving arms. He will clothe us with the robes of his nature, give us his ring with authority, place new sandals on our feet so we can learn to walk in a new way, and kill the fattened calf for our abundant joy. When we come before the Lord He has the best for us, He is not holding anything back.
The older brother thought he was doing everything right. He worked diligently to please his father and earn his inheritance. However, when he spoke to his father he had a slave mentality. He was jealous and angry because his brother got a party when he didn’t, but it was never his father who limited him. The father’s response was the same for both sons, “All that is mine is yours.” No matter what you think you did, or have to do, to deserve the Fathers love, you are wrong. The only thing you have to do is come before Him. All that the Father has is yours.
I expound on the oneness of the early church as described in Acts 2 through 5. Our drive to walk in love and oneness is a key to bringing forth the restoration which is taking place in the church today.
I dive into what it means to be a Christian. When we refer to ourselves as Christians, we should think of ourselves as anointed ones being sent on a mission to love one another. We receive God’s love for us through Christ and reflect that love to those around us.
I expand on my explanation of the sower and the seed parable from Luke 8. The soil has to be prepared to receive the seed of the word from God. If we prepare our hearts to receive the word, then it can be planted and activated in our lives.
I explain the parable from Jesus Christ about the sower and the seed in Luke 8. The seed that is spoken of in this parable is relating to the word from God that we hear. How we listen to and use the word will determine if it bears fruit.