Sunday, November 04, 2007

The light of His presence

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Acts 19, 20, 21

Acts 20:19-21 (NIV)

19 [Paul said,] “I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

Good morning!

And what a beautiful morning it is! I’ve been up for awhile now, watching the sunlight move across the eastern sky. There is nothing more wondrous than seeing the sun rise up at the break of day, dispelling the darkness of night, reminding all God’s children that we walk in the light.

I listened intently yesterday to Pastor Terry Teykl teach on what it means to be a Presence Based Church. We long to welcome and invite the presence and power of Almighty God to fall upon the hearts of all who gather in worship to praise His holy name. How I long to be a presence-based church in my own heart, a space where Jesus Christ can live and reign inside of me. The single most important thing I do every morning is to pray for His presence to me up and send me out, so that I may tell others the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How I long to be more like Christ, moving in tiny increments, just a little closer to Him each day. There is nothing more precious than sharing abundant life in Christ with the body of believers. We are everywhere, and when we get together to praise and glorify the risen Lord, His awesome presence becomes our greatest gift! What a present it is to be in an intimate, personal relationship with the Savior of the world.

This was Paul’s soul desire. As he prepared to leave Ephesus, Paul spoke to the saints in the new baby church. He spoke from his heart’s desire. He chose to preach and teach the importance of turning to God with repentant hearts, while lifting up the name of Jesus and His salvation message, not just to Jews, but to Greeks, and the whole world. When Christ got Paul’s attention on the road to Damascus, he not only received a heavenly name change, but a whole new way of seeing life. His eyes, once blinded, were now clear. His vision had improved. The Son had risen and taken full reign in Paul’s life. He was walking in the light of God’s amazing grace and love.

Can you imagine what would happen if faithful Christians around the world linked hands and hearts, with one desire only – to long for the presence of Christ to equip every member of the body to share the Gospel message around the world? What would happen to the church of Jesus Christ if every believer stopped to pray each day for the presence of God to become the presence in which they live and breathe? Inviting God’s presence into the life of my church begins with inviting God to be present in my heart each and every day.

Like the beautiful sunrise outside this morning, the prayers of all the saints are rising up right now. Hearts and hands are joined together, crying out to God for His mercy. We humble ourselves, asking for unmerited forgiveness, confessing our sins, while longing for His life to become our life. Is there any greater joy than knowing the way, the truth, and the life?

He is here right now. If you have never experienced the wonder of forgiveness and His peace that passes all understanding, then this moment has been lovingly created just for you. Living in His presence day by day, is an amazing gift from God. He is waiting for you to receive Him, invite Him into your heart, into your home, and into the life of your church. We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to see Jesus. He is here. Can you sense His holy presence surrounding you today?

Today, we remember and honor the saints that have gone on before us. Our loved ones remind us of the hope we have in Christ, when we reach the place where there will never be darkness again, our tears will be dried forever, and the love we have in our hearts will be magnified exponentially. Living in His holy presence now prepares us for the joys of living with Christ forevermore. Can you hear the saints singing?

May His holy presence fall upon you today, as you seek to love Jesus Christ more and more each day. If you are longing for His presence and want to learn more, come and hear Pastor Teykl teach this afternoon at Woods Chapel United Methodist Church in Lees Summit, Missouri. The seminar begins at 2:30pm and we have an extra seat waiting just for you.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: His presence to become the light you walk in every day. Praise the Lord with all your heart, and invite Him to become the light of your life. Christ’s presence will fall when He is welcomed in love.

© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding
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