Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Missing God's Best

Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile”  
(Mark 6:31a NLT).

Jesus said this to his disciples because they had become so busy that they did not have time to eat.  I am really busy is one of the most common retorts today when asked how you are doing.  As Christians we can be so involved in good things that we miss God’s best.

Rest in the Lord
In Exodus 31: 17 the Lord gives a very busy man Moses a pattern to follow. It was the same plan that God used in the work of creation, one day in seven for rest.  We often tax our minds and bodies in ways that God never intended.  We fill in our weekly schedules with little time for rest, reflection, or spending time with source of strength, God.  Someone once said, “if your output exceeds your input, your upkeep will be your downfall.”  We make the mistake of believing that through good intentions and determination we can maintain our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.  God did not try to live like this so why should we? He (God) knows what we need and there is no substitute for one on one with him.  I am not saying that our day of rest has to always be filled with Bible reading and prayer, but in activities where at least God can get our attention.

What is the practical point here? Make your schedule around God and not God around your schedule.  It’s all about priorities.  My prayer for all of us is that we won’t come to the end of this earthly journey and realize that we have experienced good and missed God’s best

Ken Barnes, the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Email:  kenbarnes737@gmail.com
website: https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/
             http://gleanings757.blogspot.com

Image used with permission by Microsoft



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Elevated Hearts

And you may not approach my altar by steps. If you do, someone might look up under the skirts of your clothing and see your nakedness. Exodus 20:26 NLT

The Lord instructed Moses to build the altar low to the ground to prevent exposing the nakedness of the priests, but there may have been a more fundamental reason for this instruction.

In the days of Moses there was a belief that the height of the sacrifice made them closer to heaven.  There is always been a tendency to externalize religion.  It was true in the day of Moses and Jesus, and is still true today.  We have a tendency to dwell on the external trappings of our faith, the forms and places we use to worship.  By instructing the priest not to approach the altar by using steps made it necessary to build an altar that was low to the ground.  Thus communicating that God was not after the height of the sacrifice but the elevation of the heart of the one who brought the gift.  There is a simple reason that we dwell on the height of the offering, it's much easier to build and maintain an external or formal religion than one that comes from a pure heart. We can fix our attention on an outward fa├žade of faith while lacking the inward motivations that produce a sincere heart. This kind of faith builds beautiful looking houses that are empty on the inside.

Large and beautiful places of worship are not necessarily wrong, as long as they are built from the inside out.  Constructed by elevated hearts where people don't need to walk up steps to reach God.

Image used with permission by Microsoft.  

Ken Barnes, the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Email:  kenbarnes737@gmail.com
website: https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/