Archive for September, 2010


Ask

September 28, 2010

ScriptureSo I say to you: Ask, and it will be given; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  Luke 11:9

Observation:  Jesus says ‘ask and it will be given.’  Not might.  Not maybe.  Not sometimes.  Not on occasion.  I can’t recall a single incident where someone asked Jesus and it wasn’t done.

Application:  Here is God’s promise – the one who asks, receives.  Period.  Is there more to this?  I don’t know.  I don’t see any conditions here.  I’m just supposed to ask, and to keep on asking.

Prayer:  Lord, I’m asking.  Open the door for Your Church (First Church) to have Kingdom-impact on PG, PC, HH, and all of CH.  Anoint Your church to bring many to Jesus; to provide healing and fellowship and purpose and comfort.  May we lift the fallen, stand with the downtrodden, and free the captives.  May we be faithful, bold and loving.  May we give life—abundant life—from You who alone is the way, the truth and the life.

September 25, 2010

ScriptureThen all the people of the region…asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear.  Luke 8:37

Observation:  The reactions of people to Jesus are fascinating and varied.  Some fall face down in fear, and some fall at His feet in worship.  Some speak the truth, and others lie.  Some are amazed, while others are puzzled.  Some choose to follow, still others go away sad.  His family plans to put Him away, and His enemies plot to take Him out.  Meanwhile, in church, we sit, hands folded and minds dull.  Have we trivialized Him today?  Have we tamed the Lion of Judah, and pared His claws?

Application:  How do I respond to Jesus?  Sometimes I repent.  At other times, I ignore Him.  Am I amazed?  Stunned?  Provoked?  Challenged?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, cause me to be amazed, awed, speechless, overwhelmed in Your presence.  May I be struck by Your power and majesty, Your love and mercy, Your joy and gentleness, and the glory of Your holiness.  In Your overwhelming love, I pray.

September 24, 2010

ScriptureWill you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in you?  Psalm 85:6

Observation:  The Psalmist’s prayer is that God would restore them.  They were desperate for new life.  Perhaps this was written at a particularly low time in the life of the nation.  They needed a fresh infilling of God’s Spirit.

Application:  So do we all.  Our world needs it.  Our nation needs it.  The Church needs it.  I need it.  We need repentance for all the ways we have ignored You, disobeyed You.  we need Your Spirit so we might live holy and faithful lives.

Prayer:  Lord, will You not revive us again?  Will You not revive Your Church?  I (we) roll along in our daily lives, satisfied, until trouble comes.  Then we cry out.  But, our world is in trouble.  The Church is weak and lukewarm.  Its ministries are lifeless and the fire in the pulpit has grown cold.  Revive us again.  Revive me again.  In Jesus’ name.

September 23, 2010

ScriptureOne of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.  Luke 6:12

Observation:  Jesus is clearly a man of prayer.  As He chooses the Twelve, He spends the night receiving input from His Father.  It is a safe assumption that the 40 days in the desert were largely times of prayer.  Out of that, He comes preaching His personal mission statement from Isaiah 61.  There are other occurrences-rising early to go pray (4:42), praying in private (9:18), or on the mountain (9:28).  He prays, and it moves the disciples to ask about prayer (11:1).  He taught about prayer (11, 18:1).  He modeled prayer (21:37; 22:41-44).  Even in His death, He prayed.

Application:  There is little question that prayer is integral to the life of the one who would follow Jesus.  Oh, how hard it is, however!  I can do.  I can be with people.  I am wired that way.  But, to sit or kneel?  To listen?  That is tough for me.

Prayer:  Lord, I am willing to be willing.  Help me.  May I talk with you as a man talks with his friend.  In Jesus’ name.

September 22, 2010

ScriptureWhen Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees.  Luke 5:8

Observation:  Every time people found themselves face to face with Jesus, their reaction is powerful.  Peter fell at Jesus’ knees.  The leprous man falls on his face.  The friends of a paralyzed man essentially commit breaking and entering.  The Pharisees and teachers of the law are offended.  Levi abandons work, home, life and follows Jesus.  Being in the presence of Jesus always evokes strong reaction.

Application:  I am not face to face with Jesus.  But, I am, at this very moment, and most mornings, in His real presence.  I have the privilege of hearing God’s voice through Scripture and prayer.  Sometimes, I hear His (inaudible) whisper.  Do I grasp the significance of that?  The God of the universe, the Alpha and Omega, the Almighty, Son of God, Him who is holy and true, the Amen, ruler of God’s creation, the One who alone is worthy to receive glory and honor and power, the Faithful and True, King of kings and Lord of lords, draws me to Him—invites me into His presence.  Like Peter, I am not worthy.  I am a man (and, therefore, by definition, sinful).  But the Spirit says, “Come!”

Prayer:  Lord, no words can express how grateful I am that You have called me to Your side.  You love me.  You save me.  You invite me to join You in saving the world.  I deserve condemnation, as do all of us.  You offer mercy.  I deserve nothing.  You offer abundant life.  I praise You for who You are.  I thank You for all You’ve done.  I bow before You, Lord.

September 20, 2010

ScriptureThey could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.  Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”  Daniel 6:4

Observation:  Daniel’s character and work ethic are beyond reproach.  Even his enemies admit that—though not publicly.  So, charges are trumped up.  God will still save.  But, Daniel will still spend time in the lion’s den—the price of being faithful.

Application:  Oh, that such a statement might be said of me—MiklColt is trustworthy, neither corrupt nor negligent.  Only in one thing, regarding his God, could he be found guilty.

Of course, I am a long way from being in the class of a Daniel.  But, God is not done with me yet.  His grace is at work—and His grace is sufficient.

Prayer:  Lord, pour out Your Spirit on me that I may be found trustworthy.  May time spent with You refine me until all impurities are burned off, until the chaff is blown away, and pure gold and silver remain—fit for You, my King.  In Jesus’ name I pray.

September 16, 2010

ScriptureThere will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  Revelation 21:4

Observation:  Our human experience is so limited that we can only describe Heaven by what it is NOT.  No more pain.  No more mourning.  No more crying.  No more death.

Application:  No more cancer.  No more MS/ALS.  No more back pain or headaches.  No more molestation or violence.  Still, He is more than the absence of pain or conflict.  It is all of the best God has created, has to offer—pure love, pure joy, pure peace.  And so much more.

Prayer:  Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, what You have in store for those who love You.  John’s word-painting cannot do You, nor Your Heaven, justice.  Might I have a glimpse?  More importantly, may I long to be with You.  May I trust You to bring me to be where You are.  Thank You for preparing a place for me.

May I live for You until that day I live with You.  In Jesus’ name.

September 15, 2010

ScriptureHallelujah!  Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments.  He has condemned the great prostitute….  Revelation 19:1b-2a

Observation:  The situation will get worse—as bad as it is possible to get.  Then comes the day when Christ rides in, and the battle is on, and the Enemy is finally defeated.  The victory song is sung—and the cosmos is finally at peace.

Application:  I see the reports of suffering today, and think “how can it possible be worse?”  But, it can.  And it will be.  The day will come when I will sing the victory song of the King of kings with all the saints in glory.  To me, questions about pre-, mid-, post-tribulation matter little in comparison to what am I doing for Christ now?  Who am I (are we) bringing to Him now?  Who will say they worship Jesus because of the impact (at least, in part) that I had on their lives?

Prayer:  Lord, help me burn for those who don’t know You.  May I offer You to each person You put in my path.  Help me be bold with great love toward anyone who I am not sure knows and loves and follows You.  In Jesus’ name.

September 10, 2010

Scripture: Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.  Revelation 16:7

Observation:  Revelation gives recurring glimpses into what happens in Heaven.  While God makes decisions and gives commands, the saints and angels respond with awe, gratitude, adoration and devotion.  The result is worship: prayer, singing, bowing, serving, testifying.

Application:  Are we not to do on earth “as it is in heaven?”  The more we see of God, watch Him at work, the more we respond with awe, adoration, gratitude, devotion.  So we pray, sing, bow (clap, raise hands, fall on our faces), serve, testify.

Prayer:  Papa, I don’t often understand Your ways, for they are higher than my ways.  Yet, I often am awestruck at Your power, beauty, love and holiness.  May my responses always be steeped in the assurance that Your ways are right and best.  When I don’t understand, still help me to trust You—certain of Your holiness, love, justice, power.

September 6, 2010

ScriptureThe kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.  Revelation 11:15

Observation:  God, who is making all things new, is transforming this world.  No more death or pain; no more crying or captives; no more famine or plague.  And “no more” is replaced with “forever.”  Forever life and healing; forever dancing and freedom; forever bread and blessing.

Application:  Do I long for such a time when “every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord?”  Am I broken over genocide and human trafficking?  Will I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, water the thirsty, invite the stranger, care for the sick, visit the imprisoned?

Prayer:  God, I long for Charlotte Harbor to become the kingdom of You and of Our Christ.  I long for hunger to be sated, and thirst quenched, and death defeated, and sin destroyed and pain alleviated and tears dried.  I long for Your blessing for our community—provision for the body, hope for the soul, and salvation for the spirit.  But, I confess, I don’t want it enough.  Lord, give me Your vision for Your kingdom here in Charlotte Harbor.  I pray that You sear this burning desire into every nook of my soul.  Have Your own way, Lord, in me.