Okay, so I totally didn’t blog at all last week. 😦 Well, things were pretty crazy and it just kept being put on the back burner until the week was gone. Well, we’re back and here are the highlights of a good weekend with our family and @ The Ridge:
- My oldest was home from college on Spring Break all week. It was nice having her around! Miss that girl when she’s not there. She’s back and school for the downhill side of her Sophmore year.
- Baseball’s opening day was Saturday for my two boys. Both of them played well even though their teams lost. It was a beautiful day Saturday though. My kids came home from the ballpark sunburned…as did a lot of people I suspect.
- We had the third part of our SquareOne Newcomers Group at our house Sunday evening. This has been a blast to get to know these new people in our church! I have really enjoyed this format. We’ll be tweaking it a little and offering our next SquareOne in a few months. Watch for it if you are a Ridger who is new to the church.
- Last Sunday (the 20th) Jerry did a great job of teaching. You can see a post from his blog about last Sunday HERE. It is always good for me to get a break now and then and it is also good for our folks to hear from someone besides me sometimes. 🙂
- The last couple of Sundays have been awesome as far as new faces are concerned. We are seeing lots of new people every week! God is moving in people’s hearts and drawing people to Himself and His church.
- This past Sunday (the 27th) we talked about the next part of our Take A Hike series as we have been walking through the Sermon On The Mount. We looked at Matthew 6:16-18 where Jesus continues His teaching on elements of worship and talks about Fasting.
- While this may not be the most exciting topic to some, it is something Jesus spoke about that was a part of worship, so we dug into what He said a little and explored some other scripture on the topic.
- “When you fast” Jesus said. Once again, just as He had said about giving to the poor and about prayer…it is assumed that Jesus Followers…Disciples…would fast. But what Jesus is saying here is all about the heart. He is saying that when you do this it is to be a private thing. Just like prayer and giving had been made into public displays of piety that the Religious leaders did in order to be noticed by men.
- We are in the season of Lent and if we think about it we are sometimes no different than the Pharisees Jesus was addressing here..even when it comes to something like Lent. I mean why do we make it public what we are “giving up for Lent”? I’ve seen people on fb announcing what they are giving up for Lent. The thing about Lent is that it isn’t found in Scripture anywhere. I’m not saying it doesn’t have value, but only if it is done as a private act of worship in order to seek God. NOT so that we can be noticed. Is that really an different than what the Pharisees did.
- It is important to understand here that Jesus is not condemning the Pharisees for their fasting, but for their pride in it and their motives.
- Jesus doesn’t say how often we should fast but that it is to be a time of humble, private worship and seeking and listening to God.
- When we fast we are to seek Him. But even if our desire is to seek Him humbly we still need to check the motive of our hearts. WHY are we seeking God? Are you seeking God or tying to manipulate Him?
Zechariah 7:5 “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?
- We did something a little different Sunday also. We took time to look at a passage of scripture from the Old Testament that speaks very clearly to this issue that Jesus was addressing. We got into groups and dug into Isaiah 58 and what God was saying to the Israelites about their worship. Read it very carefully. Look and see if you see any correlation to the church and our nation today. This is a powerful passage!
- In our groups we looked specifically and the statements God makes that begin with the words “Then” and “If”. It would be a great study for you to do on your own.
- Here’s The Thing…Our worship should never be about trying to manipulate God into our agenda, but seeking Him to move our heart into His. Don’t play games with God.