Thursday, 13 March 2014

Lent - Jesus at the Center..... Prayer....

Colossians 1:16-23 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 
And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 
 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 
 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight
  if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

This is the season of Lent. We are focusing our attention on Jesus and how He died on the cross to save us from our sin. Salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ and his shed blood on the cross. He died in your place and in mine to redeem us to God.

This Lent season our church is focusing on prayer and on drawing closer to the Lord through prayer. The following are my notes that I took during last Sunday's service. Pastor Ben was speaking.

The Cross ( picture from wallhdesign.com )

Life is to be lived - not just to exist.
John 14:6   Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Jesus is the answer to the longing and desire in our heart.
We will face difficult situations, we live in a broken world.
Jesus needs to be the center, the foundation on which we build our life.

He is the Creator and Sustainer of our life.

Philippians 3:7-9 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Everything is garbage compared to knowing Jesus.
Experience the power of God in your life - Nothing can compare to it. Status, influence, power, friends, job etc can not compare.

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

The center of Paul's life is Jesus - Jesus and the cross.
Jesus is the center of life - the core of our church.
The cross is an expression of God's love for us.
Jesus willingly died so that we can know him.
Knowing and experiencing God gives us life, gives us passion.

We desire to know God better - we long for this...or do we???

Are we content with our material lifestyle, our toys and our status... do they really satisfy you?
Or maybe you are doubting Jesus?  Still you must admit that deep down inside you there is a small desire within your heart that wishes you wanted God in your heart.
Jesus is the answer - He is the answer to the deep longing in your heart.

We need to be a people of prayer - communicating with God.

Why are Christians defeated, discouraged and why is the church not on fire for the Lord??
It is because they pray so little.

Prayer is going to be the theme of our Lent.
We want to be passionate about Jesus.

Prayer is a discipline - it takes time to learn, the more you prayer the better you will become at it.

This is Lent - surrender to the Lord. Discipline yourself to draw closer to the Lord by either fasting from something or by adding something to your day.

Give something up - fast from video games, or movies, or TV, a food item etc.
Or add something - add writing in a journal everyday during lent, or praying more, or add a special time of worship to your day, etc

Become part of a prayer meeting - join with others in prayer, and pray for each others needs.

Read your Bible.

Pray this prayer everyday this week - "Come Lord Jesus, Come"

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

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